American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 58

◗

Burn After Reading

Right: Montag
and Beatty
continue the
Ministry's fiery
crusade. Below:
Morgenthau and
Jordan on set.

directions with just available light. Once
you're into the 3,200 ISO space, every
practical is a source - and there is
plenty of light for us. This camera sees
way beyond what the human eye does.
We did bring in some lighting, but more
for the foreground; I try to avoid big
backlights at night. Ramin likes us to
work with a small footprint and be fast
on our feet."
58

June 2018

Morgenthau's go-to source for
ambient light in the foreground has
come from a rig custom-built by
Dwight Crane, working with key
rigging grip Jon Billings, that features a
condor rigged with four Arri SkyPanel
S60s. The SkyPanels, in turn, are
controlled remotely via the Luminair
lighting-control app, and are diffused
through a 12'x12' frame of Full Grid
American Cinematographer

fitted with a Lighttools egg crate; an
LRX mechanized tilting system allows
the crew to remotely angle the frame.
To further help the low-light
shooting, Morgenthau has paired the
VariCam 35 with Panavision Super
Speed and Ultra Speed legacy primes,
and worked at a stop between T1.4 and
T2. He notes that these lenses also
"soften the digital quality without using
diffusion - it's like the diffusion is built
into the lens." The only filtration the
cinematographer has used for the shoot
are NDs, and predominantly only the
ones that are internal to the camera.
The 29mm and 40mm primes
have been the crew's workhorses.
"Ramin likes a wide-and-close filmmaking style, where it feels like you're
there with the actors, but he doesn't
want to be so wide that the lenses are
distorting," Morgenthau explains. "His
mantra is that we always want to be in
Montag's head."
This mantra is taken to an
extreme for Montag's flashback memories of his father, a deceased fireman
whom Beatty regards as a hero. For
these shots, Morgenthau employed a
Lensbaby Composer Pro for selective
focus. "It gives a dreamy, myopic, point-



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
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 7
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American Cinematographer - June 2018 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - June 2018 - Cover4
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