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Doug Durant

Lubezki on working with Malick

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I figured a few people might appreciate these short yet wonderful clips. Hearing that Malick's unique improvised style of filmmaking can even make a master like Lubezki question and doubt himself which was definitely a real eye opener for me. Lubezki comes off extremely humble and charming, and inspirational which is what I've heard from a few people who've met him. I can't wait to see this film.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfDkI74GAzk

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4rAXeeEvMg...feature=channel

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbOX7Ccseow...feature=channel

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnwl6MJCjcU...feature=channel

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Thanks for sharing.

:)

 

 

From the third video:

"Once i started shooting with no lights,

suddenly i felt like a naked man in the middle of Time Square... "

 

I can relate to that ! :)

 

 

Best

 

Ihor

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"Once i started shooting with no lights,

suddenly i felt like a naked man in the middle of Time Square... "

 

Sad, but that is a true testament that film making as it is practiced by Hollywood is more about the lights / gear than the actual craft. I once asked fellow board member director-cinematographer John Jost, "how big was your lighting package when you shot "The Bed You Sleep In." He replied "I only use one light."

 

 

Glad Malick is bringing some sense into this gear-driven madness. Perhaps all big name DPs should shoot a film for Malick, i.e. "cinematography re-education camps."

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Watched these before - illuminating stuff! It's amazing how Lubezki can live up to Malick's insane demands. I mean, shooting in 65mm with no lights!

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Watched these before - illuminating stuff! It's amazing how Lubezki can live up to Malick's insane demands. I mean, shooting in 65mm with no lights!

 

So why is it that shooting 65mm film with no lights is any worse than using 35mm, 16mm or S8mm with no lights?

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Thanks Saul... I was just going to post the same question.

 

Truth is, the smaller the mm the harder it is...

 

Right. Generally speaking, video is also more tolerant to underexposure than film . . .

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So why is it that shooting 65mm film with no lights is any worse than using 35mm, 16mm or S8mm with no lights?

 

Probably because in low light situations you have to shoot at a stop that is so shallow in DOF its hard to improvise anything and keep it in focus.

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Probably because in low light situations you have to shoot at a stop that is so shallow in DOF its hard to improvise anything and keep it in focus.

 

Well, true. Most focus pullers that will get a 65mm gig should have the knowledge and gear to keep that to a minimum though. Most of the really good focus pullers I have seen work (those who have no interest whatsoever moving up to operating / DPing), can just tell how far one is from the camera by looking at one and nail the focus. That takes a lot of experience.

 

And the last time I assisted on Panavision 65mm, it was a while back, I remember the prime lenses weren't very fast (fastest was around T 2.8) _which would make it less of a focusing issue than when using, say, a T1.3 65mm format lens (which I have not heard of).

 

Can't find anything on Panavision's site about their 65mm lenses or cameras for that matter. Most of these lenses are probably 70s vintage (or earlier), since 65 mm movies haven't been shot quite as often as they were in the olden times.

 

Most productions I know of that use large format cinematography use newer Hasselblad and similar lenses. And they are not very fast either ( the fastest Hasselblad medium format lens in the page below is a 2.8, the rest average at 4), so shallow focus issues should be quite minimal.

 

http://www.theasc.com/magazine_dynamic/Jul...night/page1.php

 

http://www.hasselbladusa.com/products/v-system/lenses.aspx

 

But the way the original statement was written to me seemed to point at some obscure format (in mm) vs amount needed to expose the negative ratio. Hence the question.

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Watched these before - illuminating stuff! It's amazing how Lubezki can live up to Malick's insane demands. I mean, shooting in 65mm with no lights!

 

 

He was probably refering to sicial-psycological aspect of 65mm production than the actual tech stuff.

 

Bigger format=more expensive=more eyebrows raised in case of mistake=more pressure=more anxiety etc....

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Sad, but that is a true testament that film making as it is practiced by Hollywood is more about the lights / gear than the actual craft. I once asked fellow board member director-cinematographer John Jost, "how big was your lighting package when you shot "The Bed You Sleep In." He replied "I only use one light."

 

 

Glad Malick is bringing some sense into this gear-driven madness. Perhaps all big name DPs should shoot a film for Malick, i.e. "cinematography re-education camps."

 

 

 

 

HIP HIP HOORAY ! ! ! ! !

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Thanks for sharing.

:)

 

 

From the third video:

"Once i started shooting with no lights,

suddenly i felt like a naked man in the middle of Time Square... "

 

I can relate to that ! :)

 

 

Best

 

Ihor

 

 

 

Which actually makes you a real COWBOY!!!

 

Finaly you've became a MAN!

:)

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Is 65mm at T2.8 still shallower then 35mm at T1.3? Do you think shooting 35mm at T1.3 with the actors improvising will have minimal focus issues?

 

 

Well, true. Most focus pullers that will get a 65mm gig should have the knowledge and gear to keep that to a minimum though. Most of the really good focus pullers I have seen work (those who have no interest whatsoever moving up to operating / DPing), can just tell how far one is from the camera by looking at one and nail the focus. That takes a lot of experience.

 

And the last time I assisted on Panavision 65mm, it was a while back, I remember the prime lenses weren't very fast (fastest was around T 2.8) _which would make it less of a focusing issue than when using, say, a T1.3 65mm format lens (which I have not heard of).

 

Can't find anything on Panavision's site about their 65mm lenses or cameras for that matter. Most of these lenses are probably 70s vintage (or earlier), since 65 mm movies haven't been shot quite as often as they were in the olden times.

 

Most productions I know of that use large format cinematography use newer Hasselblad and similar lenses. And they are not very fast either ( the fastest Hasselblad medium format lens in the page below is a 2.8, the rest average at 4), so shallow focus issues should be quite minimal.

 

http://www.theasc.com/magazine_dynamic/Jul...night/page1.php

 

http://www.hasselbladusa.com/products/v-system/lenses.aspx

 

But the way the original statement was written to me seemed to point at some obscure format (in mm) vs amount needed to expose the negative ratio. Hence the question.

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Sad, but that is a true testament that film making as it is practiced by Hollywood is more about the lights / gear than the actual craft. ..."

 

Those sound stages would be pretty dark without any lights.

Edited by Jon Rosenbloom

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Umm. ok... The answer is yes, 65mm at T2.8 is shallower then 35mm at T1.3. 35mm at T1.3 with a 32mm with a actor around 4-7ft away; are shallow focus issues quite minimal with improvising actors?

 

http://photo.net/medium-format-photography-forum/003cdT

 

DOF formulae do not take into account film format size. The CoC changes though.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field

Edited by Chayse Irvin

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I think the amazing thing in these clips is that Lubezki clearly explains how Terence Mallik inspired him and also the rest of the crew into seeing things in his way.

Whilst at the same time allowing them to 'breathe'......

 

 

 

As for shooting with no lights - personally if the conditions are right, I prefer to shoot daytime outdoors using the available light and shaping it with bounces, if needed.

I don't think it matters whether you are shooting 8, 16, 35 or 65mm.

Yes 65mm at an 'open' aperture can give you DOF problems but then you can always counter act with stock speed and control your grain through exposure and process.

 

Here is a S35mm example with no lights

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Umm. ok... The answer is yes, 65mm at T2.8 is shallower then 35mm at T1.3. 35mm at T1.3 with a 32mm with a actor around 4-7ft away; are shallow focus issues quite minimal with improvising actors?

 

DOF (and shallow focus) is not dependent on film format, it depends on the lens focal lengths and aperture used mostly, but longer lenses are used for larger film formats, hence the perceived shallower focus.

 

The compensation needed to achieve the same DOF between a 35mm format 50mm 1.4 lens and a 65 mm format 100 mm 2.8 lens (which would give somewhat the same FOV in the two film formats) seems to be 2 stops. There are 2 stops between 1.4 and 2.8, so the depht of field would be nearly identical between the 2 above lenses for the 2 formats.

 

There is still not difference when shooting 65mm, 35mm, 16mm or 8mm in low light (with equivalent lenses) at large apertures.

 

Perhaps I was overly enthusiastic when I said that it would be easy for a focus puller to nail the focus on improvising actors at large apertures / shallow depth of field. I do think that the right focus puller would have an easier time than most, be it 65mm, 35mm or 16mm. As Serge points out, there are other ways available to a cinematographer to minimize some of the issues associated with filming at large apertures.

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Panavision do/did have . T1.4 55mm lens , which is quite a wide one for that format ! Serge think that grab you posted , could have done with a bit of light on the subject !! John Holland

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Agreed, I understand the technical aspects of DOF, FOV, and format. But I guess in my mind those distinctions have become just technicalities. As a cinematographer tho, when shooting anything, a primary concern is that it is sharp... and no matter what format your shooting, dealing with shallow depth it is a challenge... and I would contest that the practicality of shooting 65mm would be a bigger challenge technically, artistically, and politically then 35mm, specially when dealing with strictly available light... and the fact that a lens is slower at a T2.8 it would become even more of a challenge lighting wise. I think it would take one of the best DP's and best crews in the world to pull it off... which I think Chivo is. But by no means do i think its easy for him and I respect him for that.

 

I had the pleasure of working with 1st AD Bobby Bastarache who did Tree of Life. He was the best 1st ive ever worked with and a very nice guy. In a discussion i told him that Terrence Malick was my favorite filmmaker and Chivo was my favorite cinematographer. I ask him what it was like working with them, he cringed and said "it was a challenge... if I did it again I would ask for more money ;-)"

 

Making films that way is extremely hard and deserves a lot of respect. When you attempt to make a film like that your always teetering on the pretentious and brilliantly artistic. I love it, takes big cahonese and skill to try it in any format.

 

DOF (and shallow focus) is not dependent on film format, it depends on the lens focal lengths and aperture used mostly, but longer lenses are used for larger film formats, hence the perceived shallower focus.

 

The compensation needed to achieve the same DOF between a 35mm format 50mm 1.4 lens and a 65 mm format 100 mm 2.8 lens (which would give somewhat the same FOV in the two film formats) seems to be 2 stops. There are 2 stops between 1.4 and 2.8, so the depht of field would be nearly identical between the 2 above lenses for the 2 formats.

 

There is still not difference when shooting 65mm, 35mm, 16mm or 8mm in low light (with equivalent lenses) at large apertures.

 

Perhaps I was overly enthusiastic when I said that it would be easy for a focus puller to nail the focus on improvising actors at large apertures / shallow depth of field. I do think that the right focus puller would have an easier time than most, be it 65mm, 35mm or 16mm. As Serge points out, there are other ways available to a cinematographer to minimize some of the issues associated with filming at large apertures.

Edited by Chayse Irvin

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May i remind you all from AC Jan 2006

the article on "The New World":

 

"The filmmakers did shoot a small

amount of 65mm “for what we

called ‘hyper-enhanced moments’

—when, for example, John Smith or

Pocahontas has an important realization.”

 

===========================

 

On the idea of not using lights...

 

I thought of it like filming and adapting to what is.

Even no bounce boards for fill.

In other words no proactive lighting.

 

However, Lubezki mentions saying to his key grip once,

to take only the camera and a bead board.

 

 

Best

 

Igor

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Making films that way is extremely hard and deserves a lot of respect. When you attempt to make a film like that your always teetering on the pretentious and brilliantly artistic. I love it, takes big cahonese and skill to try it in any format.

 

Certainly, hats off to anyone who can pull focus or be a cinematographer in those dire circumstances. Never implied that it was easy or even desirable to shoot that way. Personally, I mostly shoot 16mm formats (and 2/3" video), so I can get away with pulling my own focus if need be. Would never attempt to shoot 35 mm, Red One, or 65 mm in low light without an ace focus puller, and even then I would rather have lights.

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These interviews do not surprise me, but they are a pleasure to watch. They confirm my belief that Malick is in a world and a league of his own -- at the very apex of living cinema directors.

 

I remember listening to an interview with Hans Zimmer, who said that the first time he sat down with Malick, he was stunned to learn that Malick knew even more about classical music and composers than he, Zimmer, did! Malick is a certified genius, plain and simple.

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