In this week’s cinemablogapher post, Brian Murray traveled across the Atlantic to film the Chicago Bears play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium. We chatted with Brian about his favorite shot and all of the details behind it. You might be surprised by the shot he selected…
What is this and why am I not seeing football?!
Don’t freak out! I realize this isn’t football. I filmed the Chicago Bears at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend. It just so happens that it was played in London. So, I thought I would venture out in to the city with an Arri Alexa camera.
Why do you like this shot so much? Why did you pick this shot?
I choose this shot based on multiple factors. First, I was using an Alexa. Second, I was able to shoot a Super35 lens in London. Third, the shot is by far the best composed image I created when I was on this trip.
How did the lens affect the look of the shot?
The lens I used was a 10mm f2.0. The 10mm has so much scope and presence. I also did not put a matte box on the lens. This way it took every lens flare possible. The camera was set up at 60fps to make the shot move very smooth as I panned from left to right. The lens was set at f22 so that everything was in the frame was nice and sharp. I shot a 4:4:4 color space also. There are so many different colors in this shot, and they are embossed by shooting 4:4:4.
What time of day was it? Does that change the look of the shot?
We shot at about 11:00am. Normally I hate to shoot anything between 10:00am and 2:00pm, but it was such a great day that it wasn’t a factor. if I had I shot when I normally do, I may not have had the great lens flaring.
Talk to us about lens flares. What are they and why do we use them so much in our shots? Do you do it on purpose, or is it a pretty mistake?
Ha, lens flares are a happy mistake that many cinematographers like. In the case of this shot, the front of the 10mm lens is so convex that any stray light that isn’t blocked will created a light hit on the image. If you include movement to the shot, the flares move around just like reflections on water. Personally, I never try to block lens flares.
What is that statue to the right of the frame?
I have zero clue what that statue is in the frame. But don’t we all agree that it looks cool??
Why such an obscure structure in the foreground?
I love foreground movement. I was wandering the city with a fellow cinematographer, and he actually noticed the intricate detail on it. So I decided to include that as the element in the shot.
Did you time this shot up exactly with the boat floating by?
I did see the boat right when we started filming. The fact that it’s slow motion and on the water makes for a nice smooth element.
What was going through your mind when you shot this? Were you thinking about how it could be used in a piece?
I always shoot based on what my eye is telling me… initially at least. Then I think about what is needed for the current project I’m working on. I was filming for 2 projects on the same day. Luckily, I’m the DP of one, so I know exactly what is needed. The other project is Inside the NFL; they trust our creative eyes.
How much time did you have to shoot b-roll for the game? Were you on a schedule?
I wasn’t on a schedule of any kind in London. I’m very glad for that. I studied at the BFI in downtown London. I was excited to just walk around the city and shoot in any direction I wanted.
If someone wanted to replicate this look with a home camera, could they? How?
Anyone can recreate these shots. I’m not reinventing the wheel by any means. I’m not lighting these city shots or orchestrating any in frame movement. The only difference would be the equipment I’m using. Any fellow cinematographer can make the same composition for sure!
And finally, the question we all want answered… did you ride the ferris wheel?!?
Oddly enough, we went over to the Eye and security kicked us off the property!! I have ridden the London Eye before and it’s really cool! Maybe next time I’ll have a smaller and less noticeable camera.