Director Ismaël El Iraki and DP Benjamin Rufi depict burning passions…
Being long-term buddies, El Iraki and Rufi hang out regularly and watch a lot of movies together. The visual goal for Zanka Contact was to achieve the vibe of what El Iraki describes as, “a ‘70s subversive genre movie but framed through a ’90s lens,” and in this respect movies by Sergio Leone, David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino were uppermost in their visual references.
“It was obvious to anyone who read the script of Zanka Contact that that celluloid film was intrinsic to the visual language of the stortelling,” says El Iraki. “We needed something that would represent the highlights and shadows of dark interiors, render the contrast of the sunlit Casablanca cityscapes, reproduce the warm and living colors that change throughout the story, and read the emotion in eyes and faces – and only film can do this.”
El Iraki also observes, “We had precious little budget on this film, which forces you to make clear, radical choices and decisions about lighting, framing and shooting ratios. We became like a rock band on tour. We would rehearse and rehearse and then, when it came time to film for real, we captured scenes with minimal retakes. We shot the whole movie with an average of two takes per shot.Which means some of our pivotal shots were one take. One of the most iconic moments, the three-minute travelling shot when Larsen reveals dark secrets from his childhood, we got in-the-can on the very first go.
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