American Cinematographer - January 2016 - 58

◗

Savage Sea
Bluescreensurrounded
water tanks
were utilized for
shooting scenes
in which the
Essex crew row
their skiffs,
chasing down
whales.

because generally the sea has a density
of blue-green to it but the sky just goes
pop, maybe [with] some clouds, a bit of
blue or a sunset. But I wanted to go
further, and Ron was on board with
that."
Helping to achieve this goal was
a set of 40-year-old grad filters that let
Dod Mantle add up to eight or 10
layers of ND to the top of the image.
"They took me in the direction of
making the first half of the film
darker," he describes. "So after the
Essex crew departs Nantucket -
a grimy place consuming the whale oil
they are seeking - and survives this
godforsaken voyage down the coast of
South America and around Cape
Horn, opening up into this blisteringhot South Pacific, we have a real
contrast."
This also led Dod Mantle to
shoot in 1.85:1, as he "wanted to
compose the shots a little looser and
always have the sea and sky tied
together in the frame. If I were shooting widescreen, I'd constantly be tilting up and down. I needed the height
of 1.85."
Key to the visual approach was
the blending of classical compositions
with almost avant-garde, subjective
perspectives, often fleeting and
captured in extreme close-up.
58

January 2016

American Cinematographer



American Cinematographer - January 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - January 2016

Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2016 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - January 2016 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - January 2016 - 1
American Cinematographer - January 2016 - 2
American Cinematographer - January 2016 - Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2016 - 4
American Cinematographer - January 2016 - 5
American Cinematographer - January 2016 - 6
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American Cinematographer - January 2016 - 64a
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