American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 14

Short Takes

I

Equine Plight
By Jennifer Wolfe

The 19-minute film Wild Horses focuses on Mills (Mireille
Enos), a Hollywood photographer who returns to her native Nevada
to document the roundup and destruction of a band of Mustangs.
The production is the directorial debut of Stephanie Martin, who
spent 10 years working as a cinematographer before she was
accepted into the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for
Women. “I became aware of the plight of our nation’s wild horses
in 2005 and have been involved with the issue since then,” says
Martin, who co-wrote the script with Jessica Walsh. “What inspired
me to make a movie about the subject was a quote by Anna Sewell,
the author of Black Beauty: ‘If we see cruelty or wrong that we have
the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the
guilt.’”
Chief among the talent Martin assembled to make the AFI
film was her husband, director of photography Robert Richardson,
ASC, who came to the project immediately after wrapping Django
Unchained (AC Jan. ’13). He brought with him several collaborators
from that picture, including key grip Chris Centrella, gaffer Ian
Kincaid and horse wrangler Scott Perez.
“I attended the Jackson Mountain roundup in Nevada prior
to our shoot, and that experience proved instrumental in developing
a look for our film,” says Martin. “The roundup influenced everything: the color palette, the casting, the costume design, and our
choice of locations, vehicles and horses. In developing the character
of our lead horse, Phantom, I was inspired by a particular photo
taken by National Geographic photographer Melissa Farlow.”
14

August 2013

Production took place over five days (a limit set by the AFI) at
the Big Sky Movie Ranch in Simi Valley. Given that the shoot called
for 45 horses and a helicopter, Martin knew that meticulous scheduling would be crucial to keeping the shoot on track. “I’ve shot films
that were 90 percent exteriors, and many times, when you try to
explain to the director the importance of shooting various elements
at certain times of day, they start getting intimidated by the schedule,” she says. “There is always a reason for not sticking to a plan,
but I tried to remind myself how important it was for things to look
the way we had planned for them to look.”
Martin and Richardson decided to shoot the picture with Arri
Alexa EV cameras (provided by Panavision and Tool), capturing in
16:9 in ProRes 4:4:4. Richardson’s lenses comprised Arri Master
Primes, Angenieux Optimo 24-290mm and 15-40mm zooms, and
a Fujinon 18-85mm 4K Premier Zoom. Digital-imaging technician
Glenn Derry provided two wireless Pix 240 handheld monitor kits so
Martin could be next to Richardson’s camera at all times.
Key action sequences involving the helicopter and horses
were filmed early in the shoot, with wide shots and scenes of the
running horses scheduled for the beginning and end of each day in
order to take advantage of natural backlight. “When you’re shooting over the course of several days something that’s meant to take
place within a few minutes or hours, the use of backlight allows you
to maintain a consistency that would be otherwise difficult to
achieve,” Richardson says. “Because of the horses, we knew we
might only get one or two takes a day. So, you work more with
color temperature, which makes it less noticeable when the backlight disappears and the clouds roll in.”
Richardson compares the production to a commercial

American Cinematographer

Photos by Melissa Farlow and Andrew Cooper, SMPSP, courtesy of Stephanie Martin.

A Hollywood
photographer
(Mireille Enos)
documents the
roundup and
destruction of
Mustangs in Wild
Horses, directed
by Stephanie
Martin and shot
by Robert
Richardson, ASC.



American Cinematographer - August 2013

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

American Cinematographer - August 2013
Contents
Editor’s Note
President’s Desk
Short Takes: Wild Horses
Production Slate: The Hunt • Berberian Sound Studio
Big Guns
Battle Bots
Rapturous Action
Shattered Past
Post Focus: Under the Dome
New Products & Services
International Marketplace
Classified Ads
Ad Index
Clubhouse News
ASC Close-Up: Stuart Dryburgh
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - American Cinematographer - August 2013
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 8
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Editor’s Note
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - President’s Desk
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Short Takes: Wild Horses
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 16
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Production Slate: The Hunt • Berberian Sound Studio
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 28
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Big Guns
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 42
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Battle Bots
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Rapturous Action
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 57
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 58
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 59
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 60
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 61
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 62
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 63
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 64
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 65
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Shattered Past
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 67
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 68
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 69
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 70
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 71
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 72
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 73
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Post Focus: Under the Dome
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 75
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - New Products & Services
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 77
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 78
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 79
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 80
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 81
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - International Marketplace
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Classified Ads
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Ad Index
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 85
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Clubhouse News
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 87
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - ASC Close-Up: Stuart Dryburgh
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Cover4
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