Definition June 2021 - Web

PRODUCTION | CRUELLA

RIGHT The Alexa Mini LF paired with Summicron-C lenses to shoot Cruella, aswell as the larger- sensor Alexa 65 withLeica Thalias

have contrast and colour. They’re not the best for flare, but I don’t care about that any more. Talking to a lot of younger DOPs, I find they are always looking for a lens that will give them a certain look, but the look is defined by the costume, set design and how the camera moves. Lighting also helps, but the lens captures what’s in front of the camera. Sure, it can add a little something, but I’m seeking a lens that is going to help me, instead of me being helped by it.” Ultimately, Karakatsanis used the 40mm, as well as the 29mm Summicron-C lenses on the Alexa Mini LF. However, with an Alexa 65 also at play, Karakatsanis had to look into other lenses to fit the

28mm, 32mm and 50mm lenses. Although they’re nice lenses, I don’t use any of them. I always go back to the cheapest, because the 40mm has the most painterly feeling.” In 2015, Leica launched cine versions of its Summilux prime lenses, and it was his history with the brand that prompted Karakatsanis to consider the lenses for filmmaking projects. He says: “I won’t lie and say I wasn’t sceptical at first, but when I tried them out on commercial shoots – which I do a lot of in-between feature films – I really got a taste for them. I actually thought they were designed for portraits, as they’re the most humane cinema lenses I’ve ever come across. Not too sharp, not too soft, they also

larger medium format sensor. He explains: “There are the Prime DNAs, Hasselblads and Vintage 765s, and they’re all rehoused stills lenses, because there isn’t anything specifically made for 65mm digital film. Then you have the Thalias, which are Leica’s rehoused version of its old S2 and S3 stills lenses. I tested all these at Arri Rental in London and the Thalias blew everything else out of the water. They have a very squeaky-clean field of view, which is exactly what I was looking for. A lot of old lenses can be too soft around the edges, almost fisheye looking. These are artefacts that will hide my photography and sense of connection to the characters, which isn’t my style or the person I am.” It’s certainly true that Karakatsanis likes to be as close to the characters and the storyline as his role allows him to be – and always offers input. He explains: “Of course, having access to the script depends on the relationship with the director, but because Craig and I did I, Tonya together, we already had those foundations in place. He invited me to shot listings and brainstorming sessions to discuss any storytelling beats that weren’t quite working. For example, there was a scene with Cruella in her apartment that I thought would be better delivered in a punk club. I suggested it and it got accepted, but I never expect my ideas to completely change things. I always trust the judgement of the DOP. Plus, Craig and Tony have a symbiotic sense of dark humour that really transpires into the creation of Cruella – the script is amazing, and I just wanted my photography to support that.” WATCH CRUELLA IN UK CINEMAS FROM 28 MAY

The Leica Thalias have a squeaky-clean field of view, which is exactly what I was looking for

12 DEF I N I T ION | JUNE 202 1

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