Cinematography : Roger Deakins and the job of the cinematographer by Geoff Hall

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Geoff Hall

Roger Deakins and the job of the cinematographer

Roger Deakins on shooting 'Sicario' and the job of the cinematographer. A great interview and as usual, full of incite. http://nofilmschool.com/2015/09/cinematographers-job-not-to-create-amazi...

The Cinematographer's Job Is Not to Create Amazing Images: Roger Deakins on Shooting 'Sicario'
The Cinematographer's Job Is Not to Create Amazing Images: Roger Deakins on Shooting 'Sicario'
With the latest film to feature Roger Deakins behind the camera making its way through theaters, the legendary cinematographer recently sat down with Variety to provide some insight into how he shot it.
Randolph Sellars

Thanks for posting Geoff. Always informative to hear what the amazing Mr. Deakins has to say.

Geoff Hall

Thanks. I love his work. I thought that notion of the DoP not drawing attention to themselves and distracting the audience from the story is a challenge to us all

Nik Katenga

I remember watching the train robbery scene in "The Assassination of Jesse James." My goodness. Words cannot describe how wonderfully shot and lit that scene was. Roger Deakins is a master.

Randolph Sellars

Nik, I agree. One of the most amazing scenes ever from a lighting perspective. I think that film is one of his best among many great films.

Nik Katenga

Randolph - Definitely was among his finest work. It was truly stunning. I think that film as a whole is underrated. I thought it was an absolute masterpiece.

Geoff Hall

I think I need to watch that film again.

Amanda Toney

Thank you for sharing, Geoff!

Geoff Hall

my pleasure Shannon. always great to share such great talent.

Dylan Lee

Mmm, I see this interview has caused huge commotion between DOPs everywhere... I completely agree with everything he's stated but it still feels like only half of the job. It completely depends on the story. Sometimes they have almost no dialogue at all and depend completely on the impact of the cinematography and the overall feel of the visual imagery. Lighting plays a large part of this, but so do colours and camera movement. Not everything has to look pretty, with tons of DOF, light leaks, negative fill here and there and everything shot close-up in slow-motion, but the main focus of it is to stun the watcher with some visually arresting storytelling.

Geoff Hall

Hi Dylan, Well, it's always good to cause a commotion. I love Roger Deakins and can sense that English self-conscious thing of not drawing attention to yourself. I don't think a short interview is meant to give his full view of being a Cinematographer, but I took the gist of what he's saying as his fear, or concern that if people start analysing the shots, they'll loose the plot, the story. But you're probably a little like me Dylan, in that when you see a film you love, you buy the DVD and then knowing the story, you analyse those shots. The joy of discovery when you are watching a master of their craft, is something I can never grow old of, it never feels stale. There is always a sense of wonder. It was interesting though, when asked RD said he and Denis Villeneuve couldn't get their heads around shooting in a realist , almost documentary, style. Thanks for commenting. Best, Geoff

Geoff Hall

Hi Dylan, Well, I suppose it's always good to cause a commotion! However, I think I understand that English reserve and self-consciousness of not 'drawing attention to yourself'. I think what he's saying is that if people stop to analyse the shots they'll lose the plot, the story. He doesn't want to get in the way of the audience experiencing the story. For sure, a short interview won't give you the full story. Maybe you're like me, in that in seeing a film you love, you'll buy the DVD and then analyse the shots once you know the story. Watching a master of their craft at work never grows old, or stale. It was interesting to hear him him say that both he and Denis Villeneuve couldn't get their head around shooting it in a more realist, documentary style. Thanks for commenting. Best, Geoff

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