Rob Hardy Interview: ‘Devs’ cinematographer
“My little three year old and one year old were crawling around trashing the living room and it was almost bath time,” recalls cinematographer Rob Hardy BSC on the day he found out he had just received his first ever Emmy nomination for his the ambitious work of the FX on Hulu sci-fi limited series “Devs.” He adds tongue-in-cheek, “I got a text from my agents saying congratulations and I said ‘for what? For managing to get through another day?… It was a big surprise!” Watch our exclusive video interview with Hardy above.
“Devs” is writer and director Alex Garland‘s first foray into series television after his acclaimed sci-fi films “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation.” It follows a young software engineer (Sonoya Mizuno) who believes that the secretive ‘Devs’ division of the Amaya corporation where she works is behind the murder of her boyfriend Sergei (Karl Glusman). She reconnects with her former lover Jamie (Jin Ha) to infiltrate and investigate Devs, which draws her into the orbit of Amaya’s CEO Forest (Nick Offerman) and his offsider Katie (Alison Pill), both of who we learn have developed a machine that can see backwards and forwards in time.
Like Garland’s previous work, “Devs” features visually striking design and cinematography, such as the mysterious visualizations created by the Devs machine, the giant foreboding Amaya statue that stares out over the surrounding canopy of trees and the internal gold-plated walls of the cubed otherworldly Devs bunker.
Hardy is best known for his work on “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (2018) and on Garland’s “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation.” With his involvement on “Devs,” he has become one of Garland’s key collaborators alongside visual effects supervisor (and fellow Emmy nominee) Andrew Whitehurst, production designer Mark Digby and musicians Ben Salisbury, Geoff Barrow and The Insects (otherwise known as composers Tim Norfolk and Bob Locke).
Hardy values the collaborative and collegiate atmosphere that Garland establishes on his projects. “It’s quite an extraordinary collaboration, it’s unlike any experience I have had in film making,” Hardy admits. “Obviously it begins with the script, but one of the things we tend to do is avoid referencing any other movies, shows, photographers, anything like that. It all comes out of the conversations that we have and the dialogue that we have in the very beginning. It’s the puzzle that we have in trying to translate everything to the screen.”
“That process,” he says, “is all about creating a playground, in some sense, on which we will shoot. What is our world and how do we create it?”