American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 24

TECHNICAL SPECS
1.78:1
Digital Capture
Red Epic Dragon, Weapon
Cooke 5/i, Leica Summilux-C

24

November 2016

Field agent Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage) works to unearth a mole in the CIA
in the series Berlin Station.

I

Spy Game
By Jon D. Witmer

There's a mole in the CIA. Operating
under the name "Thomas Shaw," he or she
has been channeling highly classified - and
often damning - information not to
another clandestine organization, but to the
general public. Field agent Daniel Miller
(Richard Armitage) has been assigned to the
agency's Berlin office to bring Shaw out of
the shadows, but his net of suspicion is
necessarily cast wide, and none of his fellow
operatives is privy to his mission.
The series Berlin Station began airing
on television network Epix in October. Five
directors each took the reins of two episodes
for the first season, beginning with Michaƫl
R. Roskam - who also served as an executive producer - and continuing with
Christoph Schrewe, Giuseppe Capotondi,
John Coles and Joshua Marston. On for the
duration were cinematographer Hagen
Bogdanski and 2nd-unit director-cinematographer Ralph Kaechele. Although they
hadn't worked together previously, they
quickly developed a rapport that carried
throughout the Berlin-based shoot, which
began in November 2015 and lasted
through this past April.
Berlin Station marks Bogdanski's first
foray into episodic television, and for the
project he elected to work with Arri Alexa
American Cinematographer

Plus cameras, recording 2K ProRes 4:4:4
files to SxS cards. The cameras were paired
predominantly with Arri/Zeiss Ultra Primes
by the first unit, and Angenieux Optimo 45120mm (T2.8) and Optimo Style 16-40mm
(T2.8) zooms by the second. Kaechele also
utilized Sony a7S II and GoPro Hero4
cameras to emulate surveillance footage,
and Arri's Alexa M for an underwater scene
and Alexa Mini for car interiors. Arri Media
provided dailies services during production,
and when Bogdanski and Kaechele spoke
with AC, the first-unit cinematographer was
in the midst of the final grade at Deluxe's
Encore in Hollywood, where senior colorist
Pankaj Bajpai was working with 2K files on
a FilmLight Baselight system for a final
1920x1080 HD delivery.
American Cinematographer:
How did you define the show's style?
Hagen Bogdanski: We wanted to
present a modern spy story in Berlin - not
the typical Sixties, Cold War, Russiansagainst-the-Americans story. The main goal
was to show Berlin as it is now, and how it
has transformed into a big, international,
cosmopolitan city.
Ralph, during production, how
often would you check in with the
main unit?
Ralph Kaechele: Whenever I had
the time I was trying to swing by the set and

Berlin Station photos by Stephanie Kulbach, courtesy of Epix and Paramount TV.

there, and he comes to set every couple of
weeks just to check in on us. We started season
one with the Red Epic Dragon, then switched
to Weapons for season two. At one point we
ran into a problem, and TCS got together with
Red and had a team of techs come out to
switch our [Weapon] cameras with Epics. After
they solved the problem, they came back with
our four Weapons - so we briefly had eight
camera bodies - but by that time we were
already on episode seven, so I just stuck to the
Epics. Thanks to Erik and everyone at TCS, we
were able to keep going without a hiccup.
After sharing directing duties for
the first season, Sam directed every
episode of season two. What's it like to
work with a director who's also the series'
creator, showrunner and primary writer?
Campbell: It's amazing to work on set
with the guy who's in control, and who can
make last-minute creative decisions or rewrite a
scene because the light changed on us.
Because he's directing every episode, it's more
like shooting a feature. From a professional
perspective, he's a perfectionist and knows
exactly what he wants. He keeps a positive attitude all day, even when things get out of our
control. On a personal level, now that we're
through shooting season two, I miss not hanging out with him on set every day. He makes us
all laugh constantly.
It sounds like you're very close to a
lot of people on the cast and crew. How
important is it to maintain a positive
personal bond with your collaborators?
Campbell: For me, the personal relationships are just as important as the technical
ones. A lot of people have the technical understanding and the knowledge, but it's important
to also find someone that shares a similar style
to yours, someone you can get along with or
hang out with when you're not at work. My
camera operators, my key grip and gaffer, the
DIT - we're friends. It's really important. That's
one of the reasons it comes out so well. We
make a better show because everyone is happy
to be there.



American Cinematographer - November 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - November 2016

Contents
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Intro
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 1
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 2
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Contents
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 4
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 5
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 6
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 7
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 8
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 9
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 10
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 11
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 12
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 13
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 14
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 15
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 16
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 17
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 18
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 19
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 20
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 21
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 22
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 23
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 24
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 25
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 26
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 27
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 28
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 29
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 30
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 31
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 32
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 33
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 34
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 35
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 36
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 37
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 38
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 39
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 40
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 41
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 42
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 43
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 44
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 45
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 46
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 47
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 48
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 49
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 50
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 51
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 52
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 53
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 54
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 55
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 56
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 57
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 58
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 59
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 60
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 61
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 62
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 63
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 64
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 65
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 66
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 67
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 68
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 69
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 70
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 71
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 72
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 73
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 74
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 75
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 76
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 77
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 78
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 79
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 80
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 81
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 82
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 83
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 84
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 85
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 86
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 87
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 88
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Cover4
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