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ARRI equipment and services support Oscar® winners

The 92nd Academy Awards recognized many outstanding films this year. Oscar® winners including “Parasite,” “1917,” and “Joker” were all captured with ARRI camera systems and serviced by ARRI Rental. 

The Oscar for Best Picture goes to … “Parasite”

“Parasite” made Academy history when it was declared the first non-English film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. A haunting story about class differences and the eternal struggle between the poor and the wealthy, director Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is an arthouse turned main-stream film and has been impressing audiences and critics around the world. It was nominated in six categories at the Academy Awards and became the biggest winner of the evening, earning four golden statuettes, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. 

For the tenth year in a row, the Oscar for Best Picture was awarded to a film captured with ARRI. The Cinematographer on “Parasite,” Kyung-pyo Hong, chose the larger than large format of ARRI Rental’s ALEXA 65 camera and Prime DNA lenses for the film.

Out of the other eight films nominated by the Academy for Best Picture, seven of them were captured with ARRI cameras. Large-format camera systems continue to be in high demand. For “1917,” Roger Deakins CBE, ASC, BSC was the first cinematographer to work with ARRI’s ALEXA Mini LF camera on a feature film. ARRI’s newest member of the large-format camera system family was able to capture the wide drama of the piece while remaining flexible and easy to maneuver. The ARRI Signature Prime lenses were used for their natural look and for being lightweight.

In order to fully immerse the audience in the speed and thrill of racing, Phedon Papamichael ASC, GSC chose the ALEXA LF for “Ford v Ferrari,” supplied by Panavision with Panavision lenses. ARRI SkyPanels and M-Series lampheads were also used on the production. Lawrence Sher ASC for “Joker” chose the even larger format of the ALEXA 65 camera. Sher wanted a diverse range of lenses for his work on “Joker” and he was thankful that ARRI Rental was able to assemble an eclectic mix of vintage optics, including its exclusive Prime DNA lenses. This camera and lens package ended up capturing the Best Actor in a Leading Role performance this year which was awarded to Joaquin Phoenix. Mihai Mălaimare Jr. chose ALEXA SXT to capture “JoJo Rabbit.” The ARRICAM Studio and ARRICAM Lite was the combination of choice for Rodrigo Prieto ASC, AMC for the analog sections of “The Irishman” and Yorick Le Saux for “Little Women.” ARRI Rental supplied analog cameras for both of these films. For the Netflix released “Marriage Story,” Robbie Ryan BSC, ISC opted for the ARRICAM Studio as his main camera. 

The award for Achievement in Cinematography is always highly anticipated at ARRI and this year’s competitive playing field speaks volumes for the talent in the industry. Three out of the five contenders in this category chose to work with ARRI cameras. 

The Oscar for Achievement in Cinematography goes to … Roger Deakins CBE, ASC, BSC for “1917”

Already the recipient of multiple Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and Critics Choice Awards this year, “1917” claimed another prestigious accolade at the 92nd Academy Awards. A legend in his own right, Deakins has been nominated by the Academy in this category a record 15 times and has already taken home gold for “Blade Runner 2049” in 2017. Besides the Oscar for “1917,” he has also been awarded Best Cinematography by the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and British Academy (BAFTA) Awards.

“1917” director, Sam Mendes, was committed to telling his immersive story in real-time. He felt that there was no better way to tell this difficult and emotional journey than with one continuous shot. For this challenging task, cinematographer Deakins chose to work with ALEXA Mini LF and ARRI Signature Prime lenses. In an interview with ARRI, Deakins mentioned: “It’s a real-time story and you’re following two characters who are always moving.” Indeed, from handheld to Steadicam, from cranes, drones, and vehicles, the equipment was put through the test during production. The camera crew was also able to rely on the ARRI TRINITY which proved to be an essential camera rig during filming. The hybrid camera stabilizer system allows for precise yet fluid camera movements. 

Also nominated for Achievement in Cinematography, DP Lawrence Sher weighed some options before deciding on the ALEXA 65 camera for  “Joker.” The large sensor combined with his self-proclaimed “Frankenstein set of lenses” (Prime DNA, Nikkor, Canon, Leica, and more) allowed him to shoot in high resolution but still have the flexibility to work with lenses that felt right for the 1981 setting. In an interview with ARRI, Sher mentioned: “The character of Joker is living in this big world, Gotham, people all around, but he’s living this isolated lonely life almost like he’s invisible. Allowing us to see the space he’s in is really important but I also wanted a lack of depth of field to really isolate him.”

Fellow nominee, DP Rodrigo Prieto ASC, AMC worked with a combination of digital and analog ARRI cameras to capture “The Irishman.” Since the picture spans multiple decades with the same actors playing various ages, digital cameras needed to be used for every scene that employed the de-aging technique. Even though Prieto could have used digital for the entire picture, he chose to use analog on many of the later scenes. In an interview with ARRI he mentioned: “Shooting the rest of the movie on film actually gave us a benchmark. It was a challenge, but it made it necessary to put the work in to matching the footage and making it seem part of the same movie. I think that actually helped, because the whole thing does have the feeling of motion picture negative.”

All but one of the nominated films in the category Achievement in Visual Effects was shot with ARRI. In the end, another golden statuette was handed over to “1917.” The technical feat of the World War I epic can not only be attributed to its direction and cinematography alone. Great skill in visual effects also helped to create the illusion that the saga was captured in one single, uninterrupted shot. Sam Mendes’ talented VFX team helmed by Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy made the transitions between takes look seamless and helped to make the scenery of the film look realistic by shooting as much as possible with natural effects. 

Four out of the five nominated pictures in the category for Best International Feature FIlm was shot on ARRI. We thank our friends around the world for their trust in our equipment. Piotr Sobocinski Jr., cinematographer on Jan Komasa’s “Corpus Christi,” the entry from Poland, chose the ALEXA Mini; DP Julien Poupard from France for Ladj Ly’s “Les Misérables” worked with the ALEXA Mini; the ALEXA was chosen by DP José Luis Alcaine to shoot Pedro Almodovar’s entry from Spain “Pain and Glory.” Winner of the Best International Feature Film of 2019 was the South Korean submission "Parasite" shot on the ALEXA 65 camera.

ARRI congratulates all the winners and nominees of the 92nd annual Academy Awards. We thank you for relying on ARRI cameras, lenses, lighting, and services to help bring your artistic visions to life.

For a complete list of winners, along with their acceptance speeches, please see:
https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2020