Posted on by
Back to Lighting...

Roger Deakins-Questions (1 reply)

1 month ago
MatzPicko 1 month ago

Dear Roger,

Firstly I would like to say how much I admire your use of colour and limits of Cinematography to create such amazing pieces of brilliant pictures such as True Grit. 

So Mr. Deakins I just have a few questions, about how you frame, block and organise your shots that I was wondering if you could answer.

  • How do you prepare to block a shot before actual filming begins?
  • What advice is critical in early production and creation of capturing the correct shot? 
  • When filming shots how do you prepare if changing the performance of the narrative/angle and how do you find this aides or in what way can it gives to certain narrative?
  • How do you relay or what is most important for making a good shot, what do you think of that immediately hooks in the audience? 
  • How can you prepare from a short film to a full length film and what advice would you give about adequate set up?

I hope you and all are keeping well.

Many Thanks



Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

You can probably learn more from our podcasts than I can tell you here.

Selecting the perspective on a scene and each individual shot come out of discussions during prep, possibly storyboarding and then blocking rehearsals on set with the actors. In my experience, no matter how much you prep and storyboard no shot is settled upon until you are working with the actors in the real space.

A good shot reflects and builds on what is going on in the scene, whether a close shot of a character or a wide overview. There is a real difference between a good shot, one which enhances the narrative, and a beautiful shot, which might only distract.

What 'hooks' the audience should be the story and the character development. I don't see it that a shot by itself 'hooks the audience'. Of course, a shot, such as that which opens 'A Touch of Evil', can do just that, but it works because it engages the viewer in the story set up and not just because its a 'cool' shot. Story and shot have to work in conjunction with one another.

Back to Lighting...