Posted on by


Back to Composition...

How does performance inform your decision making? (1 reply and 1 comment)

5 months ago
noahwhodgson 5 months ago

Hey Roger! On the podcast episode about The Assassination of Jesse James, you said something along the lines of "when you have such great actors, you don't have to do much." I was wondering if I could get you to elaborate on this further!

For instance, if an actor is delivering a really excellent performance, does that change the way you shoot a scene? Do you light differently? Choose different shots, or less coverage even? Does a great performance enable a simpler approach to a scene?

Conversely, if an actor is struggling to get the performance a director is trying to garner from them - do you feel the need to compensate for this in any way as a cinematographer?

I appreciate these questions don't necessarily have simple answers, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on these topics!

Roger Deakins
5 months ago
Roger Deakins 5 months ago

If a director is unhappy with a performance you might shoot more shots and also shots that you hadn't initially intended to shoot, so that a performance can be built in the edit. I can honestly say that I can only remember having to do this when working with some young children.

4 months ago

> so that a performance can be built in the edit.

Russ Meyer was a master of this...

Back to Composition...