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Steven Holleran Captures Youth and Discontent in ‘The Land ‘

The independent film The Land tells the story of one summer in the life of four teenagers who try to escape the grim reality of their surroundings by roaming their neighborhood on skateboards. The Land debuted in the NEXT program at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

Cinematographer Steven Holleran says of the film’s production that he “knew from early on that I wanted to shoot anamorphic due to the format’s unique depth of field and separation between foreground and background. It gave me the ability to draw the viewer’s focus to the boys but also capture the essence of the world around them, with all its texture, color and light. The footage has a subtle dimensionality to it that separates the boys from their surroundings.

“I needed fast lenses because about two-thirds of the movie takes place at night, and we were on a very tight budget, so ARRI/Zeiss anamorphics were ideal,” Holleran continues. “This naturally led us to want to shoot with the [ARRI] Alexa XT Plus so we could take advantage of the 4:3 sensor. I would also be shooting handheld a lot, so I needed a camera that was very comfortable on my shoulder. And again, because of all the night shoots and the limited lighting budget, I knew that ARRIRAW would give me the latitude I needed to capture my vision and the flexibility to manipulate the image in the DI.”

The Land was released by IFC Films in July.