What was the most complex sequence on “My Cousin”?
Being in wide focal lengths means working with the light in a certain way. It was particularly complicated for the sequences where Vincent Lindon was in his fully-glassed office, revealing all of Paris. We had to avoid overexposing the windows and, at the same time, keep a certain level of brightness on the actors’ faces. It was a very complex scene to shoot over its duration. I had my electrician running behind the Steadicam to bring small sources of light to the actors. The ALEXA LF sensor gave me a lot of leeway during those scenes. Especially on this film, I had to make a lot of aperture changes within the shots; sometimes up to ten.
You also used the ALEXA LF and ARRI Signature Primes on “How to Be a Good Wife” by Martin Provost and “Waiting for Bojangles” by Régis Roinsard. Could you tell us about the decision making process in terms of equipment for these films?
When I adopt a camera-lens combination, I work with it over time. Previously, I liked to use the classic ALEXA with Leitz lenses. I have made dozens of films with that combination. But I felt like I had already explored it well and I wanted a change. Today, I feel good with the combination of ALEXA LF and ARRI Signature Primes. It’s like working with the same film without ever making the same image. Besides, there are vast differences between “My Cousin,” “How to Be a Good Wife,” and “Waiting for Bojangles.” I don't have to change tools every time. The important thing is that the camera gives me the image base that I like.