VI – THE PROCESS
This is the chapter where I’ll either curse and regret the idea of shooting anamorphic or swear I’ll never go back to standard 16:9. It’s a description of the path I chose to follow during shooting and post-production and its goal is to go beyond the theoretical – and historical – aspects of the lenses, going into detail of how they behave in production and what kind of impact it had on the camera crew, as well as the whole crew and the post-production step.
Changing the aspect ratio is something that concerns not only the cinematographer, but also calls for decisions from the director and the art department. We took the CinemaScope chapter out of David Bordwell’s Poetics of Cinema (2007) as our initial reference, where the author goes in detail over the complications created by anamorphic lenses when they first appeared in the movie industry and how, after some time and several attempts, Hollywood was able to embrace the new technology in a very positive way, adopting this aspect ratio even when the movies are shot with spherical glass.
One of the positive things about having a wider frame is being able to work with negative space – areas left empty on purpose – which, for example, in Episode 02, are majorly dark, increasing the feeling of not knowing what might be lurking behind the characters in that abandoned and destroyed city at night.
One of the first important things I did to shape the work was storyboarding with the proper aspect ratio, avoiding impossible compositions and physical issues when setting up the shots. This also got me used to the new frame size.
I’ll try not to go over repeating stuff, that happened in both episodes, writing about these aspects as a single event. If something is differs strongly between the two, then I’ll go into more details behing this difference and what kinds of consequences it brought to the end result.