Vilmos Zsigmond predicted a renaissance of anamorphic movies: “The anamorphic format is really perfect and it helps editing (…) you have a close up in the front left and a long shot in the right on the other side, so even if it’s a little out of focus you have the environment in the same shot at the closeup. If you are shooting TV a closeup is a closeup (…) it’s not exiting visual. That’s why I think there is a renaissance happening in anamorphic movies”
I think it’s something we can all wish for as much as for 3D to go away. Companies like Arri and Vantage Film are gearing up for the new aera of filmmaking and anamorphic lenses are popping up everywhere. The Alexa offers a 4:3 sensor format that is designed to capture the light coming through an anamorphic lens and then sends it to the de-squeezing into the digital intestines of the camera.
Vantage Film announced that they are investing € 7 Million in development of new lenses and tools. This represents the largest expansion in the company’s 20 year history. I assume that heir legendary Hawk lenses will be overhauled and optimized for the digital age.
Cooke Optics Ltd is also working on anamorphic lenses. They are planned to be ready by end of 2013 or early 2014, and my guess is they will be front cylinder, classic style Anamorphic primes, with the traditional “Cooke Look.”
Arri/Zeiss are working on a whole new line of anamorphic lenses and introduced some of them to the public already.
Servicevision has a 100mm 2x anamorphic prime (above) and a 36 mm model. Six lenses are planned to be shown at NAB 2013: 36, 40, 50, 64, 80 and 100 mm, with delivery toward end of 2013. The lenses are named Scorpio.
Of course Panavision still has a huge inventory of anamorphic lenses.
I believe we all can be looking forward to more and more production of epic widescreen movies in the very near future.
The main reason I think is this: There was a hidden agenda to create an uproar in the community of filmmakers – to instigate another revolution. But the revolution is over. All that is clear now is that we have even more tools. And that we don’t have to be rich to buy one of those tools.
But what does it mean? That you can create a beautiful looking movie with an iPhone? Certainly not. It actually proves the opposite: You need a lot of talent and crew including a professional soundstage to make the images look as close as possible to the ones of the expensive counterparts.
It proves to me that you still need talent and money to make a good movie. That’s how it alway has been and that’s how it’s always going to be. If one tool in the chain of tools has gotten cheaper it doesn’t mean you don’t need lights, people to set the lights and more people to control the rest of the environment. Locations have to be rented, production days need to be planned and there is the rest of the crew like sound and makeup. If you would put a Sony F65 into an iPhone it would not turn all the millions of iPhone owners into brilliant filmmakers.
The tools don’t make you a filmmaker. Making a movie doesn’t even depend on which camera you use – you use what you can afford. That’s why RED has so many fanboys: They based their whole marketing on the idea that a camera automatically makes you a filmmaker. Get an Epic and you are Peter Jackson. I’m sure Peter Jackson can create great movies with any camera.
We have to go back to the basics of filmmaking and when it comes to cinematography it’s about the craft and art of using light and shadow, framing, movement and colors to express a moment in time that is part of a bigger story.
It’s really not about the question how well the GH2 holds up next to the F65. People who still take questions like this serious are lost. The digital revolution in filmmaking is over. Now it’s just filmmaking and creativity. Let’s stop counting pixels and data rates.