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Watching films for reference (2 replies and 1 comment)

BM459
3 months ago
BM459 3 months ago

Hi Roger,

I am curious, when prepping a project, do directors ever ask you to watch films as a reference for what they are trying to achieve visually? And if so, do you do it, and do you find it a useful tool? I am frequently encouraged by collaborators (I am a director) to make look books and give reference films for the look I want, but I never think it's a good idea, as I'm not trying to achieve the look or tone of another film. I always feel that the story is the only thing guiding the look of the film in my mind's eye. I tend to lean towards a naturalistic style, so I could point towards other naturalistic films, but I'm never sure how helpful it would be. I would love to know your thoughts, and anyone else's on this matter.

Thank you.

Roger Deakins
3 months ago
Roger Deakins 3 months ago

I think looking at other work can be useful at starting a conversation. I think it can be useful to do a 'look book' on a project like 'BR2049' but its not by any means necessary. Besides, everyone has a different approach.

BM459
3 months ago

That's very interesting to hear. Thank you. What sort of things did you include in the look book for Blade Runner 2049? I am assuming it was more along the lines of photography, than other films. I suppose it is definitely useful for worldbuilding in science fiction, but would you have found it at all useful on, say, Prisoners?

Roger Deakins
3 months ago
Roger Deakins 3 months ago

For 'Prisoners'? Not so much. For 'BR 2049' we referenced all sorts of images from architecture to weather to geology to fashion.

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