Taming the large format data workflow - Nick Kay worked with cinematographer Lawrence Sher, ASC on both Godzilla and Joker, making sure the data kept flowing from the ultra large format ARRI Rental ALEXA 65 cameras. Some scenes were shot spherical and full-frame when that might help with compositing or repositioning. Kay says that Sher, who started his career by shooting at least 25 features on film emulsion, still works in a traditional film method. But on Godzilla he often operated A-camera using a Libra remote system controlled remotely by a “Hand Held” onsole that can be carried on the shoulder.

“Larry would basically operate at my cart, looking at both cameras,” says Kay. “The A-camera focus puller would be in the tent with us, all on one little network. That was good for the vibration stuff and the monster feel. That was pretty cool.” Monitoring was in P3 colorspace.

“We were thinking of how the dailies colorist would be viewing things,” says Kay. “I have Barco monitors that I use when people are grading on projectors – I find them easy to calibrate together, with the same black and detail. Larry and Jill Bogdanowicz, his final colorist, have worked out some LUTs, which we tweaked until we found something he liked for this show. Working with the ALEXA 65 was straightforward. We downloaded media from Codex Vault 65s onto Codex Transfer Drives, which were sent to the near-set lab and ingested. It was efficient for us, because we would roll so much, and we could recycle our own mags.”

Kay feels that the workflow with Codex has settled things down to some degree. “Since the ALEXA 65 came out, we haven’t really had to redesign things,” he says. “Right now, it’s fairly standardized. On When They See us with Bradford Young, we were doing two grades on set, SDR and HDR. So that was interesting. But on Joker, we used a workflow very similar to that on Godzilla.” Now with Codex High Density Encoding reducing the file size of the ALEXA 65 data by as much as 2:1 with little to no impact on copy times, the workflow is becoming even more standardized.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters -   was released on May 31, 2019 in 2D, 3D, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D and IMAX. A post-credits sequence teases the next film – by some counts the 33rd Godzilla movie – Godzilla vs. Kong, release date March 13, 2020. That film is being shot by Ben Seresin, BSC on the ARRI ALEXA 65.

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Camera Type: ARRI ALEXA 65
Camera Rental by: ARRI Rental US
Dailies Colorist: Ben Estrada
Final Color/DI: Company 3 – Jill Bogdanowicz
Director: Michael Dougherty
Director of Photography: Lawrence Sher
DIT: Nick Kay

Codex related product and workflows

Images courtesy of their respective owners.

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