American Cinematographer - June 2018 - 88

◗

Audacious Caper

Right: First AC
Troy Wagner lines
up the dualcamera interview
rig, which shoots
close-ups and
wides
simultaneously.
Below: The real
Spencer is
interviewed for
the movie.

known for his work on Season 1 of
Netflix's The Crown. "Ole was perfect
for this," says Layton. "Not just because
he's super talented, and has an amazing
eye and the capacity to do beautifully
composed work on track or sticks, [but]
he's also a phenomenal handheld operator." All would be essential on this
visually polymorphous project.
88

June 2018

The interviews were shot before
Birkeland came on board. Layton had
written an initial script based on the
boys' letters - he hadn't been allowed to
see the young men in prison - but
wanted a Rubik's Cube-like interlock
between the scripted and documentary
parts, which meant the interviews had
to come first and the final script would
American Cinematographer

be built upon them.
Layton hired his cinematographer from The Imposter, Erik Wilson,
another London-based Norwegian.
Capturing with Arri Alexa XTs, they
decided to shoot anamorphic and frame
for the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. "There was
obviously a concern from financiers,"
Layton says. "As soon as you mention
the word 'documentary,' alarm bells
ring." Widescreen anamorphic, they
felt, held out the promise of a more
cinematic look.
The pressure was great to get the
interviews right. "We had no idea how
they were going to perform [on]
camera," says Wilson, "and we only had
a day with each." For years, the cinematographer had been pondering the
most efficient way to capture over-theshoulders and wides simultaneously -
and now was the time, he decided, to
make that special rig he'd been imagining. Collaborating with technician
Richard Mills and Onsight in London,
they modified a 3D rig, resulting in two
stacked Alexas that could shoot wide
and close-up with identical direct-to-



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