Pablo Larrain’s latest film “El Conde” takes General Pinochet, the Chilean dictator, and turns him into a 250-year-old vampire. 

But, the film that landed cinematographer Ed Lachman an Oscar nomination is not your traditional take on what a vampire movie should be. Instead, it’s a look at how he took the blood out of every political, social and economic institution for his greed. “What Pablo was saying is that justice is a collective desire and that the people of Chile never had the chance for any retribution. Pinochet lived to the ripe old age of 91, free of his crimes. In a way, he lives on in the memory of Chileans as a vampire. Their pain and suffering is forever,” Lachman says.

Speaking to Variety as part of the In the Frame series, Lachman’s challenge was finding the right camera for the Netflix film. Larrain wanted to shoot primarily on a 15-foot technocrane for camera movement, and the roaming head would prove problematic for the weight of the cameras. ARRI helped solve Lachman’s problem by inventing a black-and-white camera.

The camera would help manifest Larrain’s vision, particularly for a key scene when The Count (El Conde) turns Carmen (Paula Luchsinger) the nun into a vampire. Says Lachman of this turning point, “After they made love and she is bitten by Pinochet, it’s a statement between what the church and state is at the time, and ultimately, she was corrupted by it. We’re experiencing her exultation and freedom in learning how to fly.”

Larrain’s inspiration for the way this scene would be captured came after he had seen Columbian aerial and circus performers. His idea was to take that and recreate it in “El Conde.” Fortunately for him, Luchsinger had studied ballet and was very much into doing her stunts on a wire.

To pull it off, a Luchsinger was hung off a 90-foot crane, and a grip was nearby holding a remote head with the camera operating running things from the ground. “It gave us incredible freedom, but also metaphorically it was about her freedom visually,” explains Lachman.

Watch the video above.