When Netflix decide to produce a TV series they do it right and new sci-fi drama Altered Carbon is no exception. Shot in 5K using Canon’s Cine lenses the images look amazing ! Set in a world more than 300 years in the future, where rich people live for hundreds of years, yet look young and beautiful!
The wealthy live in the clouds with bright natural light while the others lived below in the dark, with only artificial light coming from neon signs and holograms.
Creating the two worlds, in the clouds and down below, was a challenge for the DP and the kit as each world required completely different approaches both in terms of the filming and lighting. In the clouds, they used remote-controlled telescopic camera cranes and soft natural lighting to portray the world of the wealthy. Meanwhile, on the ground, where the so-called Grinders live in gritty streets, they used handheld cameras and hard light to accentuate shadows and create a feeling of tension.
The 10-episode drama was shot in 5K using the Canon CN-E50mm T1.3 L F, CN-E24mm T1.5 L F and CN-E35mm T1.5 L F lenses. The wide lens selected was the 35mm which wasn't too wide for faces so there was no face distortion. Another benefit of using Canon's Cine lenses was the ability to achieve focus at very close range. "The close focus of a 50mm Cooke lens on a 6.5K camera is 112cm, which is too far away. So we took advantage of the Canon primes' ability to give us close focus [of 30-45cm], which is your standard close focus range," Neville explains.
Finally, in terms of saving costs the Canon Cine prime lenses were excellent as they were able to open them up to a wide aperture, therefore saving on additional lighting.
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