Acclaimed BBC drama shot with Cooke S4/i lenses

Last Updated: June 26, 2015 5:36 pm GMT
(June 26, 2015) The acclaimed BBC drama series Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was shot with Cooke S4/i lenses by director of photography Stephan Pehrsson. Based on the eponymous novel by Susanna Clarke, the period drama is set in a version of 19th century England where magic was once lost but is now returning.

The series was shot on ARRI ALEXA cameras with a full range of Cooke S4/i lenses. Pehrsson comments, “The production was very atmospheric, we had lots of flickering candles, smoke, moonlight and firelight – as a period drama it needed to feel a bit dirty and smoky to evoke the natural atmosphere of the time, and the Cooke S4/i lenses handled the smoke and light contrasts very well. They have that slightly ‘softer’ look which is especially suited for period productions like this. We shot most of the series on slightly longer lenses further back, giving the action more freedom. When the action got more intense or magic was happening we would often use wider lenses closer up.”

A longtime user of Cooke lenses, including recent productions such as The C Word and The Musketeers, Pehrsson adds, “Cookes are my go-to lenses. I have always had very good experiences with the S4/i’s - they feel well-crafted and robust, they give great highlights, and of course they have the Cooke Look. I’m also looking forward to trying out the new Anamorphic range.”

The final episode of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell appears on BBC1 on Sunday 28 June 2015.


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