‘Oppenheimer’ Cinematographer Urges Filmmakers to Shoot on Analog in Oscars Speech

Oppenheimer cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema urged aspiring filmmakers to shoot with old school film formats in his Oscars acceptance speech.

Oppenheimer cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema urged aspiring filmmakers to shoot with old-school film formats in his Oscars acceptance speech.

On Sunday, van Hoytema won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work in Oppenheimer — beating out the likes of Maestro, Poor Things, and Killers of The Flower Moon for the accolade.

Oppenheimer is van Hoytema’s fourth film with director Christopher Nolan following their collaborations together on Interstellar, Tenet, and Dunkirk.

As he took to the stage to accept his first Academy Award, van Hoytema began his Oscars acceptance speech with a shout-out to the film format.

The cinematographer encouraged striving filmmakers to shoot with “celluloid” — the old-school format favored by traditionalists such as Nolan.

In his speech, van Hoytema praised film for being visually superior to digital cameras while adding that it’s not as difficult to operate as some may think.

“To all aspiring filmmakers out there, I would like to say please try shooting with that incredible, new, hip thing called ‘celluloid,'” van Hoytema says in his speech with a chuckle.

“It’s much easier they think. And it makes things look so much better.”

Film fans and photographers alike took to social media to praise van Hoytema’s shout-out to celluloid in his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards — with many agreeing wholeheartedly with the cinematographer.

Van Hoytema wrangled a huge IMAX camera, favored by Nolan, to film Oppenheimer from the famous explosion scene to some of the epic three-hour movie’s most intimate moments.

‘Nothing Beats Film’

As well as Nolan’s beloved IMAX format, van Hoytema also used the Panavision 65mm cameras favored by David Lean for the 1962 movie Lawrence Of Arabia, using color and black-and-white — the latter requiring Kodak to manufacture a new film stock especially for Oppenheimer.

The Eastman Double-X Black and White film in 65mm was specifically created by Kodak for use with the IMAX and Panavision System 65mm film cameras in the making of Oppenheimer.

The cinematographer said that he and Nolan were stunned by how “beautiful” Kodak’s newly-manufactured film stock was.

“We’d never seen anything like it — very special, very beautiful,” van Hoytema tells Kodak’s website.

“Although I shoot a lot of commercials using digital cameras, I still believe the film is more engaging to watch and is much closer to the human visual experience.

“There’s still nothing that beats the resolution, depth, color, and roundness of the analog image, nor in the feeling overall that film conveys.

“When you watch an analog print, especially in an IMAX theatre, the level of impact is freaking inspiring.”