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ARRI Alexa and 65mm Film “Mesh Perfectly” for ‘Sunset Song’

To film the scenic literary adaptation Sunset Song, cinematographer Michael McDonough combined digital (filmed with an ARRI Alexa XT Studio) with 65mm film (filmed with an ARRIFLEX 765) for the transcendent outdoor landscapes.  

“The landscape plays such a strong role in the film and the book from which it derives; the characters are very much seen as ‘part of the land’, and 65 mm film would be the perfect medium to capture the magnificence of the landscapes, rendering them with the clarity of the human eye,” McDonough tells ARRI. “For this reason we shot with very deep stops to hold detail to the far horizon. It was almost three-dimensional in feel…It was surprising, or maybe not, that the ALEXA and the 65 mm meshed perfectly. When you think about it, the 65 mm is virtually grain-free; with some light filtration on both the film and digital, a really closely matched feel and texture was possible.”