The Man Who Shot 'The Godfather' - Masterclass With Gordon Willis!

By Yash Thakur. Posted on September 05, 2015

One of the greatest cinematographer of all time, Gordon Willis has shot some of the most memorable films in cinematic history such as The Godfather trilogy, All The President's Men, Annie Hall, Manhattan among others. Best known for his ability to use shadow and underexposed film, Willis was a frequent collaborator with Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen. The six films he worked on went on to receive 39 Academy Award nominations (and won 19 of them). Surprisingly, Gordon Willis did not receive a single nomination for his work. He later went on to win the Academy Honorary Award for his life's work.

This amazing interview with the 'Godfather of modern cinematography', Gordon Willis was uploaded a month before his demise last year. Though Gordon Willis doesn't need any introduction, the intro below the video says it best;

"Between lensing The Godfather trilogy, many of Woody Allen's best films (including Annie Hall, Manhattan, Stardust Memories, Interiors, and others) and several master thrillers for Alan J. Pakula (All the President's Men, Klute, The Parallax View, The Devil's Own among others), cinematographer Gordon Willis almost single-handedly re-invented the craft of cinematography and the nature of how films were and are composed, lit, and executed."

In the video, Willis extensively talks about how working with certain people, with a certain style put him on a 'list' and kept him away from the mainstream 'studio' business.

And here's the second part of that interview.

The interview, filmed by Crafttruck, is a wonderful insight into the workings of cinematography and the cinema of a bygone era. We are huge fans of this YouTube channel which also interviews leading editors and VFX houses, along with DOPs on their craft.  Anyone interested in filmmaking MUST subscribe to it.


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