Bolex Paillard H16 Movie Camera

In the photo archives there are numerous shots with actors and filmmakers shooting with a Bolex H-series movie camera.  Big and stylish, it offered the tools one needed. It weighed about five pounds. The standard H-series was made from 1935 to 1947. The 16 mm spring-wound Bolex is a popular introductory camera in film schools. Then and now.

The experimental black and white filmmaking of Andy Warhol, shown working in 1965 with a Bolex H16 movie camera.

Directors such as David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, Steven Spielberg, Will Vinton, Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, and Spike Lee all began their careers shooting on Paillard-Bolex Cameras. David Lynch’s first short feature called ”Six Figures Getting Sick” was shot on a Bolex 16mm.

David Lynch on the set of Eraserhead. Photo by Catherine Coulson, courtesy of David Lynch.
James Dean using Bolex H16 on the set of Giant, 1955
Yvonne-de-Carlo (Lily from the Munsters) Holding Bolex H16 Movie Camera
James Dean using Bolex H16 on the set of Giant, 1955

Bolex was considered the best equipment for personal film and movie making. It was made in Switzerland featuring spring wound clockwork drive until 1971. The cameras were very expensive and are still used today.

Close up of Bolex Paillard H16 Movie Camera