“I’m lifted up by the organic feeling of Hawk lenses,” says director Olivier Casas. “For years, when I felt a strong response to the look of a film, I would often discover that it had been photographed with Hawk lenses. I’m always touched by their ability to achieve a feeling. They are never without an expression, and every choice is in front of you.”

Casas, who is trained as a director of photography, used Hawk V‑Lite Anamorphic lenses on his most recent directorial effort, the feature film Frères (Brothers). The true-life survival tale tells the story of two very young brothers who run away and live in the woods for seven years. According to the synopsis, the children “reveal exceptional capacities of adaptation, develop an uncommon fusional bond, and taste the grace of life in symbiosis with nature, marked by an absolute freedom.” The experience forges a life-long bond.

“I saw the story as one of those incredible myths in which the power of life overcomes the imaginary, and reality seems more fantastic than any fiction,” says Casas. 

Casas worked with director of photography Magali Silvestre De Sacy to craft the images. “The V‑Lites were our visual working base,” she says. “We chose these lenses for the character they give to the image. Their distortions, bokeh, and slight chromatic aberrations are all elements that create an image. We knew we wouldn’t have time and resources to build an image on the set. Starting with such optics allowed us a very stylized image from the start, even with little intervention on the set.

Casas, “For me, the look of this film was more important than ever. Nature is the best friend of these brothers, and I wanted to find the best way to simulate nature as a presence in the film, with each season coming alive. It was very exciting to start each day by seeing the world through the Hawks.”

The story and shooting schedule were divided into three distinct sections, set in autumn, winter and spring over the course of 50 years, beginning in 1948.

“V‑Lites offer a rich range of dimensions depending on how we use diaphragm, light, and color,” says De Sacy. “They can give a vintage image or a feeling of great modernity. I relied heavily on this plurality to account for the different periods. We also used a lot of optical deformations – especially those of the 35mm – sometimes for the dramatization of a scene, sometimes to isolate the children in the heart of this ‘nest’ in the center of the curvatures, or to personify nature, another character in the film. These lenses allowed us to build a visual narrative.”

Casas and De Sacy often shot with two cameras, especially in scenes depicting the boys in their youth. De Sacy found that the V‑Lites lived up to their name when it came to handheld shots.

Working hand in hand: director Olivier Casas (left) and cinematographer Magali Silvestre De Sacy (right)

Director Olivier Casas on set

“For anamorphic lenses, they are very light and therefore maneuverable,” says De Sacy. “That allowed me to shoot often with the camera on my shoulder, which was necessary with the children. We shot the majority of the film in nature – in the forest, the rain and the snow – and we never encountered any problems. The V‑Lites are definitely a durable series of lenses. And thanks to a certain homogeneity among the focal lengths, we also did not have any concerns with our different configurations and multiple cameras.”


The production depended on Vantage Paris for its equipment needs. “Alexander Bscheidl was very supportive, which was important on this complicated shoot,” says Casas. “Everyone at Vantage was very generous and responsive, despite the fact that we needed to take the equipment out at three different times. That sounds like a nightmare for a rental house! But throughout, this was a very good experience.”

De Sacy agrees: “Alexander at Vantage was accompanying us at every step on this project as an essential collaborator,” she says. “He immediately understood how much Olivier saw this film through V‑Lites. The whole Vantage team was very attentive to our needs despite the difficulties.”

Frères was released in April 2024 in France.

Watch the French trailer here.

Camera Crew:

Director of Photography – Magali Silvestre de Sacy
A Camera 1st AC – Gabriel Thibault Langlois (part I and II) & Antoine Laurens (part III)
B Camera 1st AC – Antoine Le Corre (part I and II) & Thomas Collet (part III) 
Camera 2nd AC – Emma Guillotreau (part I), Alan Brexel (part Il) & Léa-Nunzia Correrias (part III) 
Camera Operator Additional – Quiterie Seguin Medrinal 

images: Vincent Fernandel