Marc Bénoliel - Assoc.ACO
ACO Associate member Marc Bénoliel shared his thoughts about working with Master Prime Anamorphics on Steadicam, and a football superstar...

Marc Bénoliel  :  Anamorphics & A Soccer Fan’s Dream Job

From left to right:

Nacer Maash - Producer

Simon Brand - Director and DoP

Anthony Raton - Line Producer

Geraud Poroy - Location Manager


Benoit Magnan - First Assistant Camera


Emmanuelle Alaitru- Second Assistant 

Recently I worked on a commercial for Puma and Soccer player Radamel Falcao Garcia, at Monaco`s Stadium. The director was Simon Brand who has directed many Music Videos for talent such as Shakira and Ricky Martin, alongside commercials for Coca Cola, Puma and others.

About 10 shots were on the menu and we only had one day to shoot those shots in the stadium due to Falcao`s tight schedule. Simon was the cinematographer and also co-director with the producer Nacer Maash. Recce in the morning and shooting in the afternoon, Simon likes to shoot pretty fast so obviously, it was a hectic day as you might think. No sound recording and everything was shot on Steadicam, except for one shot on a tripod with a 100mm lens.

The kit was an Alexa Mini with Master primes Anamorphics. It`s getting pretty fashionable to get the Alexa mini on commercials or dramas, the Mini is so light but it balanced pretty well with Anamorphic lenses on my rig. It almost felt like a standard Alexa with primes! The dynamic was good but it`s not as compact as you might think. If you want proper inertia you have to spread the batteries from the Alexa body. But doing that, you`re increasing vibrations due to the space you are getting between the dovetail plate and the rods. As you know with Anamorphic lenses you can see trembling effects or unlevelled frames right away. So, you want to stick a bar or something similar in that space to avoid the trembling effects, use gaffer tape if you have to!

Personally, I love Master primes Anamorphics, they are probably my favourites with Panavision Primos C or E Anamorphics. But they are heavy, which does helps with the Mini. I even had a couple shots with a close-up filter on Falcao, under the shower (very glamourous...) on a 75mm or 50 mm.

On another commercial I have had Kowas lenses with the Alexa Mini and it`s definitely not the same feeling. I had to add extra weight and the dynamic was not quite so pleasant. So, the choice of anamorphic lenses made the all difference in terms of ergonomics.

I was a bit scared for the last shot. Simon wanted a 360° around Falcao, standing right in the middle of the stadium on the grass, in low-mode. After holding the rig all day and walking all around in the stadium, I was exhausted at 5 PM. Due to restrictions policy no one was allowed to walk on the grass before the game in order to preserve it. But the stadium`s team made an exception so we only had 5 mins to make that shot. No rehearsals obviously... I did several 360’s around Falcao then Simon said " Good, we got it. it`s a wrap! "  

The video will be released pretty soon, I hope you enjoy.  

All the Best, Marc


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