×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Janusz Kaminski

Munich

Key credits: “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “AI: Artificial Intelligence”

Awards: Oscar, BAFTA, BSC, LAFCA, NFSC, NYFCC kudos for “Schindler”; Oscar, LAFCA laurels for “Private Ryan”

Connection: “Everyone knows Steven Spielberg and I have been working with each other for the last 12 years (“Munich” is their 10th collaboration). The beauty of our relationship comes from the fact that he trusts me and I trust him. We both fulfill our expectations, and we understand the story we are making in the same way.”

Equipment: “I think there is more to cinematography than talking about cameras and film stock. It’s like talking to a costume designer about what kind of sewing machine they use. The sewing machine was Arriflex. And the film was Fuji and Kodak.”

Challenge: “It is a story that needs to feel relevant, but it is also a story that we want to engage people. For me the biggest challenge was to make the audience feel like they were watching a story that was suspenseful, but also a story that is based in the reality of the 1970s. It’s not a pretty movie. It’s a little bit grainy and muted. It’s also very colorful, but the color is kind of ugly. It keeps you on the edge of your seat to some degree. You don’t feel comfortable with the colors.

Creative mantra: “It has to feel real to me… The biggest challenge to any cinematographer is to tell a story that reflects the written material and to have the ability to fully understand what the story is about and then find the cinematic style and the individual storytelling that the cinematographer brings into the process. The trick is to fully immerse yourself and be able to enrich the story through nonverbal language, which is what cinematography is. Occasionally you see a movie that is completely inappropriate visually, where somehow you feel you are looking at romance, but there is no romance onscreen. Or you feel that you are looking at a movie about beauty and there is no beauty in the photography… Frequently as a cinematographer you end up restraining yourself.”

Upcoming: “I have no idea what I want to do, to be honest. It’s exciting because I think I might direct a movie in Europe. We’ll see how it goes.”

More Film

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    Bond 25 Moved Back Two Months to April 2020

    James Bond will arrive two months later than planned as MGM moved back the release date on the untitled Bond 25 movie from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020 — a Wednesday before the start of Easter weekend. It’s the second delay for Bond 25. MGM and Eon originally announced in 2017 that the film [...]

  • Fast and Furious 8

    'Fast and Furious 9' Release Date Pushed Back Six Weeks

    Universal Pictures has shifted “Fast and Furious 9” back six weeks from April 10 to May 22, 2020 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend. It’s the second backwards shift for the title. In 2017, Universal moved the film back a year from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020. Both dates fall on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content