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Ask Lust: What Film Equipment Do You Use?

Ask Lust: What Film Equipment Do You Use?

Erika Lust's Director of Photography, Thais Català, answers
Thais Catala | January 15, 2021 | 4 min. read | Photos by Visual-ess

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Hello Erika and team…

I'm pretty pretty interested in the gear you’re using to film your beautiful films. From cameras to lenses or even the software in postproduction…

— Tyves

Hello Tyves, this is Thais Català, Director of Photography. Seven years ago I started working with Erika Lust and I have shot every film that she has directed for XConfessions and Lust Cinema ever since!

When I first started working with Erika we were working with Red cameras (Red Scarlet, Red Epic) and with Zeiss Standard Prime T2.1 lenses. As the productions grew, we were able to use better material. We are currently shooting with the Arri Alexa Mini camera and the lenses vary according to the needs of the project. We mainly go with Ultra Prime for many XConfessions and for some feature films we have used the Lomo Kinor H35 T2.3.

At the beginning we had very little light material and the technical team was also very small. In the photography department it was just me and the camera assistant. We set up the lighting and the camera to shoot the movies.

Thais & Erika on set of XConfessions short film Ink Addiction

Over time, the technical team has grown and we have been able to have more lighting equipment. Now, in the camera team there is a first assistant and a second assistant. And in light, there is usually a gaffer and 3/4 sparks. Depending on the project, we have come to have a Steadycam Operator or grips (crane or travel) but usually I am the camera operator and I work with an Easyrig.

The type of light we have depends on the mood of the project. We have created different lighting with a range of devices: HMI, Led, Tungsten, Fluorescence, Natural light … I always try to choose what I think will suit the project best.

Regarding the camera settings, we always shot in LogC at 3.2k and with a minimum compression of 4444XQ.

When it comes to a feature film or a web series, make a LUT (Look Up Table) for the project. Together with the colourist, we evaluate the conditions that we are going to have on set (look of the film, lighting, colour and texture of the lenses …) and we create the LUT. This makes colour post-production much easier for us.

The program we use for colour correction is DaVinci Resolve. And the editing is done with Final Cut.

About Thais:

Thais filming on set of Lust Cinema original Safe Word

Thais Català studied Cinematography at the University of Barcelona, ESCAC (Escuela Superior de Cine y Audiovisuales de Catalunya) finishing her studies in 2013. Since 2014, she has worked as a Director of Photography and she shoots fiction, commercials, independent documentaries and music videos. Occasionally she works as an underwater operator with the equipment of Txema Vega Underwater Film Service. She is part of the collective of “Directoras de Fotografía” in Spain.

Thais appreciates the small details and believes that the art of photography is able to highlight them. Her intention with photography is to find beauty anywhere by changing just the point of view. Visit her website or follow her on Instagram.

Illustration by Visual-ess:

Visual-ess is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator and has had her work published in books and showcased by companies such as Universal, Austin Reed and Long Tall Sally. She particularly enjoys illustration as she’s able to utilise a wide range of bright colours, shades, and tones, combined with a dash of playful humour, as a way of channelling various emotions and to express real-life experiences.

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