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Pierre Gill on the art of cinematography


Stating that cinematography is art that requires time and patience, Canadian cinematographer Pierre Gill said: “You need to be very strict and particular when it comes to cinematography because you have the time and the money and therefore, you need to put in your best.” He was speaking during a press conference of Monday at IFFI.

“To work in an art form is a privilege and the art of cinema is the best expression of creativity,” he said.

Speaking about the approach he adopts while working on a film, Gill said: “I first read the script. After which I try to imagine the image the story or the scene in my mind. Following which I try to figure out how to bring the idea into reality.”

The most difficult film to work with for Pierre Gill was Villeneuve’s ‘Blade Runner 2049’ wherein he served as the unit director of photography; the film won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. “There was a lot of thought that went into it. Besides the subject of the film there were other aspects like the surrounding and taking the scene into consideration,” he said. Adding that it was great working for the film with the director as Villeneuve was a very humble man and knew how to work and how to handle the work.

As there are various genres, Gill explained how he works with a particular genre. “If you consider romantic comedy, the entire atmosphere needs to be kind of brightly lit and at the same time you need to carefully look at what the frame is. You need to have a proper understanding of the director’s vision, what he wants to show and then while doing the shot you need ensure there isn’t much noise or distraction in the frame. All of that can be coordinated with the costume designer, creative director and the others.”

Gill also mentioned that cinematography is an art that tells the viewer or audience what and where to look.

His message for youngsters is to not work for money particularly when it comes to cinematography as the field requires dedication and hard work. “If you look for money you won’t reach anywhere. You need to dedicate your time to this work. It is intense work and a cinematographer needs to have an open mindset and welcome new ideas, and simultaneously understand what others have to say. Everyone on the set is very talented and passionate about their work.”

If given a chance Gill does not mind working for an Indian production. “I have watched a couple of Indian films and was surprised to see how great they are. If they offer me a proposal I will surely work. This is my first time to India,” he said.

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