American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32

◗

Great Escape
Right: Soldiers
wend their way
toward the base
of the mole, with
white sea foam
creeping in from
the left - an
unexpected
natural occurrence
that gave the
sequence its
special look.
Below: Sea foam
surrounds the
crew as Nolan
finds the desired
shot.

tor," which allowed the Interstellar
production "to [shoot] handheld for the
first time in Imax. So all that pushed me
in the direction of feeling like it really
would be possible to do the entire film
that way."
The cinematographer's view of
their common goal is similar. Nolan, he
says, "has a sense of connection between
aesthetics, technology and mechanics,
philosophy, and storytelling. He can
intertwine these elements into related
solutions - making connections while
others are still in the dark, but without
getting hung up on insignificant detail
or being precious."
While Nolan's prior work with
Wally Pfister, ASC - such as on The
Dark Knight (AC July '08) - as well as
32

August 2017

with van Hoytema on Interstellar,
tended toward a visually evident mix
between two negative formats, the
director notes that a different philosophy would apply here. "When we
approached Dunkirk, it was clear this
was not a script we could break down
the same way," he says. "This is a film
that's relentless in its approach - we
are always in it. We knew early on,
looking at the way this story would
unfold, that it would be impossible to
say exactly where we would want those
visual shifts to occur. Instead, we really
wanted a more seamless blend."
It was thus decided to use as
much of the larger Imax negative as
possible, and to employ flat, spherical
lenses with the 5-perf material "so that
American Cinematographer

there would be no characteristics of
anamorphic distortion, [particularly]
flares, so the photography would largely
match," Nolan adds. "And then, hopefully, by the time the Imax film print was
completely finished, the difference would
be smoother and more subtle."
As in those prior collaborations,
for the Imax-projected version of
Dunkirk, the on-screen aspect ratio will
periodically alternate between 1.43:1 and
2.20:1 - when there is a shift from 15perf to 5-perf capture - while 70mm
and standard DCP projection will maintain 2.20:1 and 2.39:1, respectively.
It was Nolan's intention to "put the
audience into the situation subjectively,"
he says. "To make them feel like they
were running along the beach at
Dunkirk, to feel like they are dogfighting
from inside a Spitfire cockpit, or on a
small yacht sailing the English
Channel."
"I had a feeling this material would
require a purer approach with sphericals,"
van Hoytema elaborates. "The whole idea
that a spherical lens is built with less glass,
and doesn't have an anamorphizing lens
to stretch the image a certain way, seemed
right for this material. I didn't want that
extra filter that you often have with thick,
anamorphic glass. I wanted to strip all
that away."
The cinematographer adds that
ASC associate member and Panavision's



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

Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Intro
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 10
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 12
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 14
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 16
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 20
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 28
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32a
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32b
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32c
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32d
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 56
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 57
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 58
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 59
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 60
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 61
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 62
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 63
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 64
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 65
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 66
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 67
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 68
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 69
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 70
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 71
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 72
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 73
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 74
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 75
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 76
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 77
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 78
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 79
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 80
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover4
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