Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Aspect Ratios and Cinematographers of Steven Spielberg

Here is one of my many half-finished FXRant articles and graphics. I decided to just tidy it up and post it because, well, why not.  Plus, I wanted to publish it before Spielberg's next film was released.

I don't really have any grand, cogent conclusions to share, I just really wanted to visualize the aspect ratios, lens and film formats and cinematographers used by filmmaker Steven Spielberg over his 39 year film career. I've also indicated Oscar nominations and wins for cinematography on the graphic.

Notable notes:
  • Spielberg began his heralded career with no less than five anamorphic films in a row ("The Sugarland Express", "Jaws", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "1941" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark").
  • After "Raiders", 14 out of his next 18 films were shot in 1.85 aspect ratio with spherical lenses.
  • With 1993's "Schindler's List", Spielberg began his relationship with cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. Kaminski and Spielberg have now collaborated on 14 films in a row
  • All five of Spielberg's recent films have all been photographed in the 2.35 aspect ratio; all but one were shot with spherical lenses (Super35). The lone anamorphic film was "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".


tadleckman said...

This is great! I do think you need to include his 1.33 work, however. TV is where he started and where he sometimes went back to play...and brought his feature chops back with him...and sometimes his cinematographer!

"The Mission" (1985) - 1.33:1 - John McPherson
"Ghost Train" (1985) - 1.33:1 - Allen Daviau (!)
Duel (1971) - 1.33:1 (TV) 1.85:1 (Theatrical) - Jack Marta
Night Gallery (1969 & 1971) - 1.33:1
Amblin' (1968) - 1.33:1

Todd said...

Thanks for the TV additions, TV's Tad.