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Cannes 2017: Here Are the Cameras Used To Shoot 29 of This Year’s Films

The world's best DPs explain how they created looks for "Sofia Coppola's "The Beguiled," Todd Haynes' "Wonderstruck," and many more.




Special Screenings/Out of Competition

“Based on a True Story”
Dir: Roman Polanski, DP Pawel Edelman
Arri Alexa XT

Edelman: “‘Based on a True Story’ is a psychological confrontation between two characters, played by Emmanuelle Seigner and Eva Green. The actresses’ faces accompany the viewer from the film’s first shot to the last. We wanted to choose a camera that would most naturally and faithfully register all the human face’s subtleties of tone and color, which turned out to be the Alexa XT.”

READ MORE: Cannes: 10 Indian Filmmakers That Should Be on the Festival’s Radar

“Carre 35”
Dir: Éric Caravaca
Arri ALEXA Mini, Super 8 Fuji Camera

Caravaca: “We used a Mini Alexa with two good lenses and an Angenieux zoom. We also had a Super 8 Japanese camera. And the other videos were shot in 8mm, with a small Fuji camera I think; they used them a lot back in the time. There are all these different tools, and so there are many different shots. That’s the coincidental part of making a documentary film. Depending on what happened randomly, I also shot with smaller cameras. In that case, I took care of the cinematography myself, and the sound as well. But we also shot beautiful pictures with great tools. While shooting, we were always thinking about ‘cinema'”

"How to Talk To Girls at Parties"

“How to Talk To Girls at Parties”

“How to Talk to Girls at Parties”
Dir: John Cameron Mitchell, DP: Frankie DeMarco
Arri Amira

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DeMarco: “We shot with Amira cameras because Arris have a color space and contrast range closer to film than other digital cameras. ‘How to Talk to Girls at Parties’ is the first film in the world to shoot both Super 35 and Super 16 formats on a digital camera, and ever since the success of this multi-format experiment Arri now features Super 35 and Super 16 switchability on all Amira cameras. We shot Super 35 for our slick alien scenes, and Super 16 for our gritty South London punk scenes. The mix of formats works stupendously! We also shot Super 16 Kodak film for some of our raw punk-rock show scenes to emulate the look of 1977 punk club footage we had seen and loved.”

Dir: Claude Lanzmann, DP: Caroline Champetier
Sony A 7S, Leica M lenses

Champetier: “I had to constantly juggle with the diaphragm and the clarity of the image. I wanted it to be as compact as possible and give the impression I was taking photos. Everything was recorded on a SD card.”

“Sea Sorrow”
Dir: Vanessa Redgrave, DP: Andrew Dearden
Nikon D800

Dearden: “The D800 was the obvious choice for ‘Sea Sorrow.’ Obviously on a budget, also less intimidating for some of the interviewees. It’s fast, simple, and compact, but most importantly, it has that classic cinematic look. We choose to use shallow depth of field and as much natural light as possible, which the camera made simple. When lighting was needed, the camera’s low light capability helped enormously.”

"The Venerable W."

“The Venerable W.”

“The Venerable W.”
Dir: Barbet Schroeder, DP: Victoria Clay-Mendoza
Sony A 7

Clay-Mendoza: “It was an easy choice for our project given the size and quality. It was clear that we wanted 4K in order for it to be shown in the theaters. The nature of the project was a total secret for the whole time of the production. The attention that our subject was getting at an international level was in no way to the liking of the Burmese government, so we decided to enter the country as tourists and visit the monasteries and ask questions as curious travelers. Therefore, we needed to be discreet and the A7 made this very possible. I went around with a canvas shoulder bag with all my camera and sound equipment, and one long lens that I would occasionally bring out of the bag. I think watching me film was like watching any other tourist taking photos with a camera instead of a phone!”

“Come Swim”
Dir: Kristen Stewart, DP: John Guleseria
Arri Alexa Mini, Red Dragon, and Phantom Flex 4K Cameras With Arri/Zeiss Master Primes and Ultra Primes

Guleseria: “Primarily, we shot with the Alexa Mini because of its versatility in a studio and on location, but we required different camera systems for the underwater and ultra slow-motion work. ‘Come Swim’ had many different locations ranging from built sets on a stage, to deserts, beaches, highways, and an underwater tank. The Alexa Mini was the best camera for most of these situations. In general, I believe the camera you use is less important than how you use it and where you put it, but in this case we also had some very specific tasks to achieve. The Phantom was used for shooting ultra slow-motion shots, and the Red Dragon for various underwater scenes.”

Kristen Stewart and DP John Guleseria on the set of "Come Swim"

Kristen Stewart and DP John Guleseria on the set of “Come Swim”

On the next page, Jane Campion’s DP loves the Arri Alexa and the secret cameras of “Twin Peaks.”

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