FMP. Research. Christopher Doyle

Since watching his early work with Wong Kar-Wai, Christopher Doyle has always been a big inspiration to me with his work in cinematography. I like his whole attitude towards shooting and how he teaches other people about it. His whole style is about ignoring the technical, he loves the visual and getting the perfect, beautiful shot. Wong Kar-Wai is renowned for his beautiful films, but it’s the vision and the artistic eye of Doyle that makes it happen.

I want to learn from him, and look at his work and how I can utilise it in my own film. His stylistic clash of colours at sharp contrasts, either focusing in B/W or colour, or a mix of both. The way that movement is the most figurative expression of his art and that something doesn’t need to be ‘accepted’ by the film boffins with all their fancy terms and lens millimetres to be a good piece of work. I like how he doesn’t care, the technical doesn’t matter (well it does to an extent, but it doesn’t overpower), and instead it’s that freeness of doing. The open way the shots are constructed around a scene instead of ‘built’, more like a painter than a construction worker.

“Doyle’s comments about his theories on camera movement are equally interesting:

What happens with camera movement is what I call “the dance” between the actors and the camera. And I think that the dance is what really engages people. And how well we dance is really what camera movement is about. I always felt that the camera is in a very intimate relationship with the actors. They take me somewhere, and I go with them. And that’s what gives the actors their flexibility.”

Its techniques like these I want to utilise in my film, looking more through the camera at how the shot is physically composed, whether on the tripod or handheld or on the glide track. Is it a beautiful shot? Every shot should stand out and be beautiful. The way a shot will retain that beauty and yet gain something new either through movement or lighting, through the scene dimming, actors moving or the camera itself shifting position, and all the while nothing is planned and the shots are just done off the cuff for the best visual effect.

Myself, CUEAFS and Christopher Doyle. 2011 Underwater Love UK Premiere

Bibliography

youtube com/watch?v=8tqmBHZGx04

youtube com/watch?v=kQCkBV6rRcA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Doyle

http://www.theasc.com/asc_blog/thefilmbook/2013/07/23/christopher-doyle-interview-the-artistic-process/

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/07/masterclass-cinematography-dp-christopher-doyle/ – Quote above sourced from No Film School article.

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