Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Polly Morgan Launches Lucy in the Sky

17/05/2022

Lucy In the Sky is the story of an astronaut who, on returning to Earth, begins to fall apart and lose touch with reality. Co-written and directed by Noah Hawley, the film is inspired by the real-life romantic drama of a U.S. astronaut, and stars Natalie Portman as fictional character Lucy Cola.

Hawley and cinematographer Polly Morgan, ASC, BSC tell Lucy's story with ambitious visual flourishes. The creative team chose Panavision's DXL2 camera and optics to bring this astronaut's disintegrating mindset to the big screen.

Written into the script was a lot of magical realism that charted Lucy's emotional decline and helped the viewer to go on this journey with her in a very visual way, Morgan says. There was a lot for a cinematographer to tuck into.

Most notably is a bold use of aspect ratio to chart the central character's emotional freefall.

When we find Lucy in space, she has this sense of immense freedom and the screen reflects that in widescreen format, Morgan explains. When she returns to Earth, she feels a sense of claustrophobia, of everything constricting her, so that's illustrated in the frame itself where we move to a squarer 4:3. It echoes her breathing. When she feels relaxed and free with a sense of wonder the screen opens up to reflect that, and when she feels overwhelmed and trapped, the frame boxes her in.

The transitions between aspect ratios were suggested by visual cues in the script. For example, as Lucy goes through a doorway, we'd use the darkness of the frame to take us from widescreen to 4:3. Or we'd match the light of the space shuttle entering the Earth's atmosphere with a bright light bulb at a doctor's office to switch from widescreen back into 4:3.

We discussed the transition elements a lot during pre-production so it would work without jarring the audience out of the story, she says. Noah and I had used aspect ratio changes on Legion to complement the story. Here we used light and darkness and set design as well as camera moves to translate the concept smoothly to the big screen.

The desire to convey the central character's altered state through aspect ratio and distortion convinced Morgan to choose anamorphic glass. In turn, that meant selecting a camera which would enable them to crop 4:3 from anamorphic 2.39:1 widescreen without losing detail in the image.

We tested a number of large format cameras but DXL2 seemed the perfect choice, she says. Shooting on the MONSTRO's 8K sensor allowed for both anamorphic squeeze and extraction of 4:3 from the 2.39 capture for a 2K deliverable. We shot REDCODE raw at 4:1 compression and 6:1 when we went to high speed.

She adds, I was really impressed with not only the sensitivity of the native 1600 ISO chip and its latitude but also its color rendition which felt very organic. Everything just pointed to using the DXL2.

In order for Morgan's choice of G Series Primes to work with the format, she worked with Panavision's Guy McVicker to customize the set.

Panavision adjusted the G Series to cover the large sensor, but it still optically stretched the image to the limit, she says. I fell in love with the look because when you took the 4:3 extraction from the 2.39 it gave this interesting effect where just the top and bottom of the frame had focus fall off and where cropping in at the sides helped us to focus sharpness in the center to punctuate the fact that Lucy is not seeing clearly and her world is distorted. I felt the lens gave a very painterly quality to the image and a softer, more feminine approach to the story. The optical artifacts helped deliver that.

Since a portion of the story is set in space for which several sequences required visual effects, Morgan decided to shoot these spherically and at full resolution 8K.

Scenes of NASA's underwater training facility were going to require particularly heavy VFX, so after some debate we decided to approach that dry for wet and to shoot it clean, full sensor, and spherically using Primo 70s. We added anamorphic optic effects to match the G series in post.

She also deployed spherical 35-200mm glass from Panavision for an infinite zoom effect to convey the out of body moment when Portman's character hears news of her grandmother's stroke.

We shot still plates at Lucy's house at night and then down an east-facing street through dawn into morning so you can see the sun rising in the plates, Morgan explains. VFX stitched those together to create a factual zoom. We then shot Natalie standing in front of an open elevator against blue screen in which we comped the infinite zoom plates. We created interactive moving light to tie Natalie into the plates and created movement by placing her on a dolly which is then pulled back and moved down a hallway in the hospital into her grandmother's room. The audience feels as if they are being pulled in a continuous shot from the house, down the street, and into the hospital.

The idea is that when you suffer traumatic news, time kind of disappears. When you think back to how you got somewhere you can't remember the details. It's one of the magical realism elements we used to illustrate Lucy's mental state.

The film is designed in primary colors red with blue and green reflecting the natural world. We wanted to have quite a vibrant color palette to contrast with the cool tone throughout the film. That was established on set and continued into the DI.

We really tried to protect highlights and have them roll off and to expose with quite subdued tones which was helped by the sensitivity of the DXL chip, she adds.

Morgan notes her relationship with Panavision began early in her career. I would go to Panavision in my spare time and label camera cases and filters for any production that would let me, she reca
LINK: https://www.panavision.com/highlights/highlights-detail/polly-morgan-l...
See more stories from panavision

Most recent headlines

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...

05/07/2022

Xperi Expands CTV Offerings with Vewd Acquisition

SAN JOSE, Calif. TiVo parent company Xperi has acquired Vewd Software Holdings Limited for $109 million through a mixture of cash and debt. Xperi says the acqui...

05/07/2022

Rise Now Accepting Nominations for 2022 Awards

LONDON Rise, the award-winning advocacy group for women in the broadcast media technology sector, is now accepting nominations for its annual Rise Awards, which...

05/07/2022

Anton/Bauer Expands Dionic 26V Battery Series

SHELTON, Conn. Anton/Bauer has expanded its Dionic 26V series of cinema batteries by working with ARRI to develop a new range of B-Mount batteries, chargers and...

05/07/2022

ARRI Unveils New LiOS2 Software

MUNICH ARRI today introduced LiOS2 software, offering new Sync, Cue and Optics Auto Adjust modes, for its Orbiter LED luminaire....

05/07/2022

Four-Time Oscar Nominee and 11-Time Goya Winner Alberto Iglesias Receives Honorary Doctorate at Berklee Valencia Commencement

Four-Time Oscar Nominee and 11-Time Goya Winner Alberto Iglesias Receives Honora...

05/07/2022

Producing more with less with IP it's really possible

Imagine Communications Cassidy Phillips argues that IP systems built on COTS hardware and SMPTE ST 2110 standard are not a science project By Contributor Publ...

05/07/2022

French virtual production studio upgrades to extended reality

The combined FLEX/SMODE xR solution works as an additional server on top of the existing Unreal/nDisplay set-up By Jenny Priestley Published: July 5, 2022 ...

05/07/2022

Meet the sports broadcast graphics operator

AE Lives Jodie Butcher reveals how she went from PE teacher to working on some of the biggest sporting events in the world, and why she would advise anyone look...

05/07/2022

MEDIAGENIX acquires video distribution services company BeBanjo

The acquisition generates a broad solution portfolio combining MEDIAGENIXs WHATS'ON Media Business Management Platform with BeBanjo's Movida VoD-first s...

05/07/2022

ALPAC Capital takes majority share in Euronews

Company has acquired 88 per cent of the Euronews shares after reaching an agreement with previous holder, MGN By Jenny Priestley Published: July 5, 2022 Co...

05/07/2022

New Orbiter LiOS2 software update from ARRI for even stronger synergy between lighting and camera

New Orbiter LiOS2 software update from ARRI for even stronger synergy between li...

05/07/2022

Banijay Rights Sends Marie Antoinette Down Under

Banijay Rights, the global distribution arm of Banijay, today announces the sale of new eight-part historical drama Marie Antoinette to BBC First in Australia. ...

05/07/2022

European League of Football season 2022 - novel media uses LOGIC PORTAL for automated VoD recording and transcoding

The second season of the European League Football is currently providing many ex...

05/07/2022

nxtedition puts storytelling front and centre with its revolutionary story-focused production automation at IBC 2022

Broadcast microservices specialists nxtedition will showcase their powerful prod...

05/07/2022

Intinor debuts new Direkt link compact and introduces new features for existing product range at IBC 2022

Intinor, Sweden's leading developer of products and solutions for high-quali...

05/07/2022

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

SOAPIE QUIZ: How well do you know House of Zwide'? WIN R1 000 in cash!Are you a true House of Zwide' soapie superfan? Then take part in our popular so...

05/07/2022

The Queen' July Spoilers: A broken Hector dumps Harriet for Vuyiswa

The Queen' July Spoilers: A broken Hector dumps Harriet for Vuyiswa The Queen' July teasers reveal that Hector will dump his wife Harriet for Vuyiswa, w...

05/07/2022

Showmax July sizzle: 12 international movies to keep entertained [watch]

Showmax July sizzle: 12 international movies to keep entertained [watch] No Time to Die' is the 25th movie in the James Bond series and Daniel Craig's l...

05/07/2022

Actress Shoki Mmola reveals why she left Skeem Saam'

Actress Shoki Mmola reveals why she left Skeem Saam'Legendary actress Shoki Mmola, who played Celia for a decade in Skeem Saam' reveals why she left t...

05/07/2022

WATCH: Diep City - Tonight's teaser E67 S2

WATCH: Diep City - Tonight's teaser E67 S2We've got you covered on what's happening tonight. by SA TV and Soapies 05-07-2022 16:03 in Soapies ...

05/07/2022

WATCH: Muvhango - Tonight's teaser E391 S22

WATCH: Muvhango - Tonight's teaser E391 S22Don't miss out on the latest drama in Muvhango! by SA TV and Soapies 05-07-2022 16:06 in Muvhango Tuesd...

05/07/2022

WATCH: Scandal - Tonight's teaser E68 S14

WATCH: Scandal - Tonight's teaser E68 S14Get to know what's happening on tonight's episode! by SA TV and Soapies 05-07-2022 16:09 in Scandal T...

05/07/2022

WATCH: Uzalo- Tonight's teaser E87 S8

WATCH: Uzalo- Tonight's teaser E87 S8Don't get left behind, catch up on Uzalo now! by SA TV and Soapies 05-07-2022 16:12 in Soapies Tuesday's ...

05/07/2022

WATCH: The River - Tonight's teaser E107 S5

WATCH: The River - Tonight's teaser E107 S5Watch tonight's episode of The River and catch the latest episode every weekday at 20:00 on 1 Magic, don'...

05/07/2022

WATCH: Gomora - Tonight's teaser E52 S3

WATCH: Gomora - Tonight's teaser E52 S3Don't miss out on what's happening on tonight's episode of Gomora, and watch the latest episode every wee...

05/07/2022

WATCH: Generations - The Legacy, tonight's teaser E162 S8

WATCH: Generations - The Legacy, tonight's teaser E162 S8Keen to know what's happening on the latest episode of Generations: The Legacy? by SA TV and ...

05/07/2022

WATCH: Skeem Saam - Tonight's teaser E02 S11

WATCH: Skeem Saam - Tonight's teaser E02 S11Find out what's going on tonight on Skeem Saam! by SA TV and Soapies 05-07-2022 16:24 in SkeemSaam Tue...

05/07/2022

Computer Graphics Artist Xueguo Yang Shares Fractal Art Series This Week In the NVIDIA Studio'

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

05/07/2022

Daily devotion: Your bible verse and prayer for 05 July 2022

Daily devotion: Your bible verse and prayer for 05 July 2022GOOD MORNING! Here's your daily bible verse and prayer to get you ready and excited about your b...

05/07/2022

Burna Boy teams up with Ladysmith Black Mambazo on upcoming album

Burna Boy teams up with Ladysmith Black Mambazo on upcoming albumGrammy-winning muso Burna Boy is set to feature SA's Ladysmith Black Mambazo on two tracks ...

05/07/2022

Recovering from spiritual blindness: IT IS WRITTEN

Recovering from spiritual blindness: IT IS WRITTENWe often hear; pray against spiritual blindness. But what is that, really? How do we ask Father to reveal the ...

05/07/2022

Skeem Saam': Khwezi gets cuffed for the attempted murder of Lehasa

Skeem Saam': Khwezi gets cuffed for the attempted murder of LehasaThe Skeem Saam' July teasers indicate that Peterson will arrest Khwezi for the attemp...

05/07/2022

I am grateful': Toya Delazy celebrates first pride with baby girl [photos]

I am grateful': Toya Delazy celebrates first pride with baby girl [photos]SA musician Toya Delazy, her wife Ally and their newborn baby girl hit the streets...

05/07/2022

Thales acclre sa stratgie d'investissement dans l'open source hardware

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn En tant qu'initiateur du Deuxi me concours national tudiant RISC-V co-organis avec le GDR SOC2 et le CNFM1, Thales a r com...

05/07/2022

European Parliament adopts the Digital Services Package, setting the bar high for online platforms

European Parliament adopts the Digital Services Package, setting the bar high fo...

05/07/2022

Rohde & Schwarz supplies technology for network of compact remotely controlled measuring stations in Serbia

Rohde & Schwarz supplies technology for network of compact remotely controlled m...

05/07/2022

Movicom delivers Robycam, Frecciarossa cam and other specialty cameras to Italian Cup Final

Movicom delivers Robycam, Frecciarossa cam and other specialty cameras to Italia...

05/07/2022

American Tobacco Tenants Reign on INDY's Best of Triangle List

Wow! Wow! Wow! American Tobacco is once again celebrating on campus and future partners being recognized as the best! Recently, several ATC tenants set a gold s...

04/07/2022

Ncam Makes Virtual Production & In-Camera VFX Tracking Accessible Down to the Day

Ncam Makes Virtual Production & In-Camera VFX Tracking Accessible Down to the Da...

04/07/2022

Anton/Bauer Expands Dionic 26V Battery Series with New B-Mount Solution for ARRI Cine Cameras

Anton/Bauer Expands Dionic 26V Battery Series with New B-Mount Solution for ARRI...

04/07/2022

The metaverse and the forgotten value of video

Guy Parry-Williams, founder of Imedia8, takes a look at the value of video and immersive technology in helping companies reach a bigger audience By Contributor...

04/07/2022

Anton/Bauer expands battery series with B-Mount solution for ARRI Cine cameras

The series has been designed to drive high-power cine cameras such as the ARRI Alexa 35 By Jenny Priestley Published: July 4, 2022 Updated: July 5, 2022 ...

04/07/2022

Andy Kaplan to head up operations at Light Iron

Kaplan has previously worked at Technicolor and Company 3 By Jenny Priestley Published: July 4, 2022 Kaplan has previously worked at Technicolor and Compan...

04/07/2022

Vincent Grivet re-elected chair of HbbTV Association

The Assoication has also elected a new Steering Group, containing representatives from broadcasters and technology vendors By Jenny Priestley Published: July ...

04/07/2022

The metaverse gimmick and the forgotten value of video

The metaverse and Virtual Reality (VR) has had the weight of a number of large big technology companies behind it in the last year; spearheaded by the likes of ...

04/07/2022

Anton Bauer expands native 26V battery series with B-Mount solution for ARRI cine cameras

Anton/Bauer has expanded its DIONIC 26V series of cinema batteries. A range of ...

04/07/2022

Cinegy backs IBC 2022 - showcasing 8k and cloud optimised solutions

As it returns to IBC, Cinegy, a premier provider of software technology for digital video processing, asset management, video compression and automation, and pl...

04/07/2022

Generation The Legacy: Watch tonight's episode, 04 July 2022 [VIDEO]

Generation The Legacy: Watch tonight's episode, 04 July 2022 [VIDEO]Missed an episode of Generation The Legacy? No problem! Watch all the latest episodes of...