'Frozen River' DP Reed Morano on Shooting Movies: 'It's Not for You, It's for Someone Else'
There was quite a bit of back and forth regarding the role of the DP on a recent post about Andrij Parekh, much to the surprise of myself and a few others. The DP is one of the most important people on a production. The real purpose of the last post was to hear from a working professional that the cinematographer has to be a collaborator and must serve the story. Now we've got another Craft Truck interview from Jeff Glickman, this time with Reed Morano, the director of photography on Frozen River. In the video below, Reed talks about her process and her career, and how she's risen up through the ranks.
If you haven't seen them, here are some clips from her recent work:
There is some NSFW language in this Craft Truck interview:
I think it's great to hear about the tricks they used to actually make it look like they were shooting on the ice during Frozen River. Those sorts of decisions are necessary for independent films when money and time are in limited supply. I'm sure many of you have faked a location or an effect at some point, as it's one of the easiest ways to keep your costs down when going to the real place or when shooting on location is just too expensive.
The title of the post refers to her remark about DPs being a different kind of control freak. When you really step back and look at it, the DP has tremendous control over the film, but if you're making a narrative, the buck still stops with the director. As Reed says, "It's not for you, it's for someone else." While there are exceptions, the best films usually result from a great working relationship between the director and the director of photography. It's important that the two are in sync, because most of the creative decisions filter down from them to the rest of the crew, and if you've got a director or a DP who refuse to cooperate or can't seem to get along, you're going to have problems on set, and it's going to set the tone for the rest of production.