Website Logo

Recherche d’objectifs, d’articles et aide

Blog Productions

Cooke S7/i FF lenses bring to life Kerala Crime Files, the first ever Malayam-language crime series on Disney Plus

By: The Cooke Team  |   1 min de lecture

Kerala Crime Files is a crime drama web television series, the first ever Malayam-language episodic series to be streamed on Disney Plus in India. We spoke the cinematographer Jithin Stanislaus, who chose Cooke S7/i FF to achieve his desired look for this project.

“This series is based on a real-life crime, but unlike other productions in this genre the brief was to make it as realistic as possible. So we wanted to capture grounded realism – this is how the actual police officers in Kerala behave. This is how they are.”

“Both Aju Varghese and Lal, the leading actors in this series, are feature film actors. So to have them starring in the first-ever Malayalam web series was a big shift in the production’s offering to the audience. This approach crossed a lot of boundaries and created different challenges compared to the feature films they normally work on, allowing them more screen time, not shooting chronologically but by location, and, coupled with Disney Plus scale and reach, it was a lot of pressure for all the crew and cast.’’

Jithin decided to shoot using just one camera. “I don’t like to shoot with two cameras in a set. Because one camera will always have to compromise on something: shooting in small and tight places and needing two angles will make one of the sides look flat, in my experience.’’

Kerala Crime Files BTS
Kerala Crime Files Still 1
Kerala Crime Files Still 2
Kerala Crime Files Stills

The series was shot entirely on location. “There are no studios. If we liked a location we would just dress the real place. With 53 days of production, it was quite a feat.’’

This series is the third time Jithin has collaborated with this the director Ahammed Khabeer. “We are friends and have shoot three movies together.  We work well together and he gives me the freedom to express my vision. This is very special.”

On his lens selection, Jithin remarked “Cooke S7 lenses don’t give even a slight distortion, which is what I love about them. My go-to lenses were 32mm and 50mm, I especially love using them for close-ups. I like to go close and see the face.”

“I find the S7s to be very dependable lens series, and the contrast and skin tones they give are brilliant. For me, there was no other choice for this and my previous projects, it had to be Cooke S7s.”

“I also love that S7 lenses don’t give too much external flaring. If you want the flaring, you can achieve it with other tricks of the trade, but if you don’t want it, they don’t exaggerate it and dampen it even if your framing catches an unwanted light source. I mainly want my look to be clean, and with the S7/i’s that’s what I get. T2.8 was my preferred stop on this project, because I like the roll off at that stop in full frame. At that T stop the depth of field doesn’t show everything behind when I come in for close-ups.’’


Kerala Crime Files BTS
Kerala Crime Files Still 4
Kerala Crime Files Still

“I also like the weight for the lens. I don’t want a lightweight lens – I shoot handheld, so the lens being over 3kg actually helps me with balancing on my shoulder or easy rig. A lot of this production was shot handheld. And we felt the movement added to the drama and pace of the production.”


“All things considered; I am very happy with my choice off S7/i FF series. The focal lengths selection in the set I had was great, the ergonomics with balancing the camera was perfect, allowing me to move dynamically in relationship to the action. The focus roll-off and sharpness, when paired with the Arri Alexa LF, are brilliant.


Jithin added, ‘’I can’t wait to shoot on Cooke S8/i. There’s only one set in Kerala so far, and I want to test it out to see what they bring to the table.’’