Backstage Interview | 84th Academy Awards


CATEGORY: Cinematography
INTERVIEW WITH: Robert Richardson
FILM: "Hugo"


Q. You did make a comment on stage about the cinematography award being first. Were you serious? Is that something that's bothering you or do you have strong feelings about that?
A. No. It's a fear factor. Yeah, of course. Cinematography. We are behind the lens. We are not in front of the lens. So, it made it a little complex for me to walk up there.

Q. So, what was it like for you DP'ing on Scorsese film that's every bit as much rendering green screen as it is actually staged?
A. Oh, I don't know if you are absolutely accurate on that part. There was not as much green screen as there was on the production side. Once you get Dante here, I think that's conversation you should have with him. He might not take well to that one. It was a great deal of practical. The sets were phenomenal. So, I am not appropriate for that one.

Q. All right. I'm wondering if you can talk about working in 3D. This is not the first 3D film to win, but it's unusual to get recognized with 3D.
A. You're right. I think the odds of winning are extraordinarily small. I was the crystal ball didn't work this way. I know it worked that way for Mark Wahlberg, but for me, I didn't see it. I don't know [unintelligible] a Mark Wahlberg piece, but his predictions are near two for three. Uhm, yeah, I know it's very difficult to choose 3D, and I'm surprised by it as well. And I think it's not just 3D. It's a digital aspect versus a film aspect.

Q. Where do we go now, dramatically, with 3D now that you've paved the way?
A. That's a huge question, but I don't think there's any limits for it. 3D is a very solid step. I believe it's 15, 20 percent, give an arbitrary percentage. The advantage is a tool towards what filmmakers can use, if used, as just that, as a tool, not as a gimmick. There's an end. I do believe it will alter that, but, technically, I don't believe we can go into that here, 'cause I could go on for an hour [inaudible].

Q. This is the last year of Kodak sponsoring the venue for the Oscars. Can you talk about shooting digital versus shooting film?
A. Last night, I was at the Kodak dinner at The Bistro. And, of course, it's a bit painful. I'm shooting currently on film. Uhm, I'm with Quentin Tarantino for DJANGO UNCHAINED. I don't think it's an issue of film versus digital. I'm hoping that film can survive for as long as possible. I hope Kodak sticks here, but it's not over yet, virtually, every film, is digitized in one way or another, so we have to think about that. The digital media sweep.

Q. I'm curious with such a prominent group of cinematographers that you were nominated with, how does it feel for you now that you were the one that was called and won the Oscar?
A. I'm elated. I didn't see this as happening. I have to say, personally, I love the work of Chivo in THE TREE OF LIFE. I, also, think he's well overdue, but that said, I am extraordinarily happy. I do love that man, so, I would like to see that not too far in the future. Thank you all very much.


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