Shooting Mr. Turner Straight Up Digitally

There are few movies this awards season as breathtakingly beautiful as Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, the biopic that takes us into the visionary mind of eccentric 19th century British painter J.M.W.  Turner (brilliantly played by Timothy Spall). It certainly represents the best work of the director’s longtime cinematographer Dick Pope, who’s chasing his first Oscar.

What’s unique is how they evoke the magnificent landscapes and seascapes that Turner witnessed and how he studied light like a scientist, selected and mixed his paints like a chemist, and then painted accordingly with remarkable insight and precision.

“We talked about it as a dream for many years,” Pope recalls. “We shared ideas about making it Sometimes we’d be in a dark and dingy place and he’d say, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get Turner in the end.’”

They watched Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon for the tableau filmmaking. “So many shots of every in the frame bouncing off each other, which is just the way Mike and I love to work. We’re always looking for those one-shot scenes.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Movies, Oscar, Tech, Trailers

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