ONES TOWATCH AT THIS YEAR’S SHOW P08
January 2019 £4.99
FIRST TEST Z CAM’S WONDER E2
Masterclass in light Death and
WINGING IT AT 160MPH Capturing Jetman up close and personal
BACKING THE FAVOURITE Film shines in award-winning 18th-century comedy
FOCUS ON NEWMONITORS HDR – SAVING THE SCREENS MANFROTTO 545B TRIPOD OLFI ONE.FIVE 4K ACTIONCAM
EDITORIAL Editor Julian Mitchell 01223 492246 firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in Chief Adam Duckworth Contributor Phil Rhodes Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young ADVERTISING Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 email@example.com Sales manager Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 firstname.lastname@example.org Key accounts Nicki Mills 01223 499457 email@example.com DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Designer Lucy Woolcomb Senior designer & production manager Flo Thomas Ad production Man-Wai Wong PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook @definitionmagazine Twitter @definitionmags Instagram @definitionmags MEDIA PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS OF BRIGHT PUBLISHING LTD, BRIGHT HOUSE, 82 HIGH STREET, SAWSTON, CAMBRIDGESHIRE CB22 3HJ UK
DOP Stephen Murphy metering for Death and Nightingales. Read about the design on page 24.
S ometimes the most interesting production stories come from the least likely sources. Stephen Murphy has shot programmes like Vera, where you’ll always find superior cinematography. He has also recently shot a three-part series for the BBC called Death and Nightingales – a period drama that takes place within a Northern Irish farming community. Set against the political turmoil preceding the 1885 Irish general election, the plot is driven by family drama and the appearance of an enigmatic, handsome stranger. For cinematographers trying to bring something different to period dramas, shows like these are a blessing and a curse. Those who take them on, like Stephen, can shine as a result. If the series is still on BBC iPlayer when you read this, I urge you to go and see what Stephen has done with his vision. Within the schedules of modern television production, he has painted beautifully with light in an otherwise intentionally moody and dark atmosphere. He attributes his perfect exposure to light meters, rather than the use of waveforms and false colour: “They are meaningless to me”, he comments.
JULIAN MITCHELL EDITOR
Definition is published monthly by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Definition is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Definition that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Prices quoted in sterling, euros and US dollars are street prices, without tax, where available or converted using the exchange rate on the day the magazine went to press.
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GEAR TESTS Z CAM E2 CAMERA
After Z Cam’s first attempt at a minicam, the extremely average E1, comes the E2 which is so much better, in ways almost too good to be true. We look for the catch. MANFROTTO 545B TRIPOD The new carbon-fibre version of the original 545 tripod. OLFI FIVE.ONE BLACK The new OLFI black ticks all the ‘lifestyle’ features but has a 4K multi-frame performance. SONY FS5 II The second version of this indie camcorder has one big advantage: Raw recording included.
SET- UP TITLE SEQUENCE An ancient family squabble is at the heart of the new film, Mary Queen of Scots . BSC EXPO – ONES TO WATCH This London show is becoming an important calendar event for the industry. SHOOT STORY LOFT: THE JETMAN STORY How the Jetman shoot team approached the capture of all of the Jetmen while they flew and as they prepared for flight. DEATH AND NIGHTINGALES We break down the shooting disciplines in this Irish period drama, especially the precise lighting design. THE FAVOURITE This romp set in the 18th century continues the growing trend for using film in movies and commercials. FEATURES GEAR GROUP SURVEY: MONITORS The high-end monitor world is experiencing some changes but the standard is still high. We look at the choices across the board. SCREEN SAVER OLED technology was breathtaking in its quality but is now unfortunate in its tendency to burn-in. What are the options for those who still love it? CONTENTS 06 08 16 32 24 43 46
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FAMILY FACE-OFF The tragic story of Mary, Queen of Scots and her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Ireland is retold for a new audience this year. The new movie has the star power of Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan as the once-friendly cousins, director is Josie Rourke. The Panavision DXL again shoots the beautiful Scottish countryside (the DXL also shot Outlaw King , seen in Definition a couple of issues ago). DOP is John Mathieson, whose second unit used the RED Helium camera, and the DI was created by Paul Ensby of Company 3.
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SET- UP | SHOW PREV I EW: BSC EXPO
BSC EXPO 2019 ONES TO WATCH The BSC Expo in Battersea, London is with us again and bigger than ever. Here’s our selective preview of some of the exhibits
ARRI Rental is an ARRI-owned network of camera, camera grip and lighting equipment rental facilities across Europe and the US. Everything from cameras and accessories through to cranes, remote heads and a full spectrum of lighting fixtures and grips is offered. A large transport and generator fleet is also available and, when required, the company can call on the resources of sibling facilities within the group to offer a seamless and cohesive pan-European service. At BSC, ARRI Rental will showcase its current 65mm optics range for the Alexa 65 camera. Joining the already successful line-up of Prime 65 and Vintage 765 lenses are the Prime 65 S and Prime DNA lens sets that extend the creative appeal of the Alexa 65 system still further. Also on display will be the Alexa XT B+W, as well as a further selection of spherical and anamorphic options.
GF-SLIDER SYSTEM www.g-f-m.net
The GF-Slider System is available in seven lengths from two feet to ten feet. The modular design allows you to swap the precision rails depending on the size of slider required for the shot. The tracking carriage accepts a Mitchell Bowl (there’s also 4-Way Leveller available) and an 80mm Euro-adapter tube mount. As a base mount you can decide between Mitchell and Euro-adapter. Side plates offer you a unique and fast way for horizontal repositioning. A wide range of accessories, end mounts (lighting stand, levelling legs, scaffold mounts etc.) and ³⁄₈in holes on the rails complete the system. With its very flat profile, smooth tracking, versatility and outstanding reliability the GF-Slider enjoys great popularity among grips and operators.
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SHOW PREV I EW: BSC EXPO | SET- UP
With a remit to help filmmakers deliver higher-quality content faster, Canon will be showcasing its latest 4K and HDR solutions. Products lined up to be displayed on the stand include the new EOS C700FF, EOS C700, EOS C200 and a range of high-end lenses such as the CN E18-80mm T4.4L IS KAS S and CN-E70-200mm T4.4L IS cine-servo lenses, as well as professional reference display monitors. The EOS C200 is the first Cinema EOS camera to feature Cinema RAW light format. It’s been designed to take the complexity out of delivering high-quality footage, with benefits including an advanced AF system that provides reliability and accuracy when shooting 4K, and a high-quality LCD panel and Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The CN E18-80mm T4.4L IS KAS S and CN-E70- 200mm T4.4L IS compact cine-servo versatile lenses take advantage of 4K and offer integrated servo control and effortless switching between several subjects in a single shot.
For over 100 years, Cooke has been at the centre of the filmmaking business. This is a company steeped in tradition that has been listening to the community it serves for generations, and while it’s hugely aware of its legacy it’s also remarkably forward looking and is constantly pushing the frontiers of technology to offer new and innovative products. On the stand at BSC will be one of these, /i Technology, which enables film and digital cameras to automatically record key lens data for every frame shot and provide it to post- production teams digitally, a process that is invaluable to post-production teams and which greatly speeds up the editing process. Visitors will be able to handle and experience the likes of Cooke S7/i Full Frame Plus (pictured) and Cooke Panchro/i Classic prime lenses, Cooke S4/i, Cooke Anamorphic/i, Anamorphic/i SF (Special Flare) optics and the Cooke S4/i and mini S4/i lenses with and without coatings.
At BSC Expo, Teradek will be showcasing the latest in zero-delay wireless video systems: the Bolt XT. Completely reimagined, the XT combines great wireless performance with smart design to give cinematographers incredible flexibility on set. Real-time 1080p60 video offers pristine image quality, and powerful software features like a built-in 5GHz spectrum analyser and 3D LUTs allow professionals to monitor the feed with complete confidence. The Bolt XT receiver features a newly integrated NATO rail, while the transmitter includes an ARRI Pin-Loc for fast and easy mounting on set. Available battery plates include Gold or V-mount for the Bolt 1000/3000 XT, as well as Sony L-series or Canon LP-E6 plates on the Bolt 500 XT. Bolt XT is compatible with all third-generation Bolt 500, 1000 and 3000 models, as well as 703 Bolt, 10K and Sidekick II units.
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SET- UP | SHOW PREV I EW: BSC EXPO
Visit the Schneider-Kreuznach booth at BSC Expo to find out more about its extensive lens and filter portfolio. Learn how to handle new filter lines like the Radiant Soft or RHOdium Full Spectrum ND, and find out how to tell your story in a new emotional, sensational or technical way. Other filters include the True-Streak Line which is an effective way to simulate the anamorphic streak effect with virtually any lens, anamorphic or not. This is also an opportunity to get hands on with the highly innovative Xenon FF-Prime Cine-Tilt, which was voted best prime lens in our sister title Pro Moviemaker ’s Gear of the Year Awards. Unleash the focus with the first dynamic tiltable lens set and pay attention to the creamy and organic out-of-focus areas of the six-lens Xenon FF-Prime set. Schneider works closely with DOPs to provide great tools to create individual possibilities of storytelling; go along and find out what it could do for your business.
Celebrating over a century in the film business, ARRI will be showing its range of digital cameras including the new LF large-format camera with the new range of Signature lenses designed for exclusive use with the new camera. Also on show will be its wireless system, high-end lenses, professional camera accessories and growing stable of lighting including the latest SkyPanel S360 LED light. Products include the Alexa 65, Alexa SXT, Alexa Mini and Amira cameras, Master Anamorphic lenses and SkyPanel, L-Series and M-Series lights. All software updates for cameras and lights will also be loaded on to the products and the new ARRI smartphone app, Stellar, will be available to try out on the stand.
Tokina now has six lenses in the Vista Cinema Primes series: 18mm VISTA T1.5, 25mm VISTA T1.5; 35mm VISTA T1.5; 50mm
VISTA T1.5; 85mm VISTA T1.5; 105mm VISTA T1.5. The Tokina Cinema Vista lenses are all T1.5, virtually no breathing, feature a 300˚ focus rotation, and cover an image circle of up to 46.7mm. The range features 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm. The 105mm is new to the range and newly released this month (available in the following mounts: PL, EF, MFT, E, F).
PAG will spotlight its unique and revolutionary intelligent linking batteries for high-end cameras and accessories. PAGlink is one of the industry’s most technologically advanced portable power systems, available in V and Gold mount formats. Linking batteries combines capacities for longer run time and a higher current draw (12A) – ideal for powering a camera and multiple accessories simultaneously. The 150Wh PL150 battery offers 50% more capacity than the 96Wh PL96, with no increase in size. Two linked PL150s provide 300Wh. PAGlink means no more time-wasting camera reboots on set. Linked battery charging, developed by PAG, is more efficient and results in smaller, travel-friendly chargers, such as the new pocket-sized Micro Charger. PowerHub is a power distribution plate for camera accessories. It is used sandwiched between two PAGlink batteries. PowerHub is smarter than built-in battery D-Taps because it lets you choose the outputs: D-Tap, Lemo, Hirose or USB, and it keeps accessories powered-up when you hot-swap batteries.
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SET- UP | SHOW PREV I EW: BSC EXPO
LCA – Lights, Camera, Action are one of the leading suppliers of professional equipment to the film, TV, video and photographic industries. A one-stop-shop supplying lighting, grips, distribution, cables, filters, textiles, lamps and many other consumables. New for BSC is Gaffers Control, from a group of gaffers who originally came together to share trucks and have created a compact and easy-to-use system that can connect to a series of lights to control them via Lumen radio. With more products using Wi-Fi networks on set, this is something that doesn’t have to fight for the network. LCA also works industry including LiteGear, DoPchoice, Hudson Spider, K5600 Lighting, Chimera, Manfrotto, Avenger, Litepanels, Koto, Cineo Lighting and many more. with some of the key manufacturers in the
BSC Expo will see Panasonic display the latest innovations in film and TV production. Panasonic will showcase the full VariCam line-up – the flagship VariCam 35, the compact VariCam LT and the VariCam Pure, which provides 4K uncompressed Raw at up to 120fps, all of which can be configured to meet a variety of production scenarios. In 2017/18 a number of productions shot with VariCam aired, including ITV Studios’ The Moorside in the UK and The Deuce for HBO. The VariCam is also proving popular with Netflix, with productions including Orange is the New Black and Master of None all being shot with the VariCam series. The indie favourite, the AU-EVA1 will also be on show. Thanks to a Panasonic-developed 5.7K Super 35mm sensor, dual-native ISO sensitivity and lightweight design, EVA1 fulfils a wide range of run-and-gun and handheld shooting styles.
Fujifilm UK is showcasing its entire range of cine lenses, which cover all types of shooting, from high-end cinema down to independent documentary. The PL-Mount Premier HK lenses are the ultimate cine zoom lenses, with super-fast T-stops and a generous range of focal lengths. Meanwhile the Cabrio ZK and XK series are also PL-mount lenses and are ideal where smaller, lighter lenses might be preferable, or where you need a lens with a huge variety of focal lengths all in one package. Also on the stand will be the new OPTMAG TL-OMFF, an optical adapter that enables the use of Super-35 format PL-mount lenses on full-frame sensor cameras without vignetting. Finally, weighing less than 1kg each and boasting T2.9 throughout, the E-Mount MK lenses bring all the quality and character of the Fujinon Premier and Cabrio lenses to an entirely new audience of independent production and emerging filmmakers.
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SET- UP | SHOW PREV I EW: BSC EXPO
At BSC Expo Zeiss will be showcasing a large portfolio of full-frame lenses, including the new Supremes, the Cinema Zoom CZ.2 range and new Compact Prime CP.3 XD range. Thanks to their interchangeable mounts and full-frame coverage, these lenses are believed by many filmmakers to be as close as it’s possible to get to the ultimate future-proof investment. The Zeiss Cinema Zoom lenses feature exquisite optics in a robust, durable package. Affordable, flexible and offering the highest quality, the Zeiss Cinema Zoom lenses are an invaluable addition to any film set. Meanwhile the new Zeiss CP.3 and CP.3 XD lenses offer the perfect combination of high image quality and reliable usability. They exhibit the clean, crisp characteristics Zeiss is known for, together with groundbreaking lens data technology in the XD versions, designed to speed up and simplify the workflow on-set and in post-production.
SmallHD designs and manufactures cutting-edge on-camera and production monitors for video production applications. Its products cater to both the feature requirements of cinematographers and the budgets of hobbyists. The SmallHD FOCUS Bolt TX/RX monitors form the first fully integrated wireless monitor ecosystem. While both FOCUS Bolt models have a 5in, daylight viewable, touchscreen display, the TX has a built- in Teradek transmitter and the RX has a built-in Teradek receiver. The two wireless monitors can be paired together or to a standalone Teradek transmitter/ receiver. This makes the adoption of the SmallHD FOCUS Bolt monitor into a wireless workflow simple.
DMG Lumière by Rosco will be showing the award-winning MIX technology at the BSC Expo. The multi-award-winning LED fixture is being shown for the first time in the UK in the sizes of MINI and SL1 MIX. The unique six LEDs have opened up a vast colour spectrum, and also contains verified Rosco Gels. MIX can also be controlled by the free myMIX app (available to download now) whereby you can mix, capture, save and share your creations.
P+S TECHNIK will show its anamorphic lens series, the Technovision Classics as well as its scope of lens rehousing to visitors at BSC Expo. Says MD Anna Piffl: “2018 showed us that the demand for anamorphic lenses is still increasing. We are ready to provide professional solutions here while keeping in mind larger sensors.” Since 2017 the company has also delivered the Evolution 2X anamorphic lenses (for S35 format). Over 100 lenses with the focal length 40mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm have already been delivered. The success of the Evolution 2X lenses, which match the look of the original KOWA, encouraged the company to make the 135mm a perfect match. The 135mm has new front anamorphic elements, to reach the light intensity and a compact design.
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SHOOT STORY | JETMAN
WORD ON A WING A new documentary will feature jetmen with strapped-on wings, flying at fixed wing speeds – but capturing the flight is just part of the story
WORDS JULI AN M ITCHELL / PICTURES JETMAN
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JETMAN | SHOOT STORY
The jetmen will pull up and begin their unmissable display at speeds of up to 160mph
Y ves Rossy should have been born a bird. He’s an ex-fighter pilot, an ex-Swiss Air pilot and now a self- contained human airframe attached to a jet-powered wing. In fact, to register to fly in the US and UK, Yves had to be classed as an aeroplane (but was exempt from having to wear a seat belt over his harness). Yves originally came up with the idea of Jetman back in 1996 but has now been joined by two other jetmen, and watching them fly in formation is truly awe inspiring – reminiscent of Marvel’s Iron Man. Such a sight has encouraged commercial sponsorship and even stunts, such as two jetmen flying in formation with the Patrouille de France aerobatic team, and an invitation from Emirates to accompany one of their Airbus A380s (one of the biggest airliners in the world) in front of a spectacular Dubai backdrop. There have been country hops like crossing the English Channel – only an eight-minute flight time – and even a try at crossing the Gibraltar Straits, which unfortunately failed and ended with a dunking in the sea. LOFT DOCUMENTARY For all aspiring and existing thrill seekers, Yves’ life has now been turned into a documentary – which is still being added to. The plan was to combine the Jetman stunts with the history of flying, but for the sake of this article we’re concentrating on
the three jetmen flying across various jaw- dropping locations in Norway. One of them was Trollveggen, or Troll Wall, part of a mountain range in the Romsdalen valley in the west of the country. The Troll Wall is the tallest rock face in Europe at around 3600 feet and is therefore a favourite for BASE jumpers and climbers. But Yves has different requirements, needing the height of the wall to give him time to spool up his four jet engines while initially, basically, falling. The jetmen will then pull up and begin their unmissable display at speeds of up to 160mph, breaking the horizon by diving and then arching above the mountain. The shots are there to be captured, but flight time is short so planning is essential. Launch is either from the side of a helicopter (the wing doesn’t actually fit inside so they have to perch on the skids before they peel off) or from a constructed platform on the apex of the Wall. Flight time for the jetmen is about ten minutes, and they display a selection of Jetman moves for the waiting crew positioned either in the helicopter, on the ground, at the top of the Wall or operating a drone – mainly for the overhead shots. HISTORY The history of shooting Jetman films has mostly been about smaller, more viral projects that rely on the spectacle of the
IMAGES For an air launch, the jetmen have to launch from the side of a helicopter – there’s no room inside.
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SHOOT STORY | JETMAN
I remember the first time flying with Jetman back in 2014. Hanging out the door of a helicopter with a camera on my shoulder, looking through the viewfinder and seeing these humans flying not more than 15 metres away. I had to see them with my own eyes, so I pulled away from the camera. Seeing them in the air flying next to me, human faces, hands, and feet dangling, with jets and a wing strapped to their back. Feeling genuinely alive, with this sense of awareness in those moments, something changed in me. Then they arched their back, slicing the air, ascending into the heavens. Transcended by what I saw, I immediately felt a desire to share this experience in a film. The remarkable thing is, every time I’ve flown with them since that day I have experienced this feeling. I believe Jetman represents the idea of freedom – to be free from the boundaries of being human. Yves, Vince and Fred are striving to achieve autonomous human flight, which creates the feeling of freedom in a physical space, and the pursuit of doing something no one has accomplished. I think the best way to convey this story is from their perspectives: exploring who these three humans are, what their motivations are, how they have chosen to pursue life, where they came from and where they are going. The breathtaking action is what gets our attention, but it’s the private human moments before and after the flights, and throughout the rest of their lives, that will ground us, reminding the audience these are humans like all of us. They are not superheroes or gods. They are human like you or me. The only difference is they fly through the sky with a Jet-Wing, and you can't – yet. I've always seen their world through a cinematic lens, creating a visceral experience that lets the audience fly with them, to feel their fear, adrenaline and joy as they experience the beauty life has to offer. Our team of professionals, pilots, engineers and production team make all of this possible. Currently, we are still in production and will be for at least another year. My team and I look forward to the day we get to premiere the whole story to the world. Anthony Augustinack
IMAGES Cameraman Phil Arntz works as both he and jetman Fred Fugan prepare for another display.
the Far East, which will be added to the pool of existing footage, and distribution of the finished show should be this year. COVERAGE One of the cameraman filming the documentary, Phil Arntz, knew Anthony from when they worked in the UAE previously. The pair had shot films about extreme sport, such as BASE jumping, so shooting the jetmen was seen as an extension of that. Phil also shot some of the aerials when the Jetman project filmed with the Emirates Airbus A380, and so was familiar with the speed of the subjects. But the Norway shoot was the big one. Coverage is the key, says Phil, for something like this kind of documentary.
actual flying to gain traction through views. This includes the A380 shoot, Grand Canyon flying, English Channel crossing and many more. LOFT: The Jetman Story is the first time that a documentary has been attached to the subject. It may be because of these shorter videos that the planned documentary has taken a while to bear fruit, and thanks must go to director Anthony August for driving it on. The documentary is being made using many of the smaller productions that you can see on YouTube and elsewhere, and there will also be lots of archive footage and behind-the-scenes shots. Archive footage even goes back to when Yves was a jet fighter pilot and had first come up with the idea of Jetman in 1996. There’s further shooting going on in
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SHOOT STORY | JETMAN
we were fine except for the very windy days when we could see a little bit of movement
the four weeks they were shooting, but nonetheless the team had to always be ready for a break in the clouds. Travelling light was the answer, says Phil. “You had to move around with a backpack full of lenses because it might take you two hours to get to a mountain – so you had that physical challenge mixed in with the shoot. Sometimes we would
in the tripod.” RED SHOOT
Phil initially wanted to shoot using the 8K Red, but back in 2016 they couldn’t get hold of one. He ended up with the DSMC2 Dragon-X 6K model. “These were brand new cameras at the time and looked stunning. I’ve always loved the Dragon sensor and we managed to get three of the new DSMC2 Weapons. We also had some of the older Dragon bodies, as well as a Phantom Flex4K for the slow motion. The camera in the Shotover F1 was also a Red Weapon 6K. “We had the Fujinon 75-400mm on the ground with the Canon 30-300mm on the Shotover. There was also a Fujinon 19-90mm Cabrio zoom and a set of Leica Summicrons. The thing with them is that they are tiny, so you can sit with five or six of them in a backpack on the side of a mountain. They were a great trade-off
catch a ride with the helicopter to get up to the location but other times there just wasn’t the budget to do that.” Phil’s kit included some big zoom glass: he had
DID YOU KNOW?
The Jet wings have no steering, the only way to direct the wing is to adjust your body
Fujinon’s 75-400mm with the doubler from Duclos. “We had the doubler most of the time as we could afford to lose the stop to T4. So that was shooting at 150- 800mm, which would really compress the valley and get the jet wings in frame. “Stabilising those shots was just a matter of a big tripod. We actually went with the O’Connor 2560 head, which is lighter than the 2575 (that would have been better but heavier to haul up there). It was a trade-off between weight and stability, but
“Much of the shooting was concerned with the preparations for the flight as well as the actual flying. “There is a whole back story about these preparations, since when you start involving jetpacks near mountains you are, to an extent, a slave to the weather. When you’re flying in free space, if something goes wrong there is an element of having time to rescue the situation, whereas in valleys next to mountains your choices are lessened hugely. “In Norway, there were about five people shooting in various roles just to cover every angle,” explains Phil, “which was especially important as we had a limited flight time and it takes quite a while to get to the location. Carrying a large amount of supplies isn’t an option.” SHOOTING The Jetman experience is so unusual that there weren’t many in the crew who had experienced it, including the pilot of the helicopter. Commissioning a helicopter meant they could use it as a launch platform, and a shooting platform kitted out with a Shotover F1 gimbal, RED Dragon and Canon 30-300mm lens. There was also a handheld shooter travelling as a passenger, filming with another RED Dragon fitted with Leitz (Leica) Summicron prime lenses. “You’ve really got to know how these guys fly – they are really very quick and can come up on you incredibly fast. The biggest thing is knowing the flight characteristics of what a jet wing can do – they can fly around 140 knots.” Unfortunately, due to the bad weather, there wasn’t that much flight time during
IMAGES Coverage is essential for this unique type of documentary says Phil Arntz pictured far right.
There was a handheld shooter travelling as a passenger, filming with a RED Dragon fitted with Leitz Summicron prime lenses
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JETMAN | SHOOT STORY
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SHOOT STORY | JETMAN
IMAGES Despite being known as drama lenses, Phil used Leitz Summicron’s for people shots. The larger Fujinon zooms were incredibly sharp for flight. when the flying had stopped, and any rain was also a problem because of visibility. There were a lot of days when we were standing at the top of a mountain and it was absolutely beautiful, but down below we had fog and rain. “It was always going to be safety first and whether the pilots were comfortable flying, even if we had the most incredible light and scenery.” The helicopter would fly in very tight formation with the jet wings, sometimes just 20 feet away from them – the optimum distance for tight shots of the formation. The coverage from the jetmen was from GoPros although they did try and use a Red as a head cam. “There was a chance of flying a Red on Vince’s helmet, we did mount the camera on the helmet but felt that we didn’t have the kit to make it work – it wasn’t on the original plan. We couldn’t power it, for instance, because you couldn’t run the
between physical size and a T stop of T2, so they’re fairly fast. “The Fujinon Premier lenses are incredible for what they are,” Phil adds, “and are the perfect action sports lens – they are so sharp, with a really great range.” THE BRIEF This was basically split into two: there was obviously the documentary side of things – everything that goes into making the flying a reality – but the team was also tasked with making the online video that you can see on the website, jetman.com. This short ‘teaser’ online video is important for getting the word out there: “Those shots were always going to come out of the documentary; it’s basically a sizzle action cut. “But the biggest thing was waiting for the right weather. You couldn’t shoot with a cloud base below you because you would need to see where the parachutes landed
battery from the suit and there wasn’t an easy way of releasing the camera in case of emergencies or some type of entanglement. “The main action cameras that are on the helmets and suits are GoPros, and it’s incredible how far these cameras have come and what you can capture on them. We also shot some of the aerials on the DJI Inspire drone shooting Raw, and I don’t think people can spot that footage intercut with the helicopter footage in scenes where the camera isn’t struggling with trees, for instance. With a two- or three-second shot you can really sell it. “I have always been against using small drones such as these and would want to fly a Red or something like that,” admits Phil, “but this has changed my mind, because if it wasn’t for those tools we wouldn’t have got the shots. We’re getting shots from the camera inside the helicopter when it’s in formation with the jet wings and from the Shotover at 300mm, and these are shots we didn’t have in the other videos, which were more about the flying – we never really saw the people behind it.” Further shooting is currently underway – it won’t be obtained in one go but in multiple blocks. The completed documentary should be ready to view and will be out later this year. LOFT: THE JETMAN STORY WILL BE AVAILABLE TO WATCH LATER THIS YEAR
It was always going to be safety first – even if we had the most incredible light and scenery
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SHOOT STORY | DEATH AND N IGHT I NGALES
DARK VISION DOP Stephen Murphy explains how he approached this bleak Irish period drama – particularly the lighting design
WORDS STEPHEN MURPHY / PICTURES BBC , STEPHEN MURPHY, TEDDY CAVENDISH
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M yself and the director, Allan Coward Robert Ford (shot by Roger Deakins), The Best Intentions (shot by Jörgen Persson) and Fanny and Alexander (shot by Sven Nykvist). As we spent time looking at locations and getting to know each other’s tastes, the visual style of the film began to form in my mind’s eye. I was inspired daily by the locations we found and as prep continued, I started seeing designs from [production designer] Gillian Devenney with a beautifully delicate colour palette. These were complemented by the costumes from Hazel Webb Crozier. Between us, we came up with the visual style. I wanted a naturalistic style of photography that still had a very cinematic quality to it; what I’d call hyper-naturalism. I was keen to stay true to the idea that, without electricity or gas light, the interiors were sometimes quite dark, even during the day, so I worked towards a single-source lighting approach for day interior work and used candles and oil lamp for night interiors. As it was a tight schedule, I had to work fast. Usually I prefer to adopt a ‘light the room not the shot’ approach, by which I mean I’ll usually have the set lit for at least 180 degrees with close-ups needing little to no additional lighting. This keeps everything moving quickly on set, which helps the actors immensely and I find it gives a more naturalistic-looking image. HMI For day interiors, I used large HMI sources outside windows, usually 18K ARRIMAXs and ARRI M90s, and pushed them through several layers of day-grey muslin. This became a large soft source, cut naturally by the size of the building windows. I’d then mix in a smaller, punchier source, like an M18 at full spot, and let that splash in through part of the window, usually to bounce off the floor. By keeping the harder source cut off above the actors shoulders, I got a nice mix of hard and soft light. This kept the texture of the light interesting, especially as an actor in a pale dress would pass through the hard light and momentarily bounce it around the room, changing the character of the shadows. Night interiors presented a different challenge. Some of our locations had heavy restrictions in terms of what kind of rigging I could use. In one of our primary locations, I wasn’t allowed rig to any roof or wall, nor was I allowed to use naked flames Cubitt, referenced several films throughout prep, including The Assassination of Jesse James by the
RIGHT For day interiors, Stephen used large HMI sources outside windows, pushed through muslin.
Night interiors were a challenge. In one of our primary locations, I wasn’t allowed rig to any roof or wall
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(candles or oil lamps etc). My gaffer, Kevin Hetherington, worked closely with the art department to rig small battery-powered oil lamps, which then became our key light for many of the night interiors. I’d use smaller tungsten Fresnels bounced on to the ceiling to create a room tone, usually about two and a half to three stops under key, and supplement that with some of the battery-powered practical
I relied heavily on China balls, which are one of my favourite lights to use
close to the final image as I can get them, and I tend to favour under exposure to help control how my images are printed. I learned my craft by shooting on film, so I still use light meters. Waveforms and false colour are meaningless to me. I know artistic feedback I want from them – I can’t feel the light in the same way as I can when I use my meters. I can keep my exposures and contrast ratios very precise by metering carefully. I find I can work quicker, too. This was shot on the ARRI Alexa Mini. I’m very familiar with the contrast curve of that camera and how it responds to under exposure. In my head, I treat it as another film stock, and try to figure out where it fails and where it looks interesting. I usually keep the sensor at 800 ASA and just light to the T stop that I want to shoot at. I also tend to use a stack of contrast filters – Low, Ultra what they’re saying technically speaking, I just don’t get the
oil lamps. Where possible, I’d also use covered wagons that Kevin had built for me. I’d keep the covered wagons filled with
DID YOU KNOW? Stephen learned his craft by shooting on film so still uses light meters
a random assortment of smaller wattage tungsten
bulbs I’d had built in a variety of sizes so I could hide them behind tables etc. I also relied heavily on China balls, which are one of my favourite lights to use, rigged on Mega Boom arms and skirted to give me a soft controllable top light. EXPOSURE I’m quite particular about how I expose an image. I want my dailies to look as
RIGHT Stephen loved Panavision’s T Series lenses for the beautifully creamy quality to them, as well as for the anamorphic aberrations.
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SHOOT STORY | DEATH AND N IGHT I NGALES
In keeping with our simplicity of style, we shot most of the show on just two lenses, the 35mm and 50mm
In 2018, the things that stayed with me, photographically speaking, were the second series of Ozark , photographed by Ben Kutchins and Armando Salas, and Solo: A Star Wars Story , photographed by Bradford Young. I loved how still and dark the images in Ozark are – very brave exposures for a TV series. And I loved the visual darkness and texture of Solo . Quite difficult to get such a strong look through the studio system, especially in this era of risk-averse studios and superhero movies. WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING – STEPHEN MURPHY
wholeheartedly. We composed for the 2:1 aspect ratio, rather than the full 2.40:1. I carried a range of prime lenses with me, but we really only used two or three with any frequency. In keeping with our simplicity of style, we shot most of the show on just two lenses, the 35mm and 50mm. Master shots would start with the 35mm and for close-ups, I’d use the 50mm and push in a little tighter. One of the beautiful things about the anamorphic format is how the background can literally open up behind an actor as you push in on a medium-length lens. I like seeing the set or the location behind an actor – not just a massive blur of out of focus shape and colour. I like depth and, despite the fact it has a shallower depth of field, an anamorphic lens at a stop of T4 still gives you a fantastic sense of depth and scale.
and Smoque filter to alter the contrast curve of the sensor. I work a lot with Panavision’s anamorphic lenses. When this was in prep, I went to Greenford to test some of Panavision’s newer series of lenses. I knew I’d be shooting in confined spaces and small locations, so I wanted to use a set of lenses with modern mechanics and features, ie. good close focus and a physically small size. I tested the G Series and the T Series and fell in love with the latter. They have a beautifully creamy quality to them, have the anamorphic aberrations I like and still feel handmade. However, they have all the benefits of a modern spherical prime. ANAMORPHIC FORMAT We wanted a classical-looking film, something cinematic and painterly. During prep we had talked about a few recent dramas that had been shot in similar locations and time periods that used a very modern visual style and Allan and me agreed we didn’t feel that was appropriate for this. For me, so much of the appeal of the script was about the poetry of the language being used, so I didn’t want to do anything with the camera that might detract from listening to that language, that stillness. Simplicity became a word I kept in mind throughout the shoot, both in the lighting design and the design of the coverage and camera movement. I’m quite fond of proscenium framing so I tried to design master shots that covered the scene in as simple a way as possible. If the camera needed to move to accommodate the blocking, then it moved. If it didn’t need to move, it didn’t. I’m a big fan of the anamorphic format, and when I suggested it to Allan, he agreed
BELOW Anamorphic format can open up the background behind an actor, rather than a blur.
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No one was worried about the level of darkness I’d used and I wasn’t concerned
GRADE During prep, I worked with dailies colourist Scott Ferguson at Yellowmoon in Belfast to develop a single LUT that I could use for the shoot. I shot make-up and costume tests with actor Ann Skelly (heroine Beth Winters) and tested some of the practicals that we were building. It gave everyone a sense of the quality of the images and how dark we might go. No one was worried about the level of darkness I’d used and I wasn’t concerned about it for TV broadcast. We were committed to a cinematic image. I knew that meant some people would be watching what were supposed to be dark images on screens that weren’t optimised to display those images, but you can’t work towards the lowest denominator. You can’t shoot interesting images worrying about what they might look like on someone’s iPhone in a bright sunny office. You have to aim for a higher standard. We all loved the dailies and we all loved how the images looked in the DI and we were supported every step of the way by the production and the BBC execs, which was refreshing. I would like to think that in this day and age of HD TVs most of the audience will have their televisions calibrated to a reasonable degree and will have seen the images as they were intended to be seen. FLASHBACKS Within the narrative of the series, there are a series of flashbacks and a dream sequence. We decided that treating the flashbacks in a different visual style would
just work against the visual simplicity we were working towards with the rest of the film. There were enough other visual clues within the frame, change of costume, change of hair etc. to mark the different time periods, so we didn’t alter anything else photographically. For the dream sequence, though, we did do something slightly different. We shot close-ups with an eyeline directly down the lens, just to give a sense of unease or surreality to the sequence, and we worked with a more heightened, saturated colour palette. LOCATION The entire shoot was shot on location in Northern Ireland. We were based in Belfast, but shot in a variety of locations. One of my favourite sets was the kitchen, which was a partial set build within an existing location at Myra Castle. The location itself had an incredible variety of subtle colours, soft greens and beautiful ochre bricks. Gillian’s set extension and dressing was just fantastic and it gave us a fabulous canvas to work on. I couldn’t shoot a project of this quality without the support of a fantastic camera, grip and electric crew. I had a superb crew, led by focus puller, Andy Gardner, key grip, Ben Mosley, and gaffer, Kevin Hetherington. I also received tremendous support from the superb post team at Yellowmoon. DEATH AND NIGHTINGALES IS AVAILABLE ON BBC IPLAYER NOW
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SHOOT STORY | THE FAVOUR I TE
FROCK HORROR This three-headed 18th-century romp continues the resurgence of film use for movies and commercials
WORDS PH I L RHODES / PICTURES FOX SEARCHLIGHT
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SHOOT STORY | THE FAVOUR I TE E ven before its UK release on the first day of 2019, The Favourite was a front- runner on the awards circuit, with 14 nominations in the Critics’ Choice Awards and ten wins from 12 nominations at the British Independent Film Awards. One of those awards was for the cinematography of Robbie Ryan, BSC, ISC, whose involvement with the film begins all the way back in 2016. Robbie discussed The Favourite during a day off in Spain, far from the chilly UK where the film was shot and finished. “I’ve been doing it a long time,” Robbie begins. “I started in my teens, making short films, then went to film school and followed where it was taking me.” That was in 1993. Since then, Robbie’s credits have grown to include a varied mix of documentary, shorts and drama, perhaps most notably including three of Ken Loach’s films ( I, Daniel Blake , The Angels’ Share and Jimmy’s Hall ) and the 2013 film Philomena , directed by Stephen Frears. DARK COMEDY The Favourite can be fairly described as a particularly dark sort of comedy. Set in the early eighteenth century, during a long period of Anglo-French rivalry, the story follows Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) during the infirmity of her last years on the throne. Given the Queen’s illness, her authority is effectively wielded by Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) who falls into competition with a recently arrived member of the household staff, Abigail, played by Emma Stone. The film was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and shot in early 2017, though
LIVING IN DAILIES WORLD
actually Robbie’s involvement predates the start of principal photography by more than 12 months. “I was involved with it in 2016, then the casting went a bit awry and they had put it on hold for over a year. The one he wanted to hold out for was Olivia Colman because he was convinced she could be the queen.” Lanthimos, Robbie says, is not a filmmaker that easily cedes creative control. “The execs might have said that we couldn’t get them all together at one time, but Yorgos is not good at making compromises.” With the ideal cast of Colman, Weisz and Stone in place, the production shot from 20 March to 13 May, a 40-day shoot – and on film. “I’ve been lucky,” Robbie says. “Out of the last five features, four of them have been on film. This one I’m on now is the first time I’ve done a digital feature in a couple of years.” He accepts that a track record in the medium helps: “because you shoot on film, maybe people get in touch with you.
“When we were getting rushes back every day, the lab had graded the rushes,” says Robbie. “One day, all the candelight came back pink. Yorgos and I were like, ‘what’s going on here? I don’t remember seeing pink candles!’ We got paranoid about whether it was something we did wrong. It turned out the grader had made a mistake, but for a couple of days we were scratching our heads as to whether it was a lens or the stock we’d used. You’re at the mercy of the person grading your dailies at 3am. You have to trust yourself with the fact that the film stock is a very, very good rendition. The colours that come back with film are so brilliantly distinct.”
ABOVE Yorgos Lanthimos concentrates on directing and shooting The Favourite.
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The choice of pull-processing a slow stock, rather than simply using ND filters, was practical. “We were shooting on very wide lenses,” Robbie continues. “The lens was too [physically large] to put a filter on it. They were Primo. We used a fisheye 6mm, quite an unusual lens, a 10mm and up to 100mm, but we mainly ranged between the 6mm, 10mm and 75mm a lot of the time. None of us had used the 6mm. We found it at Panavision and thought, ‘wow, that’s pretty wide’. [Lanthimos] said ‘that’s brilliant, I’ll have that!’ A lot of people watching the film now refer to that. It highlighted the absurdity of the situation.” HELPFUL LOCATION Wide lenses let the filmmakers make the best use of the production’s principal location, Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, which dates back to 1611. The house has been widely used as a filming location, perhaps mainly because it is privately owned and imposes rules that are different from those commonly applied to National Trust properties. “The great thing about it was that it was a location that would let you light candles. A lot of National Trust properties don’t.
I thoroughly enjoy shooting on film, and I think the productions are enhanced by it
I thoroughly enjoy shooting on film, and I think the productions are enhanced by it.” FILM STOCK Robbie’s camera package came from Panavision, with the production mainly using Kodak’s 500T stock 5219. For particularly well-lit day exteriors, Robbie chose slower 200T or 50D stocks. The 50D was pull-processed two stops to offset bright light even more and to normalise the higher-contrast look of the slower stock with respect to the less contrasty 500T. “The thing about 50D is that it’s a very contrasty stock, by pulling it you lose a bit of contrast but it made it very beautiful. [Lanthimos] actually likes the look of the 500T in daylight, as well,” Robbie recalls. “It had a touch of a colder feel to it – well, not necessarily colder, maybe, but it seems to be a good workhorse of a stock. It gives you good latitude.”
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