Safety Tips When Removing Nose Hair

Excessive nasal hair growth is a common problem for males, especially for those who are aged thirty and older. Any of these unwanted hairs that may be seen coming out from the nose can really be a turn off. As they say it, image is everything. So, if you care enough about what other people may feel or think upon seeing you with some of those unsightly hairs protruding from your nose, you will need to make sure that your nose is kept clean and your nasal hair trimmed regularly. If you usually see or hear comments that your nasal hair is out of control, you will need a little help from one of the best nose hair clippers to help you keep your nose hair trimmed. If you want to make sure that your nasal hair is of the acceptable length, use a mirror to inspect your nose or ask someone who can help you do just that. For some safety tips when removing nose hair, you may find this post helpful as well.

Removing Nose Hair

Nasal Hair and Its Benefits

Nostril hair plays an important role to help keep your body stay healthy. Your nose hair creates a protective layer that keep pollutants that may get through your nasal passage as you inhale from entering your lungs. Having too much of these hair fibers can be irritating as it can block the nasal cavity. Not only does too much but also too long hair fibers on the nose can be a health problem, it can also make anyone look unruly. And since appearance matters so much, you will need to consider your hair problem if you do have one such as this.

Invest in a Good Quality Nasal Hair Clipper

To help you maintain your good looks by keeping your nasal hair at an acceptable length, you will need to invest in a good quality personal nasal hair clipper.

When looking for one, you don’t just buy the very first clipper that you see on the shelf or online. You will need to consider. Ease of use, functionality, material used, and the price of each of your the available options are some of the few things that you may want to think of before finally deciding which of the nose hair clippers that you see you’d buy.

You may also want to consider whether you would rather have one of these types of nose hair clippers: nose and ear hair scissors, professional nose and ear hair trimmer, or a battery powered nose and ear hair trimmer. Don’t be shy to ask around for the best options that will give you the most value for your money. (more…)

Editor Juliane Lorenz talks about life with filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Editor Juliane Lorenz talks about life with filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder

THENEWCINEMA: Tell me about the first time you met Fassbinder.

JULIANE LORENZ: I was working as an assistant to Ila von Hasperg who was editing ‘‘Chinese Roulette’’ for Rainer. They were shooting in the countryside in a village where the family of Michael Ballhaus had a little castle. Ila was already editing, she had an editing table out there and I was in Munich preparing the rushes.  So the first time I met him was when he came to watch a first cut in the Munich editing room. I will never forget that moment… I was horribly shy and he was a person who, everyone said… ‘‘he is a monster’’…but turns out he was not a monster, but a very sweet and calm man. He watched the cut, laughed a few times, then got up and said thank you. That is when Ila introduced us.

 

TNC: What was he like as a person, I mean the man, not the filmmaker?

JL: The person I met… he was twenty-nine at the time and I was nineteen… he had made over 26 films and obviously had a life behind him. What I noticed and what I always will remember is that he was a man who was trying to make a break with a complicated private life and a difficult past.  He longed for something new and to separate from a negative period… things that weighed on him… a man tired to care all the time for other people. So the person I met was someone going in a new direction and you can see that in his work, “Satan’s Brew” for example. But when I met him he was in the process of recovering his confidence and had decided to concentrate on his future and his films. He was famous in France, he was famous in America, but he still had to fight in his own country. There were critics who really loved his work, but he didn’t have that kind of recognition in Germany. He wanted to reach people and also be a normal working director not a public spectacle. In the public view he was still this guy who wore a leather jacket and sits in bars and is a homosexual or bisexual or neither. Public opinion was mostly focused on that, not on him as a filmmaker and artist. Basically he was not fitting the mold of German society.

TNC: What is one character trait that defines Fassbinder the filmmaker?

JL: (Laughs) A serious man, absolutely honest, someone that explored the craziness and talents of other people and incorporated them in his work. Someone who gave a lot of work to other people… gave a lot of people an opportunity to be involved in something meaningful.  Generous.

TNC: What was the first Fassbinder film that you edited?

JL: “Bolwieser” was shot as a two part TV series and Rainier asked me to be by his side to edit the feature version, which we did. But “Despair” was the first film I edited all by myself.  He had first asked me to be the previous editor’s assistant, but they didn’t get along. After shooting ended, he had come with Michael Ballhaus to see the first rough cut and was completely unhappy with it… he had expected to have a finished cut. Rainer was not this kind of auteur directors who sits beside the editor. For him an editor was someone’s job and that person’s job was to create. So he expected that he would get a proposition… that he would have a nearly finished film.  The first rough cut was three hours long… way too long.  So he said  to me “well now we go on and edit the film ourselves” and we did it, in one night. I don’t know really what happened, but we were sitting on two tables and we worked… as if we had been working together for twenty years. So we really co-edited the first version and presented it the next day to the producers. Rainer presented me as his editor and that’s how it started… I was only twenty at that time. When they asked who was going to be the official editor… Rainer said Juliane will be my editor and she will edit all my films from now on… and that was that. I thought he was crazy, but if Rainer decided you could do something, then you could.

 

TNC: Tell me about ‘‘In a Year with 13 Moons’’?

JL: This was shortly after his ex-companion Armin Meier killed himself.  I had decided to take some time off as I wanted to do a language course in Paris. Rainer said he was ok with that, but that he would like for me to be present for the edit, but he wanted to do it himself… obviously knowing Rainer I had to laugh a bit.  I came to visit him one day towards the end of the shooting and there was an assistant and Rainer and all the material.  We sat together on the table and looked at the rushes and I said ‘‘ok I will be your assistant’’, if he wants to edit it, then why shouldn’t he. But at the same time he was rehearsing ‘‘Othello’’ as an actor for the Frankfurt Theater by Turm… he was a wonderful actor you know and that was something he really wanted to do more of. So on the first day we started discussing how the beginning would be and then suddenly he got up and said ‘‘ I have to go to rehearsal” and finally never came back.  So I edited that film in six days.

 

TNC: This is also around the time Fassbinder and Ballhaus stopped working together.  What happened, why did that relationship end?

JL: Rainer and Michael had a very long and fruitful artistic cooperation. After ‘‘The Marriage of Maria Braun’’ there were some irritations between them and Michael saw that he had to take a break. So even though Rainer had offered Michael ‘‘In a Year with 13 Moons’’ and they were already preparing the shooting of ‘‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’’ Michael wanted a break, not forever but… Rainer never forgave him for not being at his side, in a very hurtful time after Armin’s death. Michael is a really lovely person and I know he had to make this break for his own sake. Every director is jealous when somebody he worked with for a very long time, suddenly decides to go his own way.  Obviously Rainer was very sensitive in that time, but this was the end of that working relationship.  As I said, Rainer was on a new path in his artistic development and then Xaver Schwarzenberger joined the team.

 

TNC: Did Fassbinder prefer to do his own camera work?  It seems from that moment on he really had a very particular style of lighting, one that remained even when working with Xaver Schwarzenberger?  Had he found his visual style?

JL: He always had his own style but for the camera work one also must mention Dietrich Lohmann and Jürgen Jürges from the early days, who were also an important part of what became the ‘‘Fassbinder-style’’. But the special relationship with Michael Ballhaus was that they really developed together. They were both in their early years of experimenting when they met and were trying to explore together a new cinematic language. They influenced each other greatly and it is this that makes these films so special from a visual point of view. But the separation was also fruitful for both of them.  Michael made a wonderful career in America and Rainer evolved as a cameraman, as we can see in ‘‘In a Year with 13 Moons’’ and ‘‘The Third Generation’’.

 

TNC: How long did Fassbinder shoot “In a Year with 13 Moons” for?

JL: Six weeks

 

TNC: How big was his crew?

JL: Very small… very, very small.  He was the DP and camera operator all in one, he did the set design… he and Volker Spengler looked for locations. In the beginning there were only the two of them doing the pre-production. He wrote “In a Year with 13 Moons” first as an essay for Volker Spengler. Some time later, an actress who was always running after Rainer to get parts, offered to help with the film and he ‘‘cast’’ her as the production manager. Rainer raised some of the money from different sources and arrived at a budget of 150.000 German Marks*. To finish the film however he had to put a lot of his own money, with the final total being about 600.000 German Marks*.  So he did it all by himself practically… I mean he told his production manager and assistants what to do and his mother did the accounting, but the principal jobs he did himself. I know Volker really helped him and gave him a lot of the energy to go on and finish the film.  But the crew was small, a few assistants, one grip… the sound was done by a guy who had never done sound before. When I came I couldn’t believe that he had really done it. He once told me that he would have killed himself, if not for this film. This work was for him a kind of “surviving”…

 

TNC: What did a Fassbinder shooting day look like? What time did he start? What time did he end? Was it chaotic or organized?

JL: All these stories people tell about his productions being chaotic are bullshit. He was very organized and for him the most important thing was to have professionals around him.  We could have been friends, but we had to be professional, even more so if you where a friend.  So the day was like any other shooting, with the actors arriving at six in the morning and the cameraman making his preparations, as well as all other departments.  I mean could he ever have made so many films and not be prepared? Maybe in his early years with the “Antiteater” there was maybe a kind of anarchic chaos. But even then, he was the one who forced them to be professional. I know his early production manager which most of the time was Christian Hohoff was very, very organized and professional. He later became a professor at the Berlin Film School.

 

TNC: Tell me about his ‘‘one take’’ thing?

JL: Rainer shot many shots of each scene, close ups, medium shots, masters… but most of the time he did only one take of each category.  Sometimes two or three, when it was a complicated shot or there was a technical problem.  But out of this he would still only print one take, that he would send to his editor.  So the editor would have one take for the close up, one take for the medium etc. except for those exceptional scenes.  Like this it was also possible for me to have a cut for him at the end of each day with the previous day’s material because there were not a lot of rushes. For “Berlin Alexanderplatz” for example he shot a ratio of about 1 to 5 of actual screen time. He would say to his actors that the first take he shot had to be perfect. He didn’t like to do three or four…  or even more, so that means his actors had to be really prepared.  At the same time he wanted a fresh performance and didn’t want it overly rehearsed. He often said “actors should not think too much about what they were doing as actors in a scene”.  Cameraman and technicians had to be perfect as well, but he let them redo a take if they desired or needed it.

 

TNC: Did he rehearse with his actors?

JL: Yes he did, but not much.  It was more like ‘‘You come in, and there is the camera. It moves from this point to that, and then you look in that direction..’’.  He was a very concentrated and calm director and he had an incredible memory. He knew exactly what was coming next in the script… he rarely had to look at it.  He was like a general, but in a very smooth way, I never heard him shout… well sometimes I heard him when people didn’t work quickly enough (laughs). He needed people who worked as quickly or as creatively as him… people that could keep up with him. Not everybody had the strength of course, but that is only human.

 

TNC: Did he do a lot of script changes during shooting?

JL: Sometimes, but not much. I mean the end of “The Marriage of Maria Braun” is totally different from what was written in the script, but he kept parts of the dialogue and added some new parts. For example, for the end of the film he decided during shooting that he would add a reporter’s commentary of the soccer world championship game of 54’ over the scene. But he always changed some things during shooting, even when he had written the script himself. It was the kind of freedom he needed, but he didn’t change sets or principal scenes. An exception to that was “In a Year with 13 Moons” and ‘‘The Third Generation’’, where he had not written a script but wrote every scene and dialogues the night before it was shot. Those were the most spontaneous films, but because the crew was so small, he could do that.  Also he was the cameraman, so it was possible. The actors though had to learn from one moment to the next. That was Rainer’s way,.. ‘‘You’re an actor, you have to know your dialogue. Learn by heart… but quickly’’.

TNC: Did he often have to reshoot scenes to fill in gaps in the story or something that was missing?

JL: No only very seldom… almost never.

 

TNC: When you guys finished editing “In A Year With 13 Moons”, what did he feel privately about the film?

JL: Rainer didn’t talk much about his feelings concerning his films… often after a personal crisis he transformed his pain into a film, or in his earlier period, into plays… But he couldn’t talk about his feelings in public and only rarely in private. The suicide of Armin was a stab in his heart… and he felt guilty. Making this film was his way of getting over it.  If one was able to understand this kind of transformation process, then one could understand him, without even asking him. Maybe it is a man thing not to talk much about feelings and pain, but Rainer’s way to express his, was to transform them into his art. Somehow like that he could get over it… and then it was done.

 

TNC: Did he know that he had made a masterpiece?

JL: Of course, but Rainer was not the guy who said ‘‘Didn’t I do a good film, a masterpiece?’’ It was a good film, that’s it. In any case the next one was coming and maybe it would be better.  But he was very proud of this film. I mean it was his most honest film, but he would never have looked you in the face and said ‘‘Isn’t it good?’’ He was a very grounded person and he knew what he did… he was never pondering if he is good or not. He would suffer, like when “Despair” was not well received in Cannes, but he knew when he was good, of course he knew…

 

TNC: Another Fassbinder myth, he never slept, was drunk half the time and smoked a thousand cigarettes a day?

JL: Well, let’s say Rainer was not really thinking about health before we met. Maybe that was my influence, but I didn’t see him drinking a lot and he didn’t hide his habits from me. When we lived together the last four years, I could see what he did, or didn’t do.  He was never drunk during work, but he liked to drink beer, very good wine and champagne… but he was not a drinker. He smoked three packages of cigarettes a day, which makes about sixty cigarettes not a thousand. I remember us going swimming a lot, biking and doing much more for our health during our shooting breaks. Rainer had a hard time with cocaine, mainly between 75’ and 77’, but he stopped a lot of these bad habits in my time and especially during our relationship. But this is what young women are for maybe. I argued a lot with him about his dependencies and I know it helped, but the only drug he was dependent on till the end was sleeping pills. This was his disease and also the reason of his death, not an overdose of cocaine. It’s all written down in the investigation report of his death.

 

TNC: What is your favorite Fassbinder film?

JL: “In a Year with 13 Moons” and “Berlin Alexanderplatz”.

 

TNC: What was his favorite film of his? And why?

JL: It alternated, sometimes “Despair”… but definitely “Berlin Alexanderplatz”.

 

TNC: The Third Generation”, tell me about the making of that film.

JL: It was a kind of film between… made during the waiting time before “Berlin Alexanderplatz” and it was in response to the political situation in Germany in 77’ and the RAF. It’s about the whole police apparatus and the craziness of the West German government in hunting down the terrorists. The film was Rainer’s response or a kind of meditation on the political decisions and situations in Germany at that time.  He didn’t take sides, but just kind of exposed the craziness of it all.

 

TNC: How long did he shoot for?

JL: Six weeks

 

TNC: What was the budget?

JL: About 500.000 German Marks*. Also, we had no money at the beginning as we couldn’t get any film funding or TV money. It was Rainer’s personal money and a co-production with the “Filmverlag der Autoren”.

 

TNC: What were the working conditions?

JL: As with ‘‘In a Year with 13 Moons’’ the team was very small, as the budget was very limited.  I did not only edit, but also worked as the assistant director, continuity girl and translator of the dialogues for the foreign actors. The production team was small with Harry Baer as both production manager and actor. But everyone, even Volker Spengler, Raul Gimenez and Udo Kier had secondary jobs as crew or assistants etc. There was a make-up person and a camera assistant and Rainer’s mother did the financial part. My close friend Karin Viesel was the production secretary, she was very good and later became Rainer’s assistant.  We had to be very resourceful.

 

TNC: How was editing a Fassbinder film different then working with other filmmakers?

JL: I very seldom worked with the help of a director. The truth of a film is in the material the director creates with all the other artistic collaborators. But the editor has to be like a second director in a way, and bring all these talents and parts together into a unified whole. He used to say that if he needed three hours to shoot a scene, I shouldn’t take much longer to edit it. Also he never was beside me during the editing so that made me very free but at the same time taught me to be independent and professional.  This is sometimes unbearable to other directors who like to be present in the editing room, but I always must do a first cut of a film by myself, before I present it.  Some filmmakers like that very much, some not.

 

TNC: If you were to give one piece of advice to a young editor, what would that be?

JL: Be in your mind also a kind of director and be aware that you are the last person in the chain of film making who really has a lot of responsibility. Be aware that you have many ways to get to a point.  Give the director your passion, but if he doesn’t accept it, just go on and look for a better opportunity.

 

TNC: Did Fassbinder ever get to see the finished version of “Querelle”?

JL: We did a final cut, but he didn’t see the sound mixed version. I did that together with the mixing department. It was a good film when we offered the finished two and a half hour cut to the producers. But we had to cut it down by thirty more minutes from that.  I don’t have rights to that film, so unfortunately I don’t have the power to do the director’s cut, even though I have the only tape of the original two and a half hour version.  The heir to the rights of the film, Mr. Gundram Göring is not a wise man and the version that we wanted to release never happened as he didn’t included me in any of the DVD editions… I wish this guy was a cineaste and more respectful to the directors vision, but he is not.  Since the beginning when I started to do the foundation I tried to get in contact with him, but he does not get it that I am the only one who knows how the film originally was intended to be. But it was a horrible situation after Rainer’s death because the producers wanted to change the film and I fought so much, even just for the version we have today. The version that’s out, is the one we cut down to two hours. Even Gaumont, who has the French rights never called me. And I am not sure if the new Sony version included the outtakes, maybe as a supplement. I am very sad about that situation, but there have been so many other problems. Rainer wanted to have a different score, an oratorio by Peer Raben, which he didn’t get. Two days before Rainer died we listened to the music Peer Raben had made and Rainier was out of his mind because it was not the music that he asked for. “I didn’t want to make a gay opera” he said. For him it was not a film about homosexuality, it was a film about love and about myths and human rituals … something totally different.  He asked me not to use most of the music so that’s what I did.

 

TNC: At this point he was very famous, but did he feel successful?

JL: He was not very famous… the word fame was not important for him … he was known all over the world as one of the main directors of the New German Cinema but he was still a working class man.  But he didn’t want his work to be forgotten, he knew that what he was doing was important.

 

TNC: Maybe what I am getting at is did he feel that he had achieved what he wanted to achieve?

JL: Well he was on his way… he would have wanted to have the Palme D’Or at Cannes of course…(laughs). He would have loved to go on and make more films… but his body or God or whoever said ‘‘let’s relax’’.

 

TNC: Before his death he was working on a script. What was it about?

JL: A film about Rosa Luxemburg was already in production. Jane Fonda had been suggested by the production company and although Rainer liked the idea he wanted to talk to her first. She called I remember, and it was a very funny dialogue. When they introduced themselves she said: ‘‘This is Ms. Fonda herself…’’ and Rainer answered: ‘‘This is Mr. Fassbinder himself…‘‘. However after the conversation Rainer was a little worried that she might want to be treated too much like a star, so he preferred to do the film with Hanna Schygulla. There was also a big project he wanted to do titled “Cocaine’’  that had been proposed to him and he had already written the script for, it was a big budget project. The third project was a script from a German novel ‘‘Hurra wir leben noch’’ by Mario Simmel. He had written the script already, but he didn’t want to do it anymore because it was to be produced by Bavaria Studios and they were not being fair to him. He wrote a very long script and they asked him to cut it down. Rainer said, that after forty-three films he knew how to make films and that he wouldn’t cut it.

 

TNC: There are several Fassbinder films that are still unreleased or hard to get. Why is that?

JL: Mostly it depends if the Foundation has rights to it or not. When I have to negotiate with someone else, an original producer or co-producer, it’s always a long winding road. If they are cooperative like the WDR or Bavaria Studios where I could convince them to either finance the restoration themselves or let the Foundation take care of it in exchange for the exploitation rights, it works out pretty well. But it’s always a question of money and a long process to get people on board, clear subsidiary rights for music and other legal issues. There are only about ten films unreleased to date. Bavaria Studios is in the process of releasing ‘‘I Only Want You To Love Me” and soon after that “Bolwieser” and “Despair” are coming out as well. We have just started to negotiate with WDR for “Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day”, the five part series Rainer did for WDR in 72’. A wonderfully funny TV series about the life of working class people in Germany.

 

TNC: Depending on who you ask the picture people give of Fassbinder are so different. Sometimes the accounts are downright contrary to each other.  Why do you think that is?

JL: I can only tell you what I experienced in the nearly seven years we worked together and in the years we were a couple and lived together.  I saw him from a totally unprejudiced angle, a loving view until today. But what I know from my conversations with his early collaborators and friends is, that Rainer’s way of directness and his total openness, could be both helpful, but sometimes also hurtful. As I told you, when I met him he was in the process of separating from a self-destructive and what were for him masochistic relationships. These separations were sometimes very hurtful for these friends as well as for him. When Rainer died, three books came out immediately after, written by friends and collaborators, like Kurt Raab, Harry Baer and Gerhard Zerenz. The book of Kurt Raab was probably the one most read in Germany and gave rise to a lot of fantasies about the life of Fassbinder. Some scholars and film scientists did interpretations of Rainer’s life and his films based on those books.  Over the years I have gained more insight in these relationships, and all I can say is this, “can you write a book in one or two months about a man as complex as Rainer?”  Also, I think a lot of people like the so-called bad side of Rainer, it is a better selling story than if the guy is normal and solid. Let me put it in another way. The early life stories about the life of Rainer, are very influenced by a perception of the times he lived in. The sixties until the early eighties were roaring years, and everything was exciting and crazy. Obviously people like stories of bad boys, but things are not that simple.  I think people often choose to see Rainer somehow through the “lens” of his films, and while a lot of ‘him’ is in his films, it is not necessarily who he is as a man.

 

TNC: A final question, when you think about him today, what memory comes to your mind?

JL: Well… what shall I say…what a mess that he is not alive! But whatever I do, he is still in my heart… I lived with him, I lived with his work, his art.  I am here to stand guard over his legacy and his work, so in a special sense I still live with him. He will turn sixty-five on May 31st this year… he got older and wiser, and so did I. They are good memories…he gave me a lot to go on with.  A lot of people miss him.

Peter Deming – “Lost Highway” to “Mulholland Drive” A master class with the influential director of photography.

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THENEWCINEMA: Let me start by asking you something about yourself.  What was your path to becoming a director of photography?

PETER DEMING: Well…I guess it was something I was always interested in. I have an older brother and when we were kids he used to make Super 8 movies with my dad’s movie camera and I was always the crew… I was the crew and the cast and everything else.  So it sort of started there. Then later I went to the University of Wisconsin and for my graduate school I went to the American Film Institute in LA.  Then onto becoming a camera assistant, loader, second assistant, first assistant, camera operator, you know the whole progression of jobs.

 

TNC: What do you think is the best path to becoming a DP today?

PD: To me that is still the best way because you learn the working of the whole camera crew. People starting as DP’s, often don’t understand entirely the jobs of their crew, so if you have done all the jobs it’s better.  I would say either that or if you are coming up through the lighting department since that is such an intricate part of being a DP.  But technically I think there is a lot more to be learned in camera than there is in lighting.  My first recommendation would be to come up through camera.

 

TNC: What do you think about film school?

PD: Couple of things, it depends on your level of experience going in.  I mean, I went to film school right after college so I had a lot of things to learn about equipment and hardware, so for me it was a great thing to do.  I think if you are coming out of the business and going back to school then I am not so sure that on the technical side you would learn much.  But there is always the old saying “it is not what you know, it is who you know”. And oftentimes you can meet people in that environment, be it fellow students, a guest teacher or what have you that can give you a break and tips and help with your career.

 

TNC: What was your first big break?

PD: It’s hard to pinpoint.  My first big break I guess was shooting a movie for Sam Raimi called  “The Evil Dead II’’ which is a pretty big cult movie, even today.  And that film, I still get people talking about it when I go in for job meetings.  Not knowing it at the time, but it opened certain doors and a level of recognition that I hadn’t had before.  And then you just sort of build on that.

 

TNC: What films or DP’s influenced you the most?

PD: I was very influenced by the cinematography of the 50’s and 60’s, like James Wong Howe, Russell Metty, Conrad Hall and Haskell Wexler.  Then, progressing from there, Jordan Cronenweth, Vittorio Storaro, Caleb Deschanel.  Those are all people that take, and took, chances with the material and technology and had the capacity of producing both rough edge but also very polished images in different styles.  I think that is something I have always strived to do, not sort of get stuck in one genre or one look.  And besides that, pretty much anything by Orson Welles.  A lot of people cite “Citizen Kane”, but I always liked “A Touch of Evil” just a little bit more. I like the way it was conceived and shot.

 

TNC: How did you deal with the arrival of visual FX, green screen and such?  Did you have to learn a lot of new things?  Do you use them a lot?

PD: Yeah, you can’t help but use them.  I think on Sam’s movie we did last year “Drag Me to Hell” we had over five hundred effects shots, and that was not really considered an effects movie!  It is hard not to do a film, big or small, that is… that does not have some of that.  Saying that, I did a little film in New York last year called “Last Night” funded by Gaumont that was a pretty straightforward drama that we shot in anamorphic. I am happy to say, that there are no green screens at all in that.  But honestly it is rare, even in lower and moderately budgeted movies, not to use them.  It is the future and I don’t mind it as long as it does not become the story instead of serving the story, and I think that is often the case.  A lot of style over content these days, and that sort of turns me off.  But those are great tools and some films would never have been made without them. So I think that if they are used in the right way to enhance the story, then I am all for it.  As for learning it, yes you have to learn it, but fortunately I have been around long enough that I have learned about them as they emerged. Of course there are a dozen ways to achieve the same shot and everyone has their own style, so you are always adjusting to what kind of post processing they are doing and that changes so rapidly.  Even within the course of a production, different tools come out that allow you to do different things and this ultimately makes it easier and easier on set to collect the elements needed to put a shot together.  But it is always a challenge when you put up a big green screen shot. You are striving for realism so you sort of have to divorce in your mind from the whole green screen aspect of it. Than light it as realistically as possible and hope that it will composite seamlessly and no one will know.  Half the shots in “Drag Me to Hell” that are effect shots, no one even knows that they are. To me that is the best of both worlds.

 

TNC: Is it realistic to use green screen on a micro budget film?  Using it for car shots, or to insert different views into windows and such.  Would it be cost effective?  Can it be pulled off with minimal equipment and still be photorealistic?

PD: These things are typically cost effective in short shots, as charging post work by the foot or frame is the norm.  Therefore, shorter shots are more apt to fit with a micro-budget.  You don’t need much more equipment than you are probably already carrying.  Most car scenes are packed with dialogue and can run long, therefore, can get quite expensive.

 

TNC: In your opinion can you achieve a photorealistic green screen composite with lower end cameras that do less than 4:4:4?

PD: Absolutely you can. However, you are merely matching the original resolution and ‘‘look’’ and in my opinion, 4:2:2 has a difficult time getting a ‘‘film look”.

 

TNC: How much do you need to know about postproduction as a DP?

PD: You can get away with knowing very little, but the more you know, the more you can trouble shoot on set.  You can have your opinions be heard about how to achieve a certain shot, avoid problems that may come up down the line, as well as being able to work quickly.  Knowing is not a bad thing, as long as it does not come in the way of storytelling.

 

TNC: Do you operate the camera yourself?

PD: I try to whenever possible. I mean, I think that particularly when it is an “one camera” shoot, I try to operate the camera at all times.  On “Last Night” for instance that was the case. But on bigger films where there are two, three, or more cameras on at all times, it’s hard to keep track, keep tabs on everything that is going on if you are behind the camera.  If it is an intimate story and I am lighting through the camera, finesse sort of lighting, smaller sets, I operate the camera.  Anytime I cannot be next to the camera, no matter how big the movie I get on the camera to be there and see how the actors move through the space.  It is impossible to judge this from a video monitor.

 

TNC: In what way can an actor or director make your work harder?  What is there to be aware of?

PD: Mostly it’s a matter of control. Oftentimes the request is made to not be to strict on actor’s marks, to light for an area rather than specific points. This can deflate a look and it is a compromise when the lighting becomes that general. The proliferation of multiple cameras in what I would describe as ‘‘TV style’’, does this as well. Not that I’m against multiple cameras, not at all… but when you attempt to cover all the angles, master, shot, reverse shot in one multi-camera pass, it’s difficult to achieve any sort of finesse lighting… another area that can get frustrating is shooting day exterior. Typically you have your day planned, coverage vs. sun and shadows. When a certain shot goes long or there are delays in MU, hair or costumes, then that can throw the whole day’s timing off and then you’re always trying to catch up.

 

TNC: What are your thoughts on digital cameras, specifically the RED?

PD: I think it is a step in the right direction, but I think there are a lot of issues with the RED that are not so attractive.  Some production related, some postproduction related. It has a lot of color space issues that I won’t go into here, but I’ll say that the raw data recorded has color issues that complicate post-production. It also really should be filtered to shoot tungsten, effectively reducing ASA to a level very undesirable for nighttime shooting. I have used the Panavision “Genesis” system which is to me… I mean I haven’t used a lot the other systems out there, but from a versatility point of view to go beyond the capability of film stocks, i think the “Genesis” is the best one.  It records the highest resolution, the same as the RED camera, but it does not have the ASA restriction and it does not have color balance restrictions as the RED has.  You can push the ASA to unheard of limits and still get pretty good images and if you keep it in the realm of what film stocks are capable of, you really can’t tell the difference between digital and film.  There are definitely still some workflow issues and it is a bigger deal and a bigger crew to shoot that way.  The fact that you cannot just grab the camera, throw it in your car and go shoot something is a bit painful to me. Until the technology becomes small enough that you can do that… but at least for now, they are not quite there yet.  But it is amazing some of the stuff they are doing, particularly in 3D and there is no denying that this is the future.

 

TNC: You do both art house and mainstream movies, what do you prefer?

PD: I like both, but first and foremost, I like telling stories and there is no denying that technology plays a large role in my job.  So for the bigger sort of studio movies it’s good to bring that art house aesthetic to the job, but also be able to use the latest technology and see what is possible technically.  There is something really great about doing a very small art house film though. The crew is smaller, it’s a much more intimate experience and you are right there when it is happening.

 

TNC: Have you ever thought about directing yourself?

PD: Yea, I am working on that, hopefully if all goes well, then sometime late next year.  But now it’s sort of a difficult time in the movie business, at least since the last year or two. But I think things are going to calm down soon and hopefully the timing will be right for people to go with a first timer.  (Laughs)

 

TNC: Which one of your own films are you the most pleased with in terms of cinematography?

PD: That’s a difficult question. Some don’t turn out how you planned in pre-production, and that can be good and bad. If you’re lucky, it will be an improvement! I did two movies with David Lynch, and in that process, the look often evolved daily and the outcome is a culmination of pre-production, the production experience and ‘‘forces of nature’’, that’s a rare treat. Mostly, you pre-plan a desired look and mood, and if all the cards fall into place, you’re film will looks like it did in your head those many months ago. For me, films like ‘‘From Hell’’, ‘‘The Jacket’’ and ‘‘I heart Huckabee’s’’ come close to that ideal.

 

TNC: When working with a filmmaker like David Lynch how much freedom do you have to interpret the visuals?

PD: There are scenes where he has very specific ideas about the lighting or the level of light.  But most of the time I will either feed off the rehearsals, or he will talk about a certain mood or emotion he is going for, but it usually sort of ends there. Then it is up to me to interpret the mood and light the scene.  That is really a great way to work for me because I know ultimately what he wants, but he is not telling me how to do it. It’s a dream way of working.

 

TNC: “Lost Highway”, what inspired you guys, what were the references for the ‘‘look’’ you guys gave the film?

PD: Well we talked briefly in prep, but only, very briefly… but then you just sort of feed of what’s happening.  The best example I can give you, the first day of shooting, we were in the main house, Fred’s house.  And what is so amazing about David is that if you read the dialogue of those scenes, the dialogue is fairly banal.  “Hi honey where are you going?” “Oh I am going to work…” so what I thought it was going to be and what the scene turned out to be were completely the opposite.  Because of the way he directed it, the way he blocked it, there was so much tension and so much back story between these two people that I had to completely change my whole thought about lighting the scene and that sort of started the engine on that.

 

TNC: Did you guys try out a lot of different things?  Are you a DP that experiments on set?

PD: Very little was pre-decided, I would say when you are making movies with David it is very much like David’s other love which is painting.  It’s more like you are creating on the day.  You sort of have this box of paint and this canvas and then you just see what happens.  With a couple of exceptions on ‘‘Lost Highway” that is pretty much the way things went.  We would try out things and experiment, but then maybe they didn’t work.  David would call it the “happy accident”.  But other times things would happen that we didn’t expect and we would sort of latch onto that and maybe take it a little bit further.  It is an adventure, that’s the best way I can put it.

 

TNC: Did you guys shoot in sequence?

PD: No, not entirely, but we did shoot Bill Palmer’s story before Balthazar’s, so in that sense we did shoot somewhat in sequence.

 

TNC: What are your thoughts on storyboarding?

PD: To me it’s only essential if you have either stunts or mechanical effects or visual effects or something where you know that something is going to happen on set that could affect thirty, forty, fifty people.  The best way to get that information out there and be clear is the storyboard.  I think if it is for a scene in a car or a dinner table or… you know all those scenes we are used to seeing, a lot of times it’s boarding the obvious.  To me that is a waste of resources.  But everyone has their own process in prep and if some people like to do that, so be it.

 

TNC: What ratio do you shoot on average?

PD: That of course depends on the director, but I would say four or five to one.  Some people do nine, ten, twelve and some people two or three takes.  But I would say four or five is the average and a good tempo.

 

TNC: If you were to do a film from the trunk of a car on a limited budget, what would your basic lighting kit be?

PD: I would probably have a small collection of “Kino flos”, I would have a small collection of paper lanterns that would collapse nicely into that trunk.  And maybe some very small HMI lights if you could get them in there.  I think with those tools you could do a lot of things.

 

TNC: Green screen on the cheap?  What can you realistically achieve?

PD: I think if you are planning simple composites on the cheap, it is very achievable. Modest sized green screen elements are not expensive to shoot. The expense, of course is in postproduction.

 

TNC: How do you choose your projects?

PD: It depends… you try to only do films you like, but that does not always end up being the case.  I strive to work on different genres and different styles as much as I can.  I am interested in shooting any kind of film that I might go see myself.  That is a criteria I try to adhere to, but as I said, that has not always been possible.

 

TNC: Do you solely use the script as visual inspiration, or do you use other visual references when prepping a project?

PD: You inevitably reference other material whether films or paintings or any sort of visual medium, but the scripts should really be the catalyst.  I try not to reference other films so much because each film should have its unique look. For example when we started “Lost Highway” we never said this should look like that other film or we should steal something from there, those discussions never came up.  It was just about the color or the texture of the movie.  The lighting style and the camera movement came out of the story very much.  I think it is important not to apply something false upon something when you don’t know what it is going to be.

 

TNC: What is your favorite focal length?

PD: I like the quote unquote normal lenses, 50mm being my favorite.  As far as compression aspect it’s the closest to normal eyesight so I would say 40mm, 50mm, 65mm.  I think that is a great size, cause it feels… the angle of view appeals to me.

 

TNC: Your favorite aspect ratio?

PD: Anamorphic 2.39:1, absolutely.

 

TNC: When doing sexually explicit scenes like in “Mulholland Drive”, do you guys clear the set?

PD: It is basically David, me operating the camera and the focus puller, and maybe the sound guy and that’s it.  But that is pretty standard.

 

TNC: What is the number one wrong thing a “first time” DP does?

PD: I think, not trusting their instincts.  If you second guess yourself too much and start worrying about what other people want to see, rather than how you think the story should be told.  Of course it does not mean that you will get your way,  but you have to be creative and take chances and voice your opinion on what you think is the right way to do something.  Like I say, you won’t always get your way, but at least the thought process is there and you don’t lose that creativity.  So regardless if it ends up on film or not, it is a way of working and one day hopefully people will listen to you, and you will sort of get your say.

 

TNC: At what stage do you start working on a project?

PD: Depends on the project, but I would say more often than not, too late.  Ideally I would like to come in very early when the concept and the initial location scouting is happening.  I am then happy to go away for a few weeks and then be back for the more intensive prep.  Oftentimes you come onto a movie and decisions have been made that greatly affect your job, decisions were made without you which I think the DP should have had a say in.  But because of budget and time those… cinematographers would be happy to come in for a week way early in the game. Have their voice and opinions heard and that production knows what they are thinking and why.  Often problems could be avoided if they talked to you first, or earlier.

 

TNC: Which director do you wish you could have worked with?

PD: I mentioned Orson Welles, I would certainly have loved to work with him, Truffaut is another one.  Current directors I would love to work with… John Sayles, I think he is amazing.

 

TNC: What would you recommend to aspiring directors of cinematography to do in order to improve their craft?

PD: Don’t just study old films, or other films, study the light in real life and figure out a way to achieve it.  Also don’t be afraid to take chances. Caleb Deschanel once told me, he said if there isn’t at least two or three days on a shoot where you are not really sure what’s gonna come back from the lab, than you have sort of stopped growing as a cinematographer.  You need to take chances, it’s the only way you will learn.

 

TNC: Wide shots are often the hardest to get right  on a budget.  Any tips how to make them look better?

PD: Try to build in some depth, whether it be by placing some prop in the foreground or choosing a camera position with foreground in mind, anything that can give you more depth will help.  If working with available light, know where your lights gonna be and pick a good time of day if you can.  In terms of artificial light, try to create some depth with the light, be it back light, edge light or cross light, etc.

 

TNC: How do you cover, in what order?  Do you always shoot master, medium, close up etc?

PD: Normally, that is the order as often the wider shot dictates what you can achieve in the closer coverage… continuity in the lighting. You can fudge and stretch this to a certain extent, but if you want it to cut together, you can’t drastically change the look after it is established.  I’ve shot coverage before master on larger set-ups like night exteriors, when I was reasonably sure I could establish the lighting I was ‘‘matching”.

 

TNC: Panning with action, do you want to start the pan before the actor moves or after he starts moving and if you overshoot your mark should you reframe over time or live with it?

PD: Traditionally, I would say start the pan as the actor moves… let them initiate the movement, motivate it, unless of course you are going for something more stylized.  And in terms of overshooting, it depends on how badly you’ve overshot.  I tend to try to recover and reframe, VERY SLOWLY, unless you’ve completely botched it !!

 

TNC: What does it take to make a good dolly shot?

PD: To me there are two kinds of dolly shots.  There is the ‘‘motivated’’ and ‘‘unmotivated’’ shot and certainly when you are traveling with characters then it is all about timing.  There is a start and a stop timing that will be natural and not forced, and if you can achieve that it will go largely unnoticed because you’re traveling with the action, so the attention is on the actor.  The other probably more difficult one, the ‘‘unmotivated’’ shot, where not just the timing but he feeling, the emotion of the shot comes into play.  It really depends on the story you are telling and what part in the story this camera move plays, because you are no longer following the action, you now are the action and you need to sort of interpret that in terms of speed, focal length and all those things.  To make it enhance what you are doing and not be just be a gratuitous shot.

 

TNC: When doing a close up, what is important to keep in mind?

PD: I think a few things, one is the focal length you choose and the height of the camera and often most important the light on the face.  Going along with watching and observing natural light.  I oftentimes will watch people in the room whether it is day or night and sort of look at the quality of light and where it is coming from, then later I try to figure out how I can recreate that in an artificial setting.  One of the hardest things to do for me is day work on stage.  Because there is a quality of ambient light during the day that is so hard to reproduce faithfully, it is a sort of soft and everywhere light and that is just really hard to recreate.

 

TNC: Do you have a lucky pair of socks?  What do you always bring along when you work?

PD: No, no… the only thing I have always had, I’ve had the same light meter for thirty years so I won’t be giving that up.

David Lynch – The Man Behind The Curtain. The legendary filmmaker talks about his work.

TNC_DL

THENEWCINEMA: Godard once said that the terrible thing in cinema was, that it is so hard to do, what a painter does quite naturally:  He stops, steps back, gets discouraged, starts again, changes something. He can please himself. What are your thoughts on that kind of filmmaking?  Is it possible to work like that in film?

DAVID LYNCH: Yes it is possible and it’s called “action and re-action” in my mind anyways. You do this in every medium. You do something then you look and react to that and it indicates the next move… it happens all the time in cinema, it happens all the time in painting, it happens all the time in any medium. Its action and reaction and it’s going on all the time and then your reaction is another action and your reacting to that one… and it just goes on.

 

TNC: What I was getting at is… that making films is such a big enterprise compared to making a painting.  The luxury of a painter is that he can make a painting, then if he feels like it he can abandon it halfway thru or get back to it later if he changes his mind.

DL: Like I said, I think it’s the same. It is unfortunate that if halfway thru a film you ran out of ideas and you needed to think and therefore stop the production.  I don’t think too many people would be very happy. But it is possible I think.  In ‘Eraserhead’, for instance, a lot of times because we ran out of money, things stopped. But that gave me an opportunity to think deeper into the thing.  I always say, films go so fast it’s difficult to sink in and get deeper into the thing and it’s a sadness.  But it is possible in some instances to go at a slower rate and sink in even with a commercial film… I think it is.

 

TNC: Can you still do that today? Can you shelve a film halfway through?  Would you be able to abandon a film if you felt it wasn’t going in the right direction?

DL: (Laughs) I don’t know… but normally before you start you have a script… normally… and a lot of problems are worked out… a lot of thinking has gone into that. Time is spent walking away from the script and getting ideas and going back. Then when you get it all together it’s translating that to cinema… you pretty much… I always say you should stay on the alert for new ideas but at least you have a skeleton, something to follow that you are happy with and in love with. So chances are you wouldn’t reach a point where you would want to stop halfway through.

 

TNC:  How important is script for you? How close do you stay to it? How much does that represent of the final film?

DL: Well I always say a script is organized ideas. The most important thing are the ideas and a script is those ideas in words. But it’s an interim stage, it’s not the film, it’s just the organized ideas that your gonna translate to cinema.  So it’s very important as a blueprint, but everybody knows the blueprint is not the house… but it is an indication of what the house will be. Then finally you have the house and it’s way different from the blueprint but it’s similar to the ideas. It’s the ideas that come to be in the concrete form in terms of the cinema.

 

TNC: Do you feel that you usually achieve what you set out to do, or does the film turn out very differently from the original ideas?

DL: It’s almost exactly the same. The thing to me is… is it true to the ideas? And yes, sometimes it’s like walking into the thing that popped into my mind. It’s like walking into that, but sometimes it’s a little different because you didn’t have the money to build it exactly the way it came into your mind. But you look for a location that is true to the ideas and a lot of times you find a location that is not only true to the ideas but it spawns new ones.  So it might not be the same, but it’s true to the original ideas or as close as you can get it.

 

TNC: I think it was also Godard who once said something like “Show me a location and I will write you the scene.”

DL: It’s absolutely true. You go into a location and a whole thing comes… the type of characters and what they might be saying. You know the mood of the place… ideas can just flow out of a location.  Absolutely true!

 

TNC: In some respect your films seem quite eclectic and sometimes asymmetric. Do you do a lot of reshoots once principal photography is over?

DL: No, I always say the same thing… you don’t want to walk away from anything until it feels correct.  So you’re on a location or in a set and you have the people and you have the ideas in the back of your mind driving the boat.  You stay there and work until it feels correct.

 

TNC: Does that get you into trouble with the producers, just to stay on the boat as long as it takes?

DL: Sometimes there are time constraints and the producer gets very upset.

 

TNC: How do you deal with it? Do you just ignore it and continue on or are you sympathetic to the producer’s point of view?

DL: I am very sympathetic to their point of view and usually they are to mine. But you can’t hurt the film by leaving before it feels correct.

 

TNC: You get such great performances from your actors. Do you do a lot of improvisation?

DL: No. Ninety-nine percent is the ideas… the original ideas and you rehearse until those things get into the actors. Then they take it along the same track indicated by the original ideas.  Once in a while a thing comes up that is a spontaneous… kind of a combustion. Sometimes an improvisation can lead to something, but ninety-nine percent of the time I absolutely follow the script.

 

TNC: How do you work differently with non-actors?

DL: Same exact way.  Everybody has an idea when they read a script and sometimes the actors ideas are close to the thing, right on the money or far away. But in rehearsal you see how far away or right along the same track they are. The key is we’re all going down the same road.

 

TNC: Do you do a lot of rehearsals ahead of time?

DL: No. But for some actors I take one scene that kind of defines the character and I rehearse that before… that can be very good. But normally you have time to rehearse and talk before you start shooting.

 

TNC: On set?

DL: Yes, on set.

 

TNC: Giving advice to a young director, what is key to getting a good performance?

DL: Well I always say, make a safe environment.  It’s very important to make a safe and friendly environment where the actor is not afraid to go out on a limb and go deep into the character no matter how embarrassing or strange.  If there is fear or tension on a set it doesn’t help the performance, it hurts it.  So, create a safe friendly environment so they can go deep into that place and make it real.

 

TNC: What do you mean by safe environment?

DL: Think of the whole thing as a family and think of the whole thing as fun and a happy moment.  Obviously have some good craft services but most importantly keep a very professional but supportive family around everybody.  Consider all the people and keep it friendly.

 

TNC: Do you demand that of your whole crew that they are a part of this?

DL: No I don’t demand anything. I just look at it as the greatest fun, so I guess I like to have people around that feel the same way.

 

TNC:  You seem like such a gentleman. Are you a ‘yes’ guy or do you want things to be done the way you envisioned them once on set?

DL: Everything has to pass thru the director, so you never take a bad idea, but you never turn down a good idea. You have to have it be true to the original idea. So, you have to be able to say no but you can be happy to say yes as well.  But, you can’t let anything go, based on those ideas that doesn’t feel correct. You would be a fool to let it go. The thing won’t work later when you try putting it together.

 

TNC: Right. So, you never have an Abel Ferrera moment when you smash a chair or make an actor cry?

DL:  No, no, no!  These stories to me are the theater of the absurd. I think you could get as good a performance, if not a better performance by having a happy set.

 

TNC: If you were mentoring a young filmmaker what would be one key advice you would give him about making films?

DL: Stay true to the idea and find your own voice. Stay true to the idea and don’t take no for an answer. Don’t walk away from anything until it feels correct.

 

TNC: Fellini once said that he was uneasy on the first two weeks of shooting as he was trying to ‘‘find’’ the film that he was going to make. How is that for you?

DL:  No, no, no. I don’t really believe that from Fellini.  But I think what he means is… the script is the ideas in word form, but now you’re trying to translate it into cinema form… and when you see your first dailies, and it may not be right. The light is not right… it’s too harsh or, it’s too much, or it’s too this or that.  You have to get the whole team to adjust and find a new way to go… find a way to be true to the idea. So there might be some things like that he is talking about… to find that ‘‘look’’ and that mood that says it for him… I understand that.

 

TNC: What is the first scene you shoot when you start a film, do you shoot the most important scene or the last or the first, you shoot in sequence…?

DL: I don’t know. I don’t have any rules, but it wouldn’t be the last scene, that’s for sure. You want to shoot, in my mind, as much in sequence as you can. So that it grows as naturally as possible.

 

TNC: You shot “Inland Empire” yourself on DV. How was that different from working with a dedicated director of photography?

DL: It’s exactly the same… you know. Actually I did have some directors of photography working on it, but the thing about digital is that you see right away what you are getting.  So, it’s exactly the same.

TNC: Is this how you will work from now on, shooting digitally and operating the camera yourself?

DL: I like to operate myself and I like shooting in digital and digital is getting better and better.  There’s a thing about operating yourself … because sometimes you will want to make a move… and with digital you are able to do that more easily.  But I also love working with a good director of photography like Peter Deming who loves to experiment. He is absolutely top quality and it is great working with him.

 

TNC: It’s interesting how some directors of photography and filmmakers bring out the best in each other.  You guys seem to do that.

DL: Well good deal. I love working with him and he’s just a great collaborator.

 

TNC: How important is audience to your kind of filmmaking?

DL: Well first of all the director is the audience and so if you’re true to the ideas and you don’t walk away until it feels correct, then your hope is that others will feel that same thing. You can never know for sure. Every person is different, every audience is different and every group of people that see the film is different. One night the film works great, the other night a different audience… it doesn’t go so good. You have to make yourself happy based on those ideas and then you see what happens.

 

TNC: Do you see your self as an entertainer or are you doing this more for yourself?

DL: I am basically doing it for myself.

 

TNC: What’s the principal obstacle for you personally when making a film? What’s the hardest thing?

DL: No, no, no… I love every part of it!!!

 

TNC: What’s next for David Lynch?  What are you working on?

DL: I am working on a documentary film about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

 

TNC: No fiction films coming up?

DL: No, after I finish the film on Maharishi, I’ll see what happens.

 

TNC: Are you still doing the daily weather report on your website?

DL: Yes.

 

TNC: Any chance I could get a personalized David Lynch weather report as i have never heard it?

DL: With pleasure… ok, let’s see here… “Today is March 9th, 2010 and it Tuesday here in LA. Beautiful blue skies, a few white puffy clouds, golden sunshine, a strong breeze and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.