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Kubrick Did It First

03 December, 2009

We live in interesting times. Early last year, Areaman started shooting with the Letus Extreme lens adaptor. In front of the Letus, we were able to mount our Nikon lenses, some of which date back to the 1970s, and behind the Letus sat our Sony PMW EX1. This marriage of a filmic aesthetic and a tapeless workflow was put into practice for our documentary 'The Liberties' which was filmed in 2008 and completed in 2009. Our film benefited hugely from these technologies born decades apart: sturdy, uncoated Nikon glass with apertures going all the way to f1.4, and HD 1080p at the back end recording onto 16GB SxS memory cards.

A candlelit scene from Barry Lyndon

But of course, Stanley Kubrick did it first. As he was preparing to shoot Barry Lyndon, he was adamant that he would film on location using available light in so far as possible. This even extended to filming scenes by candlelight so as to be true to a recreation of a world in which there was no such thing as electrical light. His solution was to similarly match old and contemporary visual technologies, in his case, a Mitchell BNC camera and a Zeiss lens with a maximum aperture of f0.7.

The article below is a wonderfully unfussy account of how it all happened.

*note: Areaman Productions are in no way comparing themselves to Mr Kubrick in the above post, merely acknowledging his significant influence.