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posted by - Tuesday, 08 September 2009
Topics Aaton, Film

Penelope Steadicam Rig

Geoff Haley (left), First Camera Assistant Gregory Irwin

Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema has just completed principal photography on The Fighter, after a seven week production schedule, using Aaton Penelope cameras configured for 2-perf.

Perhaps the highest profile 2-perf movie since Sergio Leone pointed a Techniscope camera at Clint Eastwood, The Fighter is directed by David O. Russell and stars Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams. It is a drama about boxer “Irish” Micky Ward’s unlikely road to the world light-welterweight title and was shot on location in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Penelopes on couch

Gregory Irwin, renowned 1st camera assistant, reports that the crew never put the Penelope cameras on a tripod or dolly. Nearly every shot was hand-held or steadicam. The small size, light weight and ergonomic design of Penelope made it possible to shoot this way consistently and comfortably.

Production on The Fighter moved quickly, averaging a remarkable 36 set-ups per day. The two Penelopes pulled down 8,000 feet of film each day – a considerable savings on film stock and processing compared with 4-perf or even 3-perf 35mm film.

Hoyte Van Hoytema

The 2-perf format was framed for a 2.40:1 widescreen release. To read more about the camera crew’s experience with Penelope 2-perf on The Fighter, please visit Jon Fauer’s Film and Digital Times.




PHOTO CREDITS: Penelope rides a Steadicam on the set of The Fighter, © 2009 JOJO Whilden; Penelope cameras resting after strenuous workout on The Fighter, iPhoto courtesy of Hoyte van Hoytema; Director of Photography Hoyte van Hoytema, photo courtesy of Hoyte van Hoytema

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