January 7, 2020
Cinefade is a motorised variable ND filter that allows cinematographers to gradually transition between a deep and a shallow depth of field in one shot at constant exposure to accentuate a moment of extreme drama in film or to make a client’s product stand out in commercials.
It can also be used in VariND mode to achieve interior to exterior transition shots without ‘riding the iris’ and to control reflections on automotive shoots with the remotely controlled RotaPola.
Director of Photography Erik Messerschmidt ASC used the Cinefade VariND not only as a practical tool to control exposure on set but also as a storytelling tool to accentuate certain moments and guide the viewer’s attention.
Director: David Fincher
Director of Photography: Erik Messerschmidt ASC
A Camera First Assistant: Alex Scott
Erik Messerschmidt ASC to Filmmaker Magazine:
“We also used this tool called the cmotion Cinefade. It’s a motorized polarizer that you sync to the iris so we could effectively pull depth of field. It’s quite extreme. You could pull five stops of depth of field. So we could go from a T8 to a 2. That thing kind of lived on the camera. There were times where we’d say, “It’s too much. Let’s look at it at a 5.6.” So you set the iris to a 5.6, the polarizer compensates and now you’re looking at the same scene but with less depth of field. So, it was nice to be able to use focus and iris as a storytelling tool instead of just an exposure tool.”