This was my fifth feature with director and great pal, Michael Corrente. At this moment, an after hours mob sit-down takes place in the lounge of a deserted bowling alley…
I just love the anamorphic format. It’s more akin to the way we see things in life and allows the cinematographer a great swath of real estate to play with. The graphic possibilities are endless; it seems the dolly can fall off the truck and no matter where it rolls to a stop you’ll find a pleasing composition. Alright, I might be exaggerating…but only a little. 2.39 aspect ratio offers possibilities no other format is capable of.
This scene actually goes on much longer than the version of the clip I’ve included. Tension builds throughout and is aided by the dynamic created by cutting back and forth between wide and tight shots. The use of negative space in the closer frames also helps torque up the stress levels. In the world of these characters, you never know who might be lurking there, ready to strike. These shots would never have had as strong an effect in 1.85 – or any other frame size for that matter.
After extensive testing I was able to put together a well-matched mix of C- and E- series Panavision anamorphic lenses. They’re all of an older vintage and delivered a look I thought was right for this movie. I exposed the C- series at T4, which showed to be the sweet spot for their performance; the longer E- series and SPC lenses were exposed at T5.6 for the same reason.
Note that in the close ups the table candles were strategically placed in the deep background so as to counter the weight of the composition. Also, every close up was kept clean of the other actors; none of them hold a piece of the player over whose shoulder we’re looking. The reason for this was to keep them somewhat separate from one another. Though they may be friendly on some level, they’re really not friends. Everyone here is out for himself – and would just as soon shoot you as look at you.
I told you ‘Scope was a fun format!