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Sam Levy / She Came to Me


December 20, 2023

The cinematographer tasked with capturing the action, Sam Levy, elaborates on how he engaged the DI colourist, Peter Doyle at PostWorks in New York, right from the outset to ensure a clear vision of the film’s final look.

“The relationship between colourist and cinematographer is a sacred bond to me. On She Came to Me, I began by showing my colourist Peter a mood board of paintings and photographs that expressed the essence of the look I was going for. This then sparked a wonderful conversation about opera, tug boats and the history of cinema. Rebecca and I are both very taken with the work of photographer Ernst Haas. In particular the quality of his reds. It just so happens that Peter owns a print of Ernst’s… and there we were! This conversation with Peter informed how I shot my preliminary tests and shaped the customised colour pipeline which Peter and I built for the film. We used this colour design to build our dailies and to construct the final look of the film.”

Levy, on the other hand, is very opinionated when it comes to choosing the right kit.

“For this film, I tested both the Sony Venice and the original ARRI Alexa Mini, but I fell into a groove with the Alexa LF due to [ARRI’s] exceptional colour science,” he explains. “The fusion of the ARRI LF camera, the Tribe7 Blackwing7 lenses and the Angénieux Optimo 24-290mm T2.8 zoom lens, especially considering the operas, was crucial. For lighting we used ARRI SkyPanels exhaustively. I had used the Alexa LF camera on one other film called, Confess, Fletch, directed by Greg Mottola. The camera has two Alexa Mini sensors stitched together so it’s double the resolution – more like a large-format still camera.”

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