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Film Studies 101
Feature
The Cinematography Of The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer, Wally Pfister on the look of the films

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The Director of Photography is a very important person on a film set, working hand-in-glove with the director to establish the look of the film and turn it from a muddy mess into a work of art. On all three of Christopher Nolan’s Bat-films, that cinematographer has been Wally Pfister, working with the director to bring Gotham to life and lift Batman to new heights. Here, he talks us through the trilogy in his own words and tells us a little about his approach to The Dark Knight Rises...

WORDS OWEN WILLIAMS
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The Cinematography Of The Dark Knight | Before Batman...
Before Batman...

"When Chris first approached me and said he wanted to do a Batman film, I was kind of surprised, because we’d just finished Memento and Insomnia and I’d assumed we were just going to continue down the track of those sorts of dark detective stories. Little did I know that that was exactly what Chris had in mind for Batman! Of course, I was initially just like ‘Really? A superhero movie?’ To be honest I wasn’t really that excited about it. I do grounded filmmaking; I’m not really a big superhero fan. But at the same time, Chris and I have a lot in common in that sense, we both like Kubrick and what-have-you, so I knew that whatever it was we were taking on, he had seen something in that material that would allow us to continue in the vein that… we were doing what we were doing. That certainly became the case. By the time I read the screenplay in the fall of, I guess, 2003, I was blown away by what Chris had put together. The size of the project and the budget was a little intimidating, but we started putting the cast together, and we got Gary Oldman, and Freeman, and obviously Christian, and it was incredibly exciting."

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