DEFINITION - April 2020 - Web


explains. “You could see the difference in this primary-coloured lighting very clearly in the resolution. Mostly, I was after the look of large format in a small form factor. 8K was initially a bonus, but allowed us to deliver 4K, so we worked on the VFX shots and everything else in 4K. It’s stunning to see that coming out of an 8K source.” As for lenses, “it was probably the widest-shot film I have ever done”. Ciupek adds: “We were shooting wider than we ever would in spherical – I hardly went over a 70mm lens, as that on large format is like a 45mm. For an action movie with so much camera dynamic, it’s very unusual, but I wanted to show the great sets and locations we had on the wide shots and even the close-ups. Large format allows you to do this without the audience immediately knowing it’s a wide shot.” Ciupek admits he spent quite a long time deciding on which prime lenses to use. “At the time we shot, the amount of available large format lenses was small. I was still looking for a very cinematic look and I was lucky to try the Leica Thalia, which had just come out. I was fascinated about the look, especially from the wide lenses. The 24mm in particular has incredible close focus – we were just about touching Daniel’s nose and still getting it sharp. At the same time, it distorted in a We literally had lenses touching Daniel’s nose and the look we got was really interesting

ABOVE Daniel Radcliffe’s character Miles’ life spins out of control as the camera does the same

very pleasing way and it also had a nice fall- off and softness, making it more filmic. “The Thalias were very usable out of the box even though we started with some diffusion, but most of the film is shot without any filtration. With most lenses, I usually work with diffusion, but in this case, I felt the lens gave me the look I wanted out of the box. The Thalia also only had a T2.6 or T2.8 in the wide lens and, on the 24mm, T3.6, but that wasn’t limiting at all. In large format, you don’t have to have shallow depth-of-field – it looked really nice. “The Thalia comes from large format Leica stills photography; I think it’s called the Leica SL for stills cameras. It’s been rehoused and given a new flavour – bringing it into the world of cinema lenses. There’s something very special about those lenses, it’s like every single lens is made to photograph people and faces.” MOVING MAYHEM With the camera and lenses decided upon, how did Ciupek want to control the camera movement? “I had a meeting with the Steadicam operator, key grips and my assistants early on and said that I wanted three or four different purpose-built rigs for the camera. I really wanted to have a

dynamic that mixes formats. I was going to mix Steadicam with handheld, for instance. “Normally, what I did was operate the B camera, while my Steadicam operator, Benjamin Treplin, operated the A camera. The Steadicam was the MK-V Omega, which I’ve been using on my last six feature films – what I really love about it is that it really keeps the horizon clean and you can actually do jib arm moves. You can move around in a very dynamic way – go up from the feet and go into the faces, for instance.” For scenes when he needed to convey a sense of unease, Ciupek made use of a new rig feature that Steadicam operator Benjamin Treplin discovered, which synchronised the movement of a smartphone to the movement of the rig using the phone’s accelerometer. “I had the phone attached to tripod head, so as Benjamin went through a Steadicam move, I spun the camera. There’s this scene where Miles wakes up and realises he has the guns bolted to his hands – I wanted to make the audience feel as nauseous as he feels, so for three minutes the camera moves and spins around at the same time. Also, for some of the action sequences where he’s been shot and falls and runs and tumbles, we rigged an iPhone to his neck. So when he falls, the

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

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