Cinematography That Inspires Me

Wallander (UK) 

Shot on the RED ONE

When I first saw the UK version of Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh, I was fascinated by the cinematography. I watched it over and over again, hoping the artistry would somehow seep into me. Having family in Sweden, I felt everything about the look of this series caught the atmosphere of the country. I don't know what their lighting strategy was, but it felt natural...gritty...Everything about it pointed to Wallander as a person, something I feel is very important in cinematography, not just creating pretty pictures, but capturing the character in full. 

Days Of Heaven (Terrence Mallick, 1978) 

Shot on Panaflex

Again, a film that feels natural and gritty to watch, but in completely different way. Whereas Wallander evoked the icy greys of Sweden, Days of Heaven gives off a warm earthiness. Watching it, I wanted to believe that every shot was filmed with no lighting. Of course it wasn't, but a lot of the exterior scenes were shot using the slightly longer dusk hours that their location afforded them. The film from start to finish was incredibly pleasing to the eye.   

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Joy (David O Russell) 

Shot on Arricam

Apart from being an amazing film on all levels, story, performance, music, Joy hit me on a cinematic level very deeply. I came out wanting to emulate that style one day. The lighting was beautiful, in almost every single scene. It reminded me of a stage musical or stage extravaganza translated into film. Linus Sangren, the cinematographer actually talks in an interview about how much he lights the room, to give the actors space to work in. Whatever he did, it's magic! 

What shots inspire you?

My name is Jay, I am a freelance filmmaker based in the North East of the UK. I am currently working on pre-production for my first feature film, Ruth The Musical and I run a YouTube channel for beginner filmmakers called The Director's Logbook.