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‘Much Ado’ Flashbacks Come to Life with Lensbaby

When I shot Much Ado About Nothing for director Joss Whedon, we used the Lensbaby Composer with Double Glass Optic on a Canon EOS 7D to shoot all of the flashback sequences. Joss was a bit apprehensive when I first suggested the idea. He didn’t want the flashbacks to look cheesy and forced. When I began testing the look, I shot with a fully open iris. It was too much for him. Not wanting to give up, I dropped in an f/4 iris disc and it gave us a slightly reduced and elegant version of the Lensbaby look. Joss loved it. There was no question that it was the way to go for all the flashbacks.

Much Ado About Nothing

flashback sequence

They say that you can approximate a look in postproduction, but I disagree. When you make a look happen in camera, it will always have unique organic qualities that a computer can’t replicate. What’s more, I want the look of my work to come directly from my own hands. Often I can’t be around in post to give feedback and/or manage their techniques. I feel strongly that if you are fully relying on others to design your cinematography in post, you will never be satisfied with the results. I always carry a Lensbaby kit in my camera department because I like to have the option of that look within reach at all times.

In addition to shooting Much Ado About Nothing and the upcoming Life After Beth, Jay Hunter works as the camera operator on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Cinematographer Jay Hunter