The CBC/IMDb TV original crime drama series Pretty Hard Cases – now in its second season – was shot in Toronto; not as the typical stand-in for New York, but for Toronto itself, as the series embraces the Canadian city and makes it a character as part of the storylines. Cinematographer Kristin Fieldhouse worked with the production design and costume teams to create a single signature look. “Color plays a big role in the look of Pretty Hard Cases,” says Fieldhouse.
The Tragedy of Macbeth—written four centuries ago for the stage—has been translated to the screen throughout cinema history. Replete with medieval atmosphere, witches, and murder, the iconic tale has now been retold by director Joel Coen. Working with director of photography Bruno Delbonnel ASC, AFC, Coen developed a visual approach to the bloody proceedings that emphasizes Shakespeare’s matchless language and the faces of the actors delivering it.
In the two decades since we first entered The Matrix, there’s been a quantum leap in computing and filmmaking technology. Visionary filmmaker Lana Wachowski made sure she considered both those changes before going back down the rabbit hole. “There have been huge advances in computing that called for an updated visual representation of the virtual world of The Matrix,” explains Daniele Massaccesi, co-cinematographer with John Toll, ASC on The Matrix Resurrections. “Lana wanted to create a synthetic world that would be believable to humans in 2021. It is therefore photoreal and full of color.”
The Disney Channel’s original musical comedy movie Spin is full of the type of color palettes expected of a story that follows Rhea, an Indian American 15-year-old – played by Avantika – who discovers her artistic side through the unique world of DJ culture, and learns she has a passion for creating mixes that blend the textures of her Indian heritage and the world around her. Cinematographer Jeremy Benning CSC and director Manjari Makijany knew from the start that they wanted the film to be shot in large format.
In some of their earliest discussions about the new film The Water Man, both director, producer, and actor David Oyelowo, and cinematographer Matt Lloyd, ASC, CSC, knew that the look of the film would need to be more majestic than a spherical lens could provide. Then, Lloyd met up with Michael Koerner of Koerner Camera of Portland, Oregon, who would provide the lenses and cameras for the project.
Season 4 of Star Trek: Discovery will bring viewers further into the story than previous seasons, as lead director of photography Philip Lanyon added shooting in full frame to his creative look. Lanyon was the driving force behind using full frame for Discovery, although the decision to introduce full frame was also somewhat technically driven. “Discovery used virtual production environments in Season 4 and the large format can effectively give you softer backgrounds, which was important to control moiré and other artifacts you can get on a LED wall,” he said, “but shooting in full frame is what I wanted for the look and feel of Season 4.”
Cooke Optics has introduced two additions to its expanding range of full frame lenses. Two new Varotal/i FF zoom lenses bring modern design and materials to this historic line of zoom lenses that were first seen in 1971, while the extensive Panchro/i Classic FF range offers the beloved vintage Speed Panchro look for full frame sensors.
In an industry that relies heavily on collaboration to combine technical excellence with inspiring creativity, the last two years have been a unique challenge. The Zeiss cinema lens team, meanwhile, has worked hard to not only continue communications, but to also expand and improve its capabilities across the Americas. Whether it’s from behind masks or monitors they have been actively engaging with the filmmaking community, unveiling new technology, maintaining channels, sponsoring online events and film festivals, and producing their Studies in Cinematography series with the likes of Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS, Matthew Libatique, ASC and Alice Brooks, ASC.
The film We Are Lady Parts is Nida Manzoor’s anarchic and irreverent music comedy about a Muslim female punk band – called Lady Parts – who are on a mission to find a lead guitarist and maybe, just maybe, get a proper gig. It was the first time she and cinematographer Diana Olifirova had worked together, but Olifirova described all the people on board for the series as a dream team.
A cinematographer, executive producer, and whiskey aficionado, Johnny Derango was corresponding with the owner of The Bottle Haus, an online liquor retailer, who it turned out was looking for someone to create a series of commercials to promote their business on social media. “The directive given to me was to do a commercial that gives the bottles personality, as well as be funny,” said Derango. “It was very open ended, so I had to conceptualize that.”