Anamorphic lenses: The secret behind that cinematic look

This year has been a really busy one for us on a video front – we’ve shot everything from adverts and brand videos, right the way through to explainer videos.

But one of our most recent production pieces that we had great fun working on was creating the magical dynamic look for a recent Christmas campaign – all through vintage anamorphic lenses.

Of course, shooting a great video doesn’t just reside on the kit you use, but making the switch from spherical lenses to anamorphic can make the world of difference to the entire look of your film, especially if it’s the ‘cinematic’ look that you’re going for.

For those unfamiliar with this lens type, unlike spherical lenses that don’t affect the image’s aspect ratio, anamorphic lenses will project oval-shaped images, distorting them horizontally to a degree to capture that ultra-wide aspect ratio. They also produce really unique lens flares that again, help create that distinctive, and in our case magical, look.

Using anamorphic lenses as opposed to spherical for a client’s recent festive campaign for example, allowed us to not only make better use of the whole 35mm film frame, but the entire video has that distinctive dream-like look that you’d only expect from a great Christmas advert.

For me, anamorphic lenses are one of my favourite tools for adding greater depth to productions, with subtle out-of-focus areas making every one of our films completely unique in look and feel.

That’s not to say that anamorphic lenses are perfect for every video – sometimes spherical lenses will be more suitable, but if it’s a cinematic look you’re after, watch our latest production and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about!

Bristol Airport’s Christmas Campaign