The performance of SHALLOW by Bradford Cooper and Lady Gaga at the 2019 Oscars was captured in a single-shot Steadicam “Oner”. The scene is beautifully sober, with simple backlighting and a staging and camera movement that ends up with a stunning close-up of their two faces.
As Lady Gaga recounts to Jimmy Kimmel, Bradford Cooper conceived and directed the entire performance, just as he directed the film “A Star is Born”. Indeed, one of the distinctive approaches of the movie is to shoot all the musical performances only from the stage, to bring the audience into the world of the performers.
Here too, the Steadicam operator starts behind the curtain at the back of the stage, then moves forward to meet the actors, but stays behind them facing the audience throughout, and the camera’s closeness to the actors give us a feeling of intimacy. Cooper also asked for an amber backlight on the audience that brings them into the performance, while keeping them anonymous.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga perform Shallow at the 2019 Oscars