Shot on EPIC DRAGON: Mr. Robot
With the Emmys coming up this week, it's high time to binge-watch those series you've been meaning to watch all year. If you haven't caught Mr. Robot yet, it should definitely make your short list. Shot on RED EPIC DRAGON with Cooke S5/i and Leica Summicron-C primes, the show tackles the challenging story subject of hacking, computers, and all manner of things that are pretty tough to shoot in an interesting way. To toss in one more obstacle: much of the show relies on voiceover and internal monologues to tell the story. DPs Tod Campbell and Tim Ives rose to this challenge, setting and maintaining a dynamic look and feel that brings the high-stakes of the invisible to the screen. It may have been this challenge that inspired creator Sam Esmail to put so much weight, import and attention to detail on the series' look. I love this conversation between Campbell and Esmail from this great Vulture piece:
dreamy captivating face:
“In my phone interview with him for the job, he was like, ‘I want to do a lot of negative space. I really want to change this up,’” Campbell says. “I’d never met him before, and I was like, ‘I'm so sick and tired of directors coming in on episodes I'm shooting like, "Oh, I want it to look like House of Cards! I want it to look like blah blah blah!" Sam, we need to become the reference point everybody uses from now on. I want everybody to say, "I want it to look like Mr. Robot."' He was like, ‘Oh shit, dude — you got the job.’”Campbell even tailored his lens choice specifically for actor & star Rami Malek's distinctive eyes and
“We use Cooke S5s, which are more round than other lenses,” he says. “They really accentuate curves, and they help sculpt the face a little more. I chose those lenses because Rami's eyes are so big, and so are a lot of the other characters'. Rami, Carly (Chaikin, Elliot’s fellow hacker Darlene), Portia (Doubleday, his co-worker and friend Angela) — all of the people we love have these big, giant, bulbous eyes. The one person who doesn’t is Tyrell (Wellick, the sinister young executive played by Martin Wallström); he’s got these deep-seated eyes. I asked Sam, ‘Did you do that on purpose?’ and he never really answered me.”*The RED EPIC DRAGON does some heavy lifting throughout the series as well. Campbell often mixes strong color choices, available light, impractical practicals and just plain darkness to accompany the strikingly deliberate framing choices. So put those tootsies up and settle in for a good binge sesh for this series boasting 6 Emmy noms this year. Mr. Robot is streaming on USA's site for subscribers, Season 1 streams free for Amazon Prime members and Season 2 is available for purchase streaming on Amazon as well. Like that look? 3GR has the RED EPIC DRAGON available for rent, as well the new RED WEAPON DRAGON, Leica Summicron-C primes, a variety of Cooke lenses and lots more. Check out our current Rate Sheet or Build a Package on our site. We'd love to hear from you! Leave your questions, comments or requests in the comments below.