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Cooke Optics Helps Illuminate the City of Ember

Leicester, UK – 14 April, 2008. Cooke Optics Ltd., a premier manufacturer of precision lenses for the motion picture industry, today announced that its award-winning S4 lenses have been used on the feature film City of Ember, due for release in October 2008. Based on the novel by Jeanne DuPrau, the film is directed by Gil Kenan and the cast includes Bill Murray and Tim Robbins.

For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights. But Ember’s once powerful generator is failing, and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker. Now, two teenagers in a race against time must search Ember for clues that will unlock the ancient mystery of the city’s existence, and help the citizens escape before the lights go out forever.

Director of Photography Xavier Perez Grobet worked hard to maintain the Director’s vision for the film, using various light sources ranging from tungsten lights to kitchen fittings and flashlights. He also mixed different colour temperature lights, such as fluorescent bulbs with tungsten bulbs, accompanied by different colour gels.

“Overall, the film was a really big challenge for me,� says Grobet, “Every set had a different code of lights, filters and sources that together formed City of Ember. That world could not have been formed without the help of the Cooke S4 lenses.�

A long-time user of Cooke lenses, Grobet chose the S4 lenses for this project because he liked the resolution and crispness that they lend to Super 35 film. “They helped me achieve my creative vision as the lenses had the right focal lengths with amazing resolution. Shooting with wide angle lenses meant that I needed the least distortion possible, coupled with the best quality; the S4s gave me that option,� comments Grobet.

Grobet faced many challenges due to the film’s sets. “We had to shoot in a lot of tight spaces with low ceilings, and used wide angle lenses to capture the shot,� comments Grobet, “Cooke’s lenses provided the highest quality and the least distortion for these kinds of situations.�

“We are very pleased with the results that our lenses have produced on City of Ember�, states Cooke Optics Chairman Les Zellan, “Xavier is an extremely talented DoP and we feel privileged to have him as a champion of our lenses.�

City of Ember is due for release in October 2008 and will be distributed by 20th Century Fox.

About Cooke Optics, LTD.
Cooke is a storied name in both cinematographic and the ultra-high-end professional photography markets. Known worldwide for their precision, exacting tolerances and superior quality, Cooke lenses are specified by many of the world’s most respected cinematographers. Cooke is also the developer behind /i Technology, the protocol enabling vital lens and camera information to be captured and passed digitally to post-production teams. Recent films shot with Cooke lenses include The Assassination of Jesse James, American Gangster, The Bourne Ultimatum, Live Free or Die Hard, Hairspray, Transformers, The Waterhorse and many more.