Christopher Doyle

Film is like a dream, so if you can fall asleep in the movie, which I always do, it means that a movie often works. Films should approach the status of a dream. It should take you into a space which is calm and tranquil and yet have associations that you’ve never had before.”

“It’s hard to shoot anything with any camera. For me, when I began, I noticed that the camera doesn’t see as the eye sees. So what do you do to compensate for that? Most people learn how to use the camera. No. Why don’t we instead teach the camera to look how we dream? I think that is an even more beautiful challenge.”

“I love that, the random factors. This sense of anticipation, what you put in, has a certain authenticity, but what is going to come out has a look of its own. I think this is the big challenge now. I work so often with younger people, and they treat the film likes it’s a commercial. I don’t want to see a Big Mac in the middle of my screen. It’s weird. They are so obsessed with perfection. One: perfection doesn’t exist. Two: the imperfections of an image are what give it energy. Like, look at your beard — you should have shaved a little bit over here. It’s the same thing. You’re working with your beard everyday, and occasionally you say, “Oh shit I have to trim it.” Life has to be like that, and a film has to be like that, and the real danger at the moment is that we can do anything, but when there is nothing to say, there is still nothing. If it doesn’t add anything, why would you do it? This is an interesting space that we are in.”

“I think it’s the most important question one can ask yourself: “Is that all you can do?” And sometimes you say, “Yes,” because I’ve been working for 24 hours, and I’ve not had a beer in a week and I’m really tired. “Yes that’s all I can do.” Or you say, “Hold on,” you step back and say, “Yes you’re right, maybe the light on your face is not good enough. Maybe I can do better.” And we always do. I think the real artists, filmmakers, any kind of artist, you have to ask yourself that question.”

“If I’m not doing a great job, or if I’m not articulating something special, then why should I exist? You don’t need me. You have Facebook. You have your own camera.”

If you are true to what you are, it doesn’t matter how you do it. I really believe that if we make a film with integrity, with good intentions, with care, with love the audience will feel that. The story wouldn’t matter.”

Posted in Art