‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’: Why The Coen Brothers Finally Embraced Digital for Their First Netflix Movie

  • Indiewire
‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’: Why The Coen Brothers Finally Embraced Digital for Their First Netflix Movie
Joel and Ethan Coen finally went digital for their Netflix Western anthology, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” but it was more out of necessity than aesthetics. Still, it’s a stunning, hyper-real achievement for cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel’s second go-round with the Coens (Oscar-nominated “Inside Llewyn Davis”), who convinced them that it was the only cost-effective way to make their movie.

“Because it was for Netflix and there was no theatrical, they wanted to try it,” said Delbonnel, “especially after hearing how fantastic digital was from so many people, including Roger Deakins, who doesn’t want to shoot on film anymore.”

Delbonnel, who shot with the Alexa Studio, invited the Coens to take a sneak peek of “Darkest Hour,” and they admired how he was able to capture light and shadow with digital tools. “But it was hard at the beginning,” he said. “They’re not used to watching dailies
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