The annual roundtable discussions curated by The Hollywood Reporter are conducted in this pandemic year via Zoom, rather than the participants being seated at an actual table. There’s an intimacy that’s lost by this physical separation. It’s a different vibe, but I think it still works. The first of these that I’m posting is a cinematographers roundtable, which I think is fascinating and informative. This will be followed by a video of Quentin Tarantino and cinematographer Roger Deakins debating shooting on film vs. digital. And finally, a video of Christopher Nolan and his cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema speaking on, among other things, how they strive to shoot as much in-camera as possible, with a minimal use of CGI effects.
Cinematographer Roundtable (Running time: 47:31)
Dariusz Wolski – News of the World (Amazon Prime)
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank (Netflix)
Mandy Walker – Mulan (Amazon Prime)
Tami Reiker – One Night in Miami (Amazon Prime) & The Old Guard (Netflix)
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (Hulu)
Damián García – I’m No Longer Here (Netflix)
The discussion is moderated by Carolyn Giardino of The Hollywood Reporter.
These are very sharp people who know what they’re doing, and this comes across. Something that Erik Messerschmidt says particularly got my attention: “I think cinematographers are over-credited for how movies look and under-credited for how the stories are told…Cinematographers end up taking a lot of credit for things that belong to the production designer or the costume designer.”
And now the full discussion.
Quentin Tarantino & Roger Deakins on Digital vs. Film (10:04)
Tarantino sounds a little crazy in his delivery, like Daffy Duck blowing a fuse in a Warner Bros. cartoon. But he always seems excitable and very enthusiastic. That’s who he is. Roger Deakins is definitely the calmer of the two, and also more realistic on the issue.
Christopher Nolan & Hoyte van Hoytema on shooting in-camera (10:15)
It’s interesting that in this video Christopher Nolan holds a view similar to Tarantino’s regarding the value of film over digital, but he explains his views rationally and technically. He’s much less emotional than Tarantino.
Roundtables on directors, producers, writers, documentary film, and more will follow shortly. Meanwhile, stay safe. — Ted Hicks