Show cover of Team Deakins

Team Deakins

The Team Deakins podcast is an ongoing conversation between acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins and James Deakins, his collaborator, about cinematography, the film business and whatever other questions are submitted. We start with a specific question and end....who knows where! We are joined by guests periodically. Followup questions can be posted in the forums at www.rogerdeakins.com.

Tracks

PABLO HELMAN - VFX Supervisor
Visual effects supervisor Pablo Helman (KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, THE IRISHMAN, JARHEAD) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Born in Argentina, Pablo spent his youth playing music professionally and touring South America with his band before graduating from UCLA and working for several effects houses before ultimately ending up at Industrial Light & Magic where, for the past 27 years, Pablo has hung his hat. Throughout the episode, Pablo shares how he approaches implementing VFX into a film and how he works with directors and the various heads of departments during production to ensure the effects serve the story being told. Pablo also reveals how the de-aging technology used in THE IRISHMAN was developed, how it actually works, and why its development was led with the intent to preserve an actor’s performance. Later, Pablo shares several stories from working on KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, from scanning and reproducing a miniature oil derrick to wrangling digital cows. Towards the end, we consider how VFX is just another tool to use to create the reality of a film and discuss why you ultimately can’t escape from what you shoot. - This episode is sponsored by the Dallas Film Commission & Aputure Instagram: @dallasfilmcommission & @aputure.lighting
69:24 2/28/24
PENNY ROSE - Costume Designer
Costume designer Penny Rose (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, THE COMMITMENTS) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Despite dressing actors at a local theatre (as a teenager) and later working alongside fashion designer Elio Fiorucci (as an interpreter), costume design didn’t occur to Penny as a career path until she found herself in the position (as the last-minute backup) on a commercial for director Adrian Lyne. Penny spent the next decade working with and learning from the preeminent English commercial directors of the time, following them into features and further developing her abilities as a costume designer. Penny later breaks down the costume department for us, and we discuss what qualities she looks for in her team members. We also learn how she builds out the look of a character with the director and the actor and of the diplomacy she exercises between the two when a disagreement arises. Towards the end, we reflect on the demands and pleasures of the vagabond lifestyle of a filmmaker. - This episode is sponsored by Aputure & the Dallas Film Commission Instagram: @aputure.lighting & @dallasfilmcommission
63:56 2/21/24
DEB AQUILA - Casting Director
Casting director Deb Aquila (CODA, LA LA LAND, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Deb grew up in an arts-loving family, whose encouragement to enter the field led her to attend NYU and study under Stella Adler. Pivoting into casting, Deb found herself working on the hit series MIAMI VICE for two seasons before growing into a veteran independent casting director. Deb breaks down what really goes on in the audition room and how she works with actors to bring out their best performances as she hunts for the right choice for a part. We learn how she works with directors after being brought on to a project, and she shares how a character can evolve over the course of the audition process. Deb later shares what her responsibilities are as a studio executive at Paramount and how she balances those with her responsibilities as a casting director. Towards the end, we discuss “casting” personalities, when hiring both the cast and crew, and the value of creating a safe space for actors to give their best performances during the shoot. - This episode is sponsored by Aputure Instagram: @aputure.lighting
63:42 2/14/24
LUC MONTPELLIER - Cinematographer
Cinematographer Luc Montpellier (WOMEN TALKING, AWAY FROM HER, AUTUMN HEARTS) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Hailing from rural Canada, Luc reflects on his childhood growing up with a deep love for film and later knuckling down to get into film school, both by building his portfolio and threatening the school with an endless stream of applications until his acceptance. We learn how the Canadian government supports its country’s film industry and how that support has evolved over time, and we consider the different pathways for young filmmakers to gain experience in both Canada and the United Sates. We later mine the fine details of Luc’s approach to shooting the deceptively “simple” WOMEN TALKING and how he and director Sarah Polley identified when and how to visually express the women’s story and their evolving characters. And, towards the end, Luc thanks us for responding to his email years ago following a difficult professional experience. - Recommended Viewing: WOMEN TALKING - This episode is sponsored by Aputure Instagram: @aputure.lighting
72:29 2/7/24
LISA CHURGIN - Editor
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, we’re joined by editor Lisa Churgin (PITCH PERFECT, HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, GATTACA) to discuss her career and the craft of editing. Lisa shares with us the moment she discovered filmmaking after leaving suburban New Jersey for New York City and how she survived bouncing between employment and unemployment before landing an editing gig on THE WARRIORS and working for director Woody Allen’s longtime editor Susan E. Morse. Lisa later laments the general loss of the dailies process and the opportunity for younger editors to listen to the crew talk out production problems. Later likening editing to sculpting, Lisa reflects on the role of an editor and her place in the greater filmmaking process. We worked with Lisa on HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG and DEAD MAN WALKING, and she shares how she and director Tim Robbins approached the construction of the latter.  We also learn what the director-editor interview for a potential job is really about, and we bookend the episode heaping praise on dolly grips.  - Recommended Viewing: HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, DEAD MAN WALKING - This episode is sponsored by Aputure Instagram: @aputure.lighting
74:28 1/31/24
INBAL WEINBERG - Production Designer
Production designer Inbal Weinberg (THE LOST DAUGHTER; SUSPIRIA; THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Despite her early love for European social realist films, Inbal embarked on the immigrant dream of making it in New York City and studied film at NYU before being asked by director Hal Hartley (her favourite filmmaker at the time) to design THE GIRL FROM MONDAY. Inbal reflects on working in America as a foreigner and how that perspective influences her design choices, and we discuss handling the Mediterranean personality infrequently encountered in American productions. She later speaks of the art department as the hub through which the vision of the film is communicated to other departments and the importance of maintaining open lines of communication throughout production. Inbal also shares how she and other production designers are fighting to stay involved in the evolving design process in the face of the proliferation of VFX across all departments. Topics also include: using time in prep to learn how to work with a director, the revolving door of information we accrue and abandon when transitioning between projects, and Inbal’s favourite episode of the podcast. - This episode is sponsored by Aputure Instagram: @aputure.lighting
93:19 1/24/24
STEVE YEDLIN - Cinematographer
Cinematographer Steve Yedlin (GLASS ONION, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, LOOPER) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast to discuss the nuts and bolts (and truth!) of cinematography. We touch on Steve’s early-career projects and on the start of his enduring creative partnership with director Rian Johnson during their time at USC. Later, we consider the benefits and shortcomings of film school and which parts of cinematography can really be taught, and we reflect on the nature of luck in one’s career. Steve shares how he and Rian approached designing the look of THE LAST JEDI and LOOPER, and he shares why, during production, he avoids focusing on things that belong in the proper domain of post. Towards the end, we discuss Steve’s presentation (available on his website) concerning the nature of resolution as simply a tool of measurement and not a look maker, and we consider the seemingly newfound desire to “do it the old way” and the elusive definition of the word filmic. - This episode is sponsored by Aputure Instagram: @aputure.lighting
63:26 1/17/24
DAVID OYELOWO - Actor / Director
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, we’re joined by actor and director David Oyelowo (LAWMEN: BASS REEVES, THE WATER MAN, SELMA) to discuss his career and his craft. A television-addicted latchkey kid in his youth, David later spent several years with the Royal Shakespeare Company before embarking on his career on the screen with chameleonic aspirations. While discussing his performance as Seretse Khama in A UNITED KINGDOM, we consider the steep barriers to entry for a global audience to immerse themselves in the history of a period film set in a specific African country and the power of drawing an audience in to the story through the personal rather than the political. David later reflects on his journey to play Dr. King in SELMA, describing to us how the script’s focus evolved as new directors took over the project, what director Ava DuVernay said to financiers to finally get the project off the ground, and how he took inspiration from actor Daniel Day-Lewis to embody the essence of Dr. King’s character. We also discuss David’s directorial debut, THE WATER MAN, and how he leaned on his past collaborators to prepare for the project. - This episode is sponsored by Aputure Instagram: @aputure.lighting
68:27 1/10/24
ZACH BRAFF - Actor / Writer / Director
Actor, writer, and director Zach Braff (A GOOD PERSON, GARDEN STATE, SCRUBS) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Zach fell in love with the arts at an early age, booking one of his first on-screen roles in Woody Allen’s MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY and later cutting his teeth in production while PA’ing on music videos in the late 90s. He shares how the stars aligned to cast his first choices in every role on GARDEN STATE and what the impetus was to write the script in the first place. We later learn how Zach storyboards his films in prep and how he’s improved his ability to delegate during production by empowering his crew to solve creative problems. Zach also reflects on his experience crowdfunding WISH I WAS HERE and the challenges of servicing 50,000 backers while actually making the film. Towards the end, Zach shares some advice for young filmmakers, and we debate releasing films directly through streamers versus in theaters and the difficulties of marketing films in today’s marketplace. - This episode is sponsored by Aputure Instagram: @aputure.lighting
67:56 1/3/24
CORD JEFFERSON - Writer / Director
Writer and director Cord Jefferson (AMERICAN FICTION, WATCHMEN, THE GOOD PLACE) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Cord tells us why he never considered a career in the arts and how he wrote his way onto a journalism beat after college. After transitioning into writing television and surviving the Hollywood shuffle, Cord shares why he wrote AMERICAN FICTION following a huge professional failure in 2020 and how he realized the film with the help of Rian Johnson’s production company T-Street in a risk-averse industry. We dive deep into Cord’s process and experiences as a first-time director and learn how he prevented the tone of the film from falling into farce. Cord later shares why he prefers the collaborative nature of filmmaking over the solitude of prose writing and why AMERICAN FICTION was the first screenplay he ever wrote purely out of passion. At the end, Cord preaches patience when asked to give a younger version of himself advice, and he dispels the myths surrounding writer’s block. - This episode is sponsored by Aputure Instagram: @aputure.lighting
65:22 12/27/23
JAMES CHINLUND - Production Designer
Production designer James Chinlund (THE BATMAN, THE AVENGERS, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Reflecting on his childhood, James recalls to us noting the relationship between crowds of worshipers and the inner sanctum of the Cathedral of St. John in New York while squirreled up above in its attic. While discussing James’ earlier work, we consider the balance a set or location needs between stripping it to its bare essence for the scene while avoiding an overly minimal design more appropriate for the theater. As avid fans of THE BATMAN, we ask James how he worked with director Matt Reeves and cinematographer Greig Fraser over three years and through a global pandemic to bring Gotham to the screen in all its gloomy glory. James also reveals how he learned to overcome his mistrust of VFX while working on THE AVENGERS, and we ponder the future of production design amidst the current and looming advances in technology. - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled
73:33 12/20/23
ED MCDONNELL - Producer
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, producer Ed McDonnell (SICARIO, PRISONERS, INSOMNIA) joins us in a lively conversation about his craft and his career. After producing a play at age 12 in his neighbor’s garage, he survived two brief stints in Washington and on Wall Street before leaving it all behind to work in Hollywood. While charting his quick rise from assistant to executive, Ed shares the most important lesson he learned after being fired for failing to read the room during a meeting over an early draft of BEVERLY HILLS COP. Ed also discusses how he takes scripts out to directors and collaborates with them to tell the best story possible, and we later consider why we always prefer projects that promise ample amounts of collaboration over other opportunities to simply act as functionaries. Towards the end, we discuss the nature of sequels and also reflect on the value of the oft repeated question: “Do you really need that shot?” - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled
72:13 12/13/23
OLIVER STAPLETON - Cinematographer
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, cinematographer Oliver Stapleton (THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, THE GRIFTERS, MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE) joins us in conversation. In addition to his career as a cinematographer, Oliver is also the Co-Head of Cinematography at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the UK. Oliver credits his life in film to his mother and her steady hand as the family camera operator, and he shares how he created his submission film to gain admission into the NFTS after visiting the campus on a lark. We discuss how, as a cinematographer, one’s job is to help the director execute their vision rather than impose your own on a film, and Oliver reveals how he grapples with finding the best way to introduce young directors and cinematographers to each other in film school. Oliver also regales us with the many tales and insights that have stuck with him from his long career. Towards the end, with a look to his past, Oliver remembers once animating Spiderman in his youth, and with a look to our future, he predicts the future of filmmaking and moviegoing. - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled
82:22 12/6/23
REED MORANO - Director / Cinematographer
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, director and cinematographer Reed Morano (THE HANDMAID’S TALE, I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW, MEADOWLAND) speaks with us in a career-spanning conversation. We learn how after being drafted into the position of family documentarian, Reed soon found herself drawn towards the world of filmmaking. Reed reflects on how she may or may not have gotten her first job as a cinematographer on Craigslist after film school and how shooting FROZEN RIVER changed her career. We discuss the types of projects Reed is approached for as a director and how the opportunity to tell a man’s story from her perspective drew her to direct I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW. Towards the end, we also discuss the noble folly of trying to save a script that just doesn’t work.  - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled
72:33 11/29/23
ELLEN LEWIS - Casting Director
On this episode of the Team Deakins Episode, casting director Ellen Lewis (KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, GOODFELLAS) joins us to talk about all things casting—of which we knew very little before speaking with her. A disciple of veteran casting director Juliet Taylor, Ellen shares with us how they were first introduced and what she learned working with her for eight years. Ellen reveals how closely casting works with talent agents to find the right actor for a role and how some casting directors even directly negotiate an actor’s contract. We worked with Ellen on KUNDUN, and she recounts her global odyssey to cast the 14th Dalai Lama across four separate stages of his life. We later discuss setting actors at ease, both on set and in the audition room, and how we do what we can to lift the pressure under which actors must work. Ellen also admits to us just how far she’s willing to travel to go to set. - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled - Recommended Viewing: KUNDUN
65:33 11/22/23
RIAN JOHNSON - Writer / Director
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, writer and director Rian Johnson (KNIVES OUT, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, LOOPER) speaks with us about his career, and, in a pleasant change of pace, he even asks us a few questions! Rian first shares his childhood memory of attending a screenwriting seminar with his father and how that experience has since informed his craft. We later learn about the father-son story at the heart of LOOPER and reflect on the differences in crew cultures between different countries. We also reminisce over floundering in your 20’s and touch on Rian’s enduring creative partnerships with actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and cinematographer Steve Yedlin. While discussing THE LAST JEDI, Rian reveals which classic opera inspired the design of the throne room and under what conditions, atypical for effects-heavy filmmaking, enabled Rian and his collaborators to build extensive and grounded sets for its many scenes. Throughout the episode, Rian reflects on his abilities as a filmmaker, and we discuss the beauty of scenes that, despite being irrelevant to the plot, are emotionally correct within a given story. - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled - Recommended Viewing: LOOPER
70:47 11/15/23
DECLAN QUINN - Cinematographer
Cinematographer Declan Quinn (HAMILTON, LEAVING LAS VEGAS, MONSOON WEDDING) speaks with Team Deakins on this episode of the podcast. A first generation immigrant from Ireland, Declan first reflects on his youth bouncing between America and his family’s home country. We then ruminate on Declan’s decision to spend part of his early career in Ireland and on the function of pubs as watering holes wherein a young filmmaker could, back when Roger and Declan were starting out at least, find a community with which to celebrate and commiserate over work and life. Later, Declan shares his experiences working with directors Mike Figgis and Neil Jordan and on the myriad of other films he helped bring to life. Towards the end, Declan describes the process of Broadway captures and how he filmed HAMILTON at the height of its popularity with its original cast. - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled
72:07 11/8/23
DALLAS FILM COMMISSION
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, we sit down with two members from the Dallas Film Commission: Tony Armer, the commissioner, and Andrew Vela, a project specialist. We pepper Tony and Andrew with questions throughout the episode. What does a film commission office actually do? How do offices differ at the state and city levels? How do they help local filmmakers? And who’s responsible for incentives? Andrew and Tony (who is also one of the founders of the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida) also answer our many questions about festivals. Should you go to your local film festival? Is it worth submitting to the bigger ones? And which festivals should you even submit to? In between all our questioning, we also learn how Tony and Andrew came to work at the Dallas Film Commission and of the various responsibilities of their roles within it.  - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled
65:11 11/1/23
DAVID LOWERY - Writer / Director
Team Deakins speaks with writer and director David Lowery (PETER PAN & WENDY, A GHOST STORY, AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS) on this episode of the podcast. David credits his early childhood obsession with STAR WARS (despite having not seeing the films at the time) for his lifelong obsession with filmmaking, and he walks us through his early career working in independent film in Texas. We dive deep into the making of AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS and A GHOST STORY, learning how David developed the title for the former and how his collaborators pulled off the Ghost’s costume by utilizing the old-fashioned illusions of cinema for the latter. We also consider the danger of being beguiled by “cool shots” and how a good title can complement the tone of its film. We also touch on David’s favourite topic: film financing! - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled - Recommended Viewing: A GHOST STORY, AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS
73:48 10/25/23
KELLEY DIXON - Editor
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, editor Kelley Dixon (OBI-WAN KENOBI, THE GOLDFINCH, BREAKING BAD) joins us for a conversation about all things editing. Kelley starts by sharing her experience working in the MGM/UA mailroom and delivering script pages to the editorial department where she quickly found herself helping cut scenes. Kelley later describes learning the potential applications of visual effects if money is no object and how that insight expanded her way of thinking when approaching editorial problems on projects with relatively larger budgets. We discuss how editing can be used to bring the audience into the state-of-mind of a character and how Kelley works with a director to realize their vision in the edit. Throughout the episode, we debate whether or not editing is an invisible art, and we contemplate our favourite note: “Can you just make it better?” - This episode is sponsored by Fiilex Instagram: @fiilexled
66:22 10/18/23
ERNEST DICKERSON - Director / Cinematographer
Director and cinematographer Ernest Dickerson (BOSCH, JUICE, MALCOLM X) joins us in conversation on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Having been exposed to photography as a young man by his uncle, Ernest first keyed into cinematography after watching David Lean’s OLIVER TWIST and later attended graduate film school at NYU. Ernest reflects on his professional relationship with Spike Lee and reveals how Spike generously delayed pre-production on MALCOM X to allow Ernest enough time to finish post on his directorial debut, JUICE. Finding himself frequently directing his directors, Ernest also shares how he saw his transition into directing as a natural progression of his career. We later discuss the value of doing your homework when brought on to direct television and the different professional expectations that are unique to the medium. At the end, we consider how creation is a patient search and the importance, joys, and benefits of studying film history.
64:43 10/11/23
FRANKLIN LEONARD - Founder of The Black List
Franklin Leonard, the founder of The Black List, joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast for a fascinating conversation. Franklin, a Harvard-educated military brat, starts by recounting his many travels across continents and industries before finding his footing as an assistant in the motion picture literary department at CAA. Having transitioned into development, Franklin shares how The Black List was born out of an innate desire to do better in his job as a junior executive at the time. We learn how The Black List has since evolved and how Franklin’s experiences influenced those evolutions to address industry access issues. We later consider what makes a good script, the inherent subjectivity of evaluating art, and how a script appearing on the list can vindicate one’s interest in “weird” material. Franklin stresses how the ultimate goal should not be to get on The Black List but to get your movie made, and he exposes the psyops he executes to avoid leaking which scripts end up on the list.   The Black List is an annual list of the most-liked scripts circulating within Hollywood in a given year, and it has served as a valuable industry tool for filmmakers since its inception.
62:28 10/4/23
RYAN WHITE - Director
Director Ryan White (GOOD NIGHT OPPY, THE KEEPERS, ASSASSINS) joins us on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast to discuss his career and the field of documentary filmmaking. Born and raised in Dunwoody, Georgia, Ryan later enrolled in Duke University where he found his calling to direct documentaries after watching Agnès Varda’s THE GLEANERS AND I. After welcoming him on the podcast, Ryan starts off strong by revealing how he’s used previous episodes to study a particular department to help secure a job. He reflects on the state of the industry in which he came up that forced him to begin directing in his mid-20s and laments how today’s industry can delay a young filmmaker from taking their first steps towards starting a career by employing them to assist those already established. We later learn how Ryan prefers to shoot his documentaries as intimately as possible over several years and how he and his producing partner Jessica Hargrave have typically sold their projects to distributors. Throughout our discussion, we reaffirm the value of learning by doing, of believing in your stories and talents when leaving the nest, and of listening to your mother. - This episode is sponsored by Dallas Film Commission  Instagram: @dallasfilmcommission - Recommended Viewing: THE KEEPERS, GOOD NIGHT OPPY
80:38 9/27/23
JOHN SAYLES - Actor / Writer / Director / Novelist
Actor, writer, director, and novelist John Sayles (MATEWAN, BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, LONE STAR) joins Team Deakins on this episode of the podcast for a discussion covering his long career in filmmaking and in fiction writing. A true multi-hyphenate, John first describes his postgraduate journey from working in an Italian sausage factory to enlisting in the Roger Corman film factory. John reflects on his luck having his first three screenplays produced under the legendary filmmaker and on the lessons he learned shooting his self-funded first feature. Working chiefly in independent American cinema, John considers the times and the market in which he came up that facilitated his filmmaking and offers advice for young filmmakers today. Among the many other topics of discussion, we consider the following: how John decides which medium best serves a story, the benefits of cutting in your head during production, and how comfortable an actor may or may not feel working out of an Econo Lodge in West Virginia.  - This episode is sponsored by Dallas Film Commission  Instagram: @dallasfilmcommission
87:30 9/20/23
BILL HADER - Actor / Director / Showrunner
Actor, director, and showrunner Bill Hader (BARRY, INSIDE OUT, THE SKELETON TWINS) joins Team Deakins to discuss his multi-faceted career in one of our funnier conversations. Reared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bill describes how he first rode into town despite an early setback being rejected from film school for being “too entertaining.” We later drive down memory lane as Bill recounts several exciting but terrifying stories of PA’ing on low-budget films around LA—stops include a seven camera setup (all pointed at a map), watching us wrap early on THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (with envy), and learning what a controlled burn is (and maybe isn’t). Bill also shares his experience co-showrunning BARRY with Alec Berg, a discussion ranging in topics from “what is a tone meeting?” to which takes actor Henry Winkler consistently nails his performance. At the end, Bill discusses his post-BARRY aspirations and the longevity of classic films that, despite their imperfections, stand tall today on the merits of their craft. - This episode is sponsored by Dallas Film Commission  Instagram: @dallasfilmcommission
77:31 9/13/23
JENNY BEAVAN - Costume Designer
Acclaimed costume designer Jenny Beavan (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, CURELLA, A ROOM WITH A VIEW) joins us for a conversation about her craft on this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast. Hailing from England, Jenny shares how she fell in with the famed Merchant Ivory troupe, and she describes spending her early formative professional years traveling around the world and working alongside the legendary filmmakers. We later consider how, just as with real people, characters reuse clothing and how some costume pieces take on a life of their own. Jenny also reflects on how she adapts after having the wool pulled over her eyes on a project and how designing costumes is never about the clothes themselves but about the stories they tell. At the end, Jenny is generous enough to offer salient advice to budding costume designers. - This episode is sponsored by Dallas Film Commission  Instagram: @dallasfilmcommission
74:20 9/6/23
AVA DUVERNAY - Writer / Director
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, we sit down with writer and director Ava DuVernay (WHEN THEY SEE US, 13TH, SELMA) for a lively conversation about her career and her craft. Ava credits her early love for cinema to her classic-film-loving, night-shift-working aunt, and she describes the lightbulb moment while on location of Michael Mann’s COLLATERAL that catalyzed her transition from running her own boutique publicity agency to filmmaking. Ava later shares David Oyelowo’s persuasive pitch to her to direct SELMA, what changes she made to the script to make the film within its relatively modest budget, and how Oprah lent her influence during the shooting of a pivotal scene. After Ava reveals her newfound love for dailies while shooting her latest feature, we consider the viewing ritual’s collaborative nature, its widespread decline in use, and Ava’s commitment to the process in her future projects. Plus, at the end, Ava tells us which photo of Roger inspires her the most. - This episode is sponsored by Dallas Film Commission  Instagram: @dallasfilmcommission
66:28 8/30/23
GREIG FRASER - Cinematographer - THE BATMAN - Part 2
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, we’re sharing the rest of our previously live-streamed conversation between Team Deakins and cinematographer Greig Fraser diving into his work on THE BATMAN. We start by talking all things lighting, and Greig shares how he and his team used non-film light fixtures to achieve a natural look in the film. We later discuss the importance of on-set chemistry and how a great attitude can outweigh experience when crewing. Greig shares how his team worked to match the menace of the Batmobile with the truck in Steven Spielberg’s DUEL and how closely he worked with the art department during production. Greig also reveals which light best complimented Zoë Kravitz’s makeup, and he pulls into focus the potential applications of an adjustable depth of field in the Volume lighting system.   A link to the images mentioned in the episode can be found here. - This episode is sponsored by Dallas Film Commission & Falca Instagram: @dallasfilmcommission & @falcagram
68:16 8/23/23
GREIG FRASER - Cinematographer - THE BATMAN - Part 1
On this episode of the Team Deakins Podcast, we’re sharing the first half of our live-streamed conversation between Team Deakins and cinematographer Greig Fraser focusing on his work on THE BATMAN. Greig describes to us what drew him to work on the project in the first place and how, even with COVID delays, he and director Matt Reeves still needed more time to prep. Greig reveals the early conversations he had with Matt about the potential applications of the Volume lighting system and how the interactivity of their intended lighting design precluded the use of bluescreen. We later consider the emotional impact of time of day and, in the face of recent technological advances, the irreplaceability of real actors. We discuss the film’s strength as a character piece and how those characters informed Greig’s design decisions, and we also pull back the cowl on the practicality of superhero capes.   A link to the images mentioned in the episode can be found here. - This episode is sponsored by Falca & Dallas Film Commission Instagram: @falcagram & @dallasfilmcommission
67:10 8/16/23
RUTH DE JONG - Production Designer
Team Deakins is joined by talented production designer Ruth De Jong (OPPENHEIMER, NOPE, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA). A creative scion of the accomplished production designer Jack Fisk, Ruth explains how Jack recruited her to assist him on THERE WILL BE BLOOD and the subsequent ten year partnership in which he was her mentor. She later reflects on how she’s grown after each project as well as how to stay malleable after the train that is production leaves the station. Ruth also describes the invigorating responsibility she felt to deliver on OPPENHEIMER after Christopher Nolan cut days from the schedule to balance the film's budget and the timely encouragement he gave her deep in production. She also shares her experiences working on TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN and how she worked off illustrations and paintings created by David Lynch to build and design the series’ many scenes. - This episode is sponsored by TrueCut Motion & Dallas Film Commission & Falca Instagram: @truecutmotion & @dallasfilmcommission & @falcagram - Recommended Viewing: OPPENHEIMER
76:41 8/9/23

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