With the Wes Anderson trend, the distinctive visual look of Anderson’s films joined the roster of popular TikTok aesthetics, with people around the world using their smartphones to film and edit their daily lives in a style similar to that of a Wes Anderson film. The American director saying in an interview that he was not a fan of the viral TikTok trend may remind of Martin Scorcese saying that Marvel movies are not ‘real cinema’, but filters and quirky music (with even AI joining in on the trend) arguably only go so far. So, what cameras and lenses are used in his most famous films?
Anderson and cinematographer Robert Yeoman mostly use 35mm film cameras and extremely wide anamorphic lenses that help create a deep depth of field and panoramic layout.
Among their most successful films together is ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, which follows the three eccentric siblings of a dysfunctional family. It was filmed with a Panavision Panaflex Platinum 35mm motion picture camera (notably also among the cameras used to film movies such as ‘Pulp Fiction’) and Panavision Primo Lenses.
Most of Anderson and Yeoman’s films have been shot in 35mm but ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is the exception. It was filmed on Super16mm film and Aaton Xterà and A-Minima 16mm film cameras with Canon lenses and Zeiss Super Speed Lenses were used.
For ‘The Great Budapest Hotel’, an Arricam ST 35mm camera was used, with Cooke S4, Varotal, Technovision/Cooke and Angenieux Optimo lenses. Three different aspect ratios are utilised as framing devices and to visually show the audience when a certain scene was taking place. For example, a 1.37:1 format was used for scenes set in 1932. This aspect ratio is known as the Academy ratio, which was set as the standard by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (known for hosting the Oscars) for films shot on 35mm in 1932.
‘The French Dispatch’ frames most of the action with the Academy ratio and was shot using Arricam ST and LT 35mm film cameras, fitted with Cooke S4 prime lenses. An Arricam ST 35mm film camera was also used to film Wes Anderson’s latest film ‘Asteroid City’ which features an extensive cast of big-name Hollywood actors, including Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Ed Norton, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Margot Robbie and Jeff Goldblum. It is currently available to watch in cinemas.
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