19 Feb 19

This remake of a remake of a remake deals in too many rock star tropes and pop music clichés to be entirely engaging, but the 4K UHD release is a pure reference.

15 Feb 19
Camera and Photo Accessories

Angenieux Lens Focus Control Only w/ RA93 Focus Block, MFH93 w/ CA93 – Buy – Angenieux Lens Focus Control Only w/ RA93 Focus Block, MFH93 w/ CA93

06 Feb 19
Lenses and Filters

Angenieux Zoomar 15-150mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens – Buy – Angenieux Zoomar 15-150mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

01 Feb 19
When choosing cameras and lenses, nonfiction filmmakers are not only guided by the “look” they are trying to create, but what their production demands and what their resources allow. Which is why in answering the question of why they picked the gear they did, this year’s crop of Sundance documentary directors also tells us how they shot their movies — the challenges, and the choices, as well as their cinematic styles. Feature films in the U.S. Documentary Competition are below, Documentary Premieres Page 2, World Cinema Documentary Competition Page 3. Films appear in alphabetical order by title. Section: U.S. Documentary Competition “Always in Season” Shooting “Always in Season” Format: 1920×1080 24p Camera: Canon C300 (primary camera) and Sony FS7 (for stylized footage) Lens: anamorphic lenses: canon L-series and Zeiss primes Director Jacqueline Olive:  Life in the South is complex, so my goal has been to give viewers a sense, in every scene, of how it feels to live at once among all the layers of reality. To do that, creating scenes that resonate viscerally was essential. As we brainstormed an impressionistic aesthetic, cinematographer Patrick Sheehan immediately thought to use macro tilt-shift lenses to capture footage, like the shots in the scenes about the 1934 lynching of Claude Neal in Marianna, Florida. These lenses shifted the plane of sharp focus beautifully without increasing the depth of field, so the images you see in those sequences of pigs in the swamp give viewers the sense that they are not simply watching pigs, but as the camera moves along their flank, constantly shifting from the hazy whiteness of their skin to reveal grey leathery cracks covered in stiff bristles of hair, viewers feel like they are actually brushing up against pigs. That’s just one of the tricks that made Patrick’s footage more hauntingly gorgeous than I’d even imagined. Always fully engaged and creating outside of the box, It’s been wonderful collaborating with him. “American Factory” Yiqian Zhang shooting “American Factory” with a Canon C100 MK 2 Format: Digital HD Camera: Canon C100 mk II, Canon C300, Sony FS7, Sony A7s, Sony X70, Canon 5D mk III, GoPro, other Lens: Canon 24-105mm, Canon 70-200mm Directors Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert: This film largely takes place in a roaring, crowded factory. We needed small, lightweight cameras good in low-light situations, that could handle hot and humid environments. The cameras we had did the job well. [pmc-related-link href=”” type=”Read More:” target=”_self”]The Sundance Camera Report: The Equipment, Lenses, and Formats Favored By Filmmakers[/pmc-related-link] “Bedlam” “Bedlam” DoP Joan Churchill and sound recordist Alan Barker Camera: Panasonic Varicam, Panasonic HPX170, Sony HXR-NX30U, Sony PXW-X70, Sony PXW-Z90V, Sony PXW-FS5, Canon C-300 Cinematographer Joan Churchill: Many cameras were used over the six years it took us to shoot this film but when we started shooting in the ER, the different situations we encountered required we adapt our approach. At the beginning we were shooting only inside the hospital’s psychiatric emergency room. This is a locked ward. People come into the ER in extreme emotional states. I did not want to add to their anguish by calling attention to myself. The Panasonic HPX170 has a beautiful filmic look; it also is small, ergonomic, unintimidating, and I could shoot all day and night for all those 16-hour days we pulled. Also, with the camera off my shoulder, I am a person, not a glass eye. People can see my face and my reactions to what is happening and understand I am not a threat to them. This allows for an intimacy that provides the audience with the feeling of being there, and it allows me to interact with people, which can be reassuring to them in their distress. After spending the first year shooting in the hospital, we started following people in their lives. I changed to a series of even smaller Sony cameras (ending with the Sony X70). It was the only way I could fly under the radar and not attract undue attention to myself as I walked the streets. The Sony cameras have a bright, crisp look that enhances the feeling of people confronting real life as they struggle with their problems. It’s important to see these people in their environments. Also, because the background contains important context in these scenes, it is appropriate to use a smaller chip camera so we can see their surroundings. The shallow depth of field of large-chip cameras often prevent that as well as causing all sorts of focus problems, which can be distracting. The X70 has a larger 1” sensor, which gives the look some depth and it can be ‘disappeared’ under one’s clothing if necessary. We could not have gotten much of what we shot without using these small cameras. In this case, people skills are as important as shooting ability. It’s important to honor that relationship with the people we are filming, to be sensitive to their reality and to be respectful. “David Crosby: Remember My Name” Director AJ Easton directing David Crosby at Kent State Format: 5k and 4k Camera: Red Epic Dragon (at 5K), Sony FS7, Sony F55, Sony Z150 (at 4K), additional footage on DSLR, Drones Lens: Canon 17-120, Fujinon XK20-120mm T3.5 Cabrio Premier Lens, Fujinon ZK85-300mm T2.9-4.0 Lightweight Cabrio Lens, Zeiss Variable Prime lenses Director A.J. Eaton: Coincidentally, David Crosby’s father Floyd Crosby was an Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning cinematographer. So when I originally began designing the style and feel of this documentary, I wanted to try to shoot like Floyd would have shot in the digital filmmaking age. On a number of our interviews, we were able to use vintage Canon zooms and Zeiss Primes that felt timeless and cinematic. Red Epic Dragons were used for our initial stationary interviews when we had adequate support to handle the workflow. The Sony FS7 proved to be extremely valuable for vérité with their low light sensitivity and faster card transfer times, which came in very useful when shooting in darker backstage areas, in moving cars, and run-and-gun on location. Eventually, we started to love the speed of the FS7 workflow and the quality of their image, and ended up shooting the stationary interviews with F55 working as the primary camera and FS7s as B-Cam. However, I was able to capture many of our most crucial and vulnerable moments in the movie with a Sony PXW-Z150 4K. Its size gave me the ability to become somewhat discreet and unobtrusive, which allowed Crosby to become unaware that a camera was present, which allowed him to act naturally. “Hail Satan?” “Hail Satan” director Penny Lane Format: Primarily 4K DCI, but it varied per camera used. Camera: Main camera was the C300mkII, but we used multiple cameras over the 2+ years of shooting, including the FS7, A7S II, C100, and others. Lens: Mainly the Canon L-series (EF 85mm 1.2 II; EF-S 17-55mm 2.8; EF 16-35mm 2.8 III; EF 70-200mm 2.8 II; EF 24-70mm 2.8 II) Director Penny Lane: I had the great fortune of collaborating with a gifted and experienced cinematographer Naiti Gámez, who worked with us to establish a warm, intimate and fluid look for the observational scenes. Naiti was able to establish her own relationships with our subjects, often much faster than I was able to myself, and I can’t say enough how much that helped us on shoots. I personally find pointing a camera at people an incredibly rude, intrusive, and downright bizarre thing to do, so I really needed Naiti’s help to make up for my stunning deficiency (which I’m starting to get over, I swear I am.) In terms of the interviews, producer Gabriel Sedgwick and I decided early on to do formal studio shoots with neutral backgrounds because we wanted to push hard against all kinds of preconceptions about Satanists that make it hard to “take them seriously.” We take them quite seriously, ourselves, especially because they are an incredibly intelligent, well-read, philosophically minded bunch, so that “formal” “expert” look was important to us. And we also used an Eye Direct setup, so that the Satanists would look directly into the eyes of the viewer — after all, that kind of uncomfortable, direct confrontation is kind of what they’re all about. “Knock Down the House” Rachel Lears filming Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Camera: Sony FS7 Lens: Canon EF 24-105 f4/L, EF 70-200 f4/L Director Rachel Lears: I shot this film primarily alone, run and gun, to keep up with the fast pace of the campaigns we were following and capture intimate stories that often unfolded in small spaces. The style was primarily observational, as we were going for a look that would unfold cinematically like a gritty fiction narrative, and I wanted to maintain the feel of sharing social space with the subjects and action. I used the FS7 with a Shape telescopic arm mounted on a belt as a stabilization rig, which allowed an amount of handheld dynamic energy that I liked, plus the mobility and flexibility to work without a tripod, sometimes for very long days, shifting between different shooting environments. The Canon EF 24-105 lens gave a range of focal lengths that worked for most situations (though the 70-200 also came in handy); the Metabones speedbooster adapter eliminated the crop factor and gave the lens an extra stop of light down to 2.8. I also chose to work with the Sony FS7 in Cine EI mode to capture the fullest dynamic range possible, because part of the concept of the film was to establish senses of place in the four settings: New York City, Las Vegas, West Virginia, and St. Louis. This allowed us to faithfully render a wide range of interior and exterior environments, bringing to life the social, architectural, and geographical diversity of these very different American landscapes. “Midnight Family” “Midnight Family” director Luke Lorentzen Format: 4K XAVC Camera: Sony FS7 Lens: Canon 24mm f/1.4L series prime Director Luke Lorentzen: Almost all of our film takes place at night. Finding a camera and lens package that could handle dark and shadowy situations was probably the most important consideration when picking the Sony FS7. The camera has a native ISO of 2000, which is uniquely sensitive to light, and I kept my Canon 24mm prime lens open to a f/1.4 for most of the shoot. There ended up being very few situations where a lack of light ended up being an issue, and I captured an amazing amount of detail in really surprising places.I was also a one-man-crew, and the FS7 has a great ergonomic build for attaching sound equipment or other accessories. It’s not too heavy for long and exhausting shoot days, and the 4K media is incredible. “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements” Format: 2k HD Camera: Canon C-300 Mark I, Canon 5D Mark III, Varicam, iphone, GoPro, Osmo, DJI, Sony A7S, Sony FS7 Lens: Canon 17-55mm, 70-200, Leica R 60mm macro, Sigma 24mm art series prime, Sigma 50 mm art series prime, Director Irene Taylor Brodsky: Our film includes nearly 80 years of motion pictures and a kaleidoscope of image texture. Add to that, I wanted the core of the film to be verite filming of my family’s daily life. I needed to be nimble with a kit I could pick up at a moment’s notice. Over the 12 years I shot this film, I always wanted run-and-gun kits to give us the readiest access to the intimacy that would build our story. Since we were already including 8mm film from the 1940s, video from the ’80s, and home movies from the ’90s, we added even more texture to the mix with some specialty cameras to round out the visual narrative with more contemporary looks. “One Child Nation” “One Child Nation” director Nanfu Wang Camera: Sony FS7, GH5s, A7Sii, Lens: Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95, Olympus 12-100mm f/4, Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3, Canon 24-105mm f/4, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang: We used the GH5s and the A7Sii to shoot everything in China, and we used the FS7 for shoots in the U.S. Given the sensitive nature of the One Child Policy and the reality that filming in China tends to draw attention from authorities, we chose to use the smaller cameras because they draw less attention to themselves. Except for interviews, everything else was shot handheld. The lenses we chose are reliable, portable and versatile enough for shooting verite scenes. The smaller cameras also can be less intimidating to an interview subject, especially for some people in our film who lived in rural areas and have never been filmed before in their lives. “Tigerland” Shooting “Tigerland” Format: 4K Camera: Canon C300, Red epic, 16mm Bolex, Osmo, DJi inspire Lens: Canon K35, Canon Cinezoom, 17-50, 30-105 Director Ross Kauffman: We were filming in extreme conditions, and the Canon is a very reliable camera in very hot temperatures and very cold temperatures. We were shooting vérité, and we’re shooting for a very magical, beautiful look at the same time. That’s why we used a variety of cameras and lenses. “Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary” Ben Berman shooting “Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary” Format: 4K Camera: Sony A7S MK II Lens: Canon 24-70mm L Series, Canon 70-200mm Director Ben Berman: The Sony A7S2 was a pretty great camera for our purposes. It’s small and lightweight, but other than the obvious benefits, I think it greatly helped to put our subjects at ease. With a camera like this, people don’t know if you’re actually a legit filmmaker or just some dope off the street. It turns out we’re a little of both, but I think it greatly helped us kind of just slip into our subjects’ lives and not having any red flags raised by tons of expensive looking equipment. We’re young(ish) and have these small prosumer cameras that look like still photography cameras — so I think it kind of disarms people. But whatever the size or whatever vibe you get from seeing these cameras in person, there’s no question that you can get a really great image out of the A7S2. It’s deceiving, and therefore I suppose it’s a good camera to use when making a movie about deception. The aesthetic of our film kind of goes from verite and rough around the edges to a bit more composed and professional as the film goes on. I imagine this is normally an issue, but for us we embraced this idea, being that the story of our film becomes something it didn’t necessarily start as, so our shooting aesthetic subtly grows and becomes more professional and quite serious as it goes on. This was due to the fact that I began filming the movie myself and wasn’t as aware of lenses and misc tools like ND filters to improve our image. Not too far into the process, I was lucky enough to bring on the great DP Dan Adlerstein and a number of talented pro camera ops, which gave the film a more confident and filmic style. We embraced this shift and feel it greatly benefits the ever-developing story of our film. Also, having the movie colored by Nathaniel Pena really made the film look great! For me, the A7S2 was a great camera for this project; it just gets hot quickly in the 100-degree Vegas sun, so please plan your summer shoots accordingly. “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” Behind the scenes of shooting “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” Format: C-LOG HD Camera: Canon C300 Mk 1 and 2 Lens: 50mm Canon Cine Prime on A 85mm Canon Cine Prime on B Canon EF Ultrasonic Zoom Lens 70-200mm f2.8L Canon EF Ultrasonic Zoom Lens 24-70mm f2.8L Director Matt Tyrnauer: The prime lenses helped create our shallow depth of field in tight NY locations, adding to the thriller aesthetic. They also work well in low light, which is another element of our look. Since the lenses are made by Canon, they were a natural fit for our C300 camera — an Altimeter workhorse (we’ve used this camera on every single one of our last four films). In a way, it keeps “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” in the same “world” as “Studio 54,” as they both used similar two-camera C300 set-ups. EDITOR’S NOTE: “Mike Wallace Is Here” and “Apollo 11” are all-archive films. Section: Documentary Premieres “Ask Dr. Ruth” Format: XF-AVC Camera: C300 MK II Lens: Zeiss CP.2 Superspeeds, Canon L Series, Angénieux EZ Zooms Cinematographer David Jacobson: Dr. Ruth is probably the most active 90-year-old you’ll ever meet, and keeping up with her is no easy task. We wanted everything to feel very natural and not overly finessed, so there’s a ton of coverage where we just follow Ruth around a space and do our best not to interfere. The Canon system is great for this, because it is very scalable ergonomically, the cards have a solid runtime, and we had the camera modified with external battery power to run almost all day without having to stop filming. These are the consideration that can make the biggest difference when shooting verite day after day with a tiny crew. Proximity to the subject was a big consideration for this film. We wanted to show a side of Dr. Ruth that the public has never seen before. Using wider lenses and being physically closer to her allows the viewer to see the world from Ruth’s diminutive, 4’7″ perspective. It’s less polished, but more intimate. “The Brink” Alison Klayman shooting “The Brink” Format: HD / 4K Camera: Sony FS700, Sony FS7 Lens: Canon Zoom Lenses — either 24-70 f/2.8 or 24-105 (with Metabones Speedbooster) Director Alison Klayman: Because of the last-minute nature of Bannon’s schedule, it was nearly impossible to anticipate the conditions I would be shooting under, what the location and lighting would be like, sometimes even how close I would be able to get to the action. A lot of my opportunities to film were also during travel, on planes and from the far backseat of an SUV. Since I wanted to give the film a cinematic intimate feeling, the versatility of a zoom lens was crucial, and the extra f-stop provided by the MetaBones adapter was appreciated for all the nighttime shooting. With verite filming you want to be able to move through the world as unnoticed as possible. As an all-in-one director/shooter/sound mixer/producer (and media manager) I needed everything to be as streamlined as possible in terms of workflow and portability in order to accomplish that fly-on-the-wall feeling. “The Great Hack” “The Great Hack” Format: Sony Slog 3 Camera: Sony FS7, C300ii Lens: Canon L Series, Tamron 24-70mm Cinematographer Ian Moubayed: I’d say the majority of the film was shot cinema vérité. The trust and access our directors received from our subjects was a gift as cinematographer. The technical choices of camera and lens were simply informed by the level of intimacy and urgency our story demanded. I like primes lens as much as the next DP, but because we were following our subjects in real time in fairly challenging situations, a stripped down Sony Fs7 with zooms lens became our workhorse for the film. The look we dialed in was primarily motivated by the interplay between the dark virtual world of data exploitation and our subjects’ offline journeys. “Halston” Format: 2K Camera: C300 MII for the documentary interviews. For the scripted, Arri Alexa, Panavision Primos detuned Lens: Canon for interviews, Vintage Prime lenses for the scripted Director Frederic Tcheng: We had to create two distinct looks that would be woven together in the movie: the interviews with subjects today, and the scripted scenes taking place in 1983. For the interviews I wanted luminosity and radiance, and the Canon camera seemed like a great choice. It has a very cinematic look to it. For the scripted, we worked on an ambiance I’d call neo-noir, where the shadows are prominent but the skin still glows. The vintage lenses provided the authenticity of the period. In the end, the two looks complemented each other, and achieved the two layers of time that I was looking for. “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” Behind the scenes of shooting “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” Format: 3.2K Camera: Arri Amira, Sony FS7 Lens: Sigma FF High Speed Primes, Canon CineServo 17-120 Director Alex Gibney: I love how Arri cameras capture color, paired with a Sony FS7 when two cameras were needed. The Sigma Primes gave us the shallow DOF we wanted for certain scenarios, and when a zoom was the right tool the Canon CineServo offered the range we needed. “Love, Antosha” “Love, Antosha” DoP Radan Popovic Format: Digital 4K Camera: Canon C300 Lens: Zeiss ZE primes Director Garret Price: It was essential for my DP Radan Popovic to use a camera that was self sufficient and not require much crew because our interview subjects needed to be at ease. Speaking about Anton [Yelchin] was such an emotional experience for all those close to him. It was also important to go with a camera package that would give the film a naturalistic and cinematic look without over-stylizing the piece. The film is grounded in authenticity and the C300 contributed immensely to this. “MERATA: How Mum Decolonized the Screen” Shooting “MERATA: How Mum Decolonised the Screen” Format: Raw output to Shogun Inferno 4K DCI to ProRes 422 HQ format Camera: Sony FS7 Lens: Canon EF 2.8 L-Series 70-200mm Canon EF 2.8 L-Series 24-70mm Canon EF 4 L-Series 17-40mm Canon EF 2.8 L-Series 100mm macro Director Heperi Mita: Much of our story revolves around my older siblings reminiscing about old archival documentaries shot on 16mm film by our mother, as well as 8mm and VHS home movies, and I really wanted our interviews to have a modern, clean and crisp look to contrast the grainy, vintage looks of the archival material to mark the passage of time. I knew my interview process would involve talking to my family about some traumatic aspects of their upbringing and my Director of Photographer, Mike Jonathan had a strong respect for allowing us space to have honest conversation while minimizing the feeling of intrusion a camera can bring to those intimate moments. At the same time it was important for us to capture their emotions as they reacted, and the kit he used allowed us to strike that balance. “Miles Davis: Birth of The Cool” “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” director Stanley Nelson Camera: Cannon XF, Sony FS7, Canon C300 MK2, Canon C300 MK1 Director Stanley Nelson: Our crews are pretty small, so it was important to use cameras that were conducive to quick set ups and breakdowns without compromising the cinematic feel of our interviews and the looks we were trying to achieve. I like to use a lot of depth of field in my shots so it was important to use lenses and cameras that could provide a sense of space. We also shot so many different interviews in so many different locations that it was important to use cameras that would maintain a unified look. “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” Shooting “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” Format: HD 1080, 16×9 Camera: Canon C300, DSLR 5D Mark III and Sony FS7 Lens: Canon Zooms & Zeiss primes Director Janice Engel: “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” was shot over six years on a very tight budget so it was it was essential that we be economical but consistent in terms of the look and feel. For interviews with Molly Ivins’ family, friends and colleagues I wanted an intimacy and warmth shot in each person’s environment. For interviews with politicians and journalists who covered politics, we lit a bit cooler and more monochromatic to illustrate, “business as usual.” Overall the feel though is natural light and a shallow depth of field. The other character in our film is Texas thus it was very important for us to be able to capture the cinematic wide open, big sky feel, especially West, Texas. Kristy Tully and I roamed the various locations at sunrise and sunset to capture those magic hour moments. The palette of our film is Texas – warm rust, golden yellow, green and blue and a hint of red. Texas is cinematic and I think we achieved that with the Canons and the Zeiss primes. “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” Camera: Digital Red camera Lens: 50mm Timothy Greenfield-Sanders: Like many documentaries, much of “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” is archival material – photos, paintings, b-roll etc. As a result I wanted the interviews to have a consistency to them. I do not like environmental interviews, probably because I am also a portrait photographer whose work is studio portraiture. The interview setup for “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” was designed to mimic my portrait style: A simple backdrop, a single light source and a direct to camera gaze. As a photographer, I have shot this way for 40 years. Eight of my previous “list” style films have been shot direct to camera. What was new this time around was to use the teleprompter style setup only for the main subject of the film, Toni Morrison. She looks directly into the lens and can see the interviewer on a mirror. All of the other interviewees are shot looking off camera. This way, Morrison talks directly to the viewer. The others talk about her, with an off camera gaze.My single light source is very soft and flattering. It is adjusted for each interviewee, to improve the look of the subject. In addition to the main camera, I used a second side view camera that gave us something else to cut to. “Untouchable” “Untouchable” director Ursula Macfarlane Format: 2k ARRIRAW Camera: ARRI Amira, Canon EOS C300 as second camera on interviews Lens: Zeiss Super Speed lenses Director Ursula Macfarlane: As we were making a film about the dark side of Hollywood, and about one of its most legendary and controversial moguls, we went for a very cinematic, rich look, painterly where possible. We shot on the ARRI as its sensor is incomparable. The combination of the legendary Zeiss super speed lenses lends a very cinematic quality to the image, especially combined with the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. We staged our interviews in sets which lent themselves to the idea of a slightly “distressed Hollywood” – inspired by Annie Leibovitz’s Vanity Fair Hollywood portraits – with out-of-focus light stands, backdrops etc, giving our subjects a dramatic but luminous look. Our motif was the “Harvey car,” a black Escalade prowling through the streets of Manhattan and Beverly Hills, and for this we used a combination of rigged tripods in the camera car, handheld in the picture car, plus a series of mounts. We shot some material at 50 fps to give a dreamy, at times hallucinatory feel to the sequences. “Words from a Bear” “Words from a Bear” behind the scenes Format: ProRes 422 HQ Camera: Sony FS7, Canon C300, A7Sii, DJI Inspire, DJI Osmo Lens: Sony lenses, Canon Lenses Director Jeffrey Palmer: “Words from a Bear” examines the life of Native American Pulitzer Prize winning author, N. Scott Momaday. Momaday spent his childhood riding horses and climbing mesas in rural Oklahoma and New Mexico. I knew very early we wanted to incorporate aerial shots of the New Mexico and Oklahoma landscapes, both integral to the film’s themes of Native American history and culture. Furthermore, I needed the cinematographer to capture the fluid movements of actors/actresses, dramatizing scenes in these rugged outdoor environments. We utilized cameras that could capture dynamic 4K video resolution and color and also keep us mobile in these expansive spaces. The Sony A7Sii and DJI cameras gave us the ability to be compact and light, allowing us to adjust to any situation on the fly. Literally on the fly, as we launched the DJI Inspire from our locations with ease and used them to follow our actors/actresses in scenes needing large scaling shots. The result was spectacular footage, representing time and place. For our interviews we relied on the Sony FS7 and the Cannon C300 for the cameras’ excellent dynamic range in various lighting situations and the depth of field, that was shallow and cinematic. Feature films in World Cinema Documentary Competition are on the Next Page, U.S. Documentary Competition Page 1. Section: World Cinema Documentary Competition “Advocate” Shooting “Advocate” Format: prores HQ (HD) Camera: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera ( 4 of them) Lens: sigma art 18-35/1.8-cooke 10.4 -52/2.8-various nikkor lenses Directors Rache Leah Jones & Philippe Bellaiche: Most of our film is cinema verite, shot in the hallways of the courthouse or in [Israeli human-rights lawyer] Lea Tsemel’s office. In court, there was a lot of waiting around. Since we couldn’t film inside the courtroom, we had to hang out in the corridors and stay ready to press record at any moment. When Lea and her clients came out of the courtroom, there was no alert or time to prepare or adjust; we just needed to be there as present as and close as possible. I wanted to work with a lightweight hand held camera for those moments. So while lots of cameras could have answered this need, I shot the research footage with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and loved it’s look, especially when using the right lenses. Shooting day after shooting day, I began to adapt to this strange little camera, as much as I could, to my needs. I added evf, microphone, lens adapter, batteries…). I enjoyed the versatility and mobility of hand held filming (as opposed to shoulder held). It allows one to get very close to the subjects you film in a less offensive way than shoulder held.The film is mostly shot with three focal lengths (20mm, 35mm, 50mm), even though I mostly film with zoom lenses, I stuck to these focal lenses/ angle of views. This constraint helped me to film better, i.e. to feel my placement in the space, which lends the film a more organic and constant (as opposed to eclectic) feel. I want to believe that it helped the characters to get used to the “camera” (and the crew) and hope it will give the viewer a unified sense of “closeness” while watching the film. “The Disappearance of My Mother” “The Disappearance of My Mother” director Beniamino Barrese Format: Mini dv, HD, 2K, 4K, 16mm, 35mm Various mini dvs, Camera: Sony f7s, Canon c300, Arri sr3, Aaton 16mm, Arri cam Lite LDS Lens: Zeiss P+S Technick for the digital and a mixture of Canon k35, Zeiss and Cooke for the 16mm and 35mm Director Beniamino Barrese: One of the questions behind the film has to do with the power and role of images. While my mother refuses them, I am somehow dependent on them. The craft of image-making is therefore one of the very hearts of the documentary and the challenge was to find ways to effectively convey this abstract theme through the cinematography of the film. Although at the beginning the type format was mainly dictated by production reasons (as I got more support, I could also access better equipment), gradually I identified a visual language for telling the story coherently. I decided to capture my mother’s present with the best digital camera I could get (mainly, the Sony f7s, but also Canon c300 whenever the Sony wasn’t available). I used 16mm for the casting scene and the ‘recreated archives’, mixing color and black and white, to mimic the style of the original 1960s archives. And finally, I chose to use the ‘mother’ of every filming format, 35mm, for the imagination of my mother’s future. We also edited in the film some old footage I shot as a teenager with a mini dv. To help navigating through the different timeframes and layers, we decided to associate specific aspect ratios to the each segment of the story: 4:3 for the past, 1:1.85 for the present and 1:2.40 for the future. “Gaza” Shooting “Gaza” Format: Cinema 4K Camera: Panasonic Lumix GH4 + GH5, Canon 5D MKII, GoPro Lens: Canon + Lumix lenses, Sigma 18-35 1.8, Speedbooster Co-Director Andrew McConnell: From the start we were determined the film should have a cinematic feel and be as visually rich as possible, to reflect the vibrancy and uniqueness of Gaza. Budget was very tight but with the GH4, and later the GH5, we at least didn’t have to compromise on picture quality. For such small cameras the image is extraordinary and combined with the right lenses gave us the aesthetic we wanted. Much of the footage is up-close and personal and long days were spent with the characters working hand-held, so the small setup was ideal and allowed an intimacy a larger camera wouldn’t have afforded. Also, during the war and border protests it was expedient to be able to move very quickly. “Honeyland” Shooting “Honeyland” Format: DSLR Camera: Nikon d5. Nikon d810 Lens: Nikon Lenses: 50mm f1.4; 85mm f1.8; 105mm Macro f2.8; 24-70mm f2.8; and 80-400 f5.6-6.3 Directors Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska: The making of “Honeyland” was quite challenging, but shooting it was just as tricky and demanding. It was of outmost importance to use a very sensitive camera, as it also had to be light and compact since we had very tight interiors to shoot in, with nothing but available natural light during the day and candlelight and light from oil lamps during the night. It is important to note that we shot for days on end in a rural area with no available electricity, therefore we didn’t use any additional artificial light sources. I believe that this just ended up adding to the Cinéma vérité style of the film. Of course, the choice for the cameras and lenses had to address the quality and the distinctive “look” of the photography we were going for and some of the priorities were the depth of field, the contrast, skin tone and depicting the vivid colors that are unique to the area we shot at. This is why we ended up using Nikon D5, Nikon D810 and Nikon D800E with Nikon Lenses. We also used Cannon 7D for certain scenes as well Cannon Zoom Lenses. Even though it was a long production period of about three years with around 90shooting days, we successfully managed to color grade and balance out the material during postproduction. “Lapü” Shooting “Lapu” Camera: Red Dragon Lens: Leica R Rehoused Directors Cesar Alejandro Jaimes & Juan Pablo Polanco: Since the first moment the film was conceived it was thought as a film with an small crew. Not only for budget issues but also as a need for intimacy, a need for time. Angello the DP of the film tried to keep things as light as possible, so he reduced the RED to the lightest configuration. Another reason why we choose the RED is because some difficult light situations, so we need a camera with a good dynamic range and color rendition. An important decision in the film was to shoot in 4:3, it was something we had thought a lot about. We ended up deciding this format because it allowed us a form of composition more vertical than horizontal. This cinematographic space allowed us to approach the bodies, gestures and landscapes in a way that attracted us more, a way where the important thing were in the things that were not seen, rather than in those that could be seen. That narrow image that gives the 4: 3 gave us the possibility to fill the film with non-visible presences that could only be felt through sound. “The Magic life of V” Shooting “The Magic Life of V” Format: 2.8K ARRIRAW Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Arri Master Prime Tonislav Hristov: We used quite a big crew. I like to use big cameras and lights, because I really care about the image. In this film the role of the camera was very important also because there was the game world of LARPing, and I wanted it to look as much fictional as possible. This was the way the players imagine it. “Sea of Shadows” Richard Ladkani shooting Mexican investigative journalist Carlos Loret de Mola for “Sea of Shadows” Format: 4K UHD Camera: ARRI AMIRA (main), Sony FS7 (second) Lens: Canon EF Lenses 11-24, 24-105, 24-70, 100-400 and Walimex Primes Director Richard Ladkani: From the beginning I imagined this film to be more of a thriller than a wildlife documentary. I wanted to be embedded with my characters on the undercover missions into the dealing of the Mexican and Chinese cartels. Most scenes were shot with two cameras, the other being the Sony FS7, which matches remarkably well with the Amira. My second camera DoP Tobias Corts and I have worked together on so many films, that no prep-words are necessary, prior to covering a scene. We know how to stay out of each other’s way, while still capturing the moment. The goal was to be up-close to the action, with maximum flexibility and I needed to rely on my gear 100%, no repeats possible. This is why the Amira is such an obvious choice as a main camera. You get great picture quality, especially in regards to skin tones, the color representation is very real and organic, but you also get an extremely robust camera that will never fail you. The environment in Mexico is rough, with sand and sea water being a constant threat and any technical problems would come at great cost. This especially mattered when we were at sea. I wanted the camera to be an extension of my body and this is were the Arri Mastergrips come in: They allow you to control most functions of camera incl. focus, aperture and zoom, straight from the Mastergrips. I could hold on to a pole as we were speeding across the ocean with one hand, while still controlling most of the image with the other. The Canon EF zoom lenses are of incredibly good quality at low cost and combined with the MiniCforce Zoom bring you great flexibility. In very low light conditions the high-speed Walimex lenses at an aperture of f1.2 allow you to basically film at night. Mexico is extremely colorful during late hours and it was wonderful to be able to capture these powerful moods without compromise. “Shooting the Mafia” Camera: SONY PDW 850 XDCAM Lens: Wide-angle zoom lens Director Kim Longinotto: I like to have the camera sitting on my shoulder as I want the characters’ eyes to be at the audience’s eye-level, also I like the easy balance of it. The Sony 850 camera is solid and steady which is great in situations like demonstrations where people knock into you. More importantly, it’s a super-reliable camera and has never broken down all the time I’ve been using it. I’m often filming in remote areas for many months where I wouldn’t be able to get anything replaced. I like the 850 as it has physical discs so I can change them and keep what I’ve filmed safe. I don’t want to be downloading. My main extravagance is that I take loads of batteries as sometimes we don’t have electricity for charging. They’re quite heavy to carry round. I only ever take one lens as it would be awkward to have to carry extra lenses around and also be thinking about changing them. I need a zoom lens so I can be choosing shots for editing as I film, rather than having to move. Then I can be very still and quiet and keep the dynamic of the scene. The wide-angle suits me perfectly as I often seem to filming in small spaces. My all-time favorite lens is the Canon 9.5 to 57 which I had on my Aaton but it couldn’t be converted to a video camera. It was beautiful but I don’t want to go back to film. I I remember changing rolls of film in changing bags in toilets and on busy trains. We just did the online and the images from the PDW 850 & lens look great. “Stieg Larsson – The Man Who Played With Fire” Format: Arriraw Camera: Arri Alexa mini / amira Lens: Zeiss High speed Cinematographer Anders Bohman: Since the film is very much based on reenactment and we wanted to create our own look, we first thought of 16mm but the limited budget did not allow us that, so alexa and high speed gave us a free play room to work with simple lighting to create a documentary feeling. The red tone and an added grain helped us to the right expression in the grade. Feature films in U.S. Documentary Competition are on Page 1, Documentary Premieres Page 2.
29 Jan 19
IndieWire reached out to the cinematographers and directors behind the scripted narrative features premiering this week at Sundance to find out which cameras, lenses, and formats they used, and why they chose them to create the looks and meet the production demands of their films. Here are their responses. [pmc-related-link href=”” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]Sundance 2019 Camera Report: Arri Alexa Mini Dominates Narrative[/pmc-related-link] Films in U.S. Dramatic Competition are below, Premieres are on Page 2, NEXT Page 3, Midnight Page 4. Films appear in alphabetical order by title. Section: U.S. Dramatic Competition “Before You Know It” “Before You Know It” DoP Jon Keng Dir: Hannah Pearl Utt, DoP: Jon Keng Format: 3.2K Prores 4444 Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Cooke S4i Keng: The cast was made up of primarily women across all age groups, so I wanted a lens set that would render their faces well without being overly clinical and sharp. The S4s have a very pleasant way of compressing people’s faces, even at wider focal lengths. I chose the Alexa Mini because of its size and inbuilt ND filters. I like keeping my camera as compact as possible so that it does not seem imposing to the actors, and it also allows me to move quicker. “Big Time Adolescence” “Big Time Adolescence” DoP Andrew Huebscher Dir: Jason Orley, DoP: Andrew Huebscher Format: 2K ProRes 4444 Camera: ARRI AMIRA, ALEXA Mini Lens: Panavision Ultra Speeds and Super Speeds Huebscher: “Big Time Adolescence” is an honest and frank look at an unlikely friendship between a high school student (Griffin Gluck) and his older sister’s ex-boyfriend (Pete Davidson). Jason and I wanted a distressed, filmic quality that felt authentic and analog. We didn’t want it to look bright and cheery, as these are relatable characters and the humor dark. Working closely with the design departments, we built drab palettes reflecting the environment these guys are trapped in. I love the pastel tones of Fuji film, and developed a LUT based on one of their print stocks, emphasizing smoky blacks and lower contrast. From there, many of our aesthetic choices fell into place. Optically, I was interested in taking the edge off the ALEXA without sacrificing detail, and after extensive testing settled on vintage Panavision lenses. We opted to shoot in 2K resolution, as 4K seemed slick and reduced too much of the grain. I integrated a lot of natural light, augmenting minimally with HMIs and LEDs, and some scenes were lit entirely with practicals. Coverage was simplistic and sometimes action played out in wider masters. In the end, we achieved a muted, understated look that I feel reflects the growing pains of teenage life. “Brittany Runs a Marathon” Dir: Paul Downs Colaizzo, DoP: Seamus Tierny Format: 4K Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Panavision Primo spherical primes, Panavision 19-90 zoom lens, Fujinon 85-300mm zoom lens Colaizzo: Our main character starts with a juvenile worldview — we wanted her world to feel bright and colorful, so we needed a lens that really helped us capture the high-contrast nature of that world. As the movie progresses, our main character looks to ground herself in a graceful reality. We chose this collection of lenses so our visual arc could mimic our main character’s internal journey. “Clemency” “Clemency” DoP Eric Branco and director Chinonye Chukwu Dir: Chinonye Chukwu, DoP: Eric Branco Format: 2K ProRes 4444 Anamorphic Camera: Arri Alexa Mini & Alexa SXT Lens: Cooke Anamorphics Branco: We were after a very naturalistic look for this film. The subject material is so complex and layered, and early on Chinonye Chukwu and I settled on a restrained look that wasn’t going to distract. I lobbied to shoot anamorphic from the start. I had just shot a pilot in a working prison in my hometown of New York City, and I felt I was always fighting to get further away from the actors in the incredibly tight spaces. I really wanted to have more room on this film, both literally and creatively. We looked at test after test and ultimately settled on Cooke Anamophics. I was familiar with them from another project (“Night Shift,” Sundance 2017), which also took place in a cramped location, and I loved the way they interpreted not only the hard vertical lines found all over the prison, but also the softer locations on the outside. The cinematography in “Clemency” is all about creating an environment where the actors can breathe and do their best work. To this end, I really tried to keep lights off the set whenever possible. This usually meant more work for gaffer Ted Rysz and key grip Anthony Schrader. This was one of those magical shoots where everyone really was giving their all to the project, and it really, really shows. “The Farewell” “The Farewell” Dir: Lulu Wang, DoP: Anna Franquesa Solano Format: ARRIRAW Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Zeiss Master Primes Solano: Our visual language for the film was meant to reflect the theme, which is family unity. Even though Billi is the protagonist, Lulu and I always knew we wanted to focus more on the theme and follow the family as an entity, leading us to a more omniscient approach to the storytelling. This called for a wide aspect ratio that could include in the frame as many family members as possible. All characters are hiding an important piece of information from the head of the family. That is why we wanted to create a mise-en-scène that felt staged, to emphasize the idea that these characters are just performing some version of themselves. As a result, we used composed group shots in which all the family dynamics play out in a sort of organized chaos. We considered the option of shooting on anamorphic to be able to frame a large number of characters. But after doing some tests in Beijing, we ended up going with spherical because we wanted to have the freedom to fill the frame and not have distracting distortions or a limited depth of field that would restrict the blocking. Another key factor was the physical limitation of apartments in China, which are often very small. In the end, our decision to use master primes and Alexa Mini was as much about fulfilling our visual language as it was making it work practically on set. [pmc-related-link href=”” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]‘The Farewell’ Review: Awkwafina Gives Her Best Performance in Bittersweet Dramedy[/pmc-related-link] “Hala” Dir: Minhal Baig, DoP: Carolina Costa Format: ProRes 4444XQ 3.2K Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Cooke S4 primes Costa: From the start, it was clear that the Alexa Mini was the right camera for the job. I love the dynamic range and how natural skin tones are in this format. Plus, we were going to be in real locations, so the size was also important. Thinking of the Alexa as my constant “film stock” (I’ve shot all my features on it), I like to always test different types of glass with my directors. Minhal and I were at the beginning of prep and went to Panavision in Chicago to look at different sets of lenses. It was important for us that the audience felt engaged and connected with this family. The warmth and the nice fall off of the Cooke S4s felt like the right tool to portray these characters with empathy. The Cookes portray skin tones in a naturalistic way and in photographing a brown-skinned family this was very important to me. We shot mostly with 18mm and 25mm focal lengths, with close ups at 32mm. The wider end was a way to always be close to Hala and keep her perspective of the world – that was getting wider and wider as the movie progresses. We also wanted to show the environment around her, which was so important for Minhal – Chicago was treated as another character. Every technical choice we made was specific for this story and these characters and for them to be relatable to the audience. Hala is a Muslim girl that is going through the same ups and downs as any other teenager. “Honey Boy” Director Alma Harel and cinematographer Natasha Braier shot “Honey Boy” on the Arri Alexa Mini, that overwhelming first choice of Sundance filmmakers Dir: Alma Har’el, DoP: Natasha Braier Format: ARRIRAW Full Gate Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Anamorphic lenses Xtal express by Joe Dunton Har’el: I wanted to find a way to capture the cinematic world Otis is always in dialogue with while keeping the hand held feel and intimacy of my documentary work. “Imaginary Order” “Imaginary Order” DoP Franck Tymezuk and director Debra Eisenstadt Dir: Debra Eisenstadt, DoP: Franck Tymezuk Format: 2.8K arri Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Cooke S4 Tymezuk: I choose the Arri Mini because it’s a very versatile camera. We had a lot of handheld, and it’s the perfect camera to achieve an independent feature. The Arri cameras are the most reliable camera on the market. It’s really rare to get in trouble with the electronics. When you shoot a feature during 16 days, one of the fears is to have a camera issue. You can’t wait for a replacement camera. All the shots missing are gone forever. The Cooke S4 brought the best contrast, sharpness, and softness to tell Debra’s story. Besides, they are very light and it was easy to use handheld. I’m really happy with all the close ups we’ve made on the actors using the S4 long lenses. They are just beautiful lenses. We had a Zoom 25-250 Angenieux, too. It was very helpful for the car shots, and outdoors to adjust the frame with a zoom. The 25-250mm matched perfectly with the Cooke S4. “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” “The Last Black Man In San Francisco” DoP Adam Newport-Berra Dir: Joe Talbot, DoP: Adam Newport-Berra Format: 3.2k ProRes Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Zeiss Master Primes, Angénieux Optimo 24-290 Talbot: I was incredibly excited to shoot a film in San Francisco. It’s a city with rich history and culture, amazing light, and evocative architecture. It’s a city whose lifeblood is supplied by the middle class, but glorified and enjoyed by the wealthy newcomers that gentrify its neighborhoods. It was important for me to find the nuance in that juxtaposition, honoring San Francisco’s past while tracking its complicated evolution into the modern, often harsh city it is today. We needed to build a world that was honest yet elevated. Our two lead characters, Jimmie and Montgomery, are best friends and outsiders — proud frontiersman living on the fringes of society. I wanted to shoot San Francisco as they saw and lived it. It was important to capture the city, but also build a world that was wholly unique to our characters’ perspectives. It’s elevated yet human — a romanticized Wild West that is larger than life. Jimmie teeters on the poverty line, but carries himself with an old-world pride, one that that pervades the aesthetic of the film. To acknowledge and heighten this, I sought to uphold his stature with wider lenses at low angles, which also brought the audience closer to Jimmie physically. Lighting him frontally popped him out of his surroundings, and gave a subtle nod to a more romantic era of filmmaking. We wanted to give the audience a chance to drink in the environment and see the city for all its beautiful potential in order to understand Jimmie’s complicated relationship with San Francisco. We obsessed over our wide shots, embraced long traveling shots, and indulged in a handful of impressionistic montages. Because much of our talent were non-actors (including Jimmie), the approach always felt like it needed to be simple, honest, and photographic. We shot a 1.66 aspect ratio, which embraced the verticality of the city. Using the Arri Alexa with Zeiss Master Primes combined with some subtle diffusion and an excellent LUT from my longtime collaborator Damien Van Der Cruyssen at The Mill, I think we managed to create a look that harkens the past while still feeling oddly modern. [pmc-related-link href=”” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ Review: Joe Talbot’s Bittersweet, Unforgettable Debut[/pmc-related-link] “Luce” Behind the scenes of shooting “Luce” Dir: Julius Onah, DoP: Larkin Seiple Format: 35mm Camera: Panaflex Millennium XL Lens: Panavision Primo, E-, G-Series Lenses Onah: From the very beginning, shooting on 35mm was the only real option we considered. I’ve shot all my features on film, and it’s simply the look that feels the most truthful and exciting to me. With “Luce,” the goal was to create an aesthetic that had a bit of a heightened, edgy reality. Larkin came up with a great description for it: “Punchy naturalism.” It meant something that still felt grounded, yet was cinematic — in this case, with saturated, contrast rich images. We both really wanted to embrace the look of film and feel the grain, so Larkin and our fantastic colorist Alex Bickel beat up the images a bit. It created a density and edge to the images that provided a psychological weight to the world of the characters. It was also important that the visual language felt like it reflected the headspace of our main character, Luce. He’s a teenager who is very focused, intense, and cerebral. So this meant a very controlled camera, favoring balanced frames and also trying to cover things in one shot as much as possible. One of the thematic ideas the story centers on is the limits of our perception and how the ways we view each other shape power and privilege in our society. So these one-shots and long takes were also about telling the story in a way that allows the audience to decide what they believe about what’s happening in front of them. Shooting in anamorphic also meant the kind of widescreen that allows our eyes to wander around the frame, which was helpful in some of the long one-shots. A lot of this was quite challenging in our schedule, but Larkin did an incredible job of finding ways to develop both the lighting and some really dynamic oners. It was also his first feature shot on film, and he crushed it. “Ms. Purple” “Ms. Purple” Cinematographer Ante Cheng Dir: Justin Chon, DoP: Ante Cheng Format: Prores 2.8/3.2k Camera: Arri Alexa mini Lens: Todd-ao 55mm anamorphic, Canon 300mm Cheng: Justin Chon and I wanted to design an expressive visual language for “Ms. Purple,” in an efficient package suitable for our indie production. During prep, we came across the Todd-AO 55mm anamorphic lens. The way it renders faces is just beautiful. The image characteristics varies through different stops, and we would set it to the mood of the scene. We carried the Leica Macrolux diopters for a quick way to get past the minimum focus. 95 percent of the film was shot on the Todd-AO 55mm, and the res on a Canon 300mm. The spherical telephoto shifted the perspective, and allowed us to shoot across the street through crowds. We chose the versatile Alexa Mini for the extended handheld takes, with a custom Fuji film stock LUT. In the end, we’re happy with the simple yet specific approach. “Native Son” “Native Son” DoP Matthew Libatique and Rashid Johnson Dir: Rashid Johnson, DoP: Matthew Libatique Format: Arriraw 3.4K Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Todd AO anamorphic lenses, Cooke Vintage Anamorphic Lenses Libatique: The choice of camera was largely a practical one. The form factor allowed us to use a Movi Pro 15, which served as a versatile camera platform that provided us an affordable remote head as well as Steadicam-like movement with the help of an Anti Gravity rig. This versatility, coupled with its ease of use, allowed us to move at a pace necessary to succeed despite our short schedule. Lensing was chosen by our desire to tell the story through a series of compositions. Rashid and I were inspired by a common love of the photos of Roy DeCarava. His work evoked emotion through a balance of subject and space in every frame. The anamorphic frame gave us the negative space as well as the focus fall off that added depth through the soft focus of the background colors chosen by Rashid and Akin, our production designer. “Share” “Share” Director Pippa Bianco and DoP Ava Berkofsky Dir: Pippa Bianco, DoP: Ava Berkofsky Format: Arri ProRes Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Hawk V-lite, Angenieux anamorphic zooms Berkofsky: We paired the Alexa Mini with Hawk and Angenieux anamorphic lenses with the idea that this would help us create a world that was textured and psychological. Instead of using the traditional 2.39 anamorphic image, we used the 2.0 aspect ratio which, paired with the anamorphic lenses, helped us to create a sense of claustrophobia and pressure. We also used a vintage Angenieux anamorphic zoom that was beautiful, but optically pretty imperfect. We used the zoom at very specific times in the story, so its imperfections were part of the visual language and added a layer of texture. The choice to use the Alexa Mini with these specific lenses gave us a level of flexibility. The camera has a very organic way of dealing with low light and darkness, which came in handy because most of the film takes at night, and we wanted to embrace and play with the dark, not fight it. “The Sound of Silence” “The Sound of Silence” Eric Lin Dir: Michael Tyburski, DoP: Eric Lin Format: 3.2K Prores 4444 Camera: Alexa Mini Lens: Zeiss Super Speeds Mark III, Optimo 24-290 Lin: A central element of the film is the Peter Lucian’s obsession with how sound is an invisible force that significantly influences our behavior. To draw out how that obsession has isolated him emotionally while also enhancing the act of listening, I knew we would want the ability to achieve a very shallow depth of field while shooting. We tested several sets of modern and vintage lenses that all opened up to at least a T1.4. Ultimately, we landed on the Zeiss Super Speeds because they had a cooler, less saturated color rendition and a softer contrast when shooting wide open. Like Peter, who relies on tape recorders in his meticulous work, the Super Speeds brought an analog feel to the image while also being precise. Mirroring the meticulousness and rigidity of Peter’s existence, we limited camera movement while also limiting the color palette in Peter’s world to a lot of browns, blues, and grays. The Alexa sensor had the depth of color to bring out the nuances of that color palette while holding on to accurate flesh tones so the images wouldn’t feel completely monochromatic. Another central part of the look was to use underexposure and embrace darkness to allow room for mystery. There were times we shot three to four stops underexposed, and I had to trick the meter just to get a reading. The Alexa sensor handled the deep underexposure beautifully. “Them That Follow” CInematographer Brett Jutkiewicz shooting “Them That Follow” Dir: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage DoP: Brett Jutkiewicz Format: 3.2K ProRes Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Cooke Speed Panchros Jutkiewicz: The film is set in a rural Appalachian community that feels a bit like time moved on without it, so I wanted to create a look with a bit of an otherworldly quality to it, something not too modern or crisp. The image from the Alexa has a very organic, filmic feel and the vintage Cookes have a beautiful softness and a lot of character in how they flare and react to light sources in the frame. The combination of the two helped create a textural, slightly ethereal look. I also wanted to craft a visual language rooted in our protagonist Mara’s emotional journey, which often meant very intimate, tactile handheld camerawork and being physically close to our actors, so the Alexa Mini was great for keeping the size and presence of the camera rig small, and the beautiful focus fall-off of the lenses — especially shooting wide open — allowed me to isolate Mara in the frame and create a more subjective experience. Most of the film was shot handheld or on a tripod, but to separate and heighten the scenes of worship inside the town’s Pentecostal church I used fluid, energetic roaming steadicam shots, almost as if the camera itself, like the characters, had been overtaken by the holy spirit. “To The Stars” “To the Stars” cinematograher Andrew Reed Dir: Martha Stephens, DoP: Andrew Reed Format: ProRes 3.2K Camera: Arri Alexa XT Plus Lens: Panavision Primo Reed: These tools were chosen for their familiarity, versatility, and excellent image rendering. The Alexa’s impressive dynamic range and naturalistic handling of highlights proved to be especially important for controlling and honing the film’s black-and-white aesthetic. And working with Panavision to customize the tuning of our lenses gave us additional degrees of specificity in terms of contrast and texture when defining the monochromatic look that best represents our tale of isolation and friendship in 1961 Oklahoma. Shooting a film set in an historical era (and, in this case, one when cinema was already part of the cultural landscape) offers a myriad of challenges — not only in accurately depicting the period, but also in choosing a perspective communicated by our own formal choices. We were not interested in attempting to reproduce a relic by strictly adhering to conventions of the time or the media it produced. Nor were we looking to impose contemporary sensibilities, commenting on events through an anachronistic lens. Instead, we sought to strike a delicate balance, both narratively and technically. Among other things, we limited ourselves primarily to compositions and movements inspired by the era, while also purposefully deviating from this course at certain moments to incorporate instances of handheld or Steadicam. By acknowledging and respecting modes of the past, while also judiciously skewing our angle on the film towards something more current, we hopefully arrived at a place that is truthful and revealing to our characters and their environment. Premieres are on the next page, NEXT films Page 3, Midnight film Page 4. Section: Premieres “After the Wedding” “After the Wedding” Dir: Bart Freundlich, DoP: Julio Macat Format: Wide screen 2.40 Camera: Arri ALEXA 65 Lens: ARRI Prime 65 lenses with a couple of Vintage 765 lenses Macat: We decide to take a classic storytelling approach. Director Bart Freundlich and I agreed to use the camera movement, composition, and lighting primarily as tools to enhance the performances of the actors. We decided to cut against the some of the inherent tension of the story, but still wanted to keep every frame visually interesting and layered. We often used the wide 28mm frame, which when used in this large format becomes a beautiful “presentational” lens. This allowed us to pack a lot of information in one shot as well as subtlety revealing rich details, both close and far in different parts of the frame. For medium and close up shots, the shallower depth of focus, which is achieved when filming with the 65 camera system, helped to draw attention to the actors and to create more of an impressionistic backdrop for the settings of the scenes. Besides being beautiful, it also allowed us to guide your attention to the important story aspects in each frame. As an example, a face could stand out and draw attention in a sea of people at a wedding reception. The goal was to highlight the performances of the characters in a classic manner in the way that some of the great films of the ’80’s did and not have heavy-handed camera movement get in the way of the story. “Animals” “Animals” DoP Bryan_Mason and director Sophie Hyde Dir: Sophie Hyde, DoP: Bryan Mason Format: 3.4K ProRes4444 Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Panavision PVintage Mason: Sophie Hyde and I really wanted to capture the city of Dublin at night throughout the film and be enveloped in the world of our characters, in and out of bars, alleyways and their grand, dilapidated apartment. The combination of the Alexa Mini with the speed of the PVintage glass gave us a great ability to move fast with a small lighting package and really get a sense of the place. [pmc-related-link href=”” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]‘Blinded by the Light’ Review: An Ecstatic Story About the Power of Springsteen[/pmc-related-link] “Blinded By the Light” Dir: Gurinder Chadha, DoP: Ben Smithard Camera: Arri Alexa Mini. Lens: Zeiss Ultraprimes and Angenieux Zooms Smithard: Originally we were going to shoot on film, which is always perfect for period films, even one set in the recent past. However, we eventually decided on shooting digitally primarily because there was a huge amount of detail that we needed to capture, and that meant we were going to shoot a lot of footage. This is the primary reason that we decided to go digital: It gave us more scope to shoot more, something that may have been difficult with celluloid. The look of the film comes from many different aspects, the locations, the set dressing, the costumes, the makeup, hair, etc. The Alexa always just looks good and it’s an easy camera to work with and captures images that look “real.” The film has aspects of reality, humour, romance, and social history; the camera deals with these aspects neutrally, allowing what’s in front of the camera to express itself. In my mind, truth and honesty are the two most important aspects of moviemaking, especially when dealing with a real-life story like “Blinded by the Light.” As much as possible, I prefer the camera to be a passive observer. That way, when you want it to dictate a specific visual idea (like the fantasy scenes), it doesn’t confuse the audience: It’s obviously not real, and there is scope to break some of the conventional rules of filmmaking. Gurinder understands where the emotion is in a film, at all times.She’s an expert at that, and it’s my job to convey that emotion into the camerawork. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what camera system I use;  it’s my job to capture that emotion and the story as a whole. I could have most likely shot it on any of the formats out there at the moment with the same results. “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” Dir: Chiwetel Ejiofor, DoP: Dick Pope Format: Widescreen 2.39:1 ArriRaw 2.8K Camera: Arri Alexa Minis Lens: Panavision Primo Prime lenses Ejiofor: We shot widescreen to capture the vast landscape and skies as well as to give our crowd scenes the same epic feel. The Alexa Minis were great because they’re light and fast and also perfect for some of the smaller locations we were in. The Panavision Prime lenses have a beautiful, classic, timeless quality to them, which was perfect for the film. We shot the film entirely in real locations with many day exteriors under a relentless sun. Having the right tools was critical to capture the almost biblical vistas, as well as the tight, close-knit exploration of the family at the heart of our story. “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” DoP Brandon Trost and director Joe Berlinger shooting a scene with Zac Efron as Ted Bundy Dir: Joe Berlinger, DoP: Brandon Trost Format: 2.8k ProRes 4444 XQ Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Panavision C-Series Anamorphic Trost: Joe is a pioneer in the true-crime documentary world, and with his background comes a nuanced “fly on the wall” documentary aesthetic. We wanted to blend that look and feeling with a more classic cinematic tone and sense of scale. The Mini was a perfect fit, particularity for its size since we shot almost entirely handheld, but also for its ability to shoot anamorphic lenses on a full-size sensor. We wanted to emulate film as much as as possible and the Alexa helped achieve that, but the vintage anamorphic lenses were key. It’s an easy way to stay small with your camera footprint but get grand results. We leaned into a very “found” and practically lit look that worked marvelously. We almost always had the ability to shoot 360, and that really adds to the voyeuristic energy, as if the audience is right there with the characters. [pmc-related-link href=”” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]Ted Bundy Biopic Director Joe Berlinger Says His Film Never Glorifies a Killer[/pmc-related-link] “I Am Mother” “I Am Mother” director Grant Sputore Dir: Grant Sputore, DoP: Steve Annis Format: ARRIRAW Camera: Arri Alexa Lens: Arri Master Anamorphics Sputore: From the outset, Steve and I knew we wanted to shoot anamorphically — both as a throwback to the great sci-fi films that inspire us, and to bring some cinematic scale to what is largely a contained and intimate story. That said, we hoped to avoid the distortion that is often associated with anamorphic lenses. The world of “I Am Mother” is so tightly and precisely controlled, it felt right that the film’s visual style should be just as precise and considered. We imagined lots of symmetrical compositions, often filled with clean lines and hard divisions that we wanted to keep pure and straight. The master anamorphics are seemingly unparalleled when it comes to clarity and honest reproduction of what is in front of the lens. They also represent the pinnacle of modern lens technology, which felt appropriate for a story set in the near future featuring a cutting-edge robot. Those lenses are a miracle of modern engineering; Mother herself would be impressed. “Late Night” “Late Night” DoP Matthew Clark Dir: Nisha Ganatra, DoP: Matthew Clark Camera: Panasonic Varicam 35 Lens: Panavision Ultraspeeds and Panavision Superspeeds Clark: The look of “Late Night” came from a desire to create a natural world where our actors could feel free to play. Molly (Mindy Kaling) and Katherine (Emma Thompson) come from such different backgrounds; Nisha Ganatra, our director, really wanted the space to explore that, physically and comically. To be clear, we weren’t aiming for the natural style of a documentary, but more of a heightened realism. Even on our 25-day schedule, we still wanted to create three different worlds – the talk show studio, the writers’ office, and Katherine’s elegant personal life. The warmth and opulence of that personal life needed to be juxtaposed with a colder office setting and a neutral studio. Lighting was key to this, but so was post color. As the mood changed, (colorist) Sean Dunckley and I played with the color in the shadow detail, giving the film a subtle pre-flashed look that is designed to fit the emotion and context of each scene. As for the camera, we decided to go with the Panasonic Varicam 35 and a combination of old Panavision Ultraspeed and Superspeed lenses. I feel like they smooth out the digital edge and allow for beautiful flares — very natural. Because a significant number of days were in a high-rise office where a generator and cable run were impossible on our budget, gaffer Ken Shibata, key grip Tommy Kerwick, Jr., and I decided to bail on the gennie for the whole shoot. On location, we bounced everything we could and we used LEDs, paper lanterns, practicals, and lighting that could be plugged into a house circuit. While we still had to shape the light, the 5000 ISO of the Varicam allowed us to achieve a low base exposure with very little equipment. By adapting, we were able to use the savings to light the talk show set and get manpower to help us move, sometimes to three or four locations a day. In turn, this gave Nisha more time with her actors on set. I think it was a good tradeoff. “Official Secrets” “Official Secrets” DoP Dlorian Hoffmeister Dir: Gavin Hood, DoP: Florian Hoffmeister Format: Sony Venice 6K 1:2.39 spherical extraction Camera: Sony Venice Lens: Leica Summicron-Cs Hoffmeister: “Official Secrets” tells the true story of Katharine Gun, a translator at GCHQ, who leaks top-secret information to press concerning illegal activities by the United States of America in their push for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In prep, director Gavin Hood and I talked a lot about what we felt is a fine line between the need to tell a story dramatically and the danger to overly dramatize. We wanted to maintain an intimate, vulnerable yet natural aesthetic. For me, large-format cinematography has become a great asset of digital filmmaking, and when our shoot coincided with the release of the Sony Venice, I immediately felt that that camera could provide what we were looking for. With the support of Movietech in London, we managed to get our hands on the first two camera bodies in Europe. Combined with the Leica Summicron-Cs, it produced atmospheric and distinguishable images that yet stayed very natural, maintaining immediacy and a beautifully subtle depiction of the vulnerability of Keira’s central performance. “Paddleton” “Paddleton” star Ray Romano and Nathan M. Miller Dir: Alex Lehmann, DoP: Nathan M. Miller Format: 4K, ProRes 422HQ, Canon Log2 Camera: Canon C700 Lens: Cooke Speed Panchros Miller: Being a Netflix original film, “Paddleton” had to be a 4K acquisition, and having history with Canon we decided to go with the C700. I was extremely happy with how it performed. I’m always of the mindset that it’s not the camera that makes the movie, but the creative energy behind it. Having said that, you need the right tool to put your mind at ease. I knew we’d be switching back and forth between sticks and handheld pretty consistently, and the C700’s ergonomics felt very natural to me and I didn’t have to think twice about throwing it on my shoulder at a moment’s notice. I also knew there would be low-light situations where we’d have to jump above the camera’s native ISO and I’ve never been worried with Canon having to push into those higher realms. I love Cookes and I love the rich, warm world the Speed Panchros created. Simple as that. It’s also nice getting a little extra love mellowing out a sharp sensor. We were working off a “scriptment,” so the film is largely improvised. The goal was to allow for 360-degree shooting whenever possible to accommodate performance. Plus, when you’ve got Ray Romano in the room, you know he’s going to be sending you comedy gold every second, so we had to be on our toes constantly and this was the perfect camera package for the situation. “Photograph” “Photograph” Dir: Ritesh Batra, DoP: Ben Kutchins Format: 3.2 k Prores Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Ultra Prime and Superspeed Hutchins: Ritesh and I spoke about the film having a visceral feel, shooting mostly handheld, and feeling very present with the actors. We spoke mostly about the emotion of the characters as opposed to logistics. We looked at a lot of still photographs and art, but our conversations about the characters emotional world were ultimately the most influential. Ritesh and I both prefer capturing scenes in one take, from beginning to end, without interruption. Even if it ends up as something edited later, we are always looking for that mysterious something that happens when actor and camera are in the moment together. When the artifice falls away and something “real” happens, that’s where the magic is. I used an Alexa Mini and some old Ultra Speed and Super Speed lenses. I love the Alexa’s range and the way it handles skin tones. The older lenses added a little bit of imperfection that I look for when shooting with digital cameras. The film is in Hindi, and it was incredible to do a film entirely in a different language. We would be in the middle of a take and I’d be responding to intonation and body language. I can’t take any of my usual dialogue cues, so when I was operating the camera it was a strange feeling at first, but I grew to love it. It makes you pay attention on another level. “Relive” Dir: Jacob Aaron Estes, DoP: Sharone Meir Format: Arriraw Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Hawk v lite anamorphic Estes: We used a Movi a lot. Needed a small camera, as our lenses were heavy. [pmc-related-link href=”” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]‘The Report’ Is a Riveting Journalistic Response to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’[/pmc-related-link] “The Report” “The Report” cinematographer Eigil Bryld Dir: Scott Z. Burns, DoP: Eigil Bryld Format: 2.8 Arriraw Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Master primes and uncoated ultra primes Bryld: Our story, on paper, is somewhat complicated. Many names, various locations around the world, and it covers a number of years with a bunch of flashback sequences. So to keep the audience on track, we choose to treat the flashbacks and present day distinctly different. Part of this was lens choice. Present day was shot with master primes, and for the flashbacks we used uncoated ultra primes that pick up flare very easily and has less color saturation. This helped us make the flashbacks disorientating, almost broken images. The present day is more matter of fact, clean, and vibrant to help give attention to subtle nuances and creating tension. “Sonja: The White Swan” “Sonja: The White Swan” DoP Daniel Voldheim Dir: Anne Sewitsky, DoP: Daniel Voldheim Format: 2.8 K ARRIRAW Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Cooke Anamorphic SF Voldheim: Already in the initial discussions with director Anne Sewitsky about the visual style for “Sonja: The White Swan,” it was clear that anamorphic lenses would be the choice. We both love the way anamorphic lenses portray faces and intimate moments, and of course the way they capture more epic scenes. In portraying the rise and fall of figure skating ace, and Hollywood movie star, Sonja Henie, during Hollywood´s golden era in the ’40s and ’50s, this combination was unbeatable. The SF version of Cooke anamorphic were chosen because of their lovely flares and bokeh, beautiful skin-tone rendering, and the flexibility the 65 macro gave us. “The Sunlit Night” Behind the scenes of “The Sunlit Nation” Dir:David Wnendt, DoP: Martin Ahlgren Format: 2.8K ProRes Anamorphic Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Cooke Anamorphic Ahlgren: At first we considered changing lenses between New York and Norway because we wanted a very different feel to those two worlds, but in the end we decided to do it more through framing and camera movement. I thought widescreen was a natural fit to a story that takes place in the dramatic landscape of Lofoten, Norway, but I had to convince director David Wnendt that we should use anamorphic lenses. He thought a less wide format might be better suited in many situations and was worried that the lenses would not be as flexible as spherical glass, especially in terms of close focus, which was an important aspect for us. The Cooke Anamorphic 65mm is a macro lens that’s able to focus all the way up to the front element without having to add diopters, giving us the kind of flexibility that you usually don’t have with this format. I loved using it handheld and being able to get right up close to the actors when needed. Like so often happens once you start shooting, we quickly found which lenses worked best for us, and the majority of the film was done either on the 32mm or the 65mm. “The Tomorrow Man” “The Tomorrow Man” director-DoP Noble Jones and star John Lithgow Dir & DoP: Noble Jones Format: Red 6K raw Camera: Red Xenomorph Lens: Leica Summilux Jones: I had the good fortune of having David Fincher loan me his Xenomorph for the production on the condition that I gave it a good workout and make plenty of notes for possible improvements. The combination of the Xenomorph and Leica lenses allowed me to push the boundaries in lighting and the 6k frame allowed me to make use of all the tools of post production, including stabilization, to maximize our production. I used a primarily tungsten approach to lighting with lots of negative on exteriors to give contrast when the scene needed it, which in my opinion, was pretty much always on this film. I’m enamored of classic movies of the late ’40s and I tried to combine that visual discipline with a slightly softer but still directional lighting style to imbue the modern look of sensors with the classic feel of old Hollywood. “Top End Wedding” Behind the scenes of “Top End Wedding” Dir: Wayne Blair, DoP: Eric Murray Lui Format: ARRIRAW 16×9 for 2.40 Frame Cut Out Camera: Arri ALEXA Mini, Additional Camera for Aerials: Drone DJ Inspire 2 – 4K Camera Lens: Cooke S4 Primes, Panavision Zoom 11-1 (24mm – 275mm), Panavision zoom 4-1 (17.5mm – 75mm) Lui: The Alexa Minis (and Arri Alexas cameras) produce great images, have great functional durability — and in my mind, are the best choice if you are shooting in remote areas of Australia. With lensing we primarily shot on the Cooke Primes. Within our story, we move from the city to remote regions of Australia and we needed lenses that could be ’travel hardy’, consistent, and cinematically faithful in color. The Cookes proved to be the ones to do that. “Troop Zero” Dir: Bert & Bertie, DoP: James Whitaker Format: 3.4k Open Gate ArriRaw Camera: Alexa SXT and Mini cameras Lens: Vantage Mini Hawks Whitaker: From my first conversations with Bert & Bertie, we always talked about shooting “Troop Zero” with anamorphic lenses. We wanted the look to have a strong personality with distortion to photograph the landscapes of New Orleans and the great faces of our cast. Our story, written by Lucy Alibar (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), is centered on a young girl played McKenna Grace. We wanted the photography to very much feel like it was from her point of view. Anamorphic lenses are tremendous, but we discovered limitations — the need to bring our characters from far away and land them in close up just a few inches from the lens. Vantage Mini Hawks are spherical lenses with a double aperture. One for light, and one for a bokeh that can appear similar to anamorphic. They are light, sharp, and then soft where you want them to be. Minimum focus for many of the focal lengths is right on the front element. Our film was set in the ’70s, but we wanted to achieve a timeless look. They, combined with my digital favorite of Alexa cameras, worked beautifully with the soft, naturalistic environments we filmed in. “Velvet Buzzsaw” Robert Elswit shooting “Velvet Buzzsaw” on the new Millennium DXL2 8K camera for Netflix Dir: Dan Gilroy, DoP: Robert Elswit Format: 8k Redraw Camera: Panavision DXL2 Lens: Panavision Superspeeds and Ultraspeeds lenses modifies to cover the full sensor Elswit: The 8k was a request from Netflix to help with VFX. Netflix requires their original productions to originate in 4K. Unfortunately, the Alexa LF wasn’t available when we went into production. NEXT films are on the next page, Midnight page 4, U.S. Dramatic Competition page 1.  Section: NEXT “Adam” Behind the scenes of shooting “Adam” Dir: Rhys Ernst, DoP: Shawn Peters Format: Arriraw Camera: Arri Mini Lens: Vintage Canon K35 Peters: We tested many prime lenses and decided on the K35’s for there combination of timeless milky-ness in the blacks, rich skin tones, and beautiful color saturation. The goal of the cinematography was to key into the humanity of our characters, so rich, true fleshtones were important. Our lighting aproach was crafted and carved naturalism that freed the camera placement to tell the story through placement and movement. It’s a story around intimacy and friendship, and there is an inherent romantic approach to the photography. “The Death of Dick Long” Dir: Daniel Scheinert, DoP: Ashley Connor Format: 2.8k protea 4444, but not raw Camera: Arri Alexa XT Lens: Panavision Primos and the 11:1 24-270mm Primo zoom Connor: Daniel and I had many conversations about the look of the film, and it never fell into a “vintage” category. We wanted the images to feel immediate and concrete; we didn’t use softening filters or anything like that. The Primos emerged as a great lens set because it was perfect for our mix of portraiture and landscape, and ultimately created a cleaner image. The look of the film was inspired by a mixture of Coen Brothers meets William Friedkin meets early Wim Wenders. We tried building a lot of saturation and primary, bold colors into the frame and thanks to brilliant production design from Ali Rubinfeld, we were able to maintain that palette. The film, to me, is a lot about failed instances of intimacy — so we played with proximity to the subject a lot. “Give Me Liberty” Shooting “Give Me Liberty” Dir: Kirill Mikhanovsky, DoP: Wyatt Garfield Format: 3.2K ProRes & 16mm Camera: Alexa Mini and Krasnogorsk K3 Lens: Zeiss Super Speeds Garfield: “Give Me Liberty” was all about capturing lively and authentic energy in front of the camera. We wanted to shoot on 16mm because it is a lively, reactive medium: The grain is wild and the image never rests. We ended up needing to find a digital solution, and the small size of the Alexa Mini was great for squeezing inside our main location: the transit van. Digital can feel very static, so we paired our Alexa with Super Speeds, which have a simple look that is still very reactive to light with some flaring and veiling that keep the image active. We added some thin netting to make edges flare and fragment a little more, and added heavy film grain in post to keep the image restless. We followed most action on the 25mm, widening to 18mm when the scenes became more hyperactive and narrowing to 50mm/85mm for portraits and perspective. We shot a few fragmentary sequences of Vic’s subconscious on 16mm with Kirill’s personal K-3, which bring some additional liveliness. Once we chose our camera and lenses, we let go of a lot of control and invited much chance and chaos into the process. I think it’s a beautiful film, but beauty was not something we were applying; it was something we were allowing to happen in front of the camera. “The Infiltrators” “The Infiltrators” director Alex Rivera and DoP Lisa Rinzler Dir: Alex Rivera, Cristina Ibarra, DOP: Lisa Rinzler Format: Arri Raw, Panasonic Cine D 1080 Camera: Alexa, Panasonic Lumix GH4 Lens: Cooke S4 Primes for Alexa, 20mm Prime for Lumix Rinzler: There were two distinct looks for the “The Infiltrators.” Alex Rivera shot the documentary sections hand held and rough with a small DSLR camera, and I shot the narrative sequences with the Alexa. The narrative elements with actors on location were designed to be against type for the Detention Center and to have a smoother, more controlled look — which is why we chose the Alexa and the Cooke S4 lenses. The shots were largely choreographed as single-shot design for Steadicam. We chose this style for the narrative with the concept to feel the characters interconnected and weaving in and out of each other’s lives and spaces, as well as throughout the Detention Center location itself. We questioned whether narrative elements with actors should be rough and visually match the documentary sections, or instead contradict that style and look separate and distinctively different from each other. We decided on the latter. Also in discussion was how seamless the intercutting would be between “real” people and actors. We ultimately decided that we would not try to trick the mind into not knowing whether we were viewing real or fiction, but rather to be clear in separating the narrative from the documentary. Having said that, “The Infiltrators” story is true and the directors Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra were were committed to telling the story truthfully and portraying the people accurately. Interweaving the elements of actors with non-actors in an organic, fluid way was a wonderful challenge in which we strove to surpass the feel of “recreations.” “Light From Light” “Light from Light” Director Paul Harrill and DoP Greta Zozula Dir: Paul Harrill, DoP: Greta Zozula Format: DIGITAL 3.2K Camera: ARRI ALEXA MINI Lens: COOKE S4 primes 40mm, 75mm Zozula: Light From Light’s characters are seeking answers to questions about their individual lives and also about bigger mysteries. We aimed for simplicity, and used structured, classic compositions to tell the story. We referenced a lot of paintings when talking about lighting and color. Vermeer, Wyeth and Hopper were the big influences. Wyeth’s “Helga” series and Vermeer’s “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window” had the most overall impact. Wyeth had a strategic influence in our direction on color. We stuck to a warmer palette with muted greens and browns, reserving color pops for blue and yellow accents. Vermeer was more for lighting quality — softer keys with hard falloffs. We chose Cooke S4s because of their softer attributes and warmer skin tone, and limited our focal lengths to a select few. The 40mm was the dominant workhorse, but felt it was important to have the 75mm for key inflective moments. “Paradise Hills” Dir: Alice Waddington, DoP: Josu Inchaustegui Format: 3.4K open gate Camera: Arri Alexa MINI Lens: Leica summilux Inchaustegui: The camera had to be light to allow us to use the movi as the main support and the lenses have enough personality. “Premature” Behind the scenes of shooting “Premature” Dir: Rashaad Ernesto Green, DoP: Laura Valladao Format: 16mm Film Camera: Arri 416 Lens: Zeiss Ultra16 Primes Valladao: Rashaad and I felt strongly about shooting 16mm from the beginning. The film is set in Harlem in the summer, and we wanted a format that would complement the nostalgic and textural feel of the piece, as well as contribute to the intimacy of the content. 16mm allowed us to stay compact and low profile. We had a small team and limited budget, and we were able to move quickly, working with the natural light and textures we had available to us. “Selah and the Spades” “Selah and the Spades” DoP Jomo Fray Dir: Tayarisha Poe, DoP: Jomo Fray Format: 4K ProRes HQ Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Kowa Cine Prominar Spherical Lenses Fray: We were interested in points of contrast — places where the surface did not match the deeper underlying motives. The director and I came up with the term Savage Formalism to describe the visual style of the film to ourselves during filming. Savage, not in the anthropological sense of the term, but from the meaning of the word in Rihanna’s 2016 album “ANTI.” Savage as brutal, cool, powerful. We wanted to build a formalism borne of that energy. An image that is composed with a certain brutality to it, an inherent coolness, but also a quality of unease/disquiet. An image with youth, but offers us a picture of a pretty vicious world. Toward this, we found ourselves being guided by the principles and design of brutalist architecture — the lines, the austerity, the density. Brutalism has an inherent duality to it; it was born out of a ethically utopic vision of human co-habitation, despite having that same energy linked to a set of people trying to process the atrocities coming out of World War II. There’s a strange duality there, and “Selah and the Spades” similarly has a duality to it. It’s about kids who are having fun in high school, but the underbelly is a meditation on power and what it takes to hold power. The Kowas were a great tool in telling that story because of the inherent color contrast present in the glass itself. The way they resolve color and the stark difference in the quality of their flares from that color profile was really intriguing for us. And although the locations were extremely picturesque New England vistas, we found ourselves shooting a lot on wide to ultra-wide lenses primarily as a way to distort the landscape and gesture toward the ways in which brutalism was playing with shape and form. The aberrations that were introduced into the image really helped to ground it in the world we envisioned. Ideally, the world is both parts recognizable and unrecognizable at every turn. [pmc-related-link href=”” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]‘Selah and the Spades’ Trailer: Sundance Drama Explores Underground Life at Boarding School[/pmc-related-link] “Sister Aimee” “Sister Aimee” DoP Carlos Valdes-Lora Dir: Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann, DoP: Carlos Valdes-Lora Format: 3.2K ProRes 4444 XQ Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Cooke Mini S4 Primes (25mm and 32mm Primarily) Valdes-Lora: In early conversations with the directors, we all agreed that we didn’t want “Sister Aimee” to feel like a traditional period movie. We didn’t want to use softening filters or vintage lenses. We aimed instead for clear images, deep focus, and a rich color palette that remains grounded in the real world. We felt that this would lend the story a greater sense of immediacy and draw the viewer closer to the characters. Following that same thinking, we worked very extensively with the 25mm and 32mm, especially in closeups and medium closeups, emphasizing accessibility.The Cooke Mini S4s are a beautiful and affordable set (relative to our other options). We like the way they give deep dimensionality and warmth to faces, and how they create a slightly lower-contrast image compared to the other modern lenses we looked at. They quickly became the right choice for us, striking the right balance between quality, size, and value. The Cookes paired with the Alexa Mini gave us a lightweight camera system with a very contained footprint, and we needed to stay fast and lean due to our compressed shooting schedule and often tight shooting quarters. The Chapman Cobra dolly was a big help in that regard as well. “The Wolf Hour” Dir: Alistair Banks Griffin, DoP: Khalid Mohtaseb Format: Digital, 2.35 aspect ratio, Anamorphic 444xq Camera: Arri Alexa mini Lens: Panavision T-Series Anamorphic Mohtaseb: Perhaps the most challenging part about making The Wolf Hour was the aggressive shooting schedule. The film was shot in 18 days, in which three days were on location and 15 days were on stage. From the very first few conversation Banks and I had, it was clear we were going after a very singular perspective of the main character but at the same time wanted to create a big cinematic image in a confined space and there was no question that we’d be going anamorphic. So that led to testing almost every close-focus anamorphic lens on the market. We landed on the Panavision T-series for practical and creative reasons. With traditional anamorphics, close focus is usually quite limited, which forces the DOP to use diopters to get closer. It might sound silly, but if you add up the time, it could actually cost a full day or even more swapping them out. The T-series provided an incredibly impressive close focus range and we almost never used diopters throughout the shoot. Creatively, Banks and I wanted to shoot the ’70s with a timeless look. This meant staying away from vintage lenses; the look can be a bit over the top for a period film. We shot a lighting and lens test with Naomi Watts, and we both knew immediately when we put up the T-series that they were right. They had a beautiful intimacy to them for such big glass, and there was really no other discussion after that. Panavision New York and Marni Zimmerman were very supportive to our creative process throughout the entire shooting schedule. Film in the Midnight section are on the next page, U.S. Dramatic Competition Page 1, Premieres Page 2. Section: Midnight “Corporate Animals” “Corporate Animals” cinematographer Tarin Anderson Dir: Patrick Brice, DoP: Tarin Anderson Format: ProRes 4444 XQ Camera: Arri Alexa Minis Lens: Ultra Primes Anderson: Director Patrick Brice and I talked about the creative challenge of shooting a comedy almost all in a cave and in the dark. Even though the hero sets would be a stage build, I knew we would be tucking ourselves into some small nooks and crannies and would benefit from a smaller-profile camera body, so we decided to go with the Alexa Minis. We tested several lens sets and noticed that a lot of lenses were giving us star flares or bigger halation around the point of light and would potentially hide our actors’ faces while they were wearing headlamps. In the end, we fell in love with the look of the Ultra Primes and the natural flare we got. We lit mostly with LEDs, which allowed us to make quick color temperature changes for light gags while rolling and keep the same color temperature on camera throughout. We also used with the LED RGB Filter to give us some fun in-camera color changes on a scene where one of the actors is having a break with reality. Overall, the camera and lenses were exactly what Patrick and I were looking for to visually tell the story, move quickly around in small spaces, and give us the handheld and intimate look we wanted. “Greener Grass” Behind the scenes of shooting “Greener Grass” Dir: Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, DoP: Lowell A. Meyer Format: 3.2K (Prores 4444) internally Camera: ARRI Alexa Mini. Lens: Angenieux Optimo zooms and primes, Zeiss Standard and Super Speeds. Meyer: We chose the Arri Alexa Mini because it’s a camera that I’ve come to trust in any environment to provide clean, manipulatable, and beautiful footage without giving us any production or post-production headaches. For zooms, we wielded the incredible Angenieux Optimo 24-290mm T2.8 and a matching (and much more petite!) Angenieux Optimo 30-80mm T2.6. For primes, we chose a set of ARRI/Zeiss Standard Speeds T2.1 and a matching set of ARRI/Zeiss Super Speeds T1.3. They were the right tools because they spoke to us, our cast, and our crew. Every time we’d watch playback, we’d be cackling behind the monitor at what we’d just created. While I’d like to attribute all of that laughter to the genius of our writer-directors and our cast, it makes me proud to think that in my own very small way me and my team helped add to the visual punchline of every joke on screen. Hopefully our audiences will feel the same way. “The Hole in the Ground” Behind the scenes of shooting “The Hole in the Ground” Dir: Lee Cronin, DoP: Tom Comerford Format: 4:3 2.8k ProRes Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Cooke Anamorphic Lenses Cronin: Myself and director of photography Tom Comerford wanted to create a classic, composed image, as cinematic as possible within the constraints of time and budget. After multiple tests, everyone was on board with shooting anamorphic widescreen. The Cooke lenses gave us a soft, slightly dreamy look with a depth of field that kept our main character isolated in the frame even on the wider lenses. The film has a very singular POV, and this really worked for us. “Little Monsters” “Little Monsters” star Lupita Nyongo and director Abe Forsythe Dir: Abe Forsythe, DoP: Lachlan Milne Format: ARRIRAW Camera: Arri Alexa Mini Lens: Panavision Primo Noir Milne: Lots of the film was going to be handheld and really close to the kids. We needed a camera package that would be able to react accordingly without drawing too much attention to itself or take too long to reconfigure. Using filters in front of the lens creates a mirror; with kids, this can be incredibly distracting especially when you have tight eyelines off camera. We opted for the Alexa Mini with its internal ND filters that can be adjusted mid-take, paired with the Panavision Primo Noir lenses. The lenses had a coating manipulation internally, which gives the out of focus areas a kind of halated softness and a slightly older lens feel. The Primos also have a great wider angle focal length range which was where the majority of the movie was going to sit. “The Lodge” “The Lodge” Dir: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, DoP: Thimios Bakatakis Format: 35mm Film Camera: Arricam LT Lens: Panavision Ultra Speeds & Primos “Mope” “Mope” Cinematographer Bryan Koss Dir: Lucas Heyne, DoP: Bryan Koss Format: Arri Log C 4444 XQ UHD Camera: Arri ALEXA Mini Lens: Cooke Speed Panchro and Telepanchros Rehoused by True Lens Services Koss: The very first talks with director Lucas Heyne we had talked about the realism of the look, feel, and tone. The script and content we were dealing with was very dark. However, it was based on a true story in the San Fernando Valley just a few years prior. Lucas had done his homework in research and extensive interviews with those close to the subjects and we wanted to feed on that realism and bring sort of a quasi documentary narrative to the screen. The Cooke Speed Panchros combined with the Alexa Mini was the perfect tool for the job. The film is 99 percent handheld; we stripped the camera down to the bones with only wireless and multiple handles in different ergonomic positions, allowing for on the shoulder, hip or floor in the same take. Lots of locations we wanted to keep rather dull, but still lived in. We took an approach to using available light and mostly practicals and would come up with blocking that kept the actors free but still got them in and out of certain exposure levels at certain beats in a scene. Combining that approach with shooting docustyle 360 degrees we were able to heighten and mold the narrative pacing along the way. The Cooke Speed Panchros have a wonderful built-in texture. Being rehoused vintage lenses from the 30s, 40s and 50s you’re naturally going to have different aging of coatings and lots of interesting flare shapes. We used a complete set of all 12 primes from 18mm up to the 506mm Telepanchro Prime. I love using Cookes and certainly these vintage lenses lend a sense of imperfection which is parallel to the world and situations our characters find themselves in. They naturally have a lower contrast but we were able to develop some amazing variations of looks and build that contrast back into certain sequences while working with an amazing colorist, Alastor Arnold and Fotokem. “Wounds” “Wounds” director Babak Anvari with Dakota Johnson and Armie Hammer Dir:Babak Anvari, DoP: Kit Fraser Format: 3.8K ProRes 4444 XQ Camera: Alexa Mini Lens: Leica Summilux-C Fraser: Director Babak Anvari and I felt that a handheld camera was right for this film from the beginning. We wanted to be able to follow the characters in a very free manner, but maintain a rougher edge to the motion than a dolly or Steadicam would have given us. It was important that the camera and lens package was lightweight, but that we didn’t compromise on image quality and had the ability of RAW recording for a number of VFX sequences. We also needed to be able to shoot in very low-light situations, as much of the script involves mobile phones and we were keen to use the real light from the phones to illuminate the characters. We planned to shoot most of the film with wide lenses too and we wanted to place the characters at the edges of frames without feeling the usual distortions associated with these focal lengths. We tested the Alexa Mini, Panavision DXL2, and the Sony Venice along with many different brands of lenses and projected the results. We ultimately decided that pairing the Alexa Mini with the Leica Summilux-C’s fulfilled every need. However, this combination (along with every other digital format and modern-day lens we tested) still felt too clean and sharp for a film that was based on a novella called The Visible Filth! To add a final layer of texture, we rated the camera at 1600iso and added a pushed-35mm grain effect in the DI with our excellent colourist, Matt Watson at SHED. Films in U.S. Dramatic Competition are on Page 1, Premieres Page 2, NEXT Page 3.
24 Jan 19
Lenses and Filters

Alpa 28mm P. Angenieux Retrofocus F3.5 Manual Focus 35mm Film Lens – Buy – Alpa 28mm P. Angenieux Retrofocus F3.5 Manual Focus 35mm Film Lens

23 Jan 19
Reports Monitor Blogs

High Resolution Cameras Market Summary The major purpose of this High Resolution Cameras Market report is to provide an in-depth view and strategic analysis of the parent industry. The report examines each segment as well as their respective sub-segments present in the market in an all-inclusive manner. The report provides a deep insight into the industry parameters by […]

22 Jan 19

Two films shot in black and white this year have been nominated in the Oscar Best Cinematography category: Cold War and Roma. Interestingly, both take place in the past. For Cold War, Oscar-nominated cinematographer Lukasz Zal said he and director Pawel Pawlikowski thought about shooting the post-war film in color, but ultimately decided not to. […]

16 Jan 19

World Cinema Lenses Market Executive Summary Cinema Lenses market research report provides the newest industry data and industry future trends, allowing you to identify the products and end users driving Revenue growth and profitability. Request a Sample Report @ The industry report lists the leading competitors and provides the insights strategic industry Analysis of the key […]

15 Jan 19

Global Cinema Lenses Market 2018 Research report refine essential aspects of the industry and presents them in the form of a united and all-inclusive document. The cinema lenses report begins from an overview of industry chain structure, and describes industry environment, then analyses market size and forecast,  application, and region. In addition, this report introduces […]

15 Jan 19
Technomiracle Press

Global Cinema Lenses Market elaborates the complete details covering product definition, product type, key companies, and application. The report covers useful details which are categorized based on cinema lenses production region, major players, and product type which will provide a simplified view of the cinema lenses industry. The cinema lenses market report presents the competitive […]

14 Jan 19
Professional Industry Market Research

QY Research always aims at offering their clients an in-depth analysis and the best research material of the various market. This new report on the global High Resolution Cameras market is committed fulfilling the requirements of the clients by giving them thorough insights into the market. An exclusive data offered in this report is collected by […]

07 Jan 19

Global Cinema Lenses Market Report elaborates the complete details of the latest industry trends and business circumstances to help the Cinema Lenses market aspirants in making key business decisions. All the vital aspects of Cinema Lenses like the current developments, growth opportunities, Cinema Lenses industry chain structure, applications are covered in this report. Global Cinema […]