American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 18

Top: Ernesto
crashes his Jeep
into a tree.
Bottom:
Cinematographer
Ben Battersby
readies the
production's
Alexa camera
while space
lights illuminate
the scene
through a
20'x20' frame.

16mm to 135mm, an 18-80mm Arri/Fujinon Alura zoom (T2.6), and a Lensbaby for
one shifting-focus shot of Sofia outside
Ernesto's wrecked car. An Optex/Nikon
300/600 was also used in various instances,
including for a shot of the moon.
Shots of the wolves did require some
creative blending during post. "Argentina's
perfect for everything except wolves," says
Shapiro. For the shots of the title creature
inside the car with Ernesto, the filmmakers
used a husky that was then digitally
augmented to more closely resemble a
wolf. Shapiro continues, "We painted that
very friendly dog with more wolfish features
and added a couple of shadows and darkenings."
The other on-camera canines were
in fact wolves, but they were photographed
at a preserve in New Jersey. "When you first
see the paparazzo taking photographs of
the wolves out in the wild, he's in Argentina
and the wolves are in New Jersey," says
18

July 2015

Tepaller. "We were lucky to find wolves in a
part of the country that has terrain [similar
to Argentina's]. In post we had to paint out
these very long leashes the wolves were on.
For that shoot, we only had about four
people, two Jokers, and a generator we
rented from Home Depot. It started raining,
and we were chasing the wolves with two
lights and a camera." The rain and sketchy
lighting worked in the film's favor, giving
these scenes an otherworldly quality.
The New Jersey shoot was captured
by cinematographer Mark Pugh with a Red
Epic. The change in camera "was just based
on availability," says Topaller. "Since the
majority of these wolf shots were more
abstract and naturally removed from the
narrative, they didn't feel alien once they
were inserted into the film." Battersby says
his main challenge during the grade was
"getting the material shot in New Jersey on
the Epic to cut with the scenes shot in
Argentina on the Alexa. We had to pay very
American Cinematographer

close attention to the color of the grasses.
Once we got that right, the rest fell into
place."
Shapiro and Topaller handed the
reins over to Battersby for the grade, which
was done with colorist Ale Armeleo at his
Buenos Aires company Da8. "Alex and Dan
said, 'Knock yourself out, and we'll tell you
whether we like it or not,'" the cinematographer recalls. "They left a copy of the ArriRaw down here, so we did the grade in
DaVinci [Resolve] and delivered compressed
dailies to the guys. We had a good dialogue
over that."
Topaller notes, "We used to grade
everything by ourselves, and then we'd sit
in on grades with other colorists. But now I
feel like it's always best to let the colorist do
the work and not be present. The less you
bother them, the better job they're going to
do." Adds Shapiro, "I think just being able
to look at [the project] with an objective eye
while letting them do their work is essential."
She Wolf was largely completed by
early 2014, but Shapiro and Topaller took
their time premiering it online. "We looked
at it a few times, a few commercial projects
passed, and we went back and recut a few
things," says Topaller. The short went live
this past March. "At some point, we
decided not to go the festival route,
because that would have prevented us
from showing it online," Topaller says. "The
quicker we get to a bigger audience, the
better."
To view She Wolf, visit
vimeo.com/119456967.
‚óŹ


http://www.vimeo.com/119456967

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

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 9
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 18
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 22
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 29
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 33
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 36
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 37
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 40
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 50
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