Dec 9, 2017
Written by Scott Willson
Christopher Nolan has long been a cinematic traditionalist as well as an advocate for the preservation and continued use of celluloid in Hollywood film production.
Consequently, Nolan is against the idea that you are ever truly seeing what you're getting on a digital monitor during principal photography. Filmmakers huddling inside dark cathedrals lined with TV screens have appropriately nicknamed these safe spaces "video villages".
According to Christopher Nolan's frequent collaborator (you da real MVP of the Dark Knight Trilogy) Wally Pfister:
"We are very very low tech and Chris loves it that way. He loves the simplicity of that kind of filmmaking. There is no video village at all. Speaking of technology, Chris runs around with a little tiny Panasonic battery powered monitor."
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I proudly introduce the Casio EV4500 Wireless LCD TV. Very affordable. Looks like you can nab this badboy for as little as 75 bucks.
Believe it or not, these ghetto ass looking things were 'only' released in 2003.
As soon as principal photography begins on a new chapter of the Nolanverse, all main production cameras are are fitted with a short range, UHF/VHF video transmitter. Using his adorable little Casio screen, this arrangement allows C.Nol to preview multiple camera angles in real time, right there on his handy little TV necklace for nerds.
Essentially a clever and convenient reference tool for camera composition and shot framing, this really IS some low tech shit, just like Pfister said. Bruce Wayne would be embarrassed.
Go Chris! You're rocking that Necklace TV!
Most film directors prefer to be photographed in their native habitat doing the "Finger Framing Manoeuvre". For example, Al Hitchcock.
Christopher Nolan, as we have demonstrated, shows us that this approach is played out AF; opting for his own personal TV screen in contrast to the traditional caveman hand gestures.
That said, it must also be mentioned with a sense of irony that C.Nol's general aversion to digital cinema, Netflix and watching 70MM films on a 5" mobile display is in direct opposition to the way he actually shoots his films.
While it might be okay to oversee an IMAX production through a postage stamp sized display, you yourself run the risk of serious prison time if you even DARE experience Christopher Nolan films on anything other than projected across the side of a full moon.
Without getting into further silliness, it is not difficult to imagine that most production cameras these days could be retrofitted with a WiFi video transmitter; thereby allowing any tablet or mobile device to serve the same purpose as the Casio EV4500. amirite?
Nolan just loves his familiar gadgets I guess. We all work better in our comfort zone, don't we?
So the next time you are close to a Christopher Nolan movie set (be careful for guard dogs & laser nets), why not try scanning through the UHF / VHF channels to get a direct feed into one of the most secretive filmmakers in the industry today.
Are you tossing your iPad Pro in favour of the Casio EV4500 Wireless LCD TV? Let us know in the comments below.
Keep it Vertical kids!