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SEPTEMBER 2009

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1 9 2 0 S I N C E • T E C H N I Q U E S P R O D U C T I O N D I G I T A L & F I L M O F J O U R N A L I N T E R N A T I O N A L T H E
A M E R I C A N C I N E M ATO G R A P H E R • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9 • T H E BA A D E R M E I N H O F C O M P L E X , I N G L O U R I O U S BA S T E R D S, M E S R I N E , C A M E R A - A S S E S S M E N T S E R I E S P T. 2 • VO L . 9 0 N O. 9
M E M B E R P O R T R A I T

Levie Isaacks, ASC


have always loved movies

“I and responded to good


stories. When I got out
of the Army and returned to
college, I got a job answering
the phone at a TV station, and
soon I moved into the news
department. When I was
handed a Bell & Howell
camera, my love affair with
making movies began.
“One of the other
cameramen at the station
showed me American
Cinematographer, and my
eyes must have grown to the
size of silver dollars when I
saw it. I couldn’t believe there
was a magazine about how
cinematographers actually
worked, one that would give
me a chance to learn with every
new issue.
“I keep every issue of
AC, and I’ve always used it as
a reference for techniques I
want to experiment with. AC
is a great inspiration.”
©photo by Owen Roizman, ASC

—Levie Isaacks, ASC

TO SUBSCRIBE BY PHONE:
Call (800) 448-0145 (U.S. only)
(323) 969-4333 or visit the ASC Web site

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9 V O L . 9 0 N O . 9

The International Journal of Film & Digital Production Techniques

On Our Cover: Gudrun Ensslin (Johanna Wokalek) and Andreas Baader (Moritz Bleibtrau) spearhead a
group of German terrorists in The Baader Meinhof Complex, shot by Rainer Klausmann, BVK. (Photo by
Jürgen Olczyk, courtesy of Vitagraph Films and Constantin Film.)

Features 32 Anarchy in the BRD


Rainer Klausmann, BVK recaptures a turbulent era
for The Baader Meinhof Complex

44 A Nazi’s Worst Nightmare


Robert Richardson, ASC reteams with Quentin 44
Tarantino on Inglourious Basterds

58 An Appetite for Crime


Robert Gantz tails a legendary French bank
robber for Mesrine

70 Testing Digital Cameras: Part 2


The ASC/PGA Camera-Assessment Series points the
way toward workflow solutions for digital cameras

Departments 8
10
Editor’s Note
President’s Desk 58

14 Short Takes: Love Hate


20 Production Slate: North Face
District 9
78 Post Focus: The Red Shoes
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday
86 New Products & Services
96 International Marketplace
98 Classified Ads
98 Ad Index
100 ASC Membership Roster
102 Clubhouse News
104 ASC Close-Up: Alexander Gruszynski 78

V i s i t u s o n l i n e a t w w w. t h e a s c . c o m
S e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 9 V o l . 9 0 , N o . 9
The International Journal of Film & Digital Production Techniques • Since 1920

Visit us online at

www.theasc.com
————————————————————————————————————
PUBLISHER Martha Winterhalter
————————————————————————————————————
EDITORIAL
EXECUTIVE EDITOR Stephen Pizzello
SENIOR EDITOR Rachael K. Bosley
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jon D. Witmer
TECHNICAL EDITOR Christopher Probst

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Stephanie Argy, Benjamin B, Douglas Bankston, Robert S. Birchard, John Calhoun,
Bob Davis, Bob Fisher, Simon Gray, Jim Hemphill, David Heuring, Jay Holben,
Noah Kadner, Ron Magid, Jean Oppenheimer, John Pavlus, Chris Pizzello, Jon Silberg,
Iain Stasukevich, Kenneth Sweeney, Patricia Thomson, David E. Williams
————————————————————————————————————
ART DEPARTMENT
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Marion Gore
————————————————————————————————————
ADVERTISING
ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Angie Gollmann
323-936-3769 FAX 323-936-9188
e-mail: gollmann@pacbell.net
ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Sanja Pearce
323-908-3114 FAX 323-876-4973
e-mail: sanja@ascmag.com
ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Scott Burnell
323-936-0672 FAX 323-936-9188
e-mail: sburnell@earthlink.net
CLASSIFIEDS/ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Diella Nepomuceno
323-908-3124 FAX 323-876-4973
e-mail: diella@ascmag.com
————————————————————————————————————
CIRCULATION, BOOKS & PRODUCTS
CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Saul Molina
CIRCULATION MANAGER Alex Lopez
SHIPPING MANAGER Miguel Madrigal
————————————————————————————————————
ASC GENERAL MANAGER Brett Grauman
ASC EVENTS COORDINATOR Patricia Armacost
ASC PRESIDENT’S ASSISTANT Kim Weston
ASC ACCOUNTING MANAGER Mila Basely
ASC ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Corey Clark
————————————————————————————————————
American Cinematographer (ISSN 0002-7928), established 1920 and in its 89th year of publication, is published
monthly in Hollywood by ASC Holding Corp., 1782 N. Orange Dr., Hollywood, CA 90028, U.S.A.,
(800) 448-0145, (323) 969-4333, Fax (323) 876-4973, direct line for subscription inquiries (323) 969-4344.
Subscriptions: U.S. $50; Canada/Mexico $70; all other foreign countries $95 a year (remit international
Money Order or other exchange payable in U.S. $). Advertising: Rate card upon request from Hollywood
office. Article Reprints: Requests for high-quality article reprints (or electronic reprints) should be made to
Sheridan Reprints at (800) 635-7181 ext. 8065 or by e-mail hrobinson@tsp.sheridan.com.
Copyright 2007 ASC Holding Corp. (All rights reserved.) Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, CA
and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA.
POSTMASTER: Send address change to American Cinematographer, P.O. Box 2230, Hollywood, CA 90078.
————————————————————————————————————
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American Society of Cinematographers
The ASC is not a labor union or a guild, but
an educational, cultural and professional
organization. Membership is by invitation
to those who are actively engaged as
directors of photography and have
demonstrated outstanding ability. ASC
membership has become one of the highest
honors that can be bestowed upon a
professional cinematographer — a mark
of prestige and excellence.

OFFICERS - 2009/2010
Michael Goi
President
Richard Crudo
Vice President
Owen Roizman
Vice President
Victor J. Kemper
Vice President
Matthew Leonetti
Treasurer
Rodney Taylor
Secretary
John C. Flinn III
Sergeant At Arms

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD


Curtis Clark
Richard Crudo
George Spiro Dibie
Richard Edlund
John C. Flinn III
John Hora
Victor J. Kemper
Matthew Leonetti
Stephen Lighthill
Isidore Mankofsky
Daryn Okada
Owen Roizman
Nancy Schreiber
Haskell Wexler
Vilmos Zsigmond

ALTERNATES
Fred Elmes
Steven Fierberg
Ron Garcia
Michael D. O’Shea
Michael Negrin

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Editor’s Note inematic ambition is evident in every frame of The

C Baader Meinhof Complex, which earned a Best Foreign


Film nomination at the 2009 Academy Awards. Shot by
Rainer Klausmann, BVK, the tense political thriller retraces
the history of the Red Army Faction, which tore a violent
swath through West Germany for a decade, beginning in
the late 1960s. The filmmakers enjoyed extraordinary coop-
eration from German authorities, who allowed them to use
locations that included even Bismarckstrasse, a six-lane
highway that serves as one of Berlin’s main thoroughfares.
“We couldn’t believe that,” marvels director Uli Edel,
noting that the production needed the access to film key
scenes of student protests at the capital’s biggest opera house, the Deutsche Oper. “To
close one of the main veins of the city for three days and nights, just so we could restage
that scene, was amazing.” Klausmann amplified the historical realism by capturing the
drama with an intense, documentary-like camera style. “Finding a visual approach to the
film was easy because to my mind, you can’t play around with history — you have to go
for the facts,” he tells London correspondent Mark Hope-Jones (“Anarchy in the BRD,” page
32.) As our coverage confirms, however, executing this strategy was far from simple.
The makers of the four-hour crime epic Mesrine (“An Appetite for Crime,” page
58) faced equally daunting logistics while telling the story of a flamboyant bank robber who
thoroughly enjoyed his status as France’s “most wanted man” from 1973-’79. The French
government extended extraordinary privileges to the production, which managed to shut
down one of the busiest intersections in Paris, Porte de Clignancourt, to shoot the film’s
climax. “It’s unheard of,” cinematographer Robert Gantz tells Jean Oppenheimer. “That
plaza is a major entry and exit point for Paris.”
A pair of Americans working abroad, director Quentin Tarantino and cinematog-
rapher Robert Richardson, ASC, brought European flavor to their work on the World War II
revenge drama Inglourious Basterds. The filmmakers shot most of the picture at Babelsberg
Studios near Berlin but peppered the project with scenes staged at various locations in both
Germany and France. The resulting visuals reflect Tarantino’s fondness for both homage and
audacious framing: “Quentin and I will have these interesting little battles while I’m
composing a shot,” Richardson tells European correspondent Benjamin Bergery (“A Nazi’s
Worst Nightmare,” page 44). “I naturally move to one side or the other, especially when
shooting anamorphic, whereas Quentin enjoys dead-center framing. For singles in particu-
lar, we’re just cutting dead-center framing from one side to the other, with the actors look-
ing just past the barrel of the lens.”
If you haven’t already guessed, the theme of this issue is international produc-
tion, and it is also reflected in Production Slate articles about the features North Face (shot
at rugged locations in Austria and Switzerland) and District 9 (shot in South Africa), along
with a Short Takes piece on the British project Love Hate.
This issue also includes another installment of our coverage of the ASC/PGA
Camera-Assessment Series (“Testing Digital Cameras: Part 2,” page 70). This time around,
key participants outline the workflow solutions applied to tests involving seven digital
Photo by Douglas Kirkland.

motion-picture cameras.

Stephen Pizzello

Executive Editor
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President’s Desk
ince being elected president of the

S ASC, I’ve been asked by a number of


people what my favorite movies are
and what I believe in. I don’t intend for this
column to be about me, but in the interest
of helping the filmmaking community get
to know me better, I offer these admittedly
random insights. My favorite films are an
eclectic bunch, a baker’s dozen that have
all imparted some pearl of inspiration in
just the right way.
The Graduate (1967) – My favorite
film. I’ve seen it more than 120 times in theaters since I was 8. The cine-
matography, by Robert Surtees, ASC, taught me the emotional value of shadow
and widescreen composition. And then there was Katharine Ross.
L’avventura (1960) – I fell asleep the first two times I tried to watch
Antonioni’s examination of the idle Italian rich because I kept waiting for him
to get back to the plot about the missing girl. It wasn’t until I realized what he
was saying about emotional disconnection through architectural composition
that I felt the characters’ plight acutely; Anna may be physically lost, but all of
us are emotionally lost as well.
Winged Migration (2001) – Yes, it’s 90 minutes of birds flying, but this
film made me feel like I knew what it was like to fly with them. It’s rare that a
movie can change my perspective on something I see every day. This one did.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968) – Eli Wallach’s search for the
grave with the gold is still one of the greatest moments in movie history. As he
frantically scans all the graves, the combination of photography, editing and
music is so overwhelming that you completely forget his character cannot read.
Spirited Away (2001) – Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterpiece
created an amazing world of fantastic creatures and unusual events and made
it all seem real through the eyes of a child. I still want to take a ride on that
train skimming the surface of the lake.
C’était un rendez-vous (1976) – Claude Lelouch mounted a 35mm
camera on the front of a Mercedes and tore through the streets of Paris at 6
a.m. at 85 mph, blowing past red lights and driving up on sidewalks in one
unbroken nine-minute take. Pure cinema. Watch it on the big screen and sit in
the front row.
King Kong (1933) – A big movie in the best sense of the word. This gets
down to the core of what makes movies magical.
All That Jazz (1979) – You can accuse Bob Fosse of ripping off Fellini’s
8 1⁄ 2 all you want, but I happen to like open-heart surgery with my musical
comedy. A perfect partnership of dance, choreography, photography and edit-
ing, it was the natural successor to the unbroken-take, MGM style of dance on
film that Vincente Minnelli did so well in the 1940s and 1950s.
Cemetery of The Elephants (1975) – Armando Robles Godoy manages
to tell the story of a man’s life from boyhood optimism to old age and disillu-
sionment in the space of 15 minutes and makes it emotionally devastating and
unbearably poignant.
The Creeping Terror (1964) – Hideously awful and enormously enter-
taining movie about a space creature that looks like a big, walking carpet with

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an orifice that swallows women whole. You will not be able to get the dance-
hall music out of your head no matter how hard you try.
Pandora’s Box (1929) – It was a tossup between this and Buster
Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. (1924) for my favorite silent film. Pabst’s examination
of the morality of an immoral girl was one of the pinnacle film achievements
in early cinema. You cannot watch the ending without wanting to step into
the story and take Louise Brooks away.
Day for Night (1973) – François Truffaut shows all the problems that
happen when you make a movie and still manages to make it seem like the
most fun you could ever have. Like real life.
L.A. Story (1991) – It took a lot for me to move to Los Angeles, and I
had a hard time even tolerating the place, but Steve Martin showed me I was
taking everything a bit too seriously. Thank you, Steve.
In terms of my beliefs:
I believe working in the motion-picture industry is the best job in the
world, and anyone working in the business who doesn’t feel that way should
get out of it and do something else.
I believe we will be using film until we no longer feel compelled to
compare every new digital medium to film, and when I hold a roll of film in
my hands and look at the individual frames through a light bulb, I’m looking
at the greatest wonder in the world.
I believe I was never complete until I met my wife, Gina, and even
though my son calls everything “Daddy” — the cat, his toy truck, his break-
fast — the first time he said it, he was saying it only to me.
I believe I will always remember Mary Carlisle’s cameo as Impy the
secretary in the 1932 Technicolor short film The Devil’s Cabaret, but I will
never remember what I had for dinner the night before.
I believe new technology is great and valuable and will be replaced by
newer technology as soon as I learn the previous version.
I believe daydreaming is not only worthwhile, but an important artistic
activity to be encouraged and nurtured — but not if you work on the electric
crew.
I believe William A. Fraker, ASC, BSC is no mere mortal, but a benevo-
lent angel sent to earth to remind us that we work in a magical, romantic
industry.
I believe I will never get over being accepted as a member of the ASC.
Never. Don’t even get me started on the whole president thing.
I believe that as phenomenal as the 1930s and the 1970s were in the
history of cinema, the best is yet to come. The craft of cinematography is a
living, breathing and constantly evolving art form. Visual storytellers are what
we are in any media. There are young filmmakers out there who have
absorbed the best of the past and have a vision for the future. You ain’t seen
nothing yet.

Michael Goi, ASC


President

12
Stefan Sonnenfeld
Colorist. Entrepreneur. Fanatic.

© Kodak, 2009. Kodak and Vision are trademarks.


. Film
back to film
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Short Takes
Embracing Inner Anger
by Iain Stasukevich

The formerly
wimpy Tom (Ben
Whishaw)
exults in the
demonic
influence of his
inner Hate,
which takes the
form of an
attractive
female (Hayley
Atwell) in the
19-minute short
Love/Hate,
directed by
Blake and Dylan
Ritson. The
project was shot
by John Lynch,
who
used Arri’s
proprietary lake and Dylan Ritson’s short film assertive female (Hayley Atwell). She’s ShortFest and a nomination for Best
Mscope format
with the
company’s D-21
digital camera.
B Love Hate is a cautionary tale about
the perils of being too nice. At the
center of the tale is Tom (Ben
had enough of Tom’s antics as a
bumbling pushover and is determined to
turn him into a full-time hater.
British Short at the Edinburgh Interna-
tional Film Festival. The filmmakers
were interested in shooting Love Hate
Whishaw), an affable milquetoast who, Love Hate is the third film writ- in HD, which became an especially
despite his prejudices, does his best to ten and directed by the Ritson brothers, exciting prospect after producer Scott
put on a happy face for his job, his following the comedic shorts Out of Jacobson got in touch with Arri Media
acquaintances and, on occasion, his ex- Time (2004) and More More More U.K.’s Milan Krsljanin, who in turn
girlfriend. He maintains his positive (2007), which earned screenings at the offered to supply the production with

Photos and frame grabs courtesy of Origin Pictures. Photos by Nigel Beach.
veneer until one fateful afternoon when Berlin, London and Turner Classic Arri’s D-21 film-style digital camera.
he is confronted by the physical mani- Movies film festivals, among others; “They came across as extremely articu-
festation of his inner ire, which arrives Love Hate has followed suit, winning late and thoughtful people,” remarks
in the form of an attractive and very the Jury Award at the Palm Springs Krsljanin. “They were looking for a tech-

14 September 2009
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K i P r o. B e c a u s e i t m a t t e r s .
Right: Mscope
exploits the
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Below: Blake and
Dylan Ritson
review a scene.

nology to help them express their ideas frame, and all of the odd lines are The Ritsons knew that using
in a more cinematic way, and while a recorded to the second frame, called anamorphic lenses would lend their
lot of filmmakers are using digital the O-frame. Each separate 1920x1080 project a bigger look, and they set out to
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thought shooting anamorphic would be vertical resolution (1728x720 pixels), eventually partnered with John Lynch,
of interest to them, and they jumped at with a border of 180 lines top and whose credits include music videos for
the idea.” bottom, and 96 pixels left and right, so Blur (“Song 2”), Robbie Williams
Enabling anamorphic capture a single stream can be viewed as a (“Millennium”) and Bjork (“All is Full of
with the HD camera is Arri’s proprietary letterboxed 2.40 image on an HD moni- Love”). Lynch immediately saw the
Mscope format, which takes advantage tor. Both data streams are captured to benefits of using the wide aspect ratio
of the D-21’s 35mm-size sensor to the same HDCam SR tape and recom- to capture Tom’s plight: “When it’s
capture full-aperture anamorphic bined on a postproduction workstation, anamorphic, you can have Tom on one
images while recording to a 16:9 HD creating a single 2:1 squeezed image side and Hate on the other, and you see
source. Using Mscope, the D-21’s dual- containing 1728x1440 pixels of the their relationship in one frame,” he
stream HD output splits the camera’s sensor’s 1920x1440 native scanning says.
4:3 image into two 16:9 HD frames, resolution. Despite the complexities of “The story charts the descent of
wherein all of the even lines are the hardware, it’s actually a simple somebody who’s generally a nice guy
recorded to the first frame, called the E- workflow solution. into this dark place,” Lynch continues. “I
wanted to map that with the camera, so
we started off with a lot of space
around him, framing-wise, and then got
increasingly claustrophobic. The light-
ing becomes darker and more contrasty,
like a 4:1 ratio, and I used less diffusion
on the lamps to make it more punchy.”
While writing the script, the
Ritsons envisioned a realistic look for
Love Hate, with conditions ranging from
daytime exteriors in bright sunlight to
nighttime interiors in poorly lit under-
ground tunnels. Adding to the realism,
the filmmakers shot on location all
around London over the course of five
hectic days, with 25 to 30 setups per
day. With a limited lighting package
that essentially comprised LED panels,
Dedo lights, bits of poly silver and an

16 September 2009

    

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Right: The
milquetoast
eventually
realizes his
embrace of Hate
has turned his
life upside-down.
Bottom:
Cinematographer
John Lynch.

18K for some day interiors, Lynch took small amount of fill, Lynch also posi- Mscope, a proprietary Smoke plug-in
advantage of the D-21’s variable ASA to tioned a handheld Sun Gun near the called Spark was developed specifically
make the most of whatever illumination camera. for the image recombination. The grade
was naturally available to him. “I As the film progresses, Tom was performed on a da Vinci Resolve by
treated the camera as if I were using becomes increasingly infatuated with colorist Rob Pizzey, who also used the
film,” the cinematographer remarks. “I Hate, and in one scene, the two share a system to unsqueeze the HD picture
floated around the 500 mark when we bath. Despite the scene’s sinister into a flat 2.40:1 image. The final film
were inside, and went down to undertones, Lynch and the Ritsons was mastered to HDCam SR, and an
between 50 and 100 when we were chose to light it with soft candlelight. anamorphic film print was also struck to
outside. I went to 800 ASA once, when “It’s got a very romantic feel,” says Kodak Vision 2383.
we were underground in a subway Dylan. Lynch adds, “We had a small “This is our first time with the
walkway.” China ball in the bathroom with us, but format and we found it to be a really
Tom and Hate enter the subter- I ended up putting my jacket over it, so exciting process,” Blake enthuses. “It
ranean walkway on their way home in the end there was nothing there presented us with a lot of creative
from a party. “It’s a dark scene, and the apart from the candles. The camera possibilities.” Krsljanin adds, “All of
whole idea is that Tom is drunk,” was set to 500 ASA, and my meter was the elements came together nicely.
explains Blake Ritson. “We put John coming up E, which means there’s noth- The filmmakers really used their tools
and the camera on a rickshaw, and the ing there. But I was still very comfort- to capture the insecurities of the char-
movement adds a queasy quality to the able — I’m not afraid of the dark.” acters in a visually compelling way.
shot.” Lynch elaborates, “The walkway Through most of the shoot, They had a great cinematographer and
had LED lights in the roof, which shifted Lynch kept his Hawk anamorphic lenses a great cast; it was a match made in
color every 10 seconds, from green to at a T2.8, eschewing the notion of a heaven. I know they’ll continue to
blue to red. It’s an unusual effect, and it “sweet spot” in the middle T-stop make big moves in the motion-picture
added to the beauty of the scene.” For a range. Shooting wide open allowed him industry.”
more flexibility in low-light situations,
although it also kept 1st AC Nathan TECHNICAL SPECS
Mann on his toes. “Milan let us know 2.40:1
we could set the camera up in different High-Definition Video
ways, like if we wanted to calibrate the Arri D-21
exposure to be biased towards high- Hawk lenses
lights or shadows,” Lynch explains. “I Digital Intermediate
didn’t want to bias towards darkness, Printed on Kodak Vision 2383
because when we went outside we’d I
have to recalibrate the camera. I set the
exposure calibration in the middle of
the exposure range and treated it like
film.”
Post work for Love Hate was
carried out at London’s Ascent 142.
Because it was the first project to use

18 September 2009
Production Slate
Political Climbers and Extraterrestrial Immigrants
The German
film North Face
depicts an
attempt by
childhood
friends Andreas
Hinterstoisser
(Florian Lukas,
left) and Toni
Kurz (Benno
Fürmann) to
scale the
treacherous
north face of
Eiger Mountain
in 1936.

North Face photos and frame grabs courtesy of Music Box Films. Additional photos courtesy of Kolja Brandt.
A Perilous Peak increasingly worried about the pair’s accordance with this plan, Stölzl, Brandt
by Jon Silberg safety. and a skeleton crew comprising a
North Face was directed by costumer, an assistant director and a
In the early 1930s, as Adolf Hitler’s Philipp Stölzl and photographed by Kolja few assistants traveled to Switzerland
government set about working Germany Brandt, who won Germany’s Lola Award six months prior to principal photography
into the racist and nationalistic fervor that for his work on the picture. The two had and set about shooting on the Eiger and
would perpetuate World War II, moun- collaborated on a number of music videos other nearby locations.
taineers who were keen to conquer the and commercials, but Brandt speculates Brandt’s goal was to get the
treacherous north face of Switzerland’s that it was his documentary-style camera in close to the climbers while
Eiger Mountain provided the perfect approach to the 2006 feature Tough maintaining the ability to read the
iconography for the propagandists. The Enough that sold Stölzl on his ability to surrounding environment. To achieve
German film North Face (Nordwand) meet North Face’s challenges. this, he and B-camera operator Tommy
depicts the attempt by German moun- Stölzl was inspired by Kevin Ulrich were suspended by rope along-
taineers Toni Kurz (Benno Fürmann) and Macdonald’s documentary/dramatic re- side the professional climbers and
Andreas Hinterstoisser (Florian Lukas) to enactment hybrid Touching the Void (AC filmed with Arri 235s, pulling focus
scale the peak. Players in their story March ’04) and hoped to achieve a simi- themselves. “I love to have the camera
include the cynical newspaper editor lar degree of realism in North Face. He on my shoulder and be right where
(Ulrich Tukur) who wants to exploit their and his collaborators eventually decided everything happens,” says Brandt, who
pursuit, and the climbers’ young journalist to first shoot stunt climbers on location, spent three months training at a climb-
friend (Johanna Wokalek), who hopes the then shoot the actors in a studio, and do ing gym before the shoot. “And luckily,
story will be her big break but grows some elaborate compositing in post. In I’m not afraid of heights!” The impetus

20 September 2009
Left: Kurz and
Hinterstoisser
are joined in
their quest by
Austrian
climbers Edi
Rainer (Georg
Friedrich) and
Willy Angerer
(Simon Schwarz).
Below: Director
Philipp Stölzl
(foreground, left)
and the crew
prepare to film
Schwarz and
Friedrich in the
studio, which
was actually a
large, industrial
freezer.

to keep the cameras close to the sun, and then only in the late afternoon,” tators’ perspective, including a Canon
climbers was inspired in part by Robert notes Brandt. He shot these scenes on 1,000mm lens for one shot. I knew we
Capa’s still photography. “Capa always Fuji Super-F 64D 8522 and Eterna 250D were going to finish with a digital inter-
had the camera really near to the thing 8563, using a mix of Cooke and Ange- mediate, so I wasn’t worried about the
he was shooting — he said, ‘If your nieux lenses. “We took two Angenieux slight differences between the lenses.”
pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t Optimo short zooms [15-40mm] to the The Eiger region “is actually very
close enough,’” says Brandt. “Philipp and mountain because the short Cooke zoom good for shooting,” he continues. “You
I didn’t want to have a lot of shots from lens wasn’t out at the time,” he says. “I can go up to Jungfraujoch by train, and
far away with long lenses.” shot most of the rest of the picture with there is a tourist platform made of steel
He did use long lenses, however, Cooke S4 primes, my favorite lenses. that we could attach ropes to and drop
to delineate the perspective of the spec- We used really long lenses for the spec- down from. The platform is at 3,500
tators who gather at a cozy hotel at the
foot of the mountain to witness the
climb. “The spectators were watching
Bottom photo ©Kolja Brandt. Used with permission.

the climb through a telescope, and for


that perspective, we used long lenses to
emphasize how much distance there is
between them and the things they’re
looking at on the mountain,” he says.
“They couldn’t know what was really
happening out there, even though they
could see it.”
Shooting on the mountain, the
team used the weather to determine
which scenes would be shot when and
where. Snow, mist and general overcast
conditions were the norm. “The wall is a
north face, so only part of it gets direct

American Cinematographer 21
meters [11,483'], and we would hang
down about 20 or 30 meters [70'-100'].
From there, we were looking down
another 100 meters [328'] to the first
ledge. The stunt doubles, who are well-
known Alpinists, would be lowered, and I
would be lowered with a safety climber.
The camera was on its own rope, so
when the mag was empty, an assistant
could pull it up, change the mag and
lower it back down to me. Dietmar Raiff,
my great first assistant, and his crew had
all the equipment and film stock in a tent
on the platform — we couldn’t take the
lenses or stock inside because of the
temperature difference — and they
worked tirelessly, even in the worst
storms.”
For the studio portion of the shoot,
a section of the mountain’s face was re-
created in an industrial freezer that
measured roughly 100'x66' and had a 49'
ceiling. “The cooling machines were very
Above: Director loud, and we also had wind machines
of photography
Kolja Brandt going, so it was impossible to shoot any
shoulders an sync sound,” notes Brandt. “But we felt it
Arri 235 to film was important to shoot in an environment
Swiss Alpinist
Stefan Siegrist that was really cold. We wanted the audi-
(doubling for ence to really feel the coldness and see
Fürmann) on the actors’ breath.” He shot these scenes
Jungfraujoch.
Right: Brandt with an Arri 235, teaming with B-camera
pauses for a operator Franz Hinterbrandner, who
photo op. wielded an Arricam Lite. To create the
overcast-day look onstage, he bounced
Dinos and 10Ks off the enclosure’s gray,
concrete walls and through butterfly nets.
Just outside the frozen stage,
editor Sven Budelmann received a line

Photos by Thomas Ulrich, ©Kolja Brandt. Used with permission.


from the camera tap so he could create
rough comps of the finished scenes.
“Every two or three hours, Philipp could
go out and watch a whole scene,” says
Brandt. “It was very helpful to have that
reference right there.” He credits visual-
effects supervisor Stefan Kessner with
making the location and studio footage
blend seamlessly in post.
Most of the scenes that are not
set on the mountain take place in the
hotel where the spectators gather. After
attempting to secure the actual inn at the
Eiger, the production decided to shoot at
a similar location in Austria. In the hotel,
Brandt transitioned to an Arricam Lite and
mainly shot Fuji Eterna 500T 8573. (He

22 September 2009
Film & Digital:
The Best of
Both Worlds

Michael Condon, SOC Andree Martin


VP Digital Division VP Technical Services

Some rental houses are film and others are digital. We varying temperatures, etc. Then we worked closely with
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Our roots are in film. Over the past 30 years we have
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expanded to include Arri D-21, Sony F23 and F35,
of 35mm and 16mm film cameras. These are coupled
Iconix, Panasonic, and Red cameras. All supported with
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818-761-4440 604-984-4563 416-467-1700 505-227-2525 514-525-6556
Above: This used 8563 for some day scenes.) “We more fill, and in the adjacent room, we “After a week of roughly grading
frame grab had a very talented production designer, had 2Ks bouncing off big polys. All of it, I wrote him an e-mail over the week-
shows a climber
at work on the Udo Kramer, who put all kinds of practi- the dining-room lights were on a end and said, ‘I think we’re wrong with
Eiger. Below: B- cals in the lobby for us,” says the cine- dimmer and gelled with ¼ CTO. We this look.’ We met again on Monday in
camera operator matographer. “To light the hotel dining worked at a very low light level — T2.5 the DI room, and he asked what I’d
Thomas Ulrich
(hanging from room, my gaffer, Christoph Nickel, used to T2.8 — with the 500-speed stock. meant, and I reminded him how we’d
the Jungfraujoch a mix of 800-watt Redheads with That gave us a nice look and really talked about it initially. After that, we got
platform) Chimeras, a couple of Lowel Rifa-lites helped point out the contrast between the picture to the look you see now,
prepares to film
on location in and Zips for semisoft backlight, and a the guests’ comfortable environment which I am very happy with. That’s what
Switzerland. 6K Barger Baglite with a Chimera for and the climbers who were struggling I like about the DI: it’s a process. You can
the tables in the background. Some 1Ks to survive.” try everything out.”
bounced off the ceiling provided a little The negative was processed by Brandt marvels at the fortitude
Arri Film & TV Services, which also displayed by climbers like Kurz and
provided DI services to the production. Hinterstoisser. “You have to respect
The negative was scanned at 2K on an them. Today, we climb mountains with
Arriscan, colorist Traudl Nicholson lots of equipment and warm jackets,
graded the picture on an Autodesk and they didn’t have any of that. We
Lustre Master, and the finalized files could call a helicopter if we needed it.
were filmed out via an Arrilaser. Brandt We could change our clothes when they
emphasizes that the time spent in the DI got wet. We could have hot tea. I’m a
suite was important because it enabled physical guy, and I love that kind of
him and Stölzl to work through some work, but when I look at what those Bottom photo ©Kolja Brandt. Used with permission.
important creative issues. “Philipp has a climbers achieved back then, it really
very good eye, and he started grading it touches me.”
before I was able to get there,” says the
cinematographer. “During the shoot, we TECHNICAL SPECS
had talked about having soft blacks, not 2.40:1
crushed blacks, and going for a look that Super 35mm (3-perf)
wouldn’t take the audience away from Arri 235; Arricam Lite
the mountain. But when I got to the DI Cooke, Angenieux and
suite, the picture had really crushed Canon lenses
blacks and an aqua-color, 1950s kind of Fuji Super F-64D 8522; Eterna 250D
look. I know Philipp, and I wanted him to 8563, 500T 8573
have an opportunity to experiment, so I Digital Intermediate
said, ‘It looks good.’ ¢

24 September 2009
Right: Wikus Ven
De Merwe
(Sharlto Copley)
marvels at the
mothership that
brought an alien
species to Earth
in District 9,
directed by Neill
Blomkamp and
photographed by
Trent Opaloch.
The film was
shot almost
entirely on
location in
Johannesburg,
South Africa.
Below: The
entrance to
District 9, where
the aliens are
sequestered and
forced into a
humiliating
existence.
Aliens in South Africa tently landed on Earth and are subse- create Johannesburg on a backlot or
by Jay Holben quently sequestered by the govern- stage,” says Opaloch. “The textures
ment. The project is the first feature there are really amazing. In the end,
In the winter cold and swirling for Blomkamp, a visual-effects artist, we shot about 95 percent of the movie
dust of Johannesburg, South Africa, and cinematographer Trent Opaloch, in Johannesburg, with a little bit of
military teams mobilize quickly to who has collaborated with Blomkamp splinter work in Wellington, New
round up a group of illegal immigrants on commercials and music videos in Zealand, and some motion-capture
and return them to District 9, their Vancouver, British Columbia. work in Vancouver.
slum in Soweto. There, like so many of Blomkamp, a native of Johan- “A number of large-scale
South Africa’s poor, these lost and nesburg, was keen to shoot all eight productions have been shot in the
confused souls survive in corrugated weeks of principal photography on area, and there is good support for
steel shanties. But the inhabitants of location in South Africa because he [filmmaking],” he continues. “Our keys
District 9 aren’t human. In fact, they knew the conditions and textures of were from New Zealand, the United
aren’t even from this planet. the real Soweto could not be effec- Kingdom, Canada and South Africa,
Directed by Neill Blomkamp, tively re-created anywhere else. “The but we hired the majority of our crew
District 9 (based on Blomkamp’s short studio [Sony Pictures] talked about locally in Cape Town and Johannes-
film Alive in Joburg) follows a race of shooting some of the movie in New burg. Those guys were really amazing.
extraterrestrials that have inadver- Zealand, but we just couldn’t re- They work on commercials and
features all the time, and I had a great

District 9 photos by David Bloomer, courtesy of Sony Pictures.


experience with them.”
One of the key reasons for
shooting on location was the quality
of Johannesburg’s winter air. “Winter
there is hardcore,” says Opaloch, “and
in the townships, people burn what-
ever they can to provide warmth.
We’d drive to the location in the morn-
ing and see people burning tires to
cook their breakfast on. It’s certainly
not a healthy environment, and the
layers of atmosphere this dust and
smoke puts on the horizon is unbeliev-
able — it looks and feels like a war
zone. We scheduled the photography
in the harsh winter months specifi-

26 September 2009
cally to get that look.
“It’s amazing how different the
summer looks,” he continues. “We had
to do some pickups in December, South
Africa’s summer, and it was clean and
green and lush! We had to be very
selective about our framing to try and
match the winter photography.”
The winter shoot had a visible
effect on the gear, which included six
Red One cameras owned by Peter
Jackson, the film’s producer, and two
Sony PMW-EX1s. “My first assistant,
Houston Hadden, would take me into
the camera truck and show me the dirt
and grime he was pulling out of the
camera every night, and it looked like
Top: Backed up an ashtray had been poured out of the
by Multinational camera!” recalls Opaloch. Despite the
United agents, conditions, however, the cameras
Ven De Merwe
hopes for a remained in working order throughout
friendly the shoot.
exchange with The One’s 4K image serves as
one of the
aliens. Middle: the movie’s main perspective, whereas
An alien offers the 1920x1080 HD image from the EX1
its human represents footage shot by journalists
guards an
inscrutable embedded in the alien township. “We
expression. briefly considered shooting Super 16,
Bottom: With the and we talked a bit about shooting
help of 1st AC
Houston Hadden with the Sony F23, but the Red offered
(right) and 2nd us more of the look and functionality
AC P.J. we wanted,” says Opaloch. “If Sony’s
Makosholo
(wearing F35 had been out at the time, we
yellow), Opaloch certainly would have considered it, too.
(seated at “I like the Red system, and we
camera) frames
a shot for got a lot of support from the company,”
Blomkamp he continues. Working in Redcode 36,
(holding “we were shooting onto 8-gig CF cards,
monitor).
which started to feel a bit like a film
shoot because we were limited to the
shooting time, about 4½ minutes per
card. Also, the accessories for the Red
were all what we’re used to using
[with film cameras]. The great benefit
to shooting digitally was the ability to
run to the digital-imaging technician’s
truck and see the footage right away.”
On the truck, Red camera supervisor
Jonathan Smiles had two 30" HD moni-
tors. Smiles would receive the CF cards
from the set, open the footage in Red
Cine, and then he and Opaloch would
apply either a preset or custom curve to
the raw footage for viewing the
selected shots. ¢

28 September 2009
Opaloch looks When you embed visual effects into
through the Red that footage, it grounds the effects in
One’s electronic
viewfinder. “The a kind of reality that’s really unique.
great benefit to “The most helpful thing to me
shooting digitally was the built-in light meter in the
was the ability to
run to the Red,” continues Opaloch, who was
digital-imaging working with Build 15 of the camera.
technician’s “I had heard bad things about the
truck and see the
footage right built-in meter, but [the problems] were
away,” he says. all ironed out by the time I got to work
with the camera. With the combina-
tion of my light meter, the built-in
meter and the ability to run into the
truck and check the shots, I had
absolute confidence in how we were
shooting.”
“We were shooting in a lot of harsh sunlight. The production also Opaloch rated the One at 320
high-contrast lighting, and I was carried a 20'x30' silk that could be ISO. One of the oft-discussed concerns
mostly concerned with how highlights flown from a crane to diffuse the about the Red system is its infrared
were being represented in the Red sunlight from above or used on the sensitivity and the resultant color
footage,” says Opaloch. “I was careful ground to soften the HMIs. “For the anomalies that can arise while
to make sure the highlights didn’t journalists’ material, shot with EX1s, employing ND filters in high-contrast
blow out, and that meant using a lot we just let the highlights go,” he adds. situations with high IR light — in other
more fill than I would normally use.” “We also let the focus go on those words, the conditions encountered by
He used a combination of 18K and 4K cameras to make it feel more immedi- the District 9 crew. “I certainly noticed
HMIs to help shape and fill in the ate, real and rough around the edges. IR pop-off,” says Opaloch. “We ended

30
up shipping in some IR NDs and front- rotoscoping as possible,” says TECHNICAL SPECS
surface mirrors from London, but it Opaloch. “Because we would be 1.85:1
was difficult to integrate them in replacing Jason completely with CG 4K Digital Capture and
handheld situations, especially when characters, we knew that the cleaner High-Definition Video
we were trying to backlight action as the background was, the easier the Red One; Sony PMW-EX1;
much as possible. With the stack of replacement would be. If we had a Vision Research Phantom HD
filters and backlight, there was always shot where Jason was going to enter Cooke and Angenieux lenses
the risk of getting reflections on the the frame against some dense foliage Digital Intermediate
filters and ghosts in the image. When- that would require heavy rotoscoping, Printed on Kodak Vision 2383
ever possible, we strove to fix the we moved over two feet to avoid that I
problem by being careful about what background. We also knew that any
we shot; we’d adjust wardrobe when given shot could become a visual-
it was a problem and allow a little effects shot — we might add the
IR spill into the shadows when we mothership to a sky shot, for example
couldn’t control it, knowing that we — so we always made an effort to Errata
could time it out later. Tiffen has since keep simple, trackable geometry in In our July coverage of Public
introduced Red IR-ND filters that take the frame. If we could give the visual- Enemies, the Zeiss 6-24mm DigiZoom
care of this issue.” effects artists a little piece of back- was omitted from the list of lenses
Actor Jason Cope portrayed ground that would make tracking used on the production. Cinematogra-
the aliens in the movie, donning a easier, we tried to do it all the time. pher Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC made
trackball suit so the visual-effects “District 9 was a really amazing equal use of the Zeiss and Fujinon zoom
team, comprising artists from experience,” he concludes. “I love lenses he discussed in the article.
Embassy Image Engine and Weta doing things that are exciting and In the same issue, the name of
Digital, could replace his human form interesting, and it was great to actress Yolande Moreau was
with various alien ones. “A big direc- contribute to a film that’s so different.” misspelled in our coverage of
tive for us was to eliminate as much Séraphine.

31
Anarchy
in the BRD

The Baader Meinhof Complex, shot by Rainer Klausmann, BVK,


details the rise and fall of a German terrorist group.
by Mark Hope-Jones
Unit photography by Jürgen Olczyk

32 September 2009
n the summer of 1967, during

I
protests against the Shah of Iran’s
state visit to West Berlin, an
unarmed student named Benno
Ohnesorg was shot and killed by
a plainclothes policeman.
Ohnesorg’s killing sent shock waves
through German society, crystalliz-
ing the anger of a youth movement
that viewed America’s presence in
Vietnam as imperialism and its own
government as authoritarian. The
Baader Meinhof Complex charts the
10 tumultuous years that followed, as
student protests paved the way to
organized domestic terrorism. A
particularly single-minded group of
extremists, led by Ulrike Meinhof
and Andreas Baader, founded the
Red Army Faction to wage war on
the state. As the group’s attacks
Opposite:
intensified, the West German police Terrorist
were forced to modernize in order to mastermind
make arrests that provoked new Andreas Baader
(Moritz Bleibtrau)
kidnappings and killings. Despite the is cornered by
arrest of several key Red Brigade German police
members, the violence escalated, during a shootout
in broad daylight.
eventually culminating in the bloody This page, top:
“German Autumn” of 1977. Two members of
Although he has worked the Red Army
Faction, Willy
predominantly in Germany Peter Stoll
throughout his 28-year career, cine- (Hannes
matographer Rainer Klausmann, Wegener, left)
and Peter-Jürgen
BVK is Swiss and has always lived in Boock (Vinzenz
Zurich, so the real events depicted in Kiefer, on car)
the film had a limited impact on him ambush a high-
level target.
as a young man. “I got married in Middle:
1970, and I was more interested in Journalist Ulrike
my new wife than in political Meinhof (Martina
Photos courtesy of Vitagraph Films and Constantin Film.

Gedeck), who
affairs!” he says. “I knew the story a becomes
bit from newspapers and television, Baader’s
but it wasn’t really part of me; I was accomplice,
surveys the scene
never a student and I wasn’t in as protesters
Germany at the time.” attempt to
Instead of studying film at blockade the
Axel Springer
college, Klausmann learned his skills Group Publishing
on the job in the early 1980s. “I was Houses, an
an assistant in Switzerland with incident sparked
by the shooting of
[cinematographer] Hans Liechti and political dissident
then Thomas Mauch, a German Rudi Dutschke.
director of photography,” he Bottom:
Cinematographer
explains. “I was second camera on Rainer
Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo [1982] Klausmann, BVK
with Mauch and then started out on lines up a shot.

American Cinematographer 33
Anarchy in the BRD
Right: For a
scene in which
Dutschke gives
a speech
protesting the
Vietnam War, the
production
filmed at the
actual location,
an auditorium at
the Technical
University in
Berlin. “The only
problem was
that it was much
bigger than we
expected!” says
director Uli Edel.
“We realized we
weren’t going to
be able to do it
with just 400
extras. On the
day, we got
1,200, which
filled half of the
room, and we
eventually
doubled them
with visual
effects.” Below:
In a meticulous my own. Eventually I was working When Eichinger took on The Baader anything together,” says Edel. “When
re-creation of a with directors like Oliver Meinhof Complex, he coaxed director this movie came along, I knew he
famous news
photograph
Hirschbiegel and Fatih Akin; the Uli Edel, an old friend from film would be perfect.”
taken by scripts got better and the work got school, back to Germany from a Though Klausmann had been
Bernard Larsson, better.” successful television career in the little affected by the events of the
a young woman
(Leonie Brandis)
In 2004, Klausmann shot States. Neither man had any doubt time, he was sensitive to the fact that
tends to dying Hirschbiegel’s Downfall, an that Klausmann was the man they Edel felt a great emotional connec-
student protester Academy Award-nominated study wanted behind the camera: “I’ve tion with the story, having lived
Benno Ohnesorg
(Martin Glade),
of Hitler’s final days in his bunker known Rainer for 20 years, and I’ve through it at close quarters as a
who was shot beneath war-torn Berlin, for always followed his work, although student in Germany. “Finding a
and killed by a German producer Bernd Eichinger. we never had an opportunity to do visual approach to the film was easy
police officer
during
because to my mind, you can’t play
demonstrations around with history — you have to
against the Shah go for the facts,” says Klausmann.
of Iran’s state
visit to Berlin.
“Uli didn’t want to present his own
The scene was vision of that era; he wanted to tell
shot at the exact the real stories.”
location of the
real incident,
Many of the events from
near the those difficult years, when West
Deutsche Oper Germany was still a relatively young
Berlin.
democracy, are so well known that
to stray too far from reality would
have alienated the film’s domestic
audience. “The shooting of Rudi
Dutschke [a student activist who
narrowly survived an attempt on his
life in 1968] was comparable [in
cultural impact] to the assassination
of John F. Kennedy,” says Edel. “I
know exactly where I was when I
heard the news. Everybody in

34 September 2009
Top: Police bear
down on
students
protesting the
Shah’s visit.
Bottom left: An
explosion rocks
the U.S.
Parkplatz.
Bottom right:
Director Uli
Edel (standing
in truck, to the
right of boom
operator) and
the crew
prepare to
capture a street
scene.

Germany does, so you cannot remember Ohnesorg and Dutschke was influenced by what we used,
change these things too much.” without necessarily knowing how because our movie had to fit with the
The most iconic moments of they were connected; what I tried to real stuff; we avoided strong reds,
the story were therefore re-created do was to give those 10 years a narra- blues or greens and we desaturated
on set with scrupulous attention to tive that lets you understand how it the image in the DI. Otherwise, it
detail; they serve as visual anchor all started and where it went.” would have looked like two different
points, punctuating a chronological Klausmann’s cinematographic movies, and that’s not good.”
narrative that links them all together. approach was principally dictated by For the same reason,
“Those images were burned into the the film’s fast-paced montage struc- Klausmann’s camerawork was
consciousness of a generation,” says ture and the decision to cut original informed by a newsgathering style
Edel. “The image of a woman lean- television footage in with the action that would complement the sponta-
ing over the dying Ohnesorg went throughout. “We watched a lot of real neous energy of the archival mater-
around the world, so we wanted to footage and there were long discus- ial. “The idea was to make the whole
get as close as possible to the reality sions about what [clips] to use,” he film in this documentary style so it
of that. Most German people says. “The color matching of the film matched the original footage,” says

American Cinematographer 35
Anarchy in the BRD
Police crack
down hard
during the Shah
protests.

Edel. “I gave the actors a lot of free- do what they want and it’s my prob- with Arricam Studios and Lites and
dom, especially in the bigger scenes lem to follow them! I don’t like too Arri Master Primes. “I first used the
with all the extras. It was very impor- much technical stuff, [like] using a Master Primes when they gave me
tant that we could really follow the lot of cranes and modern gear; I two or three to try on The Invasion
action; we did not want to create the prefer to do it the way I think it was, [2007],” he says. “I really liked them
action through cuts. That’s why to make it more real. If you’re nearer then, and I think they’re still the best
there were so many Steadicam and to reality, you’re nearer to the story lenses available. Their speed is good,
handheld shots.” and it’s more likely to work. I never but mainly I like the way they match
This approach suited Klaus- used filters on the film; it was just with colors, and they’re not as hard
mann well: “Uli knows that I like to about the available light and using as the previous [Zeiss] Superspeeds.
handhold the camera,” he says. “The what was there.” To me, they’re perfect.”
actors like it, too, because they can Klausmann opted to shoot In the spirit of authenticity,
Edel made an effort to shoot at loca-
tions where real events had taken
place. “We always tried to get the
original location first, and we got
very lucky with the most important
places,” he says. One such setting was
the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the opera
house that was the backdrop to the
protests that led to Ohnesorg’s death.
To Edel’s surprise, city authorities
granted the production permission
to shut down Bismarckstrasse, a six-
lane highway. “We couldn’t believe
Berlin gave us that,” the director
continues. “To close one of the main
veins of the city for three days and
nights, just so we could restage that
scene, was amazing.”

36 September 2009
Top: Baader
listens to radio
reports of Red
Army Faction
activities while
languishing in
his cell at
Stammheim
Prison. Below
left: Red Army
Faction member
Holger Meins
(Stipe Erceg)
struggles during
his arrest. Below
right: Astrid
(Katharina
Wackernagel)
resists a pair of
guards at Köln-
Ossendorf
Prison.

1st AC Astrid Miegel, who has we just searched for little details at boarded all of it; capturing that
worked alongside Klausmann for the the long end of the zoom.” sequence was primarily a logistical
last eight years, says four cameras “With four cameras running problem.”
were used on Bismarckstrasse to you get the chaos, no problem,” says Heavy rain at the location cost
capture the chaos of a demonstra- Klausmann. “But within that [overall the crew almost an entire day, but
tion that descends into violence and approach] we wanted to get specific shooting with multiple cameras
panic. “One Lite was handheld, two images that had appeared on the allowed them to make up the time.
were Steadicam and one Studio was original news coverage of the event. However, this also created the risk of
fixed on a static dolly with an You have to start with the big shots, cameramen wandering into each
Angenieux 25-250mm,” she details. with everybody there, and then you others’ frames. “There is a moment
“The Steadicams had several of the move closer and closer until you’re where you see one of our handheld
most important shots, so it took getting little moments like the young cameras fully in the shot,” admits
time for Rainer to get those exactly girl being crushed against the barrier. Edel. “But it was a great moment and
as he wanted them; then, near the We had talked a lot about how it I didn’t want to lose it just because of
end, he came over to our Studio and should look, and then we story- the camera, so we left it there — and

American Cinematographer 37
Anarchy in the BRD
Right: Gudrun
Ensslin (Johanna
Wokalek) and
Horst Mahler
(Simon Licht)
take aim while
receiving
military training
at a camp in
Jordan run by
the Palestinian
organization El
Fatah. Below:
Ulrich (Jakob
Diehl) takes a
tense phone call
during the
occupation of the
German embassy
in Stockholm.

nobody ever notices!” in an auditorium at the Technical the day, we got 1,200, which filled
Edel stayed close to his cine- University in Berlin, where Dutschke half of the room, and we eventually
matographer throughout these gave a speech protesting the Vietnam doubled them with visual effects.”
hectic setups, rather than trying to War just weeks before he was gunned Working with supervisors
control too much at once. “A lot of down. Edel location-scouted the from Arri Film & TV Services in
directors have microphones and talk university during prep and found the Munich, Klausmann and Edel shot
to the cameramen from behind the auditorium eerily unchanged by the separate plates with the extras pack-
monitors, but I never do that,” he passing years. “It’s still exactly the ing first the ground floor and then
says. “I was generally running along same,” the director attests. “I think we the upper level of the auditorium.
next to Rainer and the main camera; just had to cover some modern loud- “The Arri guys came on set and told
I like to be where he is so I can guide speakers, but the rest was absolutely me what was possible, or not possi-
him and communicate with him original. The only problem was that ble, or possible but very expensive!”
constantly.” it was much bigger than we expected! says Klausmann. “Occasionally you
The only other scene that We realized we weren’t going to be have to do things you don’t like,
required four camera teams was set able to do it with just 400 extras. On because otherwise the effects
become too costly; the camera
movement might be limited or you
might have to be very careful about
the background. It helped to go
through the shot list in advance with
the visual effects team and plan
exactly what we were going to do.”
Klausmann kept the lighting
in the auditorium as simple and
natural as he possibly could. “We
switched on the fluorescent lights
that had been there for more than 20
years, and that was it,” he says. “They
were the old kind of fluorescent
tubes, but they were fine; we didn’t
change any bulbs. The light was a
little bit green, but the place looks
like what it should look like: a

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Anarchy in the BRD
university hall. We just corrected for
the green a little bit in the DI.”
Gaffer Peter Fritscher recalls,
“The university had a system that
allowed us to change the color of the
fluorescent tube lights, but only in
the entrance — not the whole hall.
We just matched those to the lights
we couldn’t change in the rest of the
hall. There were no other film lights
at all; we just used reflector board for
the actors’ eyes on some of the close
shots.”
Shooting fluorescents with
Kodak Vision2 250D 5205 gave the
four camera teams just enough light.
“Rainer and I were about one stop
underexposed because we were on
the zoom, which was only a T3.5,”
says Miegel. “The Master Primes on
the other cameras were around
Top: Baader rises T2.8.” Klausmann’s preference for
to taunt the judge
as he and his
natural lighting and the use of either
co-defendants Vision2 50D 5201 or 250D 5205 for
stand trial in all interior scenes (only night scenes
Stammheim
Prison. Middle:
were shot on Vision2 500T 5260)
The multi- meant that lenses were almost wide
purpose hall at open throughout the shoot. “We
Stammheim,
another authentic
were usually somewhere between T2
location, also and T2.8,” continues Miegel. “It
remains virtually makes my job harder, but I’ve
unaltered.
General lighting
worked with Rainer for eight years
was provided and it’s always like that!”
by existing When Meinhof, Baader and
fluorescent tubes
in the ceiling, but
other prominent RAF members were
a few small arrested in June 1972, they were sent
fixtures, to Stammheim Prison in Stuttgart
including color-
corrected 4-bank
and eventually faced a trial that lasted
Kino Flos, added from 1975 until 1977. The lengthy
supplemental fill hearings were held inside the prison
for close-ups.
Bottom (from
in a multi-purpose hall that remains
left): 1st AC virtually unaltered to this day; once
Astrid Miegel, again the filmmakers were able to re-
operator Markus
Eckert and 2nd
create events in the exact location
AC Miriam where they originally took place. “My
Fassbender tend approach to lighting that room was
to their duties.
the same as at the university,” says
Klausmann. “I mostly used what was
there.” Suspended above the hall were
about 50 banks of fluorescent tubes
that had been there since the prison
was built. These provided general
lighting, but a few small fixtures, such
as 4-bank Kino Flos, were used to

40 September 2009
Anarchy in the BRD
Edel (left) and not; if you don’t move the camera
producer- too much they can be quite intense.”
screenwriter
Bernd Eichinger Efforts to shoot at original
take five on the locations were so successful that
Köln-Ossendorf stage work on the film was limited to
prison set.
nine days at Bavaria Studios in
Munich, where historical accuracy
and realism remained overriding
goals. Production designer Bernd
Lepel rebuilt the cells and communal
hallway that had housed the RAF
inmates at Stammheim during the
trial, even sourcing original fixtures
and fittings from the prison’s base-
ment. “Bernd’s priority was to make
that set as close as possible to how
add supplemental fill for close-ups; people are sitting and talking Stammheim had really been, so I
these units were color-corrected to through a whole scene there is no decided to use the same light and
match the fluorescents on the ceiling. reason to pick up the camera and told him not to change anything for
Despite the size of the hall, only two shake it around, so I said, ‘Let’s just me,” says Klausmann. “Often in a
cameras were used for the court- put it on a tripod.’ I hate handheld studio, it’s tempting to light from
room scenes, and handheld camera- camerawork when there’s no reason above because it’s easy, but I don’t
work was abandoned in favor of for it, and I’m very happy with those like that approach. We installed the
Steadicam and tripod shots. “It’s scenes. Trial scenes can seem very original light fittings in the ceiling
kind of a static scene,” says Edel. “If boring, but of course they’re really and supplemented those with light

42
coming in the windows — just as we camera you always have to keep a elements together into a seamless
had at the prison.” distance from the actors so the whole. “For me, it was a successful
Fritscher adds, “We used cameras don’t see each other.” collaboration,” says the cinematogra-
color-corrected Osram Lumilux Arri Film & TV Services pher. “Uli is a good director to work
tubes for the practical fixtures on the handled almost every aspect of post, with; he’s really quiet and he knows
ceiling to match what had been there including front-end lab work, visual what he wants to do, but you can
in the original location. From outside effects and the 2K digital intermedi- discuss anything and offer other
the windows we had Dinos behind 8- ate. Alex Klippe, a DI producer at the opinions. We’re about to start a new
by-8 and 12-by-12 frames of silk, facility, oversaw the ingestion of all film together in Berlin, so something
Light Gridcloth, half diffusion and the old newsreel footage. “There was must have worked!” I
full diffusion. In the hall there was a film negative, print film, HD video,
big wall of glass bricks; coming DigiBeta and MPEG-4 material TECHNICAL SPECS
though that we had one Quarter from various archives and private
Wendy and three Dinos behind a 20- collections,” he says. “We scanned all Super 1.85:1
by-20 of Light Grid.” The naturalistic the neg and print at 2K on an (3-perf Super 35mm original)
lighting design gave the actors and Arriscan, just like the rest of the film.
Arricam Studio, Lite
camera total freedom of movement, We captured all the video with
allowing Edel to shoot as though he Clipster and blew it up to 2K in Arri and Angenieux lenses
was at another authentic location. Lustre, using a LUT for the linear-to-
“For smaller scenes like that, log conversion. The MPEG-4 mater- Kodak Vision2 50D 5201, 250D
we always used just one camera,” says ial was rendered out to a single file 5205, 500T 5260
Klausmann. “I prefer to work that sequence in Shake.” Digital Intermediate
way because the actors know what’s Both Klausmann and Edel
going on and I’m able to control the attended the final grade and worked Printed on Kodak Vision 2383
whole thing. With more than one together to blend all of the disparate

43
A Nazi’s
Worst
Nightmare
World War II is
the backdrop for
Quentin Tarantino’s
stylized revenge
fantasy, shot by
Robert Richardson, ASC.
by Benjamin B
Unit photography by
François Duhamel, SMPSP

uring a press conference at innovations was to allow the charac- ’05) — and notched three other

D
this year’s Cannes Film ters to speak in their native tongues; Oscar nominations, and he has been
Festival, Quentin Tarantino the subtitled film skips easily from nominated for eight ASC Awards.
maintained, “I am not an French to English to German, and Inglourious Basterds unfolds
American filmmaker. I make mastery of foreign tongues, the sub- as a series of chapters that weave
movies for the planet Earth.” The tlety of accents, and even body lan- three subplots united by one very
director and his crew were at the fes- guage are all important plot points. bad guy, Gestapo Col. Hans Landa
tival for the world premiere of his Inglourious marks the third (Waltz). In an opening that evokes
latest creation, Inglourious Basterds, collaboration between Tarantino Spaghetti Westerns, Landa and his
whose intentionally misspelled title and Robert Richardson, ASC, fol- posse of Nazis drop in on a French
is the first of many twists from a lowing Kill Bill: Vol. I (AC Oct. ’03) farmer and his family. While soldiers
production that combines a and Vol. II. Prior to teaming with and the family wait outside, Landa
European milieu with its earthling Tarantino, Richardson shot 11 films methodically asks the farmer
auteur’s stylized sensibilities. for Oliver Stone before establishing increasingly pointed questions
The World War II saga was an ongoing rapport with Martin about the whereabouts of missing
shot mostly at the Babelsberg Scorsese (for whom he recently shot Jewish neighbors during a cat-and-
Studios near Berlin, with an interna- the forthcoming thriller Shutter mouse sequence that builds inex-
tional cast that includes Brad Pitt, Island). Richardson has won two orably to violence.
Mélanie Laurent, Diane Kruger and Academy Awards — for JFK (AC After Landa kills her family,
Christoph Waltz. One of Tarantino’s Feb. ’92) and The Aviator (AC Jan. Shosanna (Laurent) escapes to Paris,

44 September 2009
Opposite: Col.
Hans Landa
(Christoph Waltz)
questions a
French farmer in
an early, pivotal
scene in
Inglourious
Basterds. This
page, top: Sgt.
Donny Donowitz
(Eli Roth, left)
and Lt. Aldo
Raine (Brad Pitt)
are two of the
“Basterds,” a
unit of Jewish-
American
soldiers who
terrorize Nazis
behind enemy
lines. Bottom:
Cinematographer
Robert
Richardson, ASC
shapes the light.

where she runs a movie theater and film” directed by Eli Roth; the pro- “video village” found on most con-
meets top Nazi brass. When duction even arranged for lead temporary sets. “The only video
Shosanna learns that her theater has actress Laurent to learn how to run monitor on the set is the small one
been chosen for the VIP premiere of a film projector. The final sequence on the camera,” says Tavenner.
a Nazi propaganda film, she sees an gathers its main characters at the big During takes, Tarantino stays next
opportunity for revenge. movie premiere, leading to a spec- to the camera, near the actors. If
Elsewhere in France, a unit of tacular, surprising conclusion fol- there is a dolly move, he climbs
Jewish-American soldiers, led by lowed by an ironic epilogue. along for the ride, looking at the
hillbilly Aldo Raine (Pitt), lurks In discussing Tarantino’s actors and glancing at the small
behind enemy lines terrorizing approach to moviemaking, Rich- Transvideo monitor on the camera
Nazis with the threat of mutilation, ardson agrees that the director to check the framing.
scalpings and executions by baseball qualifies as a film “purist.” Tarantino favors shooting
bat. Tales of these “Basterds” eventu- Richardson’s longtime camera with a single camera, going against
ally reach Hitler, who throws a fit. assistant, Gregor Tavenner, concurs, the trend for two cameras, which
Meanwhile, in London, the noting that Tarantino eschews the often necessitates lighting and stag-
British high command hatches a
plot to blow up the movie premiere.
German-speaking agents are sent to
a cellar tavern called La Louisiane,
where they meet with a glamorous
German actress (Kruger) who is
actually a British secret agent. In a
lengthy scene, the agents exchange
Images courtesy of The Weinstein Co.

pleasantries with a party of drunken


German soldiers, and then with a
suspicious Gestapo officer, before
engaging in a climactic shootout.
As always with Tarantino’s
films, Basterds is rife with cinematic
references. Indeed, much of the
action takes place inside the movie
theater during the projection of a
black-and-white “film-within-a-

American Cinematographer 45
A Nazi’s Worst Nightmare
Escaping to
Paris after her
family dies at
the hands of
Nazis, Shosanna
Dreyfus
(Mélanie
Laurent) takes
charge of a
movie theater.

ing compromises. “You get such a respectful.” Tarantino bans cell- Ian Kincaid, describes another
handcrafted movie,” Tavenner phones from his set; a security Tarantino tradition on the set: every
enthuses. “The actors know they’re person at the door collects all hundred cans of exposed film are
going to do a lot of setups because such phones. Tavenner recalls a celebrated on the spot with a glass of
it’s only one camera, but they get to tense moment when producer champagne for each crew member.
perfect their craft. The camera rolls Harvey Weinstein came to visit the “Quentin is very gracious. He’ll say,
for as many takes as necessary to set and the guard asked for his ‘Hey, everybody gather ’round. Let’s
perfect each shot, and it’s a real joy phone. There was a moment’s pause, celebrate another 100 rolls!’ — even
and a pleasure.” but Weinstein finally handed over if it’s 11 in the morning.” During
Tavenner explains that the his cellphone and nodded to his production, Tarantino also arranged
director enforces a quiet set: assistant, who then handed over for evening crew screenings of fea-
“Quentin creates a beautiful envi- four more. “Everybody cheered,” tures he personally selected.
ronment for the actors to perform Tavenner recalls with a chuckle. Part of the period style of
in. The crew is trained to be so Richardson’s longtime gaffer, Inglourious Basterds is created via
dolly and crane movements. “In a
way,” says Tavenner, “it’s a classic
style. There’s maybe one Steadicam
shot in the whole film.” A
Technocrane was used sparingly
(once to sweep across the audience
in the movie theater), but the bulk of
the crane shots were done with
Richardson riding a one-person
crane made by Grip Factory
Munich, allowing for more organic,
less automated movements than a
remote head would produce. “I
often use a crane as a dolly when the
space allows, because it allows for
greater movement,” the cinematog-
rapher notes. “I can also do a track-

46 September 2009
When her
theater is
chosen for the
premiere of a
Nazi propaganda
film, Shosanna
recognizes an
opportunity to
avenge her
family’s death.
The climactic
sequence brings
the theater —
and the Nazis
inside — to a
fiery end.

ing shot without seeing the dolly Inglourious Basterds stems from its
track in frame.” disregard for pure naturalism and
Inglourious was shot with lighting motivation, which also con-
Panavision anamorphic Primo and tributes to its impressionistic period
G-Series lenses, as well as the com- feel. For example, the look of the
pany’s new anamorphic zooms and opening scene in the farmhouse is
a “Panavised” Cooke. “The Primos defined by hot, hard daylight that
held up the best in terms of overall shines down onto a table, bouncing
resolution,” Tavenner asserts. “You to illuminate the two characters.
have a sweet spot between T2.8 and Although one can imagine a skylight
T4. If you can close those lenses above the table, there is no clear
down a stop, you gain quality that is motivation for the farmhouse light-
well worth it.” ing. “I don’t believe there always
Richardson explains that needs to be a motivation for a light,”
Tarantino’s propensity for wide- says Richardson. “Sometimes you
angle lenses and centered framing have to light for what you feel the
give the film a contemporary, origi- sequence is.” ¢
nal feel. “I could have shot the movie
with just the 35, 40 and 50mm,” he
says. “That’s not what you would do
on an old-fashioned movie, though;
this lensing is more modern.
“Quentin and I will have these
interesting little battles while I’m
composing a shot,” Richardson con-
tinues. “I naturally move to one side
or the other, especially when shoot-
ing anamorphic, whereas Quentin
enjoys dead-center framing. For sin-
gles in particular, we’re just cutting
dead-center framing from one side
to the other, with the actors looking
just past the barrel of the lens.”
Part of the distinctive look of

American Cinematographer 47
A Nazi’s Worst Nightmare
Right: Shosanna
greets a German
admirer who
barges into her
projection booth.
The 20K
backlighting
Laurent also
provides some
bounced fill from
her red dress.
Below:
Richardson
frequently
employed a one-
person crane
manufactured by
Grip Factory
Munich. “I often
use a crane as a
dolly when the
space allows,”
says the
cinematographer.

He explains that he avoided a table bounce is also adapted to the enabled Tarantino’s camera staging,
source-y approach to the scene (i.e., action of the scene: Landa fills out which involved several wide-angle
having the main source come his paperwork, while the farmer has dolly moves around the table.
through the windows) in part a tendency to look down. “I felt it “When the camera started on one
because this “would have put a lot was important to have light in their side and ended on the other, there
more light on the background. Here eyes and to always have that bright were very few places to get a light in,”
you feel the daylight on their faces spot available to the iris if so Richardson observes.
but the background is relatively desired,” he says. The toplight source The cinematographer would
dark. The room was tiny and the also gave the actors the opportunity often add a soft fill light during the
source was isolating them in that to play with the light by moving in scene, and he felt free to adjust the
small space.” He points out that the and out of the shadows, and it direction of the top keylight from
shot to shot. “When I had the oppor-
tunity, I would add a level of bounce,
and I would move the toplight to
one side or the other to help the dark
side move toward camera. I prefer to
have the face lit from the opposite
side — not backlit, but ¾ — and I
want the dark side toward my lens as
often as possible; there’s something I
like aesthetically about that choice.
I’m willing to flip a key in a sequence
to accommodate that.”
Tarantino told Richardson he
wanted to see the landscape through
the windows of the farmhouse,
which required the quick changing
of ND gels on the windows to adjust
for the changing weather outside.
Kincaid notes, “We’d sometimes

48 September 2009
evolution through
innovation
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A Nazi’s Worst Nightmare
with an initial plan to capture most-
ly exterior shots before moving to a
soundstage for the interiors. But
Tarantino quickly decided to start
shooting the dialogue inside the
house before continuing to shoot
the same scene on the Babelsberg
stages near Berlin, creating a chal-
lenge in terms of lighting continuity
because the location and stage
footage had to cut together seam-
lessly throughout the 25-minute
sequence. To maintain continuity,
the location lighting was duplicated
in Babelsberg, and Richardson
decided to use HMIs on the sound-
stage, “which we never do,” says
Kincaid. For the windows,
Richardson used greenscreened
plates when necessary, or painted
backdrops masked with black net
when the windows were less “pre-
Above: have to bring the light way up 12K Par through the door, and a 6K sent” in the frame.
Shosanna
discovers her inside” to balance with the exterior Par through a window to create a The roomy soundstage
German admirer view. All of the scene’s sources were small spot of sunlight on the wall. allowed for bigger bounce fills than
is a Nazi war daylight-balanced HMIs, and inside, Kincaid confirms that there the location, but the principle was
hero and the
star of a the main overhead source com- was no lighting whatsoever, not even the same: “muzz and muzz.” Kincaid
propaganda film prised Par 1.2Ks rigged in an attic a passive bounce, during the 100' explains that Richardson eschews
based on his above the table. Most of the lights tracking shot of Shosana running “plastic” diffusion or bouncing
own exploits.
Right: were gelled with ¼ CTO to lend the away in profile at the end of the material like beadboards or
Richardson “daylight” a slight warmth. sequence. Achieving this shot was Griffolyn in favor of cotton muslin
takes a moment Large sources outside provid- simply a matter of choosing the or real silk. A “muzz and muzz” soft
to soak in the
backlight. ed some soft light and an occasional right moment to film against the source involves hard lights bounced
touch of hard light inside. These naturally soft backlight of the north- off muslin and then diffused
external sources included 18K ern sky. through muslin again. The sides of
Arrimax HMIs on turtle stands Filming began on location at the setup are covered with black
bounced up on big muslin frames, a a farmhouse in northern Germany, material to prevent spill, creating a
pie-shaped, soft light box.
Richardson explains his affinity for
muslin by noting it “has a more nat-
ural feel on the skin. I don’t feel as
many highlights coming back,”
whereas plastic materials give a
“shine off of makeup or skin.”
Richardson claims that the
muslin-bounced diffusion lends a
unique quality to the soft source.
“It’s the quality of the wrap of the
light. I don’t feel the shadow of the
source. I enjoy the way the light
moves across the face.” Because the
soft light has to be cut and flagged,
the cinematographer usually tries to
obtain the largest possible diffusion

50 September 2009
A Nazi’s Worst Nightmare
Landa (near
right) draws his
weapon of
choice, and
Raine responds
in kind (far
right).

surface for the location. For exam- dress. On the reverse shot, a similar era,” says the gaffer. A variation of this
ple, when Pitt’s character interro- setup lights the German, with a 12K technique was applied for a scene in
gates a Nazi in the ravine scene, the bouncing off of the red dress. Other which Shosanna is whisked off to meet
bounce is a 12-by, but for tight inte- backlights were added to extend this Goebbels in a swanky French restau-
riors, the cinematographer will effect once the actors move further rant. Their encounter was shot in a
sometimes just staple a 4' piece of inside the booth. private dining room at Berlin’s
muslin bounce to the wall. Richardson used a mixture of Einstein Café. Rows of tungsten bulbs
For a few scenes in hard and soft sources for a beautiful were suspended from the low ceiling
Inglourious, Richardson uses a pas- scene on the top floor of the theater. and diffused with muslin to create a
sive bounce as a key. A 12K provides As Shosanna prepares for the fateful soft top source, which was supple-
most of the lighting for a brief but premiere by applying her makeup, a mented by several Chinese lanterns
memorable scene in which 20K shines in through a circular and a Par can throwing a pool of hard
Shosanna wields a hatchet and window to provide a searing back- light down onto the tablecloth.
threatens a film developer posi- light. In front of the mirror, her face Kincaid notes that Richardson fre-
tioned on a table. The hard source is keyed by a warm, soft source com- quently uses lightweight Par cans. “You
backlights Shosanna and her accom- prising a cluster of small, tungsten can cluster them, and we use them for
plice, and then bounces off the table “golf ball” bulbs dimmed way down accent lights, for narrow backlight, and
to provide a soft key on her face. The and diffused through muslin. often for bouncing,” he says.
lighting is completed by a practical Kincaid explains, “The muslin lends The long scene in the La
above and a 12K positioned on a a creamy feel to her skin. When Louisiane tavern posed one of the
Condor outside a window. we’re shooting a beautiful woman, show’s biggest lighting challenges. Ten
A similarly elegant use of hard we’ll go muzz-muzz. Generally, the characters meet around two small
light and bounce can be seen toward front is bleached muslin and the tables in the cramped basement bar.
the end of the film, when a smitten back is unbleached. Unbleached The three British agents try to talk
German soldier barges into the pro- muslin has a tighter weave; it’s a their way out of the tavern, leaving
jection booth and confronts nice, rough surface, so it has no one table of drunken Germans and
Shosanna at the doorway. Shosanna sheen. It’s a bit erratic, but it softens then accepting a round of drinks with
is backlit by a 20K positioned farther the light, and then the bleached a suspicious Gestapo officer. The ten-
back on the set, and the soldier acts muslin in front unifies it.” sion rises until the scene explodes in a
as her moving bounce: a strip of Kincaid reveals that shootout.
muslin was pinned to him off-cam- Richardson often uses rows of The tavern set had very low
era. “Depending on how close she dimmed tungsten bulbs with diffu- ceilings and little room in which to
moves to him,” Richardson com- sion to create soft sources that can fit maneuver. Richardson deadpans, “For
ments, “there is a movement [in the in tight places. “On this film, we used all intents and purposes, it was a prac-
light] and a lighter and darker quali- soft frosted bulbs on wires, bunched tical location built on a stage.” Kincaid
ty on her face.” A hint of red bounce in balls, attached to squares of wood adds, “We said to ourselves, ‘Okay, this
also comes from Shosanna’s red and even draped around the cam- is like the trailer scene in Kill Bill.

52 September 2009
Think BIG.

Find out how BIG.


www.arricsc.com
A Nazi’s Worst Nightmare
Quentin wants to create the feeling ence wouldn’t be aware of it.” was created mostly with real fire
that nobody’s getting out of here eas- Although the transition is subtle, generated by an extensive network
ily.’” Complicating matters further, Richardson confesses that he won- of gas pipes, supplemented by red
the actors frequently move from dered at the time whether altering gels on the Maxis.
seated to standing positions. the light was “a gigantic error.” Richardson did the digital
After trying and rejecting in- Kincaid concedes, “We were very intermediate for Basterds at EFilm
frame practicals as too cluttered, the busy in there; every setup was a new with colorist Yvan Lucas, and the
crew attached rows of tungsten bulbs challenge. We have a saying, though: colorist says he did the color-correc-
to the ceiling, adding two layers of Pressure makes diamonds.” tion “the old-fashioned way,” start-
muslin beneath them to create a soft When the shootout starts, the ing from the qualities Tarantino and
base light. The headroom was so tight lighting changes dramatically, with Richardson liked in the workprint
that the bottom layer of muslin had beams of hard light shining through made by Arri Munich during shoot-
to be removed when actors stood. the smoke and gunfire. Tarantino ing. While he was timing the tavern
Richardson then decided to add Par- punctuates the scene with a few of scene, Lucas recalls, “Bob said, ‘Yvan,
can toplights and bounced backlights his signature snap-zooms into I know you come from film, so
as the shots progressed, reflecting the Germans firing their weapons. The you’re going to match the faces,
scene’s mounting tension. “Slowly, as timing of the shootout feels realisti- right? You’re not going to do it like
the scene evolved, I moved from the cally rapid, without the extensive the video timers, who match the
soft top and started adding hard high-speed work that has become a backgrounds?’ His point was that
lights off the table to increase the con- convention in contemporary action faces are what jump out at you, and
trast. I also began bringing in soft films. The lighting for the dramatic that was the big idea of the film: to
backlights to separate actors from the climax in the movie theater involved work the old-fashioned way, by
background. I just felt this need to do a series of 6K and 9K Maxi-Brutes matching faces, and then seeing
it as I went along, but I tried not to do hung from the ceiling with black what we could do with the back-
it in an obvious manner so the audi- skirts and silk frames. A fire effect grounds if there were any problems.”

54
Asked how Richardson’s pen- film. There is a gradation in the middle of the sequence. Nothing
chant for strong hard light impacts grays of the shadows that I can work exists except for that moment. The
the digital grade, Lucas notes that he with. His lighting allows me to go to closest thing to it is when I jumped
sometimes uses Richardson’s high- a darker and very interesting density out of an airplane and parachuted to
lights to find the timing of a shot. value without smothering the the ground. I don’t recall anything
“I’ll often start with the faces, but I blacks.” For example, the colorist after jumping ... until my chute
can also find my density value in adds, referring to the scene in which opened.” I
relation to the strong highlight. It’s Shosanna stands at the window
like a visual reference that shows me before applying her makeup,
where I have to place the shot. If the “because the backlight is very
white is too bright, it’s not very pret- strong, there is detail in the blacks.
ty. By adding density, the white Although she is in the shadows, her TECHNICAL SPECS
remains very overexposed and very face is delineated. When you add 2.40:1
strong, but it gets more body. In fact, density, you see the cheekbones ... Anamorphic 35mm
there is very little choice in timing. but with this gradation. It’s very
There is one value that’s really right. beautiful, and it’s due to the very Panaflex Millennium; Arri 435
Often when Bob sees what I’ve pre- hard light.”
Panavision Primo,
pared for him, he doesn’t ask for Reflecting on his work, G-Series lenses
density changes because I’m already Richardson muses, “When I’m
where he wants to be. shooting, I don’t sense the passage of Kodak Vision2 200T 5217,
“Bob has a very particular time. I start and finish the sequence, Vision3 500T 5219
way of lighting a face — it’s very and I don’t recall the majority of
Digital Intermediate
chiseled,” Lucas continues. “That what takes place in between unless I
allows me to go to a density value I have a tremendous problem or I’m Printed on Fuji Eterna-CP 3513DI
would never dare use on another trying to rectify something in the

55
An Appetite for
Crime Mesrine, an epic
thriller shot by
Robert Gantz, tracks
the flamboyant
exploits of a
legendary French
bank robber.
by Jean Oppenheimer

Unit photography by
Roger Arpajou

58 September 2009
acques Mesrine would have fit

J
perfectly into today’s celebrity-
obsessed media culture. A career
criminal who specialized in
bank robberies, kidnappings
and brazen prison escapes, he was
unusually witty and charismatic,
qualities that made him a popular fig-
ure with the press and public alike. He
grew up in France but first gained
notoriety in Canada, where his crimes
fueled his legend and earned him the
title of “Public Enemy Number One”
— after returning to Paris, he quickly
vaulted to the top of France’s most-
wanted list, remaining there from
1973 until his death in 1979.
A man of supreme self-confi-
dence and explosive rage, Mesrine
could be charming one moment and
vicious the next. By his own — albeit Opposite: Early in
dubious — count he killed 39 people his criminal
during his lifetime, and he died as vio- career, Mesrine
(Vincent Cassel)
lently as he had lived, in a hail of bul- beds a prostitute,
lets after police ambushed him as he Sarah (Florence
and his girlfriend sat in their car at a Thomassin). This
page, top: As
Paris intersection. Mesrine’s
“Jacques Mesrine is a part of notoriety grows,
French history and culture, like John he and his
accomplice,
Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde are for Jeanne
us,” says cinematographer Robert Schneider
Gantz, the sole American on an other- (Cécile De
France), become
wise French crew. Mesrine marked his stars in the
second collaboration with director media, where
Jean-François Richet, following 2005’s they are
portrayed as the
Assault on Precinct 13. (The cine- Bonnie and Clyde
matographer’s other credits include of France.
the features Lake City and Middle:
Cinematographer
Mindhunters, the series CSI: Crime Robert Gantz (at
Scene Investigation, and dozens of eyepiece) lines
Photos courtesy of La Petite Reine and Roger Arpajou.

music videos and commercials.) up a shot with


camera assistant
Based on the autobiography Laurent Hincelin.
Mesrine wrote during one of his Bottom: In 1969,
many stints in prison, the project was Schneider and
Mesrine are
conceived as two separate features cornered by
split into act one and act two of the Arizona police in
protagonist’s life. Telling the story in the desert.
this fashion required a marathon pro-
duction, with two months of prep, a
nine-month shooting schedule and
more than 100 locations — whenever
possible, Richet planned to shoot
where events had actually taken place.
L’Instinct de Mort, the first of

American Cinematographer 59
An Appetite for Crime

Above left: The the two films, takes place in the 1960s camera expressing whatever emo- Schneider (Cécile De France), a
impulsive
Mesrine when Mesrine (Vincent Cassel), just tions are on the screen,” he asserts. woman as fearless and violent as he is.
smashes a bar out of the army, is trying to find a Mesrine’s vicious streak is They move to Canada, where they are
glass in the face direction for his life. He discovers he often underlined by handheld cam- arrested after a kidnap victim escapes,
of a belligerent
customer. To has an aptitude for burglary and finds erawork, as in a scene that begins and when both end up behind bars,
capture the full a mentor in underworld gangster with him relaxing at a bar. When the images become almost mono-
intensity of the Guido (Gérard Depardieu). “Jacques another customer becomes belliger- chromatic, with a hint of sickly green.
moment, Gantz
switches to is living the life he wants,” says Gantz, ent, Mesrine suddenly smashes a “The bright lighting we had early in
handheld who sat down with AC during a glass in the patron’s face, completely the film reflected Mesrine’s feelings of
camerawork recent trip to Los Angeles. “He’s rea- without warning. “That scene starts freedom,” says Gantz. “Now he’s
immediately
after the glass sonably happy and carefree as he off with classic static camera angles,” trapped and can’t get out. And the
breaks. Above ascends the criminal ranks. To reflect remarks Gantz. “The image is so longer he is incarcerated, the blander
right: Mesrine this, I used a lot of red, blue, green calm, the audience is totally caught the images look.” Gantz kept the cam-
and his criminal
colleague, Paul and orange light — the colors of the off guard when Mesrine suddenly era on the Steadicam and dolly
(Gilles 1960s.” To suggest how in control erupts. As soon as the glass shatters, throughout Mesrine’s incarceration
Lellouche) finish Mesrine feels at this point in his life, we switch to handheld.” and escape with a fellow inmate; only
the job. Bottom:
Mesrine’s Gantz favored the fluid moves of the In the first film, Mesrine falls when the two men return to the
adventures take Steadicam and dolly. “It’s all about the passionately in love with Jeanne prison and try to free their friends
him through the does Gantz take the camera handheld.
Pigalle
neighborhood in The second film, L’Ennemi
Paris, home to Public No. 1, was shot almost entirely
the famous handheld, and the color palette is
Moulin Rouge
cabaret (visible much darker, with Gantz now light-
in background). ing in subdued earth tones. The tone
To light this of this film becomes more frantic as
sequence, Gantz
deployed a Mesrine’s magnetism gives way to
Condor-mounted unbridled egoism. He begins wearing
18K backlight disguises; dubbed “the man of a thou-
gelled with ½
CTB, shooting sand faces,” he seems to be daring the
on tungsten- police to catch him. “Our basis for this
balanced film was The French Connection,” vol-
Vision2 500T
stock with unteers Gantz. “We consciously want-
no 85 filter. ed to give it that 1970s style of film-
making, not only with the handheld
camera, but also with a lot of zooms.
Jean-François fell in love with the
zoom, and we did a lot of slow and

60 September 2009
snap zooms during the action
sequences using a 28-76mm
Angenieux Optimo that 1st AC Olivier
Fortin got for us.”
The bulk of the camera equip-
ment came from Panavision Alga
Techno and included Primo primes;
3:1 (135-420mm), 11:1 (24-275mm)
and 4:1 (17.5-75mm) Primo zooms;
two Millennium XLs; and a number of
Arri 435s, 235s and Eyemos. (The lat-
ter were used for car-crash scenes.)
The Angenieux, reserved for handheld
shots, was used extensively in the sec-
ond film. The production’s gear
included 50' and 30' Super
Technocranes with Z-Head three-axis
remote heads, and key grip Jean-Pierre
Deschamps also brought some of his
own equipment. “Jean-Pierre had the
Top: Resourceful
best car-rigging stuff I have ever seen,” inmate François
marvels Gantz. Besse (Mathieu
Gantz used Kodak Vision2 Amalric) is
searched in
500T 5218 and 200T 5217 on both prison, where he
pictures, but he took a different meets his future
approach to a brief sequence set in criminal partner,
Mesrine. For this
Algeria, where Mesrine served in the shot, Gantz used
French army; this scene was shot in a Kino Flo to
Super 16mm and underwent a bleach- create a back
sidelight.
bypass at LTC in Paris. (All of the pro- Middle: This
duction’s footage was processed at shot of the
LTC. The digital intermediate was car- prison interior
was made with
ried out at Duboi, where Gantz collab- natural daylight,
orated with colorist Fabien Pascal.) In using tungsten-
the scene, Mesrine takes part in the balanced Vision2
stock and no 85
brutal interrogation of an Algerian filter. Bottom:
prisoner. “We used two Arri 16SR-3s Guards use the
and the old Zeiss 11-110mm T2.2 wand on
Mesrine, who
Super 16 zooms because we didn’t is sidelit by a
want the scene to look too good,” notes Kino Flo.
Gantz. “We wanted the lens flares and
the crazy highlights you get with the
bleach bypass. I lit the scene with old-
school Photofloods, the kind they
actually used in interrogation rooms
back then, and we screwed in standard
250-watt bulbs. I didn’t use any other
lights inside, but I brought a 12K
through the window and used a bit of
smoke. I love the way that scene looks.”
In the first of two audacious
casino robberies, Mesrine and Jeanne
burst into the room holding shotguns.
Working onstage, Gantz recalls, “Jean-

American Cinematographer 61
An Appetite for Crime
François wanted to move the camera
in circles, [but we were limited] by the
size of the room, which was small and
had low ceilings. We had to light from
the side and [couldn’t completely circle
the actors]. Strangely enough, there
was a problem at the lab and we had to
reshoot the scene. When Jean-François
and I talked about it, we realized that
neither of us was happy with what we
had shot previously — this is Jacques
and Jeanne’s first robbery and it need-
ed to have more excitement.”
A larger location was found for
the reshoot, with higher ceilings that
permitted Gantz to craft pools of light
from above. Once Mesrine and Jeanne
storm into the room, the camera never
stops moving and neither do the
thieves, who continually swing their
guns around to cover the room, turn-
Top: Mesrine’s ing in tight circles while the Steadicam
right-hand man, swirls around them in the opposite
Jean-Paul
Mercier (Roy direction. “We had a great Steadicam
Dupuis), awaits operator named Eric Catelan,” declares
a rendezvous in Gantz. “He was also the A-camera
a forest outside
Paris. An 18K operator.”
was deployed to Mesrine is incarcerated four
light the times during the course of the two
background,
while a Kino Flo films. The second prison is in Canada
unit provided — the exterior was a facade erected
sidelight for the outside Paris, and the interiors were
foreground.
Middle: Mesrine built in a warehouse — and when
employs the Mesrine arrives, he is stripped, thrown
element of into solitary confinement and beaten
surprise after
hiding in the by guards. As he cowers, traumatized,
trunk of a car. in a corner of the cell, the camera starts
Bottom: Gantz on his face and pulls all the way back to
(far left)
discusses a the very high ceiling, spinning as it
setup with widens out. At the very end of the shot,
director Jean- Mesrine’s body makes a slight, almost
François Richet
(center) and 1st involuntary jerking motion. “That’s
AC Olivier Fortin one of my favorite shots in the film,”
in a forest acknowledges Gantz. “We did it with a
outside
Montreal. crane arm and a Z-Head three-axis
head. I operated because in France
they rarely use a geared head. If you
notice the slight movement Vincent
makes at the end of the shot, it looks
bizarre. That’s because the camera
actually started at ceiling level and
spun into him; we reversed it in post. It
looks far more intense that way.”
One of the film’s more harrow-

62 September 2009
An Appetite for Crime
Gantz takes a film, and on more than one occasion
meter reading Mesrine sits at a poker table, reflected
while
preparing to in multiple panels at once — a visual
shoot a river- metaphor for his fractured personali-
escape ty. Early in the first film, when
sequence.
Mesrine enters a prostitute’s room, he
first appears to be standing in the
doorway on the right side of the
frame, but he when he enters from
stage left, we realize that the shot of
him in the doorway was, in fact, his
reflection in the mirror. The camera
then slowly dollies right and pans left
as Mesrine walks to the bed and sits
down beside Sarah (Florence
Thomassin), who has her head
ing scenes takes place inside a cave in preferred to shoot more of it at a 4, bowed. As the camera moves, it picks
the Forest of Halatte, where Mesrine just to get a bit more depth of field, up multiple images of both Mesrine
lures a journalist whom he plans to but in the end I always find when I’m and Sarah, overlapping reflections
murder. Mesrine, an accomplice, and lighting that it looks better at 2.8. We within reflections. Finally, as Mesrine
reporter Jacques Dallier (Alain had two really good focus pullers on sits, the back of his head appears in
Fromager) walk deep into the cave the production, Pierre Mazard on frame and we realize he and Sarah are
until they arrive at a kind of cul-de- L’Instinct de Mort and Olivier on sitting in front of the mirror, and that
sac where Mesrine has arranged a L’Ennemi Public No. 1.” all the action so far has merely been a
dozen or so candles on a rock ledge. Gantz describes his general reflection. With the camera still catch-
Mesrine orders the journalist to strip, approach to lighting as “less is more.” ing the mirror image, Sarah lifts her
and then brutally beats him. “Boy, He notes that he likes to key from the head and reveals a badly beaten face.
that was difficult,” says Gantz, shaking side; with a smile and a slight growl, “That was a really hard shot,” admits
his head at the memory. “The electri- he adds, “To me, frontlight is a dirty Gantz. “In fact, it was probably the
cians put up spreaders because there word. For day interiors, I like to let most complicated shot we did. I had
was nothing to hang the lights from, the natural light come through more to adjust each section of the mirror.
and I had Kino Flos as backlights and than anything else. If I have to ampli- The camera was on a dolly and Eric
no frontlight. I used a light diffusion, fy it, I will, but I don’t want to over- had to pan at exactly the right
like an Opal, and probably a ½ CTO. power the natural light. moment; otherwise, we’d either miss
I was wide open: T2.6. “I always try to motivate the the image we wanted or we’d see Eric
“Even though we had a good light, but there are certain conven- and the camera in the mirror. We
ventilation system in there, it got ter- tions I always use,” he continues. “If didn’t erase anything in post. The only
ribly smoky from the candles,” the it’s night, the action’s going to be technical problem we had was that on
cinematographer continues. “At one backlit. There’s a scene where Jacques the best take, Sarah’s focus was slight-
point we had to stop shooting for half and Guido beat up a pimp. It’s night- ly soft. So they ended up doing a head
an hour to try and suck the smoke time and they pull into a courtyard, replacement on her from another
out with fans. Another difficulty was get out of the car and start whipping take.”
that Fromager had to be naked him, but they are right up against a Leading up to their first jail sen-
throughout the scene, and it was wall. I tried to figure out a way to get tence in Canada, Jeanne and Mesrine
impossible to hide pads on his body a backlight on them and ended up kidnap a wealthy man confined to a
to cushion any blows. He had to fall putting a light in a room high up in wheelchair. The kidnappers enter the
on the ground and roll around as he the building. While I don’t think you man’s bedroom in the middle of the
was being kicked — you can’t just fall should be able to see a lot at night — night and sit on his bed; the
on the ground like that without because, in reality, you can’t — you Steadicam, meanwhile, shoots from
injuring yourself. The actor did the have to at least have an edge on the behind multiple pieces of beveled
entire scene himself. He did an amaz- characters so you can see their glass, resulting in multiple distorted
ing job.” shapes.” images of each participant. “Years ago,
Gantz stayed at a T2.8 or a T4 Mirrors are used to great visu- I did some Oil of Olay commercials,
for most of the film. “I would have al and thematic effect throughout the and we shot through beveled glass,”

64 September 2009
An Appetite for Crime
Dogged police the busiest intersections in Paris, a
commissioner place called Porte de Clignancourt,
Robert
Broussard and I wanted to film at the exact spot.”
(Olivier That required shutting down the
Gourmet, center, plaza, and such is Mesrine’s allure in
with gray hair
and white shirt) France that the production received
examines the special permission to do so. Gantz is
scene after his still amazed: “It’s unheard of. That
men gun down
Mesrine and his plaza is a major entry and exit point
girlfriend, for Paris.”
Sylvie (Ludivine The lead-in to the killing and
Sagnier), in a
busy Paris the actual shooting constitute one
intersection at extended sequence during which
Porte de Mesrine and girlfriend Sylvie
Clignancourt.
(Ludivine Sagnier) leave their apart-
Gantz relates. “I spoke with produc- he’ll listen to other people’s ideas, but ment, get in their car and head out of
tion designer Emile Ghigo, who was he knows what he likes. He is espe- Paris, driving through Porte de
able to find a folding screen with cially involved with framing and Clignancourt. A canvas-backed truck
beveled glass. Even when they sit on movement. He pretty much let me pulls in front of them at a red light,
the bed, there are three images of handle the lighting, but he is very and suddenly the canvas is pulled
everything. Jean-François was really sure of what he wants to do with the away to reveal men with guns who
specific about what he wanted; it camera.” start firing into Mesrine’s car. This
took 21 takes to get it right. Richet maintains, “The tough- sequence repeats several times, serving
“One of the things I like about est scene to get was when Mesrine is as the opening scene of both films and
working with Jean-François is that shot and killed. It happened at one of ending the second film, and the lead-

66
in was shot from two different per- up on a process trailer; instead, we put by giving the assistants more stop,
spectives. The first time it unfolds as rigs on the car and let Vincent drive. focus pulling was easier.”
Mesrine and Sylvie would have expe- “We were able to film the really Looking back on the 11-month
rienced it; they leave their apartment close stuff another day at another production, Gantz shakes his head. “It
and walk to the car, but fail to notice location,” he continues. “Using long was such a massive monster to organ-
the policemen staking them out. “It’s lenses, we were shooting mostly into ize, and on a show like that, so much
not literally from their point of view,” the car and truck. You couldn’t see is out of anyone’s control.” But the
Gantz notes, “but it is how they any background, so those shots could worst part of the shoot, he adds, was
would have seen it.” The second time be staged anywhere. If you notice, “sitting in Paris traffic.” I
the scene unfolds almost the same everything from Vincent’s point of
way, except “this time we see every- view is shot traditionally, but whenev-
thing from the policemen’s point of er we see the police, the camera is TECHNICAL SPECS
view. Now viewers understand what handheld. Then, once the gunfire 2.40:1
is really going on.” starts and all hell breaks loose, it’s all Super 35mm (3-perf), Super 16mm
Before the sequence was shot, handheld.”
the crew spent one day practicing in a Three handheld cameras pick Panaflex Millennium XL;
parking lot dressed to match the up the aftermath: cops swarm the Arri 435, 235, 16SR-3; Eyemo
geography of the intersection. Six vehicle, Sylvie is pulled from the car, Primo, Angenieux and
cameras were used to follow and a media frenzy erupts as hun- Zeiss lenses
Mesrine’s car as it wends its way dreds of reporters arrive at the scene.
through traffic and stops at the “We wanted it to look like 16mm Kodak Vision2 500T 5218/7218,
Clignancourt intersection. “Jean- news footage, so I added saturation 200T 5217
François wanted the sequence cov- and contrast in the DI to make it feel Bleach-Bypass Process
ered from all angles, including over- more like reversal film. We were also Digital Intermediate
head,” says Gantz. “The car was never shooting at T5.6 or a T5.6/8 split —

67
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Testing Digital
Cameras: Part 2
The post process for the ASC/PGA Camera-Assessment Series
illuminates how 7 digital motion-picture cameras fit into the
industry’s standard workflow.
by Stephanie Argy

his is the second part of our ual cameras or how they performed. designed to test them within a com-

T
report on the Camera- Instead, we focus on the partici- monly used film/digital post work-
Assessment Series that was pants’ general thoughts about the flow designed for theatrical releasing
recently conducted by the tests, what they learned, and what on print film and digital cinema
American Society of still needs to be explored. Although (DCP). “As far as we know, this is the
Cinematographers and the Producers this article discusses the overall post first time anyone has done a photo-
Guild of America. The series, detailed workflow, the details of that work — graphic performance assessment of
in the June ’09 issue of AC, assessed for example, how much time was the seven selected digital cameras
seven digital motion-picture cameras, spent color-correcting specific using a common, film-centric, digi-
comparing each of them to 35mm scenes shot by specific cameras — tal-intermediate workflow finish,”
film, the benchmark standard for the- will be reported at a later date. says Curtis Clark, ASC, chair of the
atrical motion-picture quality. There are many ways for dig- Society’s Technology Committee.
This article contains no judg- ital cameras to be integrated into a “We wanted to know how these seven
ments or conclusions about individ- production, but the CAS was cameras would fit in that workflow

70 September 2009
without putting the footage through Pictured on these
two pages are
a series of proprietary, ‘secret sauce,’ ASC members
post-facility contortions.” who were
“We also wanted this assess- among the
cinematographers
ment to be applicable to production who participated
and post now,” adds producer Lori in the Camera-
McCreary, chair of the PGA Motion Assessment
Series. Opposite
Picture Technology Council and page, from left:
president of Revelations Entertain- Michael Goi,
ment, which funded the CAS. Shelly Johnson,
Nancy Schreiber,
“Because most feature films are fin- test supervisors
ished at 2K resolution, we chose a
Photos by Richard Crudo, ASC. Illustrations courtesy of the ASC Technology Committee.

David Stump and


2K post workflow.” Curtis Clark, and
Peter Anderson.
Many people were eager to This page, from
suggest alternate approaches based left: Robert
on their experiences with custom Primes, Karl
Walter
workflows. “As a result of their indi- deal. The digital-camera workflow highlight to shadow] within a wider Lindenlaub,
vidual experiences, filmmakers finishing you can do on a MacBook color gamut that is closer to film Steven Fierberg,
develop highly personal and fre- Pro in Apple ProRes HQ is not con- than the conventional HD Rec. 709 Kees Van
Oostrum,
quently conflicting perspectives on sistent with the DI workflow that is color-space gamut.” Matthew Leonetti,
digital-camera image quality, corre- used for most studio productions. To briefly recap our June ’09 Kramer
sponding with their varied results,” “The manufacturers of most report, the CAS shoot took place Morgenthau (at
camera), Richard
says Clark. “To get an effective and of the current digital motion-pic- over two days in January 2009 at Edlund and
manageable handle on the digital ture cameras who participated in the Universal Studios. The digital cam- Rodney Charters.
cameras’ image performance, we CAS have adapted their HD image- eras were the Arri D-21, the Grass
realized it was necessary to eliminate capture technologies to be more Valley Viper, Panasonic’s AJ-
the ‘wild card’ variability of multiple compatible with the prevailing, film- HPX3700, Panavision’s Genesis, the
workflows by selecting a commonly centric DI workflow by adopting a Red One and Sony’s F23 and F35.
deployed workflow for all the cam- Log-mode encoding of their image The same tests were also filmed with
eras. We’re talking about a theatri- capture as opposed to gamma- an Arri 435 using two tungsten
cal-motion-picture post workflow encoded, ‘linear’ HD video,” he con- stocks (Kodak Vision2 200T 5217
— not DVD, and not HD broadcast. tinues. “These Log modes attempt to and Kodak Vision3 500T 5219) and
Television production will require a emulate the characteristics of film two daylight stocks (Kodak Vision2
different assessment series based on negative, reproducing a wider 250D 5205 and Vision3 250D 5207).
an HDTV Rec. 709 finish, a different dynamic range of scene tones [from One cinematographer was assigned
Testing Digital Cameras: Part 2
the editorial phase in order to get that the digital cameras are linear
What is the ASC CDL? the material ready to screen as recording devices, whereas film is an
The ASC Color Decision List is a framework quickly as possible,” says Dave analog medium characterized in log
developed by the Society’s Technology Committee Stump, ASC, chair of the terms, and because the DI/DCP
that allows the interchange of basic RGB color-cor- Technology Committee’s Camera pipeline was designed for film, it is
rection information between equipment and soft- Subcommittee. “It was really an built around film’s log signal. “When
ware made by different manufacturers. Although the exercise in seeing how ingest and you plug a digital camera into a film
basic controls of most color-correction systems are color-correction worked rather than workflow, inevitably the signal from
similar, they differ in specific implementation. The how an entire editorial workflow that camera has to be transformed
terms Lift (for dark tones), Gain (highlights), and worked.” into the Cineon log signal space that
Gamma (mid-tones) are commonly used by most Because the goal was to make accommodates film,” says Stump.
color-correction systems, but those definitions may the images suitable for printing to “That doesn’t just happen; it requires
vary in detail from system to system and manufac- film, a film-print-emulation display a significant amount of effort.”
turer to manufacturer. look-up table was applied to all of At the moment, each post
To avoid confusion, the ASC proposed a set of the footage, simulating the look of facility creates its own input process-
three defined transfer functions with unique names: the images when recorded to film. es to convert the raw material from
Offset (lift), Slope (gain) and Power (gamma). Each However, “it was discovered soon an electronic camera into a form that
function uses one number for the red channel, a sec- after we started our work that a lot will work within that facility’s infra-
ond for the green and a third for the blue. Thus, the of the digital cameras delivered structure. “Every post house has to
three transfer functions for the three color compo- images that didn’t give me enough create its own input matrices,” says
nents can collectively be described by nine parame- range to work with in a traditional Stump. “That input-matrix data is
ters. A tenth number, Saturation, was specified in Cineon workflow,” says LaserPacific the special sauce of every lab for
Version 1.2 of the ASC CDL, and is applied to all colorist Mike Sowa, who graded the every camera.”
three channels together. tests. “When I put up some of the The CAS guidelines prevented
images and looked at them with the LaserPacific from applying its own
print-density LUT applied, the special sauce because the workflow
to each camera and stayed with it information in the lowlights had to be platform- and facility-
throughout the tests; each camera appeared to be clipped.” independent, able to be reproduced
manufacturer helped choose which To expand that image area anywhere. Fortunately, the ASC
cinematographer would be paired and gain access to the digital cam- Color Decision List includes a Power
with its camera. The cameras all eras’ full dynamic range, Sowa had function — approximating the tra-
passed through six different test sce- to apply an Input Device Transform ditional Gamma function of color
narios, each with its own on-set cin- (IDT), which adjusted the gamma correctors — that could be used as
ematographer. slope of the cameras’ Log-mode an IDT, offering Sowa the full
After the shoot, each camera images to more closely match film dynamic range of the digital cam-
manufacturer was responsible for negative. “Although they’re designed eras’ Log-encoded images for color-
converting its own images to 10-bit to emulate film-tone scale, the Log- correcting.
log DPX files and delivering those encoded gamma slopes of the vari- Because the 35mm footage
files to LaserPacific, which joined ous digital cameras are not congru- would serve as the benchmark for
Deluxe Laboratories in donating ent with the Log gamma slope of the tests, Sowa began by color-cor-
post services to the project. (All of film negative,” explains Clark. recting that footage. He sat with the
the 35mm processing was done at “Applying the IDT ensured that the cinematographer from each test sce-
Deluxe.) The 35mm footage was final color-grading accurately pre- nario and did two passes on the film
scanned at 4K on a Spirit 4K scanner dicted the filmout results.” footage. First, they did a “best-light”
and then downconverted to 2K 10- Doug Jaqua, who works in color-correction with no secondar-
bit DPX files. All of the files were color science at LaserPacific, notes ies, windows, dynamics or keyfram-
then ingested into an Autodesk that each of the cameras has its own ing; because the cameras often
Lustre for color-correction. The method of encoding the digital sig- moved through changing lighting
entire post workflow, which had to nal to record the largest dynamic conditions during the scenes, Sowa
accommodate the schedules of peo- range the camera can capture. “The optimized the timing for one
ple who were volunteering their problem is that they all do it differ- moment. Then, they did a final grade
time, lasted five months. The results ently,” he says. “None of these things using the full DI toolset except for
were a film print and DCP for pub- play well together out of the box in a noise-reduction and sharpening
lic presentation. “We cut out most of common workflow.” Stump adds tools. (The CAS guidelines forbade

72 September 2009
Testing Digital Cameras: Part 2
manufacturers were able to send a
representative for each timing ses-
sion. They had to come back day
after day and wait in the lobby until
their camera came up.” He adds that
he found it valuable to see the whole
post process. “Cinematographers
usually show up for the color-timing
session, but we don’t often see the
data-transformation aspect of it, or
all those other peripheral things. To
learn about how that happens was
very helpful.”
The final film print and DCP
were first presented at a pair of
events in June, the PGA’s Produced
By Conference and a private ASC
event. One of Clark’s initial impres-
sions was that “we now have digital
noise reduction and sharpening another or even shown side-by-side. motion-picture cameras that are
throughout the entire workflow, “It was the goal of the PGA and the refined and capable of producing
both on set and in post.) ASC that no electronic camera some extraordinary results in today’s
With the look set for the film- would be directly compared to any DI workflow environment,” he says.
originated footage, Sowa set to work other electronic camera,” says Bill “You can use a top-performing digi-
on the images from the digital cam- Bennett, ASC, who was the on-set tal camera without necessarily being
eras. Again, there were two passes: cinematographer for the Arri D-21 handicapped by choosing that cam-
the best light (optimizing for the and sat in on many of the grading era over film. A few of these cameras
same moment chosen for the film sessions. are demonstrating that they are able
camera) and then the final grade, The camera manufacturers to adapt to existing, film-centric DI
which focused on making the were allowed into the DI suite, but workflows and do so very effectively.”
footage match the look of the film only while the footage from their However, says Stump, no one
footage as closely as possible, regard- particular camera was onscreen. should assume that enough time and
less of how many adjustments were “We decided to do the color-correc- effort can make images captured by
needed. At no time were any of the tion on a scene-by-scene basis,” says any digital camera look like film.
digital cameras matched to one Bennett. “Most of the time, the “That’s not the right conclusion to
draw from this,” he says. “We’re
almost there, but we have to keep
making more demands of the manu-
facturers to refill our toolbox with
electronic tools. There are still many
things you can do with film that you
can’t do with electronic tools. The
manufacturers have been listening
— that’s why all these cameras look
so good — but let’s not let anyone off
the hook. This test points out where
we can improve the entire imaging
chain, from acquisition to display. It
isn’t good enough yet.”
At the Produced By
Conference, McCreary mentioned a
few of the improvements manufac-
turers still need to make. “We would
love optical viewfinders in the digital

74 September 2009
Testing Digital Cameras: Part 2
ing their cameras into established
workflows. They all made some
tremendous realizations.”
Already, some of the camera
manufacturers are beginning to offer
their own LUTs to bridge the gap
between the images their cameras
capture and the film-centric DI
workflow used for the CAS. “The
more camera manufacturers have to
stew in that juice, the better they can
appreciate why digital is not ubiqui-
tous as an acquisition medium yet,”
says Stump. “In that respect, the CAS
was a huge success.”
Bennett emphasizes that the
CAS is only a starting point, and
before commencing any project,
cameras — in our assessment, only going to take the whole community filmmakers should “test as much as
the Arri D-21 and the Arri 435 film to implement a rich, automated, possible, and carry those tests all the
camera had optical viewfinders,” she uninterrupted stream of metadata, way through to the way in which it
said. “We also asked for true 2K and but if the entire industry pursues it, will be distributed — film print, tele-
4K cameras in terms of both sensors the production community will vision, Blu-ray DVD. You must test all
and storage — no compression. realize big savings they never knew the way through the process to dis-
Another request was that the manu- were there.” cover the limits of each imaging sys-
facturers help us define and imple- Stump also notes that tem and then work within those lim-
ment metadata standardization.” although 4K finishes are uncom- its. All imaging systems have limits.
Bennett agrees that manufac- mon, there is good reason to push Even with paint on canvas, artists had
turers need to provide an easier way camera manufacturers in that direc- to learn what they could and couldn’t
to input the metadata on set and tie tion. “It was announced in June that do. Then, applying their skills, they
it to the file itself, ensuring that it is Texas Instruments and all the pro- could make beautiful images.
always present and retrievable in jector companies are going to be “As digital acquisition evolves,
post. He notes that the CAS incor- supplying 4K projectors, which we’re learning what these cameras’
porated a primitive sort of metadata means 4K exhibition will eventually strengths are, and the cameras are
in the form of color Post-It notes be ubiquitous. That will give us 4K being used for those strengths,” con-
that were always visible in frame; a projection, 4K DCI standards, and a tinues Bennett. “That’s the biggest
different-color Post-It was used for fairly nice movement toward 4K fin- benefit the CAS can offer filmmakers:
each camera. “That way, we knew ishing, workflows and color correc- we can use the cameras in the situa-
we’d always be able to tell which tors. The only thing we don’t have is tions to which they’re best suited.”
camera it was,” he says. a true 4K digital-acquisition device “The CAS is a current snap-
Stump, who also chairs the that supplies co-sited RGB pixels at shot,” says Clark. “In two years, these
ASC Technology Committee’s 4K each. Everyone has to realize that cameras will have moved toward
Metadata Subcommittee, believes ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough.” even higher resolution and an
metadata is one of the last great Based on the CAS, though, expanded color gamut with a wider
places to save money in filmmaking. there is a great deal of optimism dynamic range of scene-tone repro-
“Producers and the studios expend about the manufacturers’ level of duction, along with an advanced 4K
an enormous amount of effort to engagement and commitment to post workflow. But we need to under-
squeeze every nickel out of the pro- the industry. “It’s quite a tribute to stand how they perform right now in
duction budget and get it on the the manufacturers that they all the workflow that is most commonly
screen,” he says. “If they only knew stepped up and participated fully in used.” Stump adds, “You don’t know
how much is being squandered by the CAS,” says Bennett. “In the post which way is forward is until you
inefficient workflows that could be phase, we got the distinct impres- know where you are.” I
automated by metadata! People just sion that they were learning as much
don’t recognize it for what it is. It’s or more than we were about blend-

76 September 2009
Thank You for Your Participation in
the Camera Assessment Series Project
Digital Motion Picture Camera Manufacturers:
Arri–D-21 • Panasonic–HPX3700 • Panavision–Genesis
Red–Red One • Sony–F35 and F23 • Thomson–Viper
Kodak
Key participants who enabled the CAS project:
ASC Technology Committee Deluxe Laboratories
Curtis Clark, ASC, Chair
David Stump, ASC, Camera Subcommittee Chair
Cinematographers who participated:
Al Barton, Workflow Subcommittee Chair Assigned to individual scenes
Lou Levinson, DI Subcommittee Chair Rodney Charters, ASC
Glenn Kennel, DI Workflow Specifications Coordinator Richard Edlund, ASC
Steven Fierberg, ASC
Revelations Entertainment Michael Goi, ASC
Lori McCreary, President Jacek Laskus, ASC
Producers Guild of America (PGA) Matthew Leonetti, ASC
Set Producers Stephen Lighthill, ASC
Hawk Koch Robert Primes, ASC
Michael Manheim John Toll, ASC
O.D. Welch Assigned to individual cameras
Producers Peter Anderson, ASC
Nick Abdo Bill Bennett, ASC
Charles Howard Mark Doering-Powell
Shelly Johnson, ASC
Camera Producers Karl Walter Lindenlaub, ASC
Paul Geffre Kramer Morgenthau, ASC
Pamela Keller Marty Ollstein
Lisa Sotolongo Nancy Schreiber, ASC
Bruce Devan
Yvonne Russo Directors of Photography Project Supervisors
Kim Van Hoven Curtis Clark, ASC
David Stump, ASC
Behind-the-Scenes Producers Kees Van Oostrum, ASC
Jon Lawrence
Michael Shores Special thanks to
Cory McCrum, Postproduction Producer Tom Walsh, President, Art Directors Guild
Lori McCreary, Chair, PGA Technology Council George Perkins, Exec. Producer, Desperate Housewives

LaserPacific Very special gratitude


Brian Burr
Doug Jaqua, Mike Sowa, Ron Burdett to the production crews!
Rob Smith, Sean Lohan, Chad Gunderson
and the LaserPacific team
Post Focus
that there were extreme vertical-regis-
tration problems in quite a number of
shots. We discovered that the problem
actually went way back; we found
records from Technicolor in London that
showed they’d had to make corrections
in 1948 to compensate for vertical-
registration problems.”
Gitt soon realized that the only
way to do a photochemical restoration
would be to go back to the cumbersome
method of optical printing, which would
add film generations and build up
contrast. A digital restoration seemed to
be the way to go. He recalls, “Cinetech
was interested in using a combination
of photochemical and digital tech-
niques, and they did some tests using
wet-printed master positives that came
out very well, but we know that theo-
retically, it’s best to use the original
Pictured here Brand-New Shoes safety reissue print,” recalls Robert Gitt, picture negative if you can, so we also
and on the next by Robert S. Birchard preservation officer for the UCLA did some tests at Warner Bros. Motion
two pages are
frame grabs from
Archive. “We took everything to Dave Picture Imaging using the original nega-
the recent digital Michael Powell and Emeric Press- Cetra at Cinetech, and he made a new tives. Both facilities did very good work,
restoration of burger’s The Red Shoes, an “art film” print using the three Technicolor nega- but when we blew up the image very
The Red Shoes,
directed by
about the world of ballet, was eagerly tives, color-timing the entire thing. That’s large, it was evident that scanning the
Michael Powell embraced by audiences upon its release when we discovered some pretty shock- original negs produced a result that was
and Emeric in 1948 and has remained a cult favorite ing problems. less grainy and sharper. So the decision
Pressburger and
photographed
ever since. Noted for its vivid color cine- “The picture negative was was made to work with the original
by Jack Cardiff, matography by Jack Cardiff, ASC, BSC, covered with mold — there were chalky YCM negatives at MPI and use digital
ASC, BSC. and its somewhat over-the-top passion deposits all over it,” continues Gitt. techniques exclusively to fix all the

The Red Shoes images courtesy of UCLA Film & TV Archive.


for dance, the film is a favorite of Martin “[Archivist] Barbara Whitehead cleaned film’s problems, including mold
Scorsese, whose Film Foundation all 48 reels by hand and then ultrasoni- damage.”
recently helped the UCLA Film & Televi- cally; that took the worst mold off but left At MPI, the 48 reels of original
sion Archive digitally restore the movie in behind stains and little cracks and negatives — yellow, cyan and magenta
concert with the British Film Institute. crevices in the emulsion. We were records for each of the 16 finished
The restoration team’s original relieved when we saw Cinetech’s first picture reels — were scanned at 4K on
goal was to do a new photochemical test reel — all of the fungus damage had a Northlight, and the scans were
restoration using wet-gate contact print- been eliminated simply with the use of cleaned up using both automated and
ing from the original three-strip Techni- diffused light and wet-gate printing. manual techniques before being recom-
color camera negatives, a procedure the Then, when we saw the whole movie, bined. “Normally, we don’t tweak the
UCLA Archive had used to restore The we discovered that a lot of the material color levels when we do the recombine
Barefoot Contessa (1954) and Becky was badly out of register, much more so because we don’t want to affect what
Sharp (1935). “We gathered a lot of than in any other Technicolor film I’ve the color timer will eventually work
material from England, including 48 reels worked on. There had been differential with,” notes Bill Baggelaar, MPI’s senior
of cut picture negatives, an original 1948 shrinkage in the elements over the years, vice president of technology. “On occa-
Technicolor nitrate print, and a 1955 but what was even more worrisome was sion, we’ve had to do major preliminary

78 September 2009
Visit us at
IBC 2009
11.E28
7.H01

Careful handling of archive film


Sprocket-free film transport system
Software based pin-less image
stabilization
corrections, but for The Red Shoes, the reduction except for some of the optical
YCM color values were introduced at effects, where the grain structure would
PRSTM Perforation Recognition System
standard settings.” change and be very obvious.” Universal format scanning
The recombined images were Indeed, the optical effects were High quality capturing unit up to 2K
turned over to MPI colorist Ray a problem on The Red Shoes, and they Best price - performance ratio
Grabowski, who graded them under offer a clue to the beauty and limitations Upgradeable modular design
Gitt’s supervision, with input from of the three-strip Technicolor dye-trans- Prepared for realtime scanning
Schoonmaker and Scorsese. “The fer printing system that was used from Easy and intuitive user interface
shadow detail and color information in the early 1930s to the early 1950s. Gitt
Cardiff’s original negatives is amazing explains, “When Technicolor did
— genius, really,” marvels Grabowski. dissolves and fades, the entire preced-
“We used [FilmLight] Baselight 8 hard- ing shot and the entire following shot
ware and software for the color-correc- were copied optically, and in some
tion, and we also used Baselight’s cases the shots went on and on. There’s Sprocket-free Transport

degraining tool here and there. The goal one reel [in The Red Shoes] where a
was to keep the look of the original film shot involved in an optical effect goes
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79
where they corrected color-registration
problems as well. Today, Eastmancolor
developing is standardized; if you want
to break the rules, you can develop it to
a lower contrast, but the colors start
wandering off in different directions,
and the results aren’t easily repeatable.
With digital technology we can easily
modify the contrast, even shot-to-shot
as Technicolor did in 1948. That’s a big
plus.”
MPI digital conformist Katie
Largay assisted Grabowski throughout
the project, maintaining a spreadsheet
for every reel and every shot that
included what the source data was and
any relevant notes. “Katie wrangled the
data, and it was a load of stuff,” notes
Grabowski. “We were working at 4K
resolution, and there were a lot of things
going back and forth with fixes and
many inserts of newly repaired material.
Keeping track of it all was very time-
consuming, and Katie’s attention to
detail allowed me to concentrate on the
color-timing with Bob Gitt.”
rather cavalier about controlling the matrices, which were gelatin relief John Polito at Audio Mechanics
contrast of its opticals; they didn’t images that they would soak with dye restored the sound using mainly two
attempt to make them match the to print, they used an optical printer, so 1948 track masters. “One of the masters
surrounding footage. That’s because each negative was exposed a frame at had extensive fungus damage, and only
they had a trick up their sleeve. The a time, and they could not only change small parts of it were usable,” says Gitt.
Technicolor process allowed them to the exposure to alter the color balance “The other was in generally good shape,
make corrections at the last minute as and brightness of the scene, they could with some fungus damage at the ends of
the matrices were being made for dye- also change the contrast shot-to-shot or the reels. John also worked with the
transfer printing. In making the three even within a shot. That’s the stage 1955 Technicolor projection print; it had
splices here and there, but the sound
was good on it, and the reel ends were
in better shape.”
Once the digital work was
finished and approved, the processing
and final printing were carried out at
Cinetech. The restored film had its
premiere at this year’s Cannes Film
Festival. “When you run the final print
side-by-side with the digital version at
the same size and with the same screen
brightness, it matches very closely,”
observes Billy Patten, the project
manager at MPI. “Because we’ve
recorded to Eastman Color negative and
printed on Kodak Vision [2383], the print
is slightly grainier than the digital
version, but in terms of color and
contrast, they’re very close.”
¢

80 September 2009
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Available only at LaserPacific.

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Celebrating Mr. Hulot’s When it came time to do the
Holiday Anew restoration, the first matter to settle
by Stephanie Argy was which version should be treated as
the definitive one. “Restoration is not
The 2009 Cannes Film Festival only technical, it’s also creative and
also saw the debut of a newly restored ethical,” says Séverine Wemaere, head
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Les Vacances de of the Thomson Foundation. “Today,
Monsieur Hulot), which stars many works are called ‘restoration’ but
writer/director Jacques Tati as the are really just materials that have been
nearly silent title character. cleaned. Some respect the author, but
Tati himself revisited the movie some take too many liberties. You really
several times over the course of three want to go deeply inside the movie and
decades. The black-and-white picture not betray the filmmaker by doing a
was originally shot in 1951/1952 in restoration that is not what he would
Saint-Marc-sur-Mer, a small French have wanted.”
resort on the Atlantic coast. In 1962, Tati In this case, because the director
re-edited parts of the movie and had made all the changes to the movie
reworked the score and the sound mix. himself, it was decided that the third
In a nod to the popular postman charac- and final version should be the basis of
ter from his first feature, Jour de Fête, he the restoration, which was carried out
also superimposed a color stamp and a at Technicolor in Los Angeles. Noting
postmark over the final shot of the that she was pleased with Technicolor’s
movie. recent restoration of Lola Montès (AC
Then, in 1977, as Mr. Hulot’s Holi- Sept. ’08), Wemaere says, “A team that
day began to attract a new following, wins, you take it again.” Overseeing the
Tati saw Jaws and was inspired to shoot project was Lola Montès veteran Tom
additional footage. His original cut had a Burton, vice president of digital services
scene in which Hulot goes out on the at Technicolor Digital Intermediates.
ocean in a folding canoe, then gets Mr. Hulot’s Holiday was shot on
caught inside it when it collapses on nitrate shortly before the highly flamma-
him. As he struggles to get free, the ble stock was phased out of use. The
canoe keeps snapping open and shut, Technicolor team considered scanning
looking like the biting jaws of a shark. the original nitrate negative, but after
The new shots featured panicked people doing test scans of both the original
on the beach, running away from the negative and an interpositive, Burton
shark. (A close examination of their hair- decided to work from a fine-grain IP
styles reveals that they were made on Kodak 2366. There were many
photographed in the late 1970s, not the splices and grading notches in the nega-
early 1950s.) tive, so when Technicolor struck the IP,
The restoration of Mr. Hulot’s they had to do custom adjustments in
Holiday represented an unusual collabo- the gate of the contact printer to stabi-
ration between two film foundations, lize the negative as much as possible as Mr. Hulot’s Holiday images courtesy of Technicolor.
the Thomson Foundation for Film and TV it went through.
Heritage and the Fondation Groupama The negative was in bad shape,
Gan pour le Cinéma, as well as the rights partly because of all the work Tati had
holder, Jérôme Deschamps (Tati’s done on the movie over the years.
nephew), and the Cinémathèque Damage included tears, vertical
Française. scratches, warping at splices and perf
damage. The black-and-white was
completely gray. “You couldn’t see Mr.
This sequence of images illustrates a
repair on a single frame from Mr. Hulot’s Hulot’s Holiday in good condition any
Holiday. Steps in this repair included the more, and that was what pushed me to
removal of both actors from the frame, the do this,” says Wemaere. “The object
reconstruction of the background,
rotoscoping, and a partial actor was film heritage. Many, many film-
replacement. makers were inspired by Tati.” ¢

82 September 2009
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and the goal was to have the restora-
tion finished in time for Cannes in May.
“It became a race,” she says.
Different phases of the process
that ordinarily would have been
sequential all went on at the same time.
The IP was scanned (using Arri and
Spirit scanners) to create a 2K master;
the color correction was done by Tim
Peeler on a da Vinci 2K Plus; and the
image repair was done using an array of
tools, including da Vinci Revival, MTI
Correct, Digital Vision Phoenix and
Adobe After Effects. A team of about 20
people worked in two or three shifts.
“Organization was the key,” says Danny
Albano, a visual-effects artist and
compositor on the project.
From a technical standpoint, the
This image The restoration was both digital digital format will still be in effect in 10 biggest issues were stabilizing the
shows and photochemical. Wemaere explains years?” she muses. image to compensate for the jitteriness
the finished
product. that there were two goals: to get the One of the biggest challenges caused by perf damage; cleaning up the
best new elements so the film could be was the schedule. Wemaere says the damage, especially from splices that
shown again, and to create a new film project should have taken one year, but had been taken apart and put back
negative so the movie could be by the time all the necessary elements together (often leaving missing frames);
preserved properly. “Who knows what were located, it was December 2008, and combining materials from different

84
sources. Many of the existing opticals the original scenario as closely as possi- share a philosophy about film restora-
and effects were questionable, to say ble, which led them to print the stamp tion: films shouldn’t just be restored,
the least, presenting the team with the on color stock (Kodak Vision 2383) and they should also be shared with the
recurring question of which to restore the rest of the picture on black-and- public. Four film prints and a digital-
and which to leave untouched. In one white (Kodak 2302). As a result, they cinema version of Mr. Hulot’s Holiday
instance, an image of a horse kicking a had to splice in that extra color shot by have been created, and following its
car rumble-seat and trapping a man hand and accept the subtle focus issues debut at Cannes, the movie was
inside was created using a split-screen caused by the different thicknesses of screened at other film festivals.
composite, but in the existing footage, the print stocks; black-and-white stock Wemaere notes that the restora-
the two sides of the composite shift has one layer of emulsion, whereas tion was launched at the height of the
noticeably against one another. “Decid- color has three. financial crisis. “Nobody wanted to
ing whether to fix something like that is While the picture-restoration enter into any projects, and our two
tricky,” says Burton. “In this case, we work went on in California, Léon foundations working together set such a
decided to do it.” Rousseau at L. E. Diapason in France good example,” she says. “When
A major alteration was in the was cleaning up the sound. According money is short everywhere, collabora-
overall look of the film, which was to Burton, Rousseau had a complete tion becomes even more important. We
taken from muted, low-contrast grays reference sound track to work with — didn’t just share the costs, we also
back to higher-contrast blacks and no splices, no missing pieces. Because shared the experience, and it was a joy.”
white — turning what had become a small bits were cut out of the picture, I
cloudy day back into a sunny one. there was a lot of communication back-
Burton admits that adding the color and-forth to ensure that picture and
stamp at the end of the movie, one of sound would sync perfectly when they
the changes made in Tati’s 1962 revi- were combined immediately before
sion, was complicated because it meant Cannes.
combining color and black-and-white Wemaere says she and Gilles
stocks. The team wanted to replicate Duval of the Fondation Groupama Gan

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85
New Products & Services

Panavision, Loumasystems Specifically designed for the film Preston F.I.Z. and remote-start connec-
Unveil Louma 2 industry, the Louma 2 boasts smooth, tions, as well as 12-volt and 24-volt
Panavision Remote Systems and stable and quiet operation in all of its camera and accessory power hookups.
Loumasystems have introduced the movements.The Louma 2’s ShotAssist The new ultra-rigid arm and remote-
Louma 2, a new-generation camera- software extends the original Louma head construction permit a high degree
movement system built on an open- crane’s back-pan compensation to every of image stability, and all cabling is
architecture platform. The system axis, including pan, tilt and telescope of internal, so there are no cables running
expands Louma’s telescopic-crane tech- the arm; pan, tilt and roll of the remote along the exterior of the arm. The unit
nology exponentially with the introduc- head; and even focus, zoom and camera also comes with custom trolleys and an
tion of ShotAssist, an open-architecture, speed. Pan, tilt and roll limits are all operator’s cart, and it can be ready to
programmable software platform that available at the touch of a button with shoot in less than 60 minutes.
enables cinematographers to plan intri- adjustable ramps to aid framing. One of Key specifications of the Louma
cate multi-axis shots and execute them the applications of this software is the 2 include a maximum lens height when
with less rehearsal and fewer takes. ability to create straight-line “dolly” overslung of 37', and when underslung
Master/slave coordination between any shots, with the telescope compensating of 32' 10"; a telescopic range of 24' 2"; a
axis of the crane and remote head is for the arcing of the boom while the maximum telescopic speed of 2.6
possible. head self-corrects with the back-pan meters per second; a maximum camera
“Today’s technologically and visu- compensation. The Louma 2 frees oper- load with two-axis head of 100 pounds,
ally sophisticated audiences are pushing ators of the “mechanical” work of and with three-axis head of 66 pounds;
directors and cinematographers to be compensating for the crane, enabling a clearance of 4' 11" wide by 7' high; a
ever more creative in developing eye- them to focus purely on the art of fram- maximum length of 32'; a track width of
arresting shots,” says Jean-Marie ing. 3' 3"; and a maximum overall weight of
Lavalou, Academy Award-winning co- The Louma 2 boasts a newly 4,130 pounds.
founder of Loumasystems. “We designed developed arm, allowing over 24' of For more information, call (818)
the Louma 2 to meet those demands by telescopic travel. A two- or three-axis 316-1080, or visit www.panavision.com,
creating an open-architecture system so remote head and leveling gear can be www.loumasystems.biz or www.lou
flexible that virtually any shot imaginable switched easily from overslung to ma2.com.
is possible, and any technology innova- underslung and back. Additionally, the
tion can be incorporated.” remote head is fully equipped with

86 September 2009
Cineped Provides
360-Degree Support
Cineped has announced the
availability of its panoramic 360-degree
camera-support system, which enables
camera operators to capture excep-
tional images with ease. More than a
dolly or tripod, the system features a
42", 360-degree rotational sliding
camera plate; extendable, automatic-
positioning telescopic column; digital
remote control; and a diamond-style
mobile base with heavy-duty rubber
wheels. Designed to allow for a
wealth of camera angles — including
horizontal and vertical movement,
panoramic/360-degree movement and
compound camera moves — Cineped
maneuvers with fine-tuned, virtually
noise-free operation.
With a weight capacity of 120
pounds, the sliding rotational camera
plate can carry multiple cameras simul-
taneously. The telescopic column, with
a base height of 58" (with camera),
extends to a height of 74.5". When the
telescoping column is removed, the slid-
ing rotational camera plate can attach
directly to the mobile base for capturing
low-angle shots. The mobile base is a
mere 27" wide, enabling setup in tight
shooting spaces. Cineped is also ideal
for smooth transitions, extreme close-
ups, and tabletop and POV shots.
For studio or location shoots,
Cineped’s completely modular design
allows easy transport and fast camera

87
repositioning. Including the sliding A gas lifter in the tripod provides 35 floor wheels, which is especially useful
camera plate (45 pounds), telescopic pounds of vertical lift, making leveling when repositioning the jib or trolley
column (39 pounds) and mobile base (70 the rails and setting their height a quick system.
pounds), the total weight is 154 pounds, one-person operation. The jib’s rigid and lightweight (22
and assembly is quick and trouble-free. By removing two more quick- pound) design is ideal for shoots in
Manufactured in the U.S.A., the release screws, the entire rail system remote locations. The Explorer also
Cineped system includes a digital can be lifted off the tripod and placed on features a weight bucket, eliminating
remote control box, a battery/charger, the ground for low-angle work; the the need for steel counterweights; the
an AC/DC converter and a low-mode tripod’s spreader then detaches, and the bucket can be filled with dirt, sand or
adaptor. For more information, visit spreader’s legs and feet become the rocks once on location.
www.cineped.com. leveling supports for the rails on the The Explorer jib and trolley
ground or on a tabletop. The rails come system can mount to any 100mm tripod,
Arri CSC Relocates, Expands in 3' lengths, so longer configurations but using the Explorer tripod provides
Arri CSC will relocate its New can be obtained with the purchase of the added ability to clamp the legs verti-
York camera-rental department to a more rails and clamps. cally. Even with the jib’s small footprint,
custom-designed facility adjoining the The versatile spreader boasts its 36" arm boasts a 64" lift, allowing
company’s lighting and grip division in two other functions as well. First, since operators to put the camera approxi-
Secaucus, N.J. The adjoining buildings the legs are made of the 4-sided extru- mately 9' off the ground.
have a combined footprint of 91,000 sion, the feet of the tripod clamp posi- The Explorer can be purchased
square feet; the new camera-rental tively anywhere along the length of the as a complete system — comprising the
facility is 36,000 square feet, represent- leg, allowing the tripod to be rigidly jib, tripod, trolley and dolly — or as
ing an expansion of over 50 percent. mounted with its legs completely verti- separate components. For more infor-
The new camera department will cal like a center column. This column- mation, visit www.porta-jib.com.
feature multiple prep bays and four like position allows the arm a greater
dedicated testing rooms surrounded by range of motion than if restricted by Polecam Extends to
optical, mechanical, digital and techni- outward-angled legs. Secondly, the 7th Heaven
cal support departments, all on one spreader can transform into a 3-wheel Polecam has announced its long-
level. The Secaucus location also dolly by simply removing the leveling reaching, truly portable camera rig,
accommodates parking for more than 70 feet and clamping on a set of wheels. Polecam 7th Heaven. Incorporat-
vehicles, with no impact on vehicle load- The Explorer’s wheels are also ing seven rigid carbon-fiber
ing and unloading via dedicated bays. unique in that they can function elements, which interlock to
Arri CSC, 25 Enterprise Ave. as track wheels on tradi- achieve an 8-meter reach
North, Secaucus, N.J., 07094. For more tional steel track, PVC (approximately 26'), 7th
information, call (212) 757-0906 or visit pipe or Porta-Jib Flex- Heaven delivers unprece-
www.arricsc.com. Trak, and they dented versatility in terms
additionally of horizontal and vertical
Porta-Jib Goes Exploring function as camera location while giving oper-
Porta-Jib has announced the ators total control of boom angle,
Explorer, an all-in-one lightweight pan and tilt.
jib/tripod/trolley/dolly system for “Like the standard 6-meter Pole-
cameras weighing up to 20 pounds. The cam, 7th Heaven can be carried
Explorer’s various configurations anywhere and set up or dismantled
are made possible by a in less than 10 minutes, without
custom four-sided extrusion need for spanners, screwdrivers or
and corresponding dovetail any other assembly tools,” says
clamps with spring-loaded Steffan Hewitt, Polecam’s founder
safety pins. and managing director. “The 6-
The jib can be miniatur- meter span is ideal for most practi-
ized to 18", or it can be extended to cal purposes, but 7th Heaven’s 8-
put the camera 9' in the air. With the meter reach allows much closer
addition of two monopods, the jib wildlife shooting where you want to
becomes a 6'-long elevated trolley get near your subject without risk of
system; the jib arms simply fold over being eaten. It also has obvious
to become the trolley’s 6' rails, and advantages for live events such as
the conversion takes only 3 minutes. concerts or sports, and at crowded

88 September 2009
news briefings where you can go clean
over the heads of other reporters.”
7th Heaven is made possible by
a new formulation of high-rigidity
carbon-fiber elements, also now
supplied as standard with the five-
element Polecam rig. Using a combina-
tion of laminated and spun carbon-fiber
with 24-percent more fiber, the new
formulation delivers a 15-percent

“The intensely practical experience at


LFS gave me the technical grounding I
needed to experiment and develop
creatively as a cinematographer.”
Tobia Sempi from Milan. graduated MA Filmmaking in 2003. Since then he’s shot
over 50 commercials, 40 music videos and
many shorts including Chloe de Carvalho’s
increase in boom stiffness. award-winning Motor Industry Seeks
7th Heaven is fully compatible Test Driver. He is preparing his first
with all standard Polecam accessories, feature as DOP in late 2009.
including heads, underwater housings,
HD and SD cameras, CCUs and THE LFS TWO-YEAR
recorders. It also retains the internal
ducts and total freedom from stabilizer
MA FILMMAKING
stanchions that allow wiring to be PROGRAMME
routed inside the rig rather than left STARTS IN JANUARY,
exposed to snagging or other physical MAY AND SEPTEMBER.
abuse; this also saves on rigging and
de-rigging time by eliminating the need To find out more about training in all
for external cable straps and allowing departments, on a minimum of six film
exercises, including two 35mm projects,
surplus cable to be stowed within the
in a working studio with students from
boom. 30 countries visit
For more information, visit
www.polecam.com. lfs.org.uk
¢ THE LONDON FILM SCHOOL
A T R A D I T I O N O F I N N O V A T I O N
24 SHELTON STREET, LONDON, WC2H 9UB U.K. TELEPHONE: +44 (0)20 7836 9642 EMAIL INFO@LFS.ORG.UK 89
Plasticase Unleashes Nanuk
Nanuk is a new line of profes-
sional-quality protective Plasticase,
designed for professionals who need to
rely on robust, lightweight and high-
performance cases for protection in the
harshest environments.
Plasticase developed Nanuk’s
new, high-impact NK-7 resin to with-
stand environmental extremes. With
their rounded corners and reinforced
wall construction, Nanuk cases are built
to absorb shocks, providing optimal
impact resistance and protection to
sensitive equipment. All Nanuk cases
are also watertight and impervious to
ACS France Supplies Europe ing, flying cameras (Cablecam) or dust and dirt.
with PFC Ultimate Arm running cameras (Speedtrack). For more
ACS France recently signed an information, visit www.aerial-france.fr
exclusive partnership with Performance or www.performancefilmworks.com.
Filmworks Canada, becoming the Euro-
pean supplier of the PFC Ultimate Arm, Tuffpak Heads Abroad
a robotic crane fixed on a 4x4 AMG Manufactured by Nalpak, Tuff-
Mercedes ML55. This system has pak tripod cases are now available in
provided amazing results for the film Europe. Florian Granderath, founder of
industry, performing even in off-road Camera Support Granderath, stocks all
and inclement-weather conditions. sizes of the Tuffpak case line and main-
The PFC Ultimate Arm is a light- tains a distribution network throughout
weight robotic arm that can be used on Europe.
most any automobile as well as boats or Features of Tuffpak cases
trains. ACS France is offering the Ulti- include an octagonal shape, preventing
mate Arm integrated onto the the cases from rolling; wheels for most
Mercedes ML55. The arm is mounted models, making transportation easy; Nanuk cases come loaded with
on top of the vehicle, and the camera protected and recessed handles, numerous standard features valued by
installed on the Lev Head or Stab-C increasing storage space and decreas- professionals, such as the PowerClaw
Compact. The crew works in the safety ing shipping dimensions; and rotation- Latching System, which prevents the
and comfort of the ML, operating the ally molded construction, eliminating cases from opening unexpectedly during
head via joysticks or wheels. seams and welds, and increasing wall transport or when dropped. Additionally,
The PFC Ultimate Arm was thickness at all bends. the foldable handle is molded from
honored with a Technical Achievement For more information, visit NK-7 resin and over-molded with soft-
Award from the Academy of Motion www.casu.tv or www.nalpak.com. touch rubber for greater comfort. As a
Picture Arts and Sciences. The arm can result of the exceptionally robust
rotate 360 degrees in six seconds, and construction, Plasticase offers a lifetime
the vehicle can travel at speeds up to warranty on its Nanuk cases.
100 miles per hour while maintaining a “We invested heavily in R&D in
steady image. The camera’s highest order to develop Nanuk,” says Jean-
position is 5.4 meters (17.7') above Pierre Grenier, president of Plasticase.
ground, and it can dip to below ground “We wanted to produce cases that are
level. The PFC Ultimate Arm has also optimally functional, very stylish and
been used in extreme temperatures able to endure the toughest environ-
ranging from 129°F in Death Valley to mental conditions. Professionals often
-40°F in Alaska. work in rigorous surroundings and
ACS France specializes in equip- conditions using valuable materials and
ment that consistently produces unique equipment. Therefore, you can’t afford
and inspiring images, be it aerial film- to compromise when it comes to quality

90 September 2009
and reliability. With Nanuk, we provide a
product that performs extremely well on
all fronts.”
The Nanuk line of protective
cases currently comes in seven formats
and seven standard colors. Plasticase is
already working on a new generation of
the Nanuk line, which will feature larger
sizes as well as wheels and pull
handles.
For more information, visit
www.plasticase.com or www.nanuk
case.com.

Convergent Design
Ships NanoFlash
Convergent Design has intro-
duced the NanoFlash portable HD/SD
recorder/player. Using the Sony XDCam
422 Codec, NanoFlash records HD/SD
video and audio onto Compact Flash (CF)
cards.
Featuring HD/SD-SDI, HDMI and
analog audio I/O, NanoFlash delivers
exceptional video quality at user-
adjustable video bit rates up to 160
Mbps (XDCam 422 Codec) or 220 Mbps
4:2:2 (I-Frame-only), making its images
virtually indistinguishable from uncom-
pressed, even when capturing high-
motion, complex scenery. 24-bit 48 KHz

uncompressed audio (embedded or


consumer-level analog) complements
the video, and both are conveniently
stored in either MXF or QuickTime file ƩĞŶĚĂĨŽƵƌͲLJĞ
ƩĞŶĚĂĨŽƵƌͲLJĞĂƌĐŽůůĞŐĞƚŚĂƚ͛ƐĂƐĐƌĞĂƟǀĞĂƐLJŽƵĂƌĞ͘
format on CF cards. (The NanoFlash &ŝǀĞdŽǁŶƐŽůůĞŐĞŽīĞƌƐƚŚĞƐƉĞĐŝĂůŝnjĞĚƚƌĂŝŶŝŶŐLJŽƵŶĞĞĚ͘
&ŝǀĞd
dŽǁŶƐŽůůĞŐĞŽīĞƌƐƚŚĞƐƉĞĐŝĂůŝnjĞĚƚƚƌĂŝŶŝŶŐLJŽƵŶĞĞĚ͘
boasts dual CF card slots.) The footage ŽŶƚĂĐƚĂŶĚŵŝƐƐŝŽŶƐZĞƉƌĞƐĞŶƚĂƟǀĞĨŽƌŵŽƌĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶ
ŽŶ ƚĂĐƚĂŶĚŵŝƐƐŝŽŶƐZĞƉƌĞƐĞŶƚĂƟǀĞĨŽƌŵŽƌĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶ
can then be played and edited directly ŽƌǀŝƐŝƚƵƐĂƚǁǁǁ͘ŌĐ͘ĞĚƵͬƐŝŐŶƵƉ͘
ŽƌǀŝƐŝƚƵƐĂƚǁǁǁ͘ŌĐ͘ĞĚƵͬƐŝŐŶƵƉ͘
off the cards or copied to a hard drive via
a third-party external USB or Firewire-
800 CF card reader. ¢
FIIVE
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Unlike Firewire-based recorders,
NanoFlash bypasses the camera’s built-
in Codec to record at higher-quality
levels. The never-compressed HD/SD-
SDI or HDMI output from a live camera
source is fed directly into the NanoFlash,
maintaining the pristine quality directly
off the CCD/CMOS sensors. Additionally,
NanoFlash offers on-set playback with-
out any of the rewind/re-cue issues
associated with tape.
The lightweight (less than 1
pound), low-power (6 watts when active,
0.2 watts in standby) NanoFlash boasts
silent operation, with no fans or moving
parts, and rugged, solid-state construc-
tion in an all-aluminum case. The near-
universal NLE support — including Avid,
Final Cut Pro, Edius, Vegas and soon
Premiere — provides users with a wide
array of editing options, and compatibil-
ity with nearly all HD/SD formats —
including 1080i60/50, 1080psf30/25/24,
720p60/50 and 480i/576i — allows
NanoFlash to be used with a wide range
of cameras and video sources.
The NanoFlash is now shipping,
with a suggested price of $2,995. For
more information, visit www.convergent-
design.com.

Canon Releases Firmware


Update for 5D Mark II
Responding to user requests,
Canon U.S.A. Inc. has issued a firmware
update enabling manual exposure
control in the EOS 5D Mark II digital
SLR’s video mode.
With the ability to capture full HD
video on a 24mm x 36mm sensor, the
EOS 5D Mark II has been enthusiastically
received by studios, independent film-
makers and professional videographers.
However, the consensus was that the
camera needed manual exposure control
within its video mode if it was to reach
its full potential. Now, after months of
extensive engineering and testing,
Canon offers a free, downloadable
firmware update that gives users full
control over ISO, aperture and shutter
speed while capturing video.
For more information and to
download the free firmware update, visit
www.usa.canon.com.

92
To sustain performance, E-HL9 rare opportunity to examine innovative
Series batteries are designed with a approaches to producer challenges,
high-level class of cell specifications, technology developments and the glob-
and an accelerated high-rate discharge alization of the production industry.
handles up to 10 amps/120 watts. The Eric Roth, the executive director
series can also be used in critical situa- of the VES, observes, “Because the
tions requiring a high DC power draw, entertainment industry is changing so
such as on-board lighting applications. rapidly — on the creative, technological
While delivering a significant power and business fronts — we’re bringing
Mitchell mount: top mount, underslung payload, the high current draw is engi- together all industry stakeholders to
and cantilevered; the custom counter- neered not to adversely affect the discuss the challenges we all face in
weight tray should be used whenever the longevity of the battery. Its architecture looking at our entertainment future. The
slider is cantilevered. results in an extended overall life cycle Production Summit will be a central
That Cat is also offering new, of nearly 10 percent. meeting place of common concerns and
lower pricing across its entire range of The E-HL9 Series comprises two challenges that will create new
camera sliders, and the company has high-energy Lithium Ion batteries, the E- dialogue and solutions across all guilds
announced that its Silent Cat sliders are HL9 and the E-HL9S. The latter is an and studios.”
now available in Los Angeles for daily economical alternative battery with the The summit’s sessions will
rental at Birns & Sawyer. same single-unit power capacity as the include “Through the Kaleidoscope,”
For more information, visit E-HL9 and a three-LED power indicator three interactive sessions delivering a
www.cameraslider.com or www.birn display; this standalone version has the multifaceted examination of prep
sandsawyer.com. durability of all IDX batteries, including through post; “XRay: Surviving (and
triple safety, and features such as a thriving in) the Postproduction Pipeline
IDX Offers High-Load two-year product warranty. The E-HL9 in the 21st Century”; and “Hot, Flat and
Batteries on the other hand offers one of the most (Getting) Crowded: The Business of
IDX System Technology, Inc., has flexible solutions to expandable capac- Production and the New Global Econ-
introduced the company’s new premier ity, IDX’s PowerLink feature, which can omy.” The summit will bring together an
power system, the E-HL9 Series, a high- directly connect two batteries, deliver- international group of directors, produc-
performance, high-load Lithium Ion ing a total power capacity of 176 watt ers, cinematographers, editors, technol-
battery line designed for the age of hours. The E-HL9 also supports Digi- ogists and visual-effects leaders
professional HD production. View, enabling a viewfinder reading for responsible for moving the industry into
Specifically geared for the indus- battery levels in many cameras, and a the next decade.
try’s power-hungry video and film camera five-LED power status display delivers “The industry overall is currently
systems, the E-HL9 Series enables an accurate, incremental capacity read- being challenged by enormous
productions to shoot continuously for long ing. IDX’s computer-based Battery economic constraints, and has
periods, while handling the extreme in- Management System (BMS) can also responded by starting fewer projects,”
rush associated with many of today’s most be used on the E-LH9 for enhanced says Jeffrey A. Okun, VES board chair.
sophisticated recording and lighting diagnostics and a comprehensive “They want to do them fast and inex-
systems. With a 10-amp capacity and review of the battery’s history of use. pensively, while at the same time reach-
nearly 50-percent-greater power delivery The E-HL9 Series is safe for air ing for the highest quality. This mandate
over previous IDX batteries, the new transport; DOT/IATA regulations make it is causing tremendous stresses and
models deliver the battery energy possible for unlimited spare Li-ion strains throughout the entire pipeline of
demanded by today’s intensive production batteries under 100 watt hours to be projects. This summit will lead the
equipment. transported in carry-on luggage. discussion on how we all will get to the
For more information, visit future, and by envisioning the future we
www.idxtek.com. can begin to create it.”
For more information and to
VES Presents Entertainment register, visit www.visualeffects
Production Summit society.com/productionsummit2009.
The Visual Effects Society will I
present a Production Summit for the
greater entertainment industry on Oct. SUBMISSION INFORMATION
24 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina Please e-mail New Products/Services
del Rey. The event will bring together releases to newproducts@ascmag.com and include
practitioners from all crafts and offer a full contact information and product images. Photos
must be TIFF or JPEG files of at least 300dpi.

94 September 2009
INNOVA
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FLANGE DEPTH CONTROLLER

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That Cat Intros 2500 Slider


That Cat Camera Support, LLC has
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slider. Weighing 30 pounds and featuring
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93
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American Cinematographer 97
Classifieds Advertiser’s Index
16x9, Inc. 96 Deluxe C2 P+S Technik 79, 97
RATES Aaton S.A. 68-69 DV Expo 95 Panasonic Broadcast 7
AC 1, 77 Eastman Kodak 13, C4 PED Denz 93
All classifications are $4.50 per word. Words set in bold face
AFM 83 Photon Beard 97
or all capitals are $5.00 per word. First word of ad and adver- Filmtools 87
tiser’s name can be set in capitals without extra charge. No Aja Video Systems, Inc. 15 Photo-sonics, Rental 66
Five Towns College 91 Pille Film Gmbh 97
agency commission or discounts on classified advertis- Alamar Productions, Inc. 96 Fuji Motion Picture 56-57
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Alan Gordon Enterprises Pro8mm 96
and Discover card are accepted. Send ad to Classified Ad-
96, 97 Gekko Technology 49 Professional Sound Services
vertising, American Cinematographer, P.O. Box 2230, 89
Hollywood, CA 90078. Or FAX (323) 876-4973. Deadline for Arri 39 Glidecam Industries 65
payment and copy must be in the office by 15th of second Arri CSC 53 Golden Animations 97 Rag Place, The 93
month preceding publication. Subject matter is limited to items Rosco 30
and services pertaining to filmmaking and video production. Backstage Equipment, Inc. High Def Expo, Inc. 85
Words used are subject to magazine style abbreviation. Mini- 89 Innovision 97 SAE 87
mum amount per ad: $45 Band Pro 5 Servicevision USA 55
Barger-Lite 6 JEM Studio Lighting. Inc. 12 Sim Video 51
Bron Kobold 6 J.L. Fisher 41 Stanton Video Services 91
CLASSIFIEDS ON-LINE
Burrell Enterprises 96 K 5600, Inc. 31 Super16 Inc. 97
Ads may now also be placed in the on-line Classi-
CamMate Systems 96 Kino Flo 43, 67 Telescopic 96
fieds at the ASC web site.
Internet ads are seen around the world at the Cavision Enterprises 75 Laffoux Solutions, Inc. 96 Thales Angenieux 9
same great rate as in print, or for slightly more you Chapman/Leonard Studio Laser Pacific 81 Tiffen 19, C3
can appear both online and in print. Equipment Inc. 27 Lentequip, Inc. 97
For more information please visit VF Gadgets, Inc. 96
Chimera 63 Lights! Action! Company
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Cinema Vision 97 96
Cinematography Lite Panels 2 Welch Integrated 99
Electronics 92 London Film School 89 Willy’s Widgets 96
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Cinekinetic 96 www.theasc.com 10, 12,
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Arri 435ES very complete package plus 18-100 Zoom lens, MP&E Mayo Productions 97
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98 September 2009
PRO EDUCATION WORKSHOPS
and Networking Events
Pre-register Online and Get the latest updates
on upcoming Filmmaking Workshops.
Visit: www.studentfilmmakers.com/workshops

Call for Workshop Instructors


We invite filmmakers, cinematographers, directors, editors,
sound engineers, producers, and screenwriters to submit a
syllabus and brief biography for consideration.
Reach us at: http://www.studentfilmmakers.com/contact.shtml
American Society of Cinematographers Roster
OFFICERS – 2009-’10 ACTIVE MEMBERS Ernest Dickerson George Koblasa David B. Nowell
Thomas Ackerman Billy Dickson Fred J. Koenekamp Rene Ohashi
Michael Goi,
Lance Acord Bill Dill Lajos Koltai Daryn Okada
President Lloyd Ahern II Pete Kozachik
Bert Dunk Thomas Olgeirsson
Richard Crudo, Herbert Alpert John Dykstra Neil Krepela Woody Omens
Vice President Russ Alsobrook Richard Edlund Willy Kurant Miroslav Ondricek
Howard A. Anderson III Frederick Elmes Ellen M. Kuras Michael D. O’Shea
Owen Roizman,
Howard A. Anderson Jr. Robert Elswit George La Fountaine Anthony Palmieri
Vice President James Anderson Geoffrey Erb Edward Lachman Phedon Papamichael
Victor J. Kemper, Peter Anderson Scott Farrar Ken Lamkin Daniel Pearl
Vice President Tony Askins Jon Fauer Jacek Laskus Edward J. Pei
Charles Austin Don E. FauntLeRoy Andrew Laszlo James Pergola
Matthew Leonetti, Christopher Baffa Denis Lenoir Don Peterman
Gerald Feil
Treasurer James Bagdonas Steven Fierberg John R. Leonetti Lowell Peterson
Rodney Taylor, King Baggot Gerald Perry Finnerman Matthew Leonetti Wally Pfister
Secretary John Bailey Mauro Fiore Andrew Lesnie Gene Polito
Michael Ballhaus John C. Flinn III Peter Levy Bill Pope
John C. Flinn III, Andrzej Bartkowiak Ron Fortunato Matthew Libatique Steven Poster
Sergeant-at-Arms John Bartley William A. Fraker Charlie Lieberman Tom Priestley Jr.
Bojan Bazelli Tak Fujimoto Stephen Lighthill Rodrigo Prieto
MEMBERS Frank Beascoechea Alex Funke Karl Walter Lindenlaub Robert Primes
OF THE BOARD Affonso Beato Steve Gainer John Lindley Frank Prinzi
Curtis Clark Mat Beck Ron Garcia Robert F. Liu Richard Quinlan
Richard Crudo Dion Beebe Dejan Georgevich Walt Lloyd Declan Quinn
Bill Bennett Michael Goi Bruce Logan Earl Rath
George Spiro Dibie Andres Berenguer Stephen Goldblatt Gordon Lonsdale Richard Rawlings Jr.
Richard Edlund Carl Berger Paul Goldsmith Emmanuel Lubezki Frank Raymond
John C. Flinn III Gabriel Beristain Frederic Goodich Julio G. Macat Tami Reiker
John Hora Steven Bernstein Victor Goss Glen MacPherson Marc Reshovsky
Victor J. Kemper Ross Berryman Jack Green Constantine Makris Robert Richardson
Matthew Leonetti Michael Bonvillain Adam Greenberg Karl Malkames Anthony B. Richmond
Richard Bowen Robbie Greenberg Denis Maloney Bill Roe
Stephen Lighthill David Boyd Xavier Perez Grobet Isidore Mankofsky Owen Roizman
Isidore Mankofsky Russell Boyd Alexander Gruszynski Christopher Manley Pete Romano
Daryn Okada Jonathan Brown Changwei Gu Michael D. Margulies Charles Rosher Jr.
Owen Roizman Don Burgess Rick Gunter Barry Markowitz Giuseppe Rotunno
Nancy Schreiber Stephen H. Burum Rob Hahn Vincent Martinelli Philippe Rousselot
Bill Butler Gerald Hirschfeld Steve Mason Juan Ruiz-Anchia
Haskell Wexler
Frank B. Byers Henner Hofmann Clark Mathis Marvin Rush
Vilmos Zsigmond Bobby Byrne Adam Holender Don McAlpine Paul Ryan
Antonio Calvache Ernie Holzman Don McCuaig Eric Saarinen
ALTERNATES Paul Cameron John C. Hora Seamus McGarvey Alik Sakharov
Fred Elmes Russell P. Carpenter Gil Hubbs Robert McLachlan Mikael Salomon
James L. Carter Michel Hugo Greg McMurry Harris Savides
Steven Fierberg
Alan Caso Shane Hurlbut Steve McNutt Roberto Schaefer
Ron Garcia Michael Chapman Judy Irola Terry K. Meade Tobias Schliessler
Michael D. O’Shea Rodney Charters Mark Irwin Chris Menges Aaron Schneider
Michael Negrin James A. Chressanthis Levie Isaacks Rexford Metz Nancy Schreiber
Joan Churchill Andrew Jackson Anastas Michos Fred Schuler
Curtis Clark Peter James Douglas Milsome John Schwartzman
Peter L. Collister Johnny E. Jensen Dan Mindel John Seale
Jack Cooperman Torben Johnke Charles Minsky Christian Sebaldt
Jack Couffer Frank Johnson Richard Moore Dean Semler
Vincent G. Cox Shelly Johnson Donald A. Morgan Eduardo Serra
Jeff Cronenweth Jeffrey Jur Donald M. Morgan Steven Shaw
Richard Crudo William K. Jurgensen Kramer Morgenthau Richard Shore
Dean R. Cundey Adam Kane M. David Mullen Newton Thomas Sigel
Stefan Czapsky Stephen M. Katz Dennis Muren John Simmons
David Darby Ken Kelsch Fred Murphy Sandi Sissel
Allen Daviau Victor J. Kemper Hiro Narita Bradley B. Six
Roger Deakins Wayne Kennan Guillermo Navarro Dennis L. Smith
Jan DeBont Francis Kenny Michael B. Negrin Roland “Ozzie” Smith
Thomas Del Ruth Glenn Kershaw Sol Negrin Reed Smoot
Bruno Delbonnel Darius Khondji Bill Neil Bing Sokolsky
Peter Deming Gary Kibbe Alex Nepomniaschy Peter Sova
Caleb Deschanel Jan Kiesser John Newby Dante Spinotti
Ron Dexter Jeffrey L. Kimball Yuri Neyman Robert Steadman
Craig Di Bona Alar Kivilo Sam Nicholson Ueli Steiger
100 September 2009 George Spiro Dibie Richard Kline Crescenzo Notarile Peter Stein
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9

Robert M. Stevens Emory M. Cohen Iain A. Neil


Tom Stern Sean Coughlin Otto Nemenz
Rogier Stoffers Robert B. Creamer Ernst Nettmann
Vittorio Storaro Grover Crisp Tony Ngai
Harry Stradling Jr. Daniel Curry Mickel Niehenke
David Stump Ross Danielson Marty Oppenheimer
Tim Suhrstedt Carlos D. DeMattos Walt Ordway
Peter Suschitzky Gary Demos Larry Parker
Alfred Taylor Richard Di Bona Michael Parker
Jonathan Taylor Kevin Dillon Warren Parker
Rodney Taylor David Dodson Doug Pentek
William Taylor Judith Doherty Kristin Petrovich
Don Thorin Don Donigi Ed Phillips
John Toll Cyril Drabinsky Nick Phillips
Mario Tosi Jesse Dylan Jerry Pierce
Salvatore Totino Jonathan Erland Joshua Pines
Luciano Tovoli John Farrand Carl Porcello
Jost Vacano Ray Feeney Howard Preston
Theo Van de Sande William Feightner David Pringle
Eric Van Haren Noman Phil Feiner Phil Radin
Kees Van Oostrum Jimmy Fisher Christopher Reyna
Ron Vargas Scott Fleischer Colin Ritchie
Mark Vargo Thomas Fletcher Eric G. Rodli
Amelia Vincent Steve Garfinkel Andy Romanoff
William Wages Salvatore Giarratano Daniel Rosen
Roy H. Wagner Richard B. Glickman Dana Ross
Ric Waite John A. Gresch Bill Russell
Michael Watkins Jim Hannafin Kish Sadhvani
Jonathan West William Hansard David Samuelson
Haskell Wexler Bill Hansard, Jr. Peter K. Schnitzler
Jack Whitman Richard Hart Walter Schonfeld
Gordon Willis Robert Harvey Juergen Schwinzer
Dariusz Wolski Charles Herzfeld Ronald Scott
Ralph Woolsey Larry Hezzelwood Steven Scott
Peter Wunstorf Frieder Hochheim Don Shapiro
Robert Yeoman Bob Hoffman Milton R. Shefter
Richard Yuricich Vinny Hogan Leon Silverman
Jerzy Zielinski Robert C. Hummel Garrett Smith
Vilmos Zsigmond Roy Isaia Stefan Sonnenfeld
Kenneth Zunder George Joblove John L. Sprung
Joel Johnson Joseph N. Tawil
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS John Johnston Ira Tiffen
Alan Albert Frank Kay Arthur Tostado
Richard Aschman Debbie Kennard Bill Turner
Volker Bahnemann Milton Keslow Stephan Ukas-Bradley
Kay Baker Robert Keslow Mark Van Horne
Joseph J. Ball Larry Kingen Richard Vetter
Amnon Band Douglas Kirkland Joe Violante
Carly M. Barber Timothy J. Knapp Dedo Weigert
Craig Barron Ron Koch Franz Weiser
Thomas M. Barron Karl Kresser Evans Wetmore
Larry Barton Lou Levinson Beverly Wood
Bob Beitcher Suzanne Lezotte Jan Yarbrough
Mark Bender Grant Loucks Hoyt Yeatman
Bruce Berke Andy Maltz Irwin M. Young
John Bickford Steven E. Manios Michael Zacharia
Steven A. Blakely Robert Mastronardi Bob Zahn
Mitchell Bogdanowicz Joe Matza Nazir Zaidi
Jack Bonura Albert Mayer, Jr. Michael Zakula
Michael Bravin Andy McIntyre Les Zellan
William Brodersen Stan Miller
Garrett Brown Walter H. Mills HONORARY MEMBERS
Ronald D. Burdett George Milton Col. Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.
Reid Burns Mike Mimaki Neil A. Armstrong
Vincent Carabello Rami Mina Col. Michael Collins
Jim Carter Michael Morelli Bob Fisher
Leonard Chapman Dash Morrison David MacDonald
Mark Chiolis Nolan Murdock Cpt. Bruce McCandless II
Denny Clairmont Mark W. Murphy D. Brian Spruill
Cary Clayton Dan Muscarella 101
Clubhouse News
Delbonnel, Notarile, Stoffers series Hawaii. He is currently working agricultural settlement of Moshav
Join Society on the series Ghost Whisperer. Lehman. An early interest in agricultural
Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC Rogier Stoffers, ASC, NSC engineering sparked a lifelong passion
was born in eastern France. The son of a was born in Utrecht, Netherlands, and for machines and technology, and after a
soldier, he broke with family tradition to studied French language and literature stint in the Israel Defense Forces, Band
pursue his interest in the arts. and theater and film at the University of moved to Los Angeles and dove into the
At La Sorbonne in Paris, he Utrecht. He was admitted to The film industry. In 1984, he opened Band
studied philosophy and Pro as a one-man operation. He contin-
watched two films a day, ues to serve as the company’s president
frequenting theaters scattered and CEO, and he has overseen its expan-
throughout the city. sion into Israel, Munich and New York.
Delbonnel got his start in Grass Valley’s Mark Chiolis,
filmmaking when he received a who currently serves as senior marketing
government grant to direct a manager, has been with the company for
short film; renowned cine- more than 15 years. He has been active
matographer Henri Alekan in the company’s development of digital
shot the film and inspired cinematography solutions, most notably
Delbonnel to pursue a career in cine- Netherlands Film and Television Acad- the Viper camera, and has collaborated
matography. After working as a camera emy’s cinematography program, where with the ASC Technology Committee.
assistant for 15 years, he moved up to he shot the thesis project Alaska Prior to joining Grass Valley, Chiolis
cinematographer, earning his first cred- (1989), directed by Mike van Diem; the worked in operations, news and produc-
its on commercials. His feature credits film won the Dutch Golden Calf for Best tion management for a number of televi-
include Amélie (AC Sept. ’01), Infamous Short and a Student Academy Award. sion stations. He also notched a number
(2006), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Stoffers and van Diem reteamed for the of credits shooting video for such events
Prince (2009) and A Very Long Engage- feature Character (1997), which won as the Reno Air Race.
ment (AC Dec. ‘04), for which he won an the Oscar for Best Foreign Language
ASC Award. He is currently shooting Film and the Golden Frog at Camerim- Deluxe Dedicates
Faust for Alexander Sokurov. age. Bud Stone Building
Raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Stoffers’ feature credits include Deluxe Laboratories recently
Crescenzo Notarile, ASC attended Quills (AC Jan. ’01), John Q (2002), hosted the dedication and ribbon-cutting
the Nikon School of Photography before School of Rock (2003), Disturbia (2007) ceremony for the new Bud Stone Build-
earning a bachelor’s degree in film and Lakeview Terrace (2008). ing at the company’s Hollywood campus.
production and communication at the Named for Burton “Bud” Stone, an
New York Institute of Technology. Begin- Baker, Band, Chiolis honorary ASC member who died last
ning his professional cinematography Named Associates year, the building will enable Deluxe to
career in the 1980s, he shot music Kay Baker of Telecorps Sales meet increased demand for motion-
videos for such artists as The & Leasing, LLC, began working in picture film processing and print delivery
Rolling Stones, U2, Steve Colorado’s film industry through while reducing utility and chemical
Winwood and Bruce Spring- Denver’s Film/Video Equipment Service usage, and reducing, reusing and recy-
steen and commercials for Co. Her efforts helped revitalize the cling raw materials during the produc-
such companies as American Rocky Mountain Vid Expo, which over tion of film prints.
Express, Pepsi, Revlon and the years has attracted numerous ASC “As Deluxe continues to expand
Cover Girl. members. Baker has helped organize its worldwide footprint to fulfill growing
Notarile’s credits include seminars at the ASC Clubhouse and demand for both film and digital
the features Bullet (1996), Truth has also assisted with the ASC services, it is an honor to officially open
Be Told (2002) and Timecop: Awards. our newest facility in Hollywood in Bud
The Berlin Decision (2003); the Amnon Band was born near Stone’s name,” says Ronald O. Perel-
pilot for Skin, and the pilot and Nahariya, Israel, and grew up in the man, chairman of Deluxe. The company’s

102 September 2009


this year for Slumdog Millionaire, honored with this year’s Cine Gear Life-
covered the craft of cinematography time Achievement Award at the Cine
and the state of the art. Gear Expo in June. Phillips launched his
first company, Waynco, when he was 20
Kurant at the Cinémathèque years old. He joined Matthews in 1971
Willy Kurant, ASC, AFC and has since been honored with two
recently visited the Cinémathèque Technical Academy Awards, a Scientific
Française in Paris to lead a discussion
about cinematographer Henri Alekan’s
work with filmmakers Agnès Godard,
AFC; Jean-Louis Leconte; and Denys de
president and CEO, Cyril Drabinsky la Patellière following a screening of
(above, right, pictured with Perelman Wim Wenders’ The State of Things
and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio (1982). The film also features the cine-
Villaraigosa), an associate member of matography of Martin Schäfer and Fred
the ASC, adds, “By keeping Deluxe’s Murphy, ASC.
extensive array of creative and produc-
tion services here in Hollywood, we Kodak Hosts Greenberg at
encourage the highly skilled labor pool Los Angeles Fest
and creative community leaders in the The spotlight was turned on
motion-picture industry to stay within Robbie Greenberg, ASC for this
the community.” year’s Kodak Focus presentation during
the Los Angeles Film Festival, which and Engineering Award, and an Emmy
3 ASC Members Invited was held in June. Greenberg, a four- Award for developments in camera-
to Join Academy time ASC Award winner, shared his support technology such as the Tulip
Society members Russ Also- insights into the artistry and technology Crane and the Cam-Remote.
brook, Henner Hofmann and Rodney of filmmaking while screening clips “We all congratulate Ed on this
Taylor are among 134 artists and exec- from his work, which includes the award,” says George Spiro Dibie,
utives active in theatrical motion ASC. “His commitment to our industry,
pictures who were recently invited to support and services is exemplary. He
join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts cares so passionately … and he is
and Sciences. “These filmmakers have, always available to help and assist the
over the course of their careers, pros and emerging filmmakers.” Phillips
captured the imagination of audiences says, “Over the past 40-some years, I’ve
around the world,” says Academy Presi- enjoyed a very special relationship with
dent Sid Ganis. “It’s this kind of talent this industry. I’ve listened to production
and creativity that make up the Acad- needs and have done everything I could
emy, and I welcome each of them to our to give our artists the best tools avail-
ranks.” able. Being honored with this award
says we’ve been doing something right.
McGarvey in Conversation And I’m not slowing down!” I
at Edinburgh Fest
Seamus McGarvey, ASC,
BSC, who recently became an official Emmy-winning Introducing Dorothy
patron of the Edinburgh International Dandridge and Winchell, the Emmy-
Film Festival, interviewed photogra- nominated Warm Springs, Iron Jawed
pher/filmmaker Willie Doherty and cine- Angels and James Dean, and the
matographer Anthony Dod Mantle, BSC, features The Milagro Beanfield War,
DFF, in two separate events at this year’s Save the Last Dance and Wild Hogs.
festival. McGarvey and Doherty, a two-
time Turner Prize nominee, discussed Phillips Receives
their shared sensibilities and their Lifetime Achievement Award
collaboration on Ghost Story. McGar- ASC associate member Ed
vey’s conversation with Dod Mantle, Phillips, president and CEO of
who won ASC and Academy awards Matthews Studio Equipment, was

American Cinematographer 103


ASC CLOSE-UP
Alexander Gruszynski, ASC
When you were a child, what film made the strongest impres- Have you made any memo-
sion on you? rable blunders?
I grew up in Communist Poland, and most of the movies playing in Just after film school, I was
theaters were Soviet social-realist dramas that nobody wanted to see hired to be one of three camera-
because we lived it in our everyday lives. At the time, the only Ameri- men on an industrial about the
can movies distributed in Poland were Westerns, and when I was 7, the construction of high-voltage
local cinema showed Winchester ’73 (1950), starring Jimmy Stewart. It power lines. In order to film the
played for six months, and it made such a strong impression on me that workers hanging the wires, they needed someone to climb to the top of
I sneaked in to see it once a week. I must have seen it at least 20 times. a tower just above the insulators and jump into a cart that was
suspended on the wires 150' above the ground. There were no safety
Which cinematographers do you most admire? lines, and no other cameraman wanted to meet the challenge. Seeing
Without question, Conrad Hall, ASC. Also, ASC members Gregg Toland this as my chance at a break, I volunteered. When I reached the top, I
and James Wong Howe for their artistry in black-and-white cinematog- was petrified with fear but somehow managed to get the job done.
raphy. When I finally came down, I kissed the ground and felt very proud of
myself — until the next day. It turned out that all the footage had
What sparked your interest in photography? vignetting because the bellows matte box was extended too far, and I
I got it backwards. In my teens, I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker, hadn’t noticed it the entire time I was shooting. Needless to say, it was
and I found out that in order to apply to a film school, one had to submit my last day on the job.
a photographic portfolio, so I picked up my father’s still camera — a
Russian camera, a Zenith. Once I started looking at the world inside the What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
rectangle, I was hooked. My first inspiration was a photo album by I think it was Sven Nykvist, ASC who once said, ‘Take chances, but
Irving Penn. when you do, lower the ASA setting on your light meter.’ To this day, no
matter how great the latitude of the film stock is, I always calibrate my
Where did you train and/or study? meter to a lower setting than what the manufacturer recommends.
At the Danish Film School in Copenhagen.
What recent books, films or artworks have inspired you?
Who were your teachers or mentors? The book Color: A Natural History of the Palette, by Victoria Finlay, is a
The man who taught me the most about light and lighting was a Danish fascinating account of how colors are represented in the physical world
gaffer named Ove Hansen. He was a guileless and unassuming man; and how pigments originated. All of us cinematographers who commu-
you’d never hear him mention Caravaggio or Vermeer, but he had an nicate with production designers through color swatches or pick
infectious passion for light. Gunnar Fisher, who shot Ingmar Bergman’s theatrical gels with our gaffers have experienced how difficult it is to
early films, was also an influence. convey our intended use of color. Color is a compelling read, and even
though it doesn’t directly deal with photography, I found it very inspir-
What are some of your key artistic influences? ing and highly relevant for practitioners of our craft.
The iconic black-and-white movies — Touch of Evil (1958) and Andrei
Rublev (1966) among them — were particularly important to me in Do you have any favorite genres, or genres you would like to
developing my craft. I felt black-and-white was truly a cinematogra- try?
pher’s medium; knowing how to interpret, manipulate and translate Perhaps because of the movie I saw 20 times as a child, I’ve had a life-
colors into shades of gray was essential to creating the look of the film, long fascination with Westerns.
whereas in color cinematography, the look is to a greater extent a
collaboration with the production designer. Also, studying Eisenstein’s If you weren’t a cinematographer, what might you be doing
drawings and storyboards was very important to my understanding of instead?
the art of visual storytelling. I would be a Sanskrit scholar.

How did you get your first break in the business? Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for member-
While at film school, I teamed up with a fellow student, a director ship?
named Jon Carlsen. After we graduated, we collaborated on several Francis Kenny, Jacek Laskus and Jerzy Zielinski.
short films, which led to an opportunity to shoot my first feature.
Photo by Alissa White.

How has ASC membership impacted your life and career?


What has been your most satisfying moment on a project? I was a nervous wreck when the ASC Membership Committee viewed
When my collaboration with the director becomes intuitive, and he my reel. When Owen Roizman, ASC said, ‘Your reel speaks for itself,’ it
doesn’t need to explain his intentions in detail anymore. meant more than any award or accolade I’d ever received. It’s not a
coincidence that the three cinematographers whose work I admire the
most bore the insignia of this honorary society. I

104 September 2009


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ONFILM
LARRY FONG

“When I was a kid, I got a magic set for


Christmas. In my teens I shot short films using
my dad’s Bell & Howell 8mm camera. For me,
both magic and filmmaking give an amazing
sense of wonder to the creator and viewer,
one that takes us out of our everyday lives
and transports us to a place of mystery. My
passion for both of these disciplines has led to
incredible experiences and friendships that I
will never forget. But sometimes making things
look effortless is not so easy. To me the biggest
challenge in cinematography, like any illusion,
is to make an elaborate and often difficult
situation appear to be completely natural.
Not only is skill and mastering of the craft
necessary; one must get into the mind of the
director to read his thoughts. Then you must
interpret his dream, understand his vision,
collaborate, improvise, and deliver. But as
organic as the process may be, recording the
image is not something I leave to chance. The
color palette, latitude, grain, and contrast that
are unique to film all contribute to the ultimate
emotional response of the audience...and that’s
where the real magic is.”

Larry Fong launched his career by shooting


hundreds of commercials and award-winning
music videos. His narrative credits include
episodic television such as the pilot for
Lost, which earned an ASC Outstanding
Achievement Award nomination, and the
feature films 300, Watchmen, and the
upcoming Sucker Punch.

[All these films were shot on Kodak motion picture film.]

For an extended interview with Larry Fong,


visit www.kodak.com/go/onfilm.

To order Kodak motion picture film,


call (800) 621-film.
www.motion.kodak.com
© Eastman Kodak Company, 2009.
Photography: © 2009 Douglas Kirkland