Alar Kivilo: Photography Arc & Lens Selection

From American Cinematographer, The Root of All Evil by Jay Holben (December 1998)

"This whole project was kind of an exception to my normal style. I usually like the photography to have an arc of its own, where it starts off one way and you discreetly increase the drama. For example, as a character becomes more evil, I'll move to wider lenses or spookier lighting or something. However, the changes that the characters [in this film] go through are extreme, so I decided to keep the photography very neutral and never comment on what was going on in the scene. I approached the whole project in a very naturalistic way. I picked relatively neutral lenses, gravitating toward the middle range. As a rule, we kept away from the really long or wide lenses. Our real workhorse was the 40mm, which happens to be my favorite. It's great for moments of drama, and for doing close-ups. It's wide enough for master shots, but it doesn't distort even if you get close to the subject. It's the last lens going toward the wide end in which the lines of the architecture remain straight. Again, we were constantly trying to hew to that simplicity."

- Alar Kivilo, CSC

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