'All Quiet on the Western Front' required fighting-fit cameramen for its sequences

All Quiet on the Western Front
(Image credit: Netflix)

Nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture, and fourteen BAFTAs including Best Film, All Quiet on the Western Front is shaping up to be one of the most successful modern-day retellings of World War I. 

Directed by Edward Berger (Deutschland 83, Jack) and starring Felix Kammerer alongside Albrecht Schuch, AQOTWF tells the gripping story of a young German soldier who is fighting on the front line. 

The German anti-war biopic is adapted from the 1929 book of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque. It took just 55 days to film the Netflix-distributed production, and it and cost just $20 million – which is incredible, considering how technically advanced many of the shots featured in the film are. 

• The best 8K and 6K video cameras are perfect for shooting high-end professional-looking films

In a series of recent posts on Twitter, some behind-the-scenes footage showing incredibly nifty handiwork by the camera crew – in particular, during a scene as they follow a soldier through the trenches and over the top onto the battlefield. 

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Using an Alexa 65 and an Alexa Mini LF alongside an external monitor and a stabilization system, you can see the two men running with the camera as they keep up with the actor fighting his way through exploding shells and gunfire. 

Not only do the cameramen have to be incredibly fit to run long distances with heavy equipment, but they need to be quick when it comes to changing positions, hooking the camera up to hoists, and ensuring that they are in the right position ready to get the shot.  

Clips of the storyboard sequences compared to the actual movie footage have also been shared, which show how important the planning stages of a film are (check out our guide on the importance of storyboarding for vlogs). 

Storyboarding gives the director an idea of how shots will fit together, whether they work and who needs to be in them. In a war film that is fast-paced and high-action, a minimal number of takes is a big advantage as it saves time, energy and money – after all, no one wants to be running around more than they need to be, it's tiring work!

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Watching a film that has been shot so flawlessly, it's easy to forget about the myriad of people it takes behind the scenes – especially when the story of AQONTWF is so harrowing.

From cameramen to boom operators to video editors and color graders, the end result of a film is as much about the planning and post-processing as it is about the acting itself, and everyone involved in this production did a spectacular job – no wonder it's already been nominated for so many awards. 

Be sure to check it out on Netflix and see what all the fuss is about.

The best on-camera monitors will help you see what you're filming easier, and some will even let you shoot in better codecs

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.