American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 40

Q

More Than Human

Nathan flips
a switch,
transforming his
lounge into a redlit dance floor,
where he and his
assistant, Kyoko
(Sonoya Mizuno),
tear it up to
Oliver Cheatham's
"Get Down
Saturday Night."

light serves here as an ironic brush-off
to the mounting danger.
Because the story relies so heavily
on the ambiguity of Ava's emotions, the
filmmakers' goal was to photograph her
"like a human," says Hardy. "We can sit
back and look in awe at the spectacle of
40

May 2015

her creation but at the same time see her
in a natural way."
No blue- or greenscreen was used
to render Ava's mechanical components,
and no motion capture was performed
on set. "We wanted to film her scenes as
we would any emotional piece of drama,
American Cinematographer

without the phantom of having to
manipulate it later," Hardy elaborates.
"[Visual-effects supervisor] Andrew
Whitehurst from Double Negative was
a great enabler. He let us shoot [Ava's
scenes] the way we wanted to and
worked around it."
After making virtual maps of
Hardy's lenses, Whitehurst and his
team of artists rotoscoped and tracked
digital arms, legs, a torso, neck and skull
onto Vikander's performance. Hardy
recalls that the original design of
Vikander's gray mesh suit called for the
mesh to cover Ava's neck and skull, but
it was ultimately decided to render these
areas transparent and exposed, "like you
could see what she's thinking."
The visual-effects workflow also
enabled Hardy to use filtration - a
Tiffen 1⁄8 Black Pro-Mist - for his
close-ups with Ava, as well as subtle
zooms made with an anamorphosed
Angenieux Optimo 48-580mm T4
zoom. "There are maybe three zooms in
the whole movie," the cinematographer
reports. One of them comes during the
scene in which Ava explains to Caleb



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
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American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Cover3
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