American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 16

Backlit by a wall of Skypans, Timberlake dances in silhouette on the "water set."

started to vignette. What’s the best resolution I can get? What’s the highest frame
rate?”
He shot most of “Suit & Tie” at 4K,
using 5:1 compression at 24 fps and 8:1
compression at 60 fps. Higher frame rates
were achieved with a compromise between
resolution and compression. “For the
dancers on the performance stages, we
shot 160 fps at 3K to maintain 8:1 compression,” says Libatique. In post at Light Iron in
Hollywood, the image was downconverted
to 2185x1150 with a 1920x800 center
extraction. Conform, visual effects and
16

May 2013

grading were done on a Quantel Pablo.
The filmmakers considered shooting
with Cooke lenses, but ultimately chose
Zeiss Ultra Primes for their wide variety of
focal lengths. “[The sharpness of] the Ultra
Primes didn’t bother me with the black-andwhite image, though it does with a color
digital image,” notes Libatique. He favored
the wider focal lengths. “We used 32mm
and 40mm, and occasionally 50mm, for
close-ups. David always wanted to see more
in the frame, to see Justin’s physicality.”
Libatique used ND filters to keep his
T-stop at the lenses’ sweet spot, a T4/5.6.
American Cinematographer

“We had to ND down almost everywhere
to stay in that range,” he reveals. Deeper
stops favored the more improvised aspects
of Timberlake’s performance. “On the
stage with the mirrored floor and moving
lights, we were at a T8/11, which kept the
lights crisp in the background. If Justin
came close to the lens that wasn’t racking
so far forward, we’d throw everything in
the background out of focus, even on a
24mm or 28mm lens.”
Without a Bayer color-filter array,
the Monochrome’s sensor utilizes 100
percent of its photosites for capturing luminance information, effectively yielding a 1:1
relationship between the number of
samples and deliverable resolution. And
with the sensor’s suggested native ISO
2,000 rating, the filmmakers could push it
to ISO 3,200 without a perceptible loss in
image quality. “Having that much sensitivity was phenomenal,” says Libatique.
“When we shot at the Capitol Records
building, we didn’t even have to light.
When I put a light up, it looked false, like it
didn’t belong there. I think we put a 4-by4 Kino Flo over the mixing board, and then
there were a couple of bounces into the
space to get more light into the corners,
but I’m not sure I even needed that. If I’d
shot with nothing extra and turned some
lights off for mood, I still would have been
at a T4 or T5.6.”
Shooting in black-and-white also
facilitated the use of hard light, which Libatique and gaffer Jeff Ferrero enjoyed
deploying. Lighting was more a matter of
controlling the contrast ratio with negative
fill while softening or sharpening artificial
light sources. Libatique describes a scene
shot on an empty stage where Timberlake
plays chess with a showgirl: “We set up
two cameras wide and tight. Direct sunlight
was coming through the stage door, so we
put Justin and the woman right on the
edge of the light, in the shadows. I laid
some Duvetyn on the ground to the left
side of frame, and we were ready to go.
That’s all that shot is: sunlight bouncing off
the ground and the ambient light from the
open stage door. There’s a practical in the
background to add some interest.”
In another shot, three dancers
rehearse a step in the daylight coming
through the same doorway. A 10K keylight



American Cinematographer - May 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - May 2013

American Cinematographer - May 2013
Contents
Editor’s Note
President’s Desk
Short Takes: “Suit & Tie”
Production Slate: Trance • The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Surviving the Future
A Trailblazer’s Tale
Conjuring Hope
The ABCs of DMX
Star Tech
Hot Shots
New Products & Services
International Marketplace
Classified Ads
Ad Index
Clubhouse News
ASC Close-Up: Paul Maibaum
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - American Cinematographer - May 2013
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 1
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 2
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Contents
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 4
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 5
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 6
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 7
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 8
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 9
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Editor’s Note
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 11
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - President’s Desk
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 13
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Short Takes: “Suit & Tie”
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 15
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 16
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 17
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 18
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 19
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Production Slate: Trance • The Reluctant Fundamentalist
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 21
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 22
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 23
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 24
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 25
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 26
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 27
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 28
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 29
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 30
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 31
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 32
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 33
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Surviving the Future
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 35
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 36
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 37
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 38
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 39
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 40
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 41
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 42
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 43
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 44
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 45
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 46
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 47
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - A Trailblazer’s Tale
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 49
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 50
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 51
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 52
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 53
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 54
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 55
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Conjuring Hope
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 57
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 58
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 59
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 60
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 61
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 62
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 63
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 64
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 65
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - The ABCs of DMX
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 67
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 68
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 69
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 70
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 71
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Star Tech
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 73
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 74
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 75
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 76
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Hot Shots
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 78
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 79
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 80
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 81
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 82
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 83
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 84
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 85
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 86
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 87
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 88
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 89
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - New Products & Services
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 91
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 92
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 93
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - International Marketplace
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Classified Ads
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Ad Index
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 97
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Clubhouse News
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 99
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - ASC Close-Up: Paul Maibaum
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Cover4
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