Greig Fraser, director of photography for The Batman, explains how he and Matt Reeves have chosen the style of the shots, following a rule, strangely contrary to the most common style in Hollywood
Greig Fraser, director of photography of The Batman, has also decided this time to sign his shots following a rule he made his own, practically always. In fact, at first glance, the film does not seem to be classified as an action, despite the fact that the action sequences are still very effective.
Greig Fraser’s rule
The director of photography, not only nominated for an Oscar for Dune, but also active on many other very popular works today, decided to reveal his golden rule in action sceneswhich in The Batman, a film directed by Matt Reeves starring Robert Pattinson, were no exception.
In contemporary cinema, there is often a tendency towards the “Bourne effect”, with the hand-held camera. Bourne saga films were legendary when it came to action and virtuosic sequences, so there is a tendency to move in that direction. But we went in the opposite direction. We said to ourselves: “Let’s try to see this scene using as few shots as possible”.[…]
In my opinion you have to simplify the image, so that when it appears quickly on the screen, you can read it as fast as possible. This doesn’t mean there doesn’t have to be a setting, a feeling or an atmosphere. It just means you have to focus on simplicity of the image.[…]
This film was perhaps one of the most complicated lighting jobs I’ve ever worked on, for obvious reasons. I have put together a stylistic guide for all the shots. I would sit there and go over each one for half a second, maybe less. If I could understand what was happening, then I felt that our search for simplicity in the picture had been successful.
What Fraser says can be summed up as follows: essentiality of elements in the frameespecially if the shot is very fast, e no fear of disconnecting less and keeping the same shot for longer.
And you, did you appreciate this slightly unconventional choice?
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