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"Henry's Crime", described by DP Paul Cameron, ASC as a "fable of sorts...with a folkloric beauty" is the topic as Debra Kaufman interviews Paul Cameron. Facing challenges such as limited budget, a short shooting schedule, difficult lighting and -20 degrees Fahrenheit weather all add to the mystique of a film playing out in a "classics style" storybook effect and elegant cinematography. Join Paul and Debra for a look behind making this fascinating tale come to life.
Paul Cameron, ASC--the cinematographer known for creating the look on such memorable films as director Michael Mann's Collateral
and Tony Scott's Man on Fire
--recently finished working on Henry's Crime
. The film, directed by Malcolm Venville (44 Inch Chest), written by Sacha Gervasi (The Terminal, Anvil! The Story of Anvil
) and starring Keanu Reeves, James Caan and Vera Farmiga, is a comedy of a man unjustly sent to prison for a robbery he didn't commit who, when he's released, targets the same bank he was accused of robbing.
Cameron, who studied at State University of New York's Purchase College Film School and joined NABET
(National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians) while he was in college, started his career shooting commercials and music videos. In 2003, he won top cinematography awards at both the Clio Awards
and AICP Awards
for his photography on the BMW featurette Beat the Devil
with director Scott. He won another Clio--his third--in 2008 for the VW Golf Night Drive
spot with director Noam Murro.
DP Paul Cameron, ASC
Transitioning to feature films, Cameron got attention for his stunning cinematography for Collateral
, which was one of the first major studio films to utilize a digital camera. The film also earned Cameron a British Academy of Film and Television Arts
(BAFTA) Award and the Los Angeles Critics Association Award
for Best Cinematography.
Since then, he has shot Man on Fire
and Déjà vu
for Scott and Dominic Sena's Swordfish
and Gone in Sixty Seconds
. Most recently, he also completed the thriller Man on a Ledge
, directed by Asger Leth, and he is currently working on director Len Wiseman's adaptation of Philip K. Dick
's 1966 sci-fi classic We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
, starring Colin Farrell.
Creative COW's Debra Kaufman sat down with Paul Cameron, ASC to talk about Henry's Crime
and his other recent films.
How did you get on Henry's Crime?
I got on the film through the director Malcolm Venville. I'd done some commercials for him for a year or so. We just got along very well and he mentioned this project and how it would be an interesting project to jump into, with Keanu and Vera. There were some things about the movie that were interesting to me. The movie had very little money to shoot so it was a lot of compromises for the people involved; the writers and actors were interested in the project. It was a good alignment and felt right.
What camera did you choose and why?
I've shot a lot for Malcolm and on commercials with ARRICAM Light and Cooke S4 lenses. We both love the quality of the glass. Almost all the film was shot single camera, 3 perf 2:35. I shot Fuji 64D, 250D & Vivid 500T.
Did you consider using a digital camera, especially due to the project's limited budget?
Actually for this project, it never came up. We never thought about it. Although we had many conversations about it, it was never a preference. We wanted a particular look for the film, and by shooting film it helped to give us that look. The only struggle was whether to shoot 1.85 or 2.35.
Towards the end of the film, Vera is in a regional play and Keanu ends up getting a part in it. So there are a number of scenes especially in this part of the film with multiple characters on the stage. I felt it was more of a horizontal world so I wanted to go wide screen. Everybody agreed so we went 2.35.