Definition June 2021 - Web

CRUELLA | PRODUCTION

They would always look into it and seek to do what was best for the film.” There were two important visual cues Karakatsanis wanted to hit for this One Hundred and One Dalmatians prequel. The first was to shoot on film, and the second was to create a subtle contrast between Cruella and Baroness von Hellman’s opposing worlds. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to shoot on celluloid, which was his preference – it can make a story with period costume and set design appear more organic. He explains: “When you shoot something that’s era-specific on digital, it can often appear as if the whole film is just a digital rehearsal of what’s to come. Everything is so perfect and that sucks away the human side to it.” As a compromise, Karakatsanis reshot the digitally finished movie on 35mm film stock, which was later used as a reference point for colorist Tom Poole, who graded the film. To delicately differentiate the scrappiness of Cruella’s world from the opulence of von Hellman’s, Karakatsanis shot handheld using an Alexa Mini LF in a less-defined version of what the 35mm sensor can achieve. In contrast, Karakatsanis was more controlled in the way he approached von Hellman’s side of the story. He captured everything on dollies and cranes, and even switched to the Alexa 65 for it’s bigger and lusher sensor. He explains: “I was able to separate both

ABOVE Baroness von Hellman, played by Emma Thompson, was filmed using dollies and cranes for rigidity

worlds; one is messy and organic, while the other is extravagant and rigid. And I achieved this in a way that won’t be visibly obvious to the viewers. They will only ‘feel’ the scale differences.” As Cruella’s character develops into the familiar hellraising villain – whose entrance on screen is paired with a blare from her Bugatti’s horn and hail of insincere “dahlings” – she too gets the Karakatsanis Alexa 65 treatment. When it came to choosing lenses, it was always going to be Leica for Karakatsanis, whose romance with the brand goes back to shooting stills. He recalls: “I used to work with Nikon lenses, but then I came across a 40mm Summicron lens. It unlocked something in my work that I found so different to the ranges from Nikon, Canon, and all of those other popular stills lens brands. I wanted to explore the Leica universe more, but I was young and they’re very expensive, so I ended up buying their cheapest lens, which is actually the one I tested – the 40mm Summicron. In time, I branched out and bought Summilux versions of the 21mm,

The number of Academy Award winners in cast and crew 2013 The year Aline Brosh McKenna ( The Devil Wears Prada ) penned the first draft of Cruella ’s script

BELOW Nicolas Karakatsanis working on the set of Cruellawith Emma Stone (left)

JUNE 202 1 | DEF I N I T ION 1 1

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