Choosing Super 16mm over Digital and the Cinematography of 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'
It seems like there have been tons of posts about this movie, but The Creators Project has been slowly releasing their exclusive Behind the Scenes videos over the course of the last few months. We’ve taken a look at the score and other aspects, but now we’ve got a video with Director of Photography Ben Richardson talking about the aesthetic of the film and their choice to shoot on celluloid as opposed to digital.
The possible spoilers near the end don’t really give away any major plot details:
I never got the opportunity to use a Super 16mm camera as nice as the 416, but I have used the Arri SR2 and SR3, and I’ve even flown the SR3 on a Steadicam. The conversation that Ben is having in the video will probably not be a discussion that most people will be having in the future, because economics will dictate that film is too costly for many lower-budget productions (if it exists at all), especially when you consider how cheaply you can shoot on many compressed formats. I’ve read that they shot a tremendous amount of film on the project, and the way that Ben talks about the style of shooting, that doesn’t surprise me.
We’ve talked about Beasts of the Southern Wild quite a bit, but really you should check it out if you haven’t seen it, if only because this kind of idea and the execution at this budget level — on film no less — is an absolute miracle. The way the budget came together, and the way that the film utilized real locations, it really makes you hopeful that independent filmmaking can continue to make inventive and original projects that push the boundaries of the form.