Oscar Handicap 2017: Cinematography

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

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 34 of the last 38 ceremonies (89.5%). Advantage: Fraser, Sandgren, Young

2) As long as you’re not the nominee in the lowest grossing film at the time of the nominations, you’ve won 32 of 38 (84.2%). Advantage: Fraser, Laxton, Sandgren, Young

3) Cinematography winners have come from films whose directors have also been nominated 30 of 38 (78.9%). Advantage: Laxton, Sandgren

4) Winners here have come from Best Picture nominees 30 of 38 (78.9%). Advantage:Fraser, Laxton, Sandgren, Young

5) Shooters of stories predominantly set outside the past twenty years have won 29 of 38 (76.3%). Advantage: Fraser, Prieto

6) Cinematography awards have been given to films also nominated for Best Achievement in Production Design 29 of 38 (76.3%). Advantage: Sandgren, Young

7) A previous nominee for Best Cinematography has gone on to win 23 of 38 (60.5%). Advantage: Prieto

8) The winner of the Best Cinematography Award from the American Society of Cinematographers has won here 13 of the 30 years the ASC has given out awards (43.3%). Disadvantage: Fraser

By The Numbers

It’s La La Land’s year to shine.

Greg Fraser, “Lion”: +1, +2, -3, +4, +5, -6, -7, +8 (170 of 296, 57.4%)

James Laxton, “Moonlight”: -1, +2, +3, +4, -5, -6, -7, -8 (146 of 296, 49.3%)

Rodrigo Prieto, “Silence”: -1, -2, -3, -4, +5, -6, +7, -8 (104 of 296, 35.1%)

Linus Sandgren, “La La Land”: +1, +2, +3, +4, -5, +6, -7, -8 (196 of 296, 66.2%)

Bradford Young, “Arrival”: +1, +2, -3, +4, -5, +6, -7, -8 (174 of 296, 58.78%)

 

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