IndieWire reached out to the cinematographers whose films are in awards contention and among the most critically acclaimed films of the year to find out which cameras and lenses they used and, more importantly, why these were the right tools to create the visual language of their films
“Beautiful Boy” cinematographer Ruben Impens and director Felix van Groeningen
Format: ARRIRAW 2.8K
Camera: Arri Alexa SXT
Lens: HAWK anamorphic V-lite 1.3x squeeze get a 1:85 aspect ratio
Ruben Impens: We wanted the film in a 1:85 aspect ratio and a look that feels not too modern, the movie takes place in 2002. At the same time it shouldn’t feel too romantic, so we tested a bunch of spherical lenses and the Alexa 65 camera. When analyzing the test footage we very quickly feel in love with the hawk look. I had never used this 1.3x squeeze lenses, but it felt like it was the perfect balance. We had a lot of sunny exterior locations and the anamorphic bokeh felt just right. The Alexa 65 was interesting but too clean and the lens choices rather limited, plus because we only had a couple of weeks left in prep I was uncomfortable going down that path. I needed more time.
About the camera movements. We wanted a solid simple use of camera, rather wide lenses with ‘slow imperceptible‘ tracking moves. The pace of the movie is rather slow and so is the camera, it creeps on you. That was the idea and it worked out very well.
Here’s the Cameras and Lenses Used To Shoot 35 Awards Contenders
(Films are alphabetical order by title)