DOHA: Christopher Doyle, considered the greatest cinematographer today, impressed a full house of filmmaking aficionados with his brilliant ideas and works in a Masterclass held as part a highlight of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) yesterday.
“It is important to find something appropriate for what you are,” Doyle started his talk saying though his interest when he was young was on dance and theatre, he developed a penchant for the camera.
Unveiling an impressive array of clips culled from dozens of the films he had made throughout his illustrious career, such as ‘Dumplings’, ‘Infernal Affairs’, ‘Chungking Express’ and ‘In the Mood for Love’, Doyle amazed the attendees of his wisdom and experience as he went along meeting various people in different places as he created films.
He stressed on the vital role of the cinematographer as a bridge to the audience, presenting not only what the script requires but finding the right space where the story can effectively evolve.
“Searching for the right location is the most basic aspect of a film. The story just follows,” he told the audience composed mostly of young film enthusiasts.
Doyle was of the view that a cinematographer should veer away from showing off what he is capable of doing in shooting a scene but get engaged with the physicality of the location and its visual potential to tell a story.
As a good example, he noted he was able to make around seven films with his neighbourhood when he was in China as the location.
“It is every cinematographer’s challenge to try to interpret ideas contained in the script in his own way,” he said, advising the audience not to over-think but get absorbed by the story considering the location and the situation at the moment of shooting the scene.
“One has to be open that something can change so he has to adapt to it, but what is important is using what you have as simply as possible to convey what you want.”
He said the impact of the film is shown by how people remember it after a long time.
“A film should have one iconic moment that people will remember, which determines the impact of the film to their lives.”
Born in Australia, Doyle lives and works predominantly in Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. He is widely acclaimed for changing the look of contemporary cinema.
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