harris-savides

9

ZODIAC (2007) Directed by David Fincher

Cinematography by Harris Savides

"I can tell you that he was not into people. The party that Darlene threw, people were just supposed to show up, drink beer, help paint, but this guy showed up in a suit, and just sat in a chair all by himself all night long and didn’t talk to anyone. And Darlene told me to stay away from him. She was scared of him. Couple weeks later she was dead." -Linda Del Buono

8

He was a very sweet man. He knew what he wanted and watching him with the camera it was always very precise. He came up with some really wonderful shots—like that shot where it’s the glass house that we’re running through, the one big shot. It was one of my favorite shots, and that was his idea that was his idea that he was really pushing for. So I think that shot is like, really Harris’ shot right there. He was amazing.

- Israel Broussard on Harris Savides

Cinematographers You Should Know: 14/∞

Harris Savides, ASC (9/28/1957 - 10/9/2012)

"I light a room and let the people inhabit it, as opposed to lighting the people. It’s more organic. You want to protect the people you’re working with, and there’s a constant battle between the best light for their face and the best light for the story. You don’t want to get to the point where the audience notices the light."

Known For: Elephant, Zodiac, The Bling Ring

Frequent Collaborator(s): Gus Van Sant, David Fincher, Sofia Coppola, Noah Baumbach

"I light a room and let the people inhabit it, as opposed to lighting the people. It’s more organic. You want to protect the people you’re working with, and there’s a constant battle between the best light for their face and the best light for the story. You don’t want to get to the point where the audience notices the light."

—Harris Savides, cinematographer

Photo of Harris Savides, Stephen Dorff, and Elle Fanning taken in between takes on the set of Somewhere (2010, dir. Sofia Coppola) Cinematography by Harris Savides.


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8

Elephant (2003) - dir. Gus Van Sant

Van Sant’s Elephant is one of those films that absolutely could not have been any better. For what he was trying to do - it’s flawless, start to finish. There’s an undeniable verisimilitude to his poetic interplay of the black and white and inevitable gray area that comes being a part of high school. From the word go, Elephant transports the viewer to their own experience in the education system and established the mundane as absolutely paramount to each individual’s livelihood.

But there is one glaring question that must be asked… what - exactly - is Van Sant trying to say? Sure, the beauty of the film is that he paints the complete picture, never singling out any one thing as the fault for such a horrific act of malevolence… but what’s the point of it all? The answer escapes me, but, during the film’s brief 85 minute running time, there’s no need to delve further into the world that is so beautifully painted by cinematographer Harris Savides. While I’m still not certain what exactly Elephant is supposed to be saying, I can say, without a doubt, that the film is beautiful in its approach and execution.

7.5