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Blending Vintage with Modern: The Visual Allure of Vespid Retro Lenses in 'Take My Hand'"


Take my Hand Starring Radha Mitchell, Adam Demos, and Bart Edwards, 'Take My Hand' is a romantic drama inspired by the true story of writer/director John Raftopoulos and his wife Claire Jensz, who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS) and serves as the film's executive producer. The characters of Laura (Mitchell) and Michael (Demos) are based on Jensz and Raftopoulos.


The film follows Laura, an accomplished Australian woman living in London, who is diagnosed with MS at the peak of her career. After the sudden death of her husband and losing her job, she returns to Australia with her three sons. A chance reunion with a childhood sweetheart changes her life.





What cameras and lenses were used in the making of 'Take My Hand'? Why did you choose these particular pieces of equipment, and what visual style were you aiming to achieve?


For the production of “Take My Hand”, we opted for two Arri Alexa LF cameras paired with DZOFilm Vespid Retros. This combination was well tested with a bunch of other lenses before we settled on the Retros, as we aimed to capture a specific visual style that complemented both the emotional and romantic elements of the script. We had two sets of Vespid Retros, both warm and cool flavors of the lenses, they were particularly well-suited due to their vintage aesthetic combined with modern optical and mechanical performance. Additionally, we occasionally incorporated longer custom-made Zeiss Jena lenses, such as the 180mm and 300mm from the late 1960’s, which shared similar characteristics with the Vespid Retros, ensuring consistency throughout our shots.



How did the Vespid Retro lenses contribute to the visual presentation of this film?


The Vespid Retro lenses played a pivotal role in shaping the visual identity of the film. Through extensive testing, we discovered that these lenses offered a unique blend of vintage charm and contemporary sharpness, along with exquisite flare characteristics. This was paramount for a story like “Take My Hand”, which traverses emotional dramas and intimate romantic moments. The lightweight design of the Vespid Retros further facilitated our production process, allowing for nimble movement while maintaining the desired visual aesthetic, We used the Warm flare Retros while shooting in Australia and the Blue flare set for the United Kingdom portions.




Is there a particular scene or shot from this film that stands out to you? Could you please share why it was especially memorable?


One particular shot that resonates with me is when our lead actress travels back to Australia and is looking out the car window with her hair blowing in the breeze looking so happy. This moment encapsulates the essence of the film, highlighting the emotional depth and intimacy we aimed to convey visually. The Vespid Retro lenses imbued this scene with a nostalgic warmth and magical flares, enhancing the connection between the characters and the audience.




How many films have you shot using the Vespid Retro lenses?


Over the past two years, I've had the opportunity to utilize the Vespid Retro lenses on four feature films, including 'Take My Hand'. Their consistent performance and ability to capture the desired aesthetic have made them my preferred choice for an array of different projects of completely different Genres, even after extensive use on four features we have had no technical issues at all, their flawless performance speaks volumes about their craftsmanship.






Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experience or this film?


As I reflect on my experience with 'Take My Hand' and the journey of working with the Vespid Retro lenses, I'm reminded of the collaborative effort and creative synergy that brought this film to life. The trailer provides a glimpse into the emotional journey depicted in the movie, and I hope viewers enjoy experiencing it as much as we did bringing it to fruition.