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Breaking Down the 1917 One-Shot — Roger Deakins Talks Camera, Lenses, Long Takes, and Cinematography


♪ ♪ What separates a film that has us on the edge of our seat "- George" from a film that has us dozing off? Convincing performances

"- I've abandoned my boy" Beautiful set design And gripping action sequences But these elements heavily rely on one thing how we see them depicted on the screen? And no cinematographer understands this better than Roger Deakins So today, let's explore the cinematography of Roger Deakins And how he creates an immersive story in the film "1917"

"- The movie is about two men who are tasked with delivering a message across no man's land and into German territory that would potentially save the lives of 1,600 men including one of the men's brothers" "- All I'm saying is that we wait – Yes, you would say that because it's not your brother, is it?" One of the first things you'll find out about "1917" is that it's meant to look like one continuous shot "- It was baked into the very fabric of the script My idea was two hours of real-time, no cuts

" Roger Deakins needed to execute this vision meticulously in order for it to be effective "- For me, it feels like there's no way the audience is let off the hook It's almost claustrophobic They're not allowed to look away" But how do you plan a production like this? "- I don't understand, sir

" First Let's address the issue of equipment We only use one particular camera The Arri Alexa Mini LF A camera that is small, lightweight, and mobile

"- That's really nice about cameras, right? As I get older, they get smaller and lighter It's kind of good really" Ideal for multiple long takes "- I'd say 99% of the shot on a 40mil signature prime I wanted a shallower depth of field

And in one that sort of distortion on the face that you get with a wider lens Both Deakins camera and lens choices were essential in putting the audience into the action And into the story "- Your orders are to get to the second, deliver this to Colonel Mackenzie It is a direct order to call off tomorrow morning's attack

If you don't, it will be a massacre" Without the luxury of cutting, it was vital to storyboard and rehearse every camera movement to match the actors blocking "- I'm sorry about your friend" Deakin's gives the audience a sense of physicality as we move alongside the characters These calculated camera movements have a psychological effect on the audience

Just as a characters in the film cannot stop moving, neither can we "- We need to keep moving Come up!" Another thing that separates Roger Deakins from many DP's is how he manipulates light to serve the story Deakins knew he needed to shoot a full 360-degrees And this meant that its light sources would be visible in frame

"- So big ascend the vigil lighting unit, I've kind of created it It was 50 feet high and it was like five tiers of lights The first bunker It's lit by those oil lamps Well, the oil lamps are dummy with electric bulbs

" While most filmmakers use practical lighting as ambient or fill light, Deakins does not shy away from using practicals as his primary source of light Because Deakins isn't afraid of the dark In fact, he embraces it "- Look at this" When he combines darkness with practical lighting Deakins is able to focus our attention on what is important in the shot

"- What's wrong? – Tripwire – Where is it? Goes from here to the door It might be a character's fear A threat Or simply a rat

By doing this Deakins achieves not only a unique look of shadows and contrast, we have a 360 degree field of view and we are fully grounded in this world ♪ ♪ With a mobile camera, practical lighting, single lens choice and dynamic camera movement cinematography can create more than just a shot It can create a world ♪ ♪ StudioBinder blog has multiple resources for cinematographers Cameras, lenses, lighting kits, tutorials and so much more

You'll find links in the description below ♪ ♪ What other techniques does Roger Deakins use to immerse us in these worlds? Share your thoughts in the comments down below It's difficult to pinpoint Roger Deakins style, but one thing is for certain We simply cannot look away Subscribe

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Source: Youtube

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