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Uniqueness in Cinematography (4 replies and 5 comments)

GianniRanzuglia
2 months ago
GianniRanzuglia 2 months ago

Hi Roger,

I hope all is going well at your end. Before you've mentioned that you don't think you have a style and my curiosity perked up because you always manage to deliver really great-looking work; my personal favorite being Sicario.

You are considered to be one of the greatest, if not, the greatest cinematographer on our planet, and I was hoping to hear from your end (rather than from a youtube channel) what makes people think that highly of you.

Could you be able to elaborate from your own opinions what makes you so unique and your work very memorable? And if you wouldn't mind answering this as well, what has inspired you to create these looks or approaches to filmmaking?

Thanks for your time!!

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

I really don't know what to say. I began not knowing what I was going to do with my life and I have ended here. Was it luck, taking chances when they came or dogged persistence. I have no idea how it happened and even less why people think my work is so great. I certainly don't have such a high opinion of it myself.

When I say I don't have a style I think it is true. I don't consciously try to work in one particular way or another. I am pretty much instinctive so, if I am any good, it is because of my life experiences and how they have shaped me.

Mike
2 months ago

Would you say that your instinct was inherited from your mother or fathers side, after all he was selected to join the SAS during the war, you have to be fairly robust to be selected and perhaps that’s where you got your determination from, you must admit there’s an element of mulish in your character which obviously has been
useful in seeing the job through. This characteristic I would say, contributed to your reputation as the worlds most successful DP, consistently talented despite the setbacks, you always manage to deliver a ‘freshness’ to every project you take on, you love a new challenge and I think that what spurs you on.

GianniRanzuglia
2 months ago
GianniRanzuglia 2 months ago

Thanks for your reply Roger!

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

Yes, after being one of the last soldiers evacuated from France, some 10 days after Dunkirk, my dad joined the SAS. He would call himself 'bloody minded' and he must have been to survive all he had experienced during the war. Maybe I have a little of that!

Mike
2 months ago

Your Father must have trained at “Spean Bridge” at some point, it was nicknamed “Death Valley” by those that attended. You need to be very hardened to get through the course, that experience must have surely been passed down through the genes. I think your Father must have been an extremely determined man. Rather good in business, I would imagine. Ofcourse, as a child you see parents in a different light and never see who they really are which is a pity.

The Byre
2 months ago

There used to be a Paras v. Marines 10-mile uphill run with pack for cadet Marines and/or Paras and ex-Marine/Paras. I took part in 2001 with an old ex-2 Para buddy of mine. He really did his best but came in last as he had put on a hell of a lot of weight in the 28 years since he was out of the regiment. He died shortly afterwards.

The Paras won, I came in second in my section, behind a guy who had just left 3-Para. The run began at the village pub and went up the hill to the monument, then down into the valley and uphill another seven miles.

The Byre
2 months ago

I forgot to mention that the village in question was Spean Bridge.

Mike
2 months ago

Lovely story, you must have been very fit at the time, those marches are lethal.
My uncle was a RM and trained at Spean Bridge during early 1944. He was on one of the first landing craft on “D” day but he struck a submerged “hedgehog” attached to a mine on Sword beach and half of his section disapeared! Four years ago I went to put some flowers on his grave but President Obama was visiting the cemetery at the time and so couldn’t get in. Went to a US cemetery instead and laid flowers there. Btw, Piper Bill Millin was a pal of mine ( he was much older ofcourse) so I attended the unveiling of his statue
on Sword Beach. He gave me an exact account of his landing. He became deaf at the end of the day due to the navy shelling so couldn’t hear himself play the pipes. He was supposed to be in the 1962 ‘Longest day’ film but they substituted him with an extra, due Union issues, he was hopping mad!.

Sorry Roger, seemed to have gone off topic.

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

Don't be sorry. Its all interesting!

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