Thomas Ackerman and Joe Johnston
Thomas Ackerman with Joe Johnston on the set
of Jumanji (1995).

Approach every project as if it were your first. Be
open to where it takes you.

Break your own rules. Photography should be inspired,
not habitual.

Get an office as close as possible to the art department.
Shooting isn’t a solitary process. The more access you have at an
early stage, the more you can influence what will one day be in
front of the lens.

Work with the best people.

Hire a gaffer and key grip who are impeccably well-organized.
That way you spend your time on set lighting, not getting ready
to light.

Keep your sense of humor. It’s like one brain surgeon
said to the other, “Ease up, my man, at least we’re not shooting
a movie.”

Respect your crew and give them the leadership they

Cinematographers should be able to explain how they
see things. Since production time is expensive, we can’t “show”
unless we “tell.”