Roger Deakins on Why Cinematography and Visual Effects Should Not Be Separate Crafts

IndieWire | 9/16/2019 | Staff
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All too often in today’s big budget tentpoles, the visual effects can feel painted on to the frame — a distinct layer separate from the live action caught on camera. According to 14-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins, whose new film “The Goldfinch” opened this past weekend, the problem often stems from the cinematographer not being involved in the visual effects process.

“You’ve got one pair of eyes creating a kind of lighting and palette on a frame and then somebody else comes on,” said Deakins, a recent guest on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast. “It’s like two painters, Jackson Pollock doing an addition to Turner painting. It’s not going to work is it? Even though both are technically great artists – that’s probably the wrong way to talk about it, but you’re looking at one thing and some else comes along and they look at something else in a different way. I think you have to somehow be involved.”

Deakins - Resistance - Production - Cinematographer - Effects

Deakins said there is often a resistance from production for the cinematographer to be involved in visual effects, but he’s been fortunate to have worked with directors who have pulled him into the fold.

Deakins said part of the problem of the effects-and-cinematography disconnect stems from cinematographers not being able to explain how they see the lighting of the shot to the visual effects department.

Set - Shot - Effects - Team

“When I’m on set talking about a shot with the effects team and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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