Legendary Cinematographer Gordon Willis Reminds Us: 'There is No Formula'
Craft Truck is on a winning tear, recently releasing some of the best interviews with cinematographers in recent memory, and this one is no exception. Gordon Willis, the “Prince of Darkness” and a master of light, sits down with Jeff Glickman to discuss his work as a cinematographer, his working relationship with Woody Allen and Francis Ford Coppola. Though Willis is retired, his mark has been deeply felt by anyone who loves movies. Ask any working cinematographer today, chances are they’ve been influenced by Gordy. Hit the jump for the 2-part interview:
Basically you don’t know any of those things when you’re working. You do what you want to do, make what you’re doing at that moment work. I never thought of anything as being iconic.
I think it’s important to be reminded not to get too far ahead of ourselves; to focus on the present task and not be bogged down with all the periphery. Sometimes, people are going to think you’re crazy, but that can’t stop you — even if it means using split diopters. We live in a time when we can so easily access history, to look at someone’s career and say: “I’d like to do things the way that person did,” — but perhaps it’s more important to do them how you want to; to serve your own artistic needs first. Gordon Willis will always be remembered as a champion of doing things differently and changing the art of cinematographer forever — but you can be sure he was only following his heart. A lesson for all of us.
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- Through The Lens, Gordon Willis Interview Part 1 — Craft Truck
- Through The Lens, Gordon Willis Interview Part 2 — Craft Truck