American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 21

Malcolm kicks
back in his
bedroom (top)
and tutors
Nakia (Zoë
Kravitz,
bottom) in the
hopes of taking
her to prom.

Center. "It was a quote-unquote stage,
with no grid, no flyaways, and it's not
soundproof," says Morrison. "Basically like
shooting on location, but all in one space."
The budget foreordained digital
capture, and Famuyiwa knew he wanted
widescreen. "So much of the time, it's
Malcolm and his two friends - a lot of
three-shots," Morrison explains. "When it's
not, you want to feel Malcolm's isolation."
She suggested anamorphic, which she'd
just shot on Cake. "It helps when you're in
small locations and might have a wall that's
4 feet behind somebody, just to have that
extra falloff to make things feel bigger. I
thought anamorphic would be a good way
to buy some scale [as well as] serve the
story."
The crew used an Arri Alexa Plus 4:3
and an Alexa XT, coupled with a partial set
of Panavision G Series Anamorphic primes
- 35mm, 50mm, 60mm, 75mm and
100mm - supplemented by E Series
40mm, 135mm and 180mm. The 40mm
was her workhorse. "I used wide and close
a lot more than I have on other films," says
Morrison, taking a cue from the work of
Wes Anderson. There was no zoom - "we
couldn't afford it," she says - and she
chose to avoid diffusion filters in front of
the lens.
For Malcolm's solo dance under the
closing credits, a vintage-2002 Panasonic
AG-DVX100 camcorder came out of the
mothballs, lent by operator Abby Linne.
Operating the DVX was Morrison's only
moment behind camera, making Dope her
first movie on which she didn't operate.
Since the film was designed as a twocamera shoot, she stayed with Famuyiwa

behind the Sony 17" OLED monitors and
let Linne and Steadicam operator Dale
Vance Jr. do the yeoman's work.
Camera movement was on dolly,
sliders and Steadicam, always motivated by
the characters' actions and Malcolm's
emotions. When the kids were on bikes,
the crew kept pace with a golf cart, with
the camera either rigged or on Steadicam.
Famuyiwa expressly did not want to resort
to handheld to express Dope's infectious
energy. Handheld had its place, however, in
the fight scenes and in Malcolm's discovery
of the illicit materials in his knapsack.
Famuyiwa also wanted to avoid the
"gritty urban" cliché, explains Morrison.
Dope was to be "colorful, vibrant, saturated, with a definitive call-out to '90s hiphop and fashion culture, but not going
back to that cheesy blue moonlight," she
says. Morrison and digital-imaging technician Randall Paulin worked out several basic
looks. "More of a gamma LUT," she notes.
"We made a low-con, medium-con and
www.theasc.com

high-con LUT." In addition to his Panasonic
BT-LH1710W 17" widescreen LCD for
camera monitoring, Paulin had an Eizo
ColorEdge CG232W for color correction.
They shot ProRes 4:4:4:4, recording
onto 64GB and 32GB SxS Pro cards. For onset correction, says Paulin, "the looks
started as Arri Rec 709 3D LUT plus an
adjustment to Rachel's taste; then variations
were made shot by shot to match different
lenses and lighting - for example, getting
a [consistent] warm afternoon when it was
shot over several days with varied cloud
cover. I processed and colored rolls as they
came in and brought stills to Rachel on an
iPad as time allowed." As for dailies, he
adds, "they went back and forth with post
the first few days, but it ended up being
more efficient for me to batch process
them from my renders and shuttle them
over."
Dope's lighting package was small
- "everything fit in a 10-ton," says Morrison - and weighted toward HMIs. Though
July 2015

21


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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 - 11
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 12
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 14
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 16
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 17
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 18
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 19
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 22
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 23
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 24
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 25
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 26
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 29
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 30
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 31
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 32
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 33
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 34
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 35
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 - 44
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 45
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 47
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 48
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 50
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 51
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 52
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 53
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 54
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 55
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 56
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 58
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover3
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