The Oscars are Sunday, which means the “roundtable” season is almost at an end. But The Hollywood Reporter has one last extended roundtable discussion to share, and they saved the best for last: the cinematographers. In the below video, Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049), Rachel Morrison (Mudbound), Hoyte van Hoytema (Dunkirk), Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water), Janusz Kaminski (The Post), and Robert Elswit (Suburbicon, Roman J. Israel, Esq.) discuss all things cinematography in a candid, engaging 1-hour discussion. While this video was shot before the Oscar nominations were announced, Deakins, Morrison, Hoytema, and Laustsen are all nominated for the Academy Award, as is Darkest Hour DP Bruno Delbonnel.
This conversation is fantastic, not just because it includes such phenomenally talented craftspeople, but because it’s an actual conversation. The moderator guides the discussion, but it’s a delight to see Elswit admit he doesn’t know why digital and film look different, followed by Deakins saying he’s tired of the film vs. digital debate and the rest of the table asking him how he’s able to conjure such incredible imagery. The folks at the table are genuinely interested in each other’s work, and you get to see them candidly discuss their different attitudes, practices, and philosophies with regards to the cinematography profession.
Cinematography is an incredibly vital role on a film set, and as seen in this conversation, different DPs approach the craft differently. Everyone at the table worships Deakins (who could very well win his first Oscar this year after 14 nominations), but we also get to hear from Kaminski who has a wildly different approach to lighting a set than Deakins. The two are clearly friends, and Kaminski even recounts some good-natured ribbing he received from Deakins when he visited the Blade Runner 2049 set.
If you’re a cinephile, this is an absolute must watch. Check it out below.