2017 • Cinematography • Backstage

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90th Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: Cinematography


Q. So congratulations on this ‑‑ the wait being over. Talk about that wait, I mean, starting the era of film stock, ending in the era of digits, and what’s that meant for the craft, and also following the classic in this instance?

A. I was just ‑‑ when we were coming to the Academy this evening ‑‑ or this afternoon, I was just reminded that one of the early films I did was SID AND NANCY with Gary Oldman, and it’s so wonderful to be here tonight with ‑‑ and Gary to be in the same space. You know? I don’t know. What can I say?

Q. I know there has been a lot of talk about sort of putting your own creative stamp on a movie that’s a sequel of something that’s become sort of iconic in the genre. I was wondering in BLADE RUNNER 2049 if you had also, beyond putting your own stamp on this movie, if there were parts of the film where you paid homage to the previous film?

A. I think you do in a way because it’s all part of your kind of film memory, if you like. But this is very much ‑‑ it was very much Denis’ film, you know? And, you know, whether you’re aware of the film that went before it, it’s like I couldn’t light like Jordan. I mean, I think what he did on that film was stunning, but I’m a different person, and I kind of see things slightly differently. So I have lost my train of thought. I’m sorry. I’m kind of…

Q. One of the most visually stunning sequences I think of the year was the fist fight between Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford and all the glitchy holograms going on in the background in the movie. What was the challenge of lighting and lensing in that particular sequence?

A. Well, the challenge that got me ‑‑ obviously, the holograms, they’re sort of elements that I put in later. The challenge was kind of syncing all of those elements together, creating a lighting pattern in which they would fit. You know, so we really had to kind of prep how the beats of that song were going to go, and how the pace of the fight was going to go. But it’s funny, that was one of the least challenging of all of them.

Q. You seem remarkably calm as always, but ‑‑
A. Not up there, I wasn’t.

Q. But what did it feel like to go up there?

A. You know, I mean, a big part of me was saying, Please, please, no. I find it very, very hard. But it’s great. I mean, I think it’s great because it’s ‑‑ I’ve now worked with a lot of the same people on my crew for years and years, and I feel it’s recognition for their work, you know? I really do. And I know they’re all kind of watching and, you know, in New York and London and Budapest, and I would like to have mentioned every one of them, because they were just ‑‑ it’s just great for them, I think.

Q. What was your reaction when Denis first told you about BLADE RUNNER?

A. Well, you kind of do a double take on it, really. But, I mean, because I’ve worked with him twice before it was a no‑brainer I was going to do it. I mean, I love Denis. I love the way he sees things, and the way he works. But, yeah, that kind of ‑‑ the idea of following up that original film was a little scary, to say the least, yeah.

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