Frame by Frame: Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

Year 2018
Decade – 2010s
Cinematographers – Kramer Morgenthau (IMDB link)
Director – Ramin Bahrani (IMDB link)
Aspect Ratio – 1.78
Distributor – HBO
Genre Sci-Fi
Cameras – Panasonic VariCam 35 (3840×2160 UHD with AVC-Intra compression) for the main cameras; Zenmuse X5S on a DJI Inspire 2 drone for wide aerial shots; GoPro Hero4 Black for point of view shots
Lenses – Zeiss Super Speeds for the main lenses; Panavision Primo zooms and Lensbaby Composor Pros (for flashbacks) were also used
Format Digital; Spherical
Miscellaneous – According to American Cinematographer magazine, Morgenthau favored the 29mm and 40mm Super Speeds and typically shot between a T1.4 and a T2.0. Director Ramin Bahrani’s visual references included Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil and The Trial.
Other Key Words
Opening Credits             Color               Flashbacks             Point of View              Night Exteriors

Further Reading
American Cinematographer magazine’s feature on the film, from the June 2018 issue
CinemaTechnic’s history of the Zeiss Super Speeds
Interview with cinematographer Kramer Morganthau from Panavison’s official site

The Movie

HBO’s none-too-faithful adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 sci-fi cautionary tale. Though set in Cleveland, the film was shot over 43 days in and around Toronto.

“As Bradbury wrote, we demanded a world like this. We elected things to become this way. We decided to give all our information away. We decided to read news on Facebook, which tells us exactly the news we want to read.” – Fahrenheit 451 director Ramin Bahrani, from a feature in the June issue of American Cinematographer magazine penned by Mark Dillon

Single Frames


Groups of Frames

Opening Credits

Fahrenheit 451 opening credits



Shot with Lensbaby Composer Pro tilt shift lenses, with 16mm-esque grain added in post.

Point of View

For the 360 degree point of view shots of Yuxie, a virtual assistant in the vein of Amazon’s Alexa, six GoPro Hero4 Black cameras were mounted to a GoPro Omni rig and then stitched together.

Night Exteriors

For shots such as the ones below, Morgenthau often leaned heavily on existing practical light and took advantage of the VariCam 35’s dual native ISO option to shoot at 3200 ISO.

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