42 - Capturing Jackie Robinson's story

Aug 23, 2019

42 - Capturing Jackie Robinson's story

Don Burgess, ASC helps Brian Helgeland visualize Jackie Robinson’s dash past Major League Baseball’s color line.


Burgess says he used “a little bit of everything” to achieve cameramoves. “A lot of the dramatic scenes, such as the ones in Rickey’s office, called for slow moves, so that took us to dollies and cranes”, he says. These included a small Felix crane with a Mo-Sys head, which “we could put on track and use to get literally every shot in a scene with complete freedom in every axis,” recalls camera operator Matthew Moriarity. “In Rickey’s office, it let us pass the camera over the desk and wrap it back around into a close-up of Rickey without the move ever really being noticeable. You could call this ‘a quiet crane’”

Burgess calls his approach to 42 “a mixture of typical and speciality filmmaking. I like to use a remote head on the camera a lot, to keep it moving, and there is also great Steadicam work. It was a matter of studying Brian’s script to figure out which technique was best for a particular scene.”

Read the whole article in the May 2014 issue of American Cinematographer.

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