American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 82

◗

Endgame
shots, but on the whole the idea was to
always stay with her. We just pared it
down to the essentials of her story."
With the A camera manned by
Thompson - whose collaboration with
Willems dates back to 2006's Rocket
Science - and B camera by Josh Medak,
the cinematographer was free to run
between the set and video tent. Willems
kept in constant contact with his longtime gaffer, Walter Bithell, and key grip,
Guy Micheletti, via headset. "I don't
have to be on set all the time to be able
to run the set," he says.
Factoring in the odd trackingvehicle or crane shot, Willems estimates
that 80 percent of the movie was shot
handheld, creating the sense of a documentary crew following the heroes into
war. "It's not like we were shaking the
camera for handheld effect," he says. "It
was more about a naturalistic style, and
to be close and intimate with the actors.
An operator can react to anything an
actor does in a very simple way; Dave
and Josh would just throw the camera
on their shoulder and do a dance with
the actors, really. We didn't want to be
inhibited by track or cranes or unnecessary equipment. It just kept the flow of
the shoot going and it kept communication really simple on set. These movies
are very big in scale, but the way they
were conceived and shot on set was
actually fairly simple. I think it keeps the
movies very grounded."
Lawrence and Willems never had
any doubt that they would shoot in the
anamorphic format, and their lens package included Panavision C and E Series
anamorphic primes. The cinematographer did carry a set of spherical lenses,
believing he might need them to register
a proper image in dark sewers, but didn't
end up touching them. "The anamorphic lenses gave us nice flares and the
same feel down there as in the rest of the
movie," he notes.
Willems generally shot interiors
at T2.8 or a T2.8/4 split. As he notes, "I
kept things a bit dark and moody for the
most part." For exteriors, he adds,
"When I'm shooting large-scale locations, I don't feel the need to shoot wide

Top: Katniss and
Gale Hawthorne
(Liam
Hemsworth) try
to blend in with
the crowd.
Middle and
bottom: An
attack puts
everyone in
danger.

82

December 2015

American Cinematographer



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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