The Envelopes Please


Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines and get your gowns or tuxes ready for the awards season. In Arthur Mayer’s film class at Dartmouth we placed bets. The winner got a prized copy of Arthur’s “History of the Movies.” Times have changed. We now look for patterns in technique and technology.

This list comes from many sources and will be updated. (There may be errors.) The crystal ball sees wide screen, 2.35:1, more anamorphic, lots of Alexa and Codex, and still lots of films shot on film.

Here are the lists. More analysis to follow.


7 of the 9 Best Picture nominees for the Academy Awards this year used ARRI cameras. 3 of them were shot on Alexa. 4 were shot on film. The other 2 were Panavision, one spherical (Lincoln), one anamorphic (Django Unchained), both shot on Kodak film.

  • Amour – ARRI Alexa
  • Life of Pi – ARRI Alexa. 3D Cameron-Pace. Arri Alexa, ARRI/ZEISS Master Primes and Angenieux Optimos. Cameron/PACE 3-D.
  • Zero Dark Thirty  – ARRI Alexa
  • Les Misérables – Arricam 35mm. Film: Kodak Vision2 50D 5201, Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 200T 5213, Vision3 500T 5219
  • Silver Linings Playbook – Arricam 35mm. ARRI/ZEISS Master Primes and Angenieux Zooms.  Kodak Vision3 200T 5213, Vision3 500T 5219 film
  • Argo – combination of  Alexa, Arricam LT, ST, Bolex H16 REX-5 16mm, Canon 1014 AZ 8mm, ARRI Alexa with Codex ARRIRAW. Lenses: Hawk V-Lite, V-Plus, V-Series; ARRI/ZEISS Super Speeds, Ultra Primes, Angenieux Optimos, 16mm Kern-Paillard Switar and Angenieux Lenses — supplied by Clairmont Camera. Film stock: 16 mm Kodak Vision3 250D 7207, Vision3 500T 7219;  35 mm Kodak Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 500T 5219, Vision2 500T 5260, 8 mm Kodak Vision3 500T 5219, Ektachrome 100D 5285
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Arriflex 416 and 16SR-3 in Super 16. Film: 16 mm Kodak Vision2 200T 7217, Vision3 500T 7219

Four out of five films nominated for Best Director were shot with ARRI: AMOUR (director Michael Haneke), BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Benh Zeitlin), LIFE OF PI (Ang Lee) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (David O. Russell).


4 of the 9 films nominated for this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture used Codex digital recording and workflow:

  • Amour (Michael Haneke, director; Darius Khondji, cinematographer)
  • Argo (Ben Affleck, director; Rodrigo Prieto, cinematographer)
  • Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, director; Greig Fraser, cinematographer)
  • Life of Pi (Ang Lee, director; Claudio Miranda, cinematographer)

Codex was on 2 films nominated for Best Cinematography:

  • Life of Pi Life of Pi (Ang Lee, director; Claudio Miranda, cinematographer)
  • Skyfall (Sam Mendes, director; Roger Deakins, cinematographer)

Codex did 2 films nominated for Best Foreign Film:

  • Amour  (Michael Haneke, director; Darius Khondji, cinematographer)
  • Kon-Tiki (Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors; Geir Hartly Andreassen, cinematographer)

Codex recorded 2 films nominated for Best Visual Effects

  •  Life of Pi (Ang Lee, director; Claudio Miranda, cinematographer)
  • The Avengers (Joss Whedon, director; Seamus McGarvey, cinematographer; Janek Sirrs, visual effects supervisor)

Additionally, Codex was used on more than 60 major motion picture productions in 2012.

Formats, Cameras and Lenses

ASC Awards Nominees for Best Cinematography:

Danny Cohen (Les Misérables) – 1.85:1 Arricam LT, ARRI/ZEISS Master Primes, Ultra Primes and Angenieux Optimo Lenses / Arricam ST – 35 mm (Kodak Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 200T 5213, Vision3 500T 5219).

Roger Deakins (Skyfall) – 2.35:1 spherical (1.90:1 IMAX). Camera: ARRI Alexa M, Alexa Plus, Alexa Studio, ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime Lenses,  Angenieux Optimo Lenses,  Codex ARRIRAW), Red Epic for additional 2nd unit action shots. Redcode RAW aerials.

Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln) – see below
Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina) – see below
Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi) – see below

Oscar Nominees for Best Cinematography: 
Roger Deakins (Skyfall) 2.35:1 Spherical – Alexa Studio, M, Codex, Master Primes, Angenieux Optimo

Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln) 2.35:1 Spherical – Panavision Panaflex Millenium XL2 and Platinum, Primo and Super Speed Z-Series MKII Lenses, 35 mm (Kodak Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 500T 5219)

Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina) 2.35:1 anamorphic – Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision E-, G-Series, ATZ and AWZ2 Lenses. 35 mm (Kodak Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 500T 5219)

Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi) Arri Alexa, Zeiss Master Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses / PACE Fusion 3-D. Aspect ratio: 1.33 : 1 (some scenes) / 1.85 : 1 / 2.00 : 1 (some scenes) / 2.35 : 1 (one scene)

Robert Richardson (Django Unchained)  2.35:1 anamorphic – Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision Primo, E-Series, ATZ and AWZ2 Lenses. 35 mm (Kodak Vision3 200T 5213, Vision3 500T 5219)


DGA Best Feature Film Directing

  • Argo (Directed by Ben Affleck) 2.35:1
  • Zero Dark Thirty (Directed by Kathryn Bigelow) 1.85:1 Arri Alexa M / Arri Alexa Plus. Codex ARRIRAW.
  •  Les Misérables (Directed by Tom Hooper)
  •  Life of Pi (Directed by Ang Lee)
  • Lincoln (Directed by Steven Spielberg)


85th Academy Awards 

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman in “Les Misérables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master”
  • Denzel Washington in “Flight”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Alan Arkin in “Argo”
  • Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln”
  • Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts in “The Impossible”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Amy Adams in “The Master”
  • Sally Field in “Lincoln”
  • Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables”
  • Helen Hunt in “The Sessions”
  • Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Brave” Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
  • “Frankenweenie” Tim Burton
  • “ParaNorman” Sam Fell and Chris Butler
  • “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” Peter Lord
  • “Wreck-It Ralph” Rich Moore

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Anna Karenina” Seamus McGarvey
  • “Django Unchained” Robert Richardson
  • “Life of Pi” Claudio Miranda
  • “Lincoln” Janusz Kaminski
  • “Skyfall” Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

  • “Anna Karenina” Jacqueline Durran
  • “Les Misérables” Paco Delgado
  • “Lincoln” Joanna Johnston
  • “Mirror Mirror” Eiko Ishioka
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman” Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing

  • “Amour” Michael Haneke
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” Ang Lee
  • “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” David O. Russell

Best documentary feature

  • “5 Broken Cameras”
    Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
  • “The Gatekeepers” 
    Nominees to be determined
  • “How to Survive a Plague” 
    Nominees to be determined
  • “The Invisible War” 
    Nominees to be determined
  • “Searching for Sugar Man” 
    Nominees to be determined

Best documentary short subject

  • “Inocente” 
    Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
  • “Kings Point” 
    Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
  • “Mondays at Racine”
    Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
  • “Open Heart” 
    Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
  • “Redemption” 
    Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

Achievement in film editing

  • “Argo” William Goldenberg
  • “Life of Pi” Tim Squyres
  • “Lincoln” Michael Kahn
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Amour” Austria
  • “Kon-Tiki” Norway
  • “No” Chile
  • “A Royal Affair” Denmark
  • “War Witch” Canada

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “Hitchcock”
    Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
    Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
  • “Les Misérables”
    Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Anna Karenina” Dario Marianelli
  • “Argo” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Life of Pi” Mychael Danna
  • “Lincoln” John Williams
  • “Skyfall” Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”
    Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
  • “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted”
    Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
  • “Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”
    Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
  • “Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
    Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
  • “Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”
    Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Amour” Nominees to be determined
  • “Argo” Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers
  • “Django Unchained” Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers
  • “Les Misérables” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers
  • “Life of Pi” Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers
  • “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

Achievement in production design

  • “Anna Karenina”
    Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
  • “Les Misérables” 
    Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
  • “Life of Pi” 
    Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Lincoln” 
    Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Best animated short film

  • “Adam and Dog” Minkyu Lee
  • “Fresh Guacamole” PES
  • “Head over Heels” Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
  • “Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”” David Silverman
  • “Paperman” John Kahrs

Best live action short film

  • “Asad” Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
  • “Buzkashi Boys” Sam French and Ariel Nasr
  • “Curfew” Shawn Christensen
  • “Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)” Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
  • “Henry” Yan England

Achievement in sound editing

  • “Argo” Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
  • “Django Unchained” Wylie Stateman
  • “Life of Pi” Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
  • “Skyfall” Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Paul N.J. Ottosson

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “Argo”
    John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
  • “Les Misérables” 
    Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
  • “Life of Pi”
    Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
  • “Lincoln” 
    Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
  • “Skyfall”
    Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Achievement in visual effects

  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” 
    Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
  • “Life of Pi”
    Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
  • “Marvel’s The Avengers” 
    Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
  • “Prometheus”
    Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman”
    Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson

Adapted screenplay

  • “Argo” Screenplay by Chris Terrio
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” Screenplay by David Magee
  • “Lincoln” Screenplay by Tony Kushner
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” Screenplay by David O. Russell

Original screenplay

  • “Amour” Written by Michael Haneke
  • “Django Unchained” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • “Flight” Written by John Gatins
  • “Moonrise Kingdom” Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” Written by Mark Boal

“Life of Pi” photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

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2 Responses:

  1. Phil Bolles says:

    Great list! Looking forward to many more years of film, especially anamorphic.

    Found a typo on this line: “The other 2 were Panavision, one spherical (Lincoln), one anamorphic (Anna Karenina), both shot on…” the latter should be Django Unchained.

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