Argentina’s Julián Apezteguia brings life to Pablo Trapero’s award-winning 1980's period piece El Clan with Cooke Anamorphic/i lenses

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Cooke lenses bring cinematic film feel to Alexa XT digital cinematography

Last Updated: April 1, 2016 11:39 pm GMT
(Leicester, UK--April 1, 2016) When Director of Photography Julián Apezteguia, ADF (La Asociación de Autores de Fotografía Cinematográfica Argentina — Argentinian Society of Cinematographers) got the chance to work with Director Pablo Trapero for the second time, on the director's latest film El Clan — a dark story set in the 1980's about a family of kidnappers and murderers — they used a full range of Cooke Anamorphic/i lenses to give the film a “strong optical personality”.



The lens package for the Goya Award-winning Best Foreign Film in the Spanish Language, winner of the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and Argentina's Oscar® submission included the Cooke Anamorphic/i 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm lenses, with Apezteguia primarily relying on the wider lenses. El Clan is the third feature film that Apezteguia has shot with Cooke lenses, and his first shooting anamorphic, using the Alexa XT in 4:3 sensor mode.



Set in Buenos Aires in the 1980’s, El Clan is the true story of the Puccio family who kidnapped four people and killed three, and how they live their lives through these events. Starring Guillermo Francella, Peter Lanzani, and Gastón Cocchiarale, the story demanded that the characters maintain a strong look.



“We decided to give the film a strong optical personality, and for this we chose Cooke Anamorphic lenses with an Alexa XT 4:3 camera,” said Apezteguia. “I feel the way the anamorphics render perspectives, and the unique way they twerk the out-of-focus part of the image — what’s behind the subject in focus — gives the Cooke Anamorphic/i lenses a unique look that is perfect for generating the feeling of a strange place or situation.”



Apezteguia relied on a host of other optical techniques, such as split field diopters, starting or finishing a shot with the image out of focus and even taking the lens out of the camera while recording. All of this helped build the optical personality.

Having used Cooke S4 lenses on two previous feature films, Habi, la extranjera and Dias de Pesca, plus many commercials using Cooke 5/i lenses, Apezteguia is very familiar with the distinctive look that Cooke lenses give cinematographers. “I like the texture they provide; they are sharp but not too crisp. I think this works very well with digital cinema cameras, giving you the chance to keep the cinematic feel working with an electronic image. They are also very kind to the actors’ faces.”

Apezteguia is so confident in Cooke lenses that they were chosen without testing against any other lenses. “We did extensive testing with the Cooke Anamorphic lenses so we knew how to get the exact look we wanted. One of the interesting things about working with an anamorphic lens is the characteristic perspective they provide that is inherent to the construction of a lens that squeezes the image that will be un-squeezed later. Cooke was the obvious choice because we got the perspective without losing definition...and with the plus of getting the ‘Cooke Look’for our period film.”




About Cooke Optics, LTD.

Cooke is a storied name in both cinematographic and ultra-high-end professional photography markets. Known worldwide for their precision, exacting tolerances and superior quality, Cooke lenses are specified by many of the world’s most respected cinematographers. Cooke is also the developer behind /i Technology, the protocol enabling vital lens and camera information to be captured and passed digitally to post-production teams. Cooke was honoured with a 2013 Academy Award®of Merit (an Oscar®statuette) for its continuing innovation in the design, development and manufacture of motion picture camera lenses. Features in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include The 33, Creed, The Intern, Born to Dance, Monolith, Trainwreck, Ex Machina, Everest, Jupiter Ascending, Mr. Turner, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Un Homme Ideal, andPaddington. Television shows in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, The Musketeers, Cilla, The C Word, Orange is the New Black, Penny Dreadful, Fargo, Breaking Bad, Person of Interest,The Client List, Game of Thrones, and Downton Abbey.

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