The Deep End

The Deep End

On Perfecting Your Craft

In terms of progressing either as a technician
or, if you like, an ‘artistically-inclined technician,’ as long
as you keep practicing your art, it’s going to get better.

On Changing Styles

probably find that most DPs at some point—even the biggest DPs—do
a bum film. And they do a bum film because they want to change their
style; they want to experiment with something different. The nature
of somebody with a creative mind is that you get to a point where
you feel you’ve gone down a path you can’t go down further, so you
try another route.

On What He Has Learned in His Career So Far

I’ve learned a lot of things I should avoid!

On America’s Union System

America is a complicated place to work in because
of the union systems. The one thing that I find sad in the U.S.
is that some of the restrictions placed upon the union have a direct
effect on the filmmaking process, in terms of the creative process
and in terms of my work.

On the Relationship Between DP and Director

I’m a confirmed believer that you should always
do what the director asks you… A lot of people want to ‘discuss
it’ with the director [when] they should just do what the director

On the Hierarchy of Moviemaking

In the film system, everybody wants to be part of a
cooperative, but it actually works well as a hierarchy. And the
bottom line is you need one person on a set that has the power to
control everything completely, and that person should be the director!

On the Battlefield Earth Aftermath

The offshoot of being connected with a film that has
done badly commercially at the box office, even for a DP, is really,
really quite marked. So from the point where prior to Battlefield coming out you were a very marketable commodity, once the actual
film comes out and the film is described as a “stinker,” if you
like, I was very surprised about the direct effect on my career.
Like nothing came through the door! I was quite surprised that even
the technical people involved took such a hit.

On Working in Los Angeles

of the great things about being part of that system in LA is that
you know that you are part of the biggest moviemaking industry in
the world and that brings along with it a great deal of self esteem.
In LA, you tend to get a great deal of respect for the work you
actually do.

On Driving in Los Angeles

problem for a European driving in LA is not the actual driving—it’s
the architecture (laughs).