And the Oscar goes to ... Arri.
(Credit: Setlife Magazine)
Setlife Magazine has compiled a series of lists documenting the main cameras, lenses, negatives and prints used on Oscar-nominated films for 2014. The results are certainly interesting reading for gear aficionados and those wanting to emulate the look and feel of big-budget films.
Arri, the maker of movie cameras like the Alexa and the Arricam, was the clear winner when it comes to brand dominance. Every single film up for a nod in the directing, best picture and cinematography awards was filmed on an Arri camera of some description.
Other brands manage to appear in supporting roles, however: the Canon EOS C500 was used on The Wolf of Wall Street and the Phantom Flex got some slow-motion action on Inside Llewyn Davis. Though a few generations old, the more affordable GoPro HD Hero even made an appearance on Captain Phillips.
As for lenses, there is a bit more diversity, including appearances from Panavision on Philomena, Zeiss on Her, and a vintage Canon K35 on American Hustle. Across the cinematography and best picture nominees, nine films were shot on digital compared to just four shot exclusively on film.
Hoyte van Hoytema, the cinematographer on Her, made a deliberate decision to shoot on digital because of the latitude it afforded in low-light.
"We chose digital specifically for those night sequences in his apartment, where the city outside the windows is so vibrant and bright," he said in an interview. "We didn't want to do a lot of augmenting in post, and with the Alexa we could use extremely low-level light sources [for the interior] that were still controllable."