Features

Panavision Designs Lenses for Mindel on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

When J.J. Abrams and Dan Mindel, ASC, BSC took on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, they knew they were handling a cultural touchstone. As they did with Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, they wanted to respect the antecedent while making a great, entertaining film for today’s audiences. So when it came to choosing format, lenses and the right look, they began by researching how the original Star Wars films were made.

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A DAUNTING NAUTICAL PRODUCTION

Anthony Dod Mantle Counts on Panavision to Survive the Deluge In the Heart of the Sea

In the winter of 1820, the crew of the whaling ship Essex battled a monster – a massive sperm whale driven by aggression and vengeance that wreaked havoc upon them. The survivors then battled storms, despair and each other while trying to hunt it down. This shockingly real maritime event inspired Herman Melville to write “Moby-Dick.” Nearly 150 years later, Nathaniel Philbrick's book on the subject, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, inspired director Ron Howard to bring the story to the screen.

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MANDY WALKER SEEKS TRUTH IN NEWSROOM CHRONICLE

Truth retells the 2004 episode that ended in newsman Dan Rather’s exit from CBS after 43 years with the network. Rather reported documents critical of U.S. President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service, and after the authenticity of the documents was questioned by bloggers, a media firestorm and investigations ensued. Producer Mary Mapes was fired and Rather eventually retired under duress. The story is often cited as a turning point in the weakening of network journalism in the U.S. and the rise of online, amateur newsgathering.

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PANAVISION LENSES ON SCREAM QUEENS ELEVATE HORROR-COMEDY GENRE

When Kappa House, the elitist sorority of Wallace University, is forced to open its doors to more than just the privileged, the student bodies start piling up in the FOX horror-comedy Scream Queens. The new series arrives courtesy of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the creators of American Horror Story and Glee. The show stars Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels, Abigail Breslin, Lea Michele, and Jamie Lee Curtis, among others.

Part black comedy, part slasher film, Scream Queens, as cinematographer Michael Goi, ASC puts it, takes its cues from a mix of disparate influences, such as the 1988 feature film Heathers and the films of Italian horror icon Mario Bava. Bold color is a Bava trademark.

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MATTHEW JENSEN UTILIZES PANAVISION PRIMO Vs TO ACHIEVE REALISM IN FANTASTIC FOUR

The Fantastic Four debuted in Marvel comic books in 1961, more than 50 years ago, and the group has since been the subject of at least four television series and four feature films, including an unreleased film produced by Roger Corman. The long-awaited cinematic reboot, directed by Josh Trank, is finally here. In it, the heroes teleport to an alternate universe, gain new powers, and learn to harness them in order to save Earth.

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THE LENSES MAKE THE LOOK ON TRUE DETECTIVE

For cinematographer Nigel Bluck, ACS, it's all about the lenses. “You can say the different cameras out there are almost like different film stocks, but the most pronounced difference comes from the lenses,” says the native of New Zealand. “And that's what governs my allegiance to Panavision.”

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DEVISING A NEW ASPECT RATIO FOR THE DINOSAURS OF JURASSIC WORLD

Jurassic World is another in a long line of big-budget tentpole features for cinematographer John Schwartzman, ASC (Armageddon, Seabiscuit, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, The Amazing Spider-Man). With a production scale rivaling that of its dinosaur-sized subjects, this fourth installment in the series served up something Schwartzman had not had on any film prior: the opportunity to create a new aspect ratio.

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