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Masterclass (3 replies and 2 comments)

griffinlymburn
2 years ago
griffinlymburn 2 years ago

Mr. Deakins,

Have you ever considered the possibility of teaching an online Masterclass on cinematography? I am sure that many others in addition to myself could benefit an incredible amount from your expertise in a more detailed and structured manner.

The suggestion is not intended to come off as saying this website is inadequate- what you have provided with this forum is incredible and your dedication to it consistently blows me away.

As a student of cinematography and someone who is always eager to learn, the possibility to formally learn fine details, go-to techniques, and tips of such an immensely skilled DP is undoubtedly enticing. 

And as always, your work on Blade Runner 2049 was nothing short of astonishing. I've already seen it three times 🙂

 

Roger Deakins
2 years ago
Roger Deakins 2 years ago

Three times! I am more than impressed.

As for a 'masterclass', I don't know what I could teach. I think to learn you need to do rather than watch. You really don't want to do what I do because it won't be yours. I never studied how any other cinematographer worked. Sure, I studied the results of what they did - the why - their aesthetic choices - but not how they got there. I never read an American Cinematographer magazine before I became a cinematographer and there was certainly no web site I could go to to get 'behind the scenes' information. I am not saying that is the best way to get on because I really regret not having such information. But.

I was waiting to do a Q&A the other night at the Academy and there was a picture on the wall from the shooting of 'Lawrence of Arabia'. It looked amazing. A huge wide tracking vehicle on massive wide gauge railway line running off into the desert. A hefty crane arm holding an equally hefty camera and operator. A Carbon Arc lamp and multiple silver reflectors. Dozens of crew members. This is a world away from some of the techniques used today. Some film makers would do that same shot with a drone and a camera crew of 4 people. No, it wouldn't be exactly the same shot but you get my point.

griffinlymburn
2 years ago

Mr. Deakins,
I understand why you believe one needs to learn, or experience, rather than watch. Being told "the way of doing things" could have the potential to reduce the individuality of a cinematographer, especially while still learning as I am. Clearly, in your case, you benefited from not having outside sources tell you how to handle your work when you were still learning, and as a result you developed a unique style that set you apart from the crowd.
Your thought on Lawrence (my personal favorite film from David Lean) was quite an interesting one as well. Techniques and approaches constantly change alongside the evolution of technology- clearly if you tried to utilize the lighting and camera support norms of 1962 in the modern day, most all of it would be obsolete, far too expensive, and much less efficient. By the time you're taught one technique someone has already invented a better way to do the same thing.

Daniel Keeble
2 years ago
Daniel Keeble 2 years ago

It's not the techniques that would make a wonderful 'Masterclass', it's something else I think. It's the reasons why certain decisions are made, the discussions of shadows and light, the nuance in a scene no one else would think to do....cinematography techniques can be found on YouTube every day...I'd much rather be guided into how to think outside the box.

Bala
2 years ago

Sir
This forum gave me confidence...there is nothing mr.deakins does or knows magic...what ever he do does and did simply studing light and doing it...so it encourages me to do the same...just shoot  if u not shooting film then try shooting stills... tomorrow am going to shoot some photographs based up on the knowledge I gained by being part of this forum...thank u sir for making others alive.

cikohine
1 week ago
cikohine 1 week ago

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