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Hero image for Stuart Dryburgh: On good, old-fashioned camera tricks...

Stuart Dryburgh: On good, old-fashioned camera tricks...

Interview – 2011

Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh is the eye behind some of the most iconic images in New Zealand film. His first job in the industry was as a 'general assistant' on Middle Age Spread. From there he worked as a gaffer on films including Smash Palace, Goodbye Pork Pie and Came A Hot Friday, before becoming a fully-fledged cinematographer, learning much of what he knows from his mentor Alun Bollinger, who operated the camera for him on The Piano. Since shooting The Piano, Dryburgh has been working overseas, returning to film In My Father’s Den in 2004.

In this ScreenTalk, Dryburgh talks about:

  • Making his first film with the help of Lenny Lipton’s book Independent Film Making
  • The challenges of lighting a night shoot on Queen Street; and using film stock ordinarily reserved for news reporters
  • Meeting Jane Campion on the set of Queen Street
  • Learning about method acting as a young gaffer on Smash Palace
  • Being put in charge of lighting on Vigil under 'über-prepared' director Vincent Ward
  • Getting creative with a 'mass of messy light' on Alison Maclean’s short film Kitchen Sink
  • The reaction that Kitchen Sink gets overseas
  • Reuniting with Campion for An Angel At My Table
  • Using 'good, old-fashioned trick photography' on An Angel At My Table; and how they made Janet Frame’s red hair 'pop' on screen
  • His thoughts on the 'wonderful conundrum' that is Jane Campion
  • How he knew The Piano was going to be something special
  • Getting the call from Lee Tamahori to shoot Once Were Warriors
  • Why In My Father’s Den was one of the easiest films he has ever been involved with
  • The advantage of being a Kiwi on American film sets

This video was first uploaded on 12 July 2011, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.

Interview and Editing - Gemma Gracewood. Camera - Mark Weston

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