Cinematic is the key word here— but this is such a loosely used term when it comes to using it to describe commercial projects. I like to define what that really means for each individual piece. Besides the choice to use a Phantom Camera as the primary capture method, lets discuss these ideas together:

Firstly, I want to use darkness to our advantage. At 400 frames-per-second, the Phantom isn’t designed to be a camera that allows a ton of light on the sensor for darker situations. However, I see that as something that lends to our aesthetic. Let’s get comfortable with the idea of using selective lighting to highlight what we want our viewer to see, and letting other parts of the frame fall off to darkness.

The second element (pun intended) would be using lenses with some character. With us having elements like dust, sparks, tools, water, and potentially debris moving across the screen, having a set of glass that doesn’t stay tack sharp from corner to corner is useful to direct the eye of the viewer to our plane of focus. A set that is fast, with some edginess and pronounced flaring. We can chat about this more but a set that could be great for this is the Clavius lenses.

Lastly, I want to make sure we are thinking about dynamic lighting, especially in where we can use it to make some big moments in our wides. Things like flashes, strobes, sparks, and hard carved Leko lights, etc. Let’s put our heads together on how we can push the visuals with some non-conventional lighting.

To bring this all together, I want to get Cole Graham on this as a cinematographer. Cole and I have known each other for years, and have worked together on a phantom project before. He has his special Phantom camera operating ticket and knows his way around the quirks of its shooting process. I think he would be a fantastic fit.