[watch] The Cinematography of Hoyte van Hoytema

By  · Published on June 24th, 2016

Sareesh Sudhakaran is one of the internet’s leading authorities when it comes to analyzing the style of cinematographers, and his series of videos for wolfcrow should be taught in film school, preferably by Sudhakaran. He goes past the mere style and delves into the motivation behind it, revealing not just artists but people, and thus informing their work that much more, as well as making it more relatable. This is not an easy thing to accomplish, but Sudhakaran does week in and week out.

This time we’re going to take a look at his video on Hoyte van Hoytema, a Swiss cinematographer who started his career in Europe before transitioning to Hollywood after the success of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN – which I consider a perfect film in part because of the atmosphere Hoytema creates visually – and working on such films as THE FIGHTER, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, HER, and SPECTRE. Recently he’s become the favorite D.o.P. of Christopher Nolan (nice work if you can get it), for whom he shot INTERSTELLAR and is currently at work on DUNKIRK.

The key to Hoytema’s style is naturalism and how he arranges it in an artificial environment, and also his versatility with available technology: though Hoytema has only shot 15 features, he’s worked with pretty much every kind of camera and lens there is; the list will make your head spin, as will learning about the revered cinematographer’s approach to cinema. Score another one for Sudhakaran and wolfcrow.

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