Oscar Handicap 2013: Cinematography

For this article, we will examine how the directors of photography stack up against each other.

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)

The discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images, the Cinematographer works with the director to decide the overall look of the film. Purists have lamented the rise of digital intermediate technology, where the director and cinematographer can fine-tune the look of individual scenes and even single frames by computer, is quickly killing the fine art of cinematography, but until the Academy creates a Best DI category, this is what we’ll have to deal with.

The Breakdowns

1) Oscar winning cinematography has come from lensers also nominated for the same award at the BAFTAs 30 of the last 34 ceremonies (87.88%). Advantage: Deakins, Kaminski, McGarvey, Miranda

2) Shooters of stories predominantly set outside the past twenty years have won 29 of 34 (85.29%). Advantage: Kaminski, McGarvey, Miranda, Richardson

3) As long as you’re not the nominee in the lowest grossing film at the time of the nominations, you’ve won 28 of 34 (82.35%). Advantage: Deakins, Kaminski, Miranda, Richardson

4) Cinematography winners have come from films whose directors have also been nominated 27 of 34 (79.41%). Advantage: Kaminski, Miranda

5) Cinematography awards have been given to films also nominated for Best Achievement in Production Design 26 of 34 (76.47%). Advantage: Kaminski, McGarvey, Miranda

6) Winners here have come from Best Picture nominees 26 of 34 (76.47%). Advantage: Kaminski, Miranda, Richardson

By The Numbers

It’s a dead heat between two-time winner Kaminski and the three-time nominee Miranda, while ten-time nominee Deakins, the greatest cinematographer alive, will once again mysteriously go home empty handed.

Roger Deakins, “Skyfall”: +1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6 (86 of 204, 42.16%)

Janusz Kaminski, “Lincoln”: +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6 (166 of 204, 81.37%)

Seamus McGarvey, “Anna Karenina”: +1, +2, -3, -,4 +5, -6 (106 of 204, 51.96%)

Claudio Miranda, “Life of Pi”: +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6 (166 of 204, 81.37%)

Robert Richardson, “Django Unchained”: -1, +2, +3, -4, -5, +6 (102 of 204, 50.00%)

All articles in this series:

Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature