Frame Within a Frame, Discovery Campus

Oceans, Q&A and Presentation

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BFM, Super Nova Cinema
Oceans, Q&A and Presentation

The key period of intensive research and experience for Philippe started in 2004 when he was asked to work on the film Oceans which combined film and digital footage – to supervise the imaging of the project. Oceans, directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, is a wildlife movie shot over 345 weeks - spread over almost 4 years (the film took nearly 6 years to complete) - utilizing a total of 54 locations all over the world. It involved 8 teams and had a production budget of $75M. Philippe was involved from the beginning of the project right up until DCP’s release, 6 years later.

The Oceans experience was seminal for Philippe because he could apply his knowledge of matching film and digital, film scan, film transfer, digital cameras, and colour-grading to redesign the whole workflow of the film with the colourist and postproduction manager. Crucially, this role meant that he had to work hand and glove with the producers/production management, in effect developing for himself a new role as a consultant to both the technical and production sides of the filmmaking process. In addition, he worked on customizing all the digital cameras used in the picture - via management of gamma curves and internal settings - to deliver the highest quality scan film style.

4K & 2K theatre release, Topside - Underwater - Aerial, 75 M$ budget, 54 locations in the world, 3 years of preparation, 340 weeks of shoot over 3 1⁄2 years, 1 year of post-production, 6 to 8 teams 17 cinematographers, 500 h of footage, Film & digital.

Philippe was the cinematographer on all the underwater night and coral reef shooting of the film as well as the the microscope shooting. He created and used a combination of high-end technologies and ‘’old tricks’’ to deal with challenging wildlife situations and to help harmonize lighting between a large variety of locations. These areas of the film all posed very specific and difficult challenges. Philippe’s key role was to meet these challenges without compromise or budget overruns.

Since the completion of the film, Philippe has been invited to address many conferences around the world regarding how the film was made, what challenges were faced, and how they were overcome. In his workshops/seminars, Philippe uses Oceans as a multi-entry case study because of the richness of this particular production - which included, in its 500 hours of footage: aerial, studio, fiction/drama, underwater documentary, and underwater studio.