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The Cameras Behind Oscar 2021: Film vs. Digital – Y.M.Cinema – News & Insights on Digital Cinema – YMCinema Magazine

As a continuation of our Oscar 2021 cameras’ discussion, we made a ‘high-level’ survey to explore segmentation between film cameras and digital cameras used to shoot the predicted Oscar 2021 Best Cinematography nominees. What is the percentage of film cameras? Explore below.

Oscar 2021- Film vs Digital
Oscar 2021- Film vs Digital

Below are the predicted nominees for Oscar 2021 Best Cinematography category. The list is divided into film cameras and digital cameras.

Note: The reference for the list is Variety’s Awards Circuit, which is the home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars. For the general survey make sure to read our article: The Cameras Behind Oscar 2021: ARRI LF, Panaflex, VENICE, HELIUM Monochrome, and a lot of Film.

Oscar 2021 predicted nominees for Best Cinematography that were shot on film cameras

  1. Tenet: DP Hoyte van Hoytema – ARRIFLEX 765, IMAX MKIII, IMAX MKIV, IMAX MSM 9802, and Panavision Panaflex System 65 Studio. Lenses: Panavision Sphero 65 and Hasselblad
  2. Malcolm & Marie: DP Marcell Rév – ARRICAM LT
  3. The United States vs. Billie Holiday: DP Andrew Dunn – Panavision Panaflex
  4. Wonder Woman 1984: DP Matthew Jensen – ARRIFLEX 235, 435, IMAX MSM 9802, and Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2. Lenses: Panavision Primo and Hasselblad
  5. The Forty-Year-Old Version: DP Eric Branco – ARRICAM LT. Lenses: Zeiss Super Speed

Oscar 2021 predicted nominees for Best Cinematography that were shot on digital cameras

  1. Mank: DP Erik Messerschmidt – RED HELIUM Monochrome. Lenses: Leica Summilux-C
  2. Nomadland: DP Joshua James Richards – ARRI ALEXA Mini and AMIRA. Lenses: Zeiss Ultra Prime
  3. The Midnight Sky: DP Martin Ruhe – ARRI ALEXA 65 and Mini LF. Lenses: ARRI Prime DNA
  4. Judas and the Black Messiah: DP Sean Bobbitt – ARRI ALEXA Mini LF. Lenses: ARRI DNA LF
  5. Da 5 Bloods: DP Newton Thomas Sigel – ARRI ALEXA LF,  ALEXA Mini, and ARRIFLEX 416. Lenses: ARRI DNA LF, Angenieux Optimo and Zeiss Super Speed
  6. One Night in Miami: DP  Tami Reiker – ALEXA 65. Lenses: Prime DNA
  7. Minari: DP Lachlan Milne – ARRI ALEXA Mini. Lenses: Panavision PVintage
  8. News of the World: DP Dariusz Wolski – ARRI ALEXA LF and Mini LF. Lenses: Panavision Sphero 65
  9. The Trial of the Chicago 7: DP Phedon Papamichael – ARRI ALEXA LF. Lenses: Panavision C- and T-Series
  10. Mulan: DP Mandy Walker – ARRI ALEXA 65, and LF. Lenses: Panavision Sphero 65
  11. The Father: DP Ben Smithard – Sony VENICE. Lenses: Zeiss Cinema Zoom, and Supreme Prime
  12. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: DP Tobias A. Schliessler – Sony VENICE. Lenses: Zeiss Supreme Prime
  13. Emma: DP Christopher Blauvelt – ARRI ALEXA LF. Lensses: ARRI Signature Prime, and Zeiss Compact Zoom
  14. Ammonite: DP Stéphane Fontaine – RED MONSTRO
  15. The Prom: DP Matthew Libatique – ALEXA Mini LF. Lenses: LEITZ Prime
  16. I’m Thinking of Ending Things: DP Łukasz Żal – Sony VENICE. Lenses: Panavision H-Series
  17. First Cow: DP Christopher Blauvelt – ARRI ALEXA Mini. Lenses: Cooke Panchro
  18. Nine Days: DP Wyatt Garfield – ALEXA Mini. Lenses: Optica Elite Anamorphics
  19. The Invisible Man: DP Stefan Duscio –ARRI ALEXA LF, Lenses: ARRI Signature Prime
  20. The Personal History of David Copperfield: DP Zak Nicholson – ARRI ALEXA XT. Lenses: Zeiss Master Primes
  21. Supernova: DP Dick Pope – ARRI Mini. Lenses: Cooke Panchro/i Classic
  22. Promising Young Woman: DP Benjamin Kračun – ARRI ALEXA Mini. Lenses: Panavision G-Series
  23. Cherry: DP Newton Thomas Sigel – Sony VENICE, RED Monstro. Lenses: Leitz M 0.8 and Hawk Class-X
  24. The Glorias: DP Rodrigo Prieto – Sony VENICE. Lenses: Panavision PCZ and H-Series

Check out the chart below that demonstrates the segmentation of the data:

Oscar 2021- 93rd Academy Awards nominees (prediction): Film vs. Digital segmentation
Oscar 2021- 93rd Academy Awards nominees (prediction): Film vs. Digital segmentation

First of all, it must be noted that the chart above addresses the predicated film to be nominated for Best Cinematography category in the forthcoming 93rd Academy Awards. That means those are not the final nominees, so things may change significantly. However, I’d expect to explore a higher percentage of film cameras on that list. For instance, have a look at the chart below which demonstrates the Film vs. Digital segmentation regarding the 92nd Academy Awards (Oscar 2020) Best Pictures and Cinematography nominees, compared to the 77th Golden Globe Awards Motion Picture Nominees. 

Film vs. Digital cameras and segmentation: 77th Golden Globe Awards & Oscar 2020
Film vs. Digital cameras and segmentation: 77th Golden Globe Awards & Oscar 2020

The Oscar chart clearly shows that more film cameras were used to shoot those nominees. So what happened in Oscar 2021? This reduction in film cameras might be due to the high demand for large-format sensors, which are more revenant to digital cameras (ALEXA 65, LF, and Venice). The desire of DPs for large-format imagery overcomes the use of traditional film stock. Well, this is my sole hypothesis. Anyway, we just have to wait till the final list of nominees announced.

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