How has digital capture changed the filmmaking process?
I come from a still photography background, so I have been postproduction- dependent from the beginning. It’s a completely different approach to cinematography. Before digital there was so much pressure on set to have the right filter and equipment needed for your look, and that compromised the relationship between the DP, director, and actor. I did a film in the mid-1980s where I committed everything to a visual proposal on the film, and then after it was edited, there were so many things that I wanted to change. The film flows in a certain pace and a certain rhythm, and maybe you want to change the contrast or the color saturation for some scenes; now you can do it all in post. I believe so strongly in the power of editing and being free to choose afterwards, away from the stress of set. I have a joke on set, I say: “Quantity is better than quality,” because I can get the quality in editing. Let’s give the editing teams as many shots and camera positions as we can, because the real truth comes out in the editing.
How have ARRI and its products affected your industry?
When ARRI came out with the RAW sensor that’s like negative film, it gave us cinematographers so much liberty. The sensor that ARRI has is beautiful, it’s perfect. I’m very happy that ARRI is at the forefront of the film industry because there is constant research being done, and these discussions with cinematographers help in bringing out new cameras. It’s nice to know that ARRI works so closely with cinematographers, and now we have a camera that I have no complaints about.
Photos: © 2017 Universal Pictures (2), Robin Le Chanu (1)