Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cinematography according to Roger Deakins

If you are familiar with the art of cinematography then a name you have surely come across is Roger Deakins. Even if you haven't heard of him you've certainly heard the name at nearly every Oscars for the last decade or more. He has been nominated more than a dozen times for best cinematography. Some of his most recognized films are Shawshank Redemption, No Country for Old Men, Fargo, and Skyfall. His latest film is Sicario.
In a recent interview he gives one of the best quotes in cinematography I think I've heard. "The thing about cinematography is you're not there to shoot amazing images. I don't want anybody to look an image and go oh that is a good image, because then i'm removing them from the story." Everybody these days is looking for that amazing image. Cameras are getting better, timelapses and drones are becoming more popular everyday. All these things create amazing footage but how does this tell a story? I have seen dozens of videos of timelapse and drone footage. While its beautiful it doesn't push the narrative.
Breaking Bad is a great example of a good use of timelapses. In some of their episodes they use time lapse as a way to go from one episode to another. Going day to night or even changing months. Just because they aren't often done for storytelling reasons doesn't mean you can't push them to help your narrative. Jake Boritt Films is a company I worked for two summers ago and their most recent film was called The Gettysburg Story. It retold the 150 year old story of the battle of Gettysburg through time lapse and drone cinematography. It worked incredibly. While the footage was incredible it also told a cohesive story that was at times even enhanced because of the way it was shot.
Roger Deakins is so popular because he will always do what the story NEEDS to be told. Thats why he has shot so many films and won so many awards. He doesn't bother himself with the small things. He doesn't view himself as anything special he just does his job, incredibly might I add. He even has been in trouble for not glamorizing famous actresses. He views them as characters. So here's a reel of some of Roger's most amazing work. Still amazing images.


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