Roger Deakins and Denis Villeneuve Dish on the Industry and Their Collaboration

What happens when two great talents and frequent collaborators get together to talk shop?  

It's hard to understate how important Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins have been to recent cinema. Villeneuve is still at the beginning of his illustrious career, and Deakins is entering his later years, working together they have brought us some incredible visuals and stories. Now we have the two of them digging into the specifics together. 

You can listen to the whole conversation on Team Deakins - one of our favorite podcasts - where the guys talk topics that range from burnout to lighting a scene. And how they always challenge each other. 

Theaters are closed, but streaming at home may be the next best thing. 

Or as Deakins says, “I love the experience of being in a cinema with an audience but I think it feels more important that people see them. If in the future people are going to watch more movies on television, that’s fine. The films that I remember from my childhood are from watching them on TV and not the cinema experience.”

Villeneuve echoes this sentiment and gives us a look into what made him into a director, saying, “I discovered ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ on television, and I later realized I discovered ‘Blade Runner’ on television,” the filmmaker continued. “I discovered a lot of movies that were massive influences [on me] on television, or, like most Ingmar Bergman films, I discovered on VHS. And still, through these movies, they had a massive impact. All that debate on the size of the screen… because I am a filmmaker and I just love films.”

Fascinating to consider. How many of your greatest movie experiences happened when watching an older format on a smaller screen?

There's also this gem from Villeneuve about Deakins, “When I am working with you, I’m going to be in a position where I’m going to learn about filmmaking every day. I’m in a learning process working with you. It’s very rewarding and exciting. Right now I am doing VFX on ‘Dune,’ and I found myself talking about light and asking for things and I’m like, ‘I know it’s Roger.’ I know that I can do things [because of Roger].”

Villeneuve added, “I realize how much sometimes the amount of things I’ve learned from you. I’m not saying you’ll agree with me when you see the thing, but I just know of sensibilities that I strongly increased being with you and working on Blade Runner. It was a formative experience. To design the movie from the storyboards until the very end by your side, it’s insane the amount of things I learned.”

I love this partnership and how they lean on one another. The whole conversation is worth it. 

Your Comment


Why didn't they work together in Dune?

July 20, 2020 at 4:50PM

Álex Montoya

"How many of your greatest movie experiences happened when watching an older format on a smaller screen?"

Funny, I talked with a friend of mine yesterday about this. We both were captured by great movies even when just watched on a tiny screen, low resolution and substandard audio. When the story, the essence pulls you in the medium it is presented on gets completely secondary or meaningless. I remember from my childhood having watched pirated VHS screening copies of Hollywood movies in India with totally awful sound but they still fascinated me. The only movie I remember that stunned me in the theatre was Jurassic Park, but that was more of it's game changing visual effects than it's actual story.

Theaters nowadays just want to numb you by hammering visuals and audio down on you, it became pure spectacle and finally will lose the remaining bits of relevance piece by piece...

July 21, 2020 at 1:34AM, Edited July 21, 1:37AM


I think it's really amazing podcast. Cheers.

July 21, 2020 at 8:26AM