American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 18

Timberlake
directs musicians
in the recording
studio at Capitol
Records (right)
and sings
onstage with
background
dancers (below).

and topper 20' away augmented the
natural daylight.
“Suit & Tie” contains a clever conceit
wherein the camera cuts between the stage
and crowd perspectives of Timberlake and
Jay-Z’s performance. All the shots from the
performers’ perspective were shot at the El
Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, and all the shots
looking toward the stage were shot at the
Hollywood Bowl. When there are cuts
between the two locations, the complementary screen directions create the impression of a unified space.
At the El Rey, Libatique started by
dimming down the theater’s candelabras
and grand chandelier to about 20 percent.
“If I’d shot 500 ASA, I would have left them
on to create ambience with the smoke, but
at 3,200 ASA, we had them at almost nothing,” he says.
Three 1,200-watt Robert Juliat
follow spots were placed on the rear
balcony in positions relative to the left, right
and center of stage. Libatique switched
from one lamp to another to find the optimum light for the camera angle. “I used the
same follow spots for the first scene in Black
18

May 2013

Swan,” he notes. “They’re smaller than
Source Fours, which makes them trickier to
operate because you need to be more delicate.”
By contrast, the 2K Xenon Super
Troupers used at the Hollywood Bowl “were
bears to move around. They’re 6 feet long
and 2½ feet wide.”
The Hollywood Bowl already owned
two 2K Super Troupers, so the production
brought in one to match the setup at the El
Rey, raising it on a scissor lift from one of the
venue’s middle promenades. “You need
[Super Troupers] to cover a distance like
that, but they’re punchy lights, even for 500
ASA,” says Libatique. “In this case, we
rolled them with at least an ND.3 to get to
T11, and we ended up shooting at a T8 so
we could take in the whole space from front
to back.”
The Super Troupers’ beams were
tight enough to cut Timberlake out of the
background, rendering the band and
backup dancers as silhouettes against the
band shell’s architectural Color Kinetics LEDs
and 750-watt Strand foot lights.
A matching dance routine is intercut
American Cinematographer

with the story elements, with the performers backed by a chorus line of moving lights.
“David’s description of the dance space was
‘moving lights on the mirrored floor at 18inch centers.’ At 18-inch centers, we didn’t
want the beams to overlap too much.”
For moving lights, Libatique chose
the 190-watt Clay Paky Sharpy. “We
needed a light with a tight beam, and [the
Sharpys] have a range of 0 to 3.8 degrees,”
he says. Lighting-desk programmer Joshua
Thatcher, who worked with Libatique on
Iron Man (AC May ’08) and Iron Man 2 (AC
May ’10), choreographed multiple passes
for the filmmakers to consider.
Jay-Z contributes a rap to the second
half of the song, and this is interpreted with
stylized shots of dancers against monochrome backgrounds. Libatique explains,
“The trampoline setup was shot with two
cameras, with one pointed at a white cyc
and the other at a black curtain. There were
three 10K Fresnels on each side of the
frame at ¾-back positions, and we created
toplight with four 6K coops.” The “water
set” was lit with a wall of dimmed 5K
Skypans and an overhead row of Par bars.
All of these shots were captured at higher
frame rates, and Libatique achieved exposure compensation by pulling NDs and
widening the T-stop.
By the time the video reached Light
Iron colorist Ian Vertovec, the only work that
remained was an application of blurs, keys
and transfer modes in Pablo to achieve the
“kinescope solarization look” Fincher
requested. Apart from that, says Libatique,
“what you see in the video is pretty much
what we saw on the monitor.”
●



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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