American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 28

Top: A mother
humpback and
her calf show
their flukes off
the coast of
Maui. Bottom:
Cinematographer
Brad Ohlund
(left) and camera
assistant Robert
Walker capture
the whales from
above water.

tions for color, water clarity, contrast and
time of year," he says. "We needed
weather that's right for Imax, meaning
beautiful blue skies with few clouds. You
need strong, hard light."
The crew traveled to Alaska to pick
up additional footage, which will also be
featured in a forthcoming movie about
national parks; there, they captured slowmotion establishing shots of the environment, including seals and salmon, on a
Phantom Flex4K in the Cine raw format to
2TB CineMags. The whales travel to the
polar waters for the abundant summer
food supply - so abundant that it was too
dense to shoot underwater.
MacGillivray says that in prep, he
watched "every humpback-whale movie
ever made" and recognized the great
potential for capturing the creatures via
28

May 2015

aerial photography. For airborne tracking
the crew used the SpaceCam DCam 65-15,
a camera that installs into SpaceCam's Large
Format Gyro Stabilized System on a helicopter's nose.
The W4 was the crew's workhorse.
"It has a beefy construction, a spinningmirror viewfinder and it seldom, if ever,
fails," Ohlund explains. "The Mark-II uses a
beam-splitter viewfinder, where one-fifth of
the light goes to the viewfinder and fourfifths to the film, so you lose a partial exposure stop. It's also difficult to shoot highcontrast [situations] like sunsets with it
because you'll get a double image off the
beam splitter. But the Mark-II is less cumbersome and easier to get in [tighter] places."
The crew ran Kodak Vision3 200T
5213 and 500T 5219 65mm stocks through
the large-format cameras, and they usually
American Cinematographer

shot around T16 to T22 to optimize the
depth of field for the Imax format. "We like
bright sunshine," Ohlund says, "so that's a
common range for us, especially when
we're shooting with the Mark-II. We don't
like shooting wide open, but sometimes
had to."
They used Hasselblad and Zeiss
lenses (30mm-500mm), reconfigured with
Imax mounts and with special cages on
them. The 350mm captured whales at a
distance, and an extender made a 720mm
out of the 500mm for even longer shots,
but mostly the crew used wider lenses.
Numerous shots from the boat deck with a
30mm covered plenty of ground with a
resulting fisheye effect. "Many Imax [cinematographers] don't like the distortion, but
we find it a very experiential lens that puts
the audience into the environment, and
theater exit polls show the audience feels
the same," Ohlund says. "The 40mm still
gives that experiential feeling and corresponds [more closely] to typical human field
of view."
For zooming, the crew called on a
Schneider Variogon 75-150mm f4.5 lens
designed for Bronica and Rollei mediumformat cameras. Schneider 85 filters helped
yield natural colors on the tungsten stock,
and otherwise the crew used graduated ND
filters. "We use gel filters that we stack
across the back of the lens so that we're
really just using them on the sky and there's
no filtration over the sweet spot of the
frame," Ohlund explains.
The crew usually amplified natural
light with artificial sources unless the
camera was pointing at the water - but
the 30mm lens doesn't allow much space
to hide fixtures, and Ohlund often lit with
only a couple of sources from his small kit.
For a few shots featuring researchers inside
boats, he would use an 800-watt HMI as a
kicker, and a 400-watt HMI with a couple of
layers of Opal and natural light through the
window as fill.
The Epic came into play for shots of
breaching whales, which required patience
and a constantly recording camera.
MacGillivray estimates that shooting 65mm
film stock runs $10 per second, making it
prohibitively expensive in such cases. The
digital camera was also ideal for breaching
shots because of its higher frame-rate capa-



American Cinematographer - May 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - May 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Intro
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 9
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 10
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 12
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 13
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 14
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 15
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 16
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 17
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 18
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 19
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 22
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 23
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 24
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 25
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 26
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 29
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 30
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 31
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 32
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 33
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 34
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 35
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 36
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 37
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 38
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 39
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 40
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 41
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 42
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 43
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 44
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 45
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 46
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 47
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 48
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 50
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 51
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 52
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 53
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 54
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 55
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 56
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 57
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 58
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 59
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 60
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 61
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 62
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 63
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 64
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 65
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 66
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 67
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 68
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 69
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 70
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 71
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 72
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 73
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 74
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 75
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 76
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 77
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 78
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 79
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 80
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 81
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 82
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 83
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 84
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 85
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 86
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 87
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 88
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 89
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 90
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 91
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 92
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 93
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 94
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 95
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 96
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1218_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1118_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1018_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0918_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0818_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0718_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0618_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0518_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0418_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0318_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0218_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0118_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1217_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1117_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1017_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0917_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0817_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0717_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0617_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0517_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0417_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0317_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0217_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0117_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1216_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1116_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1016_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0916_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0816_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0716_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0616_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0516_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0416_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0316_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0216_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0116_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1215_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1115_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1015_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0915_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0815_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0715_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0615_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0515_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0415_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0315_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0215_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0115_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1114
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0914
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0814
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0714
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0614
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0514
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0913
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0813
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0713
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0613
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0513
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0110
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com