American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 94

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Time of Grief

The crew captures a close-up of Portman.

Larraín: It just felt right. We
tried multiple lenses and that was the
lens that created an organic empathy
with Natalie. When Stéphane put the
18mm on and Natalie came close,
closer, closer ... it was just the perfect
lens for her - and for him. It showed
you enough of the background. It's not
the lens I love the most - that would be
the 32 or 35mm - but I don't think you
should look at every actor with the same
lens.
Most of the film is shot handheld, which adds to the feeling of intimacy.
Larraín: When Stéphane put the
camera on his shoulder, the framing was
at Natalie's height. So she was not
scared that he was too close - and in
the end, they were dancing together.
You shot many very long takes
- sometimes entire 11-minute magazines.
Larraín: We all understood the
mechanics of how I wanted to capture
the circumstances. When we started
shooting, Stéphane would keep rolling
and Natalie didn't stop either - they
were together. I was holding a wireless
monitor, but most of the time I looked
at them live. I didn't need to see the
monitor, I knew the lens he was using
and I could feel the framing he had, just
by looking at them. It was so interesting
94

January 2017

and beautiful, and sort of profound to
see them do the shots. They had an
incredible connection. We would load
another magazine, and sometimes we
would do it again and try different
things in the same scene without
cutting. Stéphane had his right eye in
the viewfinder, and I remember a few
times he would open his left eye and
look at me as if to say, 'Are you watching
this?'
Did you shoot many takes?
Larraín: As I remember, about
one third of the film was shot with one
take, one third was more like three or
four takes, and the last third up to nine
takes - whatever we needed.
Sometimes actors wait for 12 takes and
they slowly deliver their energy. Natalie
didn't do that; she would go from the
very first frame until the last one with
the proper energy. We would correct the
scenes and rework them, but she was
going all the way on every take; when
you know that, you don't want to
exhaust her - you want to take care of
her and protect her.
[Another reason] we shot the film
quickly is because Stéphane is very fast.
When we made corrections, he would
change a couple of lights and Natalie
would not go to her trailer; she would sit
on the set because she knew that
Stéphane would be ready in a couple of
American Cinematographer

minutes. She would sit quietly, waiting
for the next take, saving the energy. It
was so beautiful. We would shoot again
and she would deliver yet another take,
with whatever I was asking for.
How did the DI go?
Larraín: I would watch the dailies
at night at home and Stéphane would do
the same, and sometimes between takes
on the set we would watch what we did
three days before. I asked him, 'How do
you want it to look, finally?' and he
looked at me and said, 'Oh, pretty much
what you're looking at.' I didn't say
anything - but I felt, like, 'Wow.'
Stéphane started the DI a week
before I got to Paris. I called him and I
said, 'Stéphane, you remember you told
me that you wanted it pretty much as it
was? You're so right, please do that.' And
he and the colorist, Isabelle Julien, did.
What we did with Isabelle was find the
proper balance, make it even and protect
what we wanted, but it was as it was.
What nationality is Jackie? Is it a
Chilean, French or American film?
Larraín: It's just Jackie; that's what
it is - it's her. People from all over the
world can connect to that specific sensibility, which is a feminine perspective of
the world, and how a woman was able to
put the entire country's pain on her back
and walk. It's amazing. We just tried to
relate to that and find beauty in it, and
then shoot it.
For more coverage of Jackie, visit
bit.ly/thefilmbookASC.
●

TECHNICAL SPECS
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Standard Speed, zoom
Kodak Vision3 500T 7219,
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - January 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 9
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 11
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 14
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 16
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 17
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 18
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 19
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 20
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 21
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 22
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 23
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 24
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 29
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48a
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48b
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 50
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