American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 36

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Heroes United

Top: After Hulk crashes back to Earth following an outer-space encounter with Thanos, he
returns to his human persona, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo, third from left), and joins forces with
(from left) Wong (Benedict Wong), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Iron Man.
Above: The four heroes encounter the Q-Ship that carries Thanos' Black Order forces.

Given the magnitude of the
endeavor - and the fact that the two
movies would shoot back to back - the
team was given a healthy six months of
prep ahead of principal photography,
which began on Jan. 23, 2017. The first
movie wrapped July 14, and the second
began rolling a couple of weeks later.
During preproduction, Opaloch
recalls, "I broke down the scripts for
mood and tone notes, and highlighted
possible lighting gags and effects." The
cinematographer is back home in
Vancouver on a long break from the
second movie's Atlanta-based shoot,
which is slated to resume in September.
He continues, "Before there were many
36

June 2018

set builds to look at, gaffer Jeff Murrell
and I started discussing concepts for
lighting rigs, and the technical and
aesthetic requirements for each scene.
Joe, Anthony, Charlie and I also started
organizing a large collection of visual
reference material from other films and
still photographs, for color, framing and
lighting."
Many of the key characters have
previously headlined their own movies,
each of which had its own look, giving
the filmmakers a foundation from
which to build Infinity War's visual
language. "We had to stay true to parts
of the Marvel universe," Opaloch notes.
"There's a language to the Guardians
American Cinematographer

and the characters in their world, and
the same for Doctor Strange. Those
previous films informed us, and we
started there."
"To fulfill the ambition of the
concept, we had to bring together a lot
of characters who work in different
tones," says Russo. "We went much
more fantastical and colorful, especially
because many locations are not set on
Earth. To create that otherworldly feeling, color was important in set design
and lighting."
To help audiences follow the
action across Infinity War's myriad
settings, Russo continues, "We set out
with a mandate that each location had
to have a color to distinguish it from the
others. We didn't want them to start
blending into each other. We wanted
the viewer's brain to tune into the fact
we had changed locations when the
color palette changed."
"I consider myself conservative
with color and contrast," Opaloch adds.
"I tend to favor [naturalism], but with
these films we had to fluff out our
peacock feathers and use more of the
color wheel than I normally would."
Helping in that regard, Opaloch and
Murrell reteamed with lighting-console
programmer Scott Barnes, a longtime
Marvel veteran with whom they had
worked on The Winter Soldier and Civil
War. Production designer Wood -
whom Opaloch calls "one of the most
creative and impressive artists I've ever
worked with" - provided further continuity from previous Marvel movies,
having worked on Guardians of the
Galaxy (AC Sept. '14) and Doctor
Strange, both shot by Ben Davis, BSC.
After testing, the filmmakers
opted to shoot with a modified version
of the Civil War show LUT. "It was
changed to round out the top and
bottom of the curve to make it feel a bit
more filmic," says digital-imaging technician Kyle Spicer, who evaluated
footage using Sony BVM-X300 4K
monitors, while the rest of the set was
equipped with Sony PVM-A250 HD
units.
The Alexa 65 cameras recorded



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - June 2018

Contents
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - Intro
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 1
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 2
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - Contents
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 4
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 5
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 6
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