Smirnoff 'Infamous Since 1864'

Director: Rupert Sanders

I set out to explore a journey through the brands legacy through cinematic history using rhythm, pace and panache. A major challenge was to authentically represent the multitude of looks required without an excess of period camera equipment.

I gave myself the task of achieving this with only one model of camera and a single set of lenses. The idea was to use lighting, camera choreography, composition and color science in combination with the custom modification of a single set of modern lenses to achieve the various period looks. This could not have been done without the enthusiastic support of ARRI, who using resources from both sides of the Atlantic enabled me to fulfill that vision.

Ultimately this project represented a symphony between the ARRI LF camera and ARRI's DNA lenses. With the help of Christoph Hoffsten from ARRI Munich I was able to substantially custom tune the optics of the DNA lenses with characteristics that expressed images reminiscent of the period. Furthermore by varying the performance of the lenses across different apertures and by using multiples of key focal lengths with specific renderings I was able to create several looks from one set of glass.

To work in tandem with these choices I installed custom LUT’s as my ‘film stocks’ for each period. These were used throughout the workflow to unify and protect the integrity of the production design, costume design and cinematography.

It was testament to this system that I was able to complete the final color grade with Mikey Pehanich at Blacksmith entirely remotely, and that Smirnoff Infamous went on to win both color grading and cinematography Awards at AICP 2020.