SXSW 2024: How 41 Cinematographers Shot Their Narrative Features

IndieWire’s camera surveys are finally messing with Texas. We reached out to the cinematographers behind the feature films premiering at SXSW and asked which cameras, lenses, and formats they used and why they chose them to create the looks and meet the production demands of their films.

In addition to a great many films shot on industry workhorses like the ALEXA Mini and the Sony Venice, some new challenges are in the mix in Austin. Several DPs in search of versatility and lower footprint on set gravitated to the Ronin 4D or even cell phone footage to shoot quickly. And while budget constraints tend to push films towards digital, at least a couple of films were able to find dramatic reasons to mix formats slightly, with a touch of 16mm for flavor.

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The 2024 SXSW narrative features took on every kind of filmmaking challenge imaginable, from shooting in extremely remote locations to shooting extremely tight locations (and fitting an ALEXA Mini into a pizza oven) to shooting extremely quickly to shooting in extremely low light. What unites all of the responses is a concern with how the cinematography brings audiences closer to each film’s characters: how they feel, how they see the world, or how the story informs the way we understand our own. Here are the responses from filmmakers who brought scripted narrative features to the festival.

Films appear in alphabetical order by title.

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