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Directors from theatre backgrounds versus directors from film/TV (1 reply)

Shyam Ediriweera
3 months ago
Shyam Ediriweera 3 months ago

Hi Roger,

I was reflecting on the Team Deakins podcasts with John Crowley and Sam Mendes, both of whom have had extensive experience as theatre directors.

I appreciate that it is not appropriate to generalise, but I was hoping I could trouble you to provide, if possible, any observations about your experiences, in terms of the Director-DP collaboration, with directors that have a background in theatre, in contrast with those directors work purely in film/TV?

I am particularly curious about whether the respective approaches may differ significantly in regard to:

1. designing shots for a scene, in terms of coverage, lens choice and camera movement;

2. how prescriptively storyboards/shotlists are followed versus experimenting with variations in blocking, or execution, on the day of shooting.

Thank you very much and kind regards


Roger Deakins
3 months ago
Roger Deakins 3 months ago

Every director has a different approach and I would not single out that as being a 'norm'. There are directors who will say they have little experience of the camera but that is not because they have come from theatre any more than they have been writers. Both Sam and John are very knowledgeable about camera and lenses. They will storyboard but also investigate a scene on set with their actors, just as will any other director who loves their job.

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