DP Justin Brown on shooting Burberry’s multi-award-winning ‘Open…
Brown has recently acquired new shape grips which allowed him to twist and lock the handheld bars quickly and move the camera into a variety of positions while it was suspended from a tight bungee wire above his head. “I could just fly and point the camera, knowing I was capturing the actors in the correct place,” he says. “All the batteries, the Teradek, and the operation for the LCS was in the backpack I wore, so the camera package was very light.”
The ambitious feat would not have been possible without second unit DP David Bird – who filled in for one day of reshoots – and focus puller Chaz Leon. “I wasn’t shooting at too deep a stop, around T4. However, I was around 100 feet away from the actors and Chaz was still able to keep it completely sharp.”
Although lighting was mainly natural, shots such as the scene where the actors enter the forest from the field required Brown to work with gaffer Craig Davis to illuminate the space. “It was very dark, so we used 10 Half Wendys gelled with half CTB to create a sunset feeling. The actors wore black clothes, and we were looking up at them, so we needed some sort of an edge light on them as if the sun was poking through. The distance they were travelling also meant we needed a lot of light.”
In the grade, Matthieu Toullet, creative director of colour at MPC, helped achieve a dreamlike quality whilst still ensuring the colour – including the shades of the clothes and the cornfields – was true and not skewed in a warm or cool direction. “We worked with a neutral to warm skin tone with a warm spectral highlight and a black that was a little crushed, but had a bit of density,” says Brown. “Pushing the film one stop then meant we had a little more texture across the mid tones and highlights.” While most of the commercial was captured in camera, visual effects sorcery from the masters at MPC was vital, seamlessly stitching together sequences, removing wires, and creating CG scenery and photogrammetry.
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