American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 50

◗

Life of the Mind
The camera
captures Navid
Negahban
(portraying Amahl
Farouk, aka the
nefarious "Shadow
King") for a
sequence including
Aubrey Plaza
(portraying Lenny
Busker) in which
the two characters
confer within the
villain's dreamlike
domain.

camera logistics were handled by Acamera 1st assistant David Edsall and
2nd assistant Jason Alegre, who relayed
the cinematographers' camera and lens
requests to Keslow Camera in Los
Angeles - which supplied cameras and
lenses for Seasons 1 and 2.
Legion is captured with Arri's
Alexa Mini, and though the production
carries three camera bodies, no more
than two are usually in play at once. In
Season 2 - which begins with
"Chapter 9" - the A-camera team led
by operator Mitch Dubin handled what
would be considered main-unit photography, while the B-camera team led by
operator John T. Connor often splintered off to pick up shots and scenes, or
assist with prep and testing for an
upcoming episode. "It was often a small
affair, but at times developed into a full
unit with additional ADs and a full
lighting and grip crew," Morgan
explains. Footage was captured in
ProRes 4:4:4 XQ in Alexa Log C for
23.98-fps material, and ProRes 4:4:4
Log C for 48 and 60 fps - in UHD for
spherical and 2.8K for anamorphic.
Anything above 60 fps was captured at
2K. The Minis recorded to 256GB
CFast 2.0 cards.
A separate aerial drone unit
50

July 2018

employed Freefly Alta and DJI Inspire 2
drones piloted by Michael-Ryan
Fletchall and camera-operated by Jason
Kay.
One of Legion's key visual motifs
is the way its aspect ratio shifts throughout the show (from 1.78:1, to 2.39:1, to
2:1) in a representation of the characters'
shifting perspectives and, as Gonzales
explains, of "timeline changes in the
storytelling." The change can happen
slowly, with bars around the frame
creeping in and out, or in the cut. In
Season 1, anamorphic lenses were introduced as David's powers begin to
expand, and again in Season 2 for the
narrative elements dealing with the
mutant Farouk, as well as all of the
"educational segments." What is considered everyday life at Division III was
captured spherically and framed for
1.78:1, as were a fair portion of the
scenes in the Astral Plane. "Some of the
Astral Plane [material] was shot
anamorphic 2.39 in Season 2,"
Gonzales notes. Edsall adds, "We
[framed] a large portion of the show for
[the] 2:1 aspect ratio. All of the 2:1
scenes are photographed in anamorphic."
All told, more than 50 different
kinds of lenses were used to make
American Cinematographer

Legion. Lenses have included Arri/Zeiss
Master Prime, Canon K-35, Bausch &
Lomb Super Baltar and Kowa Cine
Prominar Spherical primes; Nikon
Nikkor 400mm and Clairmont
1,000mm telephoto primes; and
specialty spherical lenses such as a
Kinoptik 9.8mm (the "Kubrick lens"),
Arri/Zeiss Ultra Prime 8R, Kowa Cine
Prominar 15mm, Petzval 85mm,
Clairmont Squishy Lens, Arri/Zeiss
100mm and 200mm macros, Optex
Excellence Probe and Clairmont
Swing/Shifts. Anamorphic primes have
included Canon K-35, Vantage Hawk
C-Series and V-Lite Vintage '74, ToddAO, Arri/Zeiss Master Anamorphic
with and without Flare Sets, and Elite
Anamorphic primes. Zoom shots were
executed with a Fujifilm/Fujinon
Premier 18-85mm (T2) as well as
Angenieux's Optimo 28-340mm
(T3.2), Canon's 7-63mm S16 (T2.6),
and Vantage's Hawk V-Plus 45mm90mm Anamorphic Zoom.
"Master Primes were our main
lens package for the main storyline,"
Edsall says. "[They] were used about 50
percent of the time, with anamorphic
being used about 40 percent; the
remaining 10 percent were the variety of
[other] lens sets."
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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
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 7
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 8
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 9
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 19
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 20
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 49
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 50
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 53
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Cover3
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