Who Killed Batman?

The Approach

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Fiorella and Sabloff turned an $18,000 budget into a five-and-a-half minute trailer complete with convincing motorcycle chases, underwater escapes, pyrotechnics and impossible feats of strength. Most of the production budget went to film stock, production equipment, processing and transfers, leaving little left over for anything else. Since the budget wouldn't allow for daily or weekly film transfers, they only saw their developed footage in large batches every three months. According to Fiorella, despite these limitations, the pair got most things right the first time around.

"There was only one re-shoot, and that was the Robin costume that was on display in the bat cave. After the first batch, I attributed it to luck, but after the second and third batch came back, and everything was in focus and exposed correctly, that's just a tribute to how talented Gabe Sabloff is."

Sabloff shot all of the footage on a standard 16mm Bolex camera fitted with an anamorphic lens to achieve a wide-screen-like aspect ratio. Although digital video would have been more cost-effective, Fiorella preferred the look and functionality of the Bolex:

"I'm a big fan of slow motion photography and I know it can be done with digital format, but unless you're George Lucas and you're working with those cameras that were designed to shoot 'Episode I' or 'II' -- I haven't seen anyone on a low budget level achieve the slow motion that I was looking for. What I love about the Bolex is that there's no battery so you can just wind it up and you can shoot all day, if you can afford the film."