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Bringing a New Perspective to "End of the F***ing World" Season 2

Zeiss recently interviewed Cinematographer Benedict Spence of the Netflix dark-comedy hit “End of the F***ing World”. Spence talks about moving to large format for Season 2, as well as his use of the Zeiss Supreme Prime lenses and his change in camera setup from season one.

“After choosing the Alexa LF, the next choice was the lenses. The first season was shot on RED Helium and Master Primes, so immediately my attention was turned to the ZEISS Supreme Primes. They have a wonderful creamy texture to them, they are sharp but not too sharp, very much an organic, filmic look. Color-wise they are neutral and perfectly matched, giving an open palette to myself and the colorist. Wide open, in full frame they produce a gentle vignette, which worked perfectly for our central-framing approach to the show.
“TEOTFW is a show full of portraiture, so shooting on large format was entirely fitting. Being able to have the compression and perspective of a longer lens, with the field of view of a wider lens is a minor change but it does make a difference. After a fair amount of camera testing, I decided to shoot at a base of 1600 ISO which gave us almost another stop of information in the highlights, really helping the filmic roll-off.
“Director Lucy Forbes and I are big fans of generating “visual rules” on the shows we shoot. One of my rules was to use available light and practicals as much as possible and create proxies of them whenever possible. We used a lot of negative fill, generally daylight work and interiors was about getting the cast to stand in the right place for the light.
“There were several times on night exteriors, that T1.5 saved production a huge amount of money and allowed me and my lighting crew to be nimble and quick on our feet. For example, for some of our forest night exteriors we used Skypanel 360s on Cherry Pickers. This allowed us to quickly and easily dim the lamp and pick colors and hues which we would have not been able to achieve with HMI. If we had a slower lens and camera combination this wouldn’t have been possible. Faster speed of working means more time on camera, more takes for the cast and director, which is why we are all there in the first place!

For the full interview, be sure to visit Zeiss’ Lenspire site: https://Lenspire.Zeiss.com/cine/en/article/honesty-minimalism-a-few-guidelines-and-three-lenses

Written by Jake Fruia

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