American Cinematographer - November 2013 - 46

◗

Facing the Void
Lubezki also needed to add a
moving hard light that would serve as a
sun source and match the CG sun in the
prelit animation. To achieve this, he had
his crew place a small dolly and jib arm
alongside the actors, with a lightweight
Robin 600E Spot on a remote head. Key
grip Pat Garrett moved the dolly and jib
during each take according to the
progression of the virtual sun, and
camera operator Nick Paige controlled
the head to keep the light trained on the
actor.
Lubezki used a technique similar
to the LED Box for a live-action scene in
which a fire breaks out in the space
capsule. To light Bullock, the cinematographer diffused an LED panel
that displayed the CG fire, ensuring a
perfect match of the color and rhythm of
the firelight source and how it played on
Bullock's face in the final scene.
Lubezki shot most of the liveaction material in the film with Arri
Alexa Classics and wide Arri Master
Prime lenses, recording in the ArriRaw
format to Codex recorders; the package
was supplied by Arri Media in London.
(Panavision London provided a Primo
Close Focus lens that was used for a
single shot.) He filmed a scene set on
Earth on 65mm, using an Arri 765 and
Kodak Vision3 500T 5219, to provide a
visual contrast to the rest of the picture.
"The Alexa allowed me to shoot
ASA 800 native, and it still looked great
if I pushed it to 1,200, which made it
possible to use the LED sources,"
Lubezki notes. Also, the Alexa's latitude
enabled him to "deal with the overexposure of a harsh, hard sunlight. We didn't
want to lose any of that detail."
To shoot the actors in the LED
Box, the crew put an Alexa on a modified Mo-Sys remote head, which in turn
attached to a large, motion-controlled
robot arm that could be moved around
the actor in a preprogrammed trajectory.
This system enabled the filmmakers to
take advantage of the relative motion
between objects in space. Because there
is no "up" or "down" in zero gravity,
shooting a moving object with a static
camera is visually equivalent to shooting

Top: Stone
attempts to
maneuver
toward a
Chinese space
station - and
possible
survival.
Middle and
bottom:
Cuarón works
with the actors
on the spacecapsule set.

46

November 2013

American Cinematographer



American Cinematographer - November 2013

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

Contents
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - 1
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - 2
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - 3
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - 4
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - Contents
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - 6
American Cinematographer - November 2013 - 7
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