ASC Award Goes to Mathias Herndl, AAC

DP Used Vantage One T1 Lenses on National Geographic’s TV-Series ‘Genius: Einstein’

At the 32nd annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards for Outstanding Achievement in February, director of photography Mathias Herndl, AAC earned top honors in the Motion Picture, Miniseries or Pilot category, for his work on Genius, Chapter 1. Vantage Film, the makers of Vantage One T1 lenses, provided the full camera package, and their unique Vantage One lenses played a key role in the look of the winning show. 

The ASC Awards, often referred to as cinematography’s biggest night, is beloved by camera pros because the recognition comes from their peers, who understand what it takes to create powerful, emotive imagery in tough circumstances. 

Genius, Chapter 1 is a depiction of the life of Albert Einstein produced for National Geographic. Herndl and his collaborators designed two specific looks – one for the younger Einstein, who was energetic, rebellious and a failure at school, and another for the mature, adult scientist. For the early days, Herndl shot with dynamic camera movement, bold lighting choices, and Vantage One glass.

Vantage One lenses bring unique traits to digital cinematography, while taking advantage of the increased light sensitivity of today’s sensors. Eschewing modern design techniques like floating elements and aspheric lenses, Vantage One lenses offer a range of texture and personality depending on the stop. At the astonishing stop of T1, they exhibit a lovely, subtle creaminess, perfect for skin tones.

“I call them perfectly imperfect,” Herndl said in an interview with GoldDerby. “The Vantage One lenses are fantastic, flawed lenses. The highlights bloom, the edges are soft, and there’s a unique flare structure. We wanted to shoot in a risky fashion, to keep the show from feeling like a dusty period piece.”

Herndl also points out that the lenses helped with another goal – to achieve the look in camera, using methods that could be maintained once the show moved from pilot to a tighter episodic budget and schedule. 

“We’re very pleased for Mathias,” says Vantage Film’s Peter Martin. “We love building innovative tools for filmmakers, but the best part is seeing what filmmakers create with them. We congratulate all of the winners of the ASC Awards, and we can’t wait to see what the coming year brings.”





See the complete GoldDerby interview here.

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