Lyrebird soars with Cooke Optics lenses

Cinematographer Remi Adefarasin deploys Cooke Optics lenses to capture WW2 film

An upcoming period feature film starring Guy Pearce, Claes Bang, Vicky Krieps and Roland Moller, Lyrebird is directed by Dan Friedkin working alongside cinematographer Remi Adefarasin.

Before the project started, both Friedlin and Adefarasin were keen to try out the Alexa LF large-format camera system, with the latter shooting some early tests with the Alexa 65 using many different lenses.

“Although we loved the large format, no lenses [available at the time] did what we hoped for,” said Adefarasin. “Many of the current ranges are stills lenses adapted for movies, but they did not have any cinematic quality or consistency. Great for plate shots but not kind to faces, they breathed badly with the slightest focus pull.”

Adefarasin’s prayers were answered when ARRI launched the Alexa LF, which he decided to pair up with the new Cooke S7/i lenses.

“We shot open gate 1.85 and the results blew us away. We were shooting mostly at 800 ISO but at times went to 1280 ISO without any loss in image quality,” he said. “We could shoot wider shots that had a closer feel, and the viewer could choose what part of the frame they were interested in, giving a more immersive experience.”

Lyrebird was shot in a variety of lighting conditions: on location and on sets, interiors and exteriors, as well as day and night. According to Adefarasin, the intention was always for the lighting to look natural, yet interesting. “We mostly shot with HMI and tungsten but also used a lot of modern LED lights — indeed, some sensitive locations would only allow us to use LEDs — and we used IR Nd’s in bright conditions.

“The Cooke S7/i’s performed superbly at every challenge. We had some shots where we panned through the sun and the results looked wonderful. From candle light through LED to Mole Beams and HMI, and then sunlight, I was happy.”

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