American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 52

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Life of the Mind

Right: The cranemounted camera
captures David's
metaphysical
meeting with
Farouk. Below:
David sees what
he can divine from
the crystal ball.

Gonzales and Morgan strove to
do as much of their work as possible incamera. Though visual effects by John
Ross for Season 1 and Zoic Studios for
Season 2 abound, "we don't start there,"
Gonzales asserts.
As an example of the show's
bespoke creative spirit, he points to a
scene in "Chapter 9" in which "Future
Syd," who is unable to speak, uses a
moving point of light - whose residual
trail lingers in the air - to "write"
messages to David. To help achieve this
52

July 2018

"light-writing" effect, Gonzales
captured Keller against a black backdrop with two Red Epic Dragons -
fitted with Arri/Zeiss Ultra Primes -
shooting 6K 3:1 at 24 fps and 3 fps
simultaneously through a 3Ality
Technica Atom 3D rig sourced from
Cinesail 3D Systems. The smeary
footage of Keller's light source from the
3-fps camera was used by Zoic Studios
to generate the finished effect, which
was then merged with the normal
footage from the 24-fps camera.
American Cinematographer

Morgan employed this technique later
in the season, for "Chapter 12," in
which a defiant teenage Syd goes clubbing without her protective gloves on.
When she allows her bare fingers to
brush against the other dancers, the two
images are blended together to evoke an
impression of essences intermingling.
"With a show like Legion, every
episode is so unique that you are often
telling a different story each time. This
means that you need a new approach,"
says Morgan. "The merry-go-round
scene [shot in Griffith Park] that opens
'Chapter 10' was written as a simple
dialogue scene between Dave, Lenny
and Oliver, but we chose to film the
whole thing with the 9.8mm Kinoptik
to give it this weird, offbeat quality that
worked well for that episode."
Later in that episode, which was
directed by Amirpour, David is placed
into an isolation tank at Division III,
and sent through, as the script describes
it, a "pink energy field" into the Astral
Plane. The energy field was created
with laser effects captured as separate
inserts by projecting two 20-watt
KVANT Spectrum OPSL laser projectors around the lens through several
layers of scrim and haze. The mind-



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
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