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HomeCraftsCameraDick Pope Chooses Cooke Panchro/i Classic Lenses for Supernova

Dick Pope Chooses Cooke Panchro/i Classic Lenses for Supernova


Cooke Panchro
Cooke Panchro/i Classic

To film the upcoming drama Supernova, two-time Oscar-nominated Cinematographer Dick Pope, BSC (The Illusionist) decided to use Cooke Optics Cooke Panchro/i Classic Prime lenses.

Written and directed by Harry Macqueen, the film stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as Sam and Tusker, 20-year partners who go on a road trip across England to visit friends, family, and places from their past.  Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia two years ago, so their time together is the most important thing they have.

Pope spoke about why he made Cooke Panchro/i Classic his lens of choice, “The lenses I chose for Supernova were based on the look that Harry Macqueen wanted for his film, which was somewhat old fashioned, warm and romantic in feel, offering a close and intimate chemistry between the two main characters I arranged a screening for him of Edward Norton‘s Motherless Brooklyn, on which I had previously used Cooke Panchro/i Classic Primes, and Harry loved them on that film. Subsequent testing for Supernova featuring the principal actors confirmed our thoughts. Harry described them as having a rounded and natural feel which reels in the viewer.”

Pope had previously used the original Cooke Speed Panchros on Mike Leigh‘s highly-acclaimed 2014 Mr Turner, starring Timothy Spall, about which he said, “These classic go-to Hollywood lenses from the 1950s and 1960s were loved by Stanley Kubrick and often used by him – for example, on Spartacus. The updated Panchro/i Classics retain the same characteristics as those vintage lenses. They certainly haven’t lost the feel of the originals with their tiny front elements, compact profile and lightness of weight.”

“Over the three films I’ve shot with both the original and updated versions, I have become very attached to the antique look of the Panchros, partly because they’re not clean, modern looking or super sharp, but really rather ‘painterly’ and cinematic,” Pope added. Like the originals they feature the eccentricities of the original Speed Panchro designs, and when used wide open, can if required, offer focus fall-off at the edges of frame along with a gentle fall off in the corners — in fact, all the attributes Harry and I really wanted for Supernova.”

Supernova  has playing at international film festivals across the globe since premiering at the San Sebastián International Film Festival  in September.  It will be released in the UK on November 27, and then in the US by Bleecker Street on January 29, 2021.

You can learn more about the lenses at

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