Cinematographer Larry Smith Captures ‘The Forgiven’ With Cooke Anamorphic/i Lenses

Writer-director John Michael McDonagh and cinematographer Larry Smith, ASC, BSC faced a race against time in the face of a threatening global pandemic to capture the vibrant colours and contrasting scenes of the Moroccan landscape for the feature film The Forgiven.

The Forgiven takes place over a weekend in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of both the locals and western visitors attending a house party in a grand villa. Filming for The Forgiven took place during a five-week period at the beginning of 2020, under a very tight schedule as the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic became apparent.

Larry Smith was struck by the light and vibrant colour scene of Morocco as well as the wide vistas, but at the same time he realised the challenges created by the desert conditions and the short time frame. All circumstances factored in, the choice of trusted, reliable equipment was an essential factor for the project to succeed; to this end he opted for the Cooke Anamorphic/i lenses, provided by MovieTech, combined with a Sony Venice camera, to capture this highly cinematic landscape in its full frame glory.

Smith has vast experience with Cooke’s S4/i lenses, and prior to starting on The Forgiven he had been shooting with the Cooke S7/i full frame lenses. “For me, the choice of the lens comes down to trust and knowing that the lenses I choose are going to perform exactly how I visualise the scene in my head. That’s what I get with the Cookes generally, and also on this occasion with the Anamorphic/i’s.”

Night shots were the most complicated to shoot, according to Smith. “Logistically this was a nightmare as the scenes were shot in the desert, miles away from the closest town, which meant that the lighting and other equipment took forever to arrive. But if anything, these challenges make you prouder of the end result as a cinematographer," he said.

Smith concludes, “As a cinematographer, all you worry about is that when you connect the lens to the camera, whether the combination of the two will deliver exactly what you had in mind. The Cookes with the Sony Venice delivered this for me. With a tight schedule, unknown landscapes and changing weather, trust in my kit and my years of experience is all that is left.”

You might also like...

Capturing Nitin Sawhney’s Ghosts In The Ruins

The 2022 City of Culture festival concluded with a performance created by Nitin Sawhney CBE. Filmed on the URSA Broadcast G2, an edited broadcast of Ghosts In The Ruins aired on the BBC.

The Compromises In Long Zoom Lenses Are Still There But Viewers See Fewer Of Them

Fox Sports’ broadcast of the 2022 Baseball World Series was a real eye-opener, and it wasn’t just because the Houston Astros handily defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. After all, for those in the know, the Astros were the hea…

Orchestrating Resources For Large-Scale Events: Part 2 - Connecting Remote Locations

A discussion of how to create reliable, secure, high-bandwidth connectivity between multiple remote locations, your remote production hub, and distributed production teams.

The Shifting Landscape Of High Power, Low Energy Consumption CPU Design

With key CPU design personnel exiting Apple and moving to other players, this article discusses the significance of the recent moves and what they might mean for corporate strategies. It’s a shifting landscape that could affect us all.

Orchestrating Resources For Large-Scale Events: Part 1 - Planning Is Everything

An examination of how to plan & schedule resources to create resilient temporary multi-site broadcast production systems.