Deakins talks about his personal connection with the art of cinematography and his love for creating images. It’s interesting to hear him talk about the fact that he doesn’t think he really has any particular style, but that his style changes depending on the project he is on.
For Deakins, digital hasn’t really changed the way he works. He says that the biggest benefits are mainly to do with the size and weight of the cameras, and that digital allows you to take more risks. Deakins also likes to do a lot of the camera operating himself, and says that because of the lower weight of todays cameras he could see himself hand holding shots even when he reaches his nineties.
Roger was a keen and talented photographer, and this led to him being hired to create a photographic documentary of his home town, Torquay. He then attended the National Film and Television School in Buckinghamshire before finding work as a cameraman, where he filmed documentaries around the world. Deakins was eventually hired to film several documentaries in Africa. His first, Zimbabwe, was a depiction of the genocide after Zimbabwe’s civil war. His second, Eritrea – Behind Enemy Lines, was another depiction of conflict, this time within the borders of Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
From there, as they say, the rest is history. Deakins went on to lens some of the most beautifully shot motion pictures of our time. From No Country for Old Men to Skyfall, and now Blade Runner 2049, Roger has proven himself time and time again to be one of the best in the business. It’s hard to believe that he has been nominated 13 times for a Best Cinematography Oscar, but has never won.
The interview is just one of many conducted with industry legends as part of Arri’s 100th birthday celebrations. Roger also has a very good website where he takes time out to answer questions and engage with his audience. It’s well worth checking out.