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Watch: 45-Minute Roundtable With Cinematographers For '12 Years A Slave,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis' & More

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by Kevin Jagernauth
November 18, 2013 5:32 PM
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Cinematographers Roundtable

After interesting chats with the talked about directors and screenwriters of the awards season, THR have turned their attention to another batch of behind-the-camera talent—the cinematographers. The result is another interesting, in depth talk about the magic of making movies. 

Barry Ackroyd ("Captain Phillips"), Sean Bobbitt ("12 Years a Slave"), Bruno Delbonnel ("Inside Llewyn Davis"), Stuart Dryburgh ("The Secret Life of Walter Mitty") and Phedon Papamichael ("Nebraska") take part in the conversation about their approach to the job, building relationships with filmmakers and the ever present issue of 3D (a discussion that seems lacking without the participation of "Gravity" lenser Emmanuel Lubezki). And of course, there's the topic of digital versus film and Delbonnel gives a very instructive anecdote about where things are headed.


"What's annoying me is, they are pushing toward digital but we have no choice. And I like to have the choice of saying, 'I think this movie should be done on film. On Super 8, or whatever.' But I have no choice. The choice is talking about what we want to achieve. And what I want to achieve is related to the script and the story, and then to where the director wants to direct it with the actors, with the production design. They always compare us to painters, which I think is wrong. But there is a major difference between watercolor and oil painting," he explained. "So I want to be able to say, 'Oh, this is the thing that I could do with watercolor instead of oil painting.' On Tim Burton's movie 'Big Eyes,' we wanted to shoot on film. And we shot in Vancouver, but the Vancouver and Toronto labs shut down, and we had to ship everything to L.A. And it cost a fortune. Going through customs and shipping and X-ray—we don't want that. So ultimately, Tim decided to go with digital because it's a low-budget movie."

Fascinating stuff and there's much more—watch below.

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