Blade Cinematographer On How They Made The Blood Club Scene Look So Cool


Long before Deadpool brought the X-Men universe into R-rated territory, the 1998 Blade translated its Marvel comics source material into stylishly gruesome spectacle. Mixing supernatural horror tropes with proto-Matrix action, this popular trilogy-starter made it clear from the opening minutes that this wasn’t going to be your parents’ superhero flick.

Before Wesley Snipes has even made his first appearance in the title role, the Stephen Norrington-helmed film sets the mood in a sequence which sees an unsuspecting partier lured into a secret rave, unaware that his fellow attendees are vampires thirsting for his blood. It’s only when gallons of the red stuff starts spraying down from the ceiling that the poor guy catches on that something is very wrong – enter Blade.

The blood pouring from the sprinklers makes for a visually striking moment, and in an interview with SyFy, cinematographer Theo Van de Sand has explained how they got the liquid looking just right.

“What we did in creating the Blood Club, it had a lot of technical elements to deliver a feel of something never seen. We wanted to give the blood a particulation, so I used a strobe light that was connected to the camera. Because of that, the blood becomes very stylistic due to the short exposure and gives a very harsh feel to it. Also, I created a [new] camera, one designed with an anamorphic lens equipped with a viewfinder, so we could do a lot of hand-held in the action scenes. The choice to do it anamorphic gives it more impact.”


It’s technical details like these that helped turn Blade into a such a lucrative film trilogy that’s influenced dark and hyper-stylized action flicks ever since. That being said, it’s been a while since we’ve seen the old vampire hunter on the big screen.

Last year, a typically tight-lipped Kevin Feige hinted at the possibility of the character making his debut in the MCU, though you probably shouldn’t hold your breath on that one. Let’s at least hope that Marvel Studios doesn’t drag their feet too long on planing Eric Brooks’ return, since it would be a shame to think that the half-vampire’s big screen finale was Blade: Trinity.