Vittorio Storaro recalls the photographic challenges he confronted during the tumultuous production of Francis Ford Coppola's hallucinatory Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now. Interview by Stephen Burum, ASC and Stephen Pizzello [pdf].
A cinematographer has to design and write a story, starting at the beginning, through the evolution to the end. That’s why I consider my profession is as a writer of light. —Vittorio Storaro
Speaking of Writing with Light, here’s masterclass in lighting from Oscar-winning cinematographer Dean Semler, who won the Academy Award for his cinematography on Dances With Wolves. [thanks to refocusedmedia]
Also recommended viewing:
- Lighting Dead Poets Society, John Seale conducts a masterclass workshop in the studios of the Australian Film, Radio and Television School in Sydney
- Don McAlpine and Denis Lenoir light the same shots from the same dramatic script in this back-to-back masterclass workshop, vividly demonstrating how differences in creative style and approach affect the impact and tone of the scene
- Location lighting with Geoff Burton. Many years of location lighting experience have been condensed into this masterclass workshop
The following is required viewing:
110 of the world’s top cinematographers discuss the art of how and why films look the way they do. Cinematographer Style is about the Art and Craft of Cinematography. It is about how everything, from life experiences to technology, influences and shapes an individual’s visual style. Because of the powerful impact that the visual style of a movie can have, this documentary may offer contemporaries valuable insights into the dramatic choices Cinematographers make. And, it is expected that the material will have significant historic value as well.
Roger Deakins in Cinematographer Style: “Lenses are really important to me,” says Deakins, after which we get an in-depth discussion on working with the Coen Brothers and how to shoot with the audience in mind. A great conversationalist, how can one not listen to this man speak about film?
In The Mood for Doyle (2007). Christopher Doyle is one of the best known and most acclaimed directors of photography in world cinema. Born in Australia, he sees himself as an Asian citizen rather than a Westerner. His artistic contribution to the films of Wong Kar-wai, Zhang Jimou and Fruit Chan films, among others, is indisputable. Filmed in DV and Super8, this documentary is a kind of wild and stylized road movie — from Bangkok to Hong Kong, via New York. The camera follows this eccentric and outrageous artist as he gives us his thoughts on his past and present work. From the recent sets of Invisible Waves by Thailand’s Pen ek Ratanaruang, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, to the locations in Hong Kong where he shot some of his most famous pictures, such as In The Mood for Love and Dumplings, Chris Doyle talks about his cinematic fascination for Asian culture.
“You see the world, you end up in jail three or four times, you accumulate experience. And it gives you something to say. If you don’t have anything to say then you shouldn’t be making films. It [has] nothing to do with what lens you’re using”. —Christopher Doyle