Shooting Lady Gaga reveals herself as a down-to-earth woman while lensing a rock star character Bradley Cooper was creating for…
Shooting Lady Gaga reveals herself as a down-to-earth woman while lensing a rock star character Bradley Cooper was creating for himself just two of the challenges facing DP Matthew Libatique in the star-crossed lovers story “A Star Is Born . “The love story is screening at the EnergaCamerimage party, competing for the main cinematography prize. Libatique confesses Cooper was so busy performing in his directorial debut that the DP was often left on his own to decide on composition and shots.
You started your career working for Ed Lachman, a master cinematographer and perennial mentor here at the party. Were there lessons from him that you still use today in your shooting?
The way I meter. He has this modified exposure zone system that he uses that’s not quite the Ansel Adams zone system. He sort of works in gray scale and total values so I’m very similar to him ̵
1; except he overexposes. I underexpose. Den andre ting er at han er så allsidig, projekt til projekt. He has a major influence for me.
You’ve said that you did not shoot much cover footage on this movie because you wanted to give Cooper and Lady Gaga the space to move around the halls and hotels where their romance is blossoming. Is not that risky?
I was reacting to what they were doing – it was always kind of a surprise. Like the wedding dress they found. It was actually the costume designer’s wedding dress. It was that kind of grass roots mentality the film had. It’s a Warner Brothers movie, but it had that independent feel.
You shot concert scenes at real performances, filming between the shows of live bands. That takes some expert timing, clearly.
That was a source of anxiety. It was kind of relaxing to get into the narrative bits. We started at Coachella in between the two weekends. Dus we waren in staat om de productie waarden van hun podia en hun verlichting te krijgen. Deretter gikk derfra til noget vi stod, som på det græske teateret under scenen “Shallow”, hvor hun kommer på scenen for første gang.
So Cooper, who is in front of the camera throughout much of the film as we see the self-destruction of his character, the singer-songwriter Jackson Maine, relied on you to decide how to film many scenes?
I can not say enough about how motivating he was. The process was very fluid. He was not too precious about things and he had none of the anxiety that some directors have about getting shots. Det var den autenticitet af de forestillinger, som han var fokuseret på. He acted in this film and did a wonderful job.
Did you feel under extra pressure when you became a bit of a co-director?
I just wanted to support him . Between Lady Gaga – Stefani [Germanotta] – and Bradley, they were wearing so many hats.
He’s directing and he’s acting and evaluating her performance in a scene while he’s acting with her. Det minste jeg kunne gjøre var at hjælpe ham med at være opmærksom på andre ting udover cinematography. And down the line, camera operators did more than they usually do. We all had to pitch in collectively.
So his dozens of acting roles on camera seem to have prepped him pretty well for directing then?
He’s very persistent in terms of trying to get it better. Og han har en stor sans for at redigere når du fotograferer, som jeg tror er et marked av en stor direktør. Knowing how you’re going to get out of a scene and get into a scene. How do you learn that? I think it’s just because he’s spent so much time acting both with Clint Eastwood and David O. Russell.
In terms of deciding the look of the movie – and the color palate of Cooper’s concerts – you’ve said that you prefer to
I do not really love to reinvent the wheel in the post process. I’m very particular about the dailies. The dailies have to be pretty much what the intention is. So there’s no confusion. Og jeg finner at det er vanskelig å avvike fra det. I rare cases I’ve worked with directors who wanted to change the look of the movie. What’s the point of that? I think it starts to look false when you start to break it.
And what about directors who want to shoot in neutral tones so they can decide later about the color palate in post?
Well, it’s the same feeling I have about shots coverage just to get something different. Du er bare med at ændre noget for ikke andet end at have redigering valg. I like people who have an idea what they want to do.
Did you have more flexibility to shoot cover footage on “A Star Is Born” than on “Mother !,” where you were in tight quarters, filming on 16mm for Darren Aronofsky?
Actually the budgets were about the same on both films. They’re mid-budget, the weird sort of $ 30 million movie. It seems like today it’s over $ 100 million or it’s $ 10 million. So I’ve been lucky. It’s a nice place to be.
No, sometimes I step Back, especially on multi-camera events, so I can watch all the frames, so I can make sure everyone is on the same page. The last thing I want is like three different personalities doing three different things.
I kind of learned that working with Spike Lee. Han vil bruke flere kameraer på meget interessante måter, og jeg må gå fra kameraet fordi jeg må se alle bildene for å være sikker på at alle er i forbindelse. But I love operating, especially handheld.