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Decision about aspect-ratio & how you work with director regarding their knowledge of camera, lenses and light? (5 replies and 5 comments)

JElm1DR
2 months ago
JElm1DR 2 months ago

Hello Roger,

How and when do make the decision on what aspect-ratio you would shoot a project?

Also, how do you decide the working relationship with your director when you find out the knowledge they have or lack regarding camera and light?

Film is light and darkness

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

I don't know how to 'decide' on a working relationship with a director, that just evolves as you work together.

Sometimes a director will have a particular aspect ratio in mind and sometimes not. It will then just become apparent during discussions rather than at any particular moment in prep.

JElm1DR
2 months ago
JElm1DR 2 months ago

Hello Roger and James

What do you think about the “Diversity Gap” in Cinematography, Sound, Production Design, and Editing? Looking at your page and Instagram you can see that it’s not very diverse.

As someone people look up to. Do you think you can play a role in getting a better representation of the word in the film industry?

For example, at the end of 2020 I was working on a big Event/Conference, and because of the lockdown post-production was working from home.

I was shocked to see from the 20 editors only two were female (one Asian) and only was one black (me).

Film is light and darkness

Mike
2 months ago

Je1m 1DR,
That is a very interestIng question you have asked. Have you thought of asking that question to the production company or even the sponsors of the Conference event.
At the same time ofcourse they employed you without asking you if you were where white or Black so it’s obvious they were not prejudice as to what colour you were, They wanted the best 20 people they could find in the time they had available, it is in-material what race or colour you were, they wanted 20 editors and got 20. When you employ people you don’t have time to decipher who is who, all you need to know is can they do the job. I think it’s best to put the question to the people who employed you, how were the other editors, were they all white, I don’t think so!

Does it really matter?

JElm1DR
2 months ago

Hey Mike,

I did say something and I've not worked with them after that project.
The head of the project was a big Trump supporter/donor and even met him
at the White House. He didn't like me bringing it up.
I think it matters because that's how we get more connected.

What do you think?

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

You seem to imply that this site is not very 'diverse' but the site is open to anyone and everyone. So, what are you saying?

JElm1DR
2 months ago

O, if that is how it sounds like, my apologies. No, I'm just asking for advice regarding the lack of diversity in general.
Is it that not everyone is interested in this industry, or not knowing that you can be part of this world?

I wonder what you think as someone I look up to, and the reason why I changed my direction in life.
I saw a documentary about you and Joel Cox, and that's how it started for me.
We met once in Santa Monica 10 years ago and it was so amazing to talk to you.

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

What do I think? You only have to listen to a certain loud mouthed senator holding forth the other day to realize how endemic the issue is.

The Byre
2 months ago
The Byre 2 months ago

Does it really matter?

Yes, it matters and it matters a great deal - and not just for those affected, but also for the industry.  

Imagine a restaurant that only hires cooks from the North of England - the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding may be fantastic and the shepherd's pie to die for, but what will the fajitas, burritos and quesadillas be like?

Imagine an engineering company that only hires graduates from one university.  Their buyers will all buy from similar sources, their engineers will all find the same solutions and their production staff will only know one way of doing things.

Despite my very Scottish name, I come from a family of immigrants and my first language is not English.  (I learned English by listening to comedy on the radio - The Goon Show, Round the Horn and I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again!)  Being that little bit 'different' and having a slightly different outlook on life for whatever reason, gives a person an advantage in many respects.

BUT - that person must be given a chance to exploit that advantage!  And if they are in an industry, a chance to enhance the industry by bringing that difference to the table.

It is in my opinion (for what it may be worth!) existentially important to any company or industry to use as diverse a workforce as possible.

JElm1DR
2 months ago

Hello Brye,

I totally agree with you.

so...Does it really matter?

I think others also think we need to close that gap:
"Ava DuVernay and Peter Roth have a plan to diversify crews. And Hollywood is on board"

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2020-12-29/ava-duvernay-peter-roth-hollywood-diversity-array-crew-database»

Mike
2 months ago

Interesting post but I actually was referring to the production company who
employed 20 editors for a conference, it seems that only one editor was black and suggested that the issue could be better answered by the employer.
Ofcourse, the ‘Diversity gap’ In all industries is being addressed by many
Goverment Departments to identify which areas of employment are better
represented by the less known cultures but the legal system Is well established and even this week was upgraded to protect employers and job applicants alike, choosing one culture over another is prohibited unless there is a very good reason for doing so. At the end of the day the ‘law’ will prevail, it is illegal to show prejudice when employing staff and btw it goes both ways. I have personally worked with many nationalities over the years and also employed about the same. When I worked in Kenya and Tanzania I was one of the few white folk so I know what it feels like to be prejudiced against. I was even attacked (1973) and beaten up by university students who were Pro “Mau Mau” supporters even though the movement had been curtailed in 1960. I have made a huge effort to treat everybody I meet with equality and show no prejudice despite where they are from, I am fascinated by my fellow human beings.
Learning about new cultures can be educational especially when you meet someone with a kindred spirit. How exciting is that.

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