American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 70

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Speed of Light

Top: A dolly is moved into position in Einstein's bedroom. Middle and bottom: Herndl often lit interiors
through windows, resulting in bold silhouettes. "We decided that light should always be a factor, with
practicals that are a little bit too hot, and full silhouettes or flares," he says. "Light would be something
that matters in every single shot - in its presence or in its absence."

70

July 2017

American Cinematographer

sive, womanizing rebel whose mind
functions as much as an artist's as it does
as a scientist's," the cinematographer
explains. "His outlook on life was to
second-guess and question everything.
And we flash forward to Einstein when
he has become what he was always
fighting against becoming: an older man
who has had to conform and settle, in a
certain way." To dramatize this distinction, he adds, the filmmakers used
"different lenses, different filtrations,
different color timings, and different
camera movements."
The earlier time period is marked
by a more "modern" shooting style, with
a great deal of camera movement, much
of it handheld. The lenses of choice for
these scenes were Vantage One T1s,
which Herndl describes as "perfectly
imperfect." He elaborates, "They have
an incredible flare structure, with haloing in the highlights, and are slightly
soft, slightly curvy in the wider angles.
They have an extremely shallow minimum focus, and most importantly are
extremely fast. I've been really into
shooting extremely shallow depth of
field, and they're T1 lenses - the entire
set from 17.5mm all the way to 120mm.
We used those lenses unfiltered as our
base set for young Einstein.
"For the older Einstein," he
continues, "we used a much 'heavier'
language. Our camera movement was
very draggy and heavy. The composition
of the frames was a bit more classic. The
lighting became a little bit more
polished. It was a more conservative and
elegant approach with less infused
energy. And we shot all that on a full set
of [Arri/Zeiss] Master Primes, which
are the absolute opposite of T1s. They're
optically perfect: they're sharp, they
don't breathe, they have almost no haloing in the highlights. They are
completely different in their characteristics from the T1s, yet are still a T1.3 on
the wide-open aperture. We used them
with a very slight bit of diffusion - in
some cases, a little bit of [Tiffen]
Glimmerglass to take the edges off them
if necessary."
Herndl also obtained Vantage's



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - July 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 9
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American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 21
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American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 37
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American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 39
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 41A
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 41B
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - July 2017 - 43
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