So with a little time on my hands over the long weekend I decided to put together a little series on Roger Deakins ASC work.
I know it is cliche to be a cinematographer and love his work but why fight it. He is one of the best. Plus he has a website where he actually answers questions about all his films. It is a great learning tool.
Anyway, I have a short film I’m about to begin prep on that has an extended dialogue scene at a restaurant between 4 characters. I looked over all of Mr. Deakins work in restaurants and started breaking down the lights, lensing, composition, and shot sequences. Now Mr. Deakins has said that he would be horrified if he found out people are breaking down his work thinking it is the correct way to do something. The idea of copying his work is not what I had in mind when I started this exercise. I am simply trying to better understand why he does what he does in order to further my own style and narrative voice.
Studying cinematographers of all styles at the top of their game can help develop a library of possibilites and solutions to problems that may arise. The actual shooting and photographic ideas will still be my own.
If you are interested in checking out one of the 18 scenes I looked at from Roger you can find the PDF here: