DoP Anthony Dod Mantle calls his cameras and lenses "paintbrushes" because "some are wider than others, some are oily, some are greasy and some are watery". It's also an "easy way of avoiding having to say the numbers and the names all the time, and having to remember them".
For FX's limited series Pistol, a frenetic celebration of 1970s punk rock that charts the meteoric rise and chaotic fall of the Sex Pistols, the Academy Award®-winning cinematographer needed a larger palette than usual, with more than six image capture systems being employed at one point or another over the course of filming. "I guess you could say the varying [camera] formats represent instruments that have their own characteristic beat and tone and potential noise level, until they mesh into a final mix in the edit," he says.
Here, Dod Mantle, together with long-time collaborator and fellow Oscar winner Danny Boyle, who directed the project, talk about the Canon cameras and lenses they used to shoot the series, and why they were the best tools for this unique production.