The Cinematography Podcast Episode 154: Cinematographer Greig Fraser
Director of photography Greig Fraser says that cinematographers always strive to create images with dimension, so that audiences are able to experience almost feeling and touching what they are seeing. Film has always had the dimensional and realistic feel that filmmakers appreciate, such as grain and color. But with today’s advances in digital filmmaking technology, Greig understands and embraces using the tools that are appropriate to the project he’s working on, and the technology just keeps improving. For Greig, no matter what he’s shooting or how technical it can be, what draws him to every film project is the characters in the movie.
On Dune, Greig and director Denis Villeneuve tested on film and also on digital, but they didn’t like either look that much. They decided to take a hybrid approach: the film was shot on digital, then output to film, and then back out to digital, which gave it the look they wanted. Villeneuve was a huge fan of Dune the novel, and had a clear vision of what his version of the Dune story should be. He extensively storyboarded the film in pre-production, and they did not reference the previous Dune movie at all. During the shoot, Greig and the VFX supervisor Paul Lambert championed getting the lighting exactly correct with the blue or green screen background so that the shots and perspective would look the most realistic and there would be very little adjustments needed in post production.
Greig also talks about using the iPhone 13 ProMax to shoot a demo film with director Kathryn Bigelow. The phone has several camera options that make it cinematic, and he finds that phones are getting better and better to shoot with.
Greig’s next film is The Batman which will be released in March.
Find Greig Fraser: @greigfraser_dp Instagram
You can see Dune in theaters now, on Blu-ray, or soon returning to HBOMax.
Close Focus: Awards season is upon us, including the Golden Globes, which happened recently with little ceremony, and the SAG award nominations were just announced.
Ben’s short end: The Showtime show Yellowjackets has been excellent and very dark, with great cinematography.
Illya’s short end: Canon will be announcing their next Cinema EOS device on January 19th.
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