We’re proud to have supported Cinematographer Annika Summerson and Director Prano Bailey-Bond on their horror feature Censor
Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Censor is based in the world of the 1980s ‘video nasty’ and follows the tribulations of a young British film censor who, haunted by the disappearance of her sister, finds herself drifting between disconcerting dreams and the challenges of real life.
The Director of Photography shot using a variety of media, mixing both film and digital to create the film’s period look and capturing perfectly the vintage feel of the slasher movies which feature so heavily within the narrative. Annika shot with the Sony Venice and ArriCam ST, paired with Canon K-35 prime lenses, used to great effect in mirroring the tones and textures of the era.
Speaking about filming, Annika says, ‘We decided early on, before we had financial backing, that we wanted to shoot this story on film. The director and I did a short years before on the same theme, which we shot on s16mm, so we aimed for 35mm this time (thinking we would end up on s16mm). We managed to convince everyone that 35mm was the way to go, to create that authentic 1980s feel, but also because Censor is a homage to the horror films of the era”.
“I choose Canon K35 lenses to go with the Arricam ST because of the soft, low contrast feel they give. I thought they looked perfect for the period and the lighting style I was going for.”
Annika continues, “There was one demand from the financiers though, we had to shoot the night exteriors on digital. With such a small budget and tight schedule we had to cut down on lighting, power and crew, so we opted for the Sony Venice with the 2500iso capabilities as our ‘forest-cam'”.
Screened in the ‘cult status’ midnight slot, during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Censor is already receiving strong reviews and praise within the media. The film continues the recent trend for success of British movies in the horror genre.
On working with Movietech, the DoP says “Being on location up in Leeds meant we were far away from Movietech, which can add a level of stress, but the equipment didn’t let us down at all and it all ran very smoothly, as always.”
Movietech Marketing Director, Andy Cooper adds. “Having worked previously with Annika, we were delighted to be supporting her on Censor. We’re immensely proud to work with colleagues throughout all areas of the industry, it is particularly rewarding to be part of the journey of new and emerging cinematographers as they develop their careers”.
Annika concludes, “I have always felt supported on a personal and professional level, ever since I started out on my journey as a spark to become a DoP. Andy Cooper, Anil and the rest of the team have let me test a lot of equipment over the years, even when I didn’t have anything to shoot. I always love going to Movietech, seeing all the friendly faces and knowing that I get the most dedicated technical help as well.”
Developed in conjunction with Film4 and Creative England via the BFI Network and Ffilm Cymru Wales, Censor was co-written by Prano Bailey-Bon and Anthony Fletcher and stars Niamh Algar and Michael Smiley.