(Burbank, California--September 29, 2013) Music and dance are a big part of the contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes’ holiday musical drama, "Black Nativity." It follows Langston (Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged grandparents. While attending his Grandfather’s church production of "Black Nativity," Langston falls asleep and escapes into a dreamscape of song, dance, and a little divine intervention. “Practically every dance or song number relied on instinct and the ability to whip pan. Snap zoom, or even grab the focus in the process of discovering the most dynamic shots,” says cinematographer Anastas Michos, ASC. “That’s where my favorite support – the OConnor 2575 was invaluable.”
Michos Takes On Music and Dance With OConnor for Langston Hughes’ Memoire Black Nativity.
Michos chose to shoot with the ALEXA and Panavision Primo lenses. “Using a gear head would have been out of the question,” he says adamantly. “OConnor equipment has been with me through 10 years of operating major Hollywood productions, and another ten years of DP’ing over 20 features,” he says.
“I can’t imagine shooting anything without an OConnor 100 and a 2575 in my camera package,” he adds. “They are reliable, smooth, with intuitive controls. I like how OConnor is ergonometric in its design. The controls make sense. The action is smooth. So much of great operating is getting the loaded head balanced and set up correctly and OConnor makes it easy and repeatable. When shooting dance and live sing performances, being with the camera is paramount and OConnor’s fluid head made those kinds of movies possible.”
One of the most dynamic challenges in this musical was to keep the camera moving during the dance numbers. “I usually set up two cameras, both on OConnors, on two perpendicular tracks,” he explains. “One had a 4-1 zoom and the other (mine) had the heavy 11-1 zoom. This allowed the Director to intercut matching action from two different angles. The fast dolly moves combined with changes in focal length would have been impossible with a geared head. The OConnors fit the bill perfectly.”
Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity
co-written/directed by Kasi Lemmons, starring Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson and Jacob Latimore opens wide Thanksgiving Day 2013. This is the third feature shot by cinematographer Anastas Michos, ASC this year. His credits include Sparkle, Untraceable, Perfect Stranger, Mona Lisa Smile
and Man on the Moon
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OConnor has been the choice of professional cinematographers since the invention of the fluid head 60 years ago by founder Chad O’Connor. OConnor’s award-winning fluid heads are known for their smooth feel, fluid movement and intuitive control. Designed for film-style shooting, each facilitates seamless transition when changing payloads and offers stepless, ultra-smooth pan & tilt fluid drag for maximum control. In addition to fluid heads and tripods, OConnor offers a growing line of camera and lens accessories engineered to fill the needs of today’s fast-paced camera work. The line includes the CFF-1 and new O-Focus DM follow focus systems for cine and still photo lenses, the award-winning O-Box WM mattebox, innovative O-Grip handgrip system and the Universal Baseplate. OConnor products are respected and trusted by individual users and rental houses worldwide for their reliability, longevity and toughness.
Along with other leading brands in the broadcast industry, OConnor is part of the Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company. For more information on OConnor, visit http://www.ocon.com
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