Perfect Mothers

Perfect Mothers

Paru le La Lettre AFC n°230 Autres formats

[English] [français]

Perfect Mothers’ visual ambition was to combine scenes from the great Australian outdoors and strong, up-close scenes of physical intimacy, which entails sunny wide shots and close-ins of the grain of human skin. I quickly decided to shoot using traditional silver-process film with a CinémaScope camera, because a year ago, I still wasn’t sure that digital cameras could properly shoot nature or skin.

The film takes place in Australia and, as we know, the summer sun in Australia is hard and bright, which means overexposure, so NO digital ! I wanted to take advantage of the biggest 35mm format commonly available, meaning anamorphic. The scenes shot out-of-doors during daytime are bright, a little overexposed in a few scenes, and only a couple of surfing scenes were shot using a Red Epic for practical reasons : in the enormous waves, only the Epic (ultra-compact model) in a waterproof case can be handled in the rough seas. Later on, during colour grading, I had some black filmed using Kodak film to mix its grain with the images filmed using the Red Epic. At the beginning, I wanted to film a couple of night-time shots using the Red Epic, too, but in the end the dark around the houses was so black that I did it using film to maintain that deep, dark effect. The bay where we were shooting was the location of most of our sets (houses, beaches) and it was truly a luxury in terms of lighting, because of late afternoon shots that were stretched out over a couple evenings, unpredictable weather, etc.

I was lucky to have an excellent and dynamic Australian team that overcame all obstacles (waves, storms, giant lizards) and accomplished and beautiful actresses (Naomi Watts and Robin Wright).

Xavier Samuel et Robin Wright Penn - Scène d'"intimité physique" en intérieur jour
Xavier Samuel et Robin Wright Penn
Scène d’"intimité physique" en intérieur jour



Focus-Puller : Matt Toll
Key Grip : Josh Amil
Gaffer and renter of electric equipment : Miles Jones


Camera : Panavision XL
Lenses : G anamorphic and Primo anamorphic (night-time shots)
Laboratory : Deluxe Sydney - Olivier Fontenay
Colour Grading : Technicolor - Fabien Pascal