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Honesty in photography is the key to success

The lighting and camera effects should reflect the emotion in a story, believes cinematographer Robert Yoeman who delivered a Masterclass on cinematography at the 47th IFFI. It is important for the cinematographer to spend time with the director so that he understands which scene has to bring out what emotions. Yoeman expressed how in today’s rapidly changing technology cinematographers are asked to use new shooting equipments so that the footage can be reframed in the post production editing process.
Yeoman feels that every lens has its own characteristic, for example, using a close-up lens gives a whole new feeling. “The cinematographer should spend time with the director so that he or she knows which lens will create the right emotions. When we understand what the director wants the cinematographer tends to do what he wants,” said Yeoman. Speaking about using the different aspects ratios for different scenes he said: “Many a times a situation may force you to do something differently, here the best thing to do is to stick what is pre-planned. We pre-shoot so that we get an idea of what our film will look like.”
Yeoman before selecting any project said that he first goes through the script and if it appeals to him he goes ahead. “Only if I find the script interesting I have a meeting with the director to talk about the script. This is important as we would be spending a part of the day together, shooting for the film,” he said. Besides, Yeoman expresses his concern over whether or not he will be able to get along with the director and cast of the film.
‘Moonrise Kingdom’ was a film shot using the super 16, a popular and economical gauge of film. “The ease to handle the camera was one prime reason to choose it for shooting,” he said. Stressing on the need for honesty in photography, Yeoman said: “Proper lighting is the key for any cinematographer to take good shoots but it has to portray reality.”
Yeoman said that with the advancement of technology features which were not available in the past have evolved for the cinematographer’s benefit. “In post production we can use features like masking to enhance the image or by increasing the brightness of any actress using Digital Image Tech (DIT). We can fix a lot in post-production which was not the case earlier,” he said.
Yeoman over the years has worked with many young filmmakers, sharing an experience of working with one such individual he said: “I was once working with a young director who had ideas but did not know how to execute them. Here I would interpret and give him options, he would then choose from the given options. A good filmmaker must have vision and be full of ideas.”

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