Two visual effects-heavy commercial spots for Disney highlighting the latest Star Wars toys and merchandise benefited from play to the firing of children’s imagination: Choose Your Path focuses on The Last Jedi merchandise, featuring three children playing in an attic bedroom; a boy puts down a Kylo Ren toy, which then comes to life to fight Lego starships, while two of the children duck as a ship speeds past them on the red salt flats of Crait – which then seamlessly turn back into the bedroom with a classic Star Wars wipe. Galaxy Of Adventures features the original Star Wars trilogy and Solo: A Star Wars Story, with more children playing in an attic room, interacting with the toys and merchandise in a series of tableaux reminiscent of scenes from the films.
Cinematographer Xavier Dolléans chose a Sony Venice camera paired with Cooke Panchro/i Classic lenses to shoot Seasons 3 and 4 of Skam France, the French version of the acclaimed and innovative Norwegian youth series Skam, that follows a group of teenagers through their everyday lives of school, love and leisure time. Dolléans and director David Hourrègue wanted to reflect the darker storylines in the look of the show, while maintaining a vintage aesthetic.
Based on the acclaimed Dark Horse action noir graphic novel, Polar: Came From the Cold by Victor Santos, the Netflix feature film Polar was directed by Jonas Åkerlund (Lords of Chaos) and shot by cinematographer Pär M. Ekberg with Panasonic VariCam Pure cinema cameras. Born and raised in Sweden, Ekberg got his start as a still photographer at a young age and eventually transitioned into cinematography. He has shot features, commercials and music videos for established artists such as Beyoncé, Pink, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and U2, and many others.
Over the 50 years chronicled in director Adam McKay’s Vice, cinematographer Greig Fraser had the challenges of photographing actors playing characters twice their age — with intense prosthetics, makeup and hair — while also making a potentially dull series of office-based scenes into a visually interesting story for audiences. To accomplish this feat, Fraser relied on Kodak 200T and 500T film and Cooke Optics’ Anamorphic/i prime lenses.
Sony is upgrading the capabilities of its Venice motion picture camera system by introducing high frame rate shooting, advanced remote-control functionalities and Cooke/i3 and Zeiss extended metadata support, as part of its latest firmware update. Both the free upgrade to firmware Version 4.0 and the optional HFR license will be available in June.
Arri has signed Art Adams to the newly created position of cinema lens specialist. In that role he will further develop and support sales of Arri lenses for North America, while collecting user feedback from imagemakers.
83 Days, a shattering narrative short about racial injustice, which was shot with Panasonic cinema cameras, has been named an Official Selection of the 2018 Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival. The film has already received several best of festival nominations, including Best Short Film, Best Drama Film, Best Short Film Director and Best Short Screenplay.
The makers of the Screen Gems feature film The Possession of Hannah Grace are claiming an interesting cinema technology first: the project was shot in Boston using Sony A7S II mirrorless digital cameras combined with large format Hawk 65 anamorphic lenses from Vantage, an unlikely combination featuring lenses designed for large digital sensors combined with a full-frame camera with a DSLR form factor and a price tag under $3,000. Nevertheless, the filmmakers say it made for a high-quality, cost-effective production workflow.
Newton Thomas ‘Tom’ Sigel, ASC chose a full range of original Cooke Speed Panchros, with a slightly new housing and updated mechanics from Arri Rental UK, to shoot the early years documented in the 20th Century Fox/Regency production of Bohemian Rhapsody. Sigel needed to capture the idealistic energy of Freddie Mercury and his future bandmates when he first came to London in 1970. To accomplish this, he made use of a full vintage set of Cooke Speed Panchros, with a very light net at the back of the lens and a special LUT for the Alexa SXT that was specifically designed for the period. This set-up was used for the entire first act of the film, with Sigel relying mostly on the 40mm lens, with the 25, 32 and 50 as secondary lenses.
Crazy Rich Asians is one of the summer’s biggest success stories. Shot by cinematographer Vanja Černjul, ASC, HFC (The Perfection, The Deuce, Marco Polo) with VariCam Pure cinema cameras, the film is based on the best-selling novel by Kevin Kwan, and tells the story of an Asian American woman who meets her boyfriend's family, only to find out they are one of the richest families in Singapore. The Warner Bros film was directed by Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and features an all-Asian cast, including Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, and many others. It is the first Hollywood studio film to feature Asians in leading roles since director Wayne Wang’s 1993 film, The Joy Luck Club.