American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 48

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Classic Hollywood

Two 6'x13'
hybrid
HMI/tungsten
balloons from
Skylight Balloon
Lighting help
illuminate a
ballroom for an
awardsceremony scene.

He adds with a laugh, "I guess this show
is kind of like a Sidney Lumet version of
Singin' in the Rain."
Moder credits his A-camera dolly
grip, Jim Leidholdt, with executing
many of the series' most elaborate
camera moves. "So many shots would
have been impossible without him," the
cinematographer attests. "It's a thing of
beauty, the way he understands the
mechanics, along with the timing of the
actors and the timing of the operator. Of
course, a dolly grip is operating in a way,
when they're doing their job the way
Jim does."
The fluidity of Leidholt's dolly
moves was dictated by the overall
approach Moder took to movement and
composition. "My A-camera operator,
Kim Marks, and I decided on a philosophy where we would move the camera
when we really needed to, not for some
arbitrary reason," he explains. "I want it
to feel natural; I don't really like pulling
walls if we don't have to. I like to make
it feel like we're in a real space. The
biggest challenge is making the sets feel
like they're not sets, and finding new but
motivated angles in rooms we go into
again and again."
Moder submits that sometimes
the style is at odds with his natural
instincts. "It's funny, because most of the
commercials I do are handheld," he says.
48

August 2017

"This is such a departure from that,
which is fun, but sometimes I want to
shake it all up. That's where I rely on
Kim - he helps me find a more fluid
way of responding to those impulses."
In addition to the production's
camera and lens packages, the cinematographer also credits Pandora
Technology's
Pluto
Colour
Management System LUT box
enabling him to achieve the precise looks
that he's after. "For the pilot," he says,
"we did the DI at Technicolor
Hollywood with Tim Vincent, who's
going to be doing all the coloring on the
series with Autodesk Lustre. He created
16 or 17 distinct looks for the pilot,
which have now been dumped into this
Pluto Box. As we're putting the scene
together on set, I'll think, 'I want this to
be all warm.' And then there's [the ability
to make it] super-warm, or neutral, or
desaturated, and then there are cool
shadows - so for each scene, we just
take that look and apply it. We made a
black-and-white LUT for when we're
shooting black-and-white. I can just go
onto my monitors and choose which
LUT looks good and hit the button, and
that's what we're all looking at.
"[I roll] the iris just a little bit the
whole time," Moder adds, "and we've got
the LUT, so by the time we approach
finishing, we're a lot closer [to the final
American Cinematographer

look that we're aiming for]. Technicolor
then gets the raw image and they just
apply [the given LUT] for dailies.
Maybe not every LUT works for every
shot in the scene, so there will be some
massaging."
Moder notes that the final color
correction has not only allowed him to
refine The Last Tycoon, but it has also
given him ideas for future projects. "The
more I familiarize myself with the post
process and the new LUTs, the more
excited I get about the possibilities," he
says. "It's getting easier and easier to
achieve your vision, and that just makes
me want to push things further every
time. I admire a cinematographer like
Darius Khondji [ASC, AFC], who on
Lost City of Z [AC May '17] is just pushing himself and transporting the audience," he continues. "He's got a vision,
and that's ultimately what you're hired
for; it's about putting energy and texture
into the frame. The more elegantly you
can insert yourself into the project, the
more satisfying it's going to be for
everyone."
Moder's desire to express himself
was made easier by a crew with whom
he found an instant rapport. "The new
paradigm supported by streaming
services like Amazon," he says, "where
you have just a little bit more money to
make the show, helps you find people
who are really good at their job and are
willing to work with you for a few
months and be fully committed. You're
in Los Angeles making a small feature
every nine days, using the best crew and
the best gear, and everybody's into it. It
reminds you of the maverick filmmakers
that this story is about - the innovators." He smiles and adds, "You know,
it's really the best job ever."
●

TECHNICAL SPECS
1.78:1
Digital Capture
Sony PMW-F55, Arri Alexa Mini
Zeiss Super Speed Mark III,
Angenieux Optimo, Cooke



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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