When cinematographer Guillermo Navarro won the Academy Award in 2006 for his work on the dark fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth, it was only the second time in the history of the awards that a foreign language film with English subtitles earned the distinction.
Your next two films are the final two chapters of The Twilight Saga known as Breaking Dawn. Since you were not involved in the first three movies, what is your mindset going into this one as the new guy? Do you want to create that parallel universe like you talked about from scratch or do you feel more limited by the work that came before you and by what fans of the series are expecting?
No, I don’t feel limited by that. The book itself allows for the story to be propelled and I’m pushing that. I can’t really talk about it much, but I saw a very big opportunity to have a strong contribution in it.
When an average moviegoer watches a film most will notice obvious elements like the acting, special effects, and maybe the dialogue. Do you think the average moviegoer understands what cinematography is? Do you think more people today can appreciate a cinematographer’s contribution to a film than they did when you started your career almost 40 years ago?
I think audiences appreciate the cinematography of a film. It not necessarily that they have to pinpoint things and say, “Oh, this is that,” but good cinematography allows them to read the movie. The cinematography is the language of a film. They don’t necessarily have to understand what cinematography is as long as the movie can be read in the right way. I think audiences now are much more sophisticated and aware of the process, but if the movie works and is coherent the cinematography has already done its job.
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