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MAT BERGEL - Props
Season 2 Episode 4 MAT BERGEL Props Team Deakins is so pleased to welcome props maestro Mat Bergel (ROBIN HOOD, HUGO, TRAINSPOTTING) to the podcast. Mat starts this conversation by detailing how he got into the movie business through managing restaurants, and landed in the props department. He explains why some of the hardest work for the props team involve eating, drinking, and smoking scenes. We talk about the different kinds of acting styles that relate to props, and why some actors latch onto them, while others seem to dismiss them out of hand. Then things get exciting with tales of jostled Faberge eggs, missing Rolex watches, and a stolen Picasso! You won’t want to miss this one!
|Sep 28, 2022|
TOBY JONES - Actor
Season 2 Episode 3 TOBY JONES Actor In this episode, Team Deakins sits down with the talented actor, Toby Jones (TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, INFAMOUS, THE HUNGER GAMES, ATOMIC BLONDE). We touch on a lot of subjects during the conversation including the all important relationship between an actor and a director. We talk about what an actor needs from a director and the necessity of sharing a common vision with the director. Toby also speaks about the responsibility and the freedom of playing figures from history. And we drill down to some practical points such as how to use the props without relying on them and the different processes of different actors. A very articulate look into the work of an actor that you won’t want to miss!
|Sep 21, 2022|
ROD MCLEAN - Art Director
SEASON 2 - EPISODE 2 ROD MCLEAN - ART DIRECTOR
Team Deakins looks into the role of the art director with the talented Rod McLean (BLADERUNNER 2049, ZERO DARK THIRTY, 1917). We have a lot of fun delving into his role and cover such topics of the advantages/disadvantages of shooting a location or set, the difficulties of a far location, working on small movies and the fragility of creativity. Rod is very generous in sharing his knowlege and experience. A lot of information in one episode! Don't miss it!
|Sep 14, 2022|
RICHARD CHEAL - Special Effects
SEASON 2 - EPISODE 1 RICHARD CHEAL - Special Effects
Team Deakins is joined by Special Effects (SFX) Technician RICHARD CHEAL (THE BATMAN, SPECTRE, STAR WARS) and we learn lots about the world of SFX. Richard tells us how the SFX team collaborates with many departments in the aim of making the shot the best it can be. The relationship of SFX and the DP is examined. And we go into detail about many shots in THE BATMAN and learn what they entailed. It was a very thorough look at the many aspects of Special Effects. You won't want to miss this episode.
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: The Batman
|Sep 07, 2022|
EPISODE 163 - Byways
Team Deakins discusses Roger’s new book BYWAYS as we head into a hiatus from the podcast. In this episode, we discuss what taking stills gives to Roger that film does not, how he enjoys observing things and places, how there is no pressure to shoot anything specific, what he likes to take images of, and why he prefers to shoot in black and white. We talk about his time shooting for the Beaford Archive and developing his eye. He likes dedicating his day to shooting on his stills camera and he only takes iPhone photographs when he’s fishing. We discuss our incredible and collaborative experience working with Damiani, the publishers of BYWAYS.
IMAGES WE DISCUSSED: The Joy of Flight (72), Budapest Runners (116), and Lightning Strikes (131)
|Oct 31, 2021|
Roberto Schaefer - Cinematographer
EPISODE 162- Roberto Schaefer - Cinematographer
Team Deakins is joined by cinematographer Roberto Schaefer (THE KITE RUNNER, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, MONSTER’S BALL) for a great conversation. In this episode, we discuss Roberto’s journey into the industry (a serendipitous one). Roberto talks about his experiences working with directors Christopher Guest and Marc Forster, both of whom he has collaborated with many times. We learn what Roberto’s approach was to lighting the film Best In Show and how he will not take a job if his initial reaction is clouded with doubt – he believes in following your instincts! We discuss the lighting cameraman, preserving a single vision while shooting multiple cameras, the rise of sky panels, shooting for television, and much more!
|Oct 27, 2021|
Peter Kohn - Assistant Director
EPISODE 161 - Peter Kohn - First Assistant Director
Team Deakins sits down with first assistant director Peter Kohn (LA LA LAND, BIRDMAN, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN) for a conversation. In this episode, Peter tells us how his father’s career in the industry influenced his aspirations and his taste in films– he loves watching and working on musicals. Peter shares stories from working on the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and Birdman, working with Gordon Willis, and doing smoke on the set of Ridley Scott’s The Duellists. Together we talk about what makes a successful assistant director, having a big first day on set, the many factors that dictate the shooting schedule, and even car work. Peter also sneaks in a few questions about 1917!
|Oct 24, 2021|
Sturla Brandth Grøvlen - Cinematographer
EPISODE 160 - Sturla Brandth Grøvlen - Cinematographer
Team Deakins enjoys a great conversation with cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (ANOTHER ROUND, VICTORIA, HEARTSTONE, RAMS). In this episode, we learn that Sturla attended school until he was 31, but over the course of the interview, we find out it was well worth it! Sturla talks about shooting Songs for Alexis, his first documentary film, and explains what Scandinavian Folk high schools are. He tells us that he didn’t show his work to the outside world until his final year at the National Film School of Denmark, which dared him to fail and allowed him to focus on developing his artistic sensibility. Together we discuss Victoria and how they decided to shoot it in real-time without cuts, working with harsh weather conditions while filming Rams, and Sturla’s visual inspiration for Heartstone. Sturla also tells about his experience working with Thomas Vinterberg (Episode 101) on his film, Another Round. Tune in!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Victoria
|Oct 20, 2021|
Robert Eggers and Jarin Blaschke - Director & Cinematographer
EPISODE 159- ROBERT EGGERS & JARIN BLASCHKE - Director & Cinematographer
Team Deakins sits down with director and cinematographer Robert Eggers and Jarin Blaschke (THE NORTHMAN, THE LIGHTHOUSE, THE WITCH). Robert and Jarin discuss their shared love of golden age fairy tale illustrations, the funny story behind the start of their collaboration, and the meticulous planning that went into making The Lighthouse. We learn how Robert transitioned from working in the art department on New York independent films to directing The Witch. Robert and Jarin talk about what it was like to work with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, how they chose aspect ratio for The Lighthouse, how shooting for historical accuracy removes choices, and how films are about editing down not about creation. A wonderful conversation with excellent filmmakers!
|Oct 17, 2021|
Haris Zambarloukos - Cinematographer
EPISODE 158 - HARIS ZAMBARLOUKOS - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a great conversation with cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos (MAMMA MIA!, SLEUTH, MR IN-BETWEEN, ARTEMIS FOWL) in this episode. Haris shares his experiences working with director Kenneth Branagh, Paul Sarossy, and Phyllida Lloyd. Haris talks about learning the steps of observation, contemplation, and action during his time in film school at St. Martins and about learning how to contribute to the feeling of a film while studying at AFI. We share many stories about our dear friend Conrad Hall and Haris beaks down how he shot Steven Knight’s LOCKE in eight days. We discuss the idea of choosing a DP with whom a director could grow with or someone who could hold his hands and guide him as well as having trust in a director's ability to have an impact and to follow them every step along the way. Don't miss it!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Locke
|Oct 13, 2021|
Mark Mangini - Sound Designer
EPISODE 157- MARK MANGINI- Sound Designer
Team Deakins converses with sound designer Mark Mangini (DUNE, BLADE RUNNER 2049, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, STAR TREK) about the world of sound. In this episode, Mark explains that his job is to tell stories with sound and to create universes that sonically don’t exist. He walks us through designing the sound for the war rig in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD as well as his close collaboration with director Denis Villeneuve on BLADE RUNNER 2049, and Tom Holkenborg on BLACK MASS. We discuss how Mark decides when to use a music cue or sound effect cue, how you can earn loud sounds by buying silence early on in a film, and the creative necessity and financial incentive to capture production sound on set instead of recreating it in post. We learn a lot in this episode!! You don’t want to miss it!
BONUS: Use this link to download a sound file that Mark makes reference to when speaking of "Bladerunner 2049".
|Oct 10, 2021|
Peter Suschitzky - Cinematographer
EPISODE 156 - PETER SUSCHITZKY- Cinematographer
Team Deakins sits down with cinematographer Peter Suschitzky (THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, DEAD RINGERS) for a great conversation. We learn that Peter started shooting at a very young age and was printing images in the darkroom at the age of 6! Peter tells us stories from working with the great directors John Boorman, Peter Watkins and David Cronenberg. Peter tells us about interviewing with George Lucas for Star Wars, why he hadn’t seen a single one of Cronenberg’s films before his interview for Dead Ringers, and his collaborations with Peter Watkins. Peter believes it is easy to fall into formulaic filmmaking if you work too much, and to him that is the enemy of creativity. We discuss still photography as it is a huge part of Peter’s life, and how to Peter, capturing a good still is very difficult (perhaps more so than cinematography), though satisfying when it works well.
|Oct 06, 2021|
Ken Loach & Barry Ackroyd - Director & Cinematographer
EPISODE 155- KEN LOACH & BARRY ACKROYD - Director & Cinematographer
Team Deakins speaks with director Ken Loach and cinematographer Barry Ackroyd (THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY, SWEET SIXTEEN, CARLA’S SONG, LADYBIRD, LADYBIRD) in this episode. Barry (Episode 70) and Ken share memories from their many collaborations together and Ken is very open with us about his process. He tells us that the most important thing that the director has is the actor’s instincts. We learn what Ken looks for when casting his movies, why he shoots in sequence, what he looks for in a crew, what his rehearsal processes are like, and how everyone rides in the same minibus on his sets because he and his crew are one team. We learn how Ken’s experience at the BBC shaped his approach to filmmaking and why he didn’t go into politics. Ken tells Barry why he asked him to shoot Riff-Raff and how he believes Barry has a great skill for finding natural movement from a camera on legs and how it suited their collective ideas. Don’t miss it!
|Oct 03, 2021|
John Seale - Cinematographer
EPISODE 154- JOHN SEALE - Cinematographer
Team Deakins speaks with cinematographer John Seale (MAX MAD: FURY ROAD, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, RAIN MAN, DEAD POET’S SOCIETY) in this episode. John shares stories from his time working with director Peter Weir, Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, and George Miller. We discuss camera operating at length– how much John loves operating and believes it to be the most fulfilling job on set, how it is instinctive and how the position of the cameraman can be very important. John talks about the toughest challenge he and his crew faced during the production of The Perfect Storm as well as his experience working with natural daylight while shooting THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. We discuss the “imperceptible zoom” and the “what if system” and how shooting with multiple cameras can allow an editor to cut for performance rather than continuity. We laugh a lot on this episode, tune in!
|Sep 29, 2021|
Dariusz Wolski - Cinematographer
EPISODE 153 - DARIUSZ WOLSKI - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has the opportunity to speak with cinematographer, Dariusz Wolski (NEWS OF THE WORLD, THE MARTIAN, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN). We talk about his (and Roger’s) beginnings in music videos and his experiences working with both Tony and Ridley Scott. He tells us he learned to light 360 degrees while working with Tony. We learn a lot of his method of working with Ridley - how Ridley is not afraid of silhouettes and how he likes to draw the movie as a way of thinking and focusing. He shares his experiences on NEWS OF THE WORLD and well as PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. We also talk about the VFX on PIRATES and the experience of shooting movie 2 and 3 at the same time! He tells us his philosophy is not to control everything and even shares a few stories about Conrad Hall (what’s an episode without mentioning Connie?). A fun and insightful episode!
|Sep 26, 2021|
Alwin Kuchler - Cinematographer
EPISODE 152 - ALWIN KUCHLER - Cinematographer
Team Deakins converses with cinematographer, Alwin Kuchler (THE MAURITANIAN, STEVE JOBS, DIVERGENT). We cover a lot ground including his work with directors Lynne Ramsey and Danny Boyle. We talk about his intentions behind using both spherical vs anamorphic lenses, how he loves intense challenges and how he came across THE MAURITANIAN. We learn about his experience on RATCATCHER, working with Lynne Ramsay and how they worked instinctually since they had trouble understanding each other’s accents! He also shares his experiences working with Danny Boyle. And lots more! A great conversation that shouldn’t be missed!
|Sep 22, 2021|
Cillian Murphy - Actor
EPISODE 151 - CILLIAN MURPHY - Actor
Team Deakins catches up with actor Cillian Murphy (INCEPTION, THE DARK KNIGHT, 28 DAYS LATER) and the result is a great conversation about many subjects including acting , working in the business and somehow balancing your life. We explore the idea of how living a normal life between projects is so important and using that in the work. We talk about many of his films and his approach to creating the character. He shares his experiences working with Neil Jordan, Ken Loach and Christopher Nolan. We learn that mastering an accent is “like going to a gym for your mouth”, we also talk about his relationship with the camera department and what he looks for in a director. We touch on the differences of shooting a film, acting on stage and working on a TV series. Definitely not an episode to miss!
|Sep 19, 2021|
Mátyás Erdély - Cinematographer
EPISODE 150 - MÁTYÁS ERDÉLY - Cinematographer
Team Deakins speaks with Hungarian cinematographer, Mátyás Erdély (SON OF SAUL, SUNSET, THE NEST) in this episode. Matyas has shot in the US, UK and Hungary and says he doesn’t feel there is much difference in his work wherever he works. He shares that he feels it is soul crushing to take a project just for the money if it is something you don’t connect with. He also goes into detail about his collaboration with Lazlo Nemes (SON OF SAUL, SUNSET) (Episode 113 of Team Deakins) and how they began thinking they would shoot SON OF SAUL on Steadicam but how and why changed their minds. He also shares how they chose lenses with the guiding core idea of using the limitation of visual information by focus. And we learned how he and Lazlo approached their next collaboration on the film SUNSET differently. A great conversation with a talented cinematographer!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Son of Saul
|Sep 15, 2021|
John Turturro - Actor
EPISODE 149 - JOHN TURTURRO - Actor
Team Deakins enjoys a great conversation with frequent collaborator, actor John Turturro (BARTON FINK, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, TRANSFORMERS). His stories made us laugh a lot in parts - especially when he describes his first professional audition with Michael Badalucco for DiNiro and Scorsese for the movie Raging Bull! He also shares what working with the great Robbie Muller taught him (“you don’t have to do more”) as well as his experience of working with Francesco Rosi and Pasqualino De Santis on The Truce, where he realized he was a part of the frame. We also talked a lot about his experiences working with the Coen Brothers including what his real-life inspiration was for his character in Miller’s Crossing and how he prepped for Barton Fink. He explains that while professional acting is great, once in a while, it’s good to get back to the responsible amateur in you! We cover lots of ground and it’s an episode not to miss!
|Sep 12, 2021|
Robbie Ryan - Cinematographer
EPISODE 148 - ROBBIE RYAN - Cinematographer
Team Deakins enjoys an interesting talk with cinematographer, Robbie Ryan (MARRIAGE STORY, I, DANIEL BLAKE, THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES). We talk about his teaming up with director Andrea Arnold and their relationship. We go into details on the film FISH TANK. Robbie shares Andrea’s approach, the experience of working with street actors, and why a lot was handheld. He also talks about the differences between working with Andrea and Ken Loach. We also touch on his experience of working with Noah Baumbach as well as Yorgos Lanthimos on THE FAVOURITE. And we had questions about the technical challenges on THE LAST DAYS ON MARS. A fun and interesting conversation!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Fish Tank
|Sep 08, 2021|
Donald Burt - Production Designer
EPISODE 147 - DONALD BURT - Production Designer
Team Deakins delves into the craft of production design with the great production designer, Donald Burt (THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, HOSTILES, MANK). We loved hearing about his path to the film business! We talk about his first movie as production designer, JOY LUCK CLUB - quite a film to start on! He shares his methods of working with a director and how he doesn’t want to draw attention to what he is doing and that he wants to be supportive and serve the story first. We also touch on how restrictions and limitations breed imagination, his approach to sets vs locations, and how you can’t be afraid of articulating a stupid idea. And, we also speak about the making of MANK, THE OUTLAW KING, and ZODIAC. As well as much, much more!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Mank
|Sep 05, 2021|
Charlotte Bruus Christensen - Cinematographer
EPISODE 146 - CHARLOTTE BRUUS CHRISTENSEN - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a great conversation with cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen (THE HUNT, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, A QUIET PLACE). We loved her account of how she learned the craft and entered the industry and her thoughts soon what it means to teach cinematography. We also talk about her various collaborations with the director Thomas Vinterberg. She also discusses the night lighting and the consideration of sound design on the A QUIET PLACE. We also touch on her directing and shooting the TV series mini series BLACK NARCISSUS. A great conversation with a talented cinematographer!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Submarino, A Quiet Place
|Sep 01, 2021|
Krysty Wilson Cairns - Writer
EPISODE 145 - KRYSTY WILSON CAIRNS - Writer
Team Deakins has fun speaking with writer Krysty Wilson Cairns (1917). She and Roger compare times at the National Film School in London and discuss whether writing can actually be taught. Her love of writing comes through strongly and we learn she reads a book a week! She thinks that if a scene doesn’t work on screen, it wasn’t written correctly. Krysty discusses the core tenants of good screenwriting and goes into detail about the importance of collaboration with the director. She admits to stealing the experiences of people around her and not considering the budget when she writes. We had a lot of laughs and learned a lot about writing in this episode!
|Aug 29, 2021|
Agnieszka Holland - Director
EPISODE 144 - AGNIESZKA HOLLAND - Director
Team Deakins covers many topics with Polish director Agnieszka Holland (MR JONES, EUROPA EUROPA, TO KILL A PRIEST). We learn how the politics of her time have influenced her work and how starting out on smaller projects taught her to make the scene work without extraneous shots. She shares her experiences on the films Angry Harvest, To Kill a Priest, Darkness, Europa Europa, and Charlatan. She speaks of her responsibility to the story versus historical accuracy and what she feels the role of the director is. A fascinating conversation with a talented director.
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Darkness, Europa Europa
|Aug 25, 2021|
Neil Jordan - Director
EPISODE 143 - Neil Jordan - Director
Team Deakins has a great conversation with the remarkable director, Neil Jordan (THE CRYING GAME, THE BUTCHER BOY, BREAKFAST ON PLUTO). We’ve been fans for years, so it was a thrill to meet and speak with him. We had some sound issues, but we think the content more than makes up for that! Neil shares with us his perspective on filmmaking and his approach to creating the film. Neil has also had many novels published and we asked him about the difference between the genres of written works and motion pictures. We learn that he loves how movies immediately bring you into a reality without any explanation or exposition. We also speak specifically about his many movies and learn interesting details. A fascinating episode with an articulate filmmaker!
RECOMMEND EPISODE VIEWING: Any Neil Jordan film
|Aug 22, 2021|
Richard Hoover - Production Designer
EPISODE 142 - RICHARD HOOVER - Production Designer
Teams Deakins has a conversation with production designer, Richard Hoover (42, GIRL, INTERRUPTED, BOB ROBERTS). Richard talks about different methods of working with different directors and how he discovers what the director wants. He also illustrates his points with examples from Twin Peaks, Bob Roberts, Dead Man Walking. 42 and The Assassination of Jesse James and the approaches he took. He shares the use of a “look book” for the design and the particular challenges of working on period pieces. He tells us that the content of the scene definitely affects the design and how you can tell the story with the design. We asked about designing against your personal taste as well as what his greatest design challenge was. It’s a great look into the complex role of the production designer on a film. Don’t miss it!
|Aug 18, 2021|
Bruno Delbonnel - Cinematographer
EPISODE 141 - BRUNO DELBONNEL - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a great conversation with cinematographer, Bruno Delbonnel. He speaks about his experiences working with Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, on Amelie and Delicatessen, respectively. We learn about how he achieved the look on Amelie and how, in France, it was the first film to involve a DI, and how the digital workflow has changed. When he chooses a project, he is not looking for the challenges as much as discovering the director’s vision and figuring out how to implement that. He also shares his experiences with working director Tim Burton. We speak of how he prepares his lighting and the importance of determining what you really need on a shoot and hearing what it is that production needs. It’s not about compromise but about finding the right method. And, of course, we speak about The Darkest Hour and the look. Not an episode to miss!
|Aug 15, 2021|
Alexander Nanau - Director/Cinematographer
EPISODE 140 - ALEXANDER NANAU - Director/Cinematographer
Team Deakins has the pleasure of having an in-depth conversation with documentary director (who also shoots!), Alexander Nanau (TOTO AND HIS SISTERS, COLLECTIVE). We start with the importance of the documentary subject not being aware of the camera and Alex he goes about making his subjects comfortable. We also look at how the direction of the documentary can change during filming and how important it is to allow that to happen. He gives examples of this in Collective and Toto and his Sisters. Alex shares how he gave his characters cameras during the filming of Toto and his Sisters which allowed him access to special, intimate footage that would not have been possible with him in the room. He also speaks of how a project gets set up and his desire to direct fiction now. A great conversation with a talented filmmaker!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Toto and his Sisters, Collective
|Aug 11, 2021|
Turning the Tables - Sicario
EPISODE 139 - TURNING THE TABLES - Sicario
Team Deakins has the tables turned on them. Editor Tom Cross (Episode 129) asks the questions and we focus on the film SICARIO. Tom asks us about specific scenes, including the tunnel sequence, the Mexico sequences, and the opening sequence. We talk about the importance of the first shots in a movie and what the original first shot of Sicario was originally planned to be. We break down a sequence that was shot both on stage and location. We also touch on how we work with editors and the importance of our relationship with them. We spoke of the cutting in Sicario as well as the film First Man, which Tom cut. An interesting, in-depth conversation about filmmaking!
|Aug 08, 2021|
Danielle Feinberg - Pixar DP/VFX Supervisor
EPISODE 138 - DANIELLE FEINBERG -Pixar DP/VFX Supervisor
Team Deakins speaks with Pixar lighting artist, Danielle Feinberg (WALL•E, COCO, RATATOUILLE). Danielle tells us about her time at Pixar, how computer animation is evolving and how each story demands different technical advances. She walks us through the process of making a film at Pixar, step by step. She also tells us how Pixar hires and what they look for in applicants as well as how the layout of the Pixar building is deliberate to promote communication. We learn that changes in the tools can alter the movie’s workflow. She speaks about working on Finding Nemo and her favorite creative moment in the jellyfish scene. We also get into the roles of camera operating and lighting in animation and the struggle to open up communication between the departments. Danielle really opens up the world of animation for us!
|Aug 04, 2021|
Joe Wright - Director
EPISODE 137 - JOE WRIGHT - Director
Team Deakins has a great time talking with director, Joe Wright (ATONEMENT, THE SOLOIST, DARKEST HOUR). He shares what he loves about films and how he loves the craft of it. He talks about the importance of casting correctly and how he works with actors and how important rehearsals are. We learn how he preps with a cinematographer and what he looks for in a cinematographer. Also, he shares why he chose to do The Darkest Hour, how he likes to work with the same crew and actors and how he learns from the process of making films. A fascinating conversation with a talented director!
|Aug 01, 2021|
Jess Gonchor - Production Designer
EPISODE 136 - JESS GONCHOR - Production Designer
Team Deakins talks design with production designer, Jess Gonchor (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, TRUE GRIT, FOXCATCHER). He tells us how, early on, he learned the mistake of lighting the set and not the story which he’s never forgotten. We also talk about developing a color palette, what goes into his mood board, and using music references. He shares some of his experiences on The Siege, Capote, No Country for Old Men, Hail Caesar, as well as Lone Ranger and A Serious Man. We also learn how he approaches pitching his ideas to a director who has already lived with another idea for a long time. This episode is a really interesting look into the craft of production design!
|Jul 28, 2021|
Darius Khondji - Cinematographer
EPISODE 135 - DARIUS KHONDJI - Cinematographer
Team Deakins talks with cinematographer Darius Khondji (UNCUT GEMS, ALIEN RESURRECTION, SE7EN). We talk a lot about light, specifically learning how to light and how he started to learn with natural light. He shares the experience of working with David Fincher on the film Se7en and how their collaboration allowed him to take risks. He speaks about how important it is to get to understand the director and how he sees visual style as a house that you have to find the key to unlocking and that he usually finds this key through the character. Darius tells us about working on the movies Lost City of Z, Uncut Gems, My Blueberry Nights, and Amour. He also shares his thoughts on working in features and television. A wonderful glimpse into the eye of a great cinematographer!
|Jul 25, 2021|
Rich Klubeck - Literary Agent/Partner UTA
EPISODE 134 - RICH KLUBECK - Partner and Literary Agent UTA
Teams Deakins has an in-depth conversation with Rich Klubeck of UTA. We cover a lot of ground on the subject of filmmaking - from the difference of putting together an independent vs studio film when a project needs to be cast and the considerations in casting. He defines and explains the principles of packaging a project and conveys how putting together a film is an art form. We talk about how to budget and Rich gives us a step-by-step guide to getting financing and what he thinks about when looking for funding. We ask about the role of film festivals and the future of movie distribution. We learn what he does when a new script from an unknown director comes across his desk and much, much more! An incredible guide to getting a movie off the ground!
|Jul 21, 2021|
Domhnall Gleeson - Actor
EPISODE 133 - DOMHNALL GLEESON - Actor
Team Deakins has a great time speaking with actor, Domhnall Gleeson (STAR WARS, NEVER LET ME GO, THE REVENANT). He tells us how his father being an actor (Brandon Gleeson) showed him it was a career that could be done, with hard work. He shares that a well-run set is his favorite place to be and the feeling of loss when a film doesn’t land. We talk about his experience of working with the Coen Brothers in the film, True Grit as well as working on the film, Ex Machina, and with Alicia Vikander. We reminisce about the experience of working together on the film, Unbroken, including his having to starve for the start of the movie. He also shares what he has learned, like not having to be in pain to get a good performance and relating with the crew as an actor. And lots, lots more! You won’t want to miss this episode!
|Jul 18, 2021|
Carroll Ballard - Director
EPISODE 132 - CARROLL BALLARD - Director
Team Deakins has the pleasure of speaking with director Carroll Ballard (WIND, THE BLACK STALLION, NEVER CRY WOLF, DUMA). We learn how he got involved in the project that became the film, Black Stallion, how he worked with cinematographer, Caleb Deschanel. We also discuss the particular challenges of that film. Carroll talks about the difficulties of working with animals and children as well as working with wolves and caribous in Never Cry Wolf, geese in Fly Away Home, and cheetahs in Duma. We also learn about how he met the extreme challenges of shooting the film Wind. We learned a lot in this episode!
|Jul 14, 2021|
Dennis Gassner - Production Designer
EPISODE 131 - DENNIS GASSNER - Production Designer
Team Deakins sits down with production designer, Dennis Gassner (FIELD OF DREAMS, JARHEAD, SPECTRE, 1917) and examines all things movie design! Dennis shares some of his methods - using smells to complete the set and boiling down a film to one word and working from there. He also talks about working at Zoetrope and working on such films as The Hitcher, Field of Dreams, Water World, Blade Runner 2049, Skyfall, and Spectre. He speaks of working with directors Joel and Ethan on many films as well as his thoughts on previs, choosing projects, and always working for the story. A fascinating conversation with a very experienced production designer!
|Jul 11, 2021|
Niall Moroney & Elaine Kusmishko - Art Directors
EPISODE 130 - NIALL MORONEY & ELAINE KUSMISHKO - Art Directors
Team Deakins talks to Art Directors, Niall Moroney and Elaine Kusmishko (1917, MARY POPPINS RETURNS, BEAUTY & THE BEAST). We start with what an art director does and the difference between a supervising art director and an art director and learn how the art department interacts with all departments on a film. We also break down the challenges of the film 1917 and how they met them. They share how much they had to learn about trenches, how they created them, and reconstruct the original land when the film ended. We also talk about using models on 1917 and why they were so helpful. They also share the way the night town set was envisioned and built. It’s a wonderful examination of the role of the art department in filmmaking as they give specific examples of the issues they face and then solve.
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: 1917
|Jul 07, 2021|
Tom Cross - Editor
EPISODE 129 - TOM CROSS - Editor
Team Deakins enjoys a great conversation with editor, Tom Cross (FIRST MAN, HOSTILES, NO TIME TO DIE). He shares what he learned from working with different editors when he started out and tells us of the different styles of individual editors. We also talk about the fact that it’s not unusual to have multiple editors on films these days and we learn how the work is divided up. He shares his working experiences with director David O’Russell, Scott Cooper, and Damien Chazelle. We discuss working in different formats, creating the style of the film, inserts as the “unsung heroes of movies” and what good editing actually is. And much, much more! A great insight into the world of editing!
|Jul 04, 2021|
Phedon Papamichael - Cinematographer
EPISODE 128 - PHEDON PAPAMICHAEL - Cinematographer
Team Deakins speaks with cinematographer, Phedon Papamichael (TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, FORD VS FERRARI, NEBRASKA). In this episode, Phedon shares his experiences working with James Mangold and Alexander Payne and we discuss what makes those relationships so successful. We learn that Phedon took up photography at a very early age and together we talk about his transition from stills to the moving image and shooting his first short film with one of John Cassavetes’ cameras! Phedon tells us about his time shooting for Roger Corman’s company and how free he was to experiment stylistically. Phedon talks about collaborating with Aaron Sorkin on their most recent film Trial of the Chicago 7 and the challenges of making a courtroom drama visually engaging. Phedon shares some great advice for young filmmakers, but you’ll have to tune in to find out! Don’t miss it!
|Jun 30, 2021|
Gerd Nefzer - Special Effects Supervisor
EPISODE 127 - GERD NEFZER - Special Effects Supervisor
Team Deakins speaks with special effects supervisor, Gerd Nefzer (BLADE RUNNER 2049, RED SPARROW, HUNGER GAMES). We start by talking about what the special effects department covers and how it varies per film. We talk about the challenges of creating atmosphere and how he approached that on Blade Runner 2049. Specifically, we examine the differences in using mist or smoke for the atmosphere. Of course, we discuss what is covered by SFX and VFX and how this is determined. We go into detail on the challenges that the sea wall sequence in Blade Runner 2049 offered. Gerd also shares details of the effects on the film, The Girl in the Spiderweb and he tells us how important planning is and knowing what the camera position will be for his work. A really great conversation with a special effects master!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: The Girl in the Spiderweb, Blade Runner 2049
|Jun 27, 2021|
David Gropman - Production Designer
EPISODE 126 - DAVID GROPMAN - Production Designer
Team Deakins speaks with production designer, David Gropman (FENCES, LIFE OF PI, THE SHIPPING NEWS). He tells us why he loves shooting on location vs sets, his reaction to specific colors, his relationship to the producer, and the challenge of working within the budget. He talks about his experiences with directors Lasse Hallström, James Ivory, and Ang Lee. Since he worked with Ang Lee on the movies Taking Woodstock and Life of Pi (two very different movies!), he talks about his approaches to the films and talks about designing for a 3D project. And we learn some specifics about the shooting of Life of Pi, such as the tank work and working as a production designer with the VFX team! We also touch on the differences between working on big budgets vs smaller budgets as well as the differences between working on long-form TV vs feature films.
|Jun 23, 2021|
Scott Cooper - Director
EPISODE 125 - SCOTT COOPER - Director
Team Deakins has a great talk with director, Scott Cooper (HOSTILES, BLACK MASS, CRAZY HEART). We learn that he started out as an actor and how that has helped him when he became a director. He talks about the immediate recognition, on his first directed film Crazy Heart, that directing was his path and not acting. He shares his belief that you make a film 3 times: when writing it, when shooting it and when editing it. He talks about shooting with a single camera, how he works with actors, and how he wants to create space for the actors to take big chances. He tells about the experiences of working on each of his films and says he likes to push himself in unsafe places. A very interesting look into the process of a director!
|Jun 20, 2021|
Sean Bobbitt - Cinematographer
EPISODE 124 - SEAN BOBBITT - Cinematographer
|Jun 16, 2021|
Dion Beebe - Cinematographer
EPISODE 123 - DION BEEBE - Cinematographer
In this episode, Team Deakins speaks with cinematographer, Dion Beebe (CHICAGO, COLLATERAL, INTO THE WOODS, MARY POPPINS RETURNS). He starts by telling us about his failure as a focus puller and then shooting a film as a DP for the first time at age 24! We talk about how it’s hard when you are starting out to consider compromising, but as you learn more about the collaborative nature of filmmaking, it becomes easier, as well as the idea that getting worked up on a set will never help you achieve your goal. Dion speaks about the difficult balance of knowing when and how you need to work with what you’re given and when to stand firm. We also cover learning to light, prepping for a film, and setting the look with the director. Dion also shares his experiences of working with Rob Marshall who taught him a lot about musicals and Ang Lee, shooting with a high frame rate. We cover a lot of ground in this episode!
|Jun 13, 2021|
Chris Corbould - Special Effects Supervisor
EPISODE 122 - CHRIS CORBOULD - Special Effects
Team Deakins has a great conversation with Special Effects wizard, Chris Corbould (SKYFALL, INCEPTION, STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI). We start by learning of his first experience - working on the movie TOMMY - quite a way to begin! He also walks us through some of the bigger special effects he’s been responsible for. We learn how it is decided whether to use SFX or VFX, the amount of testing necessary for each SPF, the difference of working on SPF for small and large films, and the biggest challenges he’s ever faced. He also shares his experience of working with Sam Mendes and Chris Nolan. We also discover that he is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest explosion on set! An in-depth conversation with a real master!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Skyfall, Inception
|Jun 09, 2021|
Joshua James Richards - Cinematographer
EPISODE 121 - JOSHUA JAMES RICHARDS - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a lot of laughs in their conversation with cinematographer, Josh Richards (NOMADLAND, GOD’S OWN COUNTRY, THE RIDER). He shares with us his struggles in film school and what it gave to him ultimately. We also learn about how he started with director Chloé Zhao and how their working relationship developed and how they work together now. We talk about the shooting of Nomadland and God’s Own Country. He frankly tells us of his journey in finding cinematography and his path. A fascinating, open conversation with a talented DP.
|Jun 06, 2021|
Mike Radford - Director
EPISODE 120 - MIKE RADFORD - Director
Team Deakins speaks with long-time friend, director Mike Radford (ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE, IL POSTINO, MERCHANT OF VENICE). He shares his film school experiences and how he came to direct his first film ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE, on which he worked with Roger. He and Roger share memories of that film as well as 1984, which was another film on which they worked together. Mike tells us about the huge controversy he started with what he said at the British Film awards show for 1984 and the experience of working with actors John Hurt and Richard Burton. We talk about his experiences with actors Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons on MERCHANT OF VENICE and we learn a lot about IL POSTINO and the challenges that entailed. A refreshing and very frank conversation with a talented director!
|Jun 02, 2021|
Lee Smith - Editor
EPISODE 119 - LEE SMITH - Editor
Team Deakins sits down with editor, Lee Smith (1917, SPECTRE, DUNKIRK, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES). He shares with us his thoughts on a lot of subjects: how working on bad films helps you learn, that the rhythm of the cut is instinctive and how you use the cut to create the rhythm, how his approach depends on the director and the differences between directors. We talk about how “finding it in the editing room” is not our favorite approach, editors being on set, the editor being a fresh eye, and working on the fractured time structure in Dunkirk. He also speaks of his work on the films Dunkirk and 1917 as well as his thoughts on cutting action sequences, using split screens unwisely and continuity. It’s a great episode that really delves into the craft of motion picture editing. Don’t miss it!
|May 30, 2021|
Mandy Walker - Cinematographer
EPISODE 118 - MANDY WALKER - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a fun conversation with cinematographer, Mandy Walker (AUSTRALIA, HIDDEN FIGURES, MULAN). We cover a lot in this episode, including the shooting of the film TRACKS and the unique challenges it presented. We also learn about her experience on Jane Got A Gun where she came in at the last minute and had to work on the fly. She shares her thoughts on static camera work vs a moving camera, how you find the right camera style for a film and her thoughts on VFX. Mandy also speaks of shooting the film Mulan and her love of the Alexa 65. A great talk with a wonderful cinematographer!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Tracks
|May 26, 2021|
Pete Cavaciuti - Steadicam Operator
EPISODE 117 - PETE CAVACIUTI - Steadicam operator
Team Deakins speaks with Steadicam operator, Pete Cavaciuti (1917, EYES WIDE SHUT, NOW YOU SEE ME 2). Of course, we learn a lot about what the Steadicam is, what training is needed, what you can do with it and what you can’t, and that being a Steadicam operator is a way of life! Pete also shares his experiences with Stanley Kubrick on the film EYES WIDE SHUT and talks about his most challenging shot. He also talks about his experiences on KUNDUN, SKYFALL, 1917, and BLADE RUNNER 2049. A great look into a very specific skill!
|May 23, 2021|
Pablo Larraín - Director
EPISODE 116 - PABLO LARRAÍN - Director
Team Deakins sits down with director Pablo Larraín (JACKIE, NERUDA, NO). He shares with us the experience of his first film flopping and all that he learned from that, as well as the “rules” he sets for each individual film and the power of breaking these rules. He talks about his process, his avoidance of storyboarding, his dislike of multiple cameras, and remembering that films based on actual people are still works of fiction. According to Pablo, “when you are shooting, you’re fighting the script, when you are editing, you are fighting the shoot”. We learn a lot about the production of the movie “Jackie,” the production design, the shooting design, and why he chose to shoot in 16mm film. A fascinating look into the mind and process of a talented director!
|May 19, 2021|
Bill McDonald - UCLA Cinematography Department
Team Deakins converses with Bill McDonald of the UCLA Cinematography Department. We learn about the UCLA program and the difference between the undergraduate and graduate programs. He shares what UCLA looks for when admitting students and how they work to bring out the students’ native talents. The students learn all the different areas of film production since this increases their ability to collaborate with other departments in the future. We talk about the pricing of the school and the difference between state and private schooling in film. Bill also shares that film school is not best for everyone and the importance of finding the film school with the approach that works best for the individual. A great lesson in film schools!
|May 16, 2021|
John Toll - Cinematographer
EPISODE 114 - JOHN TOLL - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a great talk with cinematographer, John Toll (LEGENDS OF THE FALL, BRAVEHEART, WIND, THE THIN RED LINE, RAINMAKER). We start on a humorous note as we learn how he started in the business and learned on the job! We talk about his time as an operator and his eventual switch over to working as a DP. He recalls his time working for Conrad Hall as an operator and what he learned and also speaks of the different methods of working as an operator in England. We learn about his first big break to shoot the behind-the-scenes footage on ET which was never seen. He also shares why he chose to shoot WIND (his first feature as a DP), even though he tended to have bad seasickness! We learned about the difficulty of shooting WIND on the water and in boats, which is even more impressive when you consider it was his first time as a cinematographer! John’s humorous way of at looking things will have you laughing!
|May 12, 2021|
Lázló Nemes, Director
EPISODE 113 - LÁSZLÓ NEMES - Director
Team Deakins speaks with László Nemes, director of SON OF SAUL and SUNSET, in this episode. He speaks of what he learned from the Hungarian film director Béla Tarr and why he doesn’t believe in film schools, feeling it doesn’t create curiosity among students. He shares the difficulty of setting up the film, Son of Saul, and how it finally was financed. He speaks of the value of state sponsorship of movies and being able to make films that have to compromise greatly. We learn about his relationship with his DP, Mátyás Erdély, and how they work together. It’s a fascinating discussion with a passionate filmmaker!
|May 09, 2021|
EPISODE 112 -RODRIGO PRIETO - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a great conversation with talented cinematographer, Rodrigo Prieto (THE IRISHMAN, AMORES PERROS, BABEL). We learn that he is a lover of the trickery of moviemaking and also haunted mansions! A frequent collaborator of Martin Scorsese, he shares his experiences on their various films. We talk about working with multiple cameras and the importance of taking that into account when designing the sets. He speaks of his start in Mexico, his move to LA, the importance of developing your own taste and style, and how simplicity can be so powerful. He also tells us of his collaborations with Julie Taymor, Curtis Hanson, and Pedro Almodóvar, his use of LUTS, and his thoughts on VFX. You won’t want to miss the eloquent thoughts of Rodrigo!
|May 05, 2021|
Paul Sarossy - Cinematographer
EPISODE 111 - PAUL SAROSSY - Cinematographer
|May 02, 2021|
Kazu Hiro - Prosthetic Makeup and Effects Designer
EPISODE 110 - KAZU HIRO - Prosthetic Makeup
Team Deakins speaks with the very talented prosthetic makeup and effects designer, Kazu Hiro (BOMBSHELL, DARKEST HOUR, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON). We learn a lot in this episode. Kazu leads us through the process of prosthetic makeup and very patiently answers our many questions. He shares with us his work on the films Bombshell, Darkest Hour, and Benjamin Button. He also tells us about his experience of working with Akira Kurosawa! We now know about face casting, applying makeup on top of prosthetics, and the testing that is done before shooting. A great conversation with a great artist!
|Apr 28, 2021|
TURNING THE TABLES - 1917
EPISODE 109 - TURNING THE TABLES - 1917
Team Deakins gets the tables turned on us led by esteemed still photographers, Alex Webb (Episode 30) and Rebecca Norris Webb. They ask us questions about the film 1917. We talk about the one-shot concept and how we worked to not make it a gimmick. We examine the choice of camera and lens and we compare this choice in still work and motion picture. We talk about collaboration, the last shot of 1917 and the trees that bookends the movie. We also speak of the impossibility to explain the power of a photo. We even got into a little discussion of the lighting of the film Chinatown! It’s a fun episode you won’t want to miss!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: 1917
|Apr 25, 2021|
Peter Deming - Cinematographer
EPISODE 108 - PETER DEMING - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has the pleasure of talking with cinematographer Peter Deming (LOST HIGHWAY, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, SCREAM 2). A frequent collaborator with director David Lynch, Peter shares how he started working with David and their very particular style of working together. We learn a lot about the shooting of the film Mulholland Drive and really love having the chance to ask all our questions. He also explains what “lens whacking” is and when you might use it. Peter tells us how he works differently when shooting film or digital and talks about shooting dark scenes. We cover a lot in this episode so don’t miss it!
|Apr 21, 2021|
Paul Lambert - VFX Supervisor
EPISODE 107 - PAUL LAMBERT - VFX Supervisor
Team Deakins has a great conversation with Paul Lambert, VFX Supervisor (DUNE, FIRST MAN, BLADE RUNNER 2049). He walks us through the world of VFX and reveals the complexities. We talk about the VFX on Blade Runner 2049 and how some of them were achieved. He shares how he figured out the transparency of the character Joi. He also talks about his work on the film, First Man and tells us how a lot was accomplished. We talk about what makes a VFX shot work and what makes it fail. We also touch on the importance of continuity of lighting between the elements of the shot, the importance of the placement of the focus and the difficulty of scheduling the amount of time needed to create the shots. A fascinating look into the world of VFX!
|Apr 18, 2021|
Carter Burwell - Composer
EPISODE 106 - CARTER BURWELL - Composer
Team Deakins speaks with composer Carter Burwell in this episode. Carter is known for his work on NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, CAROL, and WONDERSTRUCK. We talk in-depth about the experience of working with the Coen Brothers which is where he started his career in composing for film. Working with the Coens is a good challenge because they don’t repeat themselves so it’s new territory every time. He also shares about working with Sidney Lumet on Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead which was a unique experience. We learn how the composer can be asked to help save a scene that isn’t working with the score and how you can do that. We learn a lot about the craft of composing in this episode!
|Apr 14, 2021|
Chris Menges - Cinematographer
EPISODE 105 - CHRIS MENGES - Cinematographer
Teams Deakins speaks with the talented cinematographer, Chris Menges (MICHAEL COLLINS, THE KILLING FIELDS, KES). We talk at length about his start in documentaries and what you learn from shooting documentaries - learning to force the image, working in impossible situations, looking and noticing light and making sure you get the shot. He also shares his experiences of working with director Ken Loach and the rules that they set as well as working on The Empire Strikes Back, The Killing Fields, and Waiting for the Barbarians. Chris talks about directing “A World Apart”, the difficult transition back to DP work after directing and covers the subject of adapting books to screen and why it doesn’t always work. A fascinating conversation with a visual master!
|Apr 11, 2021|
Tony Jannelli - Head of Graduate Cinematography at NYU
EPISODE 104 - TONY JANNELLI - Head of Graduate Cinematography Studies at NYU
Team Deakins speaks with cinematographer Tony Jannelli who is the head of the graduate cinematography department at NYU. He walks us through the structure of NYU film school and how the filmmaking is taught. He speaks of how important it is for a young filmmaker to find their own taste and intuition and how NYU works to develop this in their students. After speaking with him, it was clear why so many great filmmakers come out of NYU!
|Apr 07, 2021|
Sandy Powell - Costume Designer
EPISODE 103 - SANDY POWELL - Costume Designer
Team Deakins talks with the celebrated costume designer, Sandy Powell (THE FAVOURITE, VELVET GOLDMINE, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE). We delve into many things, such as how a costume designer helps the actor find his/her character, being mindful of the silhouette and shape of a design, and working with a director multiple times. She shares how she chooses her projects, how she works with color and approaches designing instinctively. She tells us about her different experiences with the director Todd Haynes and what the projects entailed. We also cover finding clothes versus making them, working with actors, doing a period project and how strict you are, and how to get past a block. And much more!
|Apr 04, 2021|
Dylan Goss - Aerial Cameraman
EPISODE 102 - DYLAN GOSS - Aerial Cameraman
Team Deakins talks with aerial cameraman, Dylan Goss (DUNE, BLADE RUNNER 2049, SICARIO). We have the opportunity to look closely at this very specialized area. We look at the technical aspects and how they have changed. And we talk about when he is brought in, how he figures out what is needed, and the importance of his understanding of the script. We discuss the work he did with us on the films Sicario and Blade Runner 2049, including the array rig we had to develop to meet the needs of VFX in Blade Runner 2049. He also shares his experiences on the TV show Devs and we talk about the differences between drone work and helicopter work. It’s a great look at the complex world of aerial photography!
|Mar 31, 2021|
Thomas Vinterberg - Director, Screenwriter
EPISODE 101 - THOMAS VINTERBERG - Director, Screenwriter
Team Deakins has a great conversation with director and screenwriter Thomas Vinterberg (THE HUNT, ANOTHER ROUND, THE CELEBRATION). As one of the co-founders of Dogma 95, he explains the thought behind the movement and tells us what it was like shooting under the rules as well as why he moved on from it. We also learn who they asked to be in the movement and who declined. He shares with us his experiences shooting his movie “The Celebration” and how tough Dogma was on the actors. “Limitations are the greatest source of inspiration”, according to Thomas. He also shares his experiences on many of his movies and why he likes to choose very different subjects to tackle. It’s a really fun conversation with a very articulate and humorous individual. Don’t miss this!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Another Round, The Celebration
|Mar 28, 2021|
Alexey Rodionov - Cinematographer
EPISODE 100 - ALEXEY RODIONOV - Cinematographer
For our 100th episode (we can’t believe we’ve reached this!), Team Deakins has a special conversation with Alexey Rodionov, the cinematographer of one of our favorite films, COME AND SEE. We have the opportunity to go behind the scenes on this movie and ask everything we’ve always wanted to know. The more we learn, the more our admiration for the film grows. He shares they had many limitations in terms of money and equipment, but they did have the luxury of time. VFX was not an option so they had to figure out how to do everything in-camera. Some of the stories from the making of the film are quite amazing - like the use of real bullets in the scenes. We also delve into his other movies such as ORLANDO and THE PARTY and his approach. It’s a great conversation with a great talent!
|Mar 24, 2021|
Frances McDormand - Actress, Producer
EPISODE 99 - FRANCES MCDORMAND - Actress, Producer
Team Deakins gets the chance to catch up with a long-time friend, actress, and producer Frances McDormand (NOMADLAND, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI, FARGO). It’s a great conversation that hits lots of topics! Fran shares with us the difference for her between acting in theater and in film, what her approach is to acting, and how she learned and added to her craft over the years. She has lots of stories of her experience on the film Blood Simple which was an early experience with a lot of learning and where she met Joel Coen, her long-time partner. We also talk about working with less structure, improv, and playing a femme fatale. Fran shares her experiences on Nomadland, Olive Kitteridge, Mississippi Burning, and The Man Who Wasn’t there. We touch on how she chooses her roles and how she likes to mix things up with “palette cleansers”, playing a supporting role as well as how she feels she is a partner with the camera operator. And more and more! A great discussion with the always interesting and fun Fran! Don’t miss it!
|Mar 21, 2021|
Keith Walters - Property Master
EPISODE 98 - KEITH WALTERS - Prop Master
Team Deakins sits down with property master Keith Walters and goes into depth about the role of props. Keith’s credits include NEWS OF THE WORLD, SICARIO, TRUE GRIT and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. He gives us insight into the role of the prop master, what it entails and how he approaches it. He shares how he researches for period pieces, the danger of aging down props too far, and how he finds material for period movies. We get details on the props in No Country For Old Men and how the iconic air gun weapon of Chigurh was conceived. He also gives up some insights into working on both Sicario movies and the unique challenges of the movie, Lincoln. We learn lots about the role and job of props in film during this episode!
|Mar 17, 2021|
Benoît Delhomme - Cinematographer
EPISODE 97 - BENOÎT DELHOMME - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a memorable conversation with cinematographer Benoit Delhomme (AT ETERNITY’S GATE, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, THE SCENT OF THE GREEN PAPAYA, THE PROPOSITION). We talk about many things, including working with Julian Schnabel on At Eternity’s Gate. We learn about their working relationship, his dance with Willem Dafoe, and hiding the crew to keep them out of shot. Because Benoit does amazing things with color, we talked a lot about his approach, how he sees colors when he reads a script, and discussing color with Julian. He also tells us about shooting the film The Proposition - the difficulties of working in the Australian Outback, the difficulty of the heat, and the movies that influenced the shoot. We discuss the importance of the DP finding the first shot of the day. Benoit’s wonderful humorous outlook kept us laughing as we covered a lot of ground!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: At Eternity’s Gate, The Proposition
|Mar 14, 2021|
Ben Cooke - Stunt Coordinator, 2nd Unit Director
EPISODE 96 - BEN COOKE - Stunt Coordinator, 2nd Unit Director
Team Deakins looks into the world of movie stunts with Stunt Coordinator and 2nd Unit Director, Ben Cooke (MULAN, 1917, SKYFALL, CASINO ROYALE). We learn about the different areas of stunt work and the different experiences of being a stunt double or a stunt coordinator on a film. He talks about his experience of stunt doubling Daniel Craig in the Bond movies and tells us all about the huge stunt in Quantum of Solace and how learned he was doing it just the day before. We also talk about the stunts in Snow White and the Huntsman. Other areas we covered were working with locals in a large stunt sequence, the most undervalued aspects of a stunt job, dealing with an actor who wants to do all his own stunts, and creating stunts that fit into the tone of the movie. As he was the stunt coordinator on the film 1917, we dived into that experience in detail. We learned a lot about this area of filmmaking in this episode - don’t miss it!
|Mar 10, 2021|
Emma Pill - Location Manager
EPISODE 95 - EMMA PILL - Location Manager
Team Deakins sits down with Location Manager extraordinaire Emma Pill (1917, SPECTRE, INCEPTION, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM). In this episode, we learn lots about the function of the location department and the importance of their role. She tells us she sees her job as walking a tight rope between the production world and the real world and how she learned early how important it is to be honest with the owners of locations who often don’t know what the reality of having a film crew in their home or building will be like. We learn about the importance of coming up with solutions to locations with logistical problems, how she became an expert on Moroccan locations, how she deals with schedule changes, and the importance of having a signed contract for the location. She also goes into the details of being the location manager on Bourne Ultimatum, Blade Runner 2049, and 1917. A great deep dive into the role of Location Manager!
|Mar 07, 2021|
Shaun Conway - Gaffer
EPISODE 94 - SHAUN CONWAY - Gaffer
Team Deakins has a great conversation with Australian gaffer Shaun Conway(MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, MULAN, ALIEN:COVENANT). He shares not only the basics of the job of a gaffer, but he also goes into detail about working with different cinematographers and how important it is to quickly learn their working style and preferences. He tells us about his experiences of working with DP Mandy Walker and the various movies they’ve collaborated on. He also shares the challenges of filming Mad Max: Fury Road and Alien Covenant. In the latter movie, he worked closely with the production designer so lighting could be placed in the set as part of the design. We talk about the different styles of lighting and what they require. A detailed look at lighting through the eyes of a gaffer!
|Mar 03, 2021|
Skip Lievsay - Sound Designer/Editor/Mixer
EPISODE 93 - SKIP LIEVSAY - Sound Designer/Editor/Mixer
Team Deakins has the chance to catch up with the guru of sound, Skip Lievsay (GRAVITY, ROMA, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN). We use the opportunity to learn the different roles and responsibilities in the sound department, from onset mixer to re-recording mixer, sound editor, and sound designer. He shares with us some experiences on the films, True Grit, Inside Llewyn Davis, No Country for Old Men, and O Brother, Where Art Thou. We learn how the sound was conceived and executed for the movie Gravity. He also talks about working with Robert Altman and his love of sound. He even gets into the different sound formats and why one format might suit a movie better than another as well as choices of mics on the shoot. A great look into the world of movie sound!
|Feb 28, 2021|
Bob Yeoman - Cinematographer
EPISODE 92 - BOB YEOMAN - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a great conversation with cinematographer Bob Yeoman (THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, MOONRISE KINGDOM, SPY). He’s a frequent collaborator with Wes Anderson and he walks us through how they work together. We learn their way of prep and how they collaborate on the set. It becomes clear why their work together is so special. We should warn you that after listening to this episode you will want to be part of their collaboration! He shares with us how Wes works with actors, how he negotiates his lighting with Wes and breaks down specific scenes on the film Darjeeling Limited. He also touches on his experience with Paul Feig, the problems of working with multiple cameras and operating the camera. You won’t want to miss his story about the film shot on the 27mm lens! A fun, informative episode!
RECOMMEND EPISODE VIEWING: Darjeeling Limited
|Feb 24, 2021|
Turning the Tables - FARGO
EPISODE 91 - TURNING THE TABLES - FARGO
Team Deakins gets the tables turned on them in this episode. Cinematographer Joshua James Richards (Nomadland, The Rider, God's Own Country) turns the spotlight on us and asks questions about the movie Fargo. We speak about specific shots and how they were done. We also talk about covering wider subjects, how a camera move can add to the strength of the scene, working with different directors, and the importance of cinematographer supporting the performances using natural light, and what limitations can give to a movie. We cover a lot of ground, including finding inspiration, the Coen Brothers’ unique talents, as well as the importance of the DP understanding editing. So we go into detail about the movie Fargo as well as many broader topics. Josh was thorough!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING - Fargo
|Feb 21, 2021|
Bradford Young - Cinematographer
EPISODE 90 - BRADFORD YOUNG - Cinematographer
Team Deakins sits down with cinematographer Bradford Young, (ARRIVAL, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, SELMA), for a great conversation. We talk about many things - among the topics are his belief that the cinematography must always serve the story, how he chooses his projects, what his process is on starting a film, his lens choices, and his desire to shoot it the way you want rather than fixing it in post. He shares his experiences on Arrival and that it was his first experience working with storyboards and also speaks about his work on Star Wars. We learn his unique way of lighting where he blacks everything and then adds light, “subtracting is adding”. And much, much more. You won’t want to miss this conversation with a true artist.
|Feb 17, 2021|
Guy Hendrix Dyas - Production Designer
EPISODE 89 - GUY HENDRIX DYAS - Production Designer
Team Deakins sits down with production designer, Guy Hendrix Dyas (INCEPTION, GEMINI MAN, ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE). We cover many subjects, including the importance of drawing and illustrating for Production Designers, the need for learning the director’s visual language, forming a relationship with a new director, and the sadness he feels at the end of each project. Guy shares his experiences of working with Terry Gilliam, Shekhar Kapur, and Chris Nolan. He breaks down the set in Inception that was in the snow and the challenges that it brought and talks about the Japanese influence on the design of Inception. We also get into the design of the films Agora and Elizabeth: The Golden Years. A very interesting looking into the world of the Production Designer!
|Feb 14, 2021|
Seamus McGarvey - Cinematographer
EPISODE 88 - SEAMUS MCGARVEY - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a fun conversation with cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (ATONEMENT, ANNA KARENINA, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN). He shares what he loves about filmmaking - the collaboration, the democracy of ideas that grow stronger as you define, and how the medium of film is a great medium for social exchange and political change. He talks about the differences of working with varying directors - such as Les Blair, Michael Winterbottom, Sam Taylor Johnson, Tom Ford, Oliver Stone, and Joe Wright. He likes the terror of not working with a locked-in storyboard or shot list! We even get into the experience of shooting television and learn what he likes and what he doesn’t like. We cover a lot of ground in this episode and, since it’s Seamus, we shared a lot of laughs along the way!
|Feb 10, 2021|
Gregor Wilson - Production Manager
EPISODE 87 - GREGOR WILSON - Production Manager
Team Deakins speaks with Gregor Wilson, (JUSTICE LEAGUE, PRISONERS, MAN OF STEAL), and looks closely at the role of production manager. Gregor tells us that one of the first important things he does is hiring the right crew and working to lock in the budget. We learn about Bond companies and the function they fulfill. Gregor shares his experience on Prisoners - his witnessing the relationship between Denis and Roger, his surprise at the cable costs of the camera crew, and the role the weather played in the shooting of the film. He also talks about mistakes that can be made in his role, the importance of stress management, and dealing with the long hours of production. We also delve into keeping up with new technology and dealing with rebates. A deep dive into the wide-ranging role of the production manager!
|Feb 07, 2021|
Caleb Deschanel - Cinematographer
EPISODE 86 - CALEB DESCHANEL - Cinematographer
Team Deakins sits down with cinematographer Caleb Deschanel for a great conversation. We learn about his experiences on the BLACK STALLION, BEING THERE, THE RIGHT STUFF, AND THE NATURAL. We talk about the key to being really good in the craft (recognizing a better idea), watching the actor do the performance for the first time, working with operators, the importance of crew choice for a DP, and the difference of operating a camera with the wheels. We also explore the critical relationship between DP and Director and how greatness is not always obvious in the making of something. A wide-reaching conversation that you don’t want to miss!
|Feb 03, 2021|
Michael Lerman - Assistant Director
EPISODE 85 - MICHAEL LERMAN - Assistant Director
Team Deakins has a great conversation with assistant director, Michael Lerman (1917, DOCTOR STRANGE, SKYFALL). Michael breaks down the job in detail starting from the beginning in prep through the shoot. He tells us it starts with the schedule which is a challenge that never ends during the production. He shares the importance of location scouting for the director, cinematographer and production designer, as well as his role of protecting the director’s time so they can spend the time they need with the many departments. He talks about the need of being both a “director’s AD” as well as a “producer’s AD”. We also discuss the importance of marrying 2nd unit and main unit and how this applied to the opening sequence of Skyfall. We cover a lot of ground in the episode so don’t miss it!!
|Jan 31, 2021|
Matthew Libatique - Cinematographer
EPISODE 84 - MATTHEW LIBATIQUE - Cinematographer
Team Deakins speaks with cinematographer Matty Libatique (A STAR IS BORN, BLACK SWAN, MOTHER!). In our conversation, he shares his experiences of working with director Darren Aronofsky as well as working with director Spike Lee. He touches on the importance of proper exposure in your footage and learning from each film that you make. We also learn about his experiences in the DI process and working on the film A Star is Born. We talk about lighting the frame or framing the light, shooting super 16mm on Black Swan, lenses, and much, much more! You won’t want to miss this episode!
|Jan 27, 2021|
David Mullen - Cinematographer
EPISODE 83 - DAVID MULLEN - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has the opportunity to talk with cinematographer David Mullen(THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, NORTHFORK, TWIN FALLS IDAHO). We learn lots of specifics about the shooting and lighting of the film Northfork. He really breaks it all down for us. We also speak in detail about the different ways of flashing film and why you would do it, as well as the ways of taking color out of the visuals on a film. He also shares the difficulty of storyboards that were created without the input of the cinematographer. We cover shooting anamorphic - why and the differences between spherical shooting, his experience of negotiating for a DI finish in the early days of the DI, and how he oversees the look when shooting the packed schedule of television. We learned a lot when talking with David!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Northfork, Akeelah and the Bee
|Jan 24, 2021|
Jeff Nichols & Adam Stone - Director & Cinematographer Team
EPISODE 82 - JEFF NICHOLS, ADAM STONE - Director/Cinematographer Team
Team Deakins has a great conversation with the collaborative team of director Jeff Nichols and cinematographer Adam Stone (MUD, LOVING, TAKE SHELTER). We learn about how they found each other, how they work together, and how that collaboration has grown over the years. They share their preference for shot lists over storyboards and their specificity when choosing locations (and how they drive the location department crazy!). Jeff, who also writes his projects, speaks of not adding camera direction in his scripts. We also talk about the difference in shooting for television and features and the different opportunities found in long-form storytelling. A great look at a close collaboration!
|Jan 20, 2021|
Larry Sher - Cinematographer
EPISODE 81 - LARRY SHER - Cinematographer
Team Deakins speaks with cinematographer Larry Sher (JOKER, GARDEN STATE, THE HANGOVER). We learn a lot about his many experiences with Todd Philips, including the movies The Hangover and The Joker. We talk about how color is an integral part of his work and how he loves location shooting with the mixtures of light, and how important it is, early on, to settle on what evening, dusk, and sunset mean light-wise. He shares his thoughts on operating, shooting with two cameras, working on big movies, and the differences in shooting film or digital. A lot gets covered!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: The Hangover
|Jan 17, 2021|
Mary Zophres - Costume Designer
EPISODE 80 - MARY ZOPHRES - Costume Designer
Team Deakins sits down with Costume Designer, Mary Zophres (FIRST MAN, LA LA LAND, TRUE GRIT). She shares how she works with actors, large amounts of extras, the production designer, and the DP. She describes the thrill of seeing the actor become the character in the fitting room. Camera tests are important since “your eye tells you different things than the lens does” and she tells some of the things she has discovered through camera tests. She also describes dressing Jeff Bridges on The Big Lebowski, researching First Man and her experience on La La Land. We learn a lot about how the costumes can add so much to the storytelling.
|Jan 13, 2021|
Harry Gruyaert - Still Photographer
EPISODE 79 - HARRY GRUYAERT - Still Photographer
Team Deakins speaks with the acclaimed stills photographer Harry Gruyaert. What a great conversation! We learn that when he started, he directed and shot for Flemish TV and he explains why he changed his path and became a stills photographer. He shares the importance of intuition in his work and finding your own way of seeing and style. We love what he does with color so we speak a lot about color and how he uses it, and he speaks of when he would use B&W over color. He also goes into detail about his early work in Morocco and how he relates to the subjects of his photographs. He shares what he was thinking when shooting specific shots and tells a wonderful story about his photo with the Magritte painting. He’s an artist that works for his own pleasure without concerning himself about how people will react and we certainly love the results he achieves!
|Jan 10, 2021|
Chris Miller & Phil Lord - Directors, Writers, Producers
EPISODE 78 - CHRIS MILLER & PHIL LORD - Directors, Writers, Producers
Team Deakins speaks with another long term collaborative team - Phil Lord and Chris Miller (CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, THE LEGO MOVIE, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE). We cover a lot of topics, including the difference between directing live-action and animation, how they work together, the biggest disagreement they’ve had, and the challenges of directing comedies. We learn about the making of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Last Man on Earth TV series, and the process on Spiderman - Into the Spider-Verse. We also learn their take on the possibilities in animation. A really interesting look at a very successful collaborative team!
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Last Man on Earth (TV), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
|Jan 06, 2021|
Ed Lachman - Cinematographer
EPISODE 77 - ED LACHMAN - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a great conversation with Cinematographer, Ed Lachman (CAROL, FAR FROM HEAVEN, DARK WATERS). We talk about many things, including his working with Robby Mueller and what he learned from him, his feeling on operating the camera, and finding your language with the director. He also shares his working process with director Todd Haynes, with whom he has collaborated many times. We go into depth on the movie “Far from Heaven” (one of his collaborations with Todd) from finding the look, the inspiration from Douglas Sirk films, and the use of colors. We also touch on the differences in using gels with film & with digital, his choice of lens, getting the look he wanted in “Dark Waters” and working with Paul Schrader. And much, much more!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Far From Heaven
|Jan 03, 2021|
Mike Leigh & Dick Pope - Director & Cinematographer
EPISODE 76 - MIKE LEIGH & DICK POPE - Director & Cinematographer
Team Deakins has the pleasure of sitting down with the long time collaborative team of Mike Leigh and Dick Pope (MR. TURNER, NAKED, SECRETS & LIES). What a great conversation! Mike shares with us his method of working and delineates the difference between his work and that of the directors John Cassavetes and Ken Loach. We learn the importance of having the right location and being able to return to the location during the course of the shoot. As the film is an “ongoing investigation” of what it will be according to Mike, Dick shares how amazing the experience is when he sees the blocked scene play out on location for the first time. Mike speaks on his way of working with actors. We also learn why on the film Peterloo, which involved a lot of scenes with a lot of extras and battles, they chose not to do storyboards. Both Mike and Dick talk about the specifics of their collaboration and how it has strengthened over years. A fascinating look into a very special relationship between a director and cinematographer.
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Secrets and Lies
|Dec 30, 2020|
John Wells - Director, Producer, Showrunner
EPISODE 75 - JOHN WELLS - Director, Producer, Showrunner
Team Deakins has a great conversation with John Wells, a director, producer and showrunner of such television as ER, WEST WING, THIRD WATCH, SOUTHLAND, and SHAMELESS. John spells out the responsibilities of the position of showrunner on television, and we get to ask all the questions for which we’ve always wanted to know the answer! We learned a lot about the process in television series - how far in advance the scripts are done, the actors' ownership of their role, the importance of cinematographers in episodic TV. We also learned how much of the story is known at the start of the season and how the scripts change during the season. John also gives a thoughtful opinion on the effect of streaming on future moviemaking. We talk about writing a villain successfully, ensemble movies, and much, much more! Don’t miss this episode!
|Dec 27, 2020|
Adam Arkapaw - Cinematographer
EPISODE 74 - ADAM ARKAPAW - Cinematographer
Team Deakins catches up with cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (ANIMAL KINGDOM, ASSASSIN’S CREED, TRUE DETECTIVE). We learn a lot about the Australian film Animal Kingdom and how it was shot. Adam also tells us what he does during prep, how he works with a production designer and how he likes to give space to the actors. He also talked about something Andrew Lesnie once said to him and how it affected him. We also speak about how he chooses his projects, and his experiences on Macbeth, The King and True Detective. He shares his experiences in television and compared it to his film work. A fun episode with lots in it!
|Dec 23, 2020|
Rob Hardy - Cinematographer
EPISODE 73 - ROB HARDY - Cinematographer
Team Deakins sits down with English cinematographer, Rob Hardy for a great, in-depth conversation. We cover many subjects, including his work on BOY A with John Crowley, the experience of the movie, RED RIDING with Michael Winterbottom, and his frequent collaboration with Alex Garland on the films EX MACHINA andANNIHILATION. He also talks about working with a Steadicam, operating the camera, mixing light sources and his choice of lenses per project. We even get into his experience on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. And we don’t forget to talk about the series DEVs. It’s a special inside look at how he works and thinks. You don’t want to miss it!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Boy A, Devs, Ex Machina
|Dec 20, 2020|
"Biggles" John Higgins - Gaffer
EPISODE 72 - “BIGGLES” (JOHN HIGGINS) - Gaffer
Team Deakins sits down with Biggles (John Higgins, if you want to be formal) an accomplished gaffer that Roger has a long past with. Biggles talks about working with Ozzie Morris and different lighting styles. We get into a discussion about brute arcs, what they are and the difference in the light they produce. Roger and Biggles reminisce on their experiences together on 1984, MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON, WHITE MISCHIEF and 1917. Biggles also shares some experiences with Chivo (GRAVITY and Sven Nykvist and Richard Attenborough (CHAPLIN) and talks about how he works with DPs and the importance of trust. Of course, we talk about the big lighting rig on 1917 as well as the scenes lit only by the character’s torches (flashlights). We got into the subject of new technology in lighting and the importance of being realistic when choosing the lights to use for a project - if there are hostile conditions, far better to go with something dependable. A wide-reaching episode you won’t want to miss!
|Dec 16, 2020|
Dede Gardner - Co-President Plan B Entertainment
EPISODE 71 - DEDE GARDNER - Co-President Plan B Entertainment
Teams Deakins speaks with Plan B co-president, Dede Gardner (IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, MOONLIGHT). We talk about the careful selection by Plan B of the projects they choose and how the company’s goal is to protect the original intention of a film throughout the process. Dede tells us her process in choosing projects to back and that she chose to become a producer because it allowed her to spend the longest time on a project. We talk about the strange world we create when we shoot a movie and how each movie is a situation that doesn’t repeat. She speaks at length on her working relationship with Jeremy Kleiner, Plan B’s other co-president. We also covered the importance of recognizing when you are working on the wrong incarnation of a movie and the need to step back and start again. We also covered the movie Selma, working in television, balancing work and family, how important conviction and passion are and much more! So much information in one episode!!
|Dec 13, 2020|
Barry Ackroyd - Cinematographer
Team Deakins sits down with esteemed cinematographer, Barry Ackroyd (BOMBSHELL, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, THE HURT LOCKER). We covered many topics, including his work with the director Ken Loach and Ken’s approach to moviemaking. We also learn about his work with Paul Greengrass and he tells us about how certain scenes were shot on United 93. Barry talks about lighting a space and how he enjoys limitations. We also talk about handheld operating and how he achieves what he does with a handheld camera and he shares his feelings about operating in general. He tells us how he chooses his projects, his thoughts on operating, his experience of working on Captain Phillips and his feelings about electronic viewfinders. A great conversation!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: United 93
|Dec 09, 2020|
Turning the Tables - No Country for Old Men
EPISODE 69 - TURNING THE TABLES - No Country for Old Men
Team Deakins has the tables turned on them! Cinematographer Greig Fraser and actor Josh Brolin ask the questions in this episode. We covered a lot about the movie and looked in detail at seven scenes in the movie. The conversation also went in some unplanned areas - we learned, among other things, how Greig hates the script slug line “evening”, what it was like working with Kelly McDonald, how important trust is when working on a film, and what the experience of shooting No Country for Old Men was like for Josh. Happy accidents, our favorite scene in the film, and the relationship between actor and DP were also talked about. And much, much more! There is a companion PDF for this episode that lists the clips we discussed and when they appear in the film. Don’t miss this special episode - there’s a lot in it. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF.
REQUIRED EPISODE VIEWING: No Country for Old Men
|Dec 06, 2020|
Anthony Dod Mantle - Cinematographer
Episode 68 - ANTHONY DOD MANTLE - Cinematographer
Team Deakins talks to talented cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, DOGVILLE, T2 TRAINSPOTTING). We cover many subjects, including his work in documentaries and political films, his experiences in India, how he started with still photography and why he moved to motion picture, and his early experiences of focus pulling. He tells us at length his involvement with dogma films and what that means and how he likes to start from a new place for each film. He breaks down a lot of the shooting in the movie “The Command” and gives us the tip of how where you put the focus helps greatly in marrying different formats. A fascinating discussion with a great cinematographer!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: The Command
|Dec 02, 2020|
Dave Diliberto - Post Supervisor
EPISODE 67 - DAVE DILIBERTO - Post Supervisor
Team Deakins sits down with long time friend and post supervisor, Dave Diliberto (O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU, THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE). We talk about a lot of subjects, including his start with the Coen Brothers, the difference of working with the Coens and with other directors, and we go in to challenging post of the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”. We also speak of what super 35mm means in a film post and the difficulty involved in re-mastering titles. Dave leads us through mixing, the different deliverables on a project and his reaction to the phrase “We can fix that in Post”. A great look at what happens after the film is shot.
|Nov 29, 2020|
Andrey Zvyagintsev & Mikhail Krichman (Pt 2) - Director & Cinematographer
EPISODE 66 - ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV & MIKHAIL KRICHMAN - Director & Cinematographer Team - Part 2
Team Deakins continues their epic conversation with Andrey Zvyagintsev and Mikhail Krichman, celebrated Russian collaborative team of director and cinematographer. This is the second part of a two part episode. We learn a lot about the shooting of the movie, Leviathan and the weather challenges they faced. Andrey shares that he doesn’t re-watch his films and also entertained us with the story of his very first experience shooting a 16mm film when he was young. He’s come a long way since then, let’s just say! We also speak about independent film financing in Russia vs state funded and their feelings on film vs digital. And Mikhail tells how Roger unknowingly participated on The Return! A great conversation with talented filmmakers!!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: The Return, The Banishment, Elena, Leviathan, Loveless
|Nov 25, 2020|
Andrey Zvyagintsev & Mikhail Krichman (Pt 1) - Director and Cinematographer Team
EPISODE 65 - ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV & MIKHAIL KRICHMAN - Director & Cinematographer Team - Part 1
Team Deakins have an amazing conversation with the Russian collaborative team of Andrey Zvyagintsev and Mikhail Krichman (LOVELESS, LEVIATHAN, THE BANISHMENT). We have been avid fans of their films for years and so this was very special to us. Their films are: The Return, The Banishment, Elena, Leviathan and Loveless. We speak about so many things that we had to make two episodes from the result! In this episode we learn about their unique collaborative process of 20 years, their experiences on The Return, The Banishment and Elena. We speak about VFX, how Andrey works with his actors and how they battle unpredictable elements, like children and weather. A great conversation with true masters of filmmaking!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: The Return, The Banishment, Elena, Leviathan, Loveless
|Nov 22, 2020|
Jon Kilik - Getting the project off the ground
EPISODE 64 - JON KILIK - Getting the project off the ground
Team Deakins is happy to welcome producer Jon Kilik back again with a specific subject - how to get film projects off the ground. Because films are different, we look at the different ways you can move forward. Jon tells us about the need to be flexible without compromising the vision, how often compromises can be opportunities, and if you can’t bring the film’s operating price down, you might have to wait and do a smaller project first. He also walks us through the process of finding distribution for a film. We talk about how to deal with a project that is financed from many sources and how to structure this. He also touches on the weight a name actor adds to a project, how the process of filmmaking is making the project better everyday and dealing with stress. We’re so glad that Jon came back and delved into this subject with us!
|Nov 18, 2020|
Turning the Tables - The Assassination of Jesse James
EPISODE 63 - TURNING THE TABLES - The Assassination of Jesse James
The tables get turned on Team Deakins in this episode with Greig Fraser asking us the questions, focusing on the film “The Assassination of Jesse James”. Greig asks questions on 7 clips of the film. There is a companion pdf with this episode (see the link below) that lists the approximate time these clips appear in the movie with images of the first and last frames. We get into specific breakdowns of these shots as well as talking about the experience of working with the director, the lyric nature of the book and how that influenced the film as well as the incredible music track from composer Nick Cave. Greig had done his homework and had plenty of questions for us! He led us through a great discussion of this film. Click here to download the companion pdf.
RECOMMEND EPISODE VIEWING: The Assassination of Jesse James
|Nov 15, 2020|
Dodd Vickers - Location Scout/Manager
EPISODE 62 - DODD VICKERS - Location Scout/Location Manager
Team Deakins again looks into the complexities of locations in the scheme of production with location scout and manager, Dodd Vickers (THE GLORIAS, SHARP OBJECTS, SUPERFLY). We talk with Dodd who shares with us how to find locations, things that have to be considered for locations and working with the budget. He also talks about how he needs to get into the director’s head, how the location department are the ambassadors of the film and the importance of getting to know the location neighborhood and the people living there. We also touch on reusing locations, remembering logistics when looking for locations and the difference in locations for film and TV. And much more!!
|Nov 11, 2020|
Jason Hall - Writer, Director
EPISODE 61 - JASON HALL - Writer, Director
Team Deakins has a great conversation in this episode with writer and director, Jason Hall (THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, AMERICAN SNIPER). He takes us through the experience of writing the script for American Sniper. He literally had to wrestle for it! He talks about finding the story and dealing with the changes in the script during the course of find its way to the screen. He also walks us through the making of Thank You for Your Service, a movie that is a favorite of ours. We talked about how he approached it as a first time director and how he prepped for the movie. We learn about the casting of the movie and that he worked to surround the actors with things that resonate the truth. And the very important piece of advice that Taylor Hackford gave him during the editing period. He also talks about working with Spielberg, balancing commercial appeal with a meaningful story and the idea of directing a script he hasn’t written. We covered a lot of ground!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Thank you for your Service
|Nov 08, 2020|
Billy O'Leary - Gaffer
EPISODE 60 - BILLY O’LEARY - Gaffer
Team Deakins sits down with frequent collaborator and friend, gaffer Billy O’Leary (THE IRISHMAN, BLADE RUNNER 2049, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS). It’s a wonderful walk down memory lane and we learned a lot too! He defines the role of gaffer and walks through what he does in prep and how he works with different DPs. He also talks about his love of NOT relying on big lights and working up lighting gags. He likes restrictions and having to think outside of the box. He talks about some specifics on Shawshank Redemption, Blade Runner 2049, Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink and Fargo. When asked what his gaffer’s nightmare is, he not only told us but let us know it was a waking nightmare - he did experience it! A fun and informative conversation that we think you’ll like!
|Nov 04, 2020|
Jon Kilik - Producer
EPISODE 59 - JON KILIK - Producer
We had the opportunity of sitting down with a producer we’ve had the pleasure of working with, Jon Kilik (FOXCATCHER, THE HUNGER GAMES, BABEL, DO THE RIGHT THING). He clued us in on a few subjects - whey there are so many producers on projects, how the producer credit has been devalued, and the difference in the producer roles in movies and TV. We learned that there’s always a way to figure out how to get a movie made and how he chooses projects. He also shared his experiences of working with Spike Lee with whom he has been a frequent collaborator. And that’s just a few of the subjects we got into! A great episode you won’t want to miss!
|Nov 01, 2020|
Joel Edgerton - Actor, Director
EPISODE 58 - JOEL EDGERTON - Actor, Director
Team Deakins has a great conversation with Joel Edgerton, (THE KING, BOY ERASED, LOVING), about his craft as an actor, director and writer. We learn why heroes should have a bit of villain in them, finding fun in every character and what he considers when choosing projects. We talk about his work with his brother, Nash Edgerton, what an intricate puzzle fundraising for a project is in Australia, the creative solutions in moviemaking in response to restrictions, and what he likes in both big-budget movies and smaller budget movies. He shared that he likes characters who make a mistake and have to opportunity to right and either do or don’t. We also talk about his role as a director and how it differs from being an actor on set. We talked about so much more - you’ll just have to listen to the episode!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: The Gift
|Oct 28, 2020|
Turning The Tables - Shawshank Redemption
EPISODE 57 - TURNING THE TABLES - Shawshank Redemption
In this episode, we get the tables turned upon us! Greig Fraser leads the conversation and asks US the questions. He starts by diving into our collaboration process and then moves onto the movie SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. In addition, he chose 5 clips from the movie to discuss. We list and describe the clip in an accompanying PDF file for this episode that can be accessed by the link below. We also strayed from the movie discussion to talk about choosing the format of a movie, why one shoots anamorphic, choosing the camera for 1917, the pressure on the DP when trying to wait for the right light and the joy of seeing the performance as you are shooting. It’s a fun episode which Greig skillfully leads. Don’t miss it. Use this link to download the PDF file.
REQUIRED EPISODE VIEWING: Shawshank Redemption
|Oct 25, 2020|
Thomas Newman - Composer
EPISODE 56 - THOMAS NEWMAN - Composer
Team Deakins sits with Tom Newman, (1917, SKYFALL, WALL-E, AMERICAN BEAUTY), and learns lots about the world of the composer. He tells us about learning to be a collaborator, his experience with directors like Robert Altman and Sam Mendes, how he deals with last minute editorial changes after the music has been composed and the difference between composing for Live Action and Animation. He also speaks of working in television, how binge watching changed theme music on TV shows, the musical challenge on the film, 1917 and his feeling that creativity is chaotic. And that’s only scratching the surface of what we got into during the conversation! A great episode with a talented composer!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: 1917, Shawshank Redemption
|Oct 21, 2020|
Rachel Morrison - Cinematographer
EPISODE 55 - RACHEL MORRISON - Cinematographer
Team Deakins converses with cinematographer Rachel Morrison in this episode. She speaks on many subjects - telling us about working with director Ryan Coogler, how the way she works with the gaffer differs on features and TV, her like of imperfection. She also shares that she strives to share as much information as possible when working, including sharing the look book with her crew. We learn about the shooting of MUDBOUND and the challenges on that film. And a lot more! A great episode!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Mudbound
|Oct 18, 2020|
Ed Solomon - Writer
EPISODE 54 - ED SOLOMON - Writer
Team Deakins talks with writer Ed Solomon, (MEN IN BLACK, BILL & TED’s EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, NOW YOU SEE ME 2), in this episode. We learned a lot about the craft of writing! Ed talks about the differences in writing for TV and features, writing on spec versus adapting material, writers block, and how his script of the original Bill and Ted changed his career. He also shares the experiences of working with Gary Shandling, making writing “actable”, loving the blank page and writing for Steven Soderbergh. He speaks openly on all aspects of writing which makes this a very interesting episode!
|Oct 14, 2020|
Joe Reidy, Assistant Director
EPISODE 53 - JOE REIDY - Assistant Director
Team Deakins speaks with an amazing AD, Joe Reidy (THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, THE DEPARTED, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, CASINO). He leads us through the many aspects of the role of Assistant Director - from Scheduling, his prep, AD breakdown, dealing with extras and his relationship with the line producer and creative producer. He speaks of working with specific directors, such as Marty Scorcese, Sidney Lumet and Oliver Stone. He delineates the various positions in the AD department and feels that “running the set is setting the tone”. Everything you wanted to know about the role of the AD and more!! An information packed episode!
|Oct 11, 2020|
Patrice Vermette - Production Designer
EPISODE 52 - PATRICE VERMETTE - Production Designer
Teams Deakins enjoys a great conversation with Production Designer, Patrice Vermette (DUNE, VICE, ARRIVAL, PRISONERS). He goes through his working process and talks about his relationship with the Director and DP. He shares his opinion on building sets or using locations, color palettes, and the traits he likes in a director and DP. He gets specific about his work on the movies: Enemy and Sicario. He also speaks of what he wants from his team and the filmmaking community in Montreal. We had hoped to finally get an explanation of the ending of the movie Enemy, but were disappointed once again! Despite that, there’s still great information in this episode so don’t miss it!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Sicario
|Oct 07, 2020|
Andrew Patterson - Director
EPISODE 51 -ANDREW PATTERSON - Director
Team Deakins was excited to talk with emerging director, Andrew Patterson. After seeing his debut film, VAST OF NIGHT, we knew we wanted to talk with him. He leads us through the long path of getting his movie made, talks about his casting and the very interesting cadence of the dialogue of the film. He also speaks about wanting to make a movie that doesn’t start to looked aged but the look stays contemporary and what he did to achieve that. He also shares how he maximized his resources, what his first hires were and what he learned from his first film. A really interesting conversation with a very interesting filmmaker!
REQUIRED EPISODE VIEWING: The Vast of Night
|Oct 04, 2020|
Josh Brolin - Actor
EPISODE 50 - JOSH BROLIN - Actor
Team Deakins sits down with long time friend, actor Josh Brolin (TRUE GRIT, AVENGERS: ENDGAME, ONLY THE BRAVE, MILK). We learned so much from him - how going into law is similar to being an actor (who knew?) and how acting is like golf (learned something new!). He also tells us how his interest in human behavior drew him to acting and he shares the very funny story of his audition for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. He speaks of his experiences working with the Coen Brothers, he tells us what was involved in his THE AVENGERS role and shares how he was convinced to do SICARIO. He also goes into how he relates with the camera crew, his prep for films and how he uses instagram as a platform for his prose. And that’s only a part of what we talked about! Don’t miss it!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: No Country for Old Men
|Sep 30, 2020|
Nicoletta Mani - Script Supervisor
EPISODE 49 - NICOLETTA MANI - Script Supervisor
Team Deakins has the pleasure of talking with script supervisor, Nicoletta Mani (1917, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE- FALL OUT, THE QUIET ONES). We get the chance to discover the wide range of this role in production from the breakdown of the script, day breakdown, script timing, editor notes, continuity and much more. We learn how the script supervisor acts as a conduit to the Editor and their relationship to the director and the other departments. We also talked about handling a shoot with multiple units and multiple cameras. We delved into continuity and when it matters and when it doesn’t. Nicoletta leads us through the different aspects to the job of script supervisor - a very informative episode!
|Sep 27, 2020|
Rob Legato - VFX Supervisor
EPISODE 48 - ROB LEGATO - VFX Supervisor
Team Deakins speaks with VFX Supervisor, Rob Legato (THE LION KING, THE JUNGLE BOOK, HUGO, TITANIC). He walks us through some of the changes in VFX over the years and is quite vocal on his feelings on the different approaches - CG effects or model work. We learned a lot about his work on Jungle Book, The Lion King, Titanic and Apollo 13. We even talked about shooting 3D versus converting afterwards. Rob also told us his thoughts of the future of CG. A lot of information in this episode!
|Sep 23, 2020|
Tim Robbins - Actor, Director
EPISODE 47 - TIM ROBBINS - Actor, Director
Team Deakins has a great conversation with actor, director (and punk rocker, as you learn in the episode!), Tim Robbins (MYSTIC RIVER, THE PLAYER, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, DEAD MAN WALKING). Tim shares a lot of his thoughts on acting, the importance of “generous actors” and how fame can lead you astray. We learn about overcoming the temptation to take a job for the wrong reasons and the importance of patience when choosing your work. He tells us about his experience of working with Bob Altman, Clint Eastwood and Ron Shelton. We talk about his directing experiences and how directing made him a better actor. The movie “Easy Rider” even comes into the discussion! A fascinating conversation you won’t want to miss!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: 5 Corners, Bull Durham, Bob Roberts
|Sep 20, 2020|
Ed Zwick- Director
EPISODE 46 - ED ZWICK - Director
Team Deakins has the opportunity in this episode to sit down with director, writer, producer Ed Zwick and discuss a wide range of subjects. Ed’s list of credits is long and includes THE SIEGE, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, and DEFIANCE). Ed tells us what is important to him as a director and why he thinks scale is important in a movie. He also speaks of the value of finding the action on the set rather than trying to set it beforehand either with pre-vis or storyboards. We talk about casting and he shares some examples of working with actors. He also speaks on what he thinks is the difference between film and television production as well as his belief that movies can make a difference. It is a great discussion with a passionate filmmaker and not one that you’d want to miss!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Courage under Fire, The Siege
|Sep 16, 2020|
Jake Gyllenhaal - Actor
EPISODE 45 - JAKE GYLLENHAAL - Actor
Team Deakins had the opportunity to sit and talk with long time friend, actor Jake Gyllenhaal (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, PRISONERS, NIGHTCRAWLER). Jake speaks about his relationship with directors and with cinematographers. We speak about his work in Donnie Darko and Prisoners, as well as Jarhead and Wildlife. He speaks about how, as an actor, the final result is always in other people’s hands. He also shares how important the collaboration between actor and cinematographer is and the importance of creating a “safe place” for the actor in front of the camera. Although we were hoping he would explain the end of the movie Enemy (and he said he would!), we finished the episode without knowing any more! And we also got into the craft of building sand castles! A really fun conversation that gave us an insight into the world of an actor! Don’t miss it!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Donnie Darko, Jarhead
|Sep 13, 2020|
Franz Kraus - Pt 2 - Arriflex
EPISODE 44 - FRANZ KRAUS Part 2 - Arriflex
This is part 2 with Franz Kraus. We continue our conversation with Franz about all things digital. We talk lens, camera, the Trinity rig, viewfinders, the M camera (precursor of the Mini) and what might be coming in the future. A great chance to get all of those digital questions out into the open! It was an amazing experience to pick the brain of a person behind the development of digital technology.
|Sep 09, 2020|
Franz Kraus - Pt 1 - Arriflex
EPISODE 43 - FRANZ KRAUS Part 1 - Arriflex
Team Deakins sits down with Franz Kraus of Arriflex who has overseen most of the company’s digital visual advancements. We learn the history and progression into digital technology. He also walks us through the greater importance of dynamic range vs resolution. We learn how the sensor size affects the relationship between lens and subject. We speak about the Arri 65 camera as well as the LF camera. And much more! Franz was so generous with his knowledge that we have to split our session into two episodes!! It’s a great deep dive into digital technology!
|Sep 06, 2020|
KK Barrett - Production Designer
EPISODE 42 - KK BARRETT - Production Designer
Team Deakins sits down with production designer KK Barnett (HER, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, MARIE ANTOINETTE). It’s a great opportunity to delve into the job of the production designer and all it entails. We go into depth about how he works with the DP and the Director. He illustrates his process by talking specifically about scenes in Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, and Adaptation. We talk about the difference in designing from an original script or a script based on a book. He shares his process of breaking down a script and offers advice to those starting out. We even talk about the proverbial “Telephone Box” set. An episode with a lot of information about production design!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Being John Malkovich, Marie Antoinette
|Sep 02, 2020|
Paul Dano & Zoe Kazan - Actors, Writers, Director
EPISODE 41 - PAUL DANO & ZOE KAZAN -Actors, writers & director
Team Deakins has the pleasure of speaking with another couple in the film business. Both are actors and writers and Paul has also directed. We talk a lot about the experience of being an actor and they articulately discuss the difference between acting for the stage and for film. We talk about the experience of being a couple in the same business and working together. Zoe shares how her writing allows her acting to be more personal and how hard it is to write a project and then let it go once it is picked up to be made. We had the opportunity to ask Paul many questions on his wonderful debut film as a director, “WILDLIFE”. We also touched on actors and their awareness of the camera, actors and continuity, their pet peeves about actors and how they choose their projects. Zoe speaks about working with the Coen Brothers and Paul speaks about working with Denis Villeneuve. We cover a lot of ground in this episode!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Wildlife, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
|Aug 30, 2020|
Sona Pak & Guillaume Rocheron - VFX Producer & Supervisor
EPISODE 40 - SONA PAK & GUILLAUME ROCHERON - VFX Producer & Supervisor
Team Deakins dives into the world of VFX. We speak with a VFX Producer, Sona Pak (1917, THE TWO POPES, ALIEN: COVENANT) and a VFX Supervisor, Guillaume Rocheron (1917, AD ASTRA, LIFE OF PI). So the first question we get to settle is who does what. We also look into things like, the advantages and disadvantages of working with multiple vendors, how to keep a continuity of look when so many people are working on a shot, face replacement in shots, how what is a VFX shot and what isn’t is decided, the importance of knowing the different strengths of the various VFX houses and how the post schedule can contract. And that’s just a few of the points we touch on. It’s a large subject and it was great to speak with two such talented people!
|Aug 26, 2020|
Hoyte van Hoytema - Cinematographer
EPISODE 39 - HOYTE VAN HOYTEMA - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has a fascinating conversation with celebrated cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (DUNKIRK, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, HER, INTERSTELLAR). He shares his experience of working with directors, Christopher Nolan and David O Russell. He talks about the value of shooting as much as possible in camera and how he approaches lenses, often creating a set specifically for a movie. We learn about how working with Christopher Nolan the second time on Dunkirk was different and he goes into detail on shooting in IMAX, talking about the pros and cons. He also shares his opinions on working with a large budget and a small budget. And there’s plenty more. You don’t want to miss this!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Dunkirk, Ad Astra, Interstellar
|Aug 23, 2020|
Jeb Brody - President of Productions, Amblin Studios
EPISODE 38 - JEB BRODY - Pres of Production, Amblin Studios
Team Deakins sits down with Jeb Brody, the president of production at Amblin Studios and learn a lot about the studio side of production. Jeb walks us through so much - the difference between a studio exec and a producer, the relationship between the filmmakers and the studios, the differences between the studios and the movies they make. We discuss what kind of films are getting made these days, look at the difference of negative pickup and acquisition, and why the bad behaviors of filmmakers in the ’70s no longer works. We worked with Jeb on 1917 and get into that as well. And we learn from the studio’s point of view what the growth of streaming means for moviemaking. We even got into the “dark arts of filmmaking” (you’ll have to listen to learn about this!). We’ve never had the opportunity to sit with the studio and ask them all our questions so we had a great time! Don’t miss it if you want to learn everything on the studio side!
|Aug 19, 2020|
Laura Metcalfe - DI Producer
EPISODE 37 - LAURA METCALFE - DI Producer/Finishing Producer
Team Deakins looks into the final step of making a movie or the DI, with DI Producer/ Finishing Producer, Laura Metcalfe (1917, WONDER WOMAN, TOMB RAIDER). While previously called the “DI Producer” since when it started it was all about the DI (“Digital Intermediate”), because the process has become so complex, you’ll hear the role referred to as “Finishing Producer”. We speak with Laura Metcalfe of Company 3 in London who worked with us on “1917”. We talk about when this role actually starts on a movie (much earlier than you might think!) and talk at length about setting up workflows that continue until the film finishes. We also go into detail with Laura about the very bespoke workflow on “1917” and the challenges it presented. We also walk through some of the deliverables of a film (the different formats that are made), how the dailies timing differs from the DI timing and the steps to setting up a DI. And, of course, much more! A very detailed look at post!
|Aug 16, 2020|
Linus Sandgren - Cinematographer
EPISODE 36 - LINUS SANDGREN - Cinematographer
Team Deakins sits down for a conversation with cinematographer, Linus Sandgren (NO TIME TO DIE, FIRST MAN, LA LA LAND, JOY). “I love the creation of the image.” We cover a lot of ground in our talk and touch on, among other things, Swedish films and sensibilities, working minimally, how important it is to find the right approach for each movie. He also goes into detail about how he develops the look with the director. He tells us about working with David O Russell and does a deep dive on the making of FIRST MAN which you don’t want to miss! And finally, of course, we talk a bit about shooting a Bond movie. A fascinating conversation with a talented image-maker!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: First Man, 6 Souls
|Aug 12, 2020|
Joe Walker - Editor
EPISODE 35 - JOE WALKER - Editor
Team Deakins speaks with friend and two time collaborator, editor Joe Walker (ARRIVAL, SICARIO, BLADE RUNNER 2049, 12 YEARS A SLAVE). We get an interesting look into the changes in the techniques of cutting between now and when Joe started. We talk about where the cutting style of the movie comes from, when a sound editor comes in and what they, test screenings - pros and cons. We also touch on the editing in Sicario, 12 Years a Slave and Shame. We do get into what crossing the line is and what you can get away with continuity-wise. And we even share our personal work-related nightmares! It’s an episode packed with information that you won’t want to miss!
|Aug 09, 2020|
John Lindley - Cinematographer
EPISODE 34 - JOHN LINDLEY - Cinematographer
Team Deakins speaks with John Lindley, cinematographer and president of camera local 600. John shot the films FATHER FIGURES, PLEASANTVILLE, FIELD OF DREAMS, and BEWITCHED. We talk about documentaries and what working on them gives you - both personally (it “enlarges your life”) and skill-wise. We also talk about handling the pressure on the set tin the role of dp and how to oversee the people you’re working with and getting the best out of them. The difference between working in TV and on features is also looked at. We also learn about unions and the camera union.
|Aug 05, 2020|
Joel Coen - Director
EPISODE 33 - JOEL COEN - Director
Here’s the episode you’ve all been waiting for! Team Deakins sits down with long time collaborator, director Joel Coen (TRUE GRIT, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, FARGO, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS). A great conversation that covers aspects of their experiences together as well as the importance of collaboration and letting go of defensiveness. Of course we talk about storyboards and their place in the process as well as the power of editing. We talk about the importance of casting and the way he works with actors. As well as the fact that not having a large budget can be a blessing. Joel is an incredible filmmaker and it’s amazing to hear him speak on the craft of making films. Be sure not to miss this one!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: True Grit (2010), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)
|Aug 02, 2020|
Dick Pope - Cinematographer
EPISODE 32 - DICK POPE - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has an entertaining conversation with cinematographer and long time friend, Dick Pope (Mr. TURNER, SECRETS & LIES, ANOTHER YEAR, THE ILLUSIONIST). We talk about his start in film, his work in documentaries and his long term collaboration with director Mike Leigh. Along the way, we also touch on the importance of trust between DP & Director, working with keys that you don’t know and in particular how he works with gaffers. We touch a bit on operating and even end up with a bit on film vs digital, although we weren’t planning on going there! It’s a fascinating episode and we promise you will laugh during parts!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: Any Mike Leigh film
|Jul 29, 2020|
Pete Franciosa - Agent
EPISODE 31 - PETE FRANCIOSA - Agent
Team Deakins talk with Pete Franciosa, head of production at UTA talent agency. We talk about what an agent does, how to get an agent, what “packaging” is, how he choses people to represent, the differences between the agencies and lots more! It’s an interesting look inside the talent agency.
|Jul 26, 2020|
Alex Webb - Still Photographer
EPISODE 30 - Alex Webb - Stills Photographer
Team Deakins does something different with this episode. We took the opportunity to talk to an extraordinary visual talent who is NOT a part of movie production. He is a well known still photographer and someone we are great admirers of. It was great to talk with him about his work, what he thinks is important in photographer, how he approaches his work, the importance of color in his work, what pictures can mean and the role of serendipity in great photographs. It’s an immersive dive into creating visuals.
|Jul 22, 2020|
Greig Fraser - Cinematographer
EPISODE 29 - GREIG FRASER - Cinematographer
Team Deakins sits down with friend and fellow DP, Greig Fraser (DUNE, THE MANDALORIAN (TV), ZERO DARK THIRTY). We cover a lot ground in this episode starting with Volume lighting - how it works, how it effects the way that you work, the advantages and disadvantages. He tells us what attributes he feels are key in a director and how he feels about operating. We learn his secret desire to shoot a musical and we dive into the undiscussed subject of why wrap parties are hard and often avoided. And there’s more! A fun and informative episode.
|Jul 19, 2020|
Gary Hymns - Key Grip (UK)
EPISODE 28 - GARY HYMNS - Key Grip
This is part 2 of a two part episode series where Team Deakins talks key grips. This episode features a very renown British key grip Gary Hymns, (THE BATMAN, 1917, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY), who walks us through the British system of gripping. This episode features a very renown British key grip who walks us through the British system of gripping. Because he worked with us on 1917, we delve into the details of how certain shots were accomplished in that film as well as learning details from some of his other films. You’ll understand why there was a lot laughing on the set of 1917 after hearing his humorous commentary!
RECOMMENDED EPISODE VIEWING: 1917
|Jul 16, 2020|
Mitch Lillian - Key Grip (US)
EPISODE 27 - MITCH LILLIAN - Key Grip
This is part 1 of a two part episode series where Team Deakins talks to key grips - one American, one British. Team Deakins discusses with these talented technicians how the very different systems work for grips in the states and the UK and how there responsibilities change between the countries and even between the states in the US! Mitch Lillian, (THE GOLDFINCH, BLADE RUNNER 2049 BIRDMAN), shares with us the challenges of gripping and how he figures out how to do what he is so good at doing! If you’ve ever wondered exactly what a grip does on a motion picture production, these two episodes will fill you in!
|Jul 15, 2020|
EPISODE 26 - BILL POPE - Cinematographer
Team Deakins has the pleasure of talking with talented cinematographer, Bill Pope. He’s shot so many wonderful films, including THE MATRIX series, THE JUNGLE BOOK, CLUELESS, CLUELESS and many more. A fun discussion on the many aspects of filmmaking, and how certain films were made. We learn how some of the fantastic visuals of The Matrix came to be and some of the techniques used in making the Jungle Book. The conversation also looks into the relationship of the DP with the VFX team, the importance of preparation and what the personal experience of filmmaking can be. Bill is not only talented but very articulate so it’s an episode you don’t want to miss!
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Bound, The Matrix
|Jul 12, 2020|
Denis Villeneuve - Director
EPISODE 25 - DENIS VILLENEUVE - Director.
Team Deakins spends some time talking with their friend and frequent collaborator, the brilliant director Denis Villeneuve (BLADE RUNNER 2049, ARRIVAL, PRISONERS). We covered many topics including Denis’ start in the business, his early films, what filmmaking means to him and the special collaboration we share. We also examine why certain shots seem to work and what the steps were to get there. A great conversation with a talented artist!
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Incendies, Sicario
|Jul 08, 2020|
Wilson Webb - Still Photographer
EPISODE 24 - WILSON WEBB- Still & Set Photographer.
Team Deakins welcomes the great still and set photographer, Wilson Webb to the Podcast this week. Wilson has worked with us on numerous films and really is one of the best at what he does. Some of his credits include MARRIAGE STORY, BABY DRIVER, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, PRISONERS, TRUE GRIT and many more! We discuss the role of a set photographer, how to shoot posters for a film and we even get his opinion on the new wave of digital cameras. An episode for anyone interested in photography or filmmaking alike!
|Jul 05, 2020|
Clayton Townsend - Producer
EPISODE 23 - CLAYTON TOWNSEND - Producer
Team Deakins shares an enlightening conversation with esteemed producer, Clayton Townsend (UNBROKEN, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, BRIDESMAIDS). His openness in sharing the details of the wide reaching job of a producer makes for a very interesting episode. Listen to learn the many responsibilities of a producer, the difference between various producer roles and the balance between his responsibilities to the studio and the director. A very important role in filmmaking and Clayton walks us through it!
|Jul 01, 2020|
Carlos Zaragoza - Production Designer
EPISODE 22 - CARLOS ZARAGOZA - PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Team Deakins welcomes Carlos Zaragoza, a unique guest who has the experience of working in the Art Department on both live action and animated films. Having worked on films like PAN’S LABYRINTH, MADAGASCAR 3, TROLLS, and the upcoming animated film VIVO, we discuss how he combined his love of painting and art with a background in theatre to discover the world of art department and production design. We also explore the role of a production designer on set, how it differs on animated films and why his role on an animated film can sometimes take up to four years!
|Jun 28, 2020|
John Crowley - Director
EPISODE 21- JOHN CROWLEY - Director
Team Deakins sits down with friend and collaborator, John Crowley, director of such films as BOY A, BROOKLYN, and THE GOLDFINCH. We do a deep dive into the craft of storytelling and directing. John eloquently shares with us his thoughts on directing and the challenges he faces on set. We look at how you tell a story in film, the power of the human face in the closeup, what differences the budget makes, working with actors and the pleasure of the entire filmmaking process. We also talk about Boy A, an early film of John’s, which is a favorite film of ours. A great discussion with a passionate filmmaker.
|Jun 24, 2020|
Charlie Rizek- Trinity & Steadicam Operator
EPISODE 20 - CHARLIE RIZEK - Trinity & Steadicam Operator
|Jun 21, 2020|
Joachim ("JZ") Zell - Color Scientist
EPISODE 19 - JOACHIM ("JZ") ZELL - Color Scientist
|Jun 17, 2020|
Sam Mendes - Director
EPISODE 18 - SAM MENDES - Director
Team Deakins has a fun, free flowing conversation with frequent collaborator, friend, and the Oscar and Tony Award winning Director: Sam Mendes. Spending 15 years as a Theatre Director, Sam made his foray into filmmaking with his award winning debut of American Beauty. He went on to direct a total of nine films in the ensuing years, including; ROAD TO PERDITION, JARHEAD, SKYFALL, SPECTRE and 1917. Sam discusses his journey from theatre to film, the differences between the two roles and what he sees as the most important aspects of being a director. We discuss elements of story, how editing builds tension, and why the idea of a one shot film is much more than meets the eye. A true masterclass between two cinema legends.
|Jun 14, 2020|
Lee Kline- Restoration of Films
EPISODE 17 - LEE KLINE - Film Restoration
Team Deakins is joined by Criterion’s Technical Director of Restoration; Lee Kline. Lee has overseen the restoration of hundreds of films during his tenure at Criterion and undoubtedly left an impact on history of Cinema, allowing both audiences and future filmmakers alike the ability to enjoy classic titles for years to come. The group discusses the immense work that goes into restoring a film, the detective work of finding rare works and how they work with filmmakers to ensure the quality of the restorations.
|Jun 10, 2020|
Donald Mowat - Makeup Artist
EPISODE 16 - DONALD MOWAT - Makeup
Team Deakins has the pleasure of learning the ins and outs of the makeup department in films. Who better to cover these subjects than the extremely talented Donald Mowat? Donald's credits include BLADE RUNNER 2049, STRONGER, SICARIO, NIGHTCRAWLER, PRISONERS, THE FIGHTER and 8 MILE. We learn what this department brings to the film, how strong the collaboration is, different types of approaches and how to get started in the field.
|Jun 07, 2020|
Peter Ramsey - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
EPISODE 15 - PETER RAMSEY - Director
Team Deakins is joined by Academy Award Winning Director Peter Ramsey (RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS: MUTANT PUMPKINS FROM OUTER SPACE). The conversation begins with how Peter came up in the industry, his love of storyboarding and reading, and how his voracious appetite for knowledge lead him to opportunities in Hollywood. Having started out in live-action and transitioning to Animation, we discuss the differences in the two, and why someday soon he could be back on live sets. We also dive into his Oscar-winning efforts in directing Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and the many challenges they faced to ensure this film was unlike anything ever seen! The conversation is one not to miss for any filmmakers!
|Jun 03, 2020|
Fiona Weir - Casting Director
Episode 14 - FIONA WEIR - Casting Director
Team Deakins speaks with renown Fiona Weir and learns the ins and outs of casting. Her credit list is long and her credits include AMMONITE, JUDY, FANTASTIC BEASTS series, ROOM, and the HARRY POTTER films. Fiona has cast A specialty often hidden from the day to day shooting process and yet so important. Fiona lets us know how it's done!
|May 31, 2020|
Josh Gollish DIT
Episode 13 - JOSH GOLLISH - DIT
Join us as we speak with #Teamdeakins member Josh Gollish, our DIT - Digital Image Technician. We talk all things DIT, from where the role originated, what Josh does on set from day to day, how some productions work without. Josh's credits include 1917, THE GOLDFINCH, BLADE RUNNER 2049, SICARIO, and SKYFALL.
|May 27, 2020|
Animation - Dean DeBlois
Episode 12- DEAN DEBLOIS - Animation
Team Deakins is joined by the incredibly talented Dean DeBlois, a writer director with credits like MULAN, LILO & STITCH, and all three HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON movies. He takes us through his journey as a filmmaker, sharing his knowledge about story
|May 24, 2020|
Episode 11 - GEORGE MACKAY. James & Roger catch up with actor George MacKay with whom they worked on the film "1917". They talk about the shared process of "1917", George's experience on his most recent film on Ned Kelly and his process as an actor.
|May 20, 2020|
Animation - Part 2
Episode 10 - ANIMATION PART 2 - YONG DUK JHUN & ANDY HARKNESS. Team Deakins is joined by two acclaimed filmmakers, Yong Duk Jhun and Andy Harkness. Masters of their craft, they serve as head of Layout and Head of Lighting respectively. They have worked on such films as Kung Fu Panda, Moana, The Croods, Shrek and Zootopia. The conversation ranges from the actual process of getting an Animated film off the ground, to specifics in lighting, composition, and the technology behind it all. A fascinating episode and something filmmakers of all backgrounds will enjoy.
|May 17, 2020|
Episode 9 - Learning Lighting. We talk about lighting in this episode. Different styles of lighting, challenges in lighting and how to experiment to broaden your grasp on lighting.
|May 13, 2020|
Episode 8 - ANIMATION - PART 1. This episode looks at our experiences on animation projects as visual consultants. We'll then dive deeper into the actual process in Part 2 and finally, in Part 3, talk with Dean DeBlois, director of the three How to Train your Dragon. There's so much to examine in Animation, don't be surprised if there is a Part 4 in the future!
|May 10, 2020|
Episode 7 - LENS CHOICE - In this episode, we talk about what goes into choosing lenses for your project and the aesthetic differences between lenses. We also discuss prime lenses vs zooms and how we go about testing lenses. And more!
|May 06, 2020|
Bev Wood - Journey from Film to Digital
Episode 6 - Beverly Wood - From Film to Digital. We speak with Beverly Wood, former Executive VP at Deluxe and Managing Director at eFilm. We discuss the transition in Hollywood from Film to Digital with one of the industries foremost experts on the science behind it all. We discuss how film emulsion actually works, color science, her work with Roger and James, and films like SkyFall, O Brother, Where Art Thou and more.
She's been with us through our journey from film to digital and is a great source of information in general!
|May 03, 2020|
Episode 5 - COMPOSITION. Roger, James and Matt look at the subject of composition, the role it plays in storytelling, how composition differs in still images vs moving images. https://www.rogerdeakins.com/episode-5/
|Apr 30, 2020|
Episode 4: PRACTICAL LIGHTING - James and Roger discuss practical lighting - what it means, the additional challenges and why you might prefer to use practicals for a scene. https://www.rogerdeakins.com/episode-4/
|Apr 28, 2020|
Episode 3: LOCATION SCOUTING - In this episode we talk about the ins and outs of location scouting. As always, a special thanks to our collaborator, Matt Wyman. https://www.rogerdeakins.com/episode-3/
|Apr 27, 2020|
Episode 2 - WORKING TOGETHER - Roger and James talk about their collaboration. Matt Wyman joins them. https://www.rogerdeakins.com/episode-2/
|Apr 26, 2020|
Episode 1: BEGINNINGS - Roger and James talk about the journey that brought them into the film business. We are joined by Matt Wyman. https://www.rogerdeakins.com/episode-1/
|Apr 25, 2020|