Cooke S7/i Full Frame Plus Prime lenses fulfill large format ambitions for Lyrebird

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Remi Adefarasin, OBE BSC captures a more immersive experience for WW2 film

Last Updated: July 26, 2018 6:14 pm GMT
(Leicester, UK--July 26, 2018) Good things come to those who wait, as Remi Adefarasin OBE BSC will testify, following his recent large format shoot with Cooke Optics S7/i Full Frame Plus Prime lens range on the period feature film Lyrebird. Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin is directing the film. Imperative is also producing alongside Ridley Scott.



Pre-production began just as the full frame resurgence was beginning - prior to the availability of the S7/i Full Frame Plus lenses and the ALEXA LF large format camera system - and Remi and Dan were keen to take advantage of the format.

Remi shot some early tests with ALEXA 65 using many different lenses. “Dan is a great collaborator and said from the start that he wanted great visuals but not mannered or false. Although we loved the large format, no lenses [available at the time] did what we hoped for,” he said. “Many of the current ranges are stills lenses adapted for movies, but they did not have any cinematic quality or consistency. Great for plate shots but not kind to faces, and they breathed badly with the slightest focus pull.”

Remi and Dan decided instead to shoot with ALEXA SXT with Cooke S4/i lenses. Then, just as this had been decided, ARRI announced the ALEXA LF.



“This camera fulfilled our large format ambition – but, like the Cooke S7/i lenses, it was not yet available and wouldn’t be until our shoot began,” recalled Remi. “It was a massive frustration knowing that the equipment we wanted was just around the corner and out of reach.”

However, thirty minutes past call on the first day in Amsterdam, a brand new ALEXA LF and a set of gleaming new Cooke S7/i lenses were delivered to the set.

“We shot open gate 1.85 and the results blew us away,” said Remi. “We were shooting mostly at 800 ISO but at times went to 1280 ISO without any loss in image quality. We could shoot wider shots that had a closer feel, and the viewer could choose what part of the frame they were interested in, giving a more immersive experience.”

The film called for a variety of lighting conditions: on location and on sets, interiors and exteriors, day and night.

“It was always the intention for the lighting to look natural yet interesting. Dan and I never wanted it to look glossy or ‘lit’,” said Remi. “We mostly shot with HMI and tungsten but also used a lot of modern LED lights – indeed, some sensitive locations would only allow us to use LEDs – and we used IR Nd’s in bright conditions. The Cooke S7/i’s performed superbly at every challenge. We had some shots where we panned through the sun and the results looked wonderful. From candle light through LED to Mole Beams and HMI and then sunlight, I was happy.”

Remi’s early frustration of having to wait for the right equipment for full frame paid off in the end. “We never wanted to shoot big close-ups for this film. Too many movies resort to close-ups when they don’t have a decent background, or to get lots of quick cover. That misses out on the experience of seeing a film. You lose body language, sense of place, relationships. Full frame gives you rich images but with a rounder look… the image rolls off smoothly into the background.

“I’m so pleased with how the Cooke S7/i’s have captured this - practically every frame exalts the virtues of these delicious lenses,” he concludes.

The S7/i Full Frame Plus lens range has been designed and built from the ground up to cover the latest full frame cinema camera sensors up to the full sensor area (46.31mm image circle) of the RED Weapon 8K, and also partner superbly with the ALEXA LF and the Sony Venice. The lenses offer superb optical and mechanical performance, control of flare, distortion, veiling glare and spherical aberrations at full aperture. The award-winning cam-type focus mechanism allows for smooth focus adjustments.

Like all modern Cooke cine lenses, the S7/i lenses come equipped with /i Technology for frame by frame digital information capture, which was employed on this feature for the few VFX shots as well as providing information to the director.

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LYREBIRD is the true story of Dutch folk hero Han Van Meegeren, who swindled millions of dollars from the Nazis by selling them forgeries of Johannes Vermeer paintings. Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce, The King's Speech), Claes Bang (The Square, The Girl In The Spider’s Web), Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) and Roland Møller (Land of Mine, Atomic Blonde) star. Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Ironman) penned the script along with John Orloff (Band of Brothers, A Mighty Heart)

Imperative Entertainment:Founded in 2014, Imperative Entertainment is an innovative entertainment studio located in Santa Monica, CA. With a keen eye for bold and powerful storytelling that captivates and excites audiences, Imperative develops, produces and finances original & branded entertainment focusing on film, television and documentaries. The company is behind projects such as the Academy Award® nominated All The Money In The World (Best Supporting Actor), Academy Award® nominated and 2017 Palme d’Or® winning film The Square, Hot Summer Nights starring Timothée Chalamet, and Arizona, which recently premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Imperative is also producing Killers Of The Flower Moon, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

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 Venom, Call Me By Your Name, A Star Is Born, Motherless Brooklyn, Darkest Hour, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Stan and Ollie. Television shows in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include Altered Carbon, The Expanse, Gameface, Electric Dreams, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, The Crossing, The Crown, Westworld, Poldark, Game of Thrones, Midsomer Murders, Orange is the New Black andFargo.

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