DoP Jendra Jarnagin Shoots “The Sixth Reel’s” With Vintage Cooke Speed Panchros

With a film featuring a more mature cast, set in the world of movie memorabilia, The Sixth Reel’s Director of Photography Jendra Jarnagin immediately gravitated to vintage Cooke Speed Panchros to capture a natural look while flattering older skin.

The humorous and heart-felt caper follows Jimmy, an old Hollywood-Obsessed New Yorker who is one of an extended community of discerning – and extremely catty – movie memorabilia collectors. When the death of a close friend unearths the long-thought lost final reel of a classic horror film, Jimmy and his cohorts each concoct underhanded schemes to cash in on a big sale of the film.

The producer Jamie Buckner recommended me for the project and then the directors chose me, due to my prior body of work that shows a strength for photographing older actors in a flattering way,” said Jarnagin. “The directors wanted the film to be grounded in naturalism, with a classical visual approach. While prioritising making everyone look their best on camera, we never wanted it to feel too glamorous, fake or over-lit.”

Jarnagin is a big fan of Cooke lenses and while she owns a set of Cooke S4/i lenses, she wanted a slightly different look for the film. “I knew immediately that I wanted to use vintage Cooke Speed Panchros for this film. They are my favourite looking lenses; I like the way they halate and glow a little. They are so flattering on faces, and they have a warmth and magic to their character,” Jarnagin stated. “For a cast in their 60s and 70s, I knew the lenses would be kind and flattering to the actors, but also give me the right range of focal lengths and speed that I needed.” ARRI Rental in New York supplied the full camera package, including an ALEXA Mini and a full set of TLS-rehoused Cooke Speed Panchro lenses.

For Jarnagin, the vintage Cooke Speed Panchros were absolutely the right choice for this film. “It’s a movie about movie lovers. We wanted to pay homage to the kinds of films that the characters are obsessed with and impart a subtle hint of nostalgia while still feeling fresh and current,” she said. “The vintage Cooke lenses had the right gentleness and subtle character without being too funky or calling attention to themselves. And everyone looks really great, of course!” 

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