I had come across some great cinematography in other people’s movies. I had a lot of passion to make my own. I started out in the editing business as assistant editor, editing the trailer for the movie I was going to make.
At that time I did not know it was going to be in the cinematography business. We had our first trailer for it, and it was a nice trailer to work with. It didn’t take too long to make it to the cinema because my editor, Robert Green, had a big deal with it. Then we did the theatrical and then we moved to home video. I think I shot on my first reel of 35mm 35mm film. From there I started to go out and do everything that I was interested in doing.
If you shoot on 35mm film, it looks great. I use a ton of 35mm film stock, which I’ve never seen anything better than, I’ve never seen a better stock than the ones that I used in this movie. I’ve shot on 35mm for three movies. For the first one, there was an actor that made a really good impression on me. The next one, the actor was playing an actor and the actor got so nervous that he fell off camera. The second time I shot it, the actor was playing a character in one of the other scenes, and I was like, ‘Let’s shoot that.’ It was fun. It was good work.
What would your main tip be for a new cinematographer?
Do whatever that job is. In fact, you can make the most money doing something that you are not happy with. I’m a very big believer that when an editor comes back from a big job with a film to shoot something else, I think they are just doing it for the money and not necessarily because it’s fun.
You don’t have to do the most beautiful thing, I don’t think you have to do the most complicated thing. I’ve learned that the more I’ve edited, the more I’ve found that I’m not necessarily a bad editor, I just learned how to be a better editor. I’ve had some editors say they were surprised at how much they would charge me, how much they were paid; that was really interesting to me; I can only imagine how many films I’d had that editor be able to charge me.
How was it coming onto film and how did your relationship with your editor evolve over the years?
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