Reed Morano and Her Handheld Alexa on MeadowlandMarc Ehrenbold
Reed Morano ASC sat down with ARRI to talk about her film directorial debut with the movie Meadowland featuring Luke Wilson and Olivia Wilde. Morano’s cinematography efforts include Vinyl, an upcoming HBO series, Kill Your Darlings, and Skeleton Twins.
In Meadowland, not only did Morano still take on DP duties, she shot, directed and operated the camera handheld on this highly intense drama. In her interview with ARRI, she revealed what spurred her decisions for Meadowland – from the film’s atmosphere, the perfomances, and drawing her expertise to fuel her as a director.
Meadowland tells the harrowing drama of two parents who lose their son at a highway gas station while on a road trip. A year goes by with the distraught couple with no inkling of their son’s whereabouts, or if he’s even alive or not.
Moran points out that the movie dwells more on the grief and sorrow that has stricken the couple, and how their loss had driven their lives spiraling into an uncontrollable state where no one would really know what to expect.
Moran admits she initially wanted to shoot the movie on film. During the planning and financing phase of the project however, using film came up to be a non-financially sound option. Being the film purist that she is, Moran opted for the Alexa as her other digital camera option if she won’t be able to use film.
Well-aware of the Alexa’s capabilities, Moran knew she’ll get the natural look she wanted, relying greatly on the camera’s strong sensors and not on excessive lighting equipment..Being around Alexas for a considerable amount of time, she knows how to push the camera even more to get the look and feel she envisioned for the movie.
On the Master Anamorphics, Moran was amazed with the rich textures the lenses created partnered with the Alexa. She recalls the time working with anamorphic lenses and a tight budget was not as fast -not a very good option for low budget independent films.
To Moran, the anamorphic feel was always the way to go when shooting a project, citing the bokeh, the flares, the lens aberrations, and every unpredictable quality anamorphic lenses bring.
On shooting handheld, Moran has always been known to prefer this style over others. She loves the idea of being instantaneously reactive to any situation zyban to quit smoking.
She specifies narrative situations where she can respond accordingly to what’s going on with the story, adding the fact that shooting handheld allowed her the freedom to “dance” with the actors, letting her become part of the story through the camera.
The movie is now showing in select theaters, and can be seen on demand. Moran shot Meadowland making use of the ARRI Alexa along with the dependable Master Anamorphic lenses from ARRI/Zeiss.
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