While supervising the cinematography of his first feature film, Ben Richardson made some bold choices. He didn’t point his cameras too much at the whirlwind weather during the Hurricane Katrina scenes in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Instead, he focused more on the terrified faces of his movie’s characters, especially the visage of Hushpuppy, six-year-old actress Quvenzhane Wallis, who has “a magnetism that anchors the film,” he says.
“We definitely had the opportunities to go wider,” he tells Gold Derby in our webcam chat. “But the experience of the storm is Hushpuppy’s experience. She’s confined in this tiny little space with just the noise and the water and the rattling. The more time we spent in Hushpuppy’s experience of the story, we realized that the other things were not relevant to the film we were trying to make.”