Director of photography Lindsey relies on HD for recent indie films

August 1, 2006

Over the past year, Jimmy Lindsey, the second unit director of photography on director Robert Rodriguez’s “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” and “Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams,” has shot several independent films using Fujinon HD lenses.

The most recent, “Eulogy,” a short film directed by Todd Coleman, was shot in Austin, TX, with a mix of HD and Super 16mm. The story revolves around a central character named Ray, whose brother, Tommy, recently died. Periodically the film flashes back and forth with perspectives from the living and the dead. A Catholic cathedral serves as the primary backdrop for Ray’s story. The wide, open interior scenes were shot in HD with a Panasonic VariCam and a Fujinon HA13x4.5BERM wide angle HD ENG lens. Tommy's handheld flashbacks were captured with Fujifilm's new Super 16mm Eterna 250T stock.

Lindsey was impressed with the optical performance of the Fujinon lenses. “They have a fantastic range, minimal breathing and are very fast, so I can shoot at really low light levels and keep textures rich without any noise in the shadow detail,” Lindsey said.

Another film photographed by Lindsey was director Erin MacMillan’s “Zero Hour.” The project was shot last year with a Panasonic Varicam and Fujinon HA13x4.5 and HAc15x7.3B Cine-Style zoom lenses.

“Zero Hour,” a psychological thriller about a group of people who sign up for a seemingly harmless medical experiment and end up spending a 24-hour period fighting for their lives, presented Lindsey with several filmic challenges, including capturing a large number of actors in small and dark interior spaces. For that reason, Lindsey shot with as small a camera as possible. The C series of Fujinon Cine-Style lenses allowed him to keep the camera small and unobtrusive.

Lindsey shot the entire film at a 2-stop. Many shots had an actor close to the camera and another actor far away. Minimized optical breathing when pulling focus aided in creating “very cinematic images.”

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