Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Mystery Down Under

07/09/2022

The Australian series Mystery Road: Origin adds to the popular mythology established in the franchise's preceding features and television seasons. The detective-driven drama follows Jay Swan (Mark Coles Smith), a newly minted police officer navigating his new position in the indigenous mining community where his estranged father resides. As series cinematographer Tyson Perkins explains, the subject matter offered a rich vein for visual storytelling. The look of Mystery Road: Origin certainly sits within the typical Western style, he notes. The color palette and camerawork resemble the West Australian landscape in which it was shot.

Specifically, the city of Kalgoorlie served as the show's fictional town of Jardine. Kalgoorlie is a mining town riddled with the scars of human industry, Perkins says. The visuals work to mirror this. Mystery Road: Origin is the prequel to a large body of work that includes two other shows and two films. [Origin series director] Dylan River and I looked to capture the tone that [Mystery Road and Goldstone director] Ivan Sen had captured in his original feature films. We loved how he used a single-camera approach and covered his scenes really sparsely. This style added to the ominous feeling that lingers around Jay wherever he goes.

Dylan and I are both big fans of Roger Deakins [ASC, BSC], Perkins adds. No Country for Old Men, Prisoners and Sicario were big inspirations a lot of the lighting and framing references that we drew upon in the show came from those films. We had a relatively long preproduction period, and given how tight television schedules are, our collective knowledge of the scripts and our desired approach proved to be invaluable. It meant we could keep focused on what was important to the story, even if we had to lose some shots from the list.

Perkins turned to Panavision Sydney to find the lens set that would match the Western style he was envisioning. We wanted a large-format lens set that would diffuse the harshness of the environment but at the same time would add to the hazy, hot feeling of the West Australian landscape, he explains. The H Series do that job perfectly and are a wonderful portrait set. They have a wonderful softness that's pleasing on skin and helped amplify the heat haze of the desert without feeling like they sacrifice resolution to do so. They also have this unique focus falloff that's hard to define but is something that I find tremendously pleasing.

For his camera, Perkins chose Panavision's Millennium DXL2. We wanted to harness the wide field of view that the DXL2 sensor provides, the cinematographer notes. This was not only to capture the wide vistas in the landscape we were shooting, but it was also chosen specifically for use in cars. Using a large-format camera for car interiors meant we could use our hero lens, the 50mm, for our car work and keep most of the actor in the frame. Lots of the show plays out in car interiors, so this was super-important for us.

We also shot a great number of scenes in the blue hour, and having the ability to push the camera to 2500 ISO was really handy in those moments where you're up against it in the very last moments of light, he says. We scheduled around having the ability to push the camera in that way, and it really had a material impact on what we were able to get.

I don't think you can beat the mix of equipment and support that Panavision offers, Perkins continues. This show was by far the biggest narrative project I had ever done, and my relationship to Panavision was so important to me.

Reflecting on what first brought him to Panavision, Perkins shares, Panavision has a storied history with many filmmakers around the world. However, in Australia, it was the companys support of the Aboriginal filmmakers that have come before that drew me to Panavision initially. My aunt Rachel Perkins is one of the pioneering Aboriginal directors in Australia. And in my early years, whilst I was working with slim to no budget, the support of Ann Lyons at Panavision Sydney was often the difference between me being able to have equipment for a job or not at all.

I've seen firsthand how the power of cinema can compel social change, so I always try to ensure that I contribute to that by foregrounding Aboriginal voices in my work, Perkins adds. Working with an Aboriginal director and lead actors on Mystery Road: Origin is a great example of that. It's something I'm extremely honored to have played a role in.

Images courtesy of Tyson Perkins.
LINK: https://www.panavision.com/highlights/highlights-detail/mystery-down-u...
See more stories from panavision

More from Panavision France

13/04/2024

Lighting a Horror Scene With LEE Filters

In this video, gaffer Elena Armellini takes viewers behind the scenes as she lights a horror scene. She and her crew black-out the locations windows to give the...

09/04/2024

For the Family

Co-written and directed by Thomas Cailley, The Animal Kingdom (Le r gne animal) follows a father and son's adventure to find their family's matriarch af...

08/04/2024

How to Light a Horror Scene using LEE Filters with Elena Armellini

In this video, Elena Armellini shows us how she uses LEE Filters to create the perfect lighting for a horror scene....

06/04/2024

Lighting a Night-Interior Bar Scene With LEE Filters

In this educational video from LEE Filters, cinematographer Simon Rowling welcomes viewers on set and discusses his creative and technical approach to lighting ...

29/03/2024

Women Making History, Part 5

In the final installment of Panavision's Women Making History interview series, Panavision President and CEO Kim Snyder focuses the conversation on the part...

26/03/2024

A Collaboration With Panavision: Pedro Luque, SCU

Cinematographer Pedro Luque, SCU's credits include the features Body Cam, Antebellum and director J.A. Bayona's Best International Feature Oscar-nominat...

21/03/2024

Women Making History, Part 4

In Part 4 of Panavision's Women Making History interview series, the conversation turns toward career highlights. Prompted by Panavision President and CEO K...

18/03/2024

Vintage Allure

Released this past January, the music video for Ariana Grande's yes, and? brings a modern approach to vintage allure. The video was directed by Christian ...

14/03/2024

Women Making History, Part 3

The Women Making History interview series continues, with Panavision President and CEO Kim Snyder steering the conversation toward mentorship. Here, the partici...

13/03/2024

The Making of Ferrari

I like to work with directors that have a real distinct sense for what they want out of their film, says Erik Messerschmidt, ASC. This was certainly the case w...

08/03/2024

Women Making History, Part 2

In this installment of Panavision's Women Making History interview series, the conversation turns to key advice that has helped guide the participants as th...

01/03/2024

Women Making History, Part 1

The month of March marks Women's History Month and, on the 8th, International Women's Day. These are important opportunities to focus on stories from wo...

27/02/2024

LEE Filters expands LEE Direct e-commerce platform to Canada

TORONTO (February 27, 2024) LEE Filters, a leading manufacturer of high-quality lighting gels and photographic filters and a member of the Panavision family o...

27/02/2024

The Making of The New Boy

ACS member Warwick Thornton wrote, directed and photographed the feature The New Boy, about a 9-year-old Aboriginal Australian orphan who arrives at a remote mo...

26/02/2024

Light Iron Colors Penelope in the Cloud

MovieLabs, the technology joint venture of the major Hollywood motion picture studios, recently announced that Light Iron is among the latest group of 10 partic...

25/02/2024

Look, Flow & Legacy

Directed and co-written by Nicholaus Goossen, Drugstore June follows the vigilante detective-work of a self-obsessed social-media influencer, the eponymous June...

22/02/2024

The Panavision Group at BSC Expo 2024

BSC Expo 2024 recently wrapped in London, and Panavision, Panalux and LEE Filters were all on hand to showcase products from across their range of innovative so...

21/02/2024

Vital History

With its fourth season, the National Geographic series Genius presents a dual portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, inspirational leaders who paved ...

14/02/2024

The Making of Saltburn

I always want the film to tell me what it needs, says cinematographer Linus Sandgren, FSF, ASC. In the case of writer-director Emerald Fennell's feature Sa...

13/02/2024

Worthy Company

Cinematographer Ricardo Diaz joined the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty for Season 2's third episode, The Second Coming. Depicting...

08/02/2024

The Making of Killers of the Flower Moon and Barbie

2023 saw the release of two features photographed by Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC: Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, and Killers of the Flower Moon, which reteamed ...

31/01/2024

Panalux welcomes Sandro Leone as Long Form Sales Director

LONDON, England (31 January, 2024) Panalux, a leading rental provider of lighting and power solutions for the motion-picture industry and part of Panavision&#...

29/01/2024

Family of Fighters

Written and directed by Sean Durkin, the feature film The Iron Claw shines a light on the tragedies and triumphs of the Von Erichs, a real-life family of profes...

23/01/2024

Panalux announces new London headquarters

LONDON, England (23rd January, 2024) Panalux, a leading rental provider of lighting and power solutions for the motion-picture industry and part of Panavision...

12/01/2024

The Making of The Crown

Over six seasons, the Netflix series The Crown has enthralled viewers with its simultaneously intimate and epic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the royal fam...

09/01/2024

Celebrating the Creative Spirit

Since its opening in 1973, the Sydney Opera House has become a globally recognized symbol of Australia and the creative spirit. In honor of the renowned institu...

16/12/2023

Texture of Emotion

Based on Priscilla Presley's 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, the feature Priscilla reunited writer-director Sofia Coppola with cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd, ...

05/12/2023

The Making of The Florida Project

Director Sean Baker's 2017 feature The Florida Project examines the world just outside the gates of the most magical place on Earth from the perspective o...

28/11/2023

Perfect Pairs

Based on the true story of two best friends, Jane (Yara Shahidi) and Corinne (Odessa A'zion), Sitting in Bars With Cake depicts a harrowing journey of matur...

16/11/2023

Seeing in the Dark

Set in 1950s France, The Deep Dark (Gueules noires) follows a group of coal miners who are commissioned to escort a professor through dangerous depths to retrie...

11/11/2023

Wistful Thinking

Writer-director Le Chau was born in Vietnam, moved to the United States when she was 22, and graduated from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 2...

08/11/2023

A Collaboration With Panavision: Autumn Durald Arkapaw, ASC

Like the spoken word, visual language is a gift passed down from previous generations and capable of robust growth through shared use and collaboration. For cin...

08/11/2023

Unmistakable Charm

The story of a shy photographer who breaks out of his shell after attending a succession of drag shows, Three Nights a Week offers an honest look behind the vei...

31/10/2023

A Collaboration with Panavision: Alexis Zab, ASC, AMC

An expert in the exacting craft of commercial cinematography, Alexis Zab , ASC, AMC is equally adept at lending visuals of distinct humanity to long-form projec...

16/10/2023

Sam Daley Nominated for HPA Award

The Hollywood Professional Association has announced the nominations for the 2023 HPA Awards, which will be presented on November 9. Light Iron senior colorist ...

13/10/2023

To Be Believed

Director Charl ne Favier's feature La fille quon appelle focuses on Laura Le Corre (Alba Ga a Bellugi), a young woman placed in a vulnerable position after ...

06/10/2023

In Focus: Panavision Manufacturing

This video takes viewers inside the manufacturing department at Panavision's headquarters in Woodland Hills, California. Follow along from blueprint to CNC ...

06/10/2023

A Collaboration With Panavision: John Seale, AM, ACS, ASC

Before going on to serve as cinematographer on such varied and beloved features as Witness, Rain Man, Dead Poet's Society, The English Patient, The Perfect ...

29/09/2023

Launchpad Season 2 Takes Flight

Now streaming on Disney+, Launchpad Season 2 comprises six original live-action short films from underrepresented filmmakers whose unique voices bring new persp...

20/09/2023

A Collaboration With Panavision: David Procter, BSC

It's one of the most powerful mediums of art, I believe, that we have, David Procter, BSC says of motion pictures. Having gotten his start in documentaries...

19/09/2023

LEE Filters launches LEE100 Deluxe Kit+

ANDOVER, England (19th September, 2023) LEE Filters, a leading manufacturer of high-quality lighting gels and photographic filters and a member of the Panavis...

11/09/2023

Tall Tale

Boots Riley writer, director and acclaimed vocalist of the hip-hop group The Coup is the definition of a colorful and exacting thinker. Some five years afte...

05/09/2023

Creative Exercise

Created by Annie Weisman, the 1980s-set Apple TV+ series Physical focuses on Sheila Rubin (Rose Byrne) as she navigates a path toward self-discovery after unloc...

02/09/2023

A Collaboration With Panavision: Ben Davis, BSC

My first day on set, I thought, This is what I want to do,' reflects Ben Davis, BSC, whose credits range from dramas like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,...

28/08/2023

Kim Snyder Receives HPA Alchemist Honor

The Hollywood Professional Association recently announced the latest recipients of its League Honors. This year's honorees include Panavision President and ...

25/08/2023

Winning Depth

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is back for its second season on HBO, pushing deeper into the 1980s as it continues to recount the on- and off-cour...

22/08/2023

Political Colors

Created by Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck and directed by David Mandel, the five-part miniseries White House Plumbers shines a fresh light on the real-life comedy...

14/08/2023

A Collaboration With Panavision: Stephen H. Burum, ASC

I was a kid who liked to play, and cinematography is like playing, shares Stephen H. Burum, ASC, the recipient of the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the C...

08/08/2023

The Thrill of the Ride

The new feature Haunted Mansion delivers spooky fun inspired by the famed Disney theme park attraction. Telling the story of single-mom Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) ...

28/07/2023

Surreal Sympathies

Director Yuval Adler's Sympathy for the Devil is a road movie designed to subvert expectations. The story depicts one extremely long night for one sorely un...