American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 44

◗

Electric Hero

Chappie is recruited as gang muscle.

Daviau, ASC; AC Jan. '83) and A.I.
Artificial Intelligence (shot by Janusz
Kaminski; AC July '01). Like the title
characters of those films, Chappie is a
nonhuman with a childlike perspective
learning to get along in the world.
Additionally, Blomkamp notes, "I
wanted to have more controlled,
Spielbergian camera movements." This
meant that, unlike District 9, in which
Opaloch frenetically chased the action
as though he were a documentary
cameraman, the Chappie crew typically
kept the camera on a hybrid dolly or 50'
Technocrane.
44

April 2015

A-camera operator Manoel
Ferreira always composed with movement in mind, so for most setups
Ridgway and his grip crew laid track or
rigged a 10' slider. The same went for
Dale Rodkin's B camera, which often
utilized a skateboard dolly. Rodkin also
handled
numerous
Steadicam
sequences, including a slow-motion
shot of Chappie and his newfound
gangster friends leaving the lair, ready
for battle.
Opaloch and Blomkamp also
drew inspiration from the real world,
looking at stills by photojournalists. The
American Cinematographer

Big Picture, the photo blog of The Boston
Globe, proved a particularly fertile
source. "The subject matter might be
completely irrelevant, but what grabs
our attention could be a person in the
frame, or the way the light bounces off
colored ground or a painted wall,"
Opaloch explains. "We'll bounce emails back and forth for weeks and then
talk about scenes and vibes."
As with their previous features,
they shot Chappie primarily with Red
cameras, in this case the Epic
Mysterium-X. "We've always had a
great experience with Red, and it served
us well," the cinematographer says.
Footage was captured on up to four
Epic MX cameras at a time, in 5K
anamorphic Redcode Raw, to 128GB
RedMags and usually at 5:1 compression. The crew had the HDRx highdynamic-range setting on during the
day, and often stepped down to 3:1
compression at night.
"That was a special favor to the
visual-effects guys, as we'd only initially
budgeted for 8:1 [compression]," South
African digital-imaging technician
Richard Muller recalls. "My data wrangler, Peter Nielsen, would give me a
dirty look when I'd pitch up with several
full RedMags, each with only one take
on them." (Luke Campbell served as
DIT during a pickup shoot at



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - April 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Intro
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 9
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 10
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 12
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 13
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 14
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 15
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 16
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 17
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 18
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 19
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 22
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 23
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 24
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 25
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 26
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 29
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 30
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 31
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 32
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 33
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 34
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 35
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 36
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 37
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 38
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 39
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 40
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 41
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 42
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 43
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 44
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 45
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 46
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 47
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 48
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 50
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 51
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 52
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 53
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 54
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 55
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 56
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 57
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 58
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 59
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 60
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 61
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 62
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 63
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 64
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I3
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I4
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I5
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I6
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I7
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I8
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 65
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 66
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 67
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 68
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 69
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 70
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 71
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 72
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 73
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 74
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 75
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 76
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 77
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 78
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 79
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 80
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 81
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 82
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 83
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 84
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 85
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 86
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 87
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 88
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 89
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 90
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 91
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 92
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 93
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 94
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 95
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 96
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 97
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 98
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 99
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 100
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 101
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 102
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 103
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 104
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 105
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 106
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 107
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 108
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 109
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 110
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American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 116
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 117
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 118
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 119
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 120
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover4
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