American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 30

◗

Portrait of a Scoundrel
Right: The
camera is held in
position over the
hood of a
practical
landspeeder for
a shot of
Ehrenreich at the
controls. The
speeder's wheels
would be
digitally
removed in post.
Below: After
fleeing his home
world of Corellia,
then deserting
his position in
the Imperial
military, Han
joins up with
Tobias Beckett
and his
mercenary band
of thieves.

preproduction with co-directors Phil
Lord and Christopher Miller. "The first
thing we did was look at a lot of film
references, and one that really knocked
me out was McCabe & Mrs. Miller [shot
by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, HSC],"
Young recalls. "I was thinking, 'This is
going to be a Western that takes place in
another time and dimension, with a
great mash-up of dark cinematography,
dark comedy and delicate drama.' Once
they gave me that reference, I thought,
'Okay, I belong here.'"
Young proceeded to test a variety
of cameras and formats to determine
the best match for Solo's story. "The
30

July 2018

Star Wars films still have an independent spirit, and the higher-ups hadn't
made any decisions about what we were
shooting on," he says. "So I tested
[Arri's] Alexa XT and 65, and 35mm
and 65mm film. About the only
formats I didn't try were 16mm and
Super 8, because I didn't have the time!
"Once I understood what the
story wanted to be, we made a decision
that this should be a large-format
digital movie shot on Alexa 65, along
with some Super 35 digital," he
continues. "We incorporated Alexa
Minis and SXTs into the mix when
we knew we couldn't fit the Alexa 65,
American Cinematographer

and [Vision Research] Phantom for
high-speed work."
When it came to pairing lenses
with the camera package, Young opted
for spherical glass rather than anamorphic, the latter of which has been a
staple on recent Star Wars productions.
"I'm not a huge fan of anamorphic," he
confesses. "I prefer spherical. It feels
better suited to portraiture and more
committed to photographing the
human face. For me, this story on paper
was about young lovers on the run, and
anamorphic felt too impersonal. The
2.40:1 crop on the Alexa 65 allowed me
to be as close as 6 to 10 inches away
from the subject."
Solo's primary optics were Arri's
Prime DNA lenses, which Arri Rental
continually customizes to meet cinematographers' needs. "We embraced the
personalization of these lenses for the
project," says Young. "Solo was the first
Star Wars film to be shot mainly with
Arri lenses, which was fun and new and
exciting because [Arri Rental] was so
deeply committed to working with us.
"We detuned the glass quite a
bit," he continues. "The detuning is
measured broadly in two phases, and
then from level one to 10 within each



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - July 2018

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 4
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 5
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 6
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 9
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 19
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 20
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 21
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 33
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Cover3
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