Through the Looking Glass


Cinematography always called out to him. Casino is different from Inglorious, and then you compare it to Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. “I am still shooting on film, every film with Quentin (Tarantino) has been on film. He is one of the three living people who have won the Academy Award thrice for Best Cinematography, for JFK (1991), The Aviator (2004) and Hugo (2011). While there has been a lot of hue and cry about the transition from celluloid to digital formats within the cinematic world, Richardson has managed to strike a balance between the two. He seems unfazed by it, and is rather scared that the awards eat into the chances of him finding work. So
I am very much in power in that aspect. They are able to look at a monitor and figure out what’s not working. The Delhi leg was the final part of the ad campaign called Colourless, which had parts of it shot in Bulgaria as well. A graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, and later the American Film Institute, Richardson has worked with the biggest names in Hollywood in his career spanning four decades. In Delhi for just 24 hours, and exhausted after the long day of shoot, Richardson did brush aside some questions, even as he gave us tongue-in-cheek one-liners instead. Richardson was in Delhi recently to shoot a commercial for Absolut. But that also helps get new talent. I still remember what the director of photography on that film asked me, ‘what do you want to do in your life? They don’t have to work so hard. The other two are Vittorio Storaro and Emmanuel Lubezki. “Looking into the eyes of the actors — that’s what drew me to it,” he says, adding, “It’s the vision of the cinematographer that is presented on the screen by the director.”

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With films like Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds, Shutter Island and JFK to his credit, Richardson has become a go-to person for directors such as Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone. I replied, ‘I want to shoot films.’ He responded, ‘If you want to shoot movies, go ahead and shoot movies and then step away’,” recalls the 63-year-old. Advertising

“The team wanted to fire me. As for the progression of technology in cinema, one wonders if it has made things a tad too easy for upcoming cinematographers. I do equal number of projects on films and the digital format. They are intimidated, and it gets complicated to get work,” he says. I don’t seem to have a problem with the two, they co-exist for me,” he adds. He frequently addresses them as brothers. We wonder what makes them tick? I shouldn’t have to think about whether you are Hindu or Muslim, or if you are black or white,” says Richardson. It’s like how humans adapt to new relationships and needs. “The campaign deals with colour and stresses on how we need to shed all that. “Like, I mean look at Bradford Young, he is very good, look up his work,” he says. 0
Comment(s) “I have a language of my own, cinematically and visually, which I tailor to the needs of the director and the script. “I am honoured, of course, and no they don’t create unnecessary pressure. And cinematically, Salvador can’t be compared to Natural Born Killers,” he adds. Richardson agrees. “New technology has made things super-easy for budding cinematographers. But luckily they couldn’t afford someone else, so they kept me on. But the thing with three Academy Awards is, people are generally frightened to work with you.