Shooting anamorphic on a budget was the thesis for my graduation project in film school, back in Brazil, in late 2013. Two years later, I started a channel on the subject, and since then I’ve reviewed dozens of anamorphic adapters, lenses, and related accessories. I’ve made tutorials from editing anamorphic footage to modifying lenses in order to achieve the anamorphic look for cheap.

The channel’s mission has always been to teach filmmakers more about how to shoot anamorphic. But making gear reviews only teaches people about that one piece of equipment, and there were plenty of anamorphic subjects to cover.

That’s where the Anamorphic Cookbook comes in. The idea is to take viewers from the history and the meaning of anamorphic, through building their own rigs, and finish up by editing CinemaScope footage. 

Like many other filmmakers during quarantine, I lost all the work I had booked and decided to put together an online course. But every time I thought about what the price should be, the idea didn’t sit right with me, so I decided to make the whole thing available for free. 

The Anamorphic Cookbook has officially launched with two modules with more to come. Check them out below. 

Chapter 1 – Foundations

The first chapter starts with the ground rules. You’ll learn a bit more about me and how the Anamorphic Cookbook will play out. Chapter 1 explains which subjects will be covered in each module and the advantages you get from being a member of the channel. To kick things off, I cover the history of the anamorphic format and lenses. 

Chapter 2 – The Look

It seems everyone loves the anamorphic look, but why is it such a big deal? Why do anamorphics boost production value and create the feeling of a more “cinematic” experience?

A lot of time audiences don’t even know what anamorphic is, but since its origin in the 1950s, anamorphic lenses were used to tell some of the most memorable stories in Hollywood, and that’s a subconscious connection we have with these visuals. You find out in this chapter. 

Chapter 3 and Beyond

In the third chapter, we're going back in time to the birth and popularization of anamorphics in film. It’s a story with more twists than you imagine. Films were not always like what we have today. In fact, there were plenty of obstacles in the anamorphic road to the mainstream.

How did we get here? We’ll look at Chrétien’s original CinemaScope lens as well as other alternatives that came up along the way.

I'll be releasing Chapter 3 soon and will update this post when it becomes available. In addition to the Anamorphic Cookbook, I have dozens of videos available to watch on the subject, including lens reviews and how-tos. 

Do you have any tips for shooting anamorphic or a favorite lens? Let us know in the comments below.

You can check out all my videos on my YouTube channel