quote by Gordon Willis

A cinematographer is a visual psychiatrist, moving an audience... making them think the way you want them to think, painting pictures in the dark.

— Gordon Willis

Unforgettable Cinematographer quotations

I think people just see cinematography as being about photography and innovative shots and beautiful lighting. We all want our movies to look great visually, to be beguiling and enticing, but I think that what really defines a great cinematographer is one who loves story.

I don't really believe in the mystery of cinematography - what happens in the camera is what the cinematographers create and all that nonsense.

I was glamorous because of magicians like George Folsey, James Wong Howe, Oliver Marsh, Ray June, and all those other great cinematographers. I trusted those men and the other experts who made us beautiful. The rest of it I didn't give a damn about. I didn't fuss about my clothes, my lighting, or anything else, but, believe me, some of them did.

As the cinematographer is usually more visual than the director is and full cooperation is really the answer and to make a great film, you need a good director and you need a good cinematographer.

I thought that was a pretty stupid argument, really, because it's the final product that matters. The look of the film, however it's done, is still the cinematographer's vision in my mind. People said the same when color film came in, didn't they? The world evolves, and image-making evolves.

The cinematography is as much involved with the physicality of the scene, so a lot of our shots are hand-held. I felt the cinematographer needed to be the fourth-character with the same drive as the actors

I grew up as a cameraman, so it's much easier for me to shoot it myself.

I work with an operator and a crew, but it's way easier for me to function as a cinematographer, than to have a cinematographer between me and the lens. I don't need that.

The art of making films is a collaborative art.

As a composer, you're always working with the cinematographer because he's so much the heart of the world they've created on film.

Every cinematographer I worked with had his own way of solving problems.

It's turned into a world of amateurs.

There are amateur actors making millions of dollars, amateur cinematographers, amateur directors... Jesus, these amateur directors can get deals for anything. Another comic book? Oh, very good.

I've worked with some of the great cinematographers.

So I'm always watching what they do and I'm watching how the director composes his shots, just because I find it interesting as an actor; you're trying to help them out as well.

But at heart, I am more than a cinematographer.

The visualization of my films is always very important to me and I work very closely with my cinematographers. I've never had the same cinematographer twice now that I think about it. I don't know why that is. Everyone is always busy. They do three or four films a year. It's vital to me.

The way I work with my cinematographer is not based on general principles, but the ideas are triggered by the locations where we shoot.

Very few cinematographers, other than the Europeans, know how to light women like they used to in the old days.

We discard the personal specifics which don't conform to the ideal conventional beauty created by art directors and cinematographers.

An action choreographer is kind of like a dance choreographer.

You choreograph the moves and you let the director, cinematographer take into positioning their cameras.

The eye solicited alone makes the ear impatient, the ear solicited alone makes the eye impatient. Use these impatiences. Power of the cinematographer who appeals to the two senses in a governable way. Against the tactics of speed, of noise, set tactics of slowness, of silence.

I think I learned a lot on Beaches. A guy I worked with Dante Spinotti is a wonderful cinematographer and it was his first picture and he went on to be nominated for an Academy Award for "LA Confidential" which was great.

I think that digital is offering many great possibilities for cinematographers.

Particularly in urban cityscapes and low light photography its allowing us to render what we actually see with our eyes; which is interesting.

In comics, the writer is also the director in a certain way.

So if this were a film, you wouldn't tell the cinematographer to make a good fight scene while you go and get a cup of coffee.

You have to give directors and cinematographers a word blueprint for visuals, but I had to learn that from experience.

When the cinematograph first made its appearance, we were told that the days of the ordinary theatre were numbered.

The secret is to get a good cinematographer and a very good assistant director.

If you get those and stay out of their way, and have good actresses, the script doesn't even have to be that extraordinary.

I worked with the same producer from The Freebie, my cinematographer was one of my shooters from The Freebie. I was really aiming to tackle a genre, but sorta tackle it in my own way, and put my stamp on it, and the way that I like to see movies made.

I have a profound respect for cinematographers.

That is my secret sauce. Like they are everything to me.

I try to take B genre movies and treat them as if they're A dramas.

Get the cinematographers, get the actors to do an A drama, but it just happens to be about aliens or ghosts or crazy people, or killers, or whatever it is.

I never look a gift horse in the mouth.

And I've been really, really lucky. I'm aware of that. And my career has been given to me by the people I've worked with, no question. The actors, the directors, the cinematographers, the writers, all of whom gave me the opportunity to work in the way that I have and I'm really grateful.

Mexican cinematographers Gabriel Figueroa and Emilio Fernandez were students of both Sergei Eisenstein and Toland. Their exteriors and lighting were gorgeous. And the films Ingmar Bergman did with Sven Nykvist were exceptional.

The cinematography was of course incredibly important to me because I graduated as a cinematographer.

As important as it is to learn the techniques of cinematography, you also have to learn how to deal with the movie set, with show business. I came up with a cinematographer who is very talented, but she was never quite able to handle everything else you have to do - dealing with the producer and the crew and the time frame that you have to follow.

I have lately obtained the opinion of a number of Chief Constables, who declare with almost complete unanimity that the recent great increase in juvenile delinquency is, to a considerable extent, due to demoralising cinematograph films.

For many years I thought, "Well, I need to know a lot more to direct.

" But I looked around and watched all the people I know directing and thought, "No. I just need to know what I want it to be." Then there will be a lot of people to help me get it to there, especially Bobby Bukowski, he's a brilliant cinematographer.

Sexism is real and it persists in film and television.

I've seen female directors openly undermined by male cinematographers in front of the entire crew

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