American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 56

◗

A Mid-Century Affair

Right: Carol and
her husband,
Harge (Kyle
Chandler), sit
through a meal
with Harge's
parents. Below:
Camera operator
Craig Haagensen
(top) and
Lachman ready a
scene with Mara.

the soiled and muted color palette of
1940s color still photography. We also
revisited Saul Leiter, whose photographs
and paintings we first used as a reference
for Mildred Pierce - for creating layered
compositions, [with] subjects that are
obscured by abstractions and seen in
reflections and partially visible space. By
using Leiter's approach, we were not
56

December 2015

only creating a representational view of
the world, but a psychological one,
which we used to help represent the
amorous mind."
Lachman and Haynes briefly
discussed filming Carol on 2-perf 35mm
film, but based on their experience
shooting Mildred Pierce on Super
16mm, they opted for the latter format
and a final aspect ratio of 1.85:1. "We
wanted to reference film stocks of a
previous time period," Lachman
explains. "Their grain structure and
color separation were different than that
in the digital photography of today,
which is pixel-fixated on one plane. The
grain structure in film, and its movement, is affected by exposure: finer grain
in highlights, larger in low light. That
can't be represented digitally, even if you
add digital grain later."
From a qualitative perspective, it's
film's ability to capture light on separate
layers of emulsion that Lachman says
brings a depth to his work that can't be
reached by any digital sensor. "The color
separation in film, affected by gels and
color temperature, responds differently
than in digital media," he explains. "The
RGB layers in film, though microscopic,
create a sense of depth of color in the
image that I find lacking in digital
American Cinematographer

photography. As an analogy, when you
look at a painting, you're affected by the
brush strokes' sense of depth and how
the colors interact, but in a photograph of
a painting you lose that sense of depth."
A combination of Kodak Vision3
color negative stocks was used: 500T
7219, 250D 7207, 200T 7213 and 50D
7203. Lachman continues to be enthusiastic about shooting on film, citing it as
his preferred format. "It's me, my light
meter, lenses and the processing that
control everything," he remarks. He lit
most of Carol at or around T2.8, with
"shadow detail 2½ to 3 stops below 18percent gray, and highlights within 2
stops over."
Carol was filmed with two
Arriflex 416s, but with 35mm-format
lenses. Lachman's kit included a Cooke
20-60mm Varopanchro zoom (T3.1),
an Angenieux Optimo 25-250mm
zoom (T3.5), an Arri/Zeiss Master
Zoom 16.5-110mm (T2.6), and his
personal set of Cooke S2 Speed
Panchros. (A Cooke Super 16mmformat 10-30mm Varopanchro zoom
[T1.6] was also part of the package.) "I
chose Speed Panchros primarily because
the falloff on the edges of the optics
lends the image a portrait-like feeling -
and also that would've been similar to



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 6
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