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Directors without interest on cinematography


Miguel Roman
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Hello everyone,

I find interesting the work of some filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson who seem to be quite knowledgeable about photography in general, but I was wondering if any of you can recall any film directors who are (or were) mostly interested in the content of their work and not so much in the form, letting the cinematographer take full control on the look of the film.

 

Thanks!

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David O. Russell for sure. He is interested in the story and acting only. The cinematographer must accept that her/she must blanket light for 360 degrees and plan on rolling continuously no matter what. 
 

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7 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

The cinematographer must accept that her/she must blanket light for 360 degrees and plan on rolling continuously no matter what. 

There are a lot of DP's who resort to this technique due to their directors. Based on your vast experience working on these bigger shows, how much do you see this? 

I actually use a similar technique on some of my stuff, where I will light a scene so the camera can move all over the place, but then bring in flags and some smaller sources to augment. 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

There are a lot of DP's who resort to this technique due to their directors. Based on your vast experience working on these bigger shows, how much do you see this? 

I actually use a similar technique on some of my stuff, where I will light a scene so the camera can move all over the place, but then bring in flags and some smaller sources to augment. 

Honestly, I used to see it but I don’t see that very much anymore. I hate to go back to JOKER, but that was a great example for NOT blanket lighting. I feel that Larry Sher was very brave to light that movie in a single source style. We never knew what Joaquin was going to do or where he was going to go. It was completely improvisational. Larry took the risk of letting him go dark, knowing that he would eventually come back into the light. It was a risk that paid off extremely well. 
 

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3 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

We never knew what Joaquin was going to do or where he was going to go

Here's the question: does he know that too? He's a very experienced guy and presumably knows full well if he wanders off into a dark corner he'll end up being invisible. Still, if he's getting into the part, and it looked like he was getting into the part, that sort of thing might slip someone's mind.

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23 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

Here's the question: does he know that too? He's a very experienced guy and presumably knows full well if he wanders off into a dark corner he'll end up being invisible. Still, if he's getting into the part, and it looked like he was getting into the part, that sort of thing might slip someone's mind.

Joaquin, like any experienced cinema actor, knows exactly where the lens is,  what the frame lines encompass and where his light is coming from. That kind of seasoned artist makes our job easier. 
 

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4 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

Honestly, I used to see it but I don’t see that very much anymore. I hate to go back to JOKER, but that was a great example for NOT blanket lighting. I feel that Larry Sher was very brave to light that movie in a single source style. We never knew what Joaquin was going to do or where he was going to go. It was completely improvisational. Larry took the risk of letting him go dark, knowing that he would eventually come back into the light. It was a risk that paid off extremely well. 

Yea that's a great example of how to do things isn't it? A lesson in perfect filmmaking in my view. 

Thanks for the reply, good to know. 

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The other day I watched “The Hunger” with Tony Scott’s commentary, and he mentioned a distinct change that occurred prompted by Stanley Kubrick and later British commercial movement, him and Ridley included, (I’d personally include Tarkovsky and possibly David Lean as other outliers) that ended the idea that the director could be agnostic to the lighting of the film.
 

They had shown how engrossing and engaging a very well coordinated photographic aspect could be. I forget who he mentioned specifically as the older studio type of disinterested director, maybe Robert Wise. If I put it on again, I’ll make a note of it. 

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Thanks for the comments; it is interesting what has been said about experienced actors being sensitive to light and lenses, which makes me think that it should be the same for experienced directors, I mean even if they have not studied lighting, composition, etc, they should have some knowledge after having worked for some time in the industry.

But going back to my initial inquire, It comes to mind some early work of Francis Ford Coppola, at least in films like Apocalypse now, where Storaro seems to have a big influence in the cinematography (like in most of the films he has shot, I think)

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