Red Epic Dragon 2.39:1
Shooting Elders for Serkan Nihat, a film set around the rituals and storytelling of a traditional family meal.
Although an intimate dialogue piece, the decision was made to shoot with a 2.39:1 frame. This as we were looking for obscured imagery, moments seen past foregrounds and the over-lapping of relationships that the wide-screen frame can be so effective for.
Screengrabs: Epic Dragon, Angenieux Optimo 45-120mm T2.8,
2.39:1 aspect ratio.
Although the original purpose of the widescreen frame was to capture
sweeping panoramic landscapes, its impact on tight
shots is possibly more acute. Here the
'weighting' of a frame can feel more hightened than traditional aspect ratios. Within so linear a canvas, a subject placed hard on the edges will substantially affect the perceived balance of the frame. Off-centred framing becomes far less casual than say with 1.85:1. The resulting spatial 'discord' can be used to strong narrative effect.
Shooting on spherical zooms (Angenieux 45-120 on the A camera and 30-80 on the B camera) left us able to keep some of the spontaneity in the dialogue. The formal qualities of the 2.39:1 frame aside, we wanted to keep a sense of naturalism that I think spherical glass delivers. Anamorphic glass would arguably have been too artificial a look for the piece, its artefacts too glamorous, too 'Hollywood.'