Definition February 2024 - Web


AS A CINEMATOGRAPHER, I FEEL LIKE the lenses are your paintbrush ”

In said instalment, which depicts Calvin’s death and Elizabeth’s struggles with grief and motherhood, Oldak deploys lighting to convey her emotional turmoil. “It needed to feel like a departure from 1 and 2; I went quite far with where the light carried and where it didn’t. There’s a scene at the cemetery where we were dealing with overcast skies and a super soft light that went everywhere. But I wanted to shape it and have just a sliver of light. We used a tremendous amount of giant black rags and shaped their faces, so that it fit within the rest of the episode,” he comments. “There’s also not a lot of dialogue in that episode; a lot is happening on her face, this anger and sadness,” he continues. “Throughout the whole show, it was important for us not to overly stylise anything. We tend to move the camera a lot, but in that episode, it was about the stillness and letting her perform.” Oldak used an ARRI ALEXA Mini LF camera body teamed with Canon K35 lenses to enhance the vintage aesthetic. “As a cinematographer, I feel like the lenses are your paintbrush,” he says. “We have a lot of work to do – but what is in front of the camera is also important: the costume design colours, the production design colours, all of that went hand in hand with the LUT we created, and our lenses. As an overall package, we got that look right, I think.” An undeniable star of the show is Elizabeth’s pet dog Six-Thirty, a rescued goldendoodle whose POV occasionally takes centre stage. On witnessing Calvin’s death, we hear his internal monologue: “In that moment, everything I ever thought about myself, every worst fear I had, it all came true.” The show goes on to portray Six-Thirty heartbreakingly grief-stricken alongside Elizabeth, eventually encouraging his owner to start running just as Calvin had loved to do. If there was an Academy Award

for best supporting canine, it would surely belong to him. Chuckling about working with animals, Oldak shares: “They always say never to work with animals or babies – and we had both in episodes 3 and 4!” Six- Thirty became a valued cast member, and meticulous efforts were made to capture his perspective. Deploying an ARRI SRH-360 stabilised remote head on smooth floors, the team achieved seamless movement, ensuring his height and motions were authentic. They also utilised cranes in capturing the dog’s military training, allowing for dynamic shots without visible tracks. Despite the challenges, the canine actor – barely a year old – delivered standout moments, including an unplanned but perfectly timed scene in which he comfortingly places his head on Elizabeth’s lap upon learning about her pregnancy. “That’s acting right there!” laughs Oldak. A big set piece came with the sunrise rowing scene in episode 7, which shows



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