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Hurricane on the Bayou

Hope and Deliverance

Super 16

Creating compelling TV

January 2007


EDITOR

Martin Pearce, Chapel Publications

Martin.Pearce@btconnect.com

BUSINESS EDITOR

Elisabete Perazzi

elisabete.perazzi@kodak.com

PUBLISHER

Judith J. Doherty

Judith.Doherty@kodak.com

ADMINISTRATIVE EDITOR

Laura J. Watson

laura.watson@kodak.com

CONTRIBUTORS

CCS/pr Inc.

Lesley Dunlop

Simon Gray

Charles Hewitt

Dominique Maillet

Patrick Williams

DESIGNER

Nick Vince (gvmc)

nick@gvmc.co.uk

Original design by Stuart O'Neil

PRINTERS

Ideal Printers

Steve@idealprinters.co.uk

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COVER PICTURE: Plane on the bayou in Louisiana

in a scene from filmmaker Greg MacGillivray’s

Hurricane on the Bayou.

contents

cover story

2 Hurricane on the Bayou

Powerful IMAX® film from Greg Macgillivray

about the devastation wrought by Hurricane

Katrina in New Orleans.

feature films

5 King Naresuan

Biographical film with lashings of action about

King Naresuan the Great of Siam.

6 La Sconosciuta

Filmed in Trieste, this Italian feature has been

described as “a mystery with horror overtones.”

8 Curse of the Golden Flower

Based on a Chinese stage play, this wuxia film

reunites cinematographer Zhao Xiao Ding and

director Zhang Yi-Mou.

9 Mustafa/Massimo

Swedish DP Andréas Lennartsson aimed for a

flexible and ‘living’ camera look for this feature.

10 London to Brighton

Gritty portrayal of 30 hours in the lives of a

prostitute and a runaway who are fleeing from

gangsters.

12 Tell No One

Romantic detective story from French actor/

director Guillaume Canet and cinematographer

Christophe Offenstein.

13 Crossing Paths

Tristan Whitman and director Charles Oliver

make the leap from commercials to narrative

filmmaking with this their first feature.

14 Puritan

Described as ‘a modern film noir’ this feature

explores the line between past and present and

natural and supernatural.

15 Ten Canoes

Shot entirely in an Aboriginal language, this is a

story of wrong love, kidnapping, sorcery, mayhem

and revenge gone wrong.

16 Eragon

Blockbuster about a callow youth whose find of

a dragon’s egg leads him on a quest to find his

destiny.

18


2

32

18 Salvatore- Questa è la vita

Disney has backed this all-Italian film which was

shot in Sicily.

tv productions/documentaries

20 The Shield

As it enters its fi nal season, this gritty realistic

series continues its bold approach to

cinematography.

21 Walt and El Grupo

Feature documentary that recounts the 1941

journey that Walt Disney and a group of his key

staff took to South America.

22 Sybil

Joe Sargent and Donald M. Morgan remake the

classic TV movie about a woman with multiple

personality disorder.

24 Torpedo

Hard-hitting character-driven TV series from

Norway.

25 The Wind in the Willows

BBC production of the classic children’s tale.

26 Super 16 special

Four cinematographers discuss their use of the

Super 16mm format to make compelling TV

programmes. This special looks at Friday Night

Lights, Lincoln Heights, In Case of Emergency and

Tell me you love me.

32 More

Snowboarding documentary brings audiences

closer than ever before to the heart of one of the

world’s fastest sports.

36 Mountain Hawk Eagle

An ex wild boar hunter and bird-lover teamed up

for this documentary.

commercials/music videos

33 Other Half

Jendra Jarnagin used this spec spot to create a

show reel.

34 Jordan Klein Jr

Like his father, this cinematographer specialises in

aquatic cinematography both on and under the

water.

35 Bright House

Raising the standard of local television ads.

38 Invisible

Award-nominated music video that portrays a

female boxer who snatches victory from defeat.

other

30 Imagecare

Labofilms, Mexico

Taipei Motion Picture Corp

Report from Rochester Conference

37 Grand Teton

David Vassar captures nature on camera at the

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

39 News page

40 On Campus

Information from the perspective of student

filmmakers including UFVA Conference, Brooks

Institute, Civil Schools of Milan.


Large format film

PHOTOS: 2006 MACGILLIVRAY FREEMAN FILMS

2

“All of my films are part of a mission to educate people

about the need for conserving the natural wonders of the

world. It’s a contribution that I feel we can make, especially

on IMAX® theater screens. Whenever I get a chance to

work on a conservation-themed film I put my heart and

soul into it.”

Greg MacGillivray was editing an

IMAX® theatre film about what

would happen if a hypothetical

storm breached the levees

separating Lake Ponchartrain from New

Orleans. Hurricane Warning was designed

to focus attention on the urgent need to

protect the city and wildlife living in the

adjacent natural

habitat from

the predictable

devastating

effects of a flood

caused by a

major storm.

MacGillivray

had shot some

90 percent of the

film at practical

locations in

New Orleans

and in the

adjacent bayou.

He planned to

complete production by using computer

graphics to simulate a hurricane and flood

along with images of actors portraying

desperate people trying to reach safety by

breaking through the roofs of their homes.

MacGillivray was deep into postproduction

on August 29, 2005, when

a Category 5 hurricane targeted New

Orleans. He immediately decided to

return to the city to document the havoc

wrought by Hurricane Katrina and the

flood that followed in its wake.

The result is Hurricane on the Bayou,

an extraordinarily powerful film that

brings audiences into intimate contact

with the cultural heritage of New Orleans,

its people, and wildlife that lives in a

natural habitat adjacent to the city. The

film documents the aftermath of the

storm and flood and the devastation and

heartache they caused.

“I wanted Hurricane on the Bayou to go

beyond our previous films emotionally,”

MacGillivray says. “It’s such a huge

tragedy with such heartbreak that I felt

we had an obligation to tell this story

right so people understand the dimensions

of the tragedy. I love New Orleans and the

InCamera January 2007

Above: Sunset on the bayou in Louisiana in a scene from the film.

bayou. I think it’s a unique region and city.

If we lose it and the wetlands of Louisiana,

we have lost part of America that is

irreplaceable.”

The Audubon Nature Institute in

Louisiana initially contacted MacGillivray

about three years ago. They believed that

he could help to enlighten the public and

spur the

government

to action

before a

disaster

occurred.

The wetlands

adjacent to

New Orleans

were eroding

mainly

because of

man-made

problems,

including

the reengineering

of the flow of the Mississippi

river. They also accurately predicted

that a devastating flood with drastic

consequences was inevitable if action

wasn’t taken.

MacGillivray followed up by conducting

his own extensive research. He concluded

that the ongoing erosion of the Delta

made a massive flood inevitable. In

addition to the dangers facing the city

and people of New Orleans, a natural

habitat where birds, alligators and

other wildlife thrived was threatened.

MacGillivray committed to making the

film in partnership with the Audubon

Nature Institute and Louisiana state.

His interest was no surprise to

people who knew MacGillivray and his

works. He began shooting 8mm surfing

films off the Southern California coast

when he was 14. The teenager converted

his family’s garage into a mini-theater,

where he screened his films for friends

and neighbors. After high school,

MacGillivray and his boyhood friend Jim

Freeman began collaborating on the

production of 16mm films, including Five

Summer Stories, which Rolling Stone

Magazine called “the ultimate surfing

movie.”

The Story be


hind the film

Their partnership lasted for more than

10 years until 1976 when Freeman was

killed tragically in a helicopter crash only

days before the premiere of To Fly!, their

first IMAX theatre film. MacGillivray has

subsequently produced and directed

32 other IMAX films. He earned Oscar

nominations in 1996 for The Living Sea

and in 2000 for Dolphins, and critical

acclaim for The Living Sea, Coral Reef

Adventure and Everest, among other

films. Los Angeles Times film critic Charles

Champlin called them “poetry in motion.”

MacGillivray recruited New Orleans

filmmaker Glen Pitre, whom critic Roger

Ebert dubbed “the father of Cajun

filmmaking,” to craft a proposed storyline

for Hurricane Warning. Pitre also helped

to orchestrate some 600 interviews with

New Orleans residents talking about their

lives and feelings about the city. After

watching tapes of about 125 of those

interviews,

MacGillivray

chose blues

guitarist and

songwriter

Tab Benoit,

teenage jazz

fiddle player

Amanda

Shaw, zydeco

specialist

Chubby

Carrier,

and singer/

songwriter

and Rock

and Roll Hall

of Famer Allen Toussaint to introduce the

audience to the city and its people.

“We chose musicians because music

is the soul of New Orleans,” MacGillivray

explains. “We filmed scenes with Tab,

Amanda, Chubby and Allen in clubs where

they performed, in their homes, and

at various other places in the city and

bayou.”

He decided to feature one species of

animal in the wetlands. MacGillivray chose

alligators because they are an interesting

life form that fascinates human beings.

His research revealed that alligators

haven’t been prominent in other IMAX

theatre films.

There are breathtaking shots of

alligators charging the camera, chewing

their dinners two feet away from the lens,

and swimming above the camera as seen

from the perspective of an underwater

tank. There is also an emotional scene

where Amanda Shaw is watching about

a dozen baby alligators crawling on their

mother’s belly and chest. You can feel the

love they shared.

MacGillivray recalls that it seemed

surrealistic when he heard TV news

reports about Katrina hitting the city.

It was one of the strongest storms in

American history.

“Hurricane Katrina changed our plans,”

he says. “Within days of the hurricane

breaching the levees some 80 percent

of New Orleans flooded. An important

part of our cultural heritage was being

washed away and millions of lives were

shattered. I felt that we had to document

that tragedy.”

MacGillivray couldn’t contact anyone

in New Orleans the day the storm hit

because all telephone communications

were down. He decided it was his

responsibility to go back and film the

aftermath of the storm. That same day,

MacGillivray put a team together, planned

logistics and tried to anticipate the

unknown.

They drove

trucks across

the country

carrying three

IMAX theatre

cameras, an

ample amount

of film, and

all the other

gear and

supplies needed,

including

gasoline, huge

containers

of water and

enough dry food for 10 days. They also

carried sleeping bags, generators and

iridium telephones that could be charged.

They were self-sufficient.

Above: Scene from filmmaker Greg MacGillivray’s Hurricane on the Bayou.

Large format film

“We didn’t have permits or permission,”

he says. “We made signs saying what we

were doing, and talked our way through

police and National Guard roadblocks. It

took a couple of 16-hour days to drive

from California to New Orleans.”

McGillivray also contacted Spacecam

inventor Ron Goodman who brought his

gyroscope system and shot aerial views

of the ravaged city from a helicopter they

arranged to borrow from a movie crew

that was shooting in Florida. The second

camera was in a boat and the third one

was on the ground, usually on a tripod.

“We shot dialogue scenes with a syncsound

camera,” he says. “I found out

early on that you can’t loop or use ADR

to replace dialog, because the audience

will notice out-of-sync sound in an IMAX

theater when the mouth is 10 feet tall.

We developed a camera that’s quiet that

puts the audience right there with the

characters.”

January 2007 InCamera 3


Large format film

4

Bright daylight scenes were recorded on

EASTMAN EXR 100T 5248 color negative

film and the relatively new KODAK

VISION2 500T 5218 stock was used in

other circumstances. He notes that the

images were at least a third sharper with

a 100 percent tighter grain structure than

the color negative film used to produce

his earlier IMAX theatre films.

“We filmed people being rescued

and working to repair the levees, and

documented damage caused by the

flood,” he says. “We also revisited people

and places that we had filmed before

to see how they fared. There are stories

of survival and heartbreak, including

Amanda visiting the mother alligator and

discovering that only a few of her babies

survived. No words were sufficient to

express Amanda's sorrow.”

There were no hotels or other amenities,

so most of the crew camped at Pitre’s

darkened house. They coped with multiple

hazards, but MacGillivray says that their

biggest concern was the presence of

poisonous snakes in the bayou.

MacGillivray went back to New Orleans

a third time to film Toussaint, Shaw, blues

vocalist Marva Wright, Carrier, and a 20person

choir singing a gospel ode at the

historic St. Louis Cathedral. Steve Wood

wrote the song, which he calls “God’s

Good Hands” as an expression of “hope

and faith.”

InCamera January 2007

Sassoon Film Design created computergenerated

images of a hurricane hitting

the coast with the wind and water

roaring through the bayou and city. Those

images were seamlessly composited with

background plates filmed by MacGillivray

and his crew. Other CGI was done by

Alan Markowitz and David Keighley

Productions.

“It’s kind of a hybrid documentary

using some narrative film techniques to

recreate what happened when the storm

hit,” he says. “We didn’t make anything

up. It’s exactly what happened. The visual

effects recreate the membrane roof of the

Superdome being torn off and a water

tower toppling and crashing into the

bayou.”

IMAX is a compression of the words

image and maximization. Images are

recorded on a 70mm wide frame that

is 15 perforations long. David Keighley,

president of Los Angeles-based DPK

70MM, estimates that it would take 18K

resolution scanning to capture all of the

nuanced image information recorded

on a single frame of film shot in IMAX

format. DPK 70MM is a subsidiary of IMAX

Corporation.

The negative was processed by

Technicolor. After workprints were

synchronized with sound, MacGillivray

saw them projected on a 15-foot wide

screen in 35mm, while seated in a theater

at the proper IMAX theatre viewing angle

of about 90 degrees. His

notes provided a roadmap

for editing the film. Meryl

Streep narrated the script,

and Wood and Steve

Dorand compiled a blend

of jazz, blues and gospel

background music for the

soundtrack.

Hurricane on the Bayou

premiered at the Entergy

IMAX Theater in New

Orleans on the first anniversary of the

storm. It is scheduled for worldwide

distribution to IMAX theaters around

the globe. The original negative,

including outtakes, are archived by DPK

70MM in a humidity and temperature

controlled environment along with

all of MacGillivray’s previous IMAX

theatre films. Keighley observes, “Greg

MacGillivray’s IMAX theatre films are an

irreplaceable record of contemporary

history. Future generations will be able to

look at Hurricane on the Bayou and his

outtakes to get an honest picture of what

happened when Katrina hit New Orleans

and why that tragedy occurred.

“Greg’s IMAX theatre films are also

frequently re-released for new generations

of moviegoers. To Fly!, his 30-yearold

first film is currently featured at

the Smithsonian. There are also new

geographic markets where people have

never seen these films before. Some 25

IMAX screens are slated to open in the

People’s Republic of China by the end of

2008.” ■

"There are

breathtaking shots of

alligators charging the

camera, chewing their

dinners two feet away

from the lens."

Below: Filmmaker Greg

MacGillivray (center)

and crew members on

the bayou in Louisiana

preparing to shoot a

scene for Hurricane on

the Bayou.


Royal director

Director Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol and cinematographer

Stanislav Dorsic create a Thai blockbuster.

for a royal epic

K

ing Naresuan is a biographical film with lashings

of action that traces the rise to power of King Naresuan

the Great of Siam, now known as Thailand. During

his reign from 1590

until his death in 1605,

King Naresuan oversaw the

biggest territorial expansion

in Siam’s history. With an

extensive period of principal

photography that befits such

a vast story, from the end of

2004 to October 2006, King

Naresuan was directed by

Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol

(The Legend of Suriyothai),

with cinematography by

Czech-born cinematographer

Stanislav Dorsic. The film is the biggest budget production to be

shot in Thailand, costing some 500 million baht

(over US$13 million).

To capture the scale of the mostly exterior settings, including

battle tableaux involving elephants, horses and hundreds of

soldiers, Dorsic used the fine grain and generous latitude

of KODAK VISION2 50D 5201. For low-light situations, the

cinematographer switched to KODAK VISION2 250D 5205.

“Knowing from tests that the two stocks matched seamlessly,

I was able to switch to the 250D with total confidence whenever

the situation called for it.” For the interior scenes, Dorsic used

KODAK VISION2 EXPRESSION 500T 5229.

The cinematographer complemented the Kodak stocks with an

array of filtration. “I’m very passionate about the use of filters.

On this production I used quite an extensive kit, consisting of the

usual correction filters, as well as polarizers, softening filters for

portrait close-ups, antique suede to enhance the warm tones of

the exterior locations and of course, smoke, which I love using

as a general softening filter. For me, filters are like herbs in a

recipe, they provide that subtle addition to the imagery that

makes it come alive!” The cameras used on King Naresuan were

an ARRIflex 535 B, ARRIflex 435 ES and

Moviecam Compact.

Apart from the normal vagaries of a

movie set mainly in exterior locations, such

as constantly changing weather conditions,

a particularly challenging location was the

King’s palace as it is decorated with gold

paint which acted like a mirror reflecting all

the lights. The problem was solved through

judicious placement of HMIs outside with

a few appropriately gelled tungsten lights

inside providing the warmer tones. The

main location was the Surasiha Military

Base in the Kanchanaburi province, the

largest province in central Thailand and well known for being the

location of the infamous bridge over the river Kwai.

Given the considerable size of the production, many of the

crew were sent overseas for training and industry professionals

with experience on blockbuster films acted as consultants.

Director Prince Yukol says that “The generous assistance we got

from international professionals equipped the Thai crew members

with the knowledge and skills for them to work at their fullest

potential thus raising the Thai film industry to new heights. Our

aim is to compete on a global scale!”

“The best thing about being a cinematographer is when I’ve

shot a film that I’m really proud of it is good to see the buzz in

the newspapers and on the internet that the audiences enjoyed

seeing it nearly as much as I did shooting it!”

The production company for King Naresuan was Prommitr,

the producer was Mom Kamla Yukol and the film was released in

December 2006. ■

Feature Film

Above: Director Prince

Chatrichalerm Yukol

Below: Scene from the film

January 2007 InCamera 5


Feature Film

6

Fabio Zamarion

films Tornatore’s

La Sconosciuta

F

ilm director Giuseppe Tornatore

described his latest film La

Sconosciuta (The Stranger). “It’s a

mystery with horror overtones. An

Eastern European woman is the heroine.

We filmed in Trieste – a city I love. A city

that’s not quite Italian, but not ‘un-Italian’

either. A beautifully lit city.”

Actually, leading Italian DP Fabio

Zamarion created La Sconosciuta’s

extraordinary lighting. After a solid

grounding as a top-ranking camera

operator working for Vittorio Storaro, ASC,

AIC, and other great DPs, Fabio progressed

to lighting major films himself. Films like

Emanuele Crialese’s Respiro and David

Grieco’s Evilenko.

But La Sconosciuta was Fabio’s first

collaboration with Tornatore. How did

this opportunity arise? Fabio explained

“Laura Fattori, the film’s producer, told

me Giuseppe Tornatore wanted to meet

me. He’d seen my work and wanted me to

shoot his new film. We had a long, wideranging

discussion during which we talked

a little about everything, and Giuseppe

told me a lot about himself and how he

works.”

“Giuseppe wrote the story and the

screenplay. Broadly, it’s a film noir, with

a solid story. We shot all the exteriors in

Trieste and the interiors at the Papigno

studios in Terni. Now I can say that I’ve

worked with a director in the broadest

sense of the term. A professional who

knows exactly what he’s doing, knows

what he wants, and who isn’t satisfied

until he achieves it. Essentially, Giuseppe

is in a creative competition with himself.

So he’s never content with anything he

has predetermined in the screenplay

InCamera January 2007

phase. Instead, he’s stimulated by the

presence of everyone working around

him. And, in return, making a film with

him stimulates everyone involved. For

me, it was unquestionably a ‘professional

marriage’. He’s the director everyone hopes

to work with, at least once, because in

professional terms, working with someone

Below: Director Tornatore (centre with hat)

Fabio Zamarion (front right) with members

of the technical crew.

Opposite:(main picture) Director Giuseppe

Tornatore. In front of clapper board-

Principal actress Ksenia Rappoport

like this forces one to outdo oneself.

You’re compelled to keep up with him. On

the set, you can’t stop. Filming is a nonstop

work-in-progress, launched by him,

that automatically carries along everyone

around him. He’s a true cinematic genius,

and to be a worthwhile colleague one has

to make an extraordinary effort.”

“He’s thoroughly prepared in every

possible way. From framing each

individual shot to the visual style of the

film in the broadest sense. Quite simply,

when it comes to the camera, he’s the

most thoroughly prepared director I’ve

ever met. He’s intimately familiar with

every side of the film, from sound to

photography to editing. He’s incredibly

competent when it comes to photography.

Giuseppe was, and still is, a photographer.

Photography is the key to his way of

seeing, and the key to his films.”

“We screened a few 1940s RKO

films – especially The Leopard Man

with its expressionistic use of light and

shadow — to help us create the right

atmosphere. We tried to create cold,

almost monochromatic lighting for this

unnamed city in northern Italy that — in

a sense — was itself a leading character in

the film.”

“This was the first feature on which I

had to work so intuitively. Intuitive in the

sense that, although the specific choices

always came from Giuseppe, my role

was not simply to deliver them. Instead,

I had to be flexible, even trying to find

valid alternatives to his suggestions. An

enormously stimulating challenge, and

one that helped me to grow into my role.”

“Giuseppe’s unusual approach intrigued

me. For example, we never used video

assists when shooting La Sconosciuta. We

didn’t review the images on the set. It

was shooting in an old-fashioned way —

yet in a modern

manner! He

wanted to get

the best possible

performances

from the actors

without them

being influenced

by seeing earlier

performances.”

“Giuseppe

also chose

this method

of working

to reduce

substantially

time spent

on the sets.

Contrary to

what one

might think, reviewing immediately after

shooting is needlessly time consuming.

Why? Because everyone on the set will

want to give opinions. Opinions based on

unfinished material; based on unedited

images. A largely pointless exercise.”

“We handled the light elegantly,

because the story, the actors, and the

editing were more important than the

light. Of course, we had to create the right

atmosphere – the right mood. But, in a

sense, the story required the control of the

atmosphere by using light.“


"He’s

the most

thoroughly

prepared

director

I’ve ever

met."

“In general, all of my films are photographically

different from one another,

because they focus only on the story and

on interpreting the director’s vision. My

working philosophy is that while the film

is part of the structure, it is the film’s

lighting that creates the structure. After

the first screening of Respiro, director

Emanuele Crialese said ‘That’s exactly

what I wanted.’ That’s the finest praise

a cinematographer can receive for his

work!”

“To uphold the highest possible

standards I use tried and trusted

professional choices — in both human

and purely technical terms. On the human

side, I’ve used the same colleagues and

collaborators for many years. For example,

Roberto Luzi, my lead cameraman,

who is an outstanding operator. As for

the creative hardware, I used ARRIflex

cameras with Ultra-Prime lenses, because

the film needed separation with strong

contrasts. For separation and transparency

from my choice of film, I used – as I

usually do – KODAK VISION2 500T and

250D films. They are extraordinarily good

tools.”

“Whenever possible I work with

the Cinecittà Lab. They are a good

organization technically and I have

excellent relations with them. My lead

technician, Stefano Santini, has been

with me since I first came to Cinecittà.

Filmmaking often involves working in

unpredictable conditions. So having at

least a few stable points of reference is a

great help — and a confidence booster.”

“In comparison with Giuseppe’s earlier

films, we used camera movements

sparingly. The story didn’t need them.

Instead we searched for expressive

simplicity – almost a return to basics. So

in some ways, this film was a renewal

Feature Film

for Giuseppe. Our shooting technique

— pared-down and linear — was different

from his earlier films. Obviously, the

strong, distinct stylistic character of

his work is still there. But for me its

essential quality is a perfect balance

between production design, costumes, and

photography. A balance that’s obvious in

every frame of his films.”

“We didn’t use Digital Intermediates

in post-production. I much prefer the

traditional route. Why? Because I’m

convinced the Digital Intermediate route

removes part of the signal — a sizeable

strip of the negative. Others might argue

that digital methods let you expand your

images at will. But, in fact, as soon as you

compress your signal, damage is done.

Conversely a chemical signal contains so

much information – it’s so vast, so flexible,

and so transparent. Those are qualities

that no digital medium can provide.

And because I come from a television

background, and because I’ve used TV

cameras extensively, it would be difficult

for me to give up making traditional films.

That is, using negatives, interpositives and

internegatives to do everything to the

highest level.”

“Filming La Sconosciuta was 16 weeks

of bliss. When you’re doing your best

possible work for a director who, every

day, gets excited about what you have

produced, you can’t honestly wish for

anything more. So I’m happy; and I hope

this complex film will have the success

it deserves. So if it’s a hit, that will mean

there are people who are starting to pay

attention to a different type of cinema

– one with true content.” ■

January 2007 InCamera 7


Feature Film

8

Trouble in paradise

Above left:

Cinematographer Zhao

Xiao Ding checks a shot

with Steadicam operator

Raymond Lam

Above right:

Director Zhang Yi-Mou

working with actor

Chow Yun Fat

InCamera January 2007

C

urse Of The Golden Flower is the latest epic period

film by director Zhang Yimou. Cinematographer Zhao

Xiao Ding, is a graduate of Beijing Film Academy and

was Yimou’s collaborator on Hero and House of Flying Daggers

(Oscar-nominated for Best Cinematography in 2004). With a script

loosely based on the well known 1934 Chinese stage play Thunder

and Rain by Cao Yu, The Curse of the Golden Flower relocates the

story to an imperial family living just before the Tang Dynasty, a

time known for its lavish visual beauty. The Imperial Palace is the

main setting for the King’s struggle to maintain the balance of

power between the King (Chow Yun Fat) and the Queen (Gong Li),

and his three sons. Betrayal, deceit and passion pit King against

Queen, and father against son.

As befits a wuxia film, The Curse of the Golden Flower is

resplendent with elaborate swordplay, flying fighters and vast

battle scenes. In this genre, an elegant, dynamic and fluid style

of camera movement is essential, To capture the complexities of

the action sequences, one of which takes place in a deep valley

and features flying attackers ambushing galloping horsemen,

Xiao Ding introduced several new pieces of equipment to Chinese

filmmaking. The Flying-Cam®, a remote aerial photography system

using a stabilization mount on an unmanned helicopter was

used to capture sweeping dramatic shots over the horsemen.

He also employed a MovieBird® telescopic crane and a MK-V AR

Steadicam system to provide visual excitement to every shot.

A Hong Kong and Chinese co-production between Edko Film

Hong Kong and Beijing New Picture Film Company, The Curse of

The Golden Flower is budgeted at US$45 million, making it the

biggest budget Chinese production to date.

“Zhang wanted every frame to be very beautiful to look at,”

recalls Xiao Ding. “Initially, he wanted to use HD cameras for the

project. However, the limited post-production schedule, (principal

photography was completed on 8th of July, and the public release

was at least a week before the end of September in order to

qualify to enter the Oscars), convinced Xiao to use 35mm film as

the acquisition format. He’s more familiar with film and feels that

it is more reliable, without surprises!”

Xiao Ding used only two stocks throughout principal

photography, KODAK VISION2 500T 5218 for the studio interiors

and night exteriors and KODAK VISION2 50D 5201 for day

exteriors. While the cinematographer had previously used 5218

on House of Flying Daggers, apart from a film test for Kodak

conducted in 2005, this was the first time Xiao Ding had used

5201. “The stock has excellent color reproduction and latitude,

which gave Zhang exactly the look he was after. These stocks

were great for matching the extensive day-for-night footage with

actual night shoot”, comments Xiao Ding. “Many of the palace

exterior night

“These stocks were great

for matching the extensive

day-for-night footage

with actual night shoot.”

wide shots had

to be shot dayfor-night

as the

palace was so

huge that to

light it all was

impossible, even

with our budget,” the cinematographer quips. “These wide shots

had to match the footage from actual night shoots that were

part of the same sequence. The stocks matched perfectly and the

result is a seamless sequence!”

Given the sheer logistics of the production, all types of lighting,

from 18K HMIs to tiny 200w parlights were pressed into service.

Inside the studio Xiao Ding’s lighting package ranged from 24K

to small 150w tungsten lights. Shot in super 35, 2.35 to 1 aspect

ration, the A-Camera was the ARRIcam ST, with an ARRIcam LT as

B camera and Steadicam. Two ARRI 435s were used for the high

speed action sequence and Xiao Ding used his favorite lenses,

Cooke S4s for the whole shoot.

Interestingly, Xiao Ding finds that working on commercials,

especially car TVCs, is often more challenging than feature films

“It’s all cinematography though. What I love is the process of

constructing the image through the lens, regardless of whether

it’s a 6th century Imperial Palace or a Lexus!”

Digital color timing for the film was done by Warren Lynch

(The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Moulin Rouge). DI and

post production was done at Park Road Post in New Zealand. The

visual effects were the work of Centro Digital Pictures in Hong

Kong and The Moving Pictures Company in the UK. ■


Football,

flings and

fun with

Andréas

Lennartsson

Just a few weeks after graduating from Stockholm’s

Dramatiska Institutet in 2004, Andréas Lennartsson

was asked by Director Mani Maserrat-Agah

(Kommissionen, Den osynlige) to shoot footage for a feature

teaser when the cinematographer went on early paternity leave.

Lennartsson was working on a documentary for Swedish

television when he took the week off with Maserrat-Agah and

Screen Writer Jens Jonsson (God morgon alla barn, Stenjäveln )

to film young people playing football, falling in love and having

fun at the Gothia Cup. “We turned two hours of interesting and

inspiring footage into a teaser that reflected the atmosphere and

visual approach of the feature,” remarks Lennartsson. However,

work didn’t begin work on Mustafa/Massimo until a year later.

“I wasn’t asked if I wanted to be DP; I just stayed in the project

after that inspiring week!” he says. “I’m very happy Mani trusted

me and Göta Film didn’t question his wish to retain me, after all it

was our first feature.”

Although the teaser footage had been shot on EASTMAN EXR

250D 7245 and KODAK VISION2 500T 7218, the production

company planned to shoot Mustafa/Massimo on video. Maserrat-

Agah and Lennartsson, however, convinced them otherwise and

chose KODAK VISION2 250D 7205 and KODAK VISION2 500T 7218.

“One of the most important lessons I learnt on Mustafa/

Massimo is that it’s incredibly important to convey visual ideas

to make-up, costume and production design,” notes Lennartsson.

“I discussed with them a list of key words describing a warm

Latin look, such as ‘heat’, ‘sweat’, ‘flare’, ‘reflections’, ‘movement’

and ‘depth’. We agreed that daylight scenes would be warm and

yellowish and night time scenes yellow or blue green; certain

colours would be emphasised and others banned; and shiny

materials would be used in clothes and sets and to give the actors

an oily look. As a result we’ve captured beautiful highlights on

actors’ faces and bodies and achieved a consistent image in harsh

sunlight as well as extreme low light conditions.”

Roy Andersson’s En Kärlekshisforia (A Swedish Love Story) was

a great visual inspiration as well as the works of various Latin

American cinematographers. “I tried to recreate the atmosphere,

mood, colour and light in a clandestine 1981 torture chamber

scene in Buenos Aires in our scene in the toilet of a modern

Gothenburg disco,” he says. Using 7218, Lennartsson added 85

gel to the toilet windows and blue green filters to the fluorescent

lights. “We only added an 18W fluorescent above and to the side

of a mirror. I shot at F2 with 25mm and 50mm lenses and got a

beautiful flare from the ceiling lights and a nice contrast on the

actors’ faces.”

Aiming for a flexible and “living” camera,

Lennartsson shot entirely handheld. “We

needed to work quickly and retain the

documentary feel of the teaser so we found

locations with natural or available lighting and

made light and shadows work for us. I wanted

to blow out and overexpose parts of the image

quite brutally in certain daylight scenes and I

was really surprised at just how much I could

underexpose 7218 and still get a beautiful

effect. We also shot scenes in counterlight,

where much of the picture was five to eight

stops overexposed, and achieved good results.”

And in a scene on a bus full of youngsters en

route to Gothenburg the exposure range varied

by seven to eight stops. “We didn’t treat the

stocks carefully, but they were really nice to

us!” he comments.

“In a disco filled with 3,000 young people,

my light meter read “error” – but I crossed

my fingers, exposed at F1.3 and the scene

looks great!” Lennartsson enthuses. Then on a night exterior in

Gothenburg, his light meter read F0.35. “Electrician Dan Sandqvist

and his assistant Sanna Karacsony carried a battery-powered

handheld light for fill and at one point Dan even used the light

from his mobile phone to put a highlight in an actor’s eye! Some

of the most beautiful images are the ones we shot at night with

basically no light,” concludes Lennartsson.

Cinema release for Mustafa/Massimo is planned for

summer 2007. ■

Feature Film

“In a disco filled with 3,000 young people, my light

meter read “error” – but I crossed my fingers."

Top: DP Andréas

Lennartsson filming in the

centre of Gothenburg.

PHOTO: KRISTOFFER KLING

Above: Two scenes from the

film which illustrate use of

available light.

January 2007 InCamera 9


Feature Film

10

Above: Christopher Ross

with Actress Georgia

Groome.

InCamera January 2007

Escape on the Lon

“C

ritics and festival audiences have reacted to London

to Brighton in such an amazing way that it’s hard to

remember the tough times on set”, remarks British

Director of Photography Christopher Ross about his

debut feature.

Friends from university, Ross and Producer Al Clark bumped into

each other at the 2001 screening of Writer/Director Paul Andrew

Williams’ Royalty, the short film on which London to Brighton

was loosely based. Four years later, when Williams was looking for

a DP, Clark set up a meeting with Ross. The DP was immediately

attracted to Williams’ “well scripted” story. “Although it’s from

the fairly well-trodden genre of British social realism, London to

Brighton was different to anything I’d seen or read before,” he

says. “It is a very real moral tale about honour, responsibility, loyalty

and revenge, told through the eyes of the film’s few characters.

Paul’s take was that it was a thrilling character-piece rather than a

thriller and our stance for blocking and camera placement of every

scene would be determined by the actors’ movements.”

London to Brighton is a gritty portrayal of 30 hours in the

lives of Kelly (Lorraine Stanley), a prostitute and Joanne (Georgia

Groome), a young runaway. Bruised and hysterical after fleeing

gangsters, they take the night train from the capital and find

refuge at a friend’s house in Brighton. But there’s no respite after

the gang catch up with them.

Ross and Williams agreed on a “philosophy” rather than a look

for the film. “We wanted it to feel as true to life as possible,”

states Ross. “We emphasised the dramatic reality of locations with

the lighting and documented the action with a ‘casual observer’

approach to camera placements. We didn’t use any non-human

viewpoints and every scene except one was handheld.”

The pair gave careful consideration to the aspect ratio. “Paul and

I wanted to shoot London to Brighton in 2.35:1 ratio, ideally 35mm

anamorphic, because we felt it was important to lift the film away

from its social realism roots and make it feel more cinematic.

But after toying with Super 35 we couldn’t get the numbers to

work, particularly on two camera days,” says Ross who finally

decided to shoot in Super 16 2.35:1 ratio and produce an

anamorphic release print.

Ross approached Molinare about potential pitfalls, but the only

issue was the visibility of the grain. “From a technical perspective,

when most cinemas convert from 1.85 to 2.35, they merely bring

the top and bottom of the screen together and put a tighter

anamorphic lens on the projector rather than open the screen up,

so the screen size is actually reduced for anamorphic projection,”

he explains. “More significantly, the negative undergoes the same

level of expansion for 1.85 as it does for 2.35, so we thought ‘why

not go widescreen?’ and we did. As far as we’re aware, it’s the first

time a film has been shot in this format in 16mm.”

PHOTO: CHRISTIAN HALLMAN


Ross originally considered using a selection of the slowest film

stocks to minimise grain in the blow-up process. “I always knew I

would use KODAK VISION2 500T 7218 for night exteriors, but after

testing other stocks I decided against mixing them in case we got

a disjointed grain structure. In the end we used 7218 for the whole

film and rated it at 320 ASA to reduce the grain and burn a little

into the negative. I’ve shot under similar conditions with KODAK

VISION 500T 7279 and there’s no way I could have considered

2.35:1 before the introduction of 7218.”

Ross’s lighting package included 2.5kW HMIs for daylight

interiors and Kino Flos and Dedos for night interiors. “Night

exteriors were always fun and a bit of a challenge. Sometimes

we only used a Sungun, other times several tungsten units and,

on occasion, just a miniflo and a bit of luck. My gaffer, Andy

MacBrearty, found some great sodium-vapour Atlas-style lamp

heads which we used to augment the street lights for the urban

night exteriors and they worked like a charm.”

A key drug den sequence at dawn, mid afternoon, dusk and

night was shot over four days in a single-windowed 15 by 12

ft room. “For dawn, I used two 2.5kW HMIs spotted through the

window with flags cutting the light to provide a low raking dawn

sunlight, lots of atmos and a couple of practicals which were on

throughout the set-ups as a kind of reference,” recalls Ross. “I

kept the sunlight off the actors’ faces or used it as an edge and

underexposed by about one-and-a-half stops. I softened the

2.5kWs for day scenes and flooded them a little, bringing their

light onto the whole room. For dusk sequences which combined

the interior and exterior, we took 2.5kWs all the way down to

just a soft fill through the window, cranked up the practicals and

augmented them with hidden Kino Flos, Dedos and zaps, plus one

of Andy’s homemade ‘wagon’ lights to simulate candlelight. The

only trick was to keep the contrast on the low side so that when

the drama kicked in at night we would still be able to crank it up

a notch.”

don to Brighton

In a key scene

towards the end of

the film two cars

pull up in a field

and everyone gets

out and all hell

breaks loose. “A

‘moonlight’ edge

light would have

been very wrong, so

I lit the scene as if the headlights and tail lights of the cars were

the only source of light in the field,” says Ross. “I used primary red

in several set-ups around the car boots as a homage to Goodfellas

and shot the rest of the scene in various forms of silhouette cast

by the headlights of the car and two rigs of 1000W full spot par

can pairs. We pulled the rigs over the set, to edge and side-light

and used other par cans to flare the lenses.”

Ross was concerned that four days wouldn’t be enough for

the grade, but with Molinare’s Northlight scanner at 2K res, a

Baselight grading suite with digital projection facility and the help

of Tim Waller, Molinare’s digital colourist, he “flew through it.”

“The advantage of Baselight 8 is that the whole film is right there

on the computer, so if a set-up from the first reel is repeated on

another reel you can switch backwards and forwards comparing

and overlaying grades from one to the other. There are power

“We emphasised the dramatic reality of

locations with the lighting and documented

the action with a ‘casual observer’ approach

to camera placements."

windows for mattes, vignettes and grads and lots of other

tricks that can help pull the film together. Molinare worked on

the effects shots while we graded the images, then the effects

elements were added to the graded image and checked. The digital

negative was burnt-out to an IN using Molinare’s own LUTs on

the ARRI Laser and the resulting IN was answer printed at Deluxe

under Paul Dray’s watchful eye.”

“Post supervising a low budget feature film is always a

challenge,” states executive producer and post supervisor Gisela

Evert. “But with Molinare’s careful attention and professional

support during the DI process, we were able to visually enhance

the quality of the Super 16 negative. Tim Waller’s grade with

Baselight contributed towards the gritty narrative of Paul Andrew

William’s already harrowing story.”

“Making London to Brighton was an uphill struggle for everyone

concerned, as low budget films usually are, but its success is

testament to everyone’s hard work and determination,” comments

Ross. “From the director to the camera car driver and the great

actors, everyone gave 110%. We’ve pulled off a film that’s touched

so many people and is so much more than the sum of its parts.”

Director Paul Andrew Williams was awarded the Skillset

New Director’s Award for London to Brighton at the Edinburgh

International Film Festival. ■

Feature Film

Above: (L to R) Boom

Operator Paul Cornish Camera

Trainee Emma Brown Grip

Ferris Ferhat DoP Chris Ross

and 1st AD Sarah Mooney.

Left: Director Paul Andrew

Williams shows the way to the

next set up.

PHOTOS: CHRIS BOYCE

January 2007 InCamera 11


PHOTO: JEAN-CLAUDE LOTHER Feature Film

12

F

rench actor-director Guillaume

Canet teamed up for a second time

with cinematographer Christophe

Offenstein to make Tell No One. They

first met on a French soap opera shoot in

1988. Then Offenstein was an electrician

and Canet an unknown actor.

‘’I’ve always wanted to make films,

but I took an unusual route to get

there”, recalls Offenstein. “Although I

shot short films early on, I’d had little

experience as an assistant. Neither had

I gone to film school. My basic training

was in photography; training that proved

invaluable when making movies.”

“Tell No One is adapted from the

Harlan Coben novel. François Cluzet,

Kristin Scott-Thomas, Jean Rochefort,

Nathalie Baye and André Dussollier head

an impressive cast. The film is a romantic

detective story. On one level, it’s a police

investigation; but for the main character

he’s searching for his lost love. A love lost

when she becomes the tragic victim of

a vicious serial killer!”

“She reappears eight years later

on her lover’s computer. Her

strangely photographed image

in the middle of a crowd scene

greatly moves him.”

“The director wanted to accentuate

an emotional sensitivity. The images are

not ‘hard-hitting’. That was deliberate. The

idea was to translate the main character’s

hope of getting some meaning back into

his life. So we shot the flashbacks in warm

tones — with perspiring actors performing

in the heat of a mid-August countryside.”

“We filmed over 14 weeks in and

around Paris with shoulder-mounted

Panavision cameras. Working this

way complicates some set-ups.

But it worked brilliantly. Director

Guillaume Canet operated one

of the cameras himself. By

such close involvement in

the filmmaking process he

discovered effects that a

director wouldn’t otherwise

suspect. The best way to

be close to the actors and

understand a story is to shoot

it. You don’t make a film to

show lighting; you make it to

InCamera January 2007

Tell No One

A romantic detective story

film actors. I accept that in a particular

sequence the light may not be great for

a moment. But with a camera on his

shoulder, Guillaume didn’t hold back from

anything on the set. Working like this,

Guillaume made the acting realistic and

believable. We captured some wonderful

moments of magic and grace while

shooting this film.”

“We filmed Tell No One on KODAK

VISION2 5218 500T, 200T, 5217 and 100T

5212 films, all adjusted to the required

temperature and colour. Why 5212?

Because it has less colour saturation and

contrast compared with 50D 5201. We

wanted soft images in the flashbacks and

woodland scenes to be in harmony with

nature. We lit with tungsten lighting

throughout, to get colours that

would have been impossible

with ’daylight’. With

tungsten, there are

many ways to adjust the appearance of

the finished image. The latest films give us

much greater latitude. But we must still

consider what effect post-production will

have. Before, in films, you could expect

some poor facial colour. But now, if you

have good digital post-production, you

can work around this.”

The professional partnership between

Christophe and Guillaume positively

sparkles. “We have true mutual

understanding”, the cinematographer

confirms. “It all happens so naturally.

Guillaume describes the atmosphere he

wants, then I interpret it!” ■

"You don’t

make a film

to show

lighting; you

make it to

film actors."


Tristan Whitman and director Charles

Oliver had collaborated for more than

a decade on commercials when they

decided to make the leap to narrative

filmmaking with Crossing Paths. Oliver

wrote the script, which tells the stories

of Ana (Minnie Driver) and the man who

takes her son hostage and accidentally kills

him (Jeremy Renner). They only meet once,

when she sees him in prison prior to his

execution for the crime.

Upon reading the script, Whitman

immediately began combing the internet

for source photos to explain to Oliver

how he envisioned the film. Eventually

the filmmakers devised a distinctive

look for the past and present of both

main characters, as well as a fifth visual

signature for the single sequence in which

they both appear.

Whitman made extensive use of the

KODAK Look Manager System (KLMS) to

try out various looks. He used the software

to emulate various choices in contrast,

color, and processing techniques, including

bleach bypass. Production designer

Luke Freeborn also took part in the previsualization.

During production, Whitman would print

out or e-mail manipulated photos to the

lab and other collaborators to show them

what he had in mind. “Using KLMS saved

us a lot of money,” says Whitman. “It

allowed us to do extensive testing without

a lot of expense to determine exactly

what we wanted, and to communicate

that to the lab and the people at Deluxe

Toronto who will be handling the digital

intermediate.”

The visual signature devised for each of

the two main characters represents how

that character is seen by the other main

character. Minnie Driver’s character is seen

in the present in a faded, bleached-out

Kodachrome look.

“You can tell that at one time she had

vibrancy in her life, but the pain she’s

endured since the loss of her son has

sucked the color and life out of

her,” says Whitman. “In her

past look, we see warm

earth tones. She is a

working woman,

but her life is

inviting.”

Renner as Saul is seen in the past in

a harsher milieu. “His past is depicted

with a bleach bypass look,” says

Whitman. “The present, in prison, is

almost monochromatic, like a duotone

photograph.”

Whitman used older stocks – KODAK

VISION 500T 5279 and KODAK VISION

250D 5246 films – and slightly

underexposed to add to the grittiness of

the images.

“We shot Ana’s look clean, with no

filtration,” says Whitman. “Saul’s past look

was photographed with a cyan filter. We

enhanced the looks with lighting. Using

KLMS, we decided to skip the bleach on

the negative rather than on the print,

which adds more contrast and sucks more

color out of the images.”

The format was 3-perf Super 35, which

results in a 2.41:1 widescreen aspect ratio.

The A camera was a Panavision Millennium

and the B camera was a Panavision

Platinum. The lenses were Primo primes

and a Primo zoom.

“Panavision and Kodak were extremely

helpful to us on this project,” says

Whitman. “We could

not have made this

picture without their

assistance.”

An ambitious visual design for

Whitman, working with his gaffer Mike

Walsh, found that a soft side light worked

well for Driver’s face. “We wanted her to

look good, but not glamorous,” he says.

“For Jeremy, the light was more toppy,

creating shadows in his eyes. It’s not a

very flattering light, but his character is

shadowy and he is going through rough

times. We wanted to communicate

that this person made some very bad

decisions, but at the same time he didn’t

set out to kill anyone and under different

circumstances he might have been a good

person.”

Crossing Paths

Feature Film

KLMS helped keep everyone on the same

page, and it gave Whitman the confidence

to take chances. “Sometimes we had the

laptop on set, and we’d print photos I had

taken with my digital camera to show how

far we were going to go with a certain

look or scene,” he says. “We were able

to show the gaffer, the producers, and

everybody else. That got everyone on the

set excited about what we were doing.

Also, the dailies timer was able to get the

images pretty close to the final look. That

way people aren’t surprised when they see

the finished film.”

His motto for the project was, “If I’m

not pushing myself to the edge, I’m not

doing it right. We told ourselves that we

had one chance to get it right,” he says.

“Charles and I decided from the start that

the entire cast and crew must know that

we were of one mind. We would look

at things and say ‘Is it enough? Is it too

much?’ But we never let each other skimp,

or pull back. We had a small budget, but

we knew we could make it look bigger

than what it cost.” ■

January 2007 InCamera 13


Feature Film

14

InCamera January 2007

Puritan a modern film noir

“C

inema audiences are used

to seeing fully lit faces,

particularly during

dialogue scenes, and

breaking this convention was a challenge,”

admits British Director of Photography

Peter Ellmore of Puritan, his second

feature with Writer/

Producer/Director Hadi

Hajaig (The Late Twentieth).

A modern film noir,

Puritan explores the

seismic fault line between

past and present, natural

and supernatural. It is the

story of one-time writer

and crooked medium

Simon Puritan (played by

Nick Moran) who lives

in a house designed by

17th century architect

Nicholas Hawksmoor.

A troubled man with a failed

marriage, Puritan’s heavy drinking

fuels his obsession with the

paranormal as he investigates links

between supernatural events and

Hawksmoor’s churches. After an

accident, he is visited by Jonathan

Grey, a disfigured and intimidating

man who tells him about his wife

Anne (Georgina Rylance). Then

Puritan meets her and the dark plot

unfolds.

Ellmore was intrigued by

Hajaig’s supernatural storyline and

the opportunity to experiment

with lighting. “Photographing in

extremely low light without the

image breaking up into murky

blackness was my greatest challenge

and sticking to our plan when nothing

could be seen on the video assist took a

certain amount of courage. I needed solid

blacks with a pleasing fall-off of natural

looking light and colour and no distracting

grain, and KODAK VISION2 500T 5218

helped me to achieve this,” he says.

In order to maintain the film’s classic

feel, Hajaig chose to go down the

traditional optical route. “Hadi was keen

to create a believable ambience on set

by creating real darkness, which was

extremely challenging and a real test

for the stock,” comments Ellmore who

was careful not to disclose too much in

the frame and often only revealed half

a character’s face or silhouetted a face

against lighter walls. “Hadi wanted a

sedate and steady feel with very little

camera movement, strong composition

and shadowy interiors to enhance the

supernatural ambience and mystery of the

characters and their world. It’s a modern

film with a timeless feel and a rich, very

dark look that evokes a past era.”

Hadi cited The Postman Always Rings

Twice, Double Indemnity and Body Heat as

visual references for the film. One scene

in particular that typifies this approach is

Anne Grey’s entrance into Puritan’s life. “It

is marked by a classic lighting approach

that captures an elegant radiance

reminiscent of a Hollywood starlet,”

explains Ellmore. He used black nets

behind the lens to give an attractive glow

to light sources in frame and an attractive

diffusion on longer lens portraits.

“The effect is subtle, but there may be

something in the audience’s subconscious

that will remind them of older films,” he

muses.

He lit night interiors with overhead

soft sources such as 2kWs with chimeras

or Chinese lanterns and created “accents

of light” on walls with ARRI 500s and

Dedos. “I tried to incorporate as many

practical sources as possible to oppose

the darkness and maintain contrast and

supplemented them with Lowel Rifa lights.

They’re compact, lightweight and the

diffusion hood conveniently opens like a

square umbrella. I placed various diffusion

materials in front of them and grouped

together up to four units to provide a

large soft source of light.”

Below: Anne Grey (Georgina Rylance) in a scene from Puritan.

Right: Eric Bridges (David Soul)

Red, Hajaig’s favourite colour on

35mm, was gelled onto windows and

lights throughout the film and in a

large auditorium scene in which Eric

Bridges (David Soul) makes a speech, the

entire perimeter was lit with red lights.

Ellmore maintained a consistent balance

of darkness that provides a powerful

introduction to Soul’s character.

Would Ellmore willingly shoot that

dark again? “A great deal of my work errs

on the darker side and extremes of light

within a frame always attract me. Creating

interest and visual focus in an image is

something I look for and Kodak stocks

have consistently enabled me to achieve

this,” he replies.

Puritan was selected for screening at

London Frightfest 2006. ■


Ten Ten Canoes Canoes

float back in time

T

en Canoes was written by

Rolf de Heer in collaboration

with the people of Ramingining,

a community of Yolngu people

in Central Arnhem Land, in Australia’s

Northern Territory.

Produced for Vertigo Productions

by Julie Ryan and Rolf de Heer who, in

September, became the first Australian

director to receive the prestigious Silver

Medallion Award from the Telluride Film

Festival, the film is de Heer’s eleventh

feature and the first feature film to be

shot entirely in an Aboriginal

language - predominantly

Ganalbingu.

Ten Canoes was inspired

by indigenous performer and

Australian screen icon, David

Gulpilil who showed De Heer a

black-and-white photograph of

ten canoeists, taken by 1930’s

anthropologist Dr Donald

Thomson. It is about a young man

who covets one of the wives of

his older brother. To teach him

the proper way, he is told a story

from the mythical past, a story of

wrong love, kidnapping, sorcery,

mayhem, and revenge gone

wrong.

The uniquely Australian story has

earned international critical acclaim,

winning the 2006 Cannes Film Festival

Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize and

takes the viewer into a world never before

seen providing rich insights into Australian

indigenous lifestyles and cultures.

Co-directed by de Heer and Peter Djigirr,

a key member of the Arafura Swamp

people, the film was narrated by Gulpilil.

Australian Director of Photography, Ian

Jones, ACS joined de Heer in their fifth

collaboration and for over twelve weeks,

the crew transformed Murwangi, an old

cattle station at the edge of the Arafura

Swamp, into the production base camp.

With no choice but to make their own

tracks into locations, the crew quickly

became adept at pulling their weight,

building sets, warding off crocodiles and

setting up for shots.

The film is set in two separate time

periods: the mythical past, just after

the time when the ancestors lived and

set the rules and standards of life, and

then a more recent but unnamed past,

when people lived according to the laws

created by the ancestors. It

uses color and black and white

to make the time distinctions.

A contemporary black-andwhite

sequence duplicates Thompson’s

photographic work and we are then

transported back to “Dreamtime” which is

shot in color using Steadicam.

Converting to black-and-white

influenced the choice of film stock. “When

you shoot black-and-white, if you want

to take that scene to color, you can’t,”

explained Jones. “You’re committed to

that. We didn’t know how the ebb and

flow of the film would go day-to-day, so

to lock ourselves into black-and-white

would have been a big gamble.”

Local film laboratory, Atlab, discussed

options with de Heer and Jones and

arrived at an agreement that meant Ten

Canoes would be Australia’s first 4K

digital intermediate. This allowed Jones

to work with color stock and later, where

necessary, to pull out the color. After

extensive tests, Jones found that the

KODAK VISION 320T 5277 had enough

grain to “give us a nice, ballsy blackand-white”.

Jones chose KODAK VISION2 500T 5218

for the color stock and to help him get the

contrast down. “Rolf liked the saturation

of the colors with Kodak, so we ended

up going with the 5218. The high-speed

meant I could eat into the dark areas and

have control over that later on.”

Although Jones prefers to shoot

anamorphic, the digital intermediate

process persuaded him to shoot in Super

35mm. “Generally, I’m not a believer in

Super 35mm,” he comments. “With the

Selected by the Australian Film Commission as Australia’s

official entry for the 79th Annual Academy Awards® Best

Foreign Language Film category, Ten Canoes is the first

feature film to be shot entirely in an Aboriginal language

image being manipulated at the end, you

never see the final result, whereas with

the anamorphic system, what you see is

what you get. With the DI process, you

don’t lose a generation when you squeeze

so you can keep an ideal image. Super

35mm also gave us more flexibility in the

low light scenarios we found ourselves in.”

The cast of non-actors demanded a

very basic shooting style

and a second or third take,

a close-up or mid-shot was

simply impossible because

the untrained indigenous

actors had difficulty

repeating what they had

just done. Fortunately

Jones’ significant Steadicam

experience provided the

solution, allowing the DP to

give the frame an interest

while conversations or action

took place.

Working with an old

ARRI BL4, modified to an

Evolution, with a set of Cooke

S4s, Jones quickly adapted to

de Heer’s simplistic shooting

style. Even using a generator for lighting

became an issue because de Heer wanted

to record the natural sounds of the bush.

To get around this problem, Jones used

flecky boards and white sheets. To pull

absolute detail from the eyes of the dark

skinned actors, he used inverters that

silently converted 12 volts to 24 volts,

along with small HMI sun guns for the

eyes. The result is stunning. ■

Above: Ian, Rolf and crew.

Feature Film

January 2007 InCamera 15


Feature Film

16

Hungarian dragon’s

egg hatches

monster action

From the country that invented the ballpoint pen, holography

and the BASIC computer programming language comes a tale of

flying lizards in a $100 million blockbuster movie from ex-ILM

visual effects supervisor and first-time director Stefen Fangmeier.

Y

ou can imagine the telephone

conversation: ‘Hi Mike, we have

this big action sequence to shoot.

Yes, several hundred extras, a

couple of dragons - with Dragon Riders

on top – the evil Varden and lots of Orcs

– oops no I mean Urgal. It’s a sort of

invasion by the forces of dark so it’ll be

night shoots. No it’s in Hungary for three

weeks. Yes that’s right, and by the way

the action all takes place in an extinct

volcano.’

Mike Brewster, 2nd unit director of

photography, didn’t reveal if that was

in fact the opening gambit which led

to his name on the credits of Eragon.

It’s just the latest cinematic venture

into the land of the good, the bad

and the downright disgustingly ugly

prosthetics. Based on wunderkinder

author Christopher Paolini’s bestselling

fantasy novel, the story follows a callow

youth who discovers a strange stone. It

turns out to be direct from the Dragon

Egg Marketing Board and leads him on

a quest to find … his destiny of course;

nothing new there then. As Brewster

puts it with something of a twinkle in

his voice, “There are good dragons and

InCamera January 2007

evil dragons, and a good princess and a

good king.” The next part of the sentence

is not that they join forces with Luke

Skywalker, but a similarly gung ho young

man, Eragon, to fight the evil king. “And

of course they win through in the end!”

laughs Brewster.

His light-hearted synopsis may not

be exactly what Paolini fans regard as

accurate, or indeed reverential enough,

but no matter how Brewster views the

plot he certainly regards the filming as

seriously as any of his past projects. And

those projects look mightily impressive;

2nd unit DP on the last three Harry

Potter outings and Lost in Space as well

as 2nd unit director credits on The Life

and Death of Peter Sellers, Dinotopia and

Legionnaire.

With that calibre of listings it is not

surprising that 2nd unit director Peter

MacDonald called on Brewster to handle

this latest monster-task. They first

worked together on Star Wars: Episode V

– The Empire Strikes Back in 1980:

“He is just the most wonderful man to

work with, very talented,” says Brewster,

“He’s like Leonard Bernstein conducting

an orchestra – he covers every angle,

knows everything and sees everything.

He’s inspiring and he just pushes you

as far as he can. And you rise to the

occasion.”

High praise indeed, matched only by

Brewster’s enthusiasm for Kodak stock;

"I always shoot on Kodak. It’s easily the

most flexible and tolerant stock.” As

an example he sites a flying sequence

he recently did on Harry Potter and the

Order of the Phoenix; “We had to film

on the river Thames during the magic

hour. The director wanted detail in the

sky as well as reflections in the water

to register. We were shooting off very

powerful RIBS (Rigid Inflatable Boats)

doing 32 knots and the camera was

rigged off the front on Libra heads

and taking an enormous amount of

punishment. You would normally shoot

that sort of stuff on Hi Definition

because it is so forgiving at night – they

did a lot of that on HDTV on Collateral.

But the punishment the cameras were

taking, Hi Def units would have lasted

about a minute.” Brewster’s answer was

robust film cameras and a versatile film

stock. He experimented with KODAK

VISION2 500T Colour Negative Film 5218

and forced it two stops. “The results were

outstanding – just outstanding,” reflects

Brewster. “That’s what I mean about the

tolerance of the stock; it is so durable

“The 5218

stock is such

a durable

and tolerant

stock and I

just love the

reproduction.

And those

characteristics

are true right

through the

range.”


Above: Actor Ed Speleers

takes aim in a scene from

the film.

Inset left: Jeremy

Irons (right) gives one

of his most cherished

possessions, his sword,

to Eragon.

Inset right: Actor Ed

Speleer in a scene from

the film.

Feature Film

and you can push it so much. Even just spraying cameras all over the place,” anybody.” There were four British camera

pushing it by two stops you were hardly enthuses Brewster.

crews on the volcano sequence and

aware of the grain.”

Brewster also used the 5218 stock as

main unit DP on Animal Farm. “Because

we wanted a really gritty look, I forced it

The main unit DP was Hughie Johnson,

a name most often seen sharing the

credit rolls with Ridley Scott - GI Jane,

White Squall, 1492: Conquest of Paradise

one Hungarian. “The local guys were

superb,” declares Brewster. “I can’t really

say enough about them – it was just a

wonderful collaboration.”

two stops and underexposed it two stops and Kingdom of Heaven. Johnson set the With such massive forces to organise,

to try and bring the grain out,” he recalls. style for Brewster’s 2nd unit. “Because planning and timing were of the essence.

“It was actually quite difficult! But I the whole thing was at night and it However that meticulous preparation

think it’s such a durable and tolerant was a big battle scene, there were lots took a bit of a knock on one scheduled

stock and I just love the reproduction. of fires, and that really determined the night shoot: “We were shooting with all

And those characteristics are true right style.”

cameras – another massive sequence for

through the range.”

On Eragon, Brewster did not have

to force develop, “It was pretty normal

filming really.” And then, without a

trace of irony, he continues “There was

a village inside the volcano and its rim

was surrounded by Wendy Lights plus

12 and 24kW Dinos on towers when we

ran out of cranes for the Wendys. It was

a bit like a football stadium. You could

turn lights on and off depending which

way you were facing and the rest of

the village had lamps hidden in huts or

behind things. And that was basically it.”

The ‘normal filming’ also involved

eight ARRIcam cameras on the floor and

on cranes – including the largest Techno

Much of the action was filmed in

Hungary and Brewster found the working

conditions and the people outstanding.

“One of the most memorable things was

the crew – there wasn’t one weak link.

Everyone was just so good. I had my own

gaffer Tommy Finch with me, but we also

had a local gaffer to communicate with

all the Hungarian guys. He has gaffered

for Vilmos Zsigmond, AIC, and it doesn’t

get much better than that!”

Very often DPs working out of their

own country face cultural and working

practice differences that can irritate

both sides and cause delays and friction.

Eragon was a very happy exception

for Brewster. “The camera crews were

the invasion. Half way through the night

Peter MacDonald said to me ‘OK, how

long it will take you to turn around and

face the other way?’” Brewster laughs

raucously. Prefixed with an expletive

most definitely deleted, Brewster replied

“I don’t know! We’ll be as quick as we

can. Myself and the gaffer and the

electricians turned the whole set around

in just two hours. I and everybody else

thought that was a bit of a miracle.”

That sort of phenomenal working would

normally attract a small beer from the

2nd unit director. And on this occasion?

“He bought me dinner!” laughs Brewster.

And we can be sure it wasn’t dragon

goulash either. ■

Cranes. There was also a helicopter rig just phenomenal. You didn’t wait for

for the flying dragon sequence. “It was January 2007 InCamera 17

PHOTOS: DAVID APPLEBY © 2006 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Feature Film

18

Below: (L to R) Actors

Galatea Ranzi and

Enrico Lo Verso

Director Paolo Cugno

DP Gino Sgreva, AIC.

InCamera January 2007

Disney has placed its first-ever

wager on an all-Italian film.

Salvatore – Questa è la vita

(Salvatore – This is Life ) was

financed by the giant American company,

which is also handling its overseas

distribution. Director Gian Paolo Cugno

and Paolo Di Reda co-authored the

screenplay that persuaded Globe Films’

Producer Pietro Innocenzi to finance

the project and brought Buena Vista

International’s Paul Zonderland on board.

Cugno’s debut feature, Salvatore

– Questa è la vita was lensed by Gino

Sgreva, AIC. During the course of Sgreva’s

career, he has created the look of many

major films and television dramas such

as Antonio guerriero di Dio (Anthony,

Warrior of God), Oltremare (Overseas), Il

trasformista (The Chameleon) and Ferrari.

His latest film is based on the true story

of Salvatore, a young Sicilian orphan,

who faces the daunting task of finding a

substitute father. Despite his tender years,

he supports his elderly grandmother and

little sister by catching fish and working

in a tomato farm, but it leaves him no

time to go to school. When a teacher from

Rome (played by Enrico Lo Verso) arrives

to take up a teaching post in Sicily, he

hears of Salvatore’s plight. He puts his

own career on the line to give the boy

lessons and helps him find his own path

in life. Soon they become inseparable.

InCamera talked to Gino Sgreva, AIC

about the cinematographic highlights of

Salvatore – Questa è la vita .

Disney backs

Salvatore

Q What type of images did you create to

accompany the splendid Sicilian setting

and the dramatic storyline?

A “We wanted to show Sicily without

any clichés, an island that is not sunparched,

earth-coloured or Mafia-ridden,

so the Director and I decided to use winter

light which lends a certain crispness to the

colours. You can feel the wind and the sea

and it’s often cloudy at that time of year.

You also meet the real people with their

daily routines of school, work and little

everyday problems.”

Q The film is set at the southernmost

tip of Sicily and Europe, where there is

a tangible blending of Mediterranean

cultures. How did the cultural and

regional characteristics influence your

cinematography?

A “It’s fascinating that philosophers

such as Gorgias and Pythagoras grew

up in Sicily. In fact, the pre-socratic

philosophers’ discourses on the four

elements – air, water, earth and fire – were

often in my mind during filming. In Porto

Palo, the elements are so intense that

they almost have a physical presence, not

to mention a spiritual one. Everything I

perceived about being there – feeling the

wind on my face, seeing the sea and sun,

inhaling the scent of tomatoes, being able

to touch the sand – strengthened the

concept that this is life in the ‘here and

now’.”

Q Is there a particular shot in the film

that encapsulate those thoughts?

A “There’s a conversation on a terrace

with a low angle close-up of Galatea

Ranzi from which we see the island and

the currents of Porto Palo. The clouds are

scudding along at a hundred miles an

hour, driven by an incredible wind and

there’s a bleak sun in an extraordinary

sky. That scene is proof of everything I’ve

just described. It’s no longer an abstract

concept or a piece of philosophy. These

earthly elements are an integral part of

the story and on screen they become

tangible for the audience to assimilate.”


Q What experiences did you have in

terms of casting and locations?

A “The aspects I’ve mentioned were also

present in the people, in their colours

and features, in the physiognomy of the

individual Sicilians who make this island

unique. They gave us an unconditional

welcome and unconditional support. The

elements have shaped their features and

moulded their eyes and appearance as

well as the appearance of the landscape.

It made this film a unique and wonderful

experience.”

Q Did you devise any specific lighting

tricks to help you achieve a realistic

winter light or did you simply use the

existing environment?

A “The sun was always at a lovely low

angle and it created very beautiful gilded

contrasts between light and darkness.

We shot a spectacular scene in the fish

market at Porto Palo with the fishermen

coming in from the sea. I recall the red

hues of a huge 35lb dentex and traps

full of prawns and crayfish. The force

of nature, of life, is more intense here

than elsewhere. Colours, atmosphere and

sounds tell a story that even people who

aren’t acquainted with the location can

understand.”

Q What does ‘consciousness’ mean to

you and what role does it play in your

work?

A “I had the good fortune of studying

the myth of Plato’s Cave at school, which

is really a discussion of consciousness.

Human experience often comprises

consciousness of the shadows and not the

light. Light raises an issue of spirituality,

and therefore an issue of knowledge

and an approach to the truth – or an

examination of faith. If human dimension

is anything more than merely abstract

and a reflection of our daily experiences, it

should be something tangible.”

Q How did you decide on the shooting

medium?

A “The imaginative and intellectual effort

of making a film demands a medium

that can relate thoughts, emotions and

sensations on the screen, and what

constitutes them, day after day, every

time the camera rolls. You need a medium

with a certain richness and the ability to

record and recreate it for the audience. I

believe that even today film is still the best

medium.”

Q Which stocks did you choose?

A “I used KODAK VISION2 50D 5201 for

the first time and it’s the stock I’ve wanted

for years! It conveys the same dynamics

and tonal richness in the highlights and

the shadows that my eyes can see. It

allowed me to preserve crisp shadows and

capture clouds without any graininess,

even in strong light. The result was clean,

brilliant and colourful and watching it

on screen gave me unparalleled pleasure.

I chose KODAK VISION2 250D 5205 for

daylight interiors. The stock has almost

no competition; when it was paired with

Zeiss Ultra Primes I often thought: ‘I’m

seeing something here; now does the

film sees something more?’ With KODAK

VISION2 500T 5218 for night interiors

and exteriors, I could turn off the lights

and work in the borderline area of what

was visible and what was not, which was

enormously satisfying. The stock conveys a

rich contrast between light and dark, with

tonal richness in the lowlights as well as

the highlights. Kodak film is getting closer

and closer to what the eye of a sensitive

person can discern.”

Q How does Salvatore – Questa è la

vita fit into your own creative journey?

A “The challenge with every scene is to

use less and less light; to work towards

transparency in the penumbras and the

glimpses. I suggest ideas to the audience

and then it’s up to their sensitivity,

their capabilities and their imagination

to see everything. Experience gives me

the confidence to take risks and face

controversy in a very personal way. The

more I learn, the more courage I have to

make mistakes. I also have the ability to

acknowledge them. It’s fundamental if one

wants to grow.” ■

Director’s comments

I first worked with cinematographer Gino Sgreva

at the end of the 1990s. At the time I was a

director’s assistant and I was struck by Gino’s artistic

qualities and his human touch which were parts

of his outstanding passion for the job. He doesn’t

simply light a picture; he tells a story through the

lighting, entering into the very soul of the film. His

professional contribution to Salvatore is significant

because he has interpreted the emotions and

feeling of the film with sensitivity and respect. His

cinematography encourages viewers to share this

small but important story that I, as Director, have

imagined for them.

Gian Paolo Cugno

Feature Film

January 2007 InCamera 19


TV Production

PHOTO: MICHAEL OCKENFELS

20

The Shield adapts as

technology evolve

The FX Network series The Shield is entering its final

season. From the start, The Shield has had a bold, unique

approach to cinematography.

Aspects of the visual style have

evolved over the years but for its

entire seven-year run, The Shield

has been posted at LaserPacific in

Los Angeles.

“LaserPacific has been supportive and

accommodating in every respect,” says

Rohn Schmidt, cinematographer on The

Shield. “I like the fact they can handle

every aspect in one place."

“I appreciate the continuity,” he says.

“It’s nice to work with familiar people you

know you can depend on. It’s important to

keep things personal even though they’re

doing some very complicated technical

work. They’ve hung on to some older gear

that is part of The Shield look, and we

really appreciate that.”

Schmidt’s goal continues to be to create

an unplanned, on-the-go look that is the

opposite of perfect. “The Shield always

looks best when it looks like Vietnam war

footage,” he says. “It has high contrast,

and not all the information is there. It’s

kind of rough and tumble, and you can

feel the grain and texture. If it starts

looking too pretty, it’s not working.”

LaserPacific has processed and telecined

literally millions of feet of 16mm film

InCamera January 2007

for The Shield. “Sometimes we’ll make 25

hours of dailies in seven days for a single

episode,” says Schmidt. “When you shoot

that much film in extreme situations,

like we do, there is occasionally an issue

with a scratch or dirt. There are never any

awkward situations like you might have

with one house processing and another

doing the transfer.”

Schmidt covers the action with ARRI

SR 3 cameras that are usually mounted

with zoom lenses. “As the show has

evolved, we’ve gone with using a lot of

handheld shots, and that’s partly because

our operators have become masters at it,”

says Schmidt. “They know the actors, and

the actors have gotten used to it as well.

It frees everyone up to follow his or her

instincts.”

Schmidt and his team have developed a

number of unusual techniques

for introducing controlled

imperfections into their

shots. One is to exclude the

operators from rehearsal.

That way, they’re seeing

and reacting to the action

as they’re filming it. The

result is spontaneity

that is absent from

rehearsed shots.

Another

method

of introducing realism

through the photography

is the in-shot aperture

change. Schmidt did

away with wireless

aperture controls, and

instead instructs the

operators to adjust the

aperture by hand, hitting

a tape mark.

“It provides a raw, messy, iris rack,” says Schmidt.

“It’s either late or early, and it just feels great. You’ll

come out of the dark room and it will be too bright

for a couple of beats, and then they’ll hit the iris

and stop down. You get that feeling of reacting to

the situation in the room.”

As film and telecine technologies have improved,

Schmidt has adapted his technique to maintain

that look. During earlier seasons, he used as many

as four different emulsions. Today his cameras

are loaded with one stock, KODAK VISION2 HD

Color Scan Film 7299. That scan-only film stock

is designed for use with the KODAK VISION2 HD

Digital Processor, which emulates the imaging

characteristics and “looks” of various other

negatives. But Schmidt uses the film as a versatile

capture medium and works with LaserPacific to fine

tune the look he wants.

“We’re using that one stock for everything—day

exterior, night exterior, or even free driving at

night,” he says. “We achieve the texture in part

by seriously underexposing, usually a stop to a

stop and a half. We’re way down in the toe of

the curve. Sometimes I’m putting in five stops of

neutral density, but we get the look we want. It’s

remarkable what is available in the response of

the film. There’s a great continuity now between

all the scenes. LaserPacific has done a great job

of matching and incorporating the right timing,

coloring and grain.”

LaserPacific colorist Tom Overton has handled

every shot of every episode over the seven-year

run. “Tom knows his job and what we’re looking for

so well that he gets very close on the first pass,”

says Schmidt. “I look at that and make handwritten

notes, usually not more than a page or two. After

six seasons, we understand each other."

“A great deal of the look is created in

Tom’s bay,” says Schmidt. “We’re not about

making it look normal. We’re always trying to

exaggerate the colors, crush the blacks, blow

out the whites, and find this incredible range

in the mid-tones. It’s fun, and it’s distinctive.

If you’re flipping channels, you know when

you’ve hit The Shield.” ■

Above: Actress

Paula Garces and

below Actor Michael

Chiklis, in a scene

from The Shield,

shot by DP Rohn

Schmidt.

PHOTO: PRASHANT GUPTA


Below: (L to R) DP

Shana Hagan and

Director Ted Thomas

shoot a sunset in

Valparaiso, Chile, for

Walt and El Grupo.

Following in the footsteps

of Walt Disney

T

he feature documentary Walt

and El Grupo recounts the 1941

journey that Walt Disney and a

group of his key staff took to

South America. The directing team of

Ted Thomas and Kuniko Okubo and

cinematographer Shana Hagan traveled

to Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil

to follow in Disney’s footsteps.

Thomas explains that “a key aspect

of the film is the juxtaposition of time

– the place and events of 1941, and

the same locales today. We shot several

locations to make use of the large

numbers of stills we have from 1941,

and film footage that was shot at the

time.”

“The filmmakers and I wanted to

recreate the feeling of discovery and the

creative journey that the members of El

Grupo felt during their trip,” says Hagan.

“In addition to shooting a traditional

vérité style, we have a number of

sequences with a highly stylized look as

well as many abstract and atmospheric

shots to set the mood and provide

transitional material for the editor.”

Pre-production began with a threeweek

scout and shoot during the fall of

2005, followed by two weeks of filming

interviews in the United States in March

2006, and a six-week long journey in

South America retracing Disney’s steps

that spring.

Hagan’s production tools included an

Aaton Super 16 XTR Prod camera, Canon

8-64 and 11-165mm zoom lenses, an

Optex 2X extender, and a 12mm Zeiss

Superspeed lens. She shot interviews

on KODAK VISION2 500T 7218 film and

used KODAK VISION2 50D 7201 film

to shoot daylight exteriors on location,

and a few rolls of KODAK VISION2 250D

7205 film for early evening exteriors

and on a Steadicam sequence shot on a

Rio street in deep shade.

“We primarily used the 11-165 (zoom)

for interviews to get as much depth as

possible between camera, subject and

background,” says Hagan. “The 8-64

(zoom) was my choice for handheld

vérité because of its minimum focus,

which was great for a lot of small spaces

that we were shooting in, and also for

its sharpness.

“We used the 12mm Superspeed for

a single sequence in a basement archive

in Santiago, Chile. The very large archive

was lit with widely spaced fluorescent

practicals and was pretty dark, reading

below a T1.3 on my meter. I knew I

couldn’t light the entire length of the

shot, which was a handheld move about

one minute long through the stacks to

end on a reveal of one of our subjects

pulling an archived book from a shelf. I

shot (KODAK VISION2 500T) 7218 film

at 24fps, wide open at T1.3 with a 172.8

degree shutter to knock out the 50hz

fluorescent flicker and pulsing. It was

processed normally, with some green

pulled out in telecine. It looks great.”

Hagan describes another sequence

in Rio, Brazil, where they hired local

Steadicam owner/operator Fabricio

Tadeu Lima. They asked Lima to shoot

some lengthy low-angle tracking shots

of a mosaic sidewalk in the Vila Isabel

neighborhood.

“This was a great opportunity to

work with local talent,” says Hagan.

“It provided us with some interesting

atmospheric shots to include in the mix

of images.”

After returning to the United States,

they had to prepare for a tabletop

shoot. Thomas, Okubo and Hagan

decided to use a Chapman Stinger 2 jib

arm, Cartoni Lambda two-axis head, a

series of Superspeed prime lenses, the

8-64mm and the 11-165mm zooms, and

a Probe II Super 16 lens set.

“We needed to make some photos

and objects come alive and make

them as three dimensional as possible,”

explains Hagan. “The combination of

gear allowed me to manually fly over

objects like a globe, a typewriter or a

pile of brushes to end on typewritten

letters or artwork created by members

of the group. Being able to see details

on an original watercolor from 1941

or paint on an artist’s palette or the

texture of onionskin paper of an original

letter from 1941 adds such depth and

character to the images.”

The completed film contains

archival footage from the 1941 trip

shot by Disney and two of his travel

companions, original interviews, location

footage, tabletop footage of archival

items, and other images, including

graphics and still photographs.

“We used 16mm Kodachrome that

was shot during the 1941 trip,” says

Thomas, “as well as newsreel material

and a large amount of still photos

that were taken by members of the

Disney group, press and hosts in each

of the countries. The fact that all the

material originates on film gives a very

integrated feel to the storytelling.”

Documentary

“I loved pushing the limits of film

stocks on this project,” says Hagan. “The

stocks proved themselves in a variety

of situations – basic interview set-ups,

handheld vérité, bright sunny days

in the countryside estancias of rural

Argentina, the fluorescent lit basement

archives in Santiago, Chile, the very dark

interiors of the ruins of the once famous

Cassino da Urca in Rio, and an exterior

sequence shot with only available light

about 45 minutes after sunset on the

beach at Copacabana. It is incredible

what we achieved.”

Walt and El Grupo was in postproduction

when the article was written

and will be completed in early 2007. ■

January 2007 InCamera 21


TV Production

PHOTO: CHRIS REARDON/CBS. ©2006 CBS CORPORATION.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

22

Below: Dr. Wilbur (Jessica Lange) helps a

young woman (Tammy Blanchard) confront her

personalities in Sybil.

How do you depict a main character

who suffers from a multiple personality

disorder? Do you light or frame them

differently, or skew the angle of coverage?

T

hat was just one question Joe Sargent and Donald M.

Morgan, ASC had to answer while preparing to film a remake

of Sybil, a classic 1976 television movie.

Sybil is based on a book by Flora Rheta Schreiber about a young

woman who had 16 personalities. The original telefilm earned four

Emmy Awards and two additional nominations. Morgan decided

not to watch it during pre-production.

“I didn’t want to have any preconceived ideas,” the

cinematographer explains. “I wanted to go into this project with a

fresh outlook and have Joe feed me ideas. We spoke about filming

flashback scenes in a different style but we agreed it would be

better to just have the audience watch her go through transitions.”

Sybil marks the 10th telefilm collaboration between Sargent and

Morgan, dating back to Amber Waves in 1980. Six of their previous

co-ventures have earned Emmy awards and nominations for either

the director or the cinematographer or both.

“Sybil is a fascinating examination of a multiple personality

patient with a superb script by John Pielmeier,” Sargent says. “It is

a little worrisome when you’re making a sequel of a classic film.

We added a different dimension by combining the obstacles that

both women, the therapist and patient, had to overcome. The story

took place during the late 1940s and early ‘50s. Her therapist was a

woman in what was then a male profession. Her colleagues in the

InCamera January 2007

Recreat

psychiatric department were in disbelief of her diagnosis of this

particular case and were always putting her down.”

Sybil was produced for television by Warner Bros. in conjunction

with The Wolper Organization and executive producer Norman

Stephens. It was shot primarily at practical locations in Halifax,

Nova Scotia, Canada. After premiering on the CBS television

network, it has cable distribution.

Morgan only had two weeks of pre-production planning

in Halifax. He spent that time conferring with Sargent and

production designer Doug McCullough on scouting locations.

They also collaborated on the choice of colors, including painting

most of the walls at houses where Sybil lived beginning with her

childhood and other interior locations. Morgan describes the basic

color palette as warm earth tones.

Producer Michael Mahoney brought in a local crew to shoot

limited hair and make-ups tests with Jessica Lange, who was cast

in the role of Dr. Cornelia Wilbur. Sybil was portrayed by Tammy

Blanchard. Morgan was so pleased that he used the same crew to

shoot the entire movie.

“Sybil comes across as a sympathetic character,” Morgan relates.

“Her mother, played by JoBeth Williams, was definitely a cause of

her problems. I never tried to make the mother look unpleasant,


ing Sybil

ugly or mean. It was all in the acting. She had a particular scream.

We used wide-angle lenses so you could see Sybil reacting in the

background.”

Sybil was produced in Super 16 film format. Morgan says that

was a concession to the budget, but he assured Sargent that it

would be transparent to the audience based on his experience

shooting the HBO telefilm Walkout in Super 16 mm.

One location was an older building that housed the set for

the doctor’s office. There was a lake outside the window. It was a

challenge to balance the light from interior to exterior, as it would

change throughout the day. Next door they had a set for a hospital

room in an abandoned building. In one sequence, the doctor

took Sybil home for a weekend to try to find out more about her.

Morgan says it was a beautiful house that had a porch with a

glass wall and a lake in the background. It was also a challenge to

balance the light.

Morgan mainly covered the action with two ARRI SR 3 cameras,

usually with Cooke prime lenses. One camera was generally on a

tight shot of a character and the other on a master. When Morgan

didn’t feel the light was right, Sargent generally took his advice

and shot separate takes for masters and close-ups with a single

camera.

“We used a lot of close-ups from chin to

forehead, but we also did some interesting

framing with 8mm, 6mm and other wideangle

lenses. We had a Steadicam and used

a crane once or twice, but the cameras were

mainly on dollies or handheld.”

Morgan’s palette included KODAK VISION2 500T 7218 and 200T

7217 films for interiors, depending on the environment and mood,

and KODAK VISION2 250D 7205 film for daylight exterior scenes.

Morgan cites the latitude of the VISION2 stocks. There are dark,

interior scenes with the sun glimmering on the surface of a lake

seen through a window. Deluxe Labs in Toronto handled the frontend

lab work.

“One thing that I love about working with Joe is that he knows

what he wants,” Morgan says. “He doesn’t do shot lists. Joe

watched rehearsals and started guiding the actors around the set

while we looked for ways to reinforce the performances. We used

a lot of close-ups from chin to forehead, but we also did some

interesting framing with 8mm, 6mm and other wide-angle lenses.

We had a Steadicam and used a crane once or twice, but the

cameras were mainly on dollies or handheld.”

He put the final touches on the look in collaboration with

colorist Kevin O’Connor at Global Entertainment Partners in Los

Angeles. O’Connor and Morgan have worked on many films,

commercials and promos over the last 23 years. ■

TV Production

January 2007 InCamera 23


TV Production

Hard

hitting

Torpedo

24

“We wanted

to shoot in

a handheld

documentary

style, most of

all we had to

have a film

look."

T

InCamera January 2007

orpedo a tough Norwegian character-driven television

mini-series, is a contender in the 2007 Emmy TV awards.

Its crew were behind the critically-acclaimed feature

Hold My Heart, Norway’s 2002 Oscar® entry for Best

Foreign Language Film.

Shot by award-winning Norwegian Director of Photography

Harald Paalgard, FNF (Drabet/Manslaughter), Torpedo is a dark,

edgy and fast-paced thriller that chronicles four intense days in

the life of an enforcer. Terje Jonassen (Jørgen Langhelle), a former

commando, believes he is a good guy and does his job well. He

still acts like a soldier and people are frightened of him, so they

talk and deals are sewn up. Dedicated to his wife Sissel and

young daughter Anja, Terje determines that his two worlds should

never meet. But one day tragedy strikes and he finds Sissel dead

– murdered with his own gun. Terje searches the Oslo underworld

for his wife’s killer, but discovers the criminal closer to home.

Torpedo was co-written by Director Trygve Allister Diesen (The

Dream Catcher), Knut Kristiansen and Kjersti Ugelstad and has

visual similarities to 24 and The French Connection. It is the third

collaboration between Diesen and Paalgard.

“We wanted to shoot in a handheld documentary style with the

camera following the actors, but most of all we had to have a film

look,” remarks Paalgard who developed a special camera rig to

enable him to shoot quickly and at any angle on any set. Torpedo

is the first Nordic television series to be shot on Super 16 KODAK

VISION2 HD Colour Scan film 7299. “The greatest advantage

was that I was able to play around with practicals and use far

more than ever before,” states Paalgard. “We pushed the stock to

the limits, yet the negative captured so much detail in the dark

areas and highlights. 7299 is excellent for mixing different colour

temperatures and it has such a broad exposure latitude. Despite

shooting for 48 days from early morning to late evening, I was

able to match everything in the grading.”

Paalgard’s lighting package comprised six different sized Kino

Flos and, for larger locations, 1200w and 4000w ARRI Suns with

Chimeras, four 6kW ARRI Suns and sails and a 12kW ARRI Fresnel.

He lit a “delicate” daylight hallway scene from outside with three

Kino Flos and a 1200w HMI, and used practicals in an adjacent

living room. A 100000w Stigebilen fire engine-mounted lamp

was brought into action for daylight and night time interiors and

exteriors, including the illumination of snow and houses when

the main character looks out of a window. Paalgard shot each

scene in the film at different angles and with different lenses for

subsequent intercutting and utilised frequent split screen scenes

to “good effect.”

Shooting from early morning until late evening in the depth

of a Norwegian winter meant Paalgard “lived on the edge” of

continuity problems. “One day we filmed the main actor driving

his car into a car park on the Norwegian/Swedish border. The car

was left parked overnight and when we returned a heavy snowfall

had changed the look of the location. In the film the actor hadn’t

slept for 48 hours so we managed to get him into the car without

disturbing the snow and added a scene in which he falls asleep.

The snow created a lot of problems but it’s given the movie a

great look and atmosphere.”

“Shooting Torpedo was tough and demanding, but it was a

good experience because we used film,” says the DP who has shot

more than 40 features in over 30 years. He acknowledges that

making movies is “the greatest job on earth.”

Torpedo is co-produced by Norsk Filmproduksjon AS and Tre

Vänner Produktion AB in two 89 minute programmes and four

47 minute programmes which will be aired in Scandinavia in

February. It was developed in co-operation with TV2 Norway and

supported by the Norwegian Film Fund.. ■


“T as lush as possible,” explains David Franco, Director of

he Wind in the Willows is a rendition of the magical

children’s story; it evokes a fabulous journey through

the countryside so the main goal was to render nature

Photography for the BBC’s lavish new interpretation of Kenneth

Grahame’s classic tale, of the look he wanted to achieve when he

took on the project.

Then, having decided on exactly how he wanted to emulate

the riverside world of Badger (played by Bob Hoskins), Rat (Mark

Gattis) Toad (Matt Lucas) and chums, it was simply a matter of

choosing the right equipment for the job. Knowing that much of

the shoot would take place outside, Franco needed a product that

could tackle a variety of situations. “I decided to use the KODAK

VISION2 5218 500T film stock which has good saturation and

contrast,” he says. “I love the way the 5218 reacts in the high

light, so I had no problems in using it for day exterior as well as

interiors, where it gives me a good rich black.”

other choice. “We wanted the idyllic English countryside to look

as beautiful, lush and redolent of bygone times as possible,” she

explains. Franco is in complete agreement with the decision. “I

think in this case the 35mm helped to keep nature as attractive

and amazing as possible, and the smaller depth of field helped

romanticize that depiction,” he elaborates. But the DP, a veteran

of movies like The Whole Nine Yards and TV shows including

Desperate Housewives does admit that using big screen

techniques for a small screen project threw up its own challenges.

“One thing you have to think about is the size of the screen that

the project ends up on,” he elaborates. “So big, wide sweeping

shots are harder to read [on a TV screen]. As far as contrast and

tone values go, you have to step back a bit as it could be harder

for an average TV to read the darker area of the image.”

Throughout the project, the production team took full

advantage of the processing facilities available at Kodak Cinelabs

Romania, which offers a huge range of services using the latest

Recreating a

riverside world

“The other decision was to stick with this one stock to keep

things simple! As far as equipment goes, we used a Steadicam and

crane because we wanted to be rich and lush with our camera

movements as well.”

The Wind in the Willows was shot using 35mm film, an unusual

choice for a small screen television project, perhaps, but Coproducer

Charlotte Ashby asserts

that there was simply no

Kodak chemical developments. “It is a modern, well-run lab

with committed and professional staff who responded to all

the demands of our production,” confirms producer Ashby. “In

our case, we had the negative developed and telecined to beta

and DVD, then had the negative shipped back to the UK at the

end of the production.” Franco also shares his producer’s high

regard for the facility. “Kodak Cinelabs Romania did a great job

on the processing,” he says, before revealing that they will also be

involved in the film’s post-production to further ensure exactly

the right look comes across on screen. “The final transfer

will happen later and some enhancement will be done

at that point; adding a bit of colour, for example.” ■

TV Production

Below: Actor Bob Hoskins

plays Badger in this

delightful drama

Inset: DP David Franco

(centre with sunglasses on

top of head) lining up a shot

PHOTO: COS AELENEI

January 2007 InCamera 25


PHOTO: NBC PHOTO: MICHAEL MULLER TV Production

26

Friday

Night

Lights

F

riday Night Lights is a television

series based on the successful

2004 feature film of the same

name. When discussing the

right visual aesthetic for the series, David

Boyd, writer/producer Peter Berg and their

collaborators envisioned a documentary

realism. “I thought of the documentary

Gimme Shelter and docu-drama Medium

Cool,” says Boyd. “Also, the work of D.A.

Pennebaker, Frederick Wiseman and Rickey

Leacock. We want to give the impression

we’re observing something that’s

happening. We let things happen, rather

than make them happen.”

The decision to use the Super 16 format

was made to support that aesthetic.

Boyd usually shoots with three ARRI SR

cameras, although in some situations

he uses as many as six. The cameras are

almost always handheld. Each episode is

usually accomplished over eight 9-hour

days. The negative is transferred with

a Spirit DataCine at Universal Digital

Services in Los Angeles.

The approach to coverage is unusual.

“We let scenes run in real time from

beginning to end with no rehearsals,”

says Boyd. “If we need something tighter

or more specific, we capture that on the

second or third run-through. The actors

get to perform in continuity, and we can

cover a lot of ground quickly. It’s a delight

for directors. The other day we had six

pages of dialog to shoot in a coffee shop

with 12 characters talking, and we were

finished in three hours.”

The lack of rehearsal adds to the feeling

of reality, Boyd says. Sometimes the frame

arrives on the shot or focus sharpens

a moment late, and those “mistakes”

are included in the final edit. “We deny

ourselves that luxury,” he says. “By keeping

our eyes and ears open, we might have an

The Super 16 film format

is enjoying a resurgence

in the world of television

production. Lightweight

cameras, improved film

stocks, higher quality

lenses and advanced

postproduction equipment

provide creative freedom,

along with an ability to

move quickly and efficiently.

Four cinematographers who

are using the Super 16 mm

format to create compelling

television programs tell

their stories:

Creating Compelling

Above: Scene from Friday

Night Lights, shot by DP

David Boyd.

InCamera January 2007

idea of where the actors might go, but the

things they do and when they do them

are a continual surprise to us. On the

first crack, we may get something that’s

worth 63 percent of a good take, but the

second crack is 110 percent. The operators

are making sure it’s in focus, and camera

assistants are doing the best they can

with onboard monitors.”

The images are composed and displayed

in 16:9 aspect ratio. Boyd says the shape

of the frame plays an important part in

the storytelling.

“The 16:9 aspect ratio means everything

to our approach,” he says. “If it’s a closeup

in profile, we can put the actor far

enough off to the left or right to not

see their ear. It’s just an eye, a nose and

a mouth. That stretches the frame, and

you start to see so much more into the

emotion of what’s happening than you

would otherwise."

“It’s like that legendary shot by Bill

Fraker (ASC) in Rosemary’s Baby, where

you see half of Mia Farrow as she’s talking

on the phone, and the whole audience is

leaning over to try and see around that

corner.” ■


Lincoln Heights

Lincoln Heights is an ABC Family

Channel drama that centers on a

cop who moves his family to the

troubled inner city neighborhood

where he grew up. His hope is that he can

make a positive difference. The show’s

cinematographer is Lex Du Pont, who says

that the decision to produce the series in

Super 16 format was made in conjunction

with the producers.

“They care about the imagery,” he says.

“They want it to look good, and agreed

that Super 16 was the right choice given

the specifics of how the show is produced.

There is an ambitious schedule, and a

fair bit of the show is daylight exteriors. I

didn’t want to hold things up by spending

a lot of time trying to balance lighting,

which is what you have to do with HD

video camera. I’m comfortable with the

Kodak stocks, having shot millions of feet

on NYPD Blue.”

Du Pont shot tests using Kodak VISION2

250D 7205 film.

“I was blown away, astonished,” he

says. “I use the 7205 for all daylight

exteriors, and for interiors we use (Kodak

VISION2 500T) 7218 film. As long as you

expose them correctly, the results are just

stunning.”

The show is currently seen in the 4:3

aspect ratio on the cable channel, but

Du Pont protects for 16:9 anticipating

eventual HD distribution.

Du Pont often shoots with handheld

ARRI SR 3 cameras and zoom lenses.

He enhances action sequences with

a “jagged” look by setting the shutter

angle to 45 or 90 degrees, and usually

overexposes by one stop to get a denser

negative.

"Super 16 was the right choice given the

specifics of how the show is produced. I didn’t

want to hold things up by spending a lot of

time trying to balance lighting, which is what

you have to do with HD video camera."

“I’ve found that when I overexpose the

negative, when the blacks are crushed

at the lab, it eliminates any grain in

the shadows,” he says. “The latitude is

unbelievable. I have never had the film

blow out. Sometimes I’m shooting darkskinned

people wearing black uniforms,

coming out of deep blue police cars and

going into bright sunlight and shadowy

alleys, and I never had to adjust the

exposure. They could easily dig it out in

the transfer, and it looked great.” ■

TV with Super 16

Above: (L to R) Actors Mishon Ratliff, Nicki Micheaux, Russell Hornsby, Erica Hubbard, Rhyon Nicole Brown and Robert Adamson from Lincoln Heights, shot by DP Lex Du Pont. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ABC FAMILY/BOB D’AMICO

TV Production

January 2007 InCamera 27


PHOTO: ABC/CARIN BAER

28

Main picture: (L to R) Actors

Jonathan Silverman and

David Arquette in a scene

from In Case of Emergency,

shot by cinematographer

Dave Perkal.

InCamera January 2007

ABC’s In Case of Emergency is a

single camera comedy about four

childhood friends reunited by a

crisis who learn that their lives

didn’t turn out quite as they expected.

The pilot had been shot with a Genesis

HD camera, but cinematographer Dave

Perkal convinced the producers that the

Super 16 film format would offer more

convenience and creative flexibility within

the tight budget and schedule constraints

of television production.

“When you have to move fast, and

all of a sudden you’re outside, you don’t

have time to fly huge diffusion, film is the

best choice,” says Perkal. “TV is definitely

a grind and everybody knows you have

to keep pace and make the day. You’re

moving at twice the speed of features.

You go inside to outside, and you need

the latitude of film.”

Perkal makes extensive use of speed

changes, smash cuts and power zooms

within shots to emphasize story points.

“Speed changes are simple with film,

and in video they are still in their infancy,”

he says. “The Genesis is a good tool when

it’s appropriate. But film has an organic

texture that you can’t replicate with video,

which has a plastic sheen."

“When producers ask me, I explain

that film is a two-step process,” he says.

“Light passes through a lens and affects

the silver halide to form a latent image.

Video is a three-step process where light

passes through, is interpreted by a manmade

chip, and the information is then

laid down to a tape. The chip is the weak

link that they’re always trying to improve

upon. Film is a natural organic process.”

"Film has an organic

texture that you can’t

replicate with video,

which has a

plastic sheen."

In Case of Emergency

Another advantage according to Perkal

is the range of tools available after the

film has been exposed. “You can push, pull

or cross process, overexpose, print down or

up,” he says. “All these tool are available,

and if you were trying to achieve those

effects by manipulating a video camera on

the set, it takes valuable time.”

Perkal shoots with an ARRI SR 3 camera

mounted with Cooke S4 lenses originally

designed for the 35mm format. He uses

KODAK VISION2 500T 7218 film for night

exteriors and most stage work, and KODAK

VISION2 250D 7205 for the rest. The look

for In Case of Emergency is natural and

realistic.

“I’m trying to create a real place for

the actors to go,” says Perkal. “Nothing is

forced or contrived or conspicuous. I think

the film palette lends itself to that.” ■


Tell me you love me

T

ell Me You Love Me is an

HBO drama series about a

marital counselor who tries

to help three couples through

their problems, which include an

inability to get pregnant due to

stress and an inability to commit.

partly in silhouette, and we let things

be bright when they’re bright. We try to

have minimal impact.”

Another key to the look is the

handheld camera. “We usually run

two cameras, and in some situations

three,” he says. “The instruction to

Alan Caso, ASC, who has earned

the operators is to keep it as steady

four Emmy nominations, says that

as possible because the human body

Tell Me You Love Me is shot in the

naturally introduces some movement,

style of a John Cassavetes film,

which gives the frame a little bounce

almost entirely with handheld

and life. We’re not trying to make it

cameras.

look like a documentary by laying over

a visual style. We’re just shooting it that

way. It’s a concept for the performers as

much as it is for the crew.”

“We try to make it look like

the show is filmed in available light,”

he says. “The idea is to make it feel

like there is no manipulation from

the filmmakers whatsoever. Nobody

has marks, and there’s minimum

instruction. Given that aesthetic,

Super 16 made perfect sense. It’s a light

camera, so we could work handheld

quickly without being bogged down with

a lot of apparatus.”

Caso loads the ARRI SR 3 cameras with

KODAK VISION2 500T 7218 and KODAK

VISION2 200T 7217 films. The show is shot

mostly on sets at CBS Radford in Studio

City, California. The images are composed

in the 16:9 aspect ratio and will be seen in

both high-definition and TV formats. Each

hour-long episode is filmed in seven days.

“What attracted me to the show was

the attempt at a vérité, documentarytype

feeling,” says Caso. “We let things

play dark, and keep the colors a little bit

desaturated. We sometimes let things play

Caso allows the Super 16mm format

to help communicate the documentary

feeling. “Even though the Super 16

stocks are terrific nowadays, we let it go

a little bit more contrasty and grainy than

it would be with 35 mm, which just adds

to the look.”

NOTE: A list of Kodak Imagecare

Program member laboratories that process

16mm film can be found at

www.kodak.com/go/imagecare. ■

TV Production

January 2007 InCamera 29


30

InCamera January 2007

The Kodak Imagecare

Program goes

Latin

Labofilms is the first Latin American

laboratory to become accredited as

a member of the Kodak Imagecare

Program. Located in Mexico City,

Labofilms offers processing and

printing for 16mm and 35mm in

both color and black-and-white,

and also features a viewing theatre

decked out with digital sound.

The company started work on

implementing the Kodak Imagecare

Program standards in October 2005

and was admitted as a member in

July 2006. To gain membership,

Labofilms implemented

important changes in both the

organization and infrastructure

of its operations.

“First we had to create

detailed and very specific

procedure manuals. While

many of the procedures had

already been implemented

and were being followed,

they weren’t actually in print,”

says Enrique Alagón, General

Director. “This alone was a major

improvement as it streamlines staff

training, reduces the risk of mistakes

by making all the processes clear and

concise, and makes any variations

in the processing easier to trace and

correct. We also needed to make

some adjustment to our existing

equipment, such as installing highly

accurate measuring devices and

humidifiers to maintain a consistent

environment.”

The Imagecare Program has

provided the staff of Labofilms with

more precise procedural assessments,

resulting in increased consistency

within the laboratory’s negative

processing department. “In addition,

our clients now perceive Labofilms

as a much more consistently reliable

laboratory due to the fact that our

processing outcomes are more stable,”

points out Alagón.

While Labofilms came to the

Imagecare Program with wellestablished

clientele, the laboratory

has found that being a member of

the Imagecare Program has distinct

benefits when it comes to attracting

new customers. “My personal favorite

example is our new-found ability to

align the laboratory with Kodak, and

take advantage of their outstanding

reputation in the film industry. We

commercially promote ourselves as a

member of the Imagecare Program,

and have incorporated the Program

logo onto our website. This fact has

had a noticeable effect in providing

potential clients, who come to view

our operations, with a strong sense

of assurance that we can not only

handle all their needs, but meet their

schedules with a fantastic finished

product. This kind of advertising is

priceless.”

Alagón knows that it is always

important to keep a close watch on

every step of the processes involved

in processing a client’s negative.

Quality control and regular updates

of staff training are essential

components in staying ahead of the

competition. “The final product and

our client’s satisfaction are always our

ultimate twin goals, and a program

such as the Kodak Imagecare Program

is invaluable in helping to achieve

these goals from the very beginning.”

For more information on Labofilms

visit www.labofilms.com.mx


Kodak welcomes new

Imagecare Program

member in Taiwan

Taipei Motion Picture Corporation is

a leading post production company

based in Taiwan. The only Taiwanese

facility that actively integrates

techniques of laboratory film

processing and printing with digital

post-production, their services include

motion picture, commercial and

program laboratory processing and

printing, negative scanning and High

Definition transfers to film. Between

the years 2002 and 2005, the

company transferred a total of fifteen

HD-acquired feature films to 35mm

release prints for cinema exhibition.

The Taipei Motion Picture Corporation

was accredited as a member of

Kodak’s Imagecare Program in July,

2006. To qualify for the Camera

Negative Processing accreditation,

the company implemented several

key changes to their laboratory’s

existing systems. One of the more

significant changes was incorporating

a positive air flow system into their

existing air conditioning system, as

well as installing screen curtains on

exits to maintain appropriate room

temperature and humidity as well as

cleanliness.

Below: Chemist Teresa Yang in front of the ECN processing machine.

The filtration system is constantly

maintained, with filters being replaced

every six months. Dirt accumulation is

further minimized by glossy surfaces

which have been applied to the

walls. In addition, any protruding

piping has been re-routed under the

floor, creating a cleaner processing

environment.

The Kodak Imagecare Program

has benefited the Taipei Motion

Picture Corporation by raising client

awareness of the consistent quality

that can be expected by an accredited

laboratory. This has the added bonus

of attracting new clients to the

company, as shown by the rise in

negative processing from both the

domestic and, more significantly, the

international market. Examples are the

action films Silk, (cinematographer

Arthur Wong), The Tripping, Dragon

Squad, and the more reflective, I Don’t

Want to Sleep Alone (cinematographer

Liao Pen-Jung) by renowned director

Ming-Liang Tsai, who has won major

awards at both the Venice and Berlin

Film Festivals.

“The Kodak Imagecare Program is

essential to the ongoing operations of

the Taipei Motion Picture Corporation,

as well as to our future growth,” says

Tony Hu, Managing Director of TMPC.

“We have gained the confidence of

our customers who are aware that

there exists a trustworthy laboratory

to handle their precious negatives and

prints. The Imagecare Program also

has wider benefits across the industry

by raising the quality standard in the

negative and print processing part of

the industry.”

“As a filmmaker myself, a consistently

reliable laboratory is essential to

peace of mind. If a mistake is made

during processing then the work

of many people is wasted. This is

particularly true for the high pressure

world of the television commercial

industry, in which I work. I totally

rely on a quality laboratory which

makes my work smoother and easier

and it is essential that the laboratory

prides itself on the quality of its

work. I know that a Kodak Imagecare

Program member has the drive to

improve its operations and results and

will always place the client first.”

For more information on Taipei

Motion Picture Corporation visit

www.tmpc.com.tw

Above: Dressed for tour of film sensitizing

Kodak Imagecare Program

Laboratory Conference brings

worldwide industry together

Kodak Imagecare Program members from around

the world gathered to discuss topics important to their

business and to build camaraderie during the Kodak

Imagecare Program Laboratories Conference in Rochester,

which was held in September 2006. Kodak Imagecare

Program members currently total 31 labs in 20 countries

and the numbers continue to grow.

The conference focused on global industry trends and

how technology has created many new options and

multiple paths for labs providing end-to-end services for

the creative community. Topics included the history of

digital technology and forecasts for the future, in addition

to an overview of Kodak’s role since the beginning of

filmmaking and the company’s current film and hybrid

product offerings.

“Our goal was to provide an opportunity for key lab

personnel to share their experiences and work together

toward a better understanding of issues both technological

and business related,” said Bill Tompkins, general manager

of the Motion Picture Film Group of Kodak’s Entertainment

Imaging division. “We also listened to customers so that

we can respond to their needs.”

Members were informed about updates to the Program

as well as new quality control software that Kodak is

developing. Pollution prevention was also addressed, while

guest speaker Andy Maltz from the Academy of Motion

Picture Arts and Sciences outlined his goals as director

of the organization’s Science and Technology Council.

Tours of Kodak’s manufacturing facilities were also on the

agenda.

To read more about the Kodak Imagecare Program

Laboratories Conference visit

http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/support/

imagecare/conference

Hungary joins the fold

Kodak Cinelabs Hungary (KCH) has achieved

accreditation as a member of the Kodak Imagecare

Program for its camera negative processing.

Watch out for a full article on this in the next edition.

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January 2007 InCamera

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31

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Documentary

32

Below and inset:

Absinthe Films shoot

in Obertauern, Austria,

January 2006

More snowboarding magic

M

ore, Absinthe Films’ seventh

snowboarding film, brings

audiences closer than ever

before to the heart of one of

those risks that make it all so

unforgettable and bond everyone

together. The impassable terrain is a real

physical strain, yet the few days when

Müller, Travis Rice and Gigi Rüf session

together in a pillow line. “We covered

the traditional views from the front as

well as alternating side angles and the

the world’s fastest sports.

everything works out and the riders third camera hovered above the pillow

finally land insane tricks are

line. The latter position required heavy

ample reward for all the desperation.” rope logistics and took more than a day

“Our films are the best medium for

top snowboarders to present themselves

to the world,” continues Armbruster

who filmed in bright daylight at high

altitudes with his favourite stock

– 16mm KODAK VISION2 50D 7201. “It

to set up.” Armbruster instructed the

cameramen to keep their angles until the

riders landed their mind-blowing tricks or

lines. Lighting this particular zone proved

tricky as direct sunlight didn’t filter

through and the snow remained light,

so he used 7201 towards the middle of

the day and switched to 7218 in the

afternoon.

InCamera January 2007

“Every winter season used to be

groundbreaking in terms of new

equipment, freestyle tricks and steeper

mountains, but the quality of the

products and the level of riding have

now reached the highest standards,”

remarks Swiss Producer and Director of

Photography Patrick Armbruster. “A few

years ago we developed some of

the first heli cams in the snowboard

world and captured riders flying

by the camera, but since then it

became clear that our tactics needed

to evolve if we wanted to continue

surprising and attracting audiences.

Last season my partner and also

director of photography Justin

Hostynek was involved in developing

an inventive rope cam that can be

set up anywhere in the backcountry

which has enabled us to achieve dynamic

camera angles incredibly close to the

riders.”

More was filmed between November

and May in untracked backcountry

in China, Austria, the United States,

Switzerland, Canada and Alaska. “It took

a longer time than most features, but

our five cameramen needed to be on the

road the entire winter waiting in remote

cabins to catch the best weather,” says

Armbruster. “We invested a lot of time

finding perfect conditions and brought

in the best snowboard athletes, then

we captured the action in new and

progressive ways.”

“The unexpected is our constant

attender,” he declares. “Sunken

snowmobiles in creeks, avalanches the

size of a village, dislocated shoulders,

personal struggles amongst crew waiting

at the ends of the world for the

right weather conditions...

the list goes on and

on. But it’s

exactly

gives perfect contrast, nice saturated

colours and the very fine grain meant

we could shoot without additional

filters. We usually filmed at 32, 48 and

even 100 fps, ensuring we captured key

moments in a format that highlights

fragments too rapid for the human eye

to perceive in their true complexity. On

the occasions when we shot at

night with halogen lights, we

used KODAK VISION2 500T

7218. The stock has a

highlight sensitivity that

can be pushed but still

retains its quality.”

In More’s stunning

Wyoming opening

sequence, Nicholas

“Snow storms and bad weather

created some unique-looking moments

but were a nightmare for the crew,” he

muses. “Imagine changing 100 feet film

rolls in three feet of powder with snow

flakes pouring down and no assistant to

hold an umbrella!”

More is touring over 50 stops around

the world on Absinthe Films’ most

extensive première, complete with

the snowboarder stars and soundtrack

musician Scott Sullivan.

FUEL TV, a Fox Networks subsidiary

television channel, heard about the

intense work of Armbruster Hostynek

and their crew and offered them a

reality television series. Produced by

Absinthe’s crew, the eight episodes focus

on both snowboarders and crew and

examine what it takes to produce

a snowboard movie of such high

calibre. Titled Flipside, it was launched

in November and will be aired during

the winter. For more details, check out

the Absinthe Films website at

www.absinthe-films.com ■

COPYRIGHT 2006 JEFF CURTES


Film hits the

(spec) spot for

Jendra Jarnagin

Cinematographer creates

a show reel by shooting her

own commercials.

Jendra Jarnagin has been working

in film production ever since she

graduated from film school at New

York University in 1995. Initially, she

was a gaffer. More recently, she has been

working as a cinematographer, shooting short

films, music videos and documentaries. But

her efforts to begin shooting commercials were

frustrated by her lack of a commercial reel. She

decided to shoot her own commercials to create a reel.

Convinced that her spec spots had to demonstrate

national, broadcast-quality work, she decided to shoot on

film. “If you’re going to show a spot to people in advertising,

their frame of reference is the best quality,” she says. “If you

show them a project shot on anything other than 35mm film,

they’ll view it as inferior to their standards, regardless of how well

you shoot and produce it.”

Jarnagin uses one of her spec spots

Other Half to illustrate a point. The 30second

story features a man dressed as

an orange, who is seen roaming through

Manhattan, searching for something.

Finally, he looks across the street and

sees the object of his desire. It’s a woman

in another orange costume — his “other

half.”

They come together to make a whole,

and the sphere shrinks down to the dot

in TangoPersonals.com. She shot the spot

with director Francisco Ordoñez, based

on an idea by Carlos Montaño, creative

director for the Brand Addict ad agency.

Jarnagin chose to record the images on

KODAK VISION2 50D 5201 film, mostly

with natural lighting on the streets of

New York.

When Ordoñez was cutting the spot

with editor Jeff Beckerman at Bond, they

decided that the shot of the woman

across the street was shot too wide. They

felt the audience might not realize that

it wasn’t just another shot of the man in

the orange suit. Beckerman suggested retransferring

the negative and magnifying

it to 225 percent of its original size to

“zoom” in on the woman. Jarnagin was

horrified.

“I was really skeptical that you could

magnify the image that much and still

get an image of acceptable quality,” she

says, “but we gave the negative back to

PostWorks, and our colorist Ira Schweitzer

transferred it with a Spirit 2K DataCine.”

Jarnagin suggested that Schweitzer

make a smaller blow-up to preserve image

quality. “To my surprise, he called and told

me that not only did it look good at 225

percent, but that he could take it even

further, to 250 (the DaVinci software’s

technical limit), and the images looked

fine,” she says. “You can’t really tell the

difference. It really highlighted for me just

how amazing the VISION2 stocks are.”

Jarnagin says that she chose 5201 for

the spot, knowing that the storyline had

them shooting all exteriors in daylight,

and they wanted as fine grain look as

possible.

She was shooting with an ARRI 435

camera on a Steadicam with a lightweight

zoom lens as well as some tripod shots

with a 100 or 135mm focal length to

separate Mr. Orange from the surrounding

clutter.

Jarnagin’s favorite image is the lone

wide-angle shot. It was completely

unplanned, but when she reached Herald

Square, she saw it. “We used a low angle

with a 16mm wide-angle lens on the ARRI

Above: (Behind camera) DP Jendra Jarnagin on location shooting a scene for the Other Half spot.

camera, shooting up at the buildings with

the whole intersection visible, and Mr.

Orange running from one side of the shot

to the other. It says ‘New York’ and evokes

the feeling of running around aimlessly on

a search in the big city.”

The spot has minimal lighting — just a

few sun guns and reflectors as fill. “We

had great natural lighting that day,” she

says. “During the parts of the story where

he’s despondent and searching, it was

beautifully overcast. When he spots Ms.

Orange and meets his other half, we just

happened to have beautiful backlight. The

sun was cooperating perfectly.”

In telecine, Jarnagin worked with

Schweitzer to brighten and saturate

the orange of the two main characters’

costumes, while subtly desaturating the

rest of the frame and moving it toward

the blue end of the spectrum. The bottom

line: the spot did its job. When Montaño

showed the spot to the clients at Tango

Personals, they liked it so much that they

plan to hire Jarnagin’s team for future

work.

“It was a great experience that really

reinforced all my feelings about wanting

to shoot commercials,” Jarnagin says, “and

the importance of doing them on film.”

For more information, visit

www.floatingcamera.com. ■

Commercial

“If you’re going to show

a spot to people in

advertising, their frame

of reference is the best

quality. If you show them

a project shot on anything

other than 35mm film,

they’ll view it as inferior

to their standards,

regardless of how well you

shoot and produce it.”

January 2007 InCamera 33


PHOTOS: COURTESY OF JORDAN KLEIN JR. Commercial

34

Above: Scenes from a

Sea-Doo boat spot, shot

by cinematographer

Jordan Klein Jr.

Jordan Klein Jr.

follows in his father’s footsteps

shooting on

water

InCamera January 2007

Jordan (Jordy) Klein Jr. is following in

his father’s footsteps – underwater.

Like his father, two-time Academy

Award winner Jordan Klein, Sr., he

specializes in aquatic cinematography

both on and under the water. Klein

has also mastered the art of aerial

camerawork from helicopters. Like his

father, who designed and manufactured

Mako underwater camera housings, Klein

has also designed camera housings and

mounts.

When Bombardier Recreational

Products Inc. (BRP) hired Klein to

shoot its entire line of Sea-Doo boats

and personal watercraft, he approached

the assignment with relish. For several

shots, he mounted a custom lightweight

ARRIflex II camera body and 200foot

magazine on a 10-foot long

aluminum pole. The camera was made of

magnesium.

Klein climbed aboard one of his

boat’s 12-foot wings, which is designed

specifically for aquatic cinematography, so

that he could shoot down at a Sea-Doo

watercraft passing beneath him. For added

drama, he shot with a newly-acquired

3mm Russian-made lens, which captures

a 210-degree field of view.

“It’s amazing. You can hold the camera

in front of you, looking straight forward,

and see your own knees,” he says.

Klein doesn’t settle for static shots

from a tripod with the boat locked into

position. Instead, he tracks moving boats

in the water, shooting from a crane with

the camera on a Mako head and either

a 135mm Zeiss Superspeed or Canon

300mm lens. That set-up allows him to

travel at cruising speed and shoot tracking

shots, zooming in from a wide angle to

record such details as close-ups of gauges

and other features.

“We could lock everything down and

light it to bring the contrast down, and

ensure everything is perfectly still in the

frame,” Klein says, “but then it would look

just like what everybody else in the world

is shooting. How cool is it that we can

shoot a watercraft moving at 30 mph,

and zoom in to see the instrument panel?

People will actually watch that and not

get bored.”

His preferred film for that type of shot is

KODAK VISION 200T 5274 film. “It has a lot

of contrast and sees into the shadows very

well,” Klein says. “I need a film that lets me

shoot a white boat, and even whiter spray

in bright sunlight, and still lets me dig into

the shadows to shoot gauges through

the glare shield. I need about six stops of

latitude, and the 5274 emulsion delivers.”

He used the same stock while shooting

from a helicopter with a Continental

mount. He filmed people wakeboarding

(think of extreme skateboarding) — doing

flips, sliding on a rail in the water, and

other tricks as he leaned out the copter’s

door.

Klein appreciates the range of film

options available to him. To complement

the beauty shots of watercraft at work,

he also shot a family sitting around

the campfire on a beach. It was a dark

night, with Sea-Doo watercrafts in the

background. The setting was a small island,

so it was all but impossible for him to get

lighting and generators on-site. He shot

the entire scene with just the campfire

light, using Kodak VISION2 500T 5218 film.

“I could never have shot that scene

before the new films,” he says. “We

probably wouldn’t have tried, but the new

stock gives us the ability to shoot with

almost no light.”

Klein notes that in addition to the

extraordinary latitude that today’s

emulsion technology offers, film cameras

are much more mobile and durable.

“There is no way you can put a 35pound

HD camera on the end of a pole

and expose it to salt in the water and air

without frying it.”

Klein generally has his film processed

and color corrected at either CineWorks

or Continental Labs in Florida. BRP’s

ad agency, Cramer-Krasselt, uses the

images he captures for multiple purposes,

including commercials, DVDs used at boat

shows and by dealers, and as b-roll for

dealers to produce local commercials.

“I shoot on film because my reputation

means everything to me,” he says. “My

goal is to always be the guy who pushes

the envelope. That’s what people expect

when they hire me. I always want to be

the guy who’s doing what no one else can

match.” ■


PHOTO: BRIGHT HOUSE NETWORKS

Regional cable provider

raises standards for

local advertising

Local television ads have a reputation and let’s face it, that

reputation isn’t good. Especially local ads shot for cable. You

know the look: video with chroma noise and blown out

highlights, a car salesman who looks like he bought his clothes

at K-Mart and his hair at Sam’s Club.

Bright House Networks in Florida is out to change all that.

Bright House is the regional cable provider serving Tampa Bay

and Central Florida. Randy Van Patten, the creative services

supervisor at Bright House in Lakeland, Florida, began working

with local cinematographer Warren Jones from Orlando back in

2001, convincing local businesses to move up from standard video

production to 16mm or even 35mm film.

“I think people associate film with going to the movies and seeing

something more dramatic,” says Jones. His most effective sales pitch

is telling potential customers to go home and compare the look of

their 11 o’clock news with the NYPD Blue reruns that follow it. “We

point out that film has more of a dream-like quality to it. It looks

more expensive, and it’s going to make their company look like it

has a national presence. It really separates a business from the local

competition.”

When Van Patten launched the Bright House Film and HD Unit, he

began selling it as a way for businesses to upgrade their advertising

without busting the budget. He typically quotes a full day 35mm

film shoot at around $12,000 to $15,000, including transfer, which

yields enough raw material for a couple of 30second

spots. “We don’t have to mark up our

production costs like other production

houses do because our larger

revenue comes from advertising

dollars,” he notes.

If a local business

chokes at the cost of

35mm production,

Van Patten will also

work up a cost for

16mm; and if that

still seems too

high, yet another

price for highdefinition

video.

L to R

Randy Van Patten,

creative services

supervisor for Bright

House Networks,

with camera assistant

Steve Latham filming

a scene for a TV

spot in Auburndale,

Florida.

Van Patten’s

team at Bright

House serves

as an inhouse

agency,

providing

creative services

from concept

and storyboarding

through talent

selection. Then

members of the team

— producer/director

Laurie Keebler, audio/grip

Mary Fear, and key grip John

Pivovarnik —become the core of

the field crew, supplemented by Jones,

camera assistant Steven Latham, and other

professional freelancers as needed. A full crew averages

15-20 people.

Commercial

The standards are purely professional. They rent Panavision Gold

or PanaStar camera packages with a Primo 11:1 zoom, and modest

lighting kits, Fisher or Super PeeWee dollies, and more from First

Unit in Pinellas Park. Most shoots are on location, but the crew also

has access to Last Stage Out of Town in nearby Lake Alfred, Florida.

Film is processed and transferred to DigiBeta at CineWorks in

Miami, then brought back to Bright House’s own facility in Lakeland

for editing in Final Cut Pro. Final output is in 4:3 format standard

definition video for local cable distribution.

Van Patten says his favorite film for indoor shooting is KODAK

VISION2 EXPRESSION 500T 5229 film, “because we don’t have a

monstrous budget for lighting.” Besides, he adds, grain is no problem

when you’re shooting for television broadcast. For outdoor shooting

under the bright, contrasty Florida sun, they switch to KODAK

VISION2 50D 5201 film.

The look of Bright House-produced ads is controlled: a moderate

contrast ratio with a warm color palette and plenty of fill. Van

Patten isn’t interested in pushing film to its limits, but in producing

local spots with high production values.

“We do a lot with very few Kino Flos, and for a more dramatic

look, punching HMIs through the windows,” Van Patten says. “I like

the look of warm sunlight coming through windows.”

He says the range of film, its color palette, and the ability to

capture detail far into the shadows, really impress clients who have

never shot film before. “Their first reaction is, ‘Why didn’t we start

doing this 10 years ago?’”

Film production clients include Computer Renaissance,

MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union, Manatee County Area Transit,

their own Bay News 9 from St. Petersburg, and numerous local car

dealers, attorneys and golf courses.

For Computer Renaissance, a national chain whose

corporate office is in Lakeland, Van Patten’s team

dreamed up a campaign built around the

chimp squad (think “geek squad” with hairy

faces and hands). They shot for three

days for under $50,000, and produced

a series of ads that Computer

Renaissance is now using

nationwide. “When we produce

a spot for clients that advertise

with us, they own it and can

air it in other markets, too,”

Van Patten explains.

He says MIDFLORIDA

Federal Credit Union,

which now shoots three or

four spots each year with

Bright House, might not

be advertising on the cable

system at all if it weren’t

for the look they can get on

film. Manatee County Area

Transit has local production

resources available closer to

home, but comes to Van Patten

to get the more professional film

look he can provide.

Now Van Patten is interested in

reaching further outside his backyard.

He has compiled a demo DVD on the Bright

House Networks Film/HD Unit, and is bidding on

production work for clients outside his region. “When

you compare our cost structure against agencies in town,

we’re as much as $40-$50,000 cheaper on a two- to four-day job,”

he explains. ■

January 2007 InCamera 35


Documentary

36

Birds of a feather

An ex wild boar hunter and bird-lover team up to document the life of the Mountain Hawk Eagle.

T

he Mountain Hawk

Eagle, otherwise known as

Hodgson’s Hawk Eagle, is

the largest bird of prey to

inhabit Taiwan. While it breeds

throughout southern Asia from

India and Sri Lanka to China

and Japan, the Hawk Eagle is

nevertheless under threat from

both hunters and local tribes.

The bird’s majestic appearance

makes it sought after by collectors. In addition, the feathers,

which endow the wearer with high status can be worth anywhere

up to US$500 each. The birds inhabit coniferous forests between

3,000 and 11,000 feet above sea level and are extremely

suspicious of humans.

The documentary was the inspiration of Chen Hsu-Huang,

previously a well-known Chinese hunter who had a complete

change of heart when he realized the magnificent Mountain

Hawk Eagle was declining in numbers. “I couldn’t just sit idly by

and watch such a magnificent bird disappear,” says Hsu-Huang.

While looking for a suitable wildlife documentary maker, the exhunter

saw several of Yen-Ming Liu’s films on birds and other

wildlife and sought him out to film The Mountain Hawk Eagle.

Yen-Ming Liu has had twenty years' experience filming wildlife

documentaries; his 1995 documentary Taipei Tree Frog won Best

Cinematography at the Houston Film Festival and a Bronze medal

for Best Cinematography at the 40th Asian Pacific Festival. The

division of labor between the two men was simple, Hsu-Huang

InCamera January 2007

located the birds and provided logistical support for Liu, while the

cinematographer also acted as director and producer.

Filming began in mid-2001 and was completed a mere five

years later! “There wasn’t a lot of research on these birds when

we began filming, so we were almost operating in the dark,” says

Yen-Ming. “It takes extreme perseverance to film this rare species,

not to mention living in difficult conditions at the location. In

addition to living in remote, mountainous forests, the Hawk Eagle

builds its nest some 25 meters from the ground. The only way to

film the eaglet in the nest was to construct a hide at the same

height in another tree 60 feet away, and then stay there filming

for weeks on end!”

Shooting in the 16mm format, Yen-Ming Liu used only two

stocks, the KODAK EASTMAN EXR 50D 7245 and KODAK VISION

250D 7246. “Everything I shot was, of course, lit by the natural

sunlight. I never considered using a tungsten-balanced stock with

a correction filter. These two stocks intercut beautifully. I’d use

the 7245 for sunny days and the 7246 for sequences occurring

during the darker parts of the day, such as early morning and

late afternoon. I’ve used these two stocks for all the wildlife

documentaries I’ve shot. The 7246 has such great dynamic range,

I can shoot in grey, gloomy weather and get great results.” Yen-

Ming Liu used an ARRIflex SR3 and a Bolex. His lenses were a

series of Zeiss lenses, a 350mm, 12mm and a zoom.

Most of the footage for The Mountain Hawk Eagle was shot

in Taimali Creek in Taitung County in eastern Taiwan and was

financed by the Leofoo Development Group. The company was so

impressed with the footage they have provided the funds for a

blow-up from the original 16mm to 35mm for a cinema release. ■


PHOTO: COURTESY OF BACK COUNTRY PICTURES.

Visitors to Grand Teton

will journey down a

unique “Video River”

Below:

Crew used a crane

to capture footage

of a moose crossing

Snake River for the

Grand Teton National

Park visitors’ center

film, directed by David

Vassar and shot by DP

Christopher Tufty.

Without film,

these images

would look like

oatmeal.”

David Vassar made his first documentary film at age 19.

He used a hand-cranked 16mm Bolex to capture the

grandeur of Yosemite National Park in California.

More than 30 years later, Vassar is still capturing

nature with a camera. His most recent project documents the

breathtaking scenery and delicate ecosystems at Grand Teton

National Park in Wyoming. The format, however, has changed.

Vassar’s Teton film will be seen by park visitors in a unique

presentation.

Nine high-definition projectors will beam the images up

from below onto three 5-by-15 foot pieces of glass that form

part of the floor in the visitors’ center. Rear projection material

sandwiched in the glass will catch and display the projected

images. The filmmakers are calling the experience a “video river.”

The river will be made up of images in an ultra-wide 3.75:1

aspect ratio.

“Given the aspect ratio, and the fact that the images must pass

through a thick piece of glass, we decided that 35mm film was

required,” Vassar says. “We needed the highest image quality with

as many pixels as possible. Without film, these images would look

like oatmeal.”

Vassar envisioned the unusual design of the “theater” in

devising his approach to the photography. “If the audience is

going to be standing on the images, it changes the way you frame

the film,” he says. “As often as possible, we wanted to replicate

the point of view of the audience – so we decided to shoot the

majority of the film looking straight down.”

Vassar and cinematographer Christopher Tufty captured it on

ultra-fine grain KODAK VISION2 50D 5201 film. The camera was

often mounted with a relatively wide-angle 14mm lens. Many

scenes were captured from atop a 30-foot-high crane. Airplane

footage was usually shot at 60 fps to smooth out the images,

and usually from an altitude of about 300 feet above the deck. At

other times they filmed at 100 fps at a lower altitude.

Because most aerial camera systems are not designed to shoot

straight down, the filmmakers used an Italian-made, twin-engine

plane that had previously been used for finding tuna in the open

ocean. The Plexiglas nose cone and the bomb bay doors allowed

for shooting directly downwards.

The film was converted for editing on an Avid system. The

selects were scanned and assembled at full aperture at 4K

resolution, and output to the unique aspect ratio required for the

HD projection. Post-production is being handled at LaserPacific in

Los Angeles.

“Using the full aperture means that we have some freedom in

terms of repositioning,” says Vassar. “We can move up or down

within the frame to choose the best 3.85:1 rectangle.”

In trying to communicate the incredible vistas and wildlife,

Vassar and Tufty have found that the images work best when

they are abstract or impressionistic. They have enhanced this

effect by including time lapse star fields and reflections off water.

“We’re creating images that often don’t have a ‘correct’

up or a down,” Vassar says. “As a result, the more abstract or

impressionistic the shot the more successful the image. It’s

almost like looking at clouds. They become very arresting. It draws

you in. The model that we’ve tried to follow is of a walk through

the forest or back country. You come across a slow moving creek.

You look into the creek and the creek takes you away into a

transcendental experience.”

As visitors enter the center, a static shot of a moving creek will

be playing on the video river, along with the sound of running

water. Every 20 minutes or so, the movie will run. “We hope it will

have a meditative, relaxing effect for viewers,” says Vassar.

The video river will debut at the park in June 2007. ■

Documentary

January 2007 InCamera 37


Music Video

38

Jeff Cutter was nominated for Best Cinematography in

the 2006 MTV Video Music competition for his painterly

rendering of images for Ashlee Simpson’s emotional

performance in Invisible. The music video was produced by

DNA. The assignment: Simpson portrays a boxer preparing for

and engaging in a spirited fight where she snatches victory from

defeat.

Cutter and director Marc Webb had about three minutes to

tell that story with compelling images that visually punctuate

the lyrics and music and leave a lasting impression. The video

opens with Simpson and her trainer in a small gymnasium.

“Before her big boxing bout, Ashlee is preparing with her

trainer,” Cutter says. “She is seated in a simple, white gym room

with a single bulb hanging over her head. The camera is outside

the room framing her in the silhouetted doorway. This has a

voyeuristic feeling as you are watching from outside the room.

We believe it enhances the sense of reality and Ashlee’s feeling

of isolation before she has to go out into the arena to face her

opponent and her fears.”

The story later cuts to the fight. Simpson is being battered at

first. Then, her facial expressions and body language reveal that

she is determined to fight back and win.

Invisible was filmed in an old recreation center

and boxing ring in Los Angeles. Cutter preferred

the unique texture of black- and-white film, but

he didn’t have that option. The record company,

which sponsored the music video, wanted the images recorded

on color film. Cutter chose KODAK VISION2 500T 5218 color

negative film.

“This has a voyeuristic feeling as you are watching from

outside the room, it enhances the sense of reality and

Ashlee’s feeling of isolation before she has to go out

into the arena to face her opponent and her fears.”

InCamera January 2007

They produced the music video in Super 35 format with

a handheld camera to create a feeling of tactile energy. The

camera was mounted with wide and medium angle 27mm and

50mm lenses. Longer 75mm and 100mm lenses were used for

close-ups of Simpson when they want her to make a more

intimate connection with the audience.

Cutter says that the 500-speed film gave him the flexibility

to record the action in natural light coming through windows

in daytime and from lamps above the boxing ring. He didn’t use

gels or filters or balance color temperatures from different light

sources.

Cutter explains that helped to imitate the texture of blackand-white

film on the color negative when it was transferred

to video during telecine sessions at Company 3 in Los Angeles.

Final touches were put on the look during post-production

when colors were desaturated to create a black-and-white look.

Cutter drew on a combination of instincts and a deep pool

of experience to create the nuanced images for Invisible. He

has shot some 150 music videos since graduating from Loyola

Marymount University in Los Angeles. Many of them have been

produced by DNA. Cutter also has an impressive portfolio of

television commercials, and earned his first narrative credit with

the release of Gridiron Gang last September. ■

During pre-production, Webb and Cutter

discussed Raging Bull, a classic 1980 black-andwhite

film based on the life of middleweight

boxing champion Jake LaMotta, They wanted to

emulate that look and the emotional tone of the

movie which was directed by Martin Scorsese

and photographed by Michael Chapman, ASC.

Chapman intentionally rendered a subtly contrasty,

Invisible

somewhat grainy look on KODAK Double-X film

that mimicked the real boxing matches that had

aired on black-and-white television

How Cutter created a

painterly look for

Below: A scene from the

Ashlee Simpson music

video Invisible, shot by

cinematographer Jeff Cutter.


PHOTO: DOUGLAS KIRKLAND

On February 18, 2007, the American

Society of Cinematographers

will host the 21st Annual ASC

Outstanding Achievement Awards

in Los Angeles. The organization will

present Allen Daviau, ASC with the Lifetime

Achievement Award, Michael Ballhaus, ASC

with the International Achievement Award,

and Donald M. Morgan with the first ASC

Career Achievement in Television Award.

Daviau claimed the first of his five Oscar

nominations in 1983 for E.T. The Extra-

Terrestrial. His other nominations were

for The Color Purple (1986), Avalon (1991),

Empire of the Sun (1988) and Bugsy (1992).

The latter two films also took top honors in

the annual ASC Outstanding Achievement

Awards competition, and Empire of the Sun

won the BAFTA cinematography award, the

British equivalent of an Oscar.

“Allen Daviau is still in the prime of

his career, but he has already created an

innovative body of work that will stand

Libatique recognized at

Hawaii International Film Festival

Matthew Libatique, ASC

received the 2006 Kodak

Vision Award for Excellence in

Cinematography at the Louis

Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival.

The festival, which was held last October,

presents this recognition annually to a

cinematographer who has made significant

contributions to advancing the art of

filmmaking in the Pacific Rim.

“Matthew Libatique is an innovative

and talented cinematographer,” says Mike

Morelli, worldwide general manager and

the test of time,” says Russ Alsobrook,

ASC, who chairs the organization’s Awards

Committee. “He is an awe-inspiring

cinematographer who has earned the

admiration of filmmakers around the

world.”

Ballhaus is being recognized for his

artful and enduring contributions to

advancing the global art of filmmaking.

He has compiled some 100 narrative film

credits in Germany and the United States.

He has earned Oscar nominations for

Broadcast News, The Fabulous Baker Boys

and Gangs of New York. A short list of his

other memorable films includes The Color

of Money, Goodfellas, Postcard From the

Edge, The Age of Innocence, Quiz Show,

Primary Colors, Something’s Gotta Give and

The Departed.

Morgan has earned five Emmy Awards

for his artful cinematography on the

television movies Something the Lord Made,

Out of the Ashes, Miss Evers’ Boys, Geronimo

and Murder in Mississippi, with four

vice president of Strategic Global Accounts

for Kodak’s Entertainment Imaging Division.

“He shared his valuable insights about

the evolving art of cinematography with

filmmakers from the Pacific Rim who came

to this festival for inspiration.”

Libatique has compiled some 25 feature

film credits since graduating from the

American Film Institute in 1995, including

Pi, Requiem for a Dream, Tigerland,

Abandon, Phone Booth, Gothika, Never Die

Alone, She Hate Me and Inside Man. His

most recent projects include The Fountain,

The Number 23 and Iron Man. ■

ASC to celebrate Daviau, Ballhaus and Morgan

K

odak hosted its annual celebration

honoring the 2006 Emmynominated

cinematographers

in Studio City, California, in August.

“A nomination for an Emmy Award is

an extraordinary achievement,” said

Kodak’s Mike Morelli. “Cinematography is

a demanding form of artistic expression.

Some of the prerequisites include a

collaborative spirit, innate talent and

mastery of a complex and constantly

evolving craft.” Pictured: (L to R standing)

Kodak’s Bruce Berke; Mark Doering-Powell

for Everybody Hates Chris; Christian La

Fountaine* for How I Met Your Mother;

Michael Bonvillain, ASC for Lost; Michael

Slovis* for CSI; Kodak’s Mike Morelli; Steven

Silver for Two and a Half Men; James

Chressanthis, ASC for Four Minutes; Bryan

Hays for Reba; Don McCuaig, ASC of the

Academy Cinematography Peer Group;

Kodak’s Michael Zakula. (L to R sitting)

George Mooradian for According to Jim;

William Wages, ASC for Into the West;

Steven Poster, ASC for Mrs. Harris; Alan

Caso, ASC for Into the West; Robert Primes,

ASC for Sleeper Cell. ■

(* 2006 Emmy winner)

additional nominations

for For Love or Country:

The Arturo Sandoval Story,

The Siege at Ruby Ridge,

Double-crossed and Elvis.

He has also claimed top

honors in the television

movie/miniseries/pilot

category in the annual

ASC Awards competition

for The Siege at Ruby

Ridge, Geronimo, Dillinger,

and Murder in Mississippi,

along with two

nominations for Out of

the Ashes and For Love or

Country. His feature film

credits include Starman,

Christine, and Sheila

Levine is Dead and Living

in New York. ■

Above: Allen Daviau, ASC

News

Kodak honors 2006 Emmy-Nominated Cinematographers

PHOTO: VICKI MACK

January 2007 InCamera 39

PHOTO: DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


40

How do you prepare today’s and tomorrow’s

fi lm students for fruitful careers in the

motion picture and television industries?

That was the over-arching topic when

members of the University Film and Video

Association (UFVA) gathered for the organization’s

60th annual conference at Chapman University in

Southern California. The theme of the conference

was Storytelling for the Digital Age.

Kodak is a sustaining sponsor of UFVA. The company

showcased cutting-edge fi lm and hybrid postproduction

technologies, in addition to sponsoring

presentations and seminars featuring some of the

industry’s top cinematographers.

The Chapman University fi lm school faculty

hosted the conference, beginning with an opening

workshop that focused on the convergence of fi lm

origination and digital post-production. “Twenty

years ago, if you were shooting fi lm, there was a

very clear workfl ow,” says Bob Bassett, dean of the

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman

University. “If you were shooting video, there

was another clear and separate workfl ow. Digital

UFVA Conference e

storytelling for the

technology has created mixed workfl ows, and it’s

important for students to understand how those will

be applicable to their work.”

Chapman faculty members also presented a case

study on the making of The Haunted Child, which

was produced on fi lm, scanned and converted to

digital video fi les for post-production. The timed

digital fi le was recorded out to fi lm for distribution.

“We wanted to test a hybrid workfl ow on a major

project within the educational setting,” Bassett

said, adding later that the project is indicative of the

school’s commitment to emulating a professional

workfl ow for students. The fi lm was produced with

assistance from the Kodak 35mm Project, a fi lm

grant program designed to aid student productions

working with professional mentors.

Peter Postma of Kodak’s Entertainment Imaging

division presented an overview of workfl ow

options and how contemporary digital intermediate

technology can dramatically affect creative decisions

made by fi lmmakers. While the term “digital

intermediate” (DI) once was used to describe a

delivery element, he noted, it’s now commonly

used to describe the whole digital post-production

process. Postma outlined the DI workfl ow, including

various options ranging from scanning resolution to

color space.

ASC members share production

insights with a nod to the future of

fi lmmaking

A highlight of the conference was a seminar

sponsored by Kodak that featured dialogues with four

members of the American Society of Cinematographers

(ASC): Laszlo Kovacs, ASC, Donald M. Morgan,

ASC, Daryn Okada, ASC and Stephen Lighthill,

ASC. The foursome brought more than 100 years of

cumulative experience in all aspects of motion picture

and television production to the discussion. They left

no doubt that the industry’s most artful cinematographers

prefer to originate projects on fi lm coupled with

hybrid post-production.

Morgan, who has lensed 10 movies for HBO in recent

years, talked about his return to shooting on Super 16

fi lm. “Walk Out (an HBO movie) was the fi rst time I

shot 16mm fi lm in over 20 years. I was a little worried.

I heard they were going to blow it up to 35mm and

show it to an industry audience at the Cinerama Dome

in Hollywood. I was afraid the grain would look like

basketballs.”

The Super 16 images were recorded on KODAK

VISION2 500T 7218 and VISION2 250D 7205

fi lms. Telecine and HD timing were done at Global

Entertainment Partners. “I was amazed at what you


xamines fi lm education,

future

could pull out of that little negative,” Morgan said.

“Now I’m excited about the possibilities for shooting

with mobile Super 16 cameras.”

Okada quickly added that the DI process isn’t the

solution to all post-production needs. He said his fi rst

DI experience three years ago was “like a science

project.” On a more recent project, he fought against

doing a DI because it would be done with a 2K scan,

far below the resolution of 35mm fi lm.

“There had better be a good reason for doing a DI,” he

said. “People make the assumption that digital postproduction

is working perfectly, but there is still a lot

of work to be done especially at higher resolutions. At

ASC, we’re exploring different ideas and technologies

to make sure cinematographers can depend on it.”

When asked for their thoughts on what fi lm educators

should impart to students, Lighthill - who is now the

cinematographer in residence at the American Film

Institute - said that cinematographers need to be

prepared not just for the technologies that exist today,

but also have a solid grounding in photography and the

history of visuals.

Kovacs recalled coming to Hollywood in 1956 along

with Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, in the wake of a failed

uprising against the communist regime and Russian

army in Hungary. Kovacs and Zsigmond have become

two of the world’s most respected cinematographers.

Kovacs is chairman of the ASC’s Education Committee,

which reaches out to mentor fi lm students. He invited the

educators to encourage their students to participate in the

annual ASC Heritage Award competition.

The seminar was capped with the screening of

Cinematographer Style. The 84-minute documentary

features interviews with 110 cinematographers sharing

anecdotes about the art of fi lmmaking.

Kodak presents faculty and student

scholarships

ASC members Stephen Lighthill,

Daryn Okada, Donald M. Morgan and

Laszlo Kovacs addressed UFVA members

at a Wednesday evening panel.

Kodak also announced the 2006 winners of faculty and

student scholarships at UFVA.

Phillip Van, an MFA student at New York University, won a

$12,000 Eastman Scholarship, and Chris Teague, an MFA

student at Columbia University, won an $8,000 scholarship

to support their fi lm studies.

Faculty winners were Paula Froehle of Columbia College

Chicago and Greg Durbin of San Diego State University.

Both will receive $6,000 grants to support projects related

to their teaching.

Kodak inaugurated the scholarship program in 1991 for

undergraduate and graduate students at universities

offering degrees in fi lm in the United States and Canada.

Nearly 100 students have received scholarships. In 2001, a

faculty scholarship was added to enhance the professional

growth of teachers on projects involving students.

41


Above: Chandler Pohl of

Ngee Ann Polytechnic

in Singapore discusses

a scene he’s preparing

to shoot as part of the

“Stop by, Shoot Film”

workshop offered by

Kodak, with Randy Tack,

cinematographer and

Kodak imaging education

specialist. Looking on is

ARRIflex representative

Frederick Molina. The

camera is an Arriflex 416

Plus 16mm camera.

42

Kodak highlights educational program

Throughout the week, Kodak shared its fi lmmaking expertise

with UFVA attendees in a variety of ways, showcasing

products and services available to support educational

efforts:

Stop by, Shoot Film. Dozens of UFVA members

took Kodak up on an offer to “stop by and shoot fi lm” at this

year’s conference. Attendees met with a Kodak cinematographer,

went out in small groups and shot short scenes

on and around the Chapman campus. Each person shot a

minute or two of fi lm. “We designed this workshop to help

students - particularly in entry-level classes - to understand

the nuances of color, exposure and fi lm latitude, and how

important they are to visual storytelling,” explained Randy

Tack, cinematographer and Kodak imaging education

specialist.

Teaching products. UFVA attendees visiting the

Kodak booth learned about the many educational products

Kodak has to offer, including interactive CD-ROMs and

workbooks. In some cases, they even walked away with

free fi lm. “We bring tools and other deliverables for the

faculty to consider using, and information on how Kodak can

help them in their classrooms,” said Carolyn Delvecchio, an

education specialist with Kodak. “But it’s a two-way street.

We also learn from the faculty here what they need from

Kodak, and we do our best to respond to those needs.”

Hands-on experience with the KODAK

Look Manager System. UFVA members interested

in helping students pre-determine a look for their fi lm

projects got hands-on experience in a small group workshop

with the KODAK Look Manager system (KLMS). Using digital

still photos, KLMS allows users to simulate the effect

of using different fi lm stocks, a variety of camera fi lters, and

different processing techniques or telecine settings.

“You can emulate virtually anything you can do at a fi lm lab

or in post-production,” said Postma, who demonstrated

the system.

NextFrame Film Festival marks

15th year

The UFVA student fi lm festival, NextFrame, showcased the

fi nalists’ fi lms throughout the conference, allowing UFVA

members to act as judges. The winning fi lms were screened

at week’s end. Kodak provides a $1,000 product grant to fi rst

place winners in each category. This year’s winners include:

EXPERIMENTAL CATEGORY:

� First place: Las Mujeres de Pinochet, Eduardo Menz,

Concordia University (Canada)

� Second place: Reveries from Cistae Memoria, Phil

Hastings, Southern Illinois University (USA)

DOCUMENTARY CATEGORY:

� First place: One in 2000, Ajae Clearway, University of

Texas-Austin (USA)

� Second place: Afl oat, Erin Hudson, Stanford University

(USA)

NARRATIVE CATEGORY:

� First place: Hochhaus (Tower Block), Nikias Chryssos,

Filmakademie Baden-Württenberg (Germany)

� Second place: Sideway, Tomas Janco, Academy of

Music & Dramatic Arts (Slovakia)

ANIMATION CATEGORY:

� First place: Unwilled Inheritance: A Portrait of 3

Generations, Nathan Broaddus, Hampshire College

(USA)

� Second place: Monster, Michaela Ostadalova,

Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts (Slovakia)

DIRECTOR’S CHOICE:

� Riza Kaptan, Tolga Dilsiz, University of Art & Design,

Zurich (Switzerland)

CINEMATOGRAPHY:

� Melodrama, Filip Marczewski, National Film School,

Lodz (Poland)

SCREENWRITING:

� Hochhaus (Tower Block), Nikias Chryssos, Filmakademie

Baden-Württenberg (Germany)

NextFrame drew 302 entries this year, up about 50 percent

from last year. Entries came from 33 countries.

“We really wanted to reach out to more schools around

the world,” said Ian Markiewicz, co-director of the festival

and a third-year graduate student at Temple University.

NextFrame has been run by a rotating roster of Temple fi lm

students since it was founded there in 1991. “Bringing work

from around the world to students here, and vice versa, is

one of the festival’s founding missions.”

NextFrame is a touring festival. Last year, the winning

fi lms were exhibited at 22 venues. For more information on

NextFrame, visit www.temple.edu/nextframe. For more

information on Kodak educational initiatives,

visit www.kodak.com/go/education. ■


Brooks Institute brings professionals

to campus with Kodak 35mm Project

Imagine a student film project with some 50 crew members

using the latest tools on a crane shot with three 35mm

cameras rolling while industry professionals guide them.

That’s not a dream. It’s a picture of what happened during the

production of Love’s Devotion Forever at Brooks Institute of

Photography in Santa Barbara, California.

“The difference between this and a normal student film is

night versus day,” says Jesse Hagy, the Brooks Institute senior

who directed the film. “Most student films are lucky to have

a dozen on the crew, and you never have enough money to do

what you want.”

The production was supported by the Kodak 35mm Project.

Each year, a select number of schools receive a Kodak film

grant in support of a 35mm

production that typically involves

large student crews working handin-hand

with professional mentors.

Faculty sponsor Tracy Trotter,

a cinematographer who has

taught at Brooks for the past five

years, used the Kodak grant as a

springboard to gain more industry

involvement.

“I wanted to create some

excitement not just within the

school, but among people I know

in the industry,” he says. “The

school contributes by bringing in

professionals in every major craft

to mentor the students for a few

days. It’s a real shoot with real

talent. The 35mm Project closes the gap between education

and industry.”

This year’s professional mentors included producer Steve

Traxler (Out of Time), cinematographer Chuck Minsky,

ASC (The Producers), director Perry Lang (Everwood), and

electrician/visual effects mentor Devik Wiener (Honey I Blew

Up the Kid). The film was cast with professional talent by

Linda Lowye (Grey’s Anatomy).

Other industry sponsors included Mole-Richardson, Chapman

Cranes, Clairmont Camera, FotoKem, J.L. Fisher, Dolby, Otto

Nemenz, Mix Magic, NT Audio, and TNT Opticals.

Some 150 students applied for 35 crew positions. “It’s a real

competition,” says Trotter, “and when they get the position,

they really learn from the professional mentors. The students

coming out of the project are the ones best prepared to work

in the industry.”

Love’s Devotion Forever was written by student Jessica Kalin.

It’s a dark, romantic comedy about a screenwriter known for

making dark, brooding films. But, when she falls in love with

a handsome model who is her opposite in every way, she gets

writers’ block and can only script sappy, romantic comedies.

Hagy and director of photography Matt Walla, another Brooks

student, agreed on a straightforward, colorful look for most

of the film. Walla used KODAK VISION2 500T 5218 film for

interior scenes. “I love 5218 for its versatility and true colors

in a variety of lighting,” says Walla. “It also gives me a lot of

latitude.”

Walla chose KODAK VISION2 50D 5201 film for daylight

exteriors. While Walla’s crew had access to a full lighting

truck throughout the production, courtesy of Bullet Grip and

Mole-Richardson, he and Kalin discovered a filmmaking

truism: gremlins are everywhere.

“We had a lot of roadblocks along the way, so I found myself

having to adapt to the situation a lot of the time,” Walla

recalls. “We shot one scene

L to R Executive producer/instructor

Tracy Trotter of Brooks Institute,

with his wife and assistant director

mentor Judy Trotter on Love’s

Devotion Forever.

set in the interior of a radio

station. Thirty minutes

before we were going to

shoot, the power went out. I

ended up lighting that entire

scene in a few minutes

using nothing but batterypowered

light panels.” The

light level was below T1.4,

so the scene was nearly

a half stop underexposed.

“But, it looks stunning,” says

Trotter. “The film really held

up.”

Walla used an ARRI 535B

camera with a selection

of Zeiss Superspeed prime

lenses and a Zeiss 10:1 zoom for the crane shots. He slightly

underexposed 5218 film at EI 400 and had it processed

normally at FotoKem in Hollywood. LaserPacific, a Kodak

company, did the telecine.

“I’ve just found that that little extra bit of exposure gives me a

brighter look, which worked well for this project,” he says.

The project was great preparation for ultimately working on

a professional set, Hagy adds. “We were in a professional

environment and forced to make a lot of decisions we might

not have faced on other student productions,” he comments.

“Our mentors were able to help us think things through and

answer our questions. It was the best of both worlds.”

Love’s Devotion Forever was in post-production at print time.

The first Brooks project produced with a Kodak 35mm Project

grant, Help Wanted, received a CINE Golden Eagle Award

for outstanding student filmmaking. Other schools that have

made films with assistance from the project include San

Diego State University, University of Arizona, Zaki Gordon

Institute (Sedona, Ariz.), Scottsdale Community College,

American Film Institute, California State University Northridge

and California State Long Beach. ■

43


Four stories contributed by four

established writers working in

Milan are the jumping-off point for a

collaborative fi lm produced recently

by the Scuola di Cinema Televisione

e Nuovi Media [School of Cinema,

Television, and New Media] and its

senior students.

The writers (in strict alphabetical order)

are Silvia Ballestra, Gianni Biondillo,

Laura Bosio, and Andrea Pinketts. They

worked with the students to fi nd a cinematographic

key to the interpretation

of their stories, while leaving ample

room for adaptation.

The idea was to make available

coordinators who would help

interpret reality through the stories,

each in their own way. The students

devoted themselves energetically

and passionately to the work, which

also served as a bridge between

their educational training and their

professional careers. In this endeavour

they were supported by members

of the teaching staff in the areas of

direction (Monica Castiglioni, Marina

Spada, Flavio Vida, and Laura Zagordi),

cinematography (Luciano Baresi,

Andrea Treccani, Piergiuseppe Vezzoli,

and Ercole Visconti), and editing (Diego

Cassani). All of these established

professionals shared with the students

their knowledge and skills, in order to

create the best product possible.

The intense commitment by the school,

its students, and its faculty may lead

to the fi rst feature-length fi lm in the

school’s history. What’s more, the

decision to shoot the fi lm in 16mm is a

move toward a level of quality for both

the image per se and the product – one

that could make such projects a regular

part of the school’s curriculum.

We spoke with cinematography

instructor Ercole Visconti, and also with

Timon De Graaf and Paolo Milani, the

fi lm’s cameramen and cinematographers.

44

The Scuole Civiche Milano [Civil

Schools of Milan] produce their fi rst

feature-length fi lm

How did the plan for this production by

the School of Cinema fi rst come about?

Visconti: "E le stele stanno a sparare’

(‘And the stars are coming out’) is one

of the many productions that the school

mounts on a regular basis. It’s one

segment of the tetralogy that makes up

the feature-length fi lm that secondand

third-year students create. This

segment, directed by Vanja Pavlovic, is

an adaptation of the urban noir story

of the same name by Andrea Pinketts.

The course of the cinematographic

narrative, which takes the form of

discrete blocks or segments, made it

possible for several different cinematographers

to experiment during the

shoot. For this reason, as well as for

instructional purposes, students were

able to work by turns as the fi lm’s

cinematographers."

Did the directorial requirements

demand any particular type of lighting?

Paolo: "The needs were dictated

by the nature of the story and by its

atmosphere, in which darkness and

night are dominant. The contrasts

are strong, to the point of violence,

and they had to be rendered faithfully

and effectively. Then, too, the many

different locations described in the

screenplay forced us to study a broad

range of lighting styles, which my

colleagues and I were able to put to

the test."

What technical choices were made in

support of the selected cinematographic

atmosphere?

Timon: "This production was

characterized visually by a nocturnal

atmosphere and strong contrasts.

At the same time, however, from

the production point of view, it was

determined by the budget (which, as

this was an academic production,

was necessarily limited). The other

controlling factor was the need for

a large number of locations with

different lighting. So we chose the

KODAK VISION2 500T 7218, which

let us address all of these aspects.

Technically speaking, this fi lm stock

Above: Giraudo e Banfi in a scene from the film

produces excellent results, even with

variable lighting. And with as many

exteriors as we had – where we

couldn’t use all of the school’s lighting

gear – it gave us a fairly broad margin

of error, which was a rather important

factor for our students. Artistically,

the fi lm reads very well, with wellrepresented

blacks and the good

contrast performance that we wanted."

What technical diffi culties did you

encounter while you were shooting?

Paolo: "We had to be able to interpret

effectively the rapid succession of

scenes that took place at night, out

of doors, or with transitions from

interiors to exteriors. In the vast

majority of these instances we were

able to succeed specifi cally because

of the type of fi lm we chose. Where

we couldn’t use technical means, we

had to do our best to take maximum

advantage of all of the school’s

resources in order to overcome the

environmental diffi culties."

Would you care to tell us about a

particularly complex shot?

Timon: "One thing that turned out to be

very complex for us was shooting the

slow sequence – in particular, matching

the need for movement with the

required cinematographic atmosphere.

This was also the part that required the

closest coordination of all of the tasks

involving the camera. It was quite a

challenge."

Paolo: "There was another scene

that we started shooting after just

a few days that was certainly very

demanding. It’s the scene where one of

the leading characters is found dead.

It had to be shot right at sunset, so the

light was variable and the timing was

extremely tricky." ■


Dates for

your diary

January 2007 - March 2007

Jan 5 - 14

Flickerfest International Short Film

Festival

Sydney, Australia

www.flickerfest.com.au

info@flickerfest.com.au

Jan 16 - 21

Tromso International Film Festival

Tromso, Norway

www.tiff.no

info@tiff.no

Jan 18-27

Slamdance Film Festival

Utah, USA

www.slamdance.com

mail@slamdance.com

Jan 18-28

Sundance Film Festival

Utah, USA

www.sundance.org

festivalinfo@sundance.org

Jan 26 - Feb 3

Clermont-Ferrand Short Film

Festival

Clermont-Ferrand, France

www.clermont-filmfest.com

info@clermont-filmfest.com

Jan 26 - Feb 5

Gothenburg Film Festival

Hof, Gothenberg, Sweden

www.filmfestival.org

info@filmfestival.org

Jan 26 - Feb 5

Bangkok International Film

Festival

Bangkok, Thailand

www.bangkokfilm.org

info@bangkokfilm.org

Feb 8 - 18

Berlin International Film Festival

Berlin, Germany

www.berlinale.de

info@berinale.de

InCamera is a quarterly magazine

published by Eastman Kodak Company

KODAK, EASTMAN, CINESITE, EASTMAN DOUBLE-X, EKTACHROME,

IMAGECARE, LIGHTNING, PRIMETIME, PREMIER, SCREENCHECK,

T-GRAIN, VISION, VISION2, WRATTEN, THE KODAK, EASTMAN AND

EXR devices and the film numbers are trade marks.

Feb 18

ASC Awards

California, USA

www.theasc.com

office@theasc.com

Feb 22 - Mar 4

Adelaide International Film Festival

Adelaide, Australia

www.adelaidefilmfestival.org

info@adelaidefilmfestival.org

Feb 24

Independent Spirit Awards

California, USA

www.filmindependent.org

Membership@FilmIndependent.org

Feb 25

Academy Awards

Hollywood, USA

www.oscars.org/academyawards

ampas@oscars.org

Mar 1- 11

Sofia International Film Festival

Sofia, Bulgaria

www.cinema.bg/sff

office@sofiaiff.com

Mar 7 - 11

Tampere International Short Film

Festival

Tampere, Finland

www.tamperefilmfestival.fi

office@tamperefilmfestival.fi

Mar 8 - 18

Mar del Plata International Film

Festival incorporating Mercosur

Film Market

Buenos Aires, Argentina

www.mardelplatafilmfest.com

info@mardelplatafilmfest.com

Mar 12 - 15

ShoWest

Florida, USA

www.showest.com

Asunshine@vnuexpo.com

OSCAR is a trade mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts

and Sciences.

EMMY is a trade mark of, and copyrighted by, the National

Academy and American Academy of Television Arts and

Sciences.

IMAX is a registered trade mark of the Imax Corporation

Mar 15 - 23

Ottawa Film Festival

Quebec, Canada

www.offestival.com

ifalaise@offestival.com

Mar 16 -24

Bermuda International Film

Festival

Hamilton, Bermuda

www.biff.bm

info@biff.bm

Mar 17- 19

Rome Film Market

Rome, Italy

www.Romefilmmarket.com

info@Romefilmmarket.com

Coming Events

Mar 20 -23

Hong Kong International Film &

TV Market (FILMART)

Hong Kong

www.hkfilmart.com

jimmy.mw.huen@tdc.org.hk

Mar 21 - 24

Eilat International Film Festival

Eilat, Israel

www.eilatfilmfest.com

info@eilatfilmfest.com

Mar 29 - Apr 9

Milan International Film Festival

Milan, Italy

www.miff.it

info@miff.com

Mar 31 - Apr 15

Istanbul International Film Festival

Istanbul, Turkey

www.iksv.org

www.iksv.org

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, modifications may be made to products from time to

time. Details of stock availability and specifications given in

this publication are subject to change without notice.


SHADOWS CAST.

SHADOWS CAUGHT.

INTRODUCING KODAK VISION2 50D FILM.

THE DAYLIGHT FILM THAT’S NOT

AFRAID OF THE DARK.

KODAK VISION2 50D Color Negative Film is the latest

addition to the breakthrough VISION2 Film family. A superb

daylight film, its vast dynamic range lets you pull more

detail from shadows—even in high-contrast scenes.

And like all VISION2 Films, it sets a higher standard for

flesh-to-neutral reproduction. Tell brilliant stories, even if

they have a dark side. Visit www.kodak.com/vision2 or

call your representative for a screening.

KODAK VISION2 Motion Picture Films. What’s next.

VISION2 50D Color Negative Film 5201/7201

VISION2 100T Color Negative Film 5212/7212

VISION2 200T Color Negative Film 5217/7217

VISION2 250D Color Negative Film 5205/7205

VISION2 Expression 500T Color Negative Film 5229/7229

VISION2 500T Color Negative Film 5218/7218

H-47-62 CAT No: 8565566

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