Caroline Champetier shoots with the Aaton Penelope
Among the winners at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods And Men (Des hommes et des dieux), based on a true story and shot on the Aaton Penelope. Revolving around a group of Cisternian monks facing threats from Islamic fundamentalists in the mountains of Algeria, the film brought home the Grand Prix, the second highest prize awarded at the festival.
For a film in which the landscape played such an important part, it was important for Beauvois to work with a Director of Photography that understood his vision – enter Caroline Champetier. “The first question we asked ourselves, Xavier and me, was that of format,” she says. They decided to use the Penelope and shoot in 2-perf in order to preserve the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
Champetier praised the camera’s design and comfort: “It allowed me to have real stability…it’s long and its center of gravity is very low, the sight is clear and bright. This camera allowed me a subtle and sensitive accompaniment of movement…” She concludes that “it was particularly reassuring, intoxicating even, to realize that we had the perfect tool to translate exactly what we wanted onto film.”
The filmmakers also chose Aaton’s Cantar Digital Audio Recorder for its flexibility and ease-of-use. Read an in-depth interview with Champetier about her experiences shooting Of Gods And Men here (French).