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From giant sandworms in the deserts of a distant world in a faraway future, and Shakespeare’s magnificent language echoing across striking monochromatic architectural spaces, to the breathtaking landscapes of 1920s Montana and the kaleidoscopic scenery of a 1930s traveling circus, the films nominated for Best Cinematography at this year’s Academy Awards may be starkly different in their visual approaches—yet all but one of them relied on the same award-winning ARRI color science to bring them to life.
In fact, once again, ARRI dominated at the Oscars, with all Best Cinematography, Best Directing, and the majority of Best Picture nominees at this year’s awards captured either on film or ARRI’s ALEXA family of digital cinema cameras. Best Cinematography winner, Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS shot “Dune’ on the ALEXA LF and Mini LF cameras, and Best Director winner, Jane Campion, who won for her work on The Power of the Dog, worked with cinematographer Ari Wegner, ACS, who lensed the film on the ALEXA LF and Mini LF as well.
Dune also won Best Cinematography at this year’s BAFTA Awards (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and ASC Awards (American Society of Cinematographers), and The Power of the Dog likewise won for Best Direction at the BAFTA and DGA Awards (Directors Guild of America).
There are many reasons why today’s top filmmakers choose to shoot with ARRI ALEXA cameras, but invariably, it all comes down to the same thing that first convinced a generation of filmmakers to entrust their artistic vision to it: the way the cameras render light and capture color—with ARRI’s superior color science being the magic behind the scenes making it all come together.
And now that color science has been recognized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) in honor of ARRI’s outstanding technical achievement and contribution to film production, awarding ARRI’s Head of Center of Competence Image Science, Harald Brendel, with the Natalie M. and Herbert T. Kalmus Medal Award in November 2021. On behalf of ARRI, Harald Brendel has also accepted an Engineering Emmy from the Television Academy for the development of the ALEXA digital camera system, which he received in 2017.
According to SMPTE President, Hans Hoffmann, Harald Brendel received the prestigious award "for the design and implementation of the color management system used in the ARRI ALEXA family of cameras, including the underlying Log-C capture encoding, the specification of the ARRI Wide Gamut color space, and the creation of the K1S1 filmic viewing transforms."
Hoffmann continued, "These were instrumental in assisting cinematographers and postproduction facilities with the transition from film to digital image acquisition, providing both confidence on set and reliable outcomes in postproduction, and remain industry standards. During his long tenure as an image scientist for ARRI, Harald was a main developer of image processing for the ARRISCAN film scanner and a core contributor to the AMPAS Academy Color Encoding System (ACES)."
Harald Brendel received the prestigious award “for the design and implementation of the color management system used in the ARRI ALEXA family of cameras, including the underlying Log-C capture encoding, the specification of the ARRI Wide Gamut color space, and the creation of the K1S1 filmic viewing transforms."
Since its introduction in 2010, ARRI's ALEXA digital cinema cameras have been embraced by the production community as the camera system of choice on countless commercial, music video, television, and feature film productions, and represented in the Oscar nominees for Best Cinematography every year since 2011—an unprecedented reign, made even more impressive by the way that nine out of the last eleven Best Cinematography winning films were shot on the ALEXA.
ARRI congratulates all the winners and nominees of the 94th annual Academy Awards and 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 the Oscars website.