Don't feel constricted by only having one lens, we look to one of Hollywood's pros for insight
Whether you’re filming a wedding video or your first feature film, it can be tricky getting the right shot. One factor that some amateurs may feel prohibited by is a lack of equipment, primarily a range of lenses.
In an age where technological improvements almost urge us to splurge on new kit, it is better for your skills in the long run to master the kit you own, particularly if you have one lens.
One champion of this is director David Cronenberg, who’s previous works include legendary horror film The Fly (1986).
His 2012 film Cosmopolis starring Robert Pattinson was shot entirely on one lens type, the 21mm. Director of Photography and long time friend of Cronenberg’s, Peter Suschitzky, spoke about how the style is the restricting factor, not the lens.
“You have to hit the style you’re going to use — when you do the first shot — for the whole schedule. Otherwise that first shot will look out of place if it’s done differently from all the other shots. Somehow it has to fall into place instantly” he said.
Suschitzky and Cronenberg are fortunate when shooting a film that they have an artistic connection to one another which helps things. “We don’t talk very much or at all about the look of the film,” the Brit said. Having an intuitive connection with your DP is great, particularly if you have a DP, however you may find yourself acting as the DP and director and cameraman all at the same time.
For Cronenberg’s films the instinctive production nature is very much of a part of filming. “I work very much from the gut. It’s never a case of us saying, ‘Let’s make the movie look like this or that, like somebody else’s movie or a specific painting,’” Suschitzky said.
The nature of their work obviously must work as the pair have found themselves working on 10 films together since Dead Ringers in 1988, including A History of Violence (2005) Eastern Promises (2007) and Cosmopolis (2012).