American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 65

Unit photography by Jessica Forde and Jae Hyuk Lee, courtesy of A24.

syndrome," or "SOS," which causes
dormant emotions to bubble to the
surface. The disease is initially treated
pharmaceutically, but those who don't
stabilize are checked into the Den, a
treatment facility where they are ultimately terminated. Citizens of the
utopian society, which is known as "the
Collective," are expected to self-report
the malady. Those who don't are likely
to be informed on by coworkers, neighbors and friends; thus, even when Silas
and Nia become "switched-on," they
must hide their nascent feelings for fear
of being exposed. Instead, those desires
are expressed through subtle aesthetic
shifts - for example, handheld invades
the previously static camerawork, and
the cool palette makes way for warmer
tones.
"It's a fine line," Guleserian notes.
"You don't want to make it an obvious
thing like shifting from color to blackand-white. You don't want the audience
to see it; you want them to feel it."
At the film's outset, the
Collective's tranquil yet sterile environments are presented in static, wide
frames. But as the connection between
Silas and Nia deepens, the depth of field
becomes shallower, often stretching
only a matter of inches in close-ups. To
achieve that transition, Guleserian
switched from the Arri/Zeiss Ultra
Primes used in the early scenes to a set
of uncoated Zeiss Super Speeds. Even
when shooting the Super Speeds at a
wide-open T1.3, however, the depth of
field sometimes wasn't shallow enough
for the cinematographer. In those
instances, he employed a set of +1, +2
and +3 Tiffen 138mm diopters.
"We wanted this film to feel
almost like a dream - an ethereal experience that you can feel and almost wear
as the viewer," Doremus says.
"Everything is in deep focus to begin
with, and then as Silas' world becomes
all about Nia, everything else just kind
of fades away."
Guleserian opted to shoot Equals
as a one-camera show with the Arri
Alexa XT Plus, recording 3.4K
ArriRaw files in Open Gate mode to

Opposite: In the feature Equals, Nia (Kristen Stewart) and Silas (Nicholas Hoult) fall in love
despite their society's strictures against emotions. This page, top: Silas worries that he and Nia
will be discovered. Middle: Cinematographer John Guleserian frames a shot. Bottom: Hoult
works through a scene with director Drake Doremus.

www.theasc.com

August 2016

65


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - August 2016

Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Intro
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 8
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 10
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 12
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 14
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 16
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 20
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 28
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 32
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 42
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 46
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 56
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 57
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 58
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 59
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 60
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 61
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 62
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 63
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 64
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 65
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 66
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 67
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 68
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 69
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 70
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 71
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 72
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 73
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 74
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 75
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 76
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 77
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 78
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 79
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 80
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 81
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 82
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 83
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 84
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 85
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 86
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 87
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - 88
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - August 2016 - Cover4
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