DP Kinsky Finds Perfect Matches


NEW YORK CITY, USA: Cinematographer Danna Kinsky captures A Perfect Match, an all-female feature, with support from Sachtler, Litepanels & Petrol Bags.

The feature-length movie focuses on Ally, a high-profile magazine editor who begins to re-evaluate her life and her world after she proposed an article badmouthing bus segregation in Orthodox Jewish communities. To help realise her vision, Kinsky chose camera support from Sachtler, LED lighting from Litepanels, and equipment carriers from Petrol Bags.

A Perfect Match takes Ally and her younger self through a journey facing dark times and traumatic memories," Kinsky explains. "She rediscovers her roots, connects with her deeper self, and finally comes home."

A Perfect Match features an all-women production crew and an extremely conservative budget. "Our production package was small and we knew we had to travel as lightly as we could between the many locations, so we chose our equipment carefully," Kinsky says. "We shot with Canon and GoPro cameras, with Sachtler support and daylight Litepanels.

"Because we had the Sachtler Ace L-TT, I knew I didn't have to rent baby legs, a high hat or a low hat," she adds. "It served the purpose and filled the role of all those things, so I didn't need anything else. The Ace L-TT had more versatility than any other tripod I've ever rented or owned for a lightweight camera system. It weighs just enough to create the sturdiness needed, is easy to travel with, easy to carry, and quick to adjust. We had one shot in a park of Ally running towards the camera in a pivotal, emotional scene," she recalls. "The low mode for this long shot was perfect.

"And, when we got to our character's bedroom, we had very tight quarters," she adds. "The ACE L-TT was super helpful in low mode on top of the bed to match the heights of the other cameras in the room. I was able to use it in high mode as well, to achieve an overhead shot of the character in bed."

As with any fast-moving location-bound production, lighting was another welcomed challenge for Kinsky. The variety of lights available from Litepanels made getting in, out and around locations faster. "I love the Sola ENG Flight Kit because they are lightweight enough to hang on scissor clips and they are strong enough to key my main characters. In one particular location, we were in a corporate office hallway. We turned the office lights off and attached the three Solas to the panels above with scissor clips and Anton Bauer batteries.

"The Solas ENGs are really amazing," she adds. "They give a lot of punch for their small size. I was able to power them with either an Anton/Bauer Hytron 50 or Dionic 90 battery, which made set up much quicker, cleaner, and more convenient. What's also helpful is that this powerful light can be plugged into a regular Edison socket, so I don't have to deal with an HMI ballast. Simplicity was of particular importance in filming this project, as we had 13-days to complete shooting."

There were times when Kinsky had to fit two cameras in the doorway of a bathroom. "We were at The Essex House, Central Park South, in one of the bathrooms," she recalls. Despite the tight squeeze, she was able to place a Sola ENG between the two cameras as key light. "Cast and crew were kept safe with this lighting set up, thanks to the LED lamps, which make them cool to the touch," she adds.

Kinsky has owned four Litepanels 1x1s for three years, "and with consistent use, not one has malfunctioned in any way," she says. "That's a huge benefit. The great thing about the daylight balance of the Litepanels is that I can use natural daylight to fill in my scenes with them. I didn't have to worry about colour temperature and correction issues or problems later in post with colour balancing. A really nice perk about these lights is that the LED bulbs last for ages."

When Kinsky was shooting in a restaurant with mirror-laden walls, there were only three places in the room that any of the crew or cameras could stand. "We were able to place the Sola 6, which was keying, right next to the side camera, and the Hilio fixture right next to the boom operator," she explains. "There was no way we would have been able to stand so close to a 1K or a 1.2Kw HMI. One of my favourite things about these lights is that they are cool to the touch. Not only do they not heat up the cast/crew/room but they can be placed directly next to camera/crew with no danger."

Kinsky shot a lot of B-roll for this project. "I was working on my own one week before production started, getting different types of shots all over Manhattan," she recalls. "My goal was to portray the way the main character really feels inside her corporate office. I flew the Sachtler artemis Handheld camera stabiliser in midtown and downtown, going through the streets with all the high-rise buildings. The results were fantastic, and helped portray the inner conscience of the character."

Because Kinsky and crew were constantly on the move, everything had to be light, packable and movable. "I could easily carry all three camera tripods with the cameras mounted on them from point A to point B," she says.

"And, when we had to pack things, my Petrol Bags Trolley Bag was the perfect companion," she adds. "It held so much of my stuff in such an organised way that it really streamlined my workflow. The fact that it rolled with me anywhere I needed to go was a huge plus. And, the Petrol Bags DSLR bag, which housed all my GoPro cameras and accessories as well as my DSLR camera, was perfect for B-roll. At the same time, it was also able to hold the artemis handheld stabilising system, so I had that ready at an arm's length."

A Perfect Match, featuring an all-female cast and shot with an all-female production crew, is now finished. To preserve the modesty of the Orthodox community portrayed, the movie is scheduled to be released this month for viewing exclusively by all female audiences in small theatres and venues throughout the world.

Pictured: Cinematographer Danna Kinsky on the set of A Perfect Match


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