Top Hollywood Cinematographers On Why VFX Heavy Films Deserve A Separate Category At The Oscars!

By Aditya Savnal. Posted on February 26, 2016

Every year we look forward to the roundtables hosted by The Hollywood Reporter (THR) which sees eminent filmmakers, cinematographers and other technicians of Hollywood engage in an insightful conversation on their films and craft. And this year was no different.

The competition for this year's cinematography category at the Oscars seems more interesting than ever with some amazingly shot films vying for the coveted statuette. Be it Roger Deakins' stunning aerial shots in Sicario, John Seale's frenetic camerawork in Mad Max Fury Road, Emmanuel Lubezki's camerawork for The Revenant or Robert Richardson who does complete justice to Tarantino's decision of shooting The Hateful Eight in 70 mm, the year gone by at the movies was surely an interesting one.

Sadly Deakins, Seale and Lubezki didn't make it to this year's roundtable. But it still had a veritable list of participants with Richardson, Alwin Kuchler (Steve Jobs), Masanobu Tayanagi (Black Mass, Spotlight), Mandy Walker (Truth), Linus Sandgren (Joy) and Danny Cohen (The Danish Girl, Room) leading an enthusiastic discussion on cinematography.

Richardson spoke about his experience of working with Oliver Stone and why he stopped working with him. He also spoke about how his troubled stint of shooting World War Z led to Paramount Studios not hiring him for any of their projects till date.

The panel also spoke about the disagreements they have had with filmmakers and the lessons they learnt from it.

It was also refreshing to see Sandgren participate in the discussion, since there are very few women cinematographers working in Hollywood right now and we hope that changes soon.

The panel also debated on why the Academy should constitute two separate categories for cinematography : one for those opting for the traditional approach and the other for shooting films laden with special effects.

And seeing the steadily increasing number of films that are relying on VFX, we couldn't agree more.


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