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Episode 90 - BRADFORD YOUNG - Cinematographer (5 replies and 5 comments)

Reese Brucker
3 months ago
Reese Brucker 3 months ago

Team Deakins sits down with cinematographer Bradford Young for a great conversation. We talk about many things - among the topics are: his belief that the cinematography must always serve the story, how he chooses his projects, what his process is on starting a film, his lens choices and his desire to shoot it the way you want rather than fixing it in post. He shares his experiences on Arrival and that it was his first experience working with storyboards and also speaks about his work on Star Wars. We learn his unique way of lighting where he blacks everything and then adds light, “subtracting is adding”. And much, much more. You won’t want to miss this conversation with a true artist.

Please post further discussion and comments below.

Zach King
3 months ago
Zach King 3 months ago

Hearing him talk about how he blacks out the set and then starts to light was really eye opening and seems like a unique approach to lighting a scene. 

Karen R
3 months ago
Karen R 3 months ago

This was my favorite podcast so far. I love how he spoke about being an artist first and the importance of having a point of view. I haven't seen many of his films, but I am inspired to watch them all. Also love the Tarkovsky references. 

jonisaac
3 months ago
jonisaac 3 months ago

As an African American director, I fell in love with Bradford through his work, and how he uses his emotions to tell a story through light, and the lack of it. Over this pandemic, he has dropped many gems about how black filmmakers should allow our experiences and those of our ancestors to not only guide our stories, but to also guide our lens. It's hard trying to be a legit filmmaker, but even harder when you are black in America trying to fit inside an industry that doesn't see our work for what it is. Bradford is teaching us, as a person, to listen to our experiences, and to show them to the world through our own eyes, and to learn how to express our joy, pain, & trauma through shot selection, editing, and lighting. He is by far my favorite filmmaker, and my favorite cinematographer (Roger being #2), and I think you for speaking with him. I always learn something new every time he speaks, and more of a treat to have him speak with Roger and James. BEST. PODCAST. EVER.

The Byre
3 months ago

@jonisaac - your word is good enough for me. 'Arrival' blu-ray ordered. Will listen to the podcast tomorrow.

The Byre
2 months ago

The podcast was inspiring, the film was inspiringly well-shot and had a decent 7.1 sound design that was nicely immersive. I loved the way B.Y. talks about being experimental and taking risks. Too many people try to do things by the book and lose their innate originality!

jonisaac
2 months ago

True. A lot of DP's light and select angles based on what they think is best for a certain audience vs using knowledge and how everything FEELS to create or collaborate. Happy you enjoyed the film as I did.

thibaultmenufr
3 months ago
thibaultmenufr 3 months ago

Can someone explain his technique for "ain't them bodies saints" please ?

A 1200w with CTB through a grid of diffusion outside of the window?

Pretty sure I misunderstood or misheard.

Loved the film so I would love to know more.

Thanks

KimbAndDan
2 months ago
KimbAndDan 2 months ago

Such a great episode. Any chance someone caught all of the docs Bradford mentioned were influential to him? I think it was relatively early in the episode.

Erwan1809
2 months ago

Yes I'd like some help on that too! Not being a native english speaker makes it a bit complicated....

Roger Deakins asks the question at 11min 55 min here is what I got:

"films like The Hour of The Furnace, or the battle of Chile, that sort of fine line in between the two with like Battle out??? or the work of ??? like ???, Ashes ???... The first time I saw Killer Sheep [speaking about Killer of Sheep by Charles Burnett I guess?] I just almost fainted [...] ??? (loosing ground?) was a really big discovery for me, the work of Oscar Micheaux really turned everything I understood about cinema on its head"

Bradford then talks about this director before continuing at 13min 20s:
"someting like Within Our Gates or Paul?? and ??? or of course the fisrt time I saw School Days [silent film from the 20's?] it just really blew me away"

He then speaks about Andrei Tarkovsky's Andreï Roublev, Nostalghia and Sacrifice

I think that's it!

I'd be really interested to know if Roger and James have any documentaries to recomand as well! Some that really had a big impact on them!

Thanks!

ROG
2 months ago

Hi Erwan! You got ones that I didn't. I can help you out with one: Battle of Algiers

Cheers!!!

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