'CLOVERFIELD' SHOT HAND-HELD WITH SONY'S F23
In it, five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the
same night a large monster descends upon the city. The story is told
from the point of view of a video camera, which documents their
struggle to stay alive.
Theodorakis had used the F23 on a Michael Mann-director Nike spot, but
since the camera was not yet widely available, he had to track one
down, eventually securing a test unit from Pace Technologies.
Cloverfield director of
photography Michael Bonvillain helped director Matt Reeves create the
look of the film. There is no traditional scene coverage or musical
score, and the entire story unfolds over an eight hour period that has
been encapsulated into
“We needed the look of the movie to be very immediate, like found
footage, so a ‘YouTube’ aesthetic was the look we were trying to
achieve,” Theodorakis recalls. “The F23 provided latitude without
sacrificing any color imagery, allowing us to stay as strict to reality
as possible while generating that warm look of New York City’s streets
with its sodium vapor lights.”
He recalls the team being impressed with the look of the footage upon
initial review. “There were literally gasps in the room,” says
Theodorakis. “Without any lighting, you could see so deep in the
shadows it was unreal. The F23 sees more than the human eye.”
To mimic a Handycam style, Theodorakis placed the F23’s deck inside a
backpack. “I literally ran up and down the Brooklyn Bridge 10 times
with Mike Bonvillain operating the camera and didn’t encounter a single
problem,” he says.
While comparisons to The Blair Witch Project are anticipated, Theodorakis thinks people will discover it’s a very different movie.
“In Cloverfield, something
actually does happen, extraordinary things, and moviegoers get to see
it all happen,” he says. “It’s a great story with great characters and
a whole lot of fun.”
PHOTO: A Sony F23 camera was used to mimic the look of Handicam footage shot being shot throughout Cloverfield's storyline.