Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Tribute to the King

29/06/2022

It was June 2019 when director Baz Luhrmann first approached cinematographer Mandy Walker, ACS, ASC about collaborating on the new biopic Elvis. I was extremely excited, Walker recalls. Baz showed me a reel he had put together to explain Elvis' history and serve as a guide to the story he wanted tell. Elvis was the King,' and his experiences and rise to fame were larger than life.

Walker and Luhrmann had previously teamed on the director's epic 2008 feature Australia. The cinematographer describes their collaboration as such a fulfilling relationship. He runs the set like a conductor and is constantly communicating with all departments. It's a very rewarding experience for everyone. Baz makes us all feel involved and part of the process in a respectful and inclusive way.

Principal photography for Elvis was based in Australia's northeast state of Queensland and spanned approximately 20 weeks, with Austin Butler in the title role. Sourcing their lens package through Panavision Queensland, the filmmakers worked with Sphero 65 large-format optics which Walker had previously employed on the features The Mountain Between Us and Mulan as well as T Series anamorphic lenses modified for a 1.85x squeeze factor. Walker recently connected with Panavision to share her experiences from the production.

Panavision: On past projects, you've often assembled a look bible' during prep. Was that part of the process for Elvis, and if so, what sort of imagery was included?

Mandy Walker, ACS, ASC: Baz and [production designer and costume designer] Catherine Martin always do extensive research very early on and start putting together a reference book with historical references and ideas for sets and costumes. When I started, we added more inspiration, working together to research movies, art and photographic reference that tied to Baz's vision, and then I began exploring the technical aspects of how to express those ideas. We looked at documentary films, footage of Elvis' concert performances, and many photographs depicting his life and these specific parts of American history.

Very importantly, because there is documentary concert footage that exists, we would all study that meticulously when we had those scenes. The camera operators would watch to see how to match their shots and camera angles. We looked at the colors and design of the concert lighting. Even the dimmer-board operators were making the same lighting changes in time to the music. We spent weeks rehearsing and plotting the cameras and lighting for those scenes.

What was your process with Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin and other key collaborators to define the creative use of color in the movie?

Walker: We gleaned what we saw in the historical research, but we were also making a drama for cinema, so the storytelling of Elvis' journey and relationship with Col. Tom Parker [Tom Hanks] was really what guided how we looked at creating the visual language. We wanted the color palette to relate to the specific time and place as well as to express Elvis' emotional journey at those times in history. For instance, he came from a very poor neighborhood in Memphis, so for the beginning of his life, we wanted a desaturated palette, what we called black-and-white color.' Work from photographers such as Gordon Parks and Saul Leiter and images from Elvis' own photos guided the look of that era. Then, the Hollywood years of the 1950s and 1960s are full of Kodachrome colors, and Vegas in the '70s is full of glitz, contrast and saturated colors. We had different LUTs on set that represented each specific era.

It was important that the cinematography, art department, and costume and makeup were all on the same page. During preproduction, Baz is meticulous about shooting tests that bring together each and every aspect, so when it's time to actually shoot the movie, we're all in harmony. I also went into dailies every night to finesse and match the scenes from each era and the flow of each location to the next.

What is it about the Sphero 65 lenses that drew you to use them again for Elvis?

Walker: The nature of Elvis' life is epic. Those lenses are great at showing wide, grand frames but also intimate close-ups with low depth of field. For the beginning of his life through the 1960s we used this format. Then, to show the transition of Elvis' life when he went to Las Vegas, we went anamorphic, which helped delineate the historical time and place. One of the documentaries we had as a reference was That's the Way It Is, and that film was shot anamorphic at the Hilton ballroom.

Baz and I visited [Panavision's senior vice president of optical engineering and lens strategy] Dan Sasaki in Woodland Hills in August 2019 to start talking to him about the style of the movie and our visual language for depicting time within the history of Elvis' life. Dan suggested the Spheros for the first part of the movie and the T Series for the 1970s, and he and his team then added characteristics to the lenses that enhanced the look we wanted not too clean, and keeping a cinematic look as opposed to an electronic feel. Dan works in a way that is technical, but he can interpret the emotional feel you want in a lens.

Paul Jackson [managing director for Panavision Australia] was also part of our collaboration. He came in to meet with Baz and myself and talk about how we would liaise so the different lensing and cameras would flow perfectly for the schedule.

You also had a large-format Panavision Petzval lens. What qualities did it offer, and when would you use it?

Walker: We used it for special moments and to intensify the memories and dreamy qualities of the experience for the audience. This lens focuses your eyes to the center of the frame, like a vignette, and the background d
LINK: https://www.panavision.com/highlights/highlights-detail/tribute-to-the...
See more stories from panavision

Most recent headlines

07/12/2022

Dalet Flex Takes a Leap Forward

Dalet, a leading technology and service provider for media-rich organizations, today announced key new capabilities available in Dalet Flex that support importa...

04/11/2022

Game better with DTS Headphone:X

The best gamers know DTS Headphone:X technology ups their play. Now major magazines have caught on, too. DTS Headphone:X technology creates immersive soundsc...

08/10/2022

Dalet Next-Gen Solutions at IBC 2022

Dalet, a leading technology and service provider for media-rich organizations, is pleased to announce its return to the IBC Show, held in Amsterdam from Septemb...

16/08/2022

Streaming Video Technology Alliance Announces Newly Elected Board Members

FREMONT, Calif. The Streaming Video Technology Alliance (SVTA) has announced the annual board election results and the publication of two documents, the Home St...

16/08/2022

Walmart+ to Offer Free Access to Paramount+

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Walmart is working to expand the popularity of its Walmart+ membership offering by adding the Paramount+ streaming service at no additional co...

16/08/2022

NICE Shoes Color's Lenny Mastrandrea Explores Florida's Sunny Gulf Coast for Amazon Prime's Life's Rewards

NICE Shoes Color's Lenny Mastrandrea Explores Florida's Sunny Gulf Coast...

16/08/2022

ASC Online Master Class: August 27th 28th

ASC Online Master Class: August 27th 28th Brie Clayton August 16, 2022 0 Comments The American Society of Cinematographers will hold a two-day Onlin...

16/08/2022

Pixotope Launches Education Program for Virtual Production Students

Pixotope Launches Education Program for Virtual Production Students Brie Clayton August 16, 2022 0 Comments The Pixotope Education Program is a communi...

16/08/2022

DaVinci Resolve creates documentary My Old School's retro look

Colour is a crucial part of documentary film My Old School, with one of the main challenges unifying its animated and live sections By Contributor Published: ...

16/08/2022

Meet the audio describer

Take 1's Ryan Hennessey explains how a love for creative writing and film is a great basis for becoming an audio describer By Contributor Published: Augus...

16/08/2022

Tiffen Introduces new 39mm Filter Size

Tiffen Introduces new 39mm Filter Size Brie Clayton August 15, 2022 0 Comments Tiffen, known for its renowned line of professional glass filters, is in...

16/08/2022

Caton Technology joins Grass Valley Media Universe Alliance

Caton Technology joins Grass Valley Media Universe Alliance Brie Clayton August 15, 2022 0 Comments Brings unrivalled connectivity and acceleration to ...

16/08/2022

House of Zwide' September Spoilers: Funani betrays Rea and Ona

House of Zwide' September Spoilers: Funani betrays Rea and OnaThe House of Zwide' September teasers reveal that Ona will dump Faith and Funani's bu...

16/08/2022

SOAPIE QUIZ: How well do you know Uzalo'? WIN R1 000 in cash!

SOAPIE QUIZ: How well do you know Uzalo'? WIN R1 000 in cash!Are you a true Uzalo' soapie superfan? Then take part in our popular soapie quiz and WIN ...

16/08/2022

Actor Bonko Khoza reveals his plans after The Wife' exit

Actor Bonko Khoza reveals his plans after The Wife' exitActor Bonko Khoza, who exited the role of a taxi driver Mqhele Zulu in The Wife' says he's...

16/08/2022

Actress Nomvelo Makhanya dumps Scandal!'

Actress Nomvelo Makhanya dumps Scandal!'Popular actress Nomvelo Makhanya, who's been playing the role of Lindiwe Ngema for a decade has exited e.tv'...

16/08/2022

WATCH: Skeem Saam - Tonight's teaser E32 S11

WATCH: Skeem Saam - Tonight's teaser E32 S11Find out what's going on tonight on Skeem Saam! by SA TV and Soapies 16-08-2022 16:01 in SkeemSaam Tue...

16/08/2022

WATCH: Generations - The Legacy, tonight's teaser E192 S8

WATCH: Generations - The Legacy, tonight's teaser E192 S8Keen to know what's happening on the latest episode of Generations: The Legacy? by SA TV and ...

16/08/2022

WATCH: Uzalo- Tonight's teaser E117 S8

WATCH: Uzalo- Tonight's teaser E117 S8Don't get left behind, catch up on Uzalo now! by SA TV and Soapies 16-08-2022 16:05 in Soapies Tuesday's...

16/08/2022

WATCH: Imbewu - The Seed, tonight's teaser E89 S5

WATCH: Imbewu - The Seed, tonight's teaser E89 S5Catch up on what's going on to night on Imbewu by SA TV and Soapies 16-08-2022 16:09 in Soapies T...

16/08/2022

WATCH: Diep City - Tonight's teaser E97 S2

WATCH: Diep City - Tonight's teaser E97 S2We've got you covered on what's happening tonight. by SA TV and Soapies 16-08-2022 16:12 in Soapies ...

16/08/2022

WATCH: The River - Tonight's teaser E137 S5

WATCH: The River - Tonight's teaser E137 S5Watch tonight's episode of The River and catch the latest episode every weekday at 20:00 on 1 Magic, don'...

16/08/2022

WATCH: Scandal - Tonight's teaser E98 S14

WATCH: Scandal - Tonight's teaser E98 S14Get to know what's happening on tonight's episode! by SA TV and Soapies 16-08-2022 16:16 in Scandal T...

16/08/2022

WATCH: Gomora - Tonight's teaser E82 S3

WATCH: Gomora - Tonight's teaser E82 S3Don't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of Gomora, and watch the latest episode every wee...

16/08/2022

WATCH: Muvhango - Tonight's teaser E421 S22

WATCH: Muvhango - Tonight's teaser E421 S22Don't miss out on the latest drama in Muvhango! by SA TV and Soapies 16-08-2022 16:21 in Muvhango Tuesd...

16/08/2022

WATCH: 7de Laan - Tonight's teaser E427 S22

WATCH: 7de Laan - Tonight's teaser E427 S22Don't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of 7de Laan and Catch the latest episode ever...

16/08/2022

Indoor': J'Something announces tour inspired by new project

Indoor': J'Something announces tour inspired by new projectSinger-songwriter J'Something will be taking Mzansi by storm with his national tour, Ind...

16/08/2022

Why Uzalo' remains the most-watched show in South Africa

Why Uzalo' remains the most-watched show in South AfricaThe Broadcast Research Council (BRC) of South Africa reveals SABC1's soapie Uzalo' is the ...

16/08/2022

Sony Celebrates Eight Wins at 2022 EISA Awards Including Full-Frame Camera for Alpha 7 IV and Multimedia Smartphone for Xperia 1 IV

Sony is extremely proud to announce that its quality and innovation has once aga...

16/08/2022

Digital Art Professor Kate Parsons Inspires Next Generation of Creators This Week In the NVIDIA Studio'

Editor's note: This post is part of our weekly In the NVIDIA Studio series, ...

16/08/2022

AI Shows the Way: Seoul Robotics Helps Cars Move, Park on Their Own

Imagine driving a car - one without self-driving capabilities - to a mall, airport or parking garage, and using an app to have the car drive off to park itself....

16/08/2022

Smart Devices, Smart Manufacturing: Pegatron Taps AI, Digital Twins

In the fast-paced field of making the world's tech devices, Pegatron Corp. initially harnessed AI to gain an edge. Now, it's on the cusp of creating dig...

16/08/2022

Villrich Broadcast | Demonstrates an automated PTZ solution at the IBC SHOW 2022

Villrich Broadcast, will be at this years IBC Show in Hall 12 Stand A22, were we will demonstrate several solutions that can be combined with a PTZ workflow. On...

16/08/2022

Nevion survey: Cloud adoption a priority for only 27% of broadcasters despite its industry potential

A new survey of broadcasters across the world, undertaken on behalf of Nevion, a...

16/08/2022

ETV Thailand Upgrades to Latest Generation PlayBox Neo Broadcast Playout

Thai public service broadcaster ETV has chosen a playout system from PlayBox Neo as the core of its high-definition educational television channel. The project ...

16/08/2022

Full Stream Ahead with the new Saber IP20X Full NDI

Angekis Technology Co., LTD is proud to present its newest camera, the Saber IP20X Full NDI. This latest camera offers all the advantages of the Saber Series an...

16/08/2022

KILOVIEW debuts new products to boost IP transition at IBC2022

KILOVIEW, a leading provider of IP video transmission solutions, has revealed the new products it will be showcasing on its Stand 7.B60 at this year's IBC20...

16/08/2022

Pixotope Launches Education Program for Virtual Production Students

Pixotope, the leader in live augmented reality, extended reality, and virtual production solutions, today announced the launch of the Pixotope Education Program...

16/08/2022

GB Labs puts the focus firmly on customers with its return to IBC 2022

At IBC 2022, GBLabs' focus is on re-connecting with customers and emphasising how it can help them with the key issues facing their organisations, such as s...

16/08/2022

Daily devotion: Your bible verse and prayer for 16 August 2022

Daily devotion: Your bible verse and prayer for 16 August 2022GOOD MORNING! Here's your daily bible verse and prayer to get you ready and excited about your...

16/08/2022

August 15, 2022

Scripps Research scientists identify how SARS-CoV-2 spreads in the Middle East Findings highlight biases in viral sampling and urgent need for better global hea...

15/08/2022

A La Carte Or A La Cable? How Streaming Services Are Taking The Media Industry Back In Time

alt= class=wp-image-10549 data-lazy-srcset=https://www.studionetworksolutions.co...

15/08/2022

Keep Summer From Ending With Unlimited Music and Podcasts for Less

In need of a pick-me-up to get you through autumn and the cooler days ahead? It's easy to keep the summer beat going with your favorite beach or poolside tu...

15/08/2022

Funny Business

In Season 1 of the HBO Max original series Hacks, legendary but no longer irreplaceable Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) and canceled television ...

15/08/2022

Three Ways a Realistic Driving Simulator Prepares Your Driving Crew

In the past, training for a driving job involved a lot of time on the road or a closed track, practicing various maneuvers, and getting comfortable with the equ...

15/08/2022

How our robotic systems help to maximise mission success

Generally speaking, it is often the case that robotic systems operators are unwittingly held back from maximising on mission success. Throughout this article, w...

15/08/2022

Disney Signs Intellectual Property License Agreement With DivX

SAN DIEGO Digital video tech provider DivX has announced that The Walt Disney Company, whose streaming services include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, has signed an ...

15/08/2022

Nexstar Media Group to Acquire 75% Stake in The CW Network

IRVING, Texas Nexstar Media Group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 75% ownership interest in The CW Network, LLC....

15/08/2022

HBO Max Creates Our Flag Means Death Using Blackmagic Design

HBO Max Creates Our Flag Means Death Using Blackmagic Design Brie Clayton August 15, 2022 0 Comments Blackmagic Design today announced that the HBO Max...