Composition

Back to Composition...

Camera angles and creating a sequence (2 replies)

shenzo
2 weeks ago
shenzo 2 weeks ago

Dear Roger,

One of the many reasons I love your work is how you place the camera and build sequences to tell the story in the most natural way. All the camera angles that you choose are intricate to the whole and almost don't exist for themselves. Nothing feels ever 'forced' or 'incoherent' or 'showing off'. You often says (paraphrasing) that cinematography should not call attention upon itself and if that's the case, then the cinematographer may have failed.

I am interested in your process of translating a scene on the page into a sequences of images, how do you approach it, and even if it is possibly mostly by instinct, if there are certain things that you try to pay attention to or be aware of?

Thank you.

Roger Deakins
2 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 2 weeks ago

Of course, so much of the shot construction comes out of discussions with the director. Sometimes shots are planned out in detail even before real pre production starts and at other times they are only considered on the day of the shoot during blocking rehearsals. Either way, for me it is purely an instinctive reaction to the script and to the way the actors block a scene on set. I have no rules and nothing noted down that I need to consider.

shenzo
1 week ago
shenzo 1 week ago

Thanks, Roger. I hear that your reaction to the script inform your choices for camera placement, lighting etc. rather than other technical considerations. It definitely feels like that. What if a specific scene does not have a clear emotional tone and the characters intention. Do you then spend more time on these with the director, hoping that he/she has a clearer sense of what's happening there? What if they don't, and yet you are already the DP on the project?

Back to Composition...