American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 24

Bahari was caught in the crossfire of global strife when dispatched to cover the elections
in Iran and the subsequent demonstrations.

can mean making the lighting much
simpler, and often literally placing instruments, flags and diffusions myself. I hadn't
been on a project since film school, or
maybe my early New York street days,
where I actually had my hands on everything."
The feature was shot with an Arri
Alexa Plus, recording 2K ProRes with Log C
encoding onto SxS cards. Bukowski says
24

December 2014

that every film he's shot since Moverman's
Rampart (AC Feb. '12) has been done with
the Alexa. "My choice digitally is always the
Alexa," he notes. "It's a tool I've grown
really familiar with, and as any tool, you take
what it does, and you understand what it
can and can't do, and you turn all of those
things into virtues." One thing he particularly appreciates about the Alexa's image is
"the digital noise I incur when working at
American Cinematographer

the very low end, like around 10 IREs at
night. It's quite analogous to film grain; it's
a softer image." This can be seen, for
example, in Rosewater's early flashback
scenes of Bahari as a boy. (The bulk of the
movie was shot with lightweight Angenieux Optimo zoom lenses, with some
scenes on Arri/Zeiss Ultra Primes.)
While Stewart was inexperienced
with the technical aspects of shooting and
editing, "he was very clear whenever you
asked him about where Maziar was on his
narrative path, and what the intent of a
scene was," Bukowski says. "Maziar
enters this prison feeling like there's no
way out, and it's a monotonous, dry, long
wait in purgatory for him. The thing from
the beginning was to depict this kind of
boredom and bleak existence inside
prison, so the camera was very locked
down, sometimes on a dolly and sometimes completely static. We were in close
with wider lenses - maybe 18 or 25mm
- just feeling him foreshortened with the
prison distended behind him."
As the story progresses, Bahari is
visited in his cell by the shades of his father
and sister, who are both deceased and
who both were tortured in prison. "They
remind him of who he is and let him know
that what he needs to get out of there is
inside of him," says the cinematographer.
"As he gets closer to finding the power to
be released, we started putting the camera
in our hands, animating it, and using more
medium lenses. The background started to
be out of focus, and we made him more
singular in the frame, as opposed to being
lost in a very wide-angle shot."
The film's two key sets are Bahari's
cell and his interrogation room. Before
Bukowski arrived in Amman, the production crew had scouted a location for the
prison, but the director of photography
wasn't convinced. "The whole time I had
been thinking, 'We're going to build these
two locations, and they're going to be
standing right next to each other on a
stage,'" he recalls. When he visited the
putative locations, he adds, "It was a 3-by6 cell, and a room that was maybe 8-by10. What I explained to Jon right away
was, 'Forget about designing lighting or
designing shots. This room is dictating that
I can't use anything tighter than a 25mm



American Cinematographer - December 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2014

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 5
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 6
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 7
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 8
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 9
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 10
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 11
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 12
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 13
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 14
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 15
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 16
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 17
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 18
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 19
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 20
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 21
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 22
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 23
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 24
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 25
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 26
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 27
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 28
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 29
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 30
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 33
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 34
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 35
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 36
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 37
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 38
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 39
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 40
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 41
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 42
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 43
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 45
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 48
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 50
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 54
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 55
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 73
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 76
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 77
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 78
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 79
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 81
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 82
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 84
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