Thread: Which camera & lenses were used for HBO's Chernobyl

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  1. #21  
    Senior Member Ignacio Aguilar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gediminas Vansevicius View Post
    Lenses were rehoused cooke s2. Lots of playing with cc and white balance on cameras while shooting. The look was being pushed towards green while shooting.
    I suppose you have or had some involvement with the production so you know the lenses. As I said before, at first I thought it was vintage glass (or Leitz, to be more specific) but the last episode has several light sources that create flares and they reminded me of the very exact flare of Ultra Primes. Since S2 can vary so much from lens to lens and set to set, I'm only 95% suprised and not 100%, even though I think I've never seen that rainbow type flare on old Cookes and it's on most Ultras.
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    Our rental did supply some additional stuff for the production, although it came from Arri Rental mostly. Was the biggest production in our country since "Defiance" in 2007.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignacio Aguilar View Post
    can tell for sure that the lenses are Ultra Primes at very wide apertures.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gediminas Vansevicius View Post
    Lenses were rehoused cooke s2.
    Lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Nagel View Post
    IMO:

    cinematography is avg/okay, so is lighting - massive room for improvement
    grade is non-existent or kept on purpose like that, they should have shot on RED as RED delivers that green/yellow haze like non-one else does straight OOTB !!! ;-)))
    make-up goes from decent to amateurish, especially in E01 where some of the characters get "red faces" due to (....spoiler !) radiation - looks amateurish very often, almost like it was done in post

    directing and story telling wise it is excellent


    now, if somebody could explain why all these Russians communicate in perfect English.... ?

    - M
    Ummm the grade is actually super complicated and meant to replicate a certain look. It's not meant to look pretty, just very very specific.

    I personally would not be so quick to pass judgement on the grade and cinematography...there is a A LOT of work that went into this show...again there were going for something VERY SPECIFIC.

    It wasn't about beauty, or looks. It was about the look of a CERTAIN PLACE at a CERTAIN TIME. On a CERTAIN MEDIUM.
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  5. #25  
    Senior Member Ignacio Aguilar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Dowler View Post
    Lol.
    Obviously you're not a golfer either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    Ummm the grade is actually super complicated and meant to replicate a certain look. It's not meant to look pretty, just very very specific.

    I personally would not be so quick to pass judgement on the grade and cinematography...there is a A LOT of work that went into this show...again there were going for something VERY SPECIFIC.

    It wasn't about beauty, or looks. It was about the look of a CERTAIN PLACE at a CERTAIN TIME. On a CERTAIN MEDIUM.
    "Ummmmmm..." what is that ? u're a 5 year old girl now ? wow, just wow

    first: yeah Nick... as u prove again, u know very little about any of this.... Literally anybody does what u wrote above... ANYBODY

    next: Opinions are just that.

    next: what does "a lot of work went into this" have to do with an opinion about the end result... ?

    a lot of work went into building the actual nuclear reactor in Chernobyl, and even more work into building it for cheap... and even more propaganda work in hiding the true size of the disaster... should we also like the end result b/c a lot of work went into these things ?

    next: no, the grade was not "super complicated", blah blah blah... u just have no clue.

    the grade and the look of this show is super easy to achieve, this is an absolute low(er) budget effort, very, very visible. (storytelling wise it is very good, though)

    and just to elaborate on some other statements here:

    Chernobyl or Russia or the 80s have no specific look (when it comes to the reflection of light)... 1986 Chernobyl looks EXACTLY the way it looks today, looks exactly the way it looked 1926 etc the light is the same, hence our human perception is the same (buildings, clothes may change etc, but that's arbitrary)

    so, to capture it narrow minded thinking I gotta emulate how "film capture" in the 80s looked (and Russia is a poor, rotten country) is one, stereotypical, small minded way of doing things... the capture medium is arbitrary (it always has been), the same light always looks the same to humans... sun hasn't changed, those shitty fixtures haven't...

    if one as a filmmaker gets influenced how humans captured images in the time period the story plays in, then what, we gotta hand draw every frame if we shoot about the 12th century... (?)

    so whatever (and how) u capture on, is the filmmaker's choice... here, it was amateur technical execution, stereotypically painting the image green/yellow to suggest "radiation" blah blah blah... amateur... or as I said: large room for improvement

    u can't see radiation (invisible death), and there's obviously 1 million ways to do this in a more intelligent matter to show the constant, deadly toll of the death zone...

    it's a lower budget show, avg execution technically, great acting (although the guy who played Gorbachev was way off, that was NOT Gorbachev), good directing, great writing... although the writing set up that they let the cat out of the bag in the 5th (final ep) was also too stereotypical

    MY OPINION.


    compare CHERNOBYL to THRONES - in an abstract. we both know this is light years above ur paygrade, b/c u will probably say "Thrones had a larger budget, blah blah blah"... b/c u have no clue and can't differentiate.

    the budget ONLY shows itself in details, not in the craft of filmmaking.
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  7. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Nagel View Post
    IMO:

    cinematography is avg/okay, so is lighting - massive room for improvement
    grade is non-existent or kept on purpose like that, they should have shot on RED as RED delivers that green/yellow haze like non-one else does straight OOTB !!! ;-)))
    make-up goes from decent to amateurish, especially in E01 where some of the characters get "red faces" due to (....spoiler !) radiation - looks amateurish very often, almost like it was done in post

    directing and story telling wise it is excellent

    now, if somebody could explain why all these Russians communicate in perfect English.... ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Nagel View Post
    MY OPINION.

    compare CHERNOBYL to THRONES - in an abstract. we both know this is light years above ur paygrade, b/c u will probably say "Thrones had a larger budget, blah blah blah"... b/c u have no clue and can't differentiate.

    the budget ONLY shows itself in details, not in the craft of filmmaking.

    I'll jump in as we're getting into a good old fashion slap fest here I guess (let's minimize the insults kids).

    Chernobyl represents extremely clever filmmaking as well as a ripping compelling story, meticulous direction, and very layered performances from the actors.

    In regards to the general color work, the grade is clearly aimed and influenced by the period where muted darker hues would more accurately reflect the general time and location of the piece. Same could be said by the lighting choices where nothing should be really over lit. Even in the well funded government palace-like locations there's a feeling of well worn hidden within the opulence. More or less a stylized natural lighting vibe with often heads lit indirectly and occasionally within ambient shadow. What's more interesting is when they chose to be in more direct and occasionally more colorful light.

    The clever filmmaking aspect to me comes down to some of the embellishments when it comes to the practical and visual effects. Yes some of it is a bit off, but in the face of the rather accurate portrayal of several scenes having the nastier gooey radiation related things certainly evoked a response to the audiences who enjoyed this mini series. The VFX was more or less done pretty well, though as always, there's a few moments where a bit more time and effort can benefit a scene. However, when it was used well it enhanced the scale and scope of the catastrophe. I would say the cinematography was well tuned into the general tone they were going for with the series, and really that's what should be the goal.

    Also a nod to sound design should be made as it played a nice role in building the tension and sense of danger in scenes.

    As for the accents, the director has explained it pretty clearly, but it's also a pretty sensible/rational approach to providing a universal appeal. They could have gone the route of putting the actors through the rigors of dialect/accent coaches and certainly adding authenticity, but certainly in relationship to the story the lack of Russian accents wasn't exactly distracting. Especially after the first few minutes.

    To the point of I guess the opinions you have there Mike; yep, Chernobyl is sort of in that category of well executed drama with horror notes and it indeed will pocket a few Emmy's for the team's efforts. To contrast against say Game of Thrones, well yes, wildly different worlds and general genre. Much more involved concept design, visual effects execution, much larger world building really, and very different perspective when it comes to the voice of the camera.

    It's odd as I wouldn't ever compare them as they are too far apart. If they were genuinely competing against each other in some way, perhaps, but fairly different worlds and filmmaking styles to bring them to life.


    And now for high on bamboo panda bear rage. Filmmaking is getting real interesting these days when it comes to deciding a look and even the general process of filming. Somewhere along the way a lower contrast, flatter image, and occasionally lifted black levels has become a rather common voice for "cinematic". And combined with the current culture of online tutorials and presence some filmmakers aim at one look without exploring others. Not really relating to Chern or GoT as I feel both were executed well. I think many filmmakers do indeed lock into a speed/style that works for them. It's a marketable feature. For many however having the knowledge base and willingness to explore low key, at key, and above key concepts is a much more flexible style of DP when it comes sometimes to even a single project. It's easy to fall in love with one look for sure, but it gets a bit one note when everybody else is doing it.

    Anyways, back to chewing on bamboo.
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  8. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post

    It's odd as I wouldn't ever compare them as they are too far apart. If they were genuinely competing against each other in some way, perhaps, but fairly different worlds and filmmaking styles to bring them to life.
    U can compare anything to anything (in the abstract) when it comes to the craft of filmmaking, reason why I mentioned it. Anything.

    Now, deliberate (technical or creative) choices being made are just that but that does not apply to my last sentence, as they are excluded from that.

    Look and feel of the show is a stereotypical western world view of soicalism and Russia. It's not completely off (there's a reason stereotypes exist), but there could have been done so much more with this.... hence the example of Thrones, as they went way and beyond, and S01 did NOT have the huge budget S08 had, and had very little VFX... but expert filmmaking from the get go.


    Re "accents":

    my original comment was not about accents it was about why they spoke ENGLISH ? This is MOTHER RUSSIA, this may shock u but peeps speak Russian there... ;-)

    now if u say, "nobody would have watched it if it was in Russian", well then u contradict rule #1: expert filmmaking and storytelling always prevails, see APOCALYPTO (2006)... an absolute masterpiece.... not a single English word.

    of course they'd never gotten these actors to speak proper Russian, and then the varying accents in Russian depending on where u're from and what ur social status is (e.g. Boris vs. the proletarian miners, would have been different), so they didn't do that... but now we have characters speaking in English w/ varying English accents, some Brtitish, some different... in RUSSIA.

    Skarsgard, best actor IMO, has accent by default, but did a somewhat subtle Russian accent (which was good, IMO) - the other main actors didn't even try. pulls u out, non-authentic.

    The best things about this show is...

    (1) the clear statement that we barely escaped a nuclear holocaust that would have wiped out entire Western Europe to Asia
    (2) the amount of details/information (b/c back then nothing was released to the public, or just lies)
    (3) the reconstructed timeline

    This is why he dragged this out into E05 to fully show the final re-constructed timeline. Because if he let the cat out of the bag in E01, he'd have a much, much harder time keeping people interested, b/c most of the other scenes (writing wise) are not top grade - well acted, but not top grade construction wise. The constant hunt for them trying to find out what happened and how it happened kept us interested. This is the main driving force of how this story is being told.

    The scenes about the human efforts/sacrifices were done well/okay - there's way more meat on that bone, though, We also go now into an area where other writers/directors have done a way better job at picking and crafting these on purpose, handpicked specific scenes about the human effort (compare scenes about the human effort in Schindler's List, and yes, u can compare the two). They only had 5 eps, so the 1 ep where they go around shooting dogs was a waste. I liked the actors in that, the idea itself was not bad but if u had any clue what else went on at that time in that area, that would have not made it into any of just 5 eps...
    Last edited by Mike Nagel; 06-20-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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  9. #29  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Nagel View Post
    "Ummmmmm..." what is that ? u're a 5 year old girl now ? wow, just wow

    first: yeah Nick... as u prove again, u know very little about any of this.... Literally anybody does what u wrote above... ANYBODY

    next: Opinions are just that.

    next: what does "a lot of work went into this" have to do with an opinion about the end result... ?

    a lot of work went into building the actual nuclear reactor in Chernobyl, and even more work into building it for cheap... and even more propaganda work in hiding the true size of the disaster... should we also like the end result b/c a lot of work went into these things ?

    next: no, the grade was not "super complicated", blah blah blah... u just have no clue.

    the grade and the look of this show is super easy to achieve, this is an absolute low(er) budget effort, very, very visible. (storytelling wise it is very good, though)

    and just to elaborate on some other statements here:

    Chernobyl or Russia or the 80s have no specific look (when it comes to the reflection of light)... 1986 Chernobyl looks EXACTLY the way it looks today, looks exactly the way it looked 1926 etc the light is the same, hence our human perception is the same (buildings, clothes may change etc, but that's arbitrary)

    so, to capture it narrow minded thinking I gotta emulate how "film capture" in the 80s looked (and Russia is a poor, rotten country) is one, stereotypical, small minded way of doing things... the capture medium is arbitrary (it always has been), the same light always looks the same to humans... sun hasn't changed, those shitty fixtures haven't...

    if one as a filmmaker gets influenced how humans captured images in the time period the story plays in, then what, we gotta hand draw every frame if we shoot about the 12th century... (?)

    so whatever (and how) u capture on, is the filmmaker's choice... here, it was amateur technical execution, stereotypically painting the image green/yellow to suggest "radiation" blah blah blah... amateur... or as I said: large room for improvement

    u can't see radiation (invisible death), and there's obviously 1 million ways to do this in a more intelligent matter to show the constant, deadly toll of the death zone...

    it's a lower budget show, avg execution technically, great acting (although the guy who played Gorbachev was way off, that was NOT Gorbachev), good directing, great writing... although the writing set up that they let the cat out of the bag in the 5th (final ep) was also too stereotypical

    MY OPINION.


    compare CHERNOBYL to THRONES - in an abstract. we both know this is light years above ur paygrade, b/c u will probably say "Thrones had a larger budget, blah blah blah"... b/c u have no clue and can't differentiate.

    the budget ONLY shows itself in details, not in the craft of filmmaking.
    My company Small Giant worked on the finishing of all the BTS/Making of pieces for Chernobyl.

    We were hired directly by HBO.

    I'm telling you the look of this series is VERY SPECIFIC and INGENIOUS (it took a lot of work to match it in the BTS)...so again, I think your underestimating the technique and craft that went into this production.

    You don't have to like it, that's fine.

    I'm just telling you they put a lot of work/effort/thought into it.
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  10. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    My company Small Giant worked on the finishing of all the BTS/Making of pieces for Chernobyl.

    We were hired directly by HBO.

    I'm telling you the look of this series is VERY SPECIFIC and INGENIOUS (it took a lot of work to match it in the BTS)...so again, I think your underestimating the technique and craft that went into this production.

    You don't have to like it, that's fine.

    I'm just telling you they put a lot of work/effort/thought into it.

    Again - it's not meant to look "good".

    "Good" is not what they are after...it's something else, much more interesting and compelling...which is why the show is so great.
    ..... what is "good"... ?

    and no dude, I'm not underestimating anything, I said there's a lot of room for improvement on many fronts here - IMO. again, just b/c people put X amount of hours in does not mean in any way shape or form that the result is or will be compelling. u can have an idiot run in a circle for 1,000 hours, it won't be anything.

    u should work a day in a grading suite w/ some pros, the look of that show is easily achieved very, very fast... if u know what u're doing.

    again: shoot it on RED w/ old color science u'll get 99% straight out of the box... what I'm trying to tell u is that the old RED color science is like Chernobyl after the explosion...


    I liked the show, better than most of the other stuff that comes out. but it won't be remembered (if at all) for it's production value.
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