Roger Deakins: Making Beautiful Images

Roger Deakins: Making Beautiful Images

cinematography is the most pure form of cinema it’s the fundamental basics of moviemaking used to manipulate the audience’s perspective invoke emotion and allows the filmmakers to be as creative in a story that might have already been told a thousand times before the director of photography is the one who decides on the look of the film controlling the lighting composition and color grade of the final film this role is incredibly important on set and when done correctly can tell a story without a single word spoken creating a visual language with the camera is very difficult and choosing the right way to speak with it is up to the filmmaker in the case of the film Blade Runner 2049 the director of photography Roger Deakins has done something simply incredible 20:49 showcased a beyond dystopian future with characters and themes already established by a prequel made 35 years before with the style of a technolon Blade wanna creates tense scenes through a variety of techniques innovated by Roger Deakins Roger Deakins has proved himself to be one of the most creative and knowledgeable directors of photography working today with 13 Oscar nominations nominated twice and 2008 two BAFTA Awards and working with prestigious directors like Joel and Ethan Coen Martin Scorsese and Sam Mendes he is definitely someone who knows what they’re doing the diverse topics of film that’s covered in his filmography proves that he’s able to tackle a lot of different genres believing that there is no one way to shoot a film and that there needs to be a critical look of the story that’s being told before any assumptions are made the way it should be filmed I don’t think I have a style I’ve discovered ways of lighting that sort of work for me you know like a look at this lighting it is great but I wouldn’t do that you know to me and I’d do it a different way but that’s all personal but that’s not really a style I don’t think I have a naturalistic style I hope I have a style that suits the the project that I’m on I mean I walk on a film set on a new movie and I think I’m it feels like I’ve never done it before like I’m low you know so I I don’t think I’ve got a style any anyway a film looks as a product of the prep on that look on that film and how that sort of developed as we’ve gone along the film features obvious or Marge’s and lighting techniques prominent in the original film mainly as a way to maintain the world created by reduce Scott in his original 1982 Blade Runner heavy smoke and harsh beams of light helped set the mood for this Detective style narrative but 2049 is a wholly unique film there are a few different techniques that Roger Deakins consistently uses in his films most notably his use of silhouettes there is a very clear choice made by filmmakers to put a character in silhouette it denies the audience of any information about the character forcing them to notice the background and wonder what they’re looking at and also for clues as to what kind of scene this might be Steven Spielberg uses this technique to introduce both in D and Schindler in the film’s Raiders of the Lost Ark and Schindler’s List it creates a mystery around the character that can’t be told in many other ways to create a silhouette Roger Deakins will manipulate the surroundings of the character by using practicals these are onset and visible light sources that the audience can see on screen by using available light it creates a more convincing look to the scene that can be understood by the audience and lets the seam take place without any unnatural and unconvincing lighting that could potentially distract the audience Bladerunner 2049 takes these techniques to a whole new level by constructing different planetary lighting it’s established entirely through interior day shots and exterior night shots this builds upon the already established walls and immerses the audience further into the story one of Deacons biggest influences is the late Conrad Hall working with available light he would experiment and use unconventional lighting techniques that would be uncommon Lee thought of in most scenes changing the way that cinematography is looked at by not adhering to the rules of the trade as often as possible his work has influenced Roger Deakins and many filmmakers alike Roger creates compelling scenes through intensely thought-out structure when thinking of a scene he likes to know where characters are in relation to the camera something different he does is he puts the camera between two people during a conversation placing the audience into the perspective of the character in the scene this is done instead of a conventional over-the-shoulder shot using a wide-angle lens like the 32 millimeter or a Ultra Prime he’s able to achieve a more personable shots that really has more impact on the scene a cinematographer is a very creative role to undertake as said before their role is to control a number of different variables in the image the defining attribute of a good cinematographer is the way in which they control light in a scene the way in which Roger Deakins lights a character is often very meticulous the lights and ratio that he often uses is a testament to this the gist of lighting ratios of this a character might have a brightly lit left half of their face which is known as the key whereas the right side might be dimly lit which is known as the film Roger Deakins sometimes lights his characters faces with an opposite ratio to their background this brings attention to the subject almost forcing the audience’s attention on them the reason I believe that Roger Deakins is such a great cinematographer is because of his understanding of the way that the Moving Image effects the story making a beautiful image is very easy anyone with an iPhone can do it these days but to know why a particular lens lighting setup or color would work in a scene is something incredibly special and in movies today where we can see the same style of moviemaking dominating our cinema screens it’s nice to see that there are a few different filmmakers who think differently so this is my first video of the year having taken a few months off to focus on university I’d like to thank everyone who subscribed and made 2017 a great year for me on YouTube I passed over 11,000 subscribers and over 2 million views on this channel so thank you very much excited to make more content in a variety of different ways so please if you like this video you can leave a like and if you want to see more then you can subscribe now my name is James Hays and thank you for watching

Dereck Turner

94 thoughts on “Roger Deakins: Making Beautiful Images

  1. Jake Roosenbloom says:

    Blade Runner: 2049 was one of the best and for me the best film of 2017. Really great analysis :')

  2. MrSquifler says:

    If BR2049 doesn't get some serious nominations for the Oscars I will be seriously peeved and I don't even know why.

  3. Ahmed Ibrahim says:

    with 13 Oscar nomination and he received non whyyy he deserved all of them 😡 fuckkk

  4. Steven Song says:

    Good to have you back in the game. Mr. Hayes.
    P.S. Deakins is one of my faves.

  5. Coffee Dynamite says:

    Am I the only one wondering how he would've lit his own interview?

  6. Kevin says:

    Awesome video, will have to watch 2049 asap!

  7. 007order007 says:

    Happy new year, loved the video; keep it up 🙂

  8. Damn Good Brand LLC says:

    Brilliant video, mate

  9. Wade Hampton says:

    The best cinematographer of all time.

  10. Joel S says:

    Just wanna be the dick who points out that a shadow (No Country), a silhouette (BR), and simply withholding the reveal of a character's face (Schindler's List) are not the same thing.

  11. Nighttray says:

    Get that Oscar speech ready, Roger.

  12. Daniel Cabral says:

    Best film of my adult life. The level of cinematography is so high in this film.

  13. Maxamillian Studio says:

    An absolutely amazing highlight of Deakins! You have a new subscriber!

  14. Musique Decor Multimedia says:

    What are you studying at the university ?

  15. John Charlton says:

    nominated 13 times for oscars, and lost to La la Land, let that sink in…

  16. Robert Alexander Hunter says:

    Awesome vid

  17. Universe says:

    Who did you reference as Deakins influence in lighting? Can't quite get the name out of your narration at 4:24. Thanks.

  18. Amadeus Graysmith says:

    Very good video:) What's the name of the first song? Sounds like the soundtrack of Blade Runner 2049. Anyway, there is another great photography director: Rodrigo Prieto.

  19. Julian Moreno says:

    Great video

  20. simianinc says:

    When a character is introduced in a Deakin's DP'd movie, it's his choice. When it happens in a Spielberg movie, it sin't the DP's choice, but Spielberg's. I think this is a problem for people who attribute decisions to the DP or director – who made the real choice?

  21. Roeurn Tourn says:

    Knowing there’s potential spoilers, but not knowing which movies means I’m skipping this video just to be safe. I’m sorry.

  22. Grayson Mendenhall says:

    Great video. I love Blade Runner 2049.

  23. 250frederic says:

    I love Deakins' work but I think he's been relying too much on color grading lately. He uses LUTs that are so obvious they make the hard work he did on set almost irrelevant. Perhaps it's just the director's decision or even the studio's but somebody is clearly messing up his work in the editing room. I'm not against color grading when it's used as a tool to enhance the colors and make the scenes consistent with each other but it's gotten out of control lately. I know for certain that in a couple years, we'll be looking at 2010s films and think "Jeez, what were they thinking!!"

  24. UnbelievabIeMontages says:

    more like Making Dog Shit Imagery. i can't wait till that hack dies.

  25. Ryan Emanuel says:

    I watched about 5 minutes of the video, did it ever address that Roger Deakins has said if some one considers his images beautiful when watching the film, he feels like he has failed. Interesting title of the video.

  26. The L33 Channel says:

    Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best visual movies ever.

  27. Ashley says:

    Roger Deakins is the fuckin' man! I loved what he did in Skyfall, Sicario and Blade Runner. I'm watching Blade Runner again just to study Roger's lighting setups. Brilliant guy! Super artist!

  28. Cunnyfu Georgeous says:

    Deakins is kind of a meme

  29. Renaud PERRET says:

    You should try to use a compressor on your voice (in every editing software)

    Besides, thanks for this video

  30. Rudra Biswas says:

    Nice channel ! Subbed !

  31. Max Broxson says:

    What's that movie with the sharks?

  32. Jean-Pierre LeRouge says:

    the cinematographer doesn't decide the images, the director tells him/her what he wants in the image and the cinematographer creates the picute out of technical accuracy concerning the craft of film making

  33. Stoner Yoda937 says:

    2049 felt empty & cheap to me

  34. brian hinesley says:

    While his cinematography was beautiful in the new blade runner it couldn't keep me from hating the movie, horrible cast, dragged way too long, and the sets lacked the delicious noir of the original film.

  35. Stanley Wong says:

    Reli good, thanks

  36. Richie Griffin says:

    OUCH… I wonder how the grip felt for that interview LOL

  37. R Cheung says:

    There was an amazing shot in Fargo that Deakin made, a high angle shot of a snow covered parking lot contrasting with lamp posts, planters and a parked vehicle.

  38. AL says:

    Writing 'potential spoilers' at the start of the vid is pointless unless you specify for what films haha

  39. Mohammed Tasib says:

    Love your work

  40. yooka333 says:

    Instead of copying Tony Zhou's style, why don't you create your own ? Thief.

  41. Steven Kim says:


  42. EinSophistry says:

    Congrats to Roger on his long overdue win.

  43. fox mm says:

    He totally deserved that award last night 😉

  44. Susanna Chan says:

    Roger Deakins just won an Oscar!

  45. Anjani Kumar says:

    great video …keep making more.

  46. theranchhand says:

    Very well produced and informative work. Though I would have to disagree a bit with the idea that a cinematographer "decides the look of the film" That's only if the director wants them to. As a feature film director of 14 years I can tell you that I determine everything from the cameras and lenses on a project (anamorphic, scope, etc) to the camera set up (tripod, dolly, Ronin, etc) to the amount of light and staging of the subjects. And though some directors are probably less involved than myself in the photography and rely more on a DP to figure it out, even Deakins himself has said he is there to serve the director's vision. I know there are many more talented directors like PTA, Kubrick, Tarantino, etc who certainly decide their film's looks as well but do understand that a cinematographer is always a big part of that process and at times can be more or less involved depending on their director. But… love your videos all the same and are they are all very nicely done!

  47. Jas Bataille says:

    Great video but! No, the fill is not "dark" and the key is not "bright". The purpose of the fill light in to fill in the shadows, preventing them from getting too dark. Roger Deakings purposely avoid using fill lighting in the shadows to make them darker and you describe those dark areas as "fill" lighting… which is confusing although I understand you meant the way he is shaping shadows. The key light is not the brighter light, simply the main light. At 5:56 you have an edge light coming to the right of the character and the key light placed toward his profile and if you look at the catch light in his eyes, there seem to be no other light at all. Also you wrote "light" on the left where there is no light and "dark" on the right where there IS the edge light… coming from the window 😉

  48. nigelft says:

    Way off topic …

    … but isn't the set at 0:31 almost the same one used in the 'Railway Station' scene in 'The Untouchables' …? I could be wrong, but …

  49. Tom Groebe says:

    Your definition of the key and fill are wrong.

  50. Dashen Basha says:

    this was sick af

  51. Liam Corbett says:

    As soon as I saw the first shot of the solar power station at the beginning of 2049, I knew it was gonna look absolutely incredible.

  52. Mike Kleinsteuber says:

    Roger is obviously one of the best DPs around and has been for some years. Some sense and some nonsense in this piece however

  53. Mike Smith says:

    Nice! I really liked this. Deakins's work is fantastic and this video really does show this.

    Keep up the great work dude!

  54. Nibash Dutta says:

    I want to do work with this greatest cinematographer

  55. TheRubberStudiosASMR says:

    blade runner deserved to win no doubt about it

  56. Van Gelis says:

    nice video, whats the music?

  57. Gooning3000 says:

    5:04 you mention the in-between characters shot with wider lenses (~28-32mm); the Coen brothers also love using this technique in their directing. I wonder if it's A) Deakins' work on their films, B) Coen brothers telling Deakins to try that method or C) a collaborative effort.

    Every Frame a Painting talks about the Coen Brother's shot reverse shot specifically, it's a great video as well. Nice work!

  58. t Moon says:

    Thanks James, nicely put and not too long .

  59. Kristof Kiraly says:

    Great video! Keep it coming! 👍

  60. Toyman Blood says:

    I'm absolutely pleased he won an Academy Award for Blade Runner: 2049. He proved to the cast and crew he used both technique and silhouette in the motion picture in precise shooting, that the color blended with the futurist philosophy in all conceptions. He definitely deserved that Oscar.

  61. Steve says:

    The amount of time I've heard these greats candidly say "I feel I'm learning with each new film" when it comes to their profession and having a string of successful features behind them. People like Spielberg, Hans Zimmer, Roger for that matter, they always say the same thing. I think true greatness comes the from fear of failure. It seems to be a never ending journey of discovery. I admire their honesty and can recognise this feeling in everyday life. It's all about applying yourself and doing the things you feel you can't do. That's where true greatness comes from I think.

  62. Russell Thomas says:

    Very nice. Slight jump cut at 3:16-ish

  63. Jean-Pierre LeRouge says:

    hey hey hey! The cinematographer merely knows the tech on crafting a shot and does not determine the look of the film.

  64. Community College of Aurora says:

    good stuff!

  65. Pedro Ramos says:

    What's that movie at 00:24?

  66. Hidden America says:

    Nice work on your visual choices, presentation, and also the narration.

  67. Christopher Thorkon says:

    Very well done and I learned a lot.

  68. Shane Bewarder says:

    He’s a genius

  69. R Cheung says:

    Good job, James. I enjoyed your video on Roger Deakins.

  70. Tomer Ben Yakar says:

    can someone list all the movies in this video so could watch them before watching this video?

  71. Dan Gaylord says:

    Cinematographers are not always responsible for the color grading in the final product

  72. Seaner boner says:

    They should show the American tour sequence from Sid and Nancy.

  73. Eriko. Oy says:

    Every single shot in the movie should be a painting

  74. John Duncan says:

    1982 blade runner is not a prequel

  75. アキラ says:

    Damn I really should rewatch blade runner 2049. First time I watched it I didnt really like it.

  76. Ronnel Cuison says:

    I like this video

  77. Arindam Chatterjee says:

    Deakins, the best of the bests.

  78. Steve Walshe says:

    Fantastic review, man, thank you!

  79. Joel Peters says:

    It would be even more helpful if you would dig into a few of the examples in far greater detail. Keep up the already fantastic work!

  80. Erik Sharifullin says:

    Great video! Thank you very much!

  81. LONDON MACE says:

    Since this video spotlighted Blade Runner so much I feel that the cinematographer for the 1982 Blade Runner should be named if not praised – Mr. Jordan Cronenweth.

  82. Brian Tam says:

    Great summary – thanks!

  83. Dennis Barać says:

    I think cinematography isn't something you learn but you are born with that gift. I can look at something and know imediately if it looks right or not and I can shoot good footage even with a potato in the right angle and the right light. 🙂 somebody is born with that and somebody is a cinematographer just to be one

  84. GodZullaFC says:

    You know what's sad my cinematography teacher probably don't like him

  85. Julien Franck says:

    This guy can feel the light than nobody. One of the greatest cinematographer of all time so far.

  86. Hamza Miyagi says:

    Appreciate this Video!

  87. Jamie says:

    The Shawshank redemption 👌🙌👏👐👋📷😍

  88. Nice Shoes says:

    While I love Roger, and think he's the best to have ever existed. Denis should take some credit for BR 2049. He's a very visual director and demands the quality.

  89. ReelTime says:

    Dude when you were talking about how he based a lot of the look of Blade Runner 2049 off the first Blade Runner, mentioning director Ridley Scott, I kept waiting for you to say mention that film was shot by Jordan Cronenweth. I think he deserves a mention in that line of thought!

  90. Gambit The Exiled says:

    I would shit my pants if i had to light for rogers interview.

  91. Lagos, Stammvater der Ptolemäer says:

    Naja, die Geschichte die uns vom 2. Weltkrieg erzählt wird ist auch nicht Werktreu!

  92. sema meltem Saydam says:

    Blade Runner 2049 was a visual feast!

  93. strongwise says:

    its so unfortunate that lubezki didn't win for tree of life, roger won for br 2049 is too funny, tho he deserved one for his amazing talent

  94. ash rocks says:

    The only thing I am happy about 2017 is I watched blade runner 2049

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