The Cinematography of NTTD - Linus Sandgren

edited August 29 in Bond 25 Posts: 3,225
We had a similar thread for Hoyte van Hoytema's work in SP. It makes sense to devote an entire thread, so cinematography nerds like me can bask in the glow of Sandgren's work.

He's a very interesting DP. He is mostly known for his grainy 35mm work. He has utilised a lot of handheld work for David O Russell and took a similar veritie style for First Man.

Though, his most acclaimed work is La La Land. That is much more classically composed in terms of framing with elegant and bright lighting. That film has a deliberately idiosyncratic feel.

He's clearly very versatile. However, i think his work with Russell and First Man will be more indicative of the style he will utilise for Bond.

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Comments

  • Posts: 3,601
    Looking good.
  • Posts: 1,850
    And should probably mention his IMAX work on First Man as well - as seems like a lot of the film will be in the format:


  • PavloPavlo Ukraine
    Posts: 318
    antovolk wrote: »
    And should probably mention his IMAX work on First Man as well - as seems like a lot of the film will be in the format:



    I think his experience working with IMAX film! cameras is one of the reasons (if not the key) why Cary decided to work with Linus on Bond25. There are not so many (few, to tell the truth) cinematographers in Hollywood who has experience working with these cameras. Hoyte probably is the main master, but he is busy working on "Tenet". I think, it was basic idea of Cary to shoot selected scenes on IMAX (+he is fan of film format) and then he searched for cinematographer with experience and Linus was maybe the best variant.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 9,810
    If Sandgren's cinematography is as nice as the BTS shots from the Jamaica vid, I'll be happy.
  • PavloPavlo Ukraine
    Posts: 318
    Worth noting that Cary himself is acclaimed cinematographer and it makes his collaboration with Linus even more promising.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited July 4 Posts: 3,136
    From Videoblog https://www.youtube.com/watch?=6&v=NQkO0Shirl8 (25 June 2019)
    Bond-25-25-June-2019-first-footage.jpg
    ''Sunny Skyfall''

    The-spots-and-Umbrella-Bond-25.jpg
    ''The spots and Umbrella''' (playing with three spots of gunbarrel & the light and possible intro of the villian. )

    Walk-a-Way-from-a-palm-three-Bond-25.jpg
    ''Walk a way from a palm tree''
    .

  • PavloPavlo Ukraine
    Posts: 318
    Really like how Linus deals with colours. He is very direct in expressing colour, all objects have clear borders that are defined by sharp colour contrast. Of course shooting on film with its unique depth, grade helps Linus to do this with colour. Jamaica part must be phenomenal visually because of Jamaica colour richness and style of Linus.
  • Posts: 11,462
    The man clearly has massive talent from what I have seen!
  • Posts: 3,225
    Does anyone know why Linus seems to be using two camera's? It seems that he shoots with two camera's at once, which is quite unusual.
  • PavloPavlo Ukraine
    edited July 14 Posts: 318
    Does anyone know why Linus seems to be using two camera's? It seems that he shoots with two camera's at once, which is quite unusual.

    It's very common. Not something strange at all. All Bond film with Daniel were shot on combinations of cameras.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    edited July 14 Posts: 3,501
    Does anyone know why Linus seems to be using two camera's? It seems that he shoots with two camera's at once, which is quite unusual.

    There are numerous different explanations for this that really only Sandgren could confirm. Sometimes, camera crews have two units on set - while one is shooting the other is being prepped for the next setup if it requires a lens change and/or any modifications. That mostly only applies to TV productions where a compressed schedule is a bigger issue and this method is viewed as being a timesaver.

    Single-camera setups offer more flexibility with lighting, but Sandgren's lighting style might nullify that issue and enable him to shoot with two cameras; capture the scene on a wide-prime, then have a longer focal length prime on the second camera (or whatever lens combination he chooses to use, I guess).

    However, on the whole, multi-cam set ups aren't unusual at all, especially if shooting in a studio setting. Ridley Scott sets almost always uses three cameras rolling at once, sometimes more. This is simply to have maximum coverage of a scene or to make sure you capture all the little emotions that might be lost if you call "cut" and have to move to another setup and have the actor do it all again. Michael Mann had Dante Spinotti shoot the Heat café scene with three cameras rolling at once, because the scene was so pivotal in the film and relied so heavily on the actors reactions to each other in that moment.

    For Bond 25, you will notice in the promo video that there are two angles on Nomi on the monitor, (a front profile and a side profile) which would lead me to believe that Fukanaga and Sandgren are following a similar approach to Michael Mann in this instance, at least during key scenes.

    And of course, almost all action scenes are shot with multi-cam setups for obvious reasons.
  • HildebrandRarityHildebrandRarity Centre international d'assistance aux personnes déplacées, Paris, France
    Posts: 146
    There's a reason for which Peter Sellers' best work is with technical-savvy directors such as Stanley Kubrick (Lolita, Dr. Strangelove) or Blake Edwards. Sellers was extraordinary at improv, but he would lose energy after a couple of takes. So, any director had to have a flawless set up by take one. Kubrick decided to use three cameras for any scene involving Sellers, as if it were live TV to be sure not to miss any detail or be forced to use an inferior take.
  • Posts: 3,225
    Does anyone know why Linus seems to be using two camera's? It seems that he shoots with two camera's at once, which is quite unusual.

    There are numerous different explanations for this that really only Sandgren could confirm. Sometimes, camera crews have two units on set - while one is shooting the other is being prepped for the next setup if it requires a lens change and/or any modifications. That mostly only applies to TV productions where a compressed schedule is a bigger issue and this method is viewed as being a timesaver.

    Single-camera setups offer more flexibility with lighting, but Sandgren's lighting style might nullify that issue and enable him to shoot with two cameras; capture the scene on a wide-prime, then have a longer focal length prime on the second camera (or whatever lens combination he chooses to use, I guess).

    However, on the whole, multi-cam set ups aren't unusual at all, especially if shooting in a studio setting. Ridley Scott sets almost always uses three cameras rolling at once, sometimes more. This is simply to have maximum coverage of a scene or to make sure you capture all the little emotions that might be lost if you call "cut" and have to move to another setup and have the actor do it all again. Michael Mann had Dante Spinotti shoot the Heat café scene with three cameras rolling at once, because the scene was so pivotal in the film and relied so heavily on the actors reactions to each other in that moment.

    For Bond 25, you will notice in the promo video that there are two angles on Nomi on the monitor, (a front profile and a side profile) which would lead me to believe that Fukanaga and Sandgren are following a similar approach to Michael Mann in this instance, at least during key scenes.

    And of course, almost action scenes are shot with multi-cam setups for obvious reasons.

    Thank you, very helpful.

    I've noticed in pretty much every shot set-up and look a the monitors. Sandgren and Fukunaga seem to shoot one in profile and the other being a symmetrical mid-shot. The latter is a little more unusual for this type of movie.

    Here's an interview of Sandgren talking about his style. I'm looking so forward to hearing him talk about Bond 25's visual look:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=359&v=HNk9TARz3gE
  • Posts: 3,628
    Does anyone know why Linus seems to be using two camera's? It seems that he shoots with two camera's at once, which is quite unusual.

    There are numerous different explanations for this that really only Sandgren could confirm. Sometimes, camera crews have two units on set - while one is shooting the other is being prepped for the next setup if it requires a lens change and/or any modifications. That mostly only applies to TV productions where a compressed schedule is a bigger issue and this method is viewed as being a timesaver.

    Single-camera setups offer more flexibility with lighting, but Sandgren's lighting style might nullify that issue and enable him to shoot with two cameras; capture the scene on a wide-prime, then have a longer focal length prime on the second camera (or whatever lens combination he chooses to use, I guess).

    However, on the whole, multi-cam set ups aren't unusual at all, especially if shooting in a studio setting. Ridley Scott sets almost always uses three cameras rolling at once, sometimes more. This is simply to have maximum coverage of a scene or to make sure you capture all the little emotions that might be lost if you call "cut" and have to move to another setup and have the actor do it all again. Michael Mann had Dante Spinotti shoot the Heat café scene with three cameras rolling at once, because the scene was so pivotal in the film and relied so heavily on the actors reactions to each other in that moment.

    For Bond 25, you will notice in the promo video that there are two angles on Nomi on the monitor, (a front profile and a side profile) which would lead me to believe that Fukanaga and Sandgren are following a similar approach to Michael Mann in this instance, at least during key scenes.

    And of course, almost action scenes are shot with multi-cam setups for obvious reasons.

    Thank you, very helpful.

    I've noticed in pretty much every shot set-up and look a the monitors. Sandgren and Fukunaga seem to shoot one in profile and the other being a symmetrical mid-shot. The latter is a little more unusual for this type of movie.

    Here's an interview of Sandgren talking about his style. I'm looking so forward to hearing him talk about Bond 25's visual look:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=359&v=HNk9TARz3gE

    That bit around the 7m mark reassured me we're in for something really special.
  • Posts: 3,225
    There has been a lot of talk recently about NTTD having the 'best cinematography' of the Bond films. This might be a hard feat to accomplish as I think both the Sam Mendes films are gorgeous.

    Nonetheless, Mr Sandgren has plenty of brilliant material -including a pretty cast and prettier locations.

    I believe the trick with Bond photography is an ability to fluctuate in tone. There should be segments (such as Jamaica) that are colourful and 'pop'. But you still want to keep those chilly and menacing tones (perfect for a location such as Norway).

    I recently saw the Orlebar Brown video and this photography screams 007.



    Another beautiful sun-kissed film I've seen recently is 'The Beach Bum' that has some of the best photography I've seen. If Bond's 25 Jamaica scenes are even close to the shots here, I'd be in awe.

  • Posts: 1,850
    antovolk wrote: »
    matt_u wrote: »
    antovolk wrote: »
    That's probably because Nolan is one of the only filmmakers to shoot IMAX. Like, properly :P. Aside from him only ones in the last couple years were Damien Chazelle with First Man (the moonwalk finale had an aspect ratio change for the whole sequence) and Zack Snyder with Batman v Superman (a few full sequences in the format, but expanded image didn't make it to the Blu-ray unfortunately). Avengers Infinity War and Endgame were filmed on the IMAX digital cameras entirely so in these cinemas they were presented expanded for the whole film, but on disc only in 2.40:1.

    Yep I know, but it depends in which theaters you see those films. I saw BvS (many times) in regular non-IMAX theaters and there was no change in the aspect ratio. None on the BvS BD either. But the aspect ratio change was always present in the same theater* (and BD as well obviously) speaking about Nolan... so I believe NTTD will face the same BvS treatment. Point is, Nolan wants to present the audiences the power of IMAX even if they watch the film on a laptop. Which is, uhm, weird. Always hated the aspect ratio changes and for example if u see the BvS Nightmare sequence on BD you are still able to enjoy the difference without that annoying aspect ratio bug.

    *You say the aspect ratio change happens only in IMAX... but I remember Dunkirk had that change also in the theater, and it was no-IMAX...

    Yeah, Blu-ray is an interesting one as some filmmakers (like Nolan and Chazelle) have chosen to have the IMAX versions on there (and McQuarrie on Fallout), but Snyder didn't on BvS, Brad Bird specifically said no to it on Mission Impossible 4, the Russos didn't get it on Avengers... We'll have to wait and see what Cary chooses to do as the decision for the home media release is in his and EON's hands.

    As to the point about theatres though...I know for a fact Dunkirk was only presented in 2.20:1 (the aspect ratio of the non-IMAX sequences in that film) in regular theatres. You must have seen it in IMAX if you got the ratio changes. The only film 'shot on IMAX' to have the changes everywhere was Transformers The Last Knight and that was a real vomit of AR changes as Bay alternated between the digital IMAX 'A' camera and regular 'B' cameras in the same scene, shot to shot, every time almost. Yuck.

    @antovolk I'm going to need some serious convincing that the switching aspect ratios is a good idea. I understand that Christopher Nolan-sycophants believe it to be the ultimate storyteller mechanism. But I can’t help but feel the wider aspect ratio fetishizes action sequences and “money shots.”

    Christopher Nolan is as bad as Michael Bay in this respect. If you’re going to switch aspect ratios, at least do it for a narrative purpose such as in Life of Pi, First Man or the second Hunger Games films.

    (Also, Mission: impossible – Fallout doesn’t count. McQuarrie is a total fraud and didn’t even use IMAX cameras, it’s still 35mm)

    If you want to film in a wider aspect ratio, then just fill the screen and don’t crop to widescreen throughout. Some of the best examples of modern cinematography are found in 1.85:1. I’d love to see a Bond film return to this aspect ratio!

    I'd let McQuarrie off the hook tbh as he had a valid reason - you wouldn't expect to strap the heaviest film camera in the world that can only do 3 minute takes to a skydiver :D Those sequences were filmed on Panavision DXL digital rigs. I guess by the same token Deakins is a cheat for what he did on Skyfall :P

    Anyway, not being happy with changing ARs is a totally fair thing, and I hear you about Nolan's approach fetishizing action - if I'm gonna be honest, if anything that's even more suitable for a Bond film where everything is built around the cornerstone set pieces! In any case the only reason the AR switching happens is because you can't shoot the whole film in 70mm IMAX - Nolan's really pushing the envelope in trying to get as close as possible. Easy solution for those disliking it - just don't see NTTD in an IMAX cinema.

    1.85:1 is actually a really interesting thing because now most new cinemas actually have screens in that specific format to fit all the different aspect ratios that films are coming out in better without having to adjust. Like TVs, modern digital projector sensors are also constant image width as opposed to height - but to fit different ratios on a traditional constant width scope (2.40:1) screen is a lot more difficult. So to use the most image space on a modern cinema screen, 1.85 is the way to go really according to experts in exhibition.

    However, this does present a problem for IMAX - a 1.85:1 film on a huge screen like that is way too overwhelming in my opinion. The way IMAX footage is framed - keeping it safe for 2.40:1 crops and with the additional image above and below going into your peripheral vision, works a lot better for that sort of immense screen size and field of view.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 643
    I really, really hope we have seen the last of the murky, colour graded cinematography of the last two films. Here is hoping for clear, colourful shots all through the film.
  • Posts: 3,628
    Roadphill wrote: »
    I really, really hope we have seen the last of the murky, colour graded cinematography of the last two films. Here is hoping for clear, colourful shots all through the film.
    +1
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 643


    Not sure if any of you have ever seen these before. Colour corrections are done to certain scenes in the Craig films. This Spectre scene particularly highlights how the murky colour grading hurt certain scenes.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    Posts: 737
    The "color corrected" version kills the mood of the scene. But I understand why Bond fans don't like it when the films deviate from the traditional natural colors of the past films. Bond films altering the color scheme to reflect the mood is not something typically done.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 9,810
    The "color corrected" version kills the mood of the scene. But I understand why Bond fans don't like it when the films deviate from the traditional natural colors of the past films. Bond films altering the color scheme to reflect the mood is not something typically done.
    +1
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 11,481
    Skyfall has gorgeous cinematography, one of my favorites in the whole history of Bond films. From what I'm seeing on this film, it looks outstanding, gorgeous: and I think Linus has mega talent. I'm very excited to see this film because of Cary and Linus.

    I didn't know we had this thread, so I'll be following it even though I don't understand the technical terms used. ;)
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 3,501
    jake24 wrote: »
    The "color corrected" version kills the mood of the scene. But I understand why Bond fans don't like it when the films deviate from the traditional natural colors of the past films. Bond films altering the color scheme to reflect the mood is not something typically done.
    +1

    +2

    It might not be entirely to my taste, but I can appreciate the artistic license involved in creating it and the creative intent behind it enough to also not be a fan of the "colour corrected" version.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    Posts: 737
    It reminded me of someone posting a "color corrected" version of MAN OF STEEL on YouTube awhile back. I don't even like that movie, and while I would prefer the big bright bold colors of the original Christopher Reeve film for any Superman film, it does not fit well with the tone and aesthetic of MAN OF STEEL.
  • edited September 17 Posts: 3,628
    The "color corrected" version kills the mood of the scene. But I understand why Bond fans don't like it when the films deviate from the traditional natural colors of the past films. Bond films altering the color scheme to reflect the mood is not something typically done.

    Yes, but is it supposed to be the same mood throughout the entire film? Cause that was the end effect and, IMO, it worked against the point. Plus it was a blatant disrespect to all the production effort put into those wonderfully coloured costumes. IMO, of course. It made all look bland. The entire film was drenched in oneiric feel, but that oneiric feel some get just before they wake up and realised they've wet their pants.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    Posts: 737
    I can’t claim I got that feel, to be honest.
  • MinionMinion Don't Hassle the Bond
    Posts: 532
    Ditto what @MakeshiftPython said.
  • edited September 18 Posts: 3,225
    jake24 wrote: »
    The "color corrected" version kills the mood of the scene. But I understand why Bond fans don't like it when the films deviate from the traditional natural colors of the past films. Bond films altering the color scheme to reflect the mood is not something typically done.
    +1

    +2

    It might not be entirely to my taste, but I can appreciate the artistic license involved in creating it and the creative intent behind it enough to also not be a fan of the "colour corrected" version.

    +3.

    Are we seriously using this thread to re-litigate Hoyte's work on Spectre ?! Personally, I adore the visuals. They were very evocative of the whiskey-hued work of Gordon Willis on The Godfather. I went weak at the knees watching the scene in Spectre where Lucia goes home or Madeleine stands in the L'Americain hotel. Stunning work.

    We are here to speak about Linus and Cary. It's clear from IG that these two have been working very very very closely on the visuals.

    I think the pair have clearly been chasing sunsets and sunrises. check out this picture form Cary's IG referring to the camera crew as the 'Dawn Patrol':

    00Tgttz_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium

    The best visual comparator for this film will be La La Land which makes extensive use of the 'magic hour':

    lalaland_filmscan7.jpg

    83a56ad0db9da37c16f2d7a136f76892.png

    However, Linus's work on First Man was more grainy and less polished than La La Land. In fact, it was closer to Spectre. I wonder where NTTD will stack up in comparison.......................
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Crab Key
    Posts: 737
    jake24 wrote: »
    The "color corrected" version kills the mood of the scene. But I understand why Bond fans don't like it when the films deviate from the traditional natural colors of the past films. Bond films altering the color scheme to reflect the mood is not something typically done.
    +1

    +2

    It might not be entirely to my taste, but I can appreciate the artistic license involved in creating it and the creative intent behind it enough to also not be a fan of the "colour corrected" version.

    +3.

    Are we seriously using this thread to re-litigate Hoyte's work on Spectre ?! Personally, I adore the visuals. They were very evocative of the whiskey-hued work of Gordon Willis on The Godfather. I went weak at the knees watching the scene in Spectre where Lucia goes home or Madeleine stands in the L'Americain hotel. Stunning work.

    Don’t you mean the oh so clever “piss color filter”? ;) Funnily, I remember fans made that same juvenile remark about the color grading of CR. In the trailers you could see how the colors looked naturally before the colors were tweaked for the final cut.
  • MinionMinion Don't Hassle the Bond
    Posts: 532
    Love it or hate it, color grading is part of the digital filming landscape that’s likely here to stay. You can adapt, or make snarky videos on Youtube. ;))
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