“…But I don’t want anybody while they’re watching the film go ‘Oh! that’s an amazing image,’ because suddenly they’re not in the story.”
said 12-time Academy Award nominated British cinematographer Roger Deakins (66) while joining Variety’s David Cohen on Sep29, 2015 to reveal his approach and explained to us what a cinematographer’s job really is. Deakins is the talented cinematographer behind films like “The Shawshank Redemption”, “A Beautiful Mind”, and almost every Coen Brothers film since “Fargo.” This all while the shooting the new drug war thriller “Sicario” from French-Canadian film director Denis Villeneuve (2nd coloration Deakins-Villeneuve after the Prisoners and 3rd will be Blade Runner2) . Deakins also mentioned why his approach sometimes gets him in trouble —
More from Variety Artisans Targeting Hollywood’s Below-the-Line Community.
To get familiarised with Deakins work. I highly recommend watching: ‘Shadows In The Valley’ — a brilliant tribute.
- DEAKINS: Shadows In The Valley – (VIMEO) (5.07min)
And the ‘Cinematographers Roundtable’ of THR. The cinematographers behind some of 2014′s and 2013′s most visually striking movies
- Into the Woods, Interstellar & Gone Girl: The Full Cinematographers Roundtable (Youtube) (39.55)
- Cinematographers Roundtable 2013
- Jacob T. Swinney’ Cinematography of 2014 (02.35)
“Light. Light I think is knowledge. Knowledge is love. Love is freedom. Freedom is energy. Energy is all. Without light, we can’t have images.”
Said one of my other favourite DOP and three-time oscar-winner, Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. Mr. Storaro said this in the 2006 Jon Fauer documentary: "Cinematographer Style" (TRAILER) (DVD) (Writing with Light : Vittorio Storaro – FULL DOC) (Book+DVD)
“Don’t just be interested in movies. Be interested in life. Be a person. Be in touch.” – Haskell Wexler, ASC.
The Society of Camera Operators began in 1979 as the Society of Operating Cameramen (SOC)—an organization dedicated to the advancement of the art and creative contributions of the Camera Operator in the Motion Picture and Television Industries. Continue reading here.
My personal favourites cinematographer are Gordon Willis (The Godfather), Haskell Wexler (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now), Vilmos Zsigmond (Deliverance), Peter Deming (Lost Highway), Remi Adefarasin (Match Point), Ernest Dickerson (Do the Right Thing) and yes, Roger Deakins (A Beautiful Mind).
Here some essentials for the devoted out there:
- Cinematographer Style – DVD,
- Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography – DVD,
- 4 February 2001, Interview by Stephen Burum, ASC and Stephen Pizzello – A Clash of Two Cultures – PDF,
- Top 10 Most Influential Cinematographers Voted on by Camera Guild
- Light and Shadow Greatest Cinematographers of the World, Interviewed – VIDEO,
- James Wong Howe: Cinematographer – VIDEO,
- In The Mood for Doyle – VIDEO,
- Cinéma Cinémas – Stanley Cortez ASC – 1984 – VIDEO,
- Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff – VIDEO (DVD),
- Greg Carson’s documentary about the work of cinematographer Sven Nykvist – VIDEO.
More from Deakins:
- Roger Deakins’ handwritten list of his 10 greatest movies here
- 15 Classic Documentaries Recommended By Cinematographer Roger Deakins here
- Read the 25 pieces of filmmaking advice from Roger Deakins here
- Roger Deakins discusses going digital with the Arri Alexa here
- NPR’s Radio interview – Roger Deakins, Keeping An Eye On The Small Things here
- Roger Deakins talks about one of his favorite scenes from “The Shawshank Redemption” here
- Roger Deakins talks about one of his favorite scenes from “No Country for Old Men” here
- Roger Deakins talks after a screening of “The Shawshank Redemption” here here
- Creative lighting and camera work in the “Assassination of Jesse James” here
- Painting With Pixels (O’ Brother, Where Art Thou) here
Enjoy! Photo credit: Nofilmschool