American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 74

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London Calling

Using a shot of Queen Boadicea (Nicole Kidman) to demonstrate, the top image depicts digital Super 35
framing at 1.85:1. Middle: The Super 16 frame extraction from the center. Above: The extraction blown
up to fill the frame.

74

June 2018

American Cinematographer

film a day, which is 55 minutes, and with
all the improvising John does with his
actors, we needed at least 21⁄2 hours.
The producers said that I'd have to tell
him we couldn't shoot film, and I was
like, 'You tell John, because it's my job to
facilitate his vision. But you can also tell
him that Frankie has something in his
pocket that might take the edge off his
disappointment.'
What did you have in your
pocket?
DeMarco: A jump drive. I didn't
tell anyone I was doing this, but a couple
of months before we started shooting, I
went to AbelCine in New York, and
they were kind enough to let me shoot
some tests with an Arri Amira. I shot
some Super 35mm frames of a sit-in
model, and I also shot the same framing
using a Super 16 extraction from the
center of the chip. To get the same angle
of view in Super 16, I halved the focal
length, like going from a 24mm to a
12mm. Then I blew it up 300 percent to
fill the screen. The main difference, aside
from the grain, is that the backgrounds
are more in focus in the Super 16 extraction. Joe Gawler at Harbor [Picture Co.]
in New York lined all the tests up for me
and put it on that jump drive. Later, in
London, John and I and the producers
projected the footage at Molinare on
their 30-foot screen. John immediately
understood what I was going for.
You weren't concerned about the
digital noise?
DeMarco: We shot ArriRaw
with an Amira, so it's a 3.2K uncompressed image. [Footage was recorded to
SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast 128GB
cards.] The Super 16 extraction has a
unique texture and color, like a digital
grain. Depending on the situation, we
set the camera between 400 and 2,000
ASA, and in every instance the grain
still feels random - filmy, not like a
fixed digital pattern.
I can understand his desire for
verisimilitude.
DeMarco: The director wanted
that veracity for How to Talk to Girls, so
during the two months when I had this
Super 16 extraction idea tucked away, I



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
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American Cinematographer - June 2018 - Cover3
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