Posted by Floyd Diebel 0 Comments

Nerding out on Cinematography

I usually try not to nerd out too much on our website about the techbabble component of what we do, but I’m throwing caution to the wind today.

In a closeup, normal actor movement can potentially make the shot go soft.

Above is a still from some footage shot recently for our recent Sacramento Works. I’m obsessed with the background in this image – I love it. It was shot with a Lomo 70mm anamorphic lens which, because of the way the anamorphic format works causes objects in the distance to go out of focus in a very interesting way. It’s a subtle detail, but adds a kind of hyper-real feeling to film footage that I really connect with. This format is kind of hard to work with for a few different reasons:

  • We have only 3 different lenses for this format – they’re hard to come by, quite expensive, and renting them in northern California is not likely to happen.
  • Maintaining good focus is trickier – depth of field is small and in a closeup, normal actor movement can potentially make the shot go soft. Every shot shows a lot more background than the same shot with normal spherical lenses would. With a bigger viewable area you need to worry about lighting more space.
  • In shooting this format handheld (like this spot is), care has to be taken to keep the camera movement smooth and level or the background will go all distortowonky (that’s a technical term.)

But the end result is so worth it. Yay for having cool clients that let me nerd out and play with fun stuff!

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