Ridley Scott on Using an Anamorphic Lens for Blade Runner

Unless you’re really into cinematography you won’t understand the whole use behind an anamorphic lens. What this type of lens is used for is to crop out whatever doesn’t fit into the frame and bring certain parts of the picture into greater focus. Ridley Scott was a big fan of using an anamorphic lens to shoot his epic film Blade Runner. If you notice throughout the film a lot of shots tend to display the foreground and the background in different ways, showcasing some objects in much greater detail and fuzzing others out so as to indicate that they are not the focal point at the moment.

I don’t know a great deal about lenses and different cameras that are used in filming movies so I won’t go into a great amount of detail. Listening to Scott and having watched enough behind the scenes moments it stands to reason however that the amount of cameras and the many different lenses that are used is a matter of personal preference that many directors tend to differ on. How a movie is going to be shot, where it’s going to be shot, and what kind of effect the director is going for all go into how the movie is supposed to look and what lens is best for the job.

Just like any workplace it’s a matter of what tools will bring about the desired result in the most efficient and desired way. How film makers go about deciding which lens they want to use is something that sounds a little confusing but probably makes a lot of sense to those who know what they’re talking about. For the rest of us that don’t know enough about the lenses and the different cameras it’s enough to know what we like to see and what effects draw our eyes the most. The fuzzed out background and the sharper foreground tend to be a big draw for many people since it allows your eyes to focus upon what is deemed to be the most important at that moment and should be given the greater amount of attention.

Directors have this uncanny knack for knowing what people want to see even if their efforts are based entirely off of their personal preferences. Some manage to do this out of experience while others just seem to have a level of intuition that is absolutely uncanny and can be relied upon to produce a film that people will absolutely love if it is done well enough and in a manner that they can understand. The use of different lenses is just one trick that many directors use, but it is one that people notice without much comment most times. So long as the picture looks good enough and the story is well done most people will never think about the effort of using different lessons. Most probably won’t even bother thinking about lenses for the entire duration of the movie.

It is interesting to learn why certain shots and movies look the way they do though.



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