Exclusive Interview with award-winning director,
writer & editor Gabriel Sabloff

Would you tell me more about “BECKMAN”?

Gabriel: I have worked for PURE FLIX for about 9 years, they are a movie production & distribution company founded by executive producer & star DAVID A. R. WHITE. I’ve directed many feature films & TV shows for them, but David always wanted to do a gritty revenge/action picture. Towards the end of 2018, we had an opportunity to create episodic content for Facebook Watch. So, I got down to writing this action flick! I grabbed elements from many of our favorite revenge films, mixed them together and came out with BECKMAN. Not long after production started, we decided this was too good to give to Facebook Watch, so we focused on it exclusively as a feature film – though the episodic structure still remains.

What are the challenges for the “BECKMAN” ?

Gabriel: It was a challenge to be the writer, director, cinematographer, editor, and a hundred other things. Making movies is not easy, especially on a low budget action/adventure film like this. I had lots of help, but it still took over a year of my life to complete. We shot the film on weekends over the course of about five months. It was a real micro-budget effort. I wanted to keep the crew extremely small, and not be slowed down by big trucks full of equipment. I wanted to make a film with the same fun, independent spirit we had in film school.

When did you know about Laowa Lenses? Is it the first time you shot with a Laowa Lens?

Gabriel: I picked up the Blackmagic Pocket 4k for this film, and that put me on the hunt for quality Micro Four Thirds lenses that would fit our budget. I had no prior experience with Laowa lenses, but I knew I wanted an ultra-wide lens for the film – one that was not a fisheye type or had too much distortion. I spotted the Laowa 7.5 mm cine lens, watched some online reviews and decided that would be the best purchase.

Why did you decide to shoot with the 7.5mm?

Gabriel: We were shooting an action revenge thriller with lots of fight scenes. Connoisseurs of fine action cinema know you should always shoot fights with wide lenses so you can see all the action and not feel cheated. It is no fun when the camera zooms in for the fight scene. The Laowa 7.5mm ultra-wide angle was perfect for capturing all the action when we were in tight spaces and small rooms.

What’s your thoughts after shooting with it?

Gabriel: I really LOVE simple, little lenses like the Laowa 7.5mm cine. The quality of the Laowa 7.5mm cine was great, all the moving parts felt solid and it was a pleasure to rack focus off the barrel.

Will you choose Laowa lenses for your future productions ?

Gabriel: I definitely would consider it. I wish all lenses were as small, compact & easy to use as the Laowa 7.5 mm cine lens.  Honestly, I do not get that excited when people pull out those enormous cinema lenses. Sure, they are impressive, but as a director, it just makes me think, “that’s going to slow us down to crawl”.

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