American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 80

◗

Endgame

Katniss and her
compatriots run
into trouble as
they navigate
sewer tunnels on
their way to
the Capitol.

which the protagonists approach the
Capitol.
"We wanted full practical ceilings
for some sets, and to look 360 degrees in
these rooms, so many of these environments were going to be lit with practicals or hidden LED lights," Willems
explains. "That led us to ask, 'Why don't
we shoot digitally?' We ended up getting
a look that was more naturalistic than if
we had shot on film, which would have
required more light and less freedom in
how we would shoot. This way we could
shoot in low light at 800 ASA and get
detail in the blacks."
80

December 2015

Various cameras were tested, but
the filmmakers opted for an Arri Alexa
XT, confident after having positive
experiences with Alexas on the TV
projects they had worked on together.
On the Mockingjay movies, they shot
ArriRaw in 4:3 sensor mode, recording
to Codex Capture Drive XRs. The crew
also used a few GoPro Hero3 cameras
for surveillance footage and a Red Epic
Dragon - paired with Panavision
Primo spherical lenses - for some
minor aerial and visual-effects work.
The crew carried three camera
bodies, preferably running two simultaAmerican Cinematographer

neously and keeping the third for
Steadicam, which was operated by
David J. Thompson, SOC. As the filmmakers wanted to cover themselves in
the case of an actor improvising, "we
would sometimes shoot the same side
of the conversation in medium and
close-up [simultaneously], so the actor
wouldn't have to do it over and over,"
Willems notes.
The crew never ran three cameras
concurrently, however, even for big
action scenes. "It's Katniss' story, so we
told it from her perspective," Willems
says. "There are some big establishing



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
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