×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mandy Walker

10 Cinematographers to Watch

Australian cinematographer Mandy Walker (“Lantana,” “Shattered Glass”) has quietly made a name for herself as an avid collaborator with a patient eye for nuance and as much technical acumen as emotional verve.

Lately Walker has excelled in the compressed dynamics of the commercial arena, where she has shot spots for such products as Chanel No. 5, American Express and Virgin Atlantic for directors like Baz Luhrmann and Chris Noonan, both fellow Aussies.

Her first love, however, is features (she last prepped the Nicole Kidman/Russell Crowe film, “Eucalyptus,” for Jocelyn Moorhouse, but the project was postponed to give the filmmakers more time to hone the script).

“I don’t want to put my stamp on a movie that doesn’t express the director’s vision,” she says over the phone from Los Angeles, where she has lived for the past several years.

Working on “Shattered Glass” (2003) with then first-time director Billy Ray, for example, Walker helped come up with a visual strategy that reinforced both story and tone. “What I had to do is really subtle,” she reflects. “Sometimes, in the early parts of the film, we had to be handheld, but not crazy handheld. This was just to be disconcerting and to set you feeling a bit unbalanced in a subconscious way.”

In the second half of the film, Walker recalls, she and Ray placed the camera on a dolly and began to change the lighting to subliminally influence audience response.

Ray says collaborating with Walker gave him a boost. “Other than her level of confidence in me, I don’t think I would have had any in myself,” says Ray. “She is collegial, easygoing, generous, humorous and totally dedicated to her craft.”

While the harsh energy and high angle of the Australian sun taught her tough lessons about exterior light, Walker above all seeks balance in her work. “As well as being technical in my job,” she says, “the most important thing is being an artist. I very much have to work on an emotional level, too.”

Freeze Frame
Favorite tool: “Mine would have to be the balloon lights that are available now; they produce beautiful light, and are easy to put almost anywhere.”
Preferred film stock: “My favorite film stock is Kodak 5218. I tend to work with low light levels and this film sees into shadows amazingly, and it doesn’t pick up grain like the older high-speed stocks.
Inspiration: “The early films shot by Robby Muller. His compositions and use of light is so beautiful and always suited the storytelling of those films.”
What’s next: Heading back to Australia to lense Luhrmann’s “Untitled Epic,” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.
Rep: ICM
Web site: showreelsonline.com/director.php?did=130&cid=17

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • "Tezuka's Barbara" in competition at Tokyo

    ‘Tezuka’s Barbara’ and ‘A Beloved Wife’ Head for Tokyo Festival Competition

    Two Japanese films, “Tezuka’s Barbara” and “A Beloved Wife” have been selected for the main competition section of next month’s Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival will reveal the remainder of the competition and the bulk of its other selections later this month. To date the Japanese festival has only revealed its opening film (“Tora-san, [...]

  • Garin Nugroho film "Memories of my

    Indonesia Selects Controversial 'Memories' as Oscar Contender

    “Memories of my Body” directed by Garin Nugroho has been selected to represent Indonesia at the Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film category. The announcement was made on Tuesday by actress Christine Hakim representing the Indonesian Film Selection Committee. The fact-based film depicts the story of a young man from a dance troupe that [...]

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • The Moneychanger

    Toronto Film Review: ‘The Moneychanger’

    Uruguayan auteur Federico Veiroj (“The Apostate,” “Belmonte”) broadens his usual intimate dramatic scope to diminishing returns for his fifth feature, “The Moneychanger,” . Adapted from a novella by compatriot Juan Enrique Gruber, the period (mid-1950s to mid-1970s) tale centers on the eponymous character, an amoral currency exchanger, who winds up laundering some of the dirtiest [...]

  • Send Me to the Clouds

    Film Review: ‘Send Me to the Clouds’

    The social and economic pressures felt by China’s “leftover women” — referring to those older than 26 and unmarried — are examined in “Send Me to the Clouds,” a rewarding dramedy about a 30-ish journalist seeking financial reward and sexual fulfillment after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Bold by mainland standards for presenting a positive [...]

  • Jamie Bell Without Remorse

    Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.” Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content