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The Heir

“The S4’s gave me the cinematic look and creative freedom I envisioned for this film.”Kenza Tazi, Director of Photography

Lens/Camera Information
Lens series: S4/i
Focus lengths: 16, 21, 27, 40, 50, 75, 100, 135
Camera: Sony Venice 2
Format: Digital
Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Production Information
Production: The Heir
Director of Photography: Kenza Tazi
Director/Producer: Mohammed Abderrahman Tazi
Colourist: Ghali Ouazzany
Production company: 2M Production
Instagram: Kenza Tazi

‘The Heir’ is a comedy about a housekeeper and his dog and the trials and tribulations of a dead man’s will. The director wanted to keep a certain softness to the story’s image, in light of the film’s dark undertone.

After initial testing of the Cooke S4’s in combination with the Sony Venice 2 sensor, the tests allowed me to see how well this combination worked together and were the perfect match to achieve a very natural feeling, combined with the unique aesthetic signature that distinguishes them from other lenses.

The S4’s gave me the cinematic look and creative freedom I envisioned for this film. Across the schedule, we shot several night sequences. For these scenes I wanted to shoot as wide open as possible and often adding Glimmer Glass filters to emphasize the halation around the streetlights. The Venice and Cooke S4’s performed very well together under these conditions and retained the deep blacks along with the high Sodium glow of the ambient street lighting, allowing me to shoot with less light overall. The bokeh of the lenses was also particularly beautiful.

The 40mm became a firm favourite in complimenting the actors organic skin tone and colour separation. I particularly love the way they render skin tones, keep the naturalistic colour rendition, but have a subtle fall off around the subject to the edge of the lenses.

With the majority of the film being shot handheld, the S4 allowed me to follow the actors and create a real separation of the characters whilst also playing with large focus pulls from far to close, while guiding the viewer’s vision. They ensure that every nuance of the scene is faithfully reproduced, from the subtlest shifts in light and shadow to every details of the subject. Whether shooting in low light conditions or capturing high-speed action sequences, the Cooke S4 with the Venice sensor is a combination I’ll be using again.