Disney’s original “Spin” film crew chose Cooke Optics to create the look of the film

The Disney Channel’s original musical comedy movie Spin was shot with Cooke Optics S7/i Full Frame Plus. The movie tells the story of an Indian American 15-year-old – played by Avantika – who discovers her artistic side through the unique world of DJ culture, and learns she has a passion for creating mixes that blend the textures of her Indian heritage and the world around her. Cinematographer Jeremy Benning CSC and director Manjari Makijany selected this optics for this large format production.

“Large format was just coming along and Manjari and I wanted to embrace the format,” said Benning. “I have a long history, along with my cinematographer business partner Adam Marsden csc, in using Cooke lenses, most notably for every season of The Expanse using the Cooke 5/i lens. But Spin would be my first large format project, so we needed a larger lens.”

Spin was shot in Toronto and other areas around Ontario, Canada during October and November of 2020, using three ARRI ALEXA Mini LF camera bodies and the full set of Cooke S7/i Full Frame Plus Primes that were available at the time, all rented from Sim International in Toronto.

Benning’s kit consisted of the 18mm, 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm and 135mm prime lenses. “Most of the time, we were shooting with two cameras A/B style, with the 40 and 25 getting the most use. A primary reason for not shooting single-camera was that we were working with minors. They have a nine-hour SAG day, minus lunch and tutoring. That gives us anywhere from a six-hour to seven-hour work day. So, we would shoot with A/B as much as we could when the space would allow for it.

Spin was shot ProRes 444. However, it would air in 2:1 on The Disney Channel with a slight letterbox for a more cinematic look. “I thought that 2.39:1 would be too restrictive height-wise and showed Manjari some samples of 2:1. She agreed with the restrictiveness of 2.39:1 as well. We also pitched Disney for an HDR finish, knowing it would go to Disney+.

Spin premiered on The Disney Channel in August 2021 and was recently made available on Disney+ on November 12, 2021.

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