Behind the Scenes of the Michael Fassbender Interview


On Thursday evening in the European Le Mans Series paddock at the Autodromo Internacionale do Algarve in Portugal we conducted an interview with Hollywood star Michael Fassbender, who has been racing in the five round series this year with Porsche team Proton Competition.  We wanted to catch up with him at the end of his first season of endurance racing and get his take on racing in a top European championship.

As the ELMS press officer I wrote the questions and did the filming, while with my colleague Sophie Liger asked Michael the questions.

The interview was filmed on two Fujifilm X-T4s.  The main interview camera was fitted with the XF16-55mm f2.8 lens and this was fixed to a 3 Legged Thing 'Jay' video tripod.  The second X-T4 was used by me handheld and was fitted with the XF90mm f2 lens.  I also used a GoPro Hero 8 Black to give a rear view of the interview (see still image below).

All three cameras were set to record in 4K25 with the final video produced in 1080P for social media.  The reason I film in 4K is the quality of the film video and so I also have the option of panning or zooming within the frame in the final edit.

Both X-T4s were set to the Eterna film simulations, which provides a very flat colour palate and I find it very easy to grade in post.  I could shoot in F-Log but I find Eterna meets my needs perfectly.  The main camera was set to manual focus and the focus was set as soon as Michael sat on the chair provided.  The handheld X-T4 was set to AF-C with eye detect used to keep the focus on the actors eyes.   

The 90mm f2 lens was fitted with a Haida M10 Filter Holder and a three stop Neutral Density filter, this allowed me to keep the shutter speed at 1/50s (double the frame rate) and use the lens at f2 while maintain a low ISO setting.

Audio was provided by a pair of Rode Wireless Go transmitter receivers fed into the main X-T4, the two channels on a splitter so the audio from Michael and Sophie would be received in camera on separate channels.  I fitted one of the transmitters to the Interview Go adapter to turn it into a handheld mic, while the second transmitter was fixed to Sophie's jacket.

The handheld X-T4 was fitted with a Rode Pro-R microphone which was only there to provide a clear audio feed so the tracks could be synchronised easily in Premier Pro afterwards.

Two Rotalight Neo 2 LED lights provided the illumination as the interview took place just before sunset in the Algarve.  

The whole interview took less than 15 minutes to set up and film, with the actual Q&A taking around 5-minutes in total.

Michael Fassbender was very relaxed and was happy to spend the time for the interview. It's not very often you get to work with one of your favourite actors.  Who says my job isn't great fun?

CLICK HERE to see episode 1 of the second season of Road to Le Mans, which documents Michael's journey to the 24 Hours of Le Mans

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