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Cannes 2016: What Cameras Were Used to Shoot This Year’s Films

Cannes 2016: What Cameras Were Used to Shoot This Year's Films

"American Honey"

“American Honey”

Indiewire reached out to the cinematographers with films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to find what cameras they used and why they chose them. From the devotion to 35mm film by Xavier Dolan and Olivier Assayas, to small consumer-sized digital cameras to shoot on the New York City streets for “The Transfiguration,” the answers varied as widely as the films themselves. 
“Paterson” (Competition)
Camera: Arri Studio Alexa and Alexa Mini
DP Frederick Elmes: “Arri has managed, as close as I can determine, to see things the way I see them. They see things similarly to the way film sees them and that’s what Jim [Jarmusch] and I grew up with. It’s flexible and all the lens I could want go on it. The studio version also has an great optical viewfinding system, so I can look through the lens so I got an honest picture of what the lens is seeing. All those things contribute to it being the right camera. The Mini was fantastic because it’s so small – when we were shooting on a moving bus, it was easier to mount and light weight, so we could cram it into a corner.”
“Staying Vertical” (Competition)
Camera: Red Dragon and Panasonic Varicam 35

DP Claire Mathon: “We used the Varicam 35 only to shoot full moon nights. And we chose the Red Dragon for the colors especially in nature.”

“American Honey” (Competition)
Camera: Arri Alexa classic and Arri LT
DP Robbie Ryan: “Alexa because it was cheaper to shoot than film, as we shot lots.”

“The Transfiguration” (Un Certain Regard)
Camera: Canon EOS C500/1D C
DP Sung Rae Cho: “C500 and 1D C are both very compact and lightweight (essentially the size of any DSLRs or prosumer camcorders), appear far from intimidating [like] professional film crew equipment, yet packed with pro features – shoot real 4K, wide dynamic range and unbeatable low light sensitivity. All were very important for our film since we wanted to maximize the use of existing locations. We shot a teaser with the Canon C300 and we like the look and its ease of use. When the time of principal photography came, choosing Canon came to us naturally. We contacted Canon USA were kind enough to support us thought the production.”

READ MORE: Who Is Michael O’Shea and How Did His American Indie Vampire Movie Get Into Cannes?

“The Salesman” (Competition)
Camera: Arri Alex XT
DP Hossein Jafarian: “For the look I wanted to achieve this camera had better capabilities [compared] to the other existing cameras.”

“Harmonium” (Un Certain Regard)
Camera: Sony F55
DP Kenichi Negishi: “I thought the combination of its new S-Log3 gamma curve [low light is recorded at brighter level than with S-Log2] and the lens we used this time goes well with the director’s remarkable images, which has an atmosphere of film noir.”
“It’s Only the End of the World” (Competition)
Camera: Arricam LT, Arri235, Arri435 High speed [35mm Film Cameras]
DP André Turpin: “The best and [most] reliable cameras around.”
“The Student” (Un Certain Regard)
Camera: ARRI Alexa XT
DP Vladislav Opelyants: “The ARRI Alexa XT was chosen because it was an ideal match for our Anamorphic lenses. For me this is the only camera available today that achieves the plasticity of film stock.”

“Dogs” (Un Certain Regard)
Camera: ARRI Alexa XT Plus
DP Andrei Butica: “I needed to shot in a wide, permissive RAW format, Arri fits the requirement very well with their Log curve.”
“Mean Dreams” (Directors’ Fortnight)
Camera: Red Dragon
DP Steve Cosens: “I like the look and texture of the Dragon. It’s light weight and able to shoot at 5k.”
“Two Lovers and a Bear (Directors’ Fortnight)
Camera: Arri Alexa XT
DP Nicolas Bolduc: “The Alexa was the right camera for this film since we were going to put it to test with the extreme weather conditions. We shot near the Arctic Circle and temperatures would often drop to -55 with the wind factor. I can still see the Alexa bouncing on a stabilized head on a snowmobile at full throttle in the desert plains or on a frozen river. It took a beating, but it never froze up and never bugged even in harsh conditions. Humans were more affected by the elements. Amazing.”

“From the Land of the Moon”
Camera: Red Dragon 6K Scope

Editor’s note: Two other Competition titles, “Personal Shopper” and “I, Daniel Blake,” didn’t comment on their camera choices, but wanted to let Indiewire readers know they shot on film, because as “Shopper” cinematographer Yorick Le Saux wrote, “we love 35mm.”

Want more from Cannes? Watch this clip from Jim Jarmusch’s new film “Paterson”:


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