The film has three levels: fictional, documentary, and archive. How did that impact your choice of equipment?
It was really important to keep a unified look and feel throughout the movie, so ARRIRAW was a must, because it gave me more creative flexibility when it came to lighting and grading. I also elected to use lenses with a strong character, so as to be able to integrate elements from the black-and-white archive material into the other cinematic levels. On the fictional level I worked with Bausch & Lomb Super Baltars, and I shot the documentary material with coated and uncoated Zeiss High Speed lenses.
How did you design the look of the documentary passages?
We kept it fairly still and restrained. The framing was the main design element and reflected the protagonists’ personal stories. We worked a lot without artificial lighting structures and with tripods, Hi-Hats and rostrums. We really wanted to maintain atmospheric, cinematic storytelling throughout, not classical TV images. During the shoot we were pleasantly surprised by wonderful, natural lighting moods that gave the images that little something extra. One time a sandstorm came up out of nowhere. It gave us an extraordinary light and color that lent a very special background to the protagonists' world.
What was important to you in the fictional scenes?
It was essential to us that we did not direct the protagonists in front of the camera in a typical manner, but instead staged the protagonists and each scene’s content visually, using all the camera and lighting means at our disposal. We exploited various different perspectives with the Steadicam, drone, jib arm, and slider. The Century S 2000 MK II Periscope and Skater Scope helped us, visualizing a different viewpoint and sense of motion through the lens. We decided individually for each scene which filters and special lenses we would use, and how the lighting would underline the scene's purpose. In two sequences we mixed the documentary and fictional layers together, combining the technical and aesthetic elements accordingly.