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Focal Length (1 reply and 2 comments)

3 months ago
LukeJ 3 months ago

Hi Roger,

I have heard that it is common in films to shoot an actor/actress on the same focal length for the entire film, is this the case? My initial thought is that it would obviously depend on the environment of the shot and what's in the frame etc. 

My other questions is in regards to diffusion materials. I've noticed in a lot of your mud maps you like to bounce into a 251 on the windows. Is there a reason why you use this particular type of diffusion? It seems grid cloth is more popular than white diffusion nowadays, interested to hear your take. Are there any other diffusion materials you tend to use on the regular also?



Roger Deakins
3 months ago
Roger Deakins 3 months ago

There have been many film shot on only one focal length. I could say that '1917' was one of them but I was thinking of the more classic films of the 40s and 50s. Myself, I don't shoot an actress on one particular focal length lens anymore than I would shoot a landscape on one lens. That said, any particular face can look more 'attractive' on one length lens than another and it is good to be aware of this.

3 months ago

Could you mention some old films have been shot on only one focal length. Except 'touch of evil'

Matt Stahley
3 months ago

Vanniyan heres a small list. can't guarantee the accuracy.

The Wrestler (12mm/Super16)
Valhalla Rising (16mm)
Birdman (18mm)
Touch of Evil (18mm)
Cosmopolis (21mm)
Bottle Rocket (27mm)
The Last Picture Show (28mm)
The Witch (32mm)
Toni Erdmann (32mm)
Call me by your name (35mm)
Chinatown (40mm)
Royal Tennenbaums (40mm)
Rushmore (40mm)
Son of Saul (40mm)
The Godfather (40mm)
Monsters (50mm)
Psycho (50mm)
The Robe (50mm)
Tokyo Story (50mm)

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