During our recent webcam chat (watch above), “Lion” cinematographer Greig Fraser reveals that in his visual approach to the film, which spans the globe between India and Australia, “we made sure we didn’t get too complicated or too busy visually.” This Weinstein Company release tells the incredible true story of a five-year-old Indian boy who gets lost in the streets of Calcutta, and as an adult (Dev Patel) embarks on a journey to find his birth family. The film recently scored Golden Globe nominations for Best Film Drama, Best Supporting Actor (Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman), and Best Original Score. Both Patel and Kidman also reaped SAG bids Wednesday.
Fraser, the Australian cameraman behind such Oscar-contenders as “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and “Foxcatcher” (2014), worked closely with director Garth Davis to create a style that was both restrained and pictorial. “India is such a busy, busy visual country,” he explains, “that you need to create simplicity in the images, and you need to create pauses and silences that the audience can kind of understand.”
It’s been quite a year for Fraser. In addition to “Lion,” he’s got “Rogue One,” the first in a series of stand-alone “Star Wars” films, opening on Dec. 16th. “If you were to tell me that there’s a massive difference between those two films, I would probably disagree with you,” he divulges. “Both films fundamentally rely on characters, and characters’ interactions between each other, and the situation they’re placed in. So even though all the periphery is incredibly different on both movies,” he believes, “fundamentally, they’re identical.”
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