DEFINITION - April 2020 - Web


I think you are limiting your imagination this way. I really like to see the location and, from there, I build the look with the lighting and also block the scene and then come up with a shot list.” When preparing the sets with the production designer, Nick Bassett, Ciupek’s method involved finding the locations, then creating 3D models of them as to-scale sets. This then allowed him to experiment with angles, change the lighting and demonstrate to Lei Howden what the set could look like. “The best way to proceed is to have a plan, but to leave yourself some room to see new angles when you start shooting,” he explains. “We had mood boards and 3D renders with the precise scale of our locations. I could actually sit with the artist, move the camera through 3D space and find interesting angles. I also worked on part of the lighting and colours in this CG world, so we created a mood render of an actual set before we went there and started filming.” For the less experienced, it can be sometimes hard to imagine how an empty warehouse can look once it’s dressed up with lighting and props, but for Ciupek, it was “great to play with the angles and lighting tones”. He adds: “Once I had it and Nick and I were happy with it, we would show it to Jason and get approval.” CAMERA CHOICE Every film that Ciupek has worked on featured cameras systems that were brought in to do a specific job for that movie. The choice was not just based on the look the camera could produce. For Guns Akimbo , the With large format, you can shoot very wide and the distortion is much more interesting

Red Monstro 8K camera ticked a number of boxes. “I’m always looking for the new things out there,” he explains. “First, I look at ergonomics, especially for a fast action movie where the camera is never going to stand still. I knew the camera was going to be rigged and mounted to ridiculous places, so I needed a small camera, but I also wanted to shoot large format.” For Guns Akimbo , Ciupek had a very particular look in mind for Daniel Radcliffe’s character, Miles. “I wanted a very wide look for him, a kind of immersive experience for his journey through the story. But I didn’t want it to feel like it’s a wide-angle lens. That’s the great thing about large format, you can shoot very wide and ABOVE Previs for Skizm’s den and their computer centre LEFT The Red

the distortion you get is more interesting than on Super 35. You still get the focus fall-off, so you see more of your set and are physically close to the actor,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of Alexa 65 movies and seen the look and feel of it. “We did lots of tests with the actors as well. With wide lenses, I had to make sure that the distortion was kind to the characters – we literally had lenses touching Daniel’s nose and it was really interesting the look we were getting. So every time he was under extreme stress, we used it.” NAILING THE LOOK When someone does a camera test, Ciupek reveals it’s very important to do them in a place that looks like where you will eventually shoot and with the actual lighting. “I see so many tests being made in the garage of a rental house, for instance, which has no relevance for the shoot. This way, you are already establishing a language and a flavour for the film in the testing process. So I made sure we had a location that was a little bit like this underworld, this Skizm world that was littered with intense primary-coloured lighting.” To Ciupek, it quickly became apparent that, if you shoot monochromatically in one colour, you need a high-resolution camera for the image to remain sharp. “3K or 4K on a Bayer-patterned sensor quickly gets soft, because of the lack of resolution in it,” he

Monstro fully rigged, but Ciupek stripped it down for fight sequences

20 DEF I N I T ION | APR I L 2020

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