When I interviewed cameraman and nominee Peter Taylor, ACO, SOC, nominated for the film Gravity, I couldn’t wait to chat with him regarding not only how it was shot, but how he was dealing with some of the criticism coming from folks who feel that a film with so much CGI.
It generated so much controversy that some even feel the Best Cinematography award should now be split into two categories, traditional cinematography and computer-driven cinematography.
The idea here is that there are two very different approaches to shooting, and therefore, not all cinematography is created equal. Here’s part of the petition from HowToFilmSchool:
Too many times has a film which uses a large number of computer generated images won the award for Best Cinematography. As filmmaking, cinematography and CGI continues to evolve, so should our appreciation and understanding of the various aspects of modern cinematography. What happens 5 or 10 years down the line when 50% of the films within the current category structure consist of mostly computer generated images?
Although this argument might make for some riveting conversation at the coffee house, it’s essentially a pseudointellectual argument of someone who knows very little about how Gravity was actually shot, and that’s why I was so excited to speak with Peter Taylor who eloquently breakes down why it just isn’t so.
Taylor also gives high praise to the Zeiss Master Primes which allowed them to shoot extremely wide in extremely tight quarters when Sandra Bullock is in the Soyuz capsule, the ISS and then the Shenzhou capsule.