SHOOT STORY MINDHUNTER
of the darker scenes and also the compression artefacts of the broadcasters? Does your 4K HDR mastering take this into consideration? EM: Netflix released Mindhunter in Dolby Vision to directly tackle this issue. Dolby Vision manages the viewer’s television (if it’s Dolby Vision enabled) through metadata so the show is seen exactly as we intended. It’s a really great system and hopefully more manufacturers will integrate it. The show was, of course, tested on a variety of devices, but we didn’t attenuate any of our lighting or grading choices to favour less than perfect displays or bandwidth. All we can hope for is that people have the opportunity to see the show on the highest quality screen available. Def: What colour pipeline are you using to control the colour ACES? Is it CDLs?
EM: The combination of faster sensors and LED lights is constantly changing the way we work. Personally, I find the nuanced degree of colour and exposure control I get with LEDs to be life-changing. We used a lot of LED sources, primarily Litegear Litemats and Arri Skypanels. On Mindhunter I worked very much in the toe of the sensor so I rated the camera at 640 ASA to help with shadow detail a bit. Lighting at low light levels is great but it can be challenging as five foot-candles of change can be a whole stop of light, so it’s not necessarily easier to work at 1600 ASA. I do like playing with vintage lenses, particularly in commercials where we have a lot of freedom to experiment, but flawed optics and anamorphics are so in vogue now that I think there is something to be said for making a great image with a crisp, clean modern lens, too. The optics choices we make are just part of a comprehensive visual plan – they aren’t the only piece of the puzzle. Vintage lenses and filters can work well under certain lighting conditions but not in others, so I try to think about optics and filters the same way I think about lighting, colour pallete and camera movement.
EM: I prefer to work with one show LUT, in this case it was Redgamma3. I don’t do any live colour on set and we didn’t even grade dailies. We kept it very simple and I tried to get the look as close as possible to where I wanted it through lighting and exposure alone. Def: With the huge increase in production technology such as LED lights and very sensitive sensors, how is all of that impacting on your shooting intentions? Do your lighting plans become more subtle? Is vintage glass a factor for you, with digital cinematography, or are new lens designs helping? What are your general reactions to technology enhancements?
ABOVE Many of the intense, dialogue- heavy scenes took several days each to shoot.
THE OPTICS CHOICES WE MAKE ARE JUST PART OF A COMPREHENSIVE VISUAL PLAN
DEFINITION JANUARY 2018
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