Emmanuel Lubezki Talks Shooting ‘The Revenant’ and Frozen Monitors

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The Revenant

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy on the set of The Revenant
Photo: 20th Century Fox

If you were to put together a power ranking of today’s cinematographers you’d have to consider Emmanuel Lubezki for the #1 position after winning the Oscar Best Cinematography for two years in a row with Gravity and Birdman, and now it seems to talking points for The Revenant, his follow-up feature with Birdman director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu are already being made.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly last month, Inarritu told the mag, “It’s a very experimental thing that we’re doing here…I’m now addicted to doing things that can fail horribly or maybe that can give us a surprise. We are all into it.”

The comment was in reference to the fact they are shooting the picture with only natural light in the wilds of Alberta, Canada and Lubezki adds to the drama in an interview with the ASC saying, “We’re doing a lot of exterior work with natural light and Steadicam. The lenses are very wide and close to the actors. It’s extremely visceral. The temperature has dropped as low as -30°C [-22°F], and we’ve been experiencing some difficulties with the equipment. At one point, it got so cold our monitors froze!

Lubezki is shooting the picture, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, using ARRI’s new ALEXA 65mm digital cinema camera system. No Film School describes the camera as “the first of its kind in the digital cinema world, as it combines the proven image quality, dynamic range, and usability of the ALEXA with a much larger 65mm equivalent sensor.”

The Revenant hits theaters on Christmas Day.

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