P.J. Dillon interview: ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ cinematographer

“It’s Marvel; there’s going to be an expectation that production values are high,” says P.J. Dillon. The cinematographer was tasked with shooting all six hours of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” for Disney+, and delivering the cinematic feel of the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “We were sort of continuing a legacy,” he suggests, of upholding the look and quality fans would expect. Watch the exclusive video interview above.

Dillon heaps praise upon the series’ director Kari Skogland, a past collaborator of his on “Vikings.” “For a DP, Kari is like the perfect director,” he explains, “she’s got a great visual sense.” That was important for the tight schedule of this series, as he felt her “cinematic eye” allowed for creative harmony between them. As he describes it, their vision was often “pulling in the same direction.”

SEE Malcolm Spellman interview: ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ writer

The cinematographer asserts that “preparation is the key” to the series’ many epic fight scenes, but one sequence in particular had Worthington thinking on his feet. It was an epic brawl between protagonists Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan), and disgraced Captain America replacement John Walker (Wyatt Russell) in the penultimate episode. The melee is fast paced and kinetic within the tight confines of a warehouse. “We chose the location for that a couple of days before we had to film it,” Dillon admits.

The complex sequence couldn’t maintain the same level of preparedness, since the storyboarding was dependent on the initial filming location which fell through. “As a consequence,” Dillon explains, “we had to be more inventive.” Scenes of this scale are normally tackled by both first and second filming units, but the change of plans meant this shoot was done entirely by the main unit. Dillon is proud of the final outcome, noting that the fight “has a kind of unity of vision” to it. “You often set out with preconceived ideas,” he describes, “but sometimes the better work that you do can be something that pushes against that.”

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UPLOADED May 29, 2021 6:34 pm