How Hoyte van Hoytema FSF NSC ASC pioneered with Kodak large format…
“During the development and test phase we worked with Dan Sasaki, the magician at Panavision, who can build whatever you want, based on his understanding of physics and what is needed artistically,” says Van Hoytema. “He made sure the twin sets of Panavision Sphero lenses we used were tuned to be identical in their performance.”
Development of the specialist rig required a close cooperation between ARRI, Panavision, Van Hoytema and his own development company, Honeycomb Modular, in what he describes as “a beautiful collaboration between amazing people at amazing companies, to solve one person’s obsession to do something a little weird and nerdy.”
“In the early stages, we took a rather shabby-looking prototype rig, held together with screws, cable ties and gaffer tape, out into the desert to shoot tests. My DIT, Elhanan Matos, is not your standard DIT, and when we do new technology like this, he’s all over it. He helped in getting the two-camera synched up, and although the video taps on the 65mm camera remain poor, he gave us a good on-set approximation of what the final image would look like.
“We then liaised with my DI colorist Greig Fisher at Company3 in LA, mixing those two sets of images together, and the result looked to me like an entirely plausible-looking night. In fact, using this technique you can peer much deeper into the dark expanse than we had done before on Ad Astra. And, after additional lighting effects were added in VFX, our night scenes really came alive. When you sit in the cinema, especially in an IMAX theatre, and you look around the image it’s a very, very special immersive experience.”
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