GOOD OMENS | DRAMA
of them flickering on and off. The designer, Ralph, included slimy dark walls and leaking pipes in the mix, too” he adds. For another scene, Finney tells us that Gaiman and Mackinnon wanted to create an old film aspect. So Arri Media in London constructed a hand-cranked digital camera out of an old Arri D21 camera, which was connected to an Arri 435 hand-crank wheel, and then to a Codex recorder. “This gave us a realistic and organic variable speed/variable exposure look. I added some old glass in a deliberately ill-fitting mount to emulate film weave and vignette. This way, I was able to reproduce very accurately the old-style, hand-cranked black and white look of the first days of cinema.” Finney was given the freedom to choose whichever system he wanted, under one condition – it had to be 4K UHD capable. “I chose to shoot on Leica Summilux Primes and Arri Alura zooms (15.5-45mm and 45-2550mm), and the Arri Alexa SXT and Alexa Mini because they’re reliable cameras that are easy to work with, they look great and have low noise in the colour channels, which is useful for green/ blue screen work.” He adds, “They can also shoot at 120fps without cutting into the sensor size. The Alexa 4KH UHD output is very flexible in the grade, which was vital for us because we knew we were going to be pushing the look in a number of directions in post. We also shot with the Phantom Flex4K high speed camera at 1000fps for some scenes requiring ultra-slow motion.” Mackinnon wanted the cameras to constantly be in motion, to lend the story a kinetic energy that would free up the third axis. This allowed Finney to soar the cameras over the actors, giving the shots a different perspective to the action below.
“To do this, we used a 50ft TechnoCrane on an off-road, self-levelling basis for the majority of the shoot; the Super Techno Crane was used on 77 days. We also employed a wire-cam to fly over the makeshift den, set in the woods, and drones were used on a number of occasions.” “Our standard kit included two full- time Steadicam operators, one of whom (Matt Fisher) used an Alien Revolution rig to allow the camera to move from low to high angles seamlessly in-shot,” he says. HEAVEN, HELL – AND ALL THAT’S IN BETWEEN Good Omens is a technicolour feast for the eyes. Finney explains to us that there is a progression in the story where things start to get increasingly strange as Adam (the child Antichrist) comes into his powers and ideas in his head start to manifest. “There is the real world as we know it, there’s Adam’s world where everything is heightened and strangely perfect, and then there is Aziraphale’s and Crowley’s world of angels and demons. At some point, all of these worlds intersect. I had to keep a lot of balls in the air with regard to giving each section its own look, but also making sure that when these worlds collide, everything still makes sense,” says Finney.
IMAGES Crew and cast, including (above from left) director Douglas Mackinnon, David Tennant (Crowley), Michael Sheen (Aziraphale) and writer Neil Gaiman
1 Hand cranked ARRI D21 digital camera 77 Days of use of a Super Techno Crane
JUNE 20 1 9 | DEF I N I T ION 45
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