Saturday, 11 September 2010

Shooting Public Enemies

Emulating the period of the 1930's was one of the major challenges facing Michael Mann and DP Dante Spinotti. Here is an excellent overview of many of the technical and aesthetic approaches Mann mixed together to produce Public Enemies. For any creative endeavour to be fully realized the mastery of technique has to be attained. Without it, artistic visualization can never be achieved. Mann's strength is in his ability to visualize and execute. This article reveals the processes behind Mann's decision to employ certain technical approaches to Public Enemies.

Here is a brief extract of what is a long article:

“We did tests down in the parking lot [of Mann’s offices], set up with some posters from 1933 and cars and lights,” Spinotti says. “We did side-by-side tests with a film camera next to the F23, shooting daytime and going into twilight and then night. We also did various lighting tests. Company 3 [Santa Monica, Calif.,] did the transfer for both, scanning the film and then bringing the digital files into a digital negative and then printing, and then we compared film prints. The results were interesting: The F23 was extremely sharp, probably a bit sharper than film itself. The tonal range wasn’t the same as film—we all know the tonal range of film holding onto the highlights is extraordinary and digital hasn’t quite met that yet. But nevertheless, the way that digital dealt with shadows, really reading into shadows and darkness and doing it with extreme sharpness, convinced Michael, and I agreed: The way to go was digital. The other consideration was the agility and elasticity of working with those cameras and how Michael could work his preferred way. All this would let him go into an area that is almost hyperreal.”

Read the Full Article: Click Here