Episode 39 - HOYTE VAN HOYTEMA - Cinematographer (5 replies)
Team Deakins talks with celebrated cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema for a fascinating conversation. He shares his experience of working with directors, Christopher Nolan and David O Russell. He talks about the value of shooting as much as possible in camera and how he approaches lenses, often creating a set specifically for a movie. We learn about how working with Christopher Nolan the second time on Dunkirk was different and he goes into detail on shooting in IMAX, talking about the pros and cons. He also shares his opinions on working with a large budget and a small budget. And there’s plenty more. You don’t want to miss this!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Dunkirk, Ad Astra, Interstellar
Please post further discussion and comments below.
Thank you so much for doing these amazing podcasts with such truly brilliant guests! I'm looking forward to all the episodes that are yet to come.
At 1:23 Roger says “I mean I would love to delve into how you light” but then stops himself. James could you help get some of those things in the podcast.
I love these discussions and would love nudging them slightly to some technique and current feelings on filmmaking over personal history.
This was a great pod, I really admire Hoyte's work. I think he's got shooting space movies down along with working with big budgets. It's been interesting hearing both Hoyte and Linus Sandgren talk about working with David O. Russel. Hoyte divulged more of what I have read about working with him, but I admire Roger and James even more for sticking with directors that they have a great working relationship with. The directors who make a set and the cast and crew feel like one big family are the ones I would want to work for too.
It was such an amazing story of the struggles Hoyte went through before landing his big break in a tv series and then filming 'Let the Right One In'. It was a funny story when he mentioned he was in his apartment smoking cigarettes and unemployed, but he came through extremely fast up the ranks. You can even see in his early student short films that he was incredibly gifted.
I really enjoyed his work in 'Tenet', which I think is a film with many layers of information, I don't know how to explain it, but if you look deep enough it's quite scary that something like this might really exist. I don't believe Christopher Nolan makes fantasies and Hoyte really makes it believable. I didn't like Nolan's early films with Wally, and I wasn't a huge fan of The Dark Knight, because those films existed in a very stylized movie world, whereas Tenet, Interstellar feel like something that really happened, don't know if that makes any sense.
I forgot to add, was Hoyte a film enthusiast? I know he didn't pick up a camera when he was a kid like The Coen brothers or Christopher Nolan who made Super-8 films with his brother. He came into it quite late in his adult life. I find a lot of filmmakers aren't exactly "fans" of films, I mean they have their own personal library of films that have made a difference (usually Criterion/Janus type of obscure titles), but it's not the reason they do it, they have this natural intuition and those type of filmmakers are usually a little more innovative because they're thinking of different ways to tell a story and not relying on what was done seventy years ago. There may be fragments of inspiration here and there, but they differ from filmmakers like Martin Scorsese who reinvents films of the past. It was a great episode, I can't believe it's free.
Maybe next time you should have Reed Morano, she really went for something different in Rhythm Section, it was offbeat, but I quite liked it, I just don't feel movies need to explain themselves so much and critics blasted her for that reason, but who cares about the critics, she's great.