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.

Godzilla

REVIEW: ‘Godzilla’ Is a Gripping Shadow Play

One of the benefits of not reading about a film before I see it — or not remembering much about the original on which it is based — is I get to discover the intellectual subtleties as they unfold on screen. There are few subtleties in movies this time of year as the blockbusters roar onto the screen and devastate my mood. Don’t get me wrong: Gareth Edward’s Godzilla isn’t the cerebral delight that Under the Skin is; still, I was delighted that it engaged me on a sensorial level and managed to pop in an amuse bouche or two of thoughtfulness for my mind to chew on while I wiped the extra popcorn butter off my fingers.

‘Subtlety’ must have been the operative word that Edwards and his team carried with them into this epic production — that’s why I’m calling it a shadow play. It is the suggestion of devastation and its aftermath,