A miscellany of weekly ramblings on comics, art and film by Ted Mathot, storyboard artist and writer/artist/self-publisher of graphic novels and comics

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Robert Richardson, ASC

I'm a big fan of cinematographer Robert Richardson's work, and wanted to post some stills from The Horse Whisperer which he shot. I wish I had higher quality images because these do absolutely no justice to the magnificence of what he captured with the camera. I really like the film as well; there are a couple scenes in particular that I keep going back to that I hope to analyze here.

The film has been an influence on my work in Rose and Isabel and also with Cora and was the reason I changed the Cora setting from Texas to Montana, where the majority of The Horse Whisperer takes place.

How he got the snow to refract light like that (in stills #4 & #5) I have no idea. Beautiful. I also really like the figure eight/moebius strip of fences in still #6.

More Richardson from Horse Whisperer:


Nick Sung said...

Jeez! That looks incredible!
I'll have to watch this. Thanks Ted!

Monkeyfeather said...

Wow, these are fantastic. How DID he do that refracted light one the snow!?

He's a fantastic cinematographer. Snow Falling on Cedars is beautifully shot, and he's done some really nice work with Oliver Stone as well. I liked the way he shot U-Turn.

TSM said...

monkeyfeather -I think it may be along the lines of a day for night shot. Even though the scene takes place in very early morning, it looks to me to have midday type light.

I love the way U-Turn looks. The films goes south for me about halfway thru, but the first half is awesome.

Emma said...

That blows my mind. It's design, where you have to riff on something like snow, and figure out what would be cool to see, and how to get it.

Would a cinematographer pitch shots to the director? Would he use sketches or photos of similar looks, do you think?

Monkeyfeather said...

Day for night is a good call. I'll have to pick this film up and give it a good look.

Looking at these again, there's a really nice rhythm to these compositions.

Yeah, I loved the first half of U-Turn as well, then um...

Jeremy Spears said...

pretty spectacular man! I'll have to rewatch this film, it's been awhile since I saw it.

I listened to the score a few times over the summer during my late night storyboarding, someone had it on the server. Thomas Newman's music works very well with that imagery..it's awesome.


TSM said...

emma - I would imagine that Richardson pitched ideas to Redford. I guess it would depend on the director.

jeremy - Newman's score is great in the film!

Louie del Carmen said...

another great post Ted! You beat me to the punch... I was planning to get screengrabs of Adam Kimmel's DP work in the movie CAPOTE to post in my blog...(some nice shots of the cold, wintery Kansas countryside..)

"Horse" WAS a nicely photographed film I totally agree... How these guys capture light like that..It's truly remarkable.

Tang said...

Wow, that's a side of Bob Richardson's work that I'm not familiar with. pretty low key, well, for him anyway.
I think his more trademark look is conveyed best in Casino by Martin Scorsese, where there are tons of super bright flares which blind you and really gives the impression of the dizzy and glamourous life of the characters.

TSM said...

tang - true...a very telling sign of a good cinematographer is his/her versatility, but also while retaining a strong identity. HW and Nixon are two of my favorites that Richardson shot and they are totally opposite looking from one another.

I'm a huge fan of the JFK/NBK/Nixon/U-Turn era Stone films, all of which Richardson shot (which I'm sure to get a lot of flak for but I'll save it for another post...).

Matt J said...

Great post Ted-never saw the Horse Whisperer-have to track it down too.
The ultra-white burn out effect seemed to be the Richardson trademark of his Stone era films. He's lined up to shoot Stone's next picture- 'Pinkville'.
I once saw a screening of KILL BILL followed by a Q&A with Tarantino where he told us that originally he had someone else as DP but Richardson heard that he was working on a new project & begged him to let him on it! Quentin must have learnt a lot from him as I believe he is credited as DP on DEATH PROOF & reservations about the film aside it's a great looking flick.

Chewbies said...

Breathtaking shots!

Anonymous said...

hi ted!

ben caldwell, don't have energy to remember what my ID is.

anyway, i could be wrong, but i think the snow effect is totally natural. i saw it all the time in ohio, and now here in new york. when the sun melts snow down a bit, then it slowly refreezes, the result can be a crunchy ice glaze. lots of fun to stomp on!