The American Society of Cinematographers

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Inside Man
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Sundance 2006
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Shots like those made “a pretty cool film from an operator’s standpoint,” says Consentino. “Working with Matty was great because he’s one of those guys who really wants to find something interesting in every shot.” For example, when hostages are released, and at other moments of high tension in the film, Libatique encouraged Consentino to use progressively shorter shutter angles. “You normally shoot with a 180-degree shutter, but we were going down to 90, 45 and even 22.5 degrees on the action scenes,” says the operator. The technique creates “this feeling of frenetic action because it eliminates any motion blur that is normally in the shot. It gives you a very anxious feeling while you’re watching the movie.” 

Another distinctive technique was used for a series of interrogation scenes with hostages that appear throughout the film. “It’s a flash-forward, a bit of a time jump into the interrogation,” says Libatique. Most of was shot on Kodak Vision2 500T 5218, with some Vision2 Expression 500T 5229 used inside the bank during daylight hours “to minimize the difference in color temperature between my tungsten on the interior and the natural daylight of the exterior.” But Libatique photographed the interrogation scenes with Kodak Ektachrome 100D 5285 reversal film, which was cross-processed and put through a bleach bypass. “It’s a daylight stock, so typically if you shot it with tungsten light it would come out extremely warm,” he notes. “Using a bleach bypass neutralizes the color temperature and creates more contrast than simply cross-processing. Basically, it unifies all the color. Spike wanted a look that would jump out and tell you you’re somewhere else. It’s an extremely volatile technique, though. When you try to apply correction, the film moves in very strange ways. The cross-process as well as the bleach bypass changes the ASA from 100 to 320.” 

During the DI process at EFilm, where Libatique worked with colorists Steve Bowen and Steve Scott, this footage required some special attention. “It had to be scanned with a Spirit DataCine rather than the Northlight we used for the rest of the film,” recalls the cinematographer. “The negative was simply too dense for the Northlight to perform the task.” Otherwise, “I was pretty much adhering to the original concept and balancing that footage out in a smoother way. It’s difficult to match all of your shots meticulously when you have three cameras and one lighting setup, so I spent the majority of the DI just adhering to the original vision of the disparity in color temperature, which I can accentuate, versus the unified color temperature.” 

Libatique points out that the ability to do a DI makes it easier for a filmmaker like Lee to envision creative visual approaches, and has perhaps even helped make unconventional techniques, such as mixing color temperatures, more practical and acceptable. “Although I still believe 90 percent of what you have to accomplish is in camera, the DI gives us flexibility. Cameras can roam free, and as cinematographers we can embrace a less meticulous lighting setup. If you know you’re going to a DI, and you know you’re going to shoot three cameras and do a single Steadicam move that lasts for eight minutes, you can create a broader lighting scheme. We can’t necessarily beautify it in the end, but at least we can fine-tune the language and the precision. Because of Spike’s willingness and motivation, when you look at you can see we created a language through that effort.”  


Super 35mm 2:35:1

Arricam ST, LT; Arri 435, 235
Cooke S4 lenses

Kodak Vision2 500T 5218,
Vision2 Expression 500T 5229,
Ektachrome 100D 5285

Cross Processing and Bleach Bypass
by Technicolor (New York)

Digital Intermediate

Printed on Kodak Vision 2383

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