The 10 Best Shots From Master Cinematographer Roger Deakins
O Brother, Where Art Thou? In his fifth collaboration with the Coens, Deakins added his own touch of Americana within this imaginative adaptation of Homer's The Odyssey. The idea was for a general sepia tone, but Deakins also dreamed of vibrant blues that would draw its inspiration from hand-tinted pictures. To achieve this look, Deakins abandoned chemical color timing and experimented with test footage in the burgeoning technologies of digital color correction. O Brother Where Art Thou? became the first feature film to be entirely color corrected in this process, which has since become industry standard. You can hear more about this in the documentary Side by Side. But above, you can see Deakins' concept for the colors play out in conjunction with his masterful skills in framing to fluidly capture action. Note the colors and how the characters glide in and out of frame in this scene’s final moments. In a word: it’s perfection.
The Village Deakins’ lone collaboration with M. Night Shyamalan produces – to no one’s surprise – the richest-looking Shyamalan misdirection opera in the director’s 20-year career. The whole movie is gorgeous, a rustic period thriller with ample secrets to hide. But Shyamalan’s designation of red as “the bad color” unleashes a passion in Deakins, which he brilliantly funnels into an aerial shot hovering over Bryce Dallas Howard, conveying the staggering amount of danger her blind character finds herself in without saying a single word.
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