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Jeff Bridges Interviews Roger Deakins About His ‘Big Break,’ Declining to Shoot in 3D, and His Favorite Movie

Jeff Bridges Interviews Roger Deakins About His 'Big Break,' Declining to Shoot in 3D, and His Favorite Movie

In a loose, wide-ranging conversation with Jeff Bridges for Interview, fellow Coen brothers collaborator and “Sicario” cinematographer Roger Deakins—who first met the actor on the set of the Coens’ “The Big Lebowski” in 1998—reveals how he started out in the industry, film versus digital, and why he won’t shoot in 3D.

Check out highlights from the interview below, as well as links to TOH!’s discussions with the 12-time Oscar nominee (who, shockingly, has never taken home the statuette) about “Sicario,” “Unbroken,” “Prisoners,” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”

On his “big break”:
“I was shooting documentaries, mostly, and a lot of rock videos, and then I got the chance to shoot a feature film with a guy I knew at film school. He was doing a fairly low-budget feature film for Channel 4 television in England [‘Another Time Another Place,’ 1983]. The film was released theatrically, and it was very successful. It actually played at the Cannes Film Festival. I didn’t really turn back after that. I made two other films [‘1984’ and ‘White Mischief,’ 1988] with the same director [Michael Radford] in rapid succession… I was very lucky. I mean, the big break was really getting into National Film School. If that hadn’t happened, I don’t think I would have gone into film at all. I might’ve become a photojournalist or something.”

READ MORE: Watch: Revisit ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’ with DP Roger Deakins

On the shift to digital:
“I think it’s inevitable. It’s funny—I was just working with the Coen brothers over the winter on this film “Hail, Caesar!” And they wanted to shoot film, so we shot film. I think my choice might have been to shoot digital, but I enjoyed shooting film again. But I think that film has had its day, and I believe there are great advantages to the digital process, actually.”

READ MORE: Famed Cinematographer Roger Deakins Talks Coens, Storytelling, ‘Prisoners’

On (not) shooting in 3-D:
“I don’t do that virtual reality stuff. I’m not even into 3D actually… I’ve been offered it. I just don’t want to. I think I’m gonna do this film with [‘Sicario’ and ‘Prisoners’ director Denis [Villeneuve] that’ll be made into 3D eventually, but it won’t be shot in 3D. I don’t really like watching 3D. I mean, I’ve worked on a lot of animated movies that were 3D…”

READ MORE: How Roger Deakins Crossed New Borders with Denis Villeneuve for ‘Sicario

On how his favorite movie led to the creation of his website:
“I was doing a Q&A years and years ago. I was screening ‘Army of Shadows’ [1969], directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, which is my favorite movie. After the film, there were literally hundreds of students who came up and asked for advice. And after that evening, my wife said, ‘Well, we should start a website.’ So we decided to start this website if people wanted to ask questions, and it’s become a general conversational site. It’s quite nice, really… I just answer questions. It’s like a forum, really. Some other cinematographers get on it to answer more technical questions because I’m not very technical.”

READ MORE: “How Cinematographer Roger Deakins Achieved His Most Beautiful Work on ‘Unbroken'”

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