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Directors with more technical knowledge (1 reply and 1 comment)

1 month ago
rgsura 1 month ago

Hi Mr Deakins (I don't know your preferred way of being addressed),


One of my favorite movies from recent years is The Phantom Thread and as you may know, it had no DP, but rather Paul Thomas Anderson and a small team were the effective DP. Now there are two things that most would agree on, which is that the movie looks incredibly tasteful, and that PTA is one of the most technically knowledgeable directors around.


As you are my and a lot of people's favorite cinematographer, do you think that more directors should be more technically knowledgeable?

I do not intend to imply that they are not, but most likely, most could be a lot more. I also don't want to say that not having a DP would be a good thing. I might have been for Phantom Thread, but most likely it would not work as a rule, even if directors would be more technically adept. But I wonder if you as a DP (more importantly a DP of big films form which a lot is expected) would appreciate it more directors would be more similar to PTA in that regard.

Best regards,

Rigers Ura

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

Most directors have the technical knowledge that they feel necessary to doing the work their preferred way and that's fine. Some cinematographers have no desire to operate and I wouldn't suggest they should.

1 month ago

Some ‘younger fellers’ would like the opportunity to operate but are deprived of the chance as some DP’s are reluctant to let go of the camera. The next generation need to gain experience as they will be our future DP’s.

Invest in the young and they will secure our future is the best policy in my opinion.

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