Ingmar Bergman and Sven Nykvist

Film Production: Why The DP is Your MVP

I’m mentoring a young friend through the process of writing and directing his first feature, which he’ll shoot in a year; he’s still in development tweaking the script before it goes out to cast. His executive producer, the former president of a major studio, said to him the other day, “Your cinematographer is the most important person on set after you.” I couldn’t agree more.

There’s nothing like working with a great DP, it makes all the difference in the world to the outcome of your film on many levels. The most important level for me is the personal, the experience of making a film. I don’t get to direct often, so when I do I want to enjoy it, to be carried away by, yes, the quasi-spiritual experience of creating something worthy in harmony with my crew, as cheesy as that might sound.

Miss Fire


by James Killough @James_Killough

I had completely forgotten while I was watching Haywire that Gina Carano was cast from the TV show American Gladiators.  Director Steven Soderbergh has chosen to film the fight sequences without hip-hop, rapid-cut editing; rather, he holds the camera steady while we watch the real actress, not a stunt double, kick the living daylights out of actors who aren’t trained up as fighters to anywhere near her degree.

It's cavewoman week here at PFC. Above: Gina Carano for Maxim magazine.

It reminded me of when I was about nine and used to practice judo with my nanny, Diane, a horsey butch lass from Coventry with bad acne and a brown belt in aikido.  She’d just toss me across the living room like a rag doll.  Watching Carano do the same to Channing Tatum, who lists a film called Fighting in his credits, is quite something.  I’d almost say this is the first time I’ve ever felt that the female lead in a film was a bully.