Kubrick's cameras

Started by TC7, August 07, 2003, 05:17:12 AM

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Hi everyone-

Wondering what model of camera Kubrick used for the handheld scenes he operated himself in A Clockwork Orange.  

In the stills seen in "Kubrick" (Ciment) and "A Life in Pictures," it looks like a 35mm Arri 2B or 2C...  but maybe a 3C?  

Does anyone know for sure?  Anyone know what lenses (looks like there was a three lens turret on the camera) he was using?

Also, I've heard that Kubrick rigged some sort of bodybrace, a crude pre-Steadicam that helped him stabilize the camera in these handheld scenes.  Any insight into this piece of equipment he used will be appreciated.



yo i don't know about the cameras and shit but i heard if u say 'Bloody Kubrie' five times he'll appear, but then he gouges ur eyes out.

also it has been said he mates with men, then eats them.

hope this helps.
under the paving stones.


He shot Clockwork in a pretty low-budget mode. It was mostly locations and souce lighting. He preferred Zeiss lenses -- sharp, crisp images -- though I can't guarantee that's what's on the camera. I do know he used an old crank Bolex for some of those handheld shots. Haven't heard anything about a crude Stedicam -- he used a wheelchair. He used the Stedicam on The Shining.
"I believe in this, and it's been tested by research: he who fucks nuns will later join the church."

-St. Joe


From LoBruttos' Biography.

'For ACO SK had envisioned shots where he would utilized a zoom lens to go from very near to very far in one continuous zoom out. Ed Di Gulio, president of Cinema Products Co. in LA said. "Stanley started chatting with me about getting a 20:1 zoom lens and I said, 'We could do it." Di Gulio explained to SK that he could take an Angenieux 16mm 20:1 zoom lens and put a two times extender behind it so that it would cover the 35mm format. "But of course you lose two stops of light in the process because of the two times extender so that makes it pretty slow," Di Gulio explained on the long distance call to SK in England. "And he says, 'Well, do you have to do that?' This is the consummate and classic SK because we hang up and the next day I get a telex that's a yard long in which he goes on to explain to me that the 35mm format he's shooting in is 1:85. Then he recites Pythagorean theorem to show me how x squared plus y squaredequals the diagonal root of the sum of the squares. And to point out that going up from a 16mm format I didn't need a 2 to 1 extender, that I could do it with 1.61. Therefore I wouldn't have to lose as much light. I didn't have to lose two stops maybe a stop or stop and a half. So herehe is lecturing me and I'm saying. 'Why this smart ass, another oneof thesewild ass directors.' So I called my old buddy Bern Levy who was working for Angenieux at the time and I said, 'Bern, I've got this wacko director who wants to do this.' Bern said. 'Well, you know, Ed, as a matter of fact we do have a 1.6 extender.' And I said, 'Oh shit.' This exteder existed for some other application but the bottom line is I was able to take a 16mm zoom lens, put this extender on it and give Stanley the exact lens he wanted, so he went and used it." Di Gulio also purchased a standard Mitchell BNC for SK, which Cinema Products overhauled for the ACO production. They also supplied a joystick control that allowed for smooth automatic operation of the zoom lens.'

Yes, I wrote all that just to say he used a Mitchell BNC, but you can't deny it's a good story.


He used the Mitchell BNC cameras for Barry Lyndon. Those were the only cameras that could fit the NASA lenses. Kudos for actually writing all that though.
"I believe in this, and it's been tested by research: he who fucks nuns will later join the church."

-St. Joe


Kubrick's cameras (and other stuff) in ACO part two. (Also from LoBrutto's bio)

'New technology was making it easier for SK to shoot on location while still maintaining his strict technical standards. The record boutique was shot with a 9.8mm lens, giving him a ninety-degree viewing angle. The f0.95 lens made it possible for SK and Alcott to shoot in a room with natural light until late in the afternoon with 200% less light than the earlier standard f2.0 lenses.'

'All of the dialogue was recorded on location. Kubrick utilized miniature microphones and FM transmitters that were hidden and thus eliminated microphone booms. The scene where Alex is recognized by the tramp he had beaten earlier in the story was shot under the Albert Bridge, a location so noisy that SK and the crew had to shout in order to hear themselves. The state-of-the art audio used on the film enabled them to record Alex and the tramp so well that a lot of the background traffic had to be added on an effects track during the re-recording mix. Kubrick hid a Sennhesier microphone, no larger than a paper clip, in the actor' lapels. This new technology allowed Kubrick to personally shoot hand-held with an Arriflex as close as six feet from the actors without utilizing a heavy blimp encasing, which weighed the camera down and made smooth hand-holding difficult. Kubrick liked using the Arriflex, which weighed only 37 pounds as opposed to the Mitchell, which for years had been an industry standard weighed to 125 pounds.'