This is what I had to say when the guys at Cooke Optics asked me why I chose their lenses for filming that particular commercial”
“I shot Arri RAW using one Alexa SXT and one Alexa Mini, the latter being the A camera on steadicam, the former used for most SFX shots and inserts.
Cookes are usually my lenses of choice, for their beautiful warm, organic and three-dimensional look, however in this particular case the choice was not a given, I had to mix spherical and anamorphic lenses and needed a package that would match seamlessly, with glass that had the same characteristics of color and contrast between the two formats. I considered a few different options but ended up picking Cooke Anamorphic lenses and Cooke S4i primes once again, their look and coupling being the best I could find. In the end it transpired that the same lenses were also used during the filming of “Venom” itself, which was a lucky coincidence as at the time of choosing my lens package no specific information was yet available. In deciding the mood and colours of the commercial I was directly inspired by the film’s trailer, specifically tuning in on it’s neo-noir approach, rich dense shadows and clean strong highlights alongside the use of a color dominant. In this particular instance I picked a blue gel (Lee Glacier Blue) that seemed coherent to the one used on some scenes within the movie, with which I gelled some of my lights and kept it throughout as colour dominant in the shadows. We had to reverse engineer the SFX, as given our tight schedule and copyright restrictions we could not generate brand new effects on time and had to use templates handed to us by the people at Sony US that were working on the effects of the actual feature film. I used the Cooke Anamorphic 50mm as main focal length, for it’s beautiful bokeh and lack of optical distortion, coupled with 40mm and 75mm whereas the Cooke S4i 32mm, 40mm and 50mm have been mostly on camera for SFX plates. Atmospheric haze and Tiffen SFX filters were also employed at times.”
Color and SFX were carried out at Frame By Frame in Rome.