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Zidane - 21st century portrait


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#1 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 07:32 AM

I've just watched the dvd of this interesting project and wondered if anyone else knows more about it... Darius Khondji was the dop...

They concentrated 17 cameras on Zinedane Zidane alone throughout an entire La Liga (night) match (the Spanish league) in Madrid... Mainly 35mm Arri's, but also several high-def cameras with incredible Panavision zoom lenses (the acccompanying doco says these lenses were developed for the military...) fitted to them. These high-def cameras were actually mounted upside-down with an ob style monitor and two pan bars (with zoom control) for the operator. Does anyone know why these cameras would be mounted so? I can't fathom what the reason could be...

There's quite a cast of great operators and 2nd's etc working on the project. It's interesting to see how they work differently on the doco feature - some have their assistant focus pulling from a 9" monitor and some operators f/pull themselves - all the cameras have big zooms fitted for the entire shoot... The Hd material cuts in well with the 35mm (of course I've not seen it in the cinema...) and the only time you obviously knew a shot was on tape were a few wides where the flaring (a little nasty) and highlight burnout gave it away...

... an interesting side-note: they sprinkled freshly cut grass on the pitch before the game started - to make it look greener!

- Anyone out there know more about the project and can answer the upside-down question?
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#2 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 02:46 PM

Great film. Great cinematography.
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#3 Mike Williamson

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 03:20 PM

I've been curious to see this film since reading about it in AC, anybody know if it's going to be available on DVD in the US?

As I mentioned, there's an AC article from last year that may answer your question about mounting the cameras upside down. My two guesses would be that either the rig balanced better with the camera upside down (and I'm not sure why that would be), or the 300x zooms were somehow inverting the image.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:54 PM

or the 300x zooms were somehow inverting the image.


This would be my guess. I remember the zooms looking very strange with a long square section rather than being all cylindrical. I suspect the optical solution also happens to invert the image.
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#5 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 05:27 AM

I've been curious to see this film since reading about it in AC, anybody know if it's going to be available on DVD in the US?

As I mentioned, there's an AC article from last year that may answer your question about mounting the cameras upside down. My two guesses would be that either the rig balanced better with the camera upside down (and I'm not sure why that would be), or the 300x zooms were somehow inverting the image.


Do you remember which month was it?
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#6 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:19 PM

Do you remember which month was it?


... It came out in the May 2007 issue (Spiderman 3 on the cover)...

- The Panavision 300:1 (!!) zoom lens was mounted upside down on f900's "so the operators could see a properly orientated image".
The lens is apparently normally used with a remote recorder but production wanted it battery powered and fixed to the hdcam to use special curve
settings to get a good match to the 35mm footage also shot... the video tap image from the lens is normally upside down so they flipped the 900's...

- Can anyone give the details why Panavision didn't re-invert the image in the lens? - is it about more glass/prisms that create aberrations... or something..?
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