The Black and White photography of Nebraska
Currently filling theaters and receiving plaudits across the world, the new film from director Alexander Payne is a joy. A slow burning meditation on age, family and the American Midwest.
As a photographer, I'm always keen to learn more about the cinematography. In this case, Phedon Papamichael created a unique monochrome look by shooting on the Arri Alexa digital camera. He actually tested a couple of colour film stocks with the intention of converting to black and white at the developing stage, but the new camera proved both suitable and versatile. Being able to shoot the extended takes favoured by the director, and pleasing the studio by having the option of a colour version which would be released in certain territories. The same process was used for The Artist.
The beautiful grain of the image was not due to the film stock (as I has assumed while watching it) but by shooting actually film stock and layering it digitally into the image - stunning!