LOS ANGELES—Oscar winner Eva Marie Saint, who plays the Man of Steel's adoptive mother Martha Kent in the upcoming "Superman Returns," learned that a high-tech movie camera is only as super as the man wielding it.
In the latest adaptation of the popular DC Comic book, Brandon Routh plays Superman, who returns to Earth after a long absence only to find life has changed. In one of the earliest scenes filmed on location in Australia last spring, the hero goes to the Kent family farm to reunite with his mother, who has been helped out by neighbor Ben Hubbard (James Karen).
This meant that Routh and Saint were the test subjects for the new Panavision Genesis HD Camera. Developed jointly by Panavision and Sony, the digital movie camera makes its behind-the-scenes film debut on "Superman Returns."
"Oh, that was fun. I was in the very beginning of that when they first started shooting," says Saint. "[Clark] has to come home after five years. He's been gone. So we play this emotional scene the first time that we're really working together. We went on for about an hour.
"And then the cinematographer said, 'I'm sorry. We didn't get it,'" recalls Saint, who admits she doesn't grasp digital camera technology. "They didn't get the film because it's not like you check to see the film. Somebody just wasn't doing their job."
As a relative newcomer, Routh was somewhat discouraged after all his work and looked to Saint for advice.
"I said, 'No, no, no. Just take a deep breath and make believe you're doing Broadway. You're going to do the scene right over again. That was a rehearsal,'" she explains. "And so we did the scene. I was in when they were working out the kinks and everything. That was an incredible experience."
And how did Singer react to the setback?
"He was saying, 'Well, that cost us about $600,000 an hour.'"
"Superman Returns" flies into theaters nationwide on Friday, June 30.
Saint, 81, won an best supporting actress Oscar starring opposite Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront." Her other film credits include "Raintree County," the Hitchcock thriller "North by Northwest," "The Sandpiper" and "Because of Winn-Dixie." Before heading to Smallville this summer, she stars in Wim Wenders' "Don't Come Knocking," which opens in limited release on Friday, March 17.