American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 14

Clockwise from top left: the Muppets puppeteer the members of OK Go; Damian Kulash performs against greenscreen; the Arri Alexa was rotated 90 degrees to maximize resolution.

Panavised Arri Alexa, at a height of 8' or 9'. All of the lights on set had to be raised as well. “Sometimes it takes a while for people to get into that mode of thinking,” says the cinematographer. “Luckily, some of my crew, including key grips Alex Klabukov and Bodie Hyman, had worked on the new Muppets movie, so they were already very familiar with how this works.” Kief was impressed with the Alexa’s handling of the Muppets’ bright color palette. The digital image was recorded as 4:4:4 LOG C ProRes HD files to onboard SxS cards. The only adjustment he made on set was to inch up the saturation on the main HD viewing monitor at video village. “The colors were insane,” he notes. “N ot only was I dealing with Kermit’s extreme green and Gonzo’s blue, but we
14 December 2011

also had other craziness, like the band members’ colorful suits and a wall of LED lights. The image held up phenomenally well, and I knew it would look great when we started the timing.” One of the video’s early gags, a parody of the classic Muppaphone act, involves a very tricky shot. The camera dollies across the musicians’ faces, then speeds up (a post effect) and pulls back as Marvin Suggs (performed by Jacobson) hurls a pair of mallets over their heads. The mallets fly past the camera and start a Rube Goldberg device that sets the rest of the video in motion. Jacobson had trouble throwing the mallets while holding the Suggs puppet, so Kief and Thatcher came up with the idea to lock off the camera at the end of the shot,
American Cinematographer

clear the band from the frame, and then have Jacobson (sans puppet) toss the mallet. The Muppet hands and mallets were rotoscoped back into the hero shot (by artists at Soapbox) to look as though they’re part of the action. “We used every trick available, but it doesn’t look like it,” Thatcher notes. A few shots later, some penguins drop a curtain across the frame, and then pull it back as the camera begins a long push-in on a dolly. Kermit and pals emerge from behind the curtains as the dolly passes by. To achieve this shot, Londono and Hyman guided the camera past six rows of curtains, lighting cues and Muppet performers. Each time a curtain was pulled back, a Muppet hit its mark, and 2nd-unit gaffer Kirean Waugh turned up a 1K or 650-watt Fresnel, kicking lens flares into the upper corners of the frame. (The lenses were Panavision Primos.) “The shot looks completely effortless, even though it was very complex,” says Thatcher. “Getting 15 people to have perfect timing to music on a 70-foot dolly took almost seven hours to accomplish, but we loved the idea of capturing as much in-camera as possible.” ➣



American Cinematographer - December 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2011

American Cinematographer - December 2011
Contents
Editor’s Note
President's Desk
Short Takes: OK Go’s “Muppet Show Theme Song”
Production Slate: Melancholia • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Stepping into the Shadows
Through a Child’s Eyes
Silent Splendor
It’s Time to Raise the Curtain
Filmmakers’ Forum: David Stump, ASC
New Products & Services
International Marketplace
Classified Ads
Ad Index
2011 AC Index
In Memoriam: Andrew Laszlo, ASC
ASC Membership Roster
Clubhouse News
ASC Close-Up: Luciano Tovoli, ASC, AIC
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - American Cinematographer - December 2011
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 5
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 6
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 7
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Editor’s Note
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 9
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - President's Desk
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 11
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Short Takes: OK Go’s “Muppet Show Theme Song”
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 13
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 14
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 15
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 16
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 17
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Production Slate: Melancholia • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 19
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 20
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 21
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 22
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 23
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 24
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 25
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 26
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 27
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 28
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 29
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 30
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 31
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 32
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 33
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 34
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 35
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Stepping into the Shadows
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 37
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 38
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 39
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 40
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 41
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 42
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 43
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 44
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 45
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 46
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 47
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 48
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 49
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 50
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 51
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 52
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 53
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Through a Child’s Eyes
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 55
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 56
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 57
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 58
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 59
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 60
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 61
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 62
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 63
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 64
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 65
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 66
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 67
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Silent Splendor
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 69
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 70
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 71
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 72
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 73
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 74
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 75
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 76
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 77
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - It’s Time to Raise the Curtain
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 79
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 80
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 81
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 82
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 83
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 84
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 85
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 86
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 87
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 88
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 89
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 90
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 91
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 92
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 93
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Filmmakers’ Forum: David Stump, ASC
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 95
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 96
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 97
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 98
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 99
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - New Products & Services
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 101
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 102
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 103
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - International Marketplace
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Classified Ads
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Ad Index
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 2011 AC Index
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 108
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 109
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 110
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 111
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 112
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 113
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - In Memoriam: Andrew Laszlo, ASC
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 115
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - ASC Membership Roster
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 117
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Clubhouse News
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - 119
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - ASC Close-Up: Luciano Tovoli, ASC, AIC
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - December 2011 - Cover4
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