There is no more venerated name in the world of cinema
than Alfred Hitchcock. His movies and methods have been
studied and emulated by fi lmmakers around the world,
and his impact on the art of directing is unsurpassed. The
master of suspense made fi lms in the United Kingdom and
in Hollywood, demonstrating the adage that moving images
speak a global language.
Surprisingly, in light of these facts, Hitchcock’s very early
silent era work — fi lms that offer a fascinating glimpse
into the development of his style — has been in bad shape.
Deluxe and the British Film Institute (BFI) have corrected this,
gathering as many elements of these early fi lms as possible
and using the latest restoration techniques to resurrect them.
The project required thousands of hours of painstaking work.
Hitchcock fans have rejoiced.
Hitchcock afi cionados of future generations will also be
certain to benefi t, as the BFI and Deluxe used fi lm technology
to safely archive and future-proof the restored classics.
Archivists note that these movies would not exist today had
they been stored on a less reliable medium. Black-and-white
archival emulsions promise centuries of easy and accurate
reproduction of these cultural treasures, regardless of future
The fi lms were made in the UK between 1925 and 1929,
and the titles include The Ring, The Manxman, Blackmail, The
Farmer’s Wife, Champagne, Easy Virtue, The Lodger, The
Pleasure Garden and Downhill.
The Lodger was previously the best known of the
bunch, and that fi lm is cited by fi lm historians as a
turning point, displaying many characteristics that
would later come to be called “Hitchcockian” and
enjoying a degree of commercial success that
boosted the director’s career trajectory.
The BFI — one of the world’s largest
collections of fi lm and television with over
180,000 titles — laid a strong foundation
for the restorations with
archival emulsions promise
centuries of easy and accurate
reproduction of these cultural
treasures, regardless of
future display formats.
curatorial research, gathering elements from its own archives
as well as from various collections around the world. Under the
direction of the BFI, Deluxe carefully catalogued the images
from delicate and irreplaceable source material, and assembled
versions based on the best scholarship.
Deluxe used cutting edge restoration and preservation
technology and a staff of two senior graders and eight digital
restoration artists. Some of the fi lms were scanned by the BFI
itself, and others were digitized at Deluxe’s London restoration
facility. The task was made more delicate by some highly
fl ammable nitrate negatives. Elements gathered also included
nitrate, acetate and polyester fi ne grain positives, and nitrate
prints. After examination, preparation and cleaning, each element
was scanned through ARRISCAN or Spirit 4K scanners to create
2K data fi les (in DPX format). BFI archivists reconstructed the
fi lms shot by shot.
“As would be expected with fi lms made on nitrate and other
unstable fi lms stocks of that era, the original source material had
seen a fair amount of wear and tear as prints were repeatedly
made from the original negative,” says Deluxe’s Paul Collard. “The
celluloid had degraded and parts of the fi lm were either lost or
unusable. In places where the original celluloid had deteriorated
too far, we seamlessly replaced it with copy material. The key was
not to try to improve or enhance the original in any way, but to
present it authentically, in the way it would have been seen by our
grandparents and great-grandparents.”
The ARRISCAN scanner has a number of adaptations that
make it perfect for this delicate work. The registration
pin can be disabled and the LED illumination
means that highly fl ammable nitrate materials are not exposed
to any heat during the scan. Dry-and wet-gate scanning are also
options, depending on the type and condition of the materials.
Sometimes a “double-fl ash” technique was used to better capture
the rich tonal range on the nitrate material.
The next stage was a 2K digital intermediate, graded by Deluxe
restoration colorists Stephen Bearman and Trevor Brown, again
with supervision by the BFI. The graded, conformed scans were
then digitally restored to remove defects such as scratches,
warping, fl uctuations, mold and frame damage. Newly re-created
polyester inter-titles were incorporated based on existing prints
and extensive research.
Three of the fi lms were originally released as tinted and toned
prints. Tinting and toning were early color processes used to add
expressive colors to black-and-white images. In the days before
color fi lm, these colors were applied by dyes and toning baths
after the printing stage. “We worked to reproduce those colors in
the digital grade and the color management translated them to
intermediate negative and new prints,” says Kieron Webb, fi lm
conservation manager for the BFI.
After a fi nal review screening with the BFI, a 35mm fully
restored color or black-and-white polyester digital negative
was recorded out to KODAK Film frame-by-frame on the latest
ARRILASER fi lm recorders. Show prints of the new restorations
were made along with a 2K data archive of all scans and restored
fi les, a digital cinema package and television masters.
Webb says that several restoration masters were produced,
including fi lm, digital cinema, HD video and data. “In our full
restoration projects, we always make a new fi lm negative,”
says Webb. “This is important not only for the long-term
conservation of the fi lm and the restoration work, in addition
to the preservation data, but also for the creation of excellent
35mm show prints which are screened internationally. Early
in the Hitchcock project, we carried out extensive comparison
tests in conjunction with Deluxe of the various blackand-white
intermediate stocks. Deluxe recorded the new
negatives on their ARRILASERs and we processed and printed
them in the archive’s lab.
Echoing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Digital Dilemma reports, Collard notes the challenges of
storing and archiving larger and larger data fi les as the demand
grows for 4K and greater resolution in feature fi lms. “What
better permanent, low-cost solution could you have than a fi lm
recording of the fi nal 4K master data onto black-and-white
separation masters, ready for re-scanning back to data up to 200
years into the future?” he asks.
In June and July 2012, The Pleasure Garden, Blackmail,
The Ring and The Lodger were presented with specially
commissioned scores in a series of screenings during the
London 2012 Festival, part of the Cultural Olympiad. Newly
restored prints of those fi lms, as well as Downhill, Easy
Virtue, Champagne, The Farmer’s Wife and The Manxman were
presented as part of a major Hitchcock retrospective at BFI
Southbank from August to October 2012.
“Archives are working incredibly hard to ensure our
moving image heritage is reproduced as accurately as
possible,” says Webb. “And there’s always something very
reassuring about being happy with the new print at
the conclusion of a restoration
Photos – Cover – Top: The Ring,
Right: All from The Pleasure Garden
This page – Top: The Lodger Bottom
left: The Lodger, Bottom middle:
Blackmail, Bottom right: The Pleasure
Garden. (All Photos: BFI National
Enlightened showcases a fascinating collaboration between series
co-creator Mike White and lead actor Laura Dern, who also serves
as co-creator and executive producer. Dern portrays Amy Jellicoe, a
self-destructive woman who undergoes a breakdown, followed by a
spiritual awakening, and emerges determined to live an enlightened
life. This of course creates a wealth of comedic situations in her work
and home life. At the offi ce, she tries to enlist the meek Tyler —
played by White — in her jargon-fi lled schemes to seize the day.
Xavier Grobet, ASC, AMC shot the second season of
Enlightened, which began airing on HBO earlier this year. In addition
to the fi rst season of Enlightened, his credits include The Woodsman,
I Love You Phillip Morris, Nacho Libre and The Back-up Plan.
On Enlightened, Grobet uses KODAK VISION3 500T Color
Negative Film 5219 and KODAK VISION2 200T Color Negative
Film 5217 in the 3-perf Super 35 format. He shoots ARRICAM
LT cameras — usually two — and relies on COOKE S4 prime and
ANGENIEUX OPTIMO zoom lenses.
“We like the quality of fi lm, as well as the practicality,” says Grobet.
“We like the fi lm feel and fi lm grain. Taking care of my actors is
what’s most important for me. Especially with Laura, I always want
her to look good and I think fi lm helps that way. It’s gentle compared
to digital. And I have more freedom in terms of staging and lighting.”
The cinematographer also notes that he fi nds fi lm to be a
more effi cient way of working. White was also strongly in favor
of originating on fi lm. “It’s much more practical,” Grobet relates.
“There’s less technology and less paraphernalia around the
camera to deal with. It’s easier to handle. Film is reliable. The
technology is so advanced that you feel very confi dent about it.
“One of the problems I have with the digital world is that it tries to
go into perfection in terms of the quality and the defi nition,” Grobet
observes. “Sometimes that’s not what you’re looking for. I think it’s
best to use the texture and light. When something is too sharp and
too defi ned and too perfect, it loses the emotion in a way. When
there’s no texture, there’s a certain rejection, at least on my part.”
The set depicting Jellicoe’s workplace, Cogentiva, is a
predominantly white environment. Grobet has rigged two layers
of light — practicals, and above them, recessed movie light
fi xtures. On wider shots, the white room is comparatively high-key,
but Grobet modulates somewhat on close-ups, creating more
contrast and volume on faces depending on the scene. “I can
go with different levels or turn off light in certain areas,” he says.
“Sometimes I’ll kill all the lights
behind me so that the faces stand out
against the bright background.”
The show is split between sets on
stages and practical location shooting.
Given the tight TV schedule — an
episode is often accomplished in six
days or less — Grobet often comes
into a set for the fi rst time the day
before he must shoot in it. “You have
to come up with something without
a lot of time to think things through,”
he notes. “You have to be creative
and make it work. It makes you think
outside the box, experiment, and
go beyond what you’d do in a more
controlled situation. When you have
to make it work, you do.”
Grobet says that fi lm gives him the confi dence to push the
boundaries. “You know how the fi lm will react,” he explains.
“You know how much you can push it. You can trust the fi lm,
and that’s a good feeling.”
White writes the show entirely and directs about half of the
episodes. The opportunity to work with a rotating roster of
directors, including Jonathan Demme, Nicole Holofcener and
Miguel Arteta, appeals to Grobet. “But Mike makes the show
special and fulfi lling,” emphasizes Grobet. “He puts a lot of heart
into the project. It doesn’t feel like a TV production. Each episode
is almost like an independent fi lm, made with care. That’s what is
fantastic about HBO — you have the freedom to create.”
Photos – Top: Mike White and Laura Dern on the set of Enlightened. Bottom: Dermot Mulroney
and Laura Dern. Right: Xavier Grobet, ASC, AMC. (All Photos: Lacey Terrell/HBO)
Stephen Windon, ACS is
best known for some of the
most widely seen images
depicting World War II in
HBO’s The Pacifi c. Windon
shared credit with Remi
Adefarasin, BSC on the
miniseries, and his work
on the episode “Okinawa”
earned an ASC Outstanding
Achievement Award, as well
as an EMMY® nomination. His
credits include two fi lms in the
Fast and Furious franchise, as
well as Deep Blue Sea and The
Patriot, among others.
In shooting The Pacifi c,
Windon was focused on
honesty and believability,
down to the beads of sweat
on a malaria-stricken soldier’s
face. This time around,
Windon is back in war mode,
and while G.I. Joe: Retaliation
leaves a bit more room for
dramatization and even
playfulness, the early talks
with director Jon M. Chu and
producers Herb Gains and
Lorenzo di Bonaventura were
centered around creating a
realistic look on which to base
the action and adventure.
“Jon wanted to make
everything feel as real as
possible,” says Windon. “Even
though there are extensive
visual effects in the fi lm, he
wanted the characters to
seem like people you might
come across in real life. He
wanted a very organic style
with nothing forced or too
clean and polished. We
talked about making it fun,
without distracting from our
G.I. Joe: Retaliation was Chu’s
fi rst foray into the action genre,
after successes like The League
of Extraordinary Dancers and
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.
HBO initially suggested that
fi lm was the right origination
medium for G.I. Joe: Retaliation,
but left the decision up the
fi lmmakers. Windon and Chu
were all for it.
“Film just seemed right,”
Windon explains. “Jon was
very pro-fi lm. For the time,
the look we wanted, and
the texture, it was the right
Windon shot in the Super
35 format to achieve a wide
2.40:1 aspect ratio. For most
shots, he used PANAVISION
cameras and PRIMO lenses,
although for overcranked,
slow-motion shots he used
an ARRI 435. He also made
extensive use of the small
ARRI 235 camera.
“I like to use the 235 at
hip level, and it’s just great
at that,” he says. “I used that
technique quite a bit on The
Pacifi c, with a little monitor
onboard and no eyepiece. It’s
literally ‘shoot from the hip.’”
That was in keeping
with the shooting style
that evolved, which prized
continuous movement. “We
just kept driving into things
and getting whisked along,”
Windon describes. “The
fi lm takes place in different
countries with different
governments, events and
strategies. That was the fun
thing for me — there were so
many distinctive looks in the
fi lm. It’s quite a journey.”
Almost the entire movie,
aside from some mountain
shots photographed in British
Columbia, was done in
Louisiana. Windon estimates
that 85 percent of the fi lm was
produced on sets, many of
which were built at a hulking
former NASA facility east
of New Orleans called the
Michoud Assembly Facility.
“I’ve never seen buildings
as big as these,” remarks
Windon. “We were fi lming
in these massive chambers,
if you like, and they became
our sound stages. One of
them looked so good that
we ended up using it as a set
itself, a place where huge
missiles are being made. It
was fun to light.”
These big spaces required
plenty of lighting fi repower.
The production used an
abundance of 20Ks and large
Fresnel units. Dinos and
Maxis were used to create
strong beams of light coming
Another sequence done
at Michoud depicts a Tokyo
rooftop. Windon shot with a
360-degree TransLite. The
nearby Greenwood Plantation
stood in for the U.S.
President’s vacation home.
Fort Pike was the location for
a climactic confrontation in
Act III. A corner of City Park
in New Orleans was used
as a nighttime entryway
into an underground lab.
There, Windon played with a
mixture of sodium vapor and
He says that the KODAK
Film stocks — mostly KODAK
“The 5219 is my favorite stock. I love grading it, and
seeing all the details it captures. I love big, hot practical
lights and overexposure, and contrasting that with dark
areas in the frame. And you can’t break that stock. It’s
really cool. It loves all the color.”
VISION3 500T Color Negative
Film 5219 in that situation
— handled the mixed color
temperatures well. “The
(52)19 is my favorite stock. I
love grading it, and seeing all
the details it captures. I love
big, hot practical lights and
overexposure, and contrasting
that with dark areas in the
frame. And you can’t break
that stock. It’s really cool. It
loves all the color.”
Windon and Chu leaned
toward a cyan-to-cool color
palette for the majority of the
movie. The front-end lab was
Cineworks in New Orleans.
“There was a cyan-ish base in
the dark areas and the blacks,”
notes Windon. “We kept that
in mind with the lighting and
also with the color timing
at Company 3 with Stefan
Sonnenfeld. That was fun.”
Lenses were generally
medium-wide, with the 27mm
and 21mm getting heavy
use. “That opened up the
background, and Jon really
loved that,” says Windon. “He
had not worked with the wide,
2.40 frame before, and he
really embraced it.”
Windon also made use of
a daylight-balanced stock,
KODAK VISION3 50D Color
Negative Film 5203. Prior to G.I.
Joe, his predilection in daylight
situations was for shooting
without a correction fi lter and
adjusting in color correction.
He says the result can be an
appealingly gritty look. “But
for this fi lm, I wanted really
fi ne grain, and that really clean
crispness, especially for the
beautiful sequences that take
place in the Himalayas. I’ve
used it on commercials, but
this was the fi rst time I’ve shot
a feature with it. I really liked it,
and Jon loved it.”
One amazing sequence
shows a number of ninja
fi ghters hanging off the side
of a Himalayan mountain,
fi ghting each other while
swinging and swooping from
their mountain-climbing ropes.
The sequences required weeks
of rehearsal. The scenes were
shot on the big stages against
a green screen background.
It was the most technically
complex sequence of the
“Normally, I would prefer
to shoot something like that
outside and really fi ght with
Mother Nature because that’s
what you’d have to do in a real
environment,” says Windon.
“And that’s the way I prefer to
do daytime greenscreen. But
because we were shooting in
New Orleans, there’s always
the chance of hurricanes and
bad weather, so we decided to
do it indoors. I can’t remember
the number of 24Ks we had
in this set, but there were
many. The shots were so big
that I was using a Russian arm
on a pursuit camera car as
the dolly. That was the most
technically challenging part of
Since he wrapped G.I.
Joe: Retaliation, Windon has
moved on to Fast and Furious
6 with director Justin Lin —
also originating on 35 mm
Photos – Left page, top Left: Dwayne
Johnson plays Roadblock in G.I. JOE:
RETALIATION, from Paramount Pictures,
MGM, and Skydance Productions. Center:
Windon (far right) on the set This page top:
Johnson (left) and Bruce Willis as Colton
(center) Bottom: Left to right: Ray Park
plays Snake Eyes and Elodie Yung plays
Jinx (Photos: Jaimie Trueblood © 2013
Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Hasbro and its logo, G.I. JOE and all related
characters are Trademarks of Hasbro and
used with permission. All Rights Reserved.)
This Ain’t California is a unique movie that straddles the
line between documentary and narrative fi lmmaking. The
project depicts the skateboard subculture in East Germany
in the 1980s, which is presented as a manifestation of a
yearning for freedom. In the fi lm, skaters from the era — now
approaching middle age — look back on that time wistfully.
They saw skateboarding as a rebellious act, and a way of
doing something completely nonproductive, just for fun, in a
politicized society where such actions were not only frowned
upon but actively repressed, and in extreme cases, could land
you in prison.
One skater in particular is recalled by all as a catalyst for
the scene. Identifi ed at a young age as a gifted athlete, he
is put into the East German training pipeline by a driven,
competitive father, and by age 13 he is training 35 hours a
week as a swimmer. Eventually he rebels, drops out, takes the
street name Panik, and becomes a superlative skater who is
constantly provoking confrontations with authority.
The kids are put under surveillance by the Stasi, and the
government, after fi rst decrying the sport as decadent and
Western. The skaters from the East make contact with their
opposite numbers on the other side of the Iron Curtain,
and travel to Prague for a major competition that includes
legendary skaters from the West. Their journey home is
bittersweet, as they realize the full extent of the repression
they’ve been living under. At the same time, East Berlin is
The story is told with a combination of actual home movies
— the kids loved their Super 8 cameras almost as much as
their homemade skateboards — archival footage, and new
footage designed to mimic the older images shot by the kids.
The kids loved their Super 8
cameras almost as much as
their homemade skateboards.
The Super 8mm imagery is often blurry, with colors that bloom
and smear. The result is an impressionistic fi lm that conjures a
feeling of memory, an idyllic past that is simultaneously tinged
with regret and lost innocence.
This Ain’t California won the top documentary prize at the
2012 Warsaw Film Festival, and at the Berlin International Film
Festival the fi lm was honored with the Dialog en perspective
prize, which honors fi lms that foster international dialog.
The jury cited the fi lm’s “visual strength and the stylistic
confi dence of its editing. With gripping dynamics, it mixes
personal history with the collective memory of the German
Democratic Republic (GDR). We’ve rarely been so splendidly
Cinematographer Felix Leiburg and director Marten Persiel
initially looked at some digital formats, but the feeling wasn’t
right. They both made Super 8 fi lms as kids, which included
at least 20 interviews with former skaters that they used for
background and as the basis for a script.
“We could have made a normal documentary from these
interviews, but Marten had a vision for a different kind of fi lm,”
says Leiburg. “He created Panik out of three or four actual
people based on what he learned in these interviews.”
For the new footage, the fi lmmakers used skaters and
friends who were carefully dressed and made up in styles from
the 1980s. They found locations in East Berlin that echoed the
hulking concrete forms of GDR architecture.
The main cameras were two BEAULIEU 6008 Super 8
cameras. The BEAULIEU cameras could take Super 16 lenses, but
most of the time Leiburg stayed with the fi sheye 5.6mm lens that
comes standard. Two BRAUN NIZO 501s served as crash cams
that could be mounted directly on the decks of the skateboards.
The NIZO cameras were capable of overcranking and ramping at
54 frames per second. Most of the skating footage was done with
only natural light.
“It was a fun shoot,” Leiburg recalls. “It was more of a team
feeling. I became a character in the script, the kid who always
had the camera. It was an interesting experience, because
normally I’m telling people what to do, but here I was one of
them, reacting with what they did. To get convincing footage
that felt like home movies, I had to forget all my experience and
studies and become an amateur again.”
Leiburg shot 300 rolls of Super 8mm fi lm. About half was
KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negative Film 7219, and the rest
was on KODAK VISION3 200T Color Negative Film 7213. Leiburg
chose negative because it gave him more control over contrast.
Often he was imitating the look of ORWO stocks available in
that time and place, which delivered more pastel colors and less
crispness than today’s fi lm stocks.
For scenes like the competition in Prague, Leiburg shot Super
16, often at high frame rates. A shot re-creating the fall
of the Berlin Wall used a vintage cathode
ray video camera borrowed
from a museum. For some
scenes, including a campfi re
scene where the older skaters
reunite and recall the glory
days, CANON 5Ds were used.
Typically, the skaters’ words are
a mix of actual recollections and
All the Super 8 footage was
transferred to HD ProRes 4:4:4
format at Screenshot in Berlin,
chosen after tests at three different
labs. “We didn’t need to do a lot of
grading,” says Leiburg. “That was
the idea. We tested HD cameras, but we found the only way to
make it really look believable and true was to actually shoot it
on Super 8. Also, that was the only way to get all the ramping
and other crazy stuff we did, like stopping the camera and
shooting again, shooting with — and then without — correction.
We would open the door and close it while fi lming. We tried
to make as many mistakes as we could. Most of the time, I
underexposed two or even three stops. Sometimes, I found
out that I could underexpose fi ve or six stops, and even then
it looked great. I really loved that experience, and the chance
to do everything wrong. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Leiburg adds that sometimes the method that delivers
maximum resolution is not what is right for a given story.
“Super 8 doesn’t show a lot of detail, so it’s very forgiving.
What you see with your eyes and the footage are completely
different worlds. When the fi rst footage came back, we drank
a few beers and watched it. We were so relieved that our
strategy worked out.”
This Ain’t California has garnered positive notice at dozens of
fi lm festivals around the world, including the Plus Camerimage
International Festival of the Art of Cinematography in Poland,
and the Cannes Independent Film Festival, where it was named
Photos – Left page: Skateboarding in
the ‘80s (©Harald Schmitt). This page
bottom left: Skateboarding was seen
as a rebellious act in East Gemany.
(©Wildfremd Production GmbHD.)
Middle: Felix Leiburg and Marten Persiel
on the set (© Wildfremd Production
GmbHD). Right: Scene from This Ain’t
(© Harald Schmitt.)
Kees Van Oostrum, ASC got an interesting call recently
from producer Richard Middleton, whose credits include The
Artist and Hitchcock. “Richard and I go way back, and he often
calls me when he has something unusual or challenging,” says
Van Oostrum. The EMMY®-nominated cinematographer has
compiled more than 70 narrative credits, including Gods and
Generals, Return to Lonesome Dove, and the forthcoming Civil
War-set feature Copperhead.
Middleton told Van Oostrum about an interview project for
Serious Jibber-Jabber with Conan O’Brien, a non-comedic chat
show on O’Brien’s website. The interview subject was to be the
GRAMMY-winning musician/producer Jack White.
White, who is well known as a connoisseur and collector of
things analog, makes his music recordings using tape and tube
technologies, insisting that the resulting sound is warmer, less
harsh, and fuller. White had agreed to the interview on one
condition: that it be done on fi lm.
Normally the Jibber-Jabber interviews are done on a stage
with electronic cameras. The Jibber-Jabber format emphasizes
lengthy interviews with minimal interruptions.
Van Oostrum originally recommended shooting 35mm,
3-perf. “When we thought about it some more, we realized
we only need the center extraction, which actually made
2-perf an even better option. We found a system designed by
PANAVISION that used 2,000-foot mags. We thought that if
we could combine the 2,000-foot mags and the 2-perf format,
we would have 32 minutes of run time.”
PANAVISION got onboard and set up some PANAFLEX
bodies with 2-perf movements. The cameras were equipped
with 11:1 zooms. The fi lm stock was KODAK VISION3 500T
Color Negative Film 5219.
“The next thing we knew, we were shooting 2-perf with
three cameras on the stage as Conan interviewed Jack
White,” says Van Oostrum. “The interview went 110 minutes,
which we shot with two magazine changes. It worked
brilliantly. They ran quietly, which was important because it
was a pretty small room.”
Van Oostrum and Bennett
joked with O’Brien that in
100 years, this could be
the only trace left of his
Bill Bennett, ASC operated one of the other cameras. The
third camera was handled by one of the shows regular camera
operators. The cameras were mounted on fi lm-style dollies
as opposed to pedestal-style dollies that are standard for
talk show production. The interview plays out against a black
background a la Charlie Rose.
Van Oostrum and Bennett joked with O’Brien that in 100
years, this could be the only trace left of his television legacy.
It was a reference, of course, to fi lm’s archival stability, and
digital’s short shelf life, both in terms of storage instability and
FotoKem did a simple color correction under Van Oostrum’s
eye, and extracted the 16x9 image from the 2.4:1 2-perf frame.
“We emulated their normal look in terms of the black,” says
Van Oostrum. “It looked identical, except it was fi lm, so it was
much gentler and not so sharp and harsh as video.”
The wide-ranging interview covers White’s early musical
endeavors, and the effects of a Catholic upbringing and a
background in upholstery on his work.
O’Brien was reportedly enthusiastic. “At fi rst, it looked
daunting, and we needed to work out the issues in terms of
mag length and run time,” says Van Oostrum. “But in the end,
it was absolutely smooth, and everyone was excited about the
See the entire interview at http://teamcoco.com/video/
Photo: Jack White and Conan O’Brien. Photo credit: Will Becton/Team Coco
Set against the backdrop of India’s breathtaking landscape of
mountains, rivers, valleys and forests, Ballad of Rustom is a story
about seemingly ordinary people who are in fact quite extraordinary.
Rustom is a young, imaginative man working in a small
government telephone offi ce in a remote township in India. On
the surface, Rustom leads a mundane life fi xing telephone lines,
but on his adventures he travels into his dream world in the
beautiful and magical countryside that is slowly disappearing as
the town is eroded by development.
“This fi lm does not rely on the usual storytelling devices,”
explains director Ajita Suchitra Veera. “Rather it works on a very
different psychological plane. It’s traditional cinema, but where
the narrative is pushed to the background and what’s important
is the cinematic experience created through the characters’
states of minds.”
Ballad of Rustom was shot entirely on 35mm KODAK Film
in the CinemaScope format. Veera and cinematographer
Shanti Bhushan Roy shot over six months, allowing them to
capture the transition of seasons in natural light. Locations
included Southern India’s exquisite coffee countryside with their
undulating landscape of blue hills and dense vegetation.
The fi lm contains different episodes of
Rustom’s journeys, which alternate between
his real and imaginary worlds. Veera worked
diligently to utilize the desaturated colors
of the landscape, the dialogues between
different characters, and the constant
presence of nature to tell the story.
“Ballad of Rustom draws attention to
those ideas and confl icts that are very
much part of our lives and our existence
in the contemporary world, and which
connect us to an uncertain future as we
become more and more disconnected from nature with the
disappearance of our natural worlds,” says Veera.
Thus, the director chose to shoot Ballad of Rustom on fi lm
stock — not only for its aesthetic, but for what it represents.
“KODAK [Film] has always given me great choices as a visual
artist,” offers Veera. “I’m a photographer myself and I love playing
with images, light, color, contrast and texture, to bring an idea — a
story — to life cinematically. Film emulsion is very important
in expressing moods, feelings and ideas without saying much.
Complexity in a scene and characters’ states of minds can be visually
communicated with contrast and light, and emulsion is crucial in this
respect. KODAK Films give me that freedom and latitude.”
Roy explains that with the KODAK VISION3 250D Color
Negative Film 5207 and KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negative
Film 5219 stocks they could shoot with minimal lights and
extend daytime scenes. They ended up shooting a lot of magic
hours — early morning shots and many interiors where they
could not have used artifi cial lighting to gain the authenticity
both he and Veera were trying to achieve.
“We went for push-processing and a bleach bypass to increase
the grain, and to get rich, charcoal blacks and washed out colors,”
says Roy, explaining that they wanted to defi ne the landscape in the
fi lm as a character of its own. “This was only possible because of
Kodak’s ability to handle both under-exposure and over-exposure,
and still maintain the details in these areas.”
The bleach bypass was a very strong
aesthetic choice for Veera. She had
previously experimented with it on her
graduate thesis fi lm in 2004, and was keen
on a high contrast, desaturated look for
Ballad of Rustom. In fact, Veera reveals that
the imagery of the story came to her much
ahead of the narrative storyline.
“I often have images playing in my
mind that later are defi ned by a storyline,”
says Veera. “I was particular about this
desaturated color palette with a heightened
sense of monochrome to create the surreal atmosphere of
Rustom’s dream world — of technology, nature and his own
subconscious — and also to subtly blend the reality and dream
sections in the fi lm, since it constantly moves between the stark
reality of Rustom’s everyday life and his dream world.”
The cinematographer under-exposed the entire fi lm by three
stops and pushed the stock by two stops with bleach bypass on
the entire negative to attain their specifi c look.
“The 500T and 250D really helped to fi nd the image quality
we had in mind, since both have a layered grain structure which
makes it possible to extract details even with fi ve to seven
stops of underexposure,” explains Roy. “We knew the structure
of Kodak motion picture emulsion and its ability to produce
true colors and tones would allow us to manipulate the image
accordingly to suit the story.”
Photos – Top: A scene from Ballad of Rustom Right: Cinematographer Shanti Bhushan Roy
Middle: Director Ajita Suchitra Veera (Photos courtesy of IMAGINEM CINEMA Pvt Ltd India)
New Mobile Aspect
Ratio App Available
A new Aspect Ratio app is now available
as part of the KODAK Cinema Tools
application. This suite of apps from Kodak
can be downloaded for free from iTunes.
The Aspect Ratio App lets fi lmmakers
see how different aspect ratios affect a
shot. The app allows you to select a photo
from your device and overlay it with 2-perf,
3-perf, 4-perf and 16mm motion picture
fi lm formats and popular aspect ratios.
The KODAK Cinema Tools App also
Lab Locator: Find a lab or transfer
house while on the go! Using a current
location and selecting the service
needed, the Lab Locator tool will fi nd
a service provider nearby and provide
contact information as well as a map.
Sun Calculator: Helps fi lmmakers take
the guesswork out of capturing sunrise
and sunset scenes.
Film Calculator: Information can be
entered into fi elds where data is known:
format, length, run time and frame rate.
The app then calculates and supplies
the other variables. Film length can be
measured in feet or meters.
Depth of Field Calculator: Assists
fi lmmakers in determining the settings
they need to get the focus they want. The
app is designed to be used with any fi lm
format, including Super 8, 16, 35 and 65
mm. F-stops range from F1.4 – F22, with
1/3 stops included.
InCamera: Our mobile-friendly
magazine. Read about fi lm productions
around the world.
Film Products: Lets fi lmmakers
view product descriptions, technical
information, sample footage, and
provides ordering details.
Glossary of Motion Picture Terms:
Search and view defi nitions for hundreds
of fi lmmaking terms.
How To Read A Film Can: All the letters
and numbers on a fi lm can are explained
in full detail on this interactive label.
Guides & References: Kodak
proudly offers its most popular
publications in mobile-friendly
formats, including The Essential
Reference Guide for Filmmakers
and Cinematographer’s Field
Contact a Sales Rep: Whether
it’s a quick question or help with
a current or future production,
fi lmmakers can get in touch with
a Kodak representative online.
Director Michael Haussman
Paolo Roberto Caimi have
collaborated on a collection
of commercials for the Italian
jeweler and luxury goods
retailer BVLGARI. Their latest
effort is a black-and-white
spot that takes place in Rome.
The audience follows a young,
beautiful couple spending
a romantic weekend in the
“When Michael called me
to explain the storyline of the
commercial, I was pleased to
hear that the fi nal result would
be in black and white,” says
Caimi. “We chose to shoot on
fi lm stock because we wanted
the look to be very classical,
and everlasting like Rome.”
Caimi explains they decided
to shoot in color to have a
wider choice of stocks, and
given their schedule, they
needed to take advantage
of every single minute of
the daylight. They chose
KODAK VISION3 500T Color
Negative Film 5219 for the
speed and the latitude, and
KODAK VISION3 250D Color
Negative Film 5207 for the
fi ne grain and balance needed
for exteriors and daylight
“While I was shooting, I
was aware of the fact that
the fi lm would eventually
be transferred in black and
white,” notes Caimi, “but
I felt more comfortable
knowing that my negative was
balanced in terms of color
Panalight in Rome provided
an ARRI 435 Xtreme and
a set of COOKE S3 lenses
that Caimi describes as
“perfect” to reproduce a
black-and-white look that was
contemporary and classic at
the same time.
A STEADICAM captured
the perspective for audiences,
and takes the viewers on
an intimate tour of Rome.
Instead of visiting the city’s
hallmark sites, they visit
small cafes and hotels, and
the trip ends with a BVLGARI
“Every shot for the
commercial was with either
a STEADICAM or on a
dolly,” Caimi says. “We
didn’t want anything to be
static, but for our couple
to be constantly moving
through time and places.
“Elegance was really our
mandate for this spot, and
everything needed to fall into
a place of style and class,
which made fi lm the perfect
choice,” he adds.
Photos – Top: Paolo Roberto Caimi.
Bottom: Caimi and his crew. (Photos courtesy
of Paolo Roberto Caimi)
Road to London is a visual
poem that highlights the
lyrical beauty of high-level
gymnastics, and the fi erce
dedication required of an
OLYMPIC athlete. Goksu
Uctas started learning
gymnastics at age 5, and at
age 6, she moved to a city in
western Turkey to continue.
She spent years training twice
a day, and endured a series of
injuries, including a dislocated
elbow and a painful neck
hernia. Not to be deterred,
Uctas persevered and became
the fi rst athlete in history to
represent Turkey in the fi eld
of artistic gymnastics at the
OLYMPICS. She competed at
the 2012 OLYMPIC Games in
London. Despite her heroic
story, she is not especially
well known in her country.
Director Efe Oztezdogan
Meryem Yavuz to help
document Uctas’s training
regimen. Yavuz studied at the
Turkish National Film School,
and has shot several features
and more than 50 short fi lms
over the past seven years. She
has also worked as a loader
and electrician on bigger
“I prefer to shoot fi lm
when possible,” says Yavuz.
“Film was defi nitely the right
medium for Road to London.
Also, the fi lm postproduction
path is well established
in Turkey, whereas
digital workfl ows are less
To prepare for Road to
London, the fi lmmakers
studied iconic sports
director Kon Ichikawa’s
Tokyo Olympiad (1965).
They planned their project
carefully, because Uctas
could not perform limitless
takes. They spent a generous
amount of time getting to
know the athlete.
“You can feel her aura
when you enter the room,”
says producer Cem
Doruk. “She has
a strong will.
We didn’t change anything
about her actual training,
except the background.”
More than 1,000 square
yards of black cloth were hung
around the training to isolate
Uctas against black as she
performed her routines on the
uneven parallel bars and other
equipment at the gym. Each
shot and angle was planned
out ahead of time to minimize
Yavuz shot with two ARRI
435 cameras loaded with
KODAK VISION3 500T
Color Negative Film 5219, and
equipped with MASTER PRIME
lenses. Once the decision was
made to render black-andwhite
images, Yavuz felt free
to light with daylight-balanced
light — usually a single 6K
lamp, perfectly placed —
which rendered a subtly
different quality of light that
she preferred over light from a
Slow motion was also a key
aspect of the cinematography.
The over-cranked images slow
the gymnast’s movements and
emphasize her grace, power
and beauty. One camera
was usually running at 25
frames per second, a rate
that works well with the post
infrastructure in Turkey. The
second camera was mounted
on a JIMMY JIB, a small crane,
and ran at 150 frames per
second. About 30 100-foot
rolls of fi lm were exposed.
After a 2K transfer, the
color was drained from the
images digitally. Film prints
and DCPs were made.
Representatives of one of
the largest theater chains
in Turkey saw the fi lm and
were suffi ciently impressed
to show it before the main
feature in their theaters
all across Turkey. Road to
London was also screened at
the 2012 Plus Camerimage
International Festival of the
Art of Cinematography in a
special category devoted to
documentaries on sports,
gaining the fi lmmakers
positive notice and
“We plan to make more
fi lms about amateur athletes,”
says Doruk. “We hope to make
longer fi lms that examine the
personalities of the athletes.“
Photos – Courtesy of Cem Doruk
Actor. Writer. Director. Producer. There isn’t much that Timothy Van
Patten can’t do. After getting his start in front of the camera on The
White Shadow (1978), Van Patten went on to appear in a number of
fi lms and television shows, including The Master and True Blue.
In 1992, the Brooklyn native earned his fi rst off-screen credit for
directing an episode of Home Fires. Since then, Van Patten has become
a fi xture of the small screen, directing hit shows like Sex and the City
and The Wire. He cut his teeth producing on Steven Spielberg and Tom
Hanks’ miniseries The Pacifi c. And his work on The Sopranos earned him
fi ve EMMY‰ nominations.
Today, Van Patten is the executive producer and oft-director of
Boardwalk Empire. Here, Van Patten talks about the Prohibition-set hit,
how to fi nd beauty in violence, and the discipline fi lm requires.
It’s almost become a cliché to talk about fi lm’s ‘cinematic’ look,
but it really seems the most appropriate way to describe Boardwalk
Empire. While there’s a consistency to the look, it also changes
with each episode. How do you work with your cinematographer to
match the story to the visuals?
In the best case scenario, we do have conversations before every
episode begins. And this dates back to the fi rst episode, when
Jonathan Freeman (ASC) was our lead DP. We shaped the series
through referencing art, photography and other fi lms. As the episodes
went on, we tried to attach a look to the theme of the episode — and
yet stay within the overall theme for the series.
Television moves fast, so it’s challenging. You don’t always have the
luxury of time to fi nd the subtle nuances. But we really make our best
attempt to do so and it’s thrilling when it comes off.
From a visual standpoint, the show’s recent season fi nale really
stood out. There’s a lot of violence in the episode but, like Raging
Bull, the violence is beautiful to watch. Was there a specifi c
reference for that episode?
Yes. That episode was shot by Bill Coleman, who came up as an
operator; I worked with him on The Sopranos for many seasons. He’s been
a DP for two seasons now and the level of work he’s doing is astounding.
We had a very quick turnaround for that episode and had to think
fast. So when it came to the montage of violence, I thought, I’m going
to throw the kitchen sink at this thing! It’s going to be Sam Fuller,
Sam Peckinpah and Walter Hill; I’m going to reference Raoul Walsh’s
old gangster pictures of the ‘30s and, of course, we always reference
Marty Scorsese’s movies. I wanted to really make it cinematic.
There was a ton of work to do in a short amount of time, so a lot of
those montage pieces were shot from the hip. We’d literally say, ‘Get
me fi ve bad guys, get me this character, let’s go over to this alley and
have them go by in two cars and spray bullets … at magic hour!’ The
crew reacts so quickly and so effi ciently that we can pull it together,
and fi lm’s latitude allows us all to work speedily.
Why is it important for you to shoot Boardwalk Empire on fi lm?
I feel like Boardwalk Empire is sort of a throwback in the way it is
presented. With digital, it sometimes feels like there’s too much
information on the screen. With fi lm, we can control the image much
more. It just feels much more personal.
What’s the biggest misconception about shooting on fi lm?
I think it boils down to the budget. Digital is faster and cheaper and
that’s not always a good thing. We can move around quickly and do
multiple takes and never cut, but that has its downside as well. There’s a
lot of discipline in fi lm.
Why is it important for you to know the images you create will be
viable decades from now?
It’s cultural. You look back at fi lms. It’s history!
As much as audiences might hate it, it’s always impressive when a
show isn’t afraid to kill off a central character. Even in a show that takes
place in a world of violence, is it diffi cult to make those decisions?
We fall in love with these cast members, but the story wants what
it wants, and we can’t just hold on to an actor because we like him or
her. Sometimes it’s necessary to kill one off. We just go with the story.
Of all the characters you’ve ever killed off, who has been the toughest?
Adriana on The Sopranos. The day we did that, it was absolutely
reverential. No one could deal with the fact that our beloved friend —
and a beloved character — wasn’t going to be there anymore.
Anything you can tell us about Boardwalk’s upcoming season?
There’s going to be a heavy body count!
Photos – Top: Timothy Van Patten (L) discusses a scene with Shea Whigham (R). Lower right: Kelly
Macdonald and Steve Buscemi star in Boardwalk Empire. (All photos: Macall B. Polay / HBO)
InCamera is published by Eastman Kodak Company. To see our expanded online edition, go to www.kodak.com/go/incamera. To be
featured in the magazine, please contact your local representative. You will fi nd your Kodak representative contact information at
© Kodak, 2013. KODAK, EASTMAN, VISION, VISION2, VISION3, and the fi lm numbers are trademarks. OSCAR is a trademark of the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. EMMY is a trademark of, and copyrighted by, the National Academy and American Academy
of Television Arts and Sciences. Imax is a registered trademark of the Imax Corporation.
The opinions expressed by individuals quoted in articles in InCamera do not necessarily represent those of Kodak Limited, Eastman Kodak
Company or the editors of InCamera. Because of our constant endeavour to improve quality and design, modifi cations may be made to
products from time to time. Details of stock availability and specifi cations given in this publication are subject to change without notice.