“Pinocchio was one of those scripts, when I read it, I was absolutely bowled over. I couldn’t think of another script that was that good. It had drama in it. It had these ethereal creatures. I knew there was going to be lots of opportunity to be quite experimental with the light.”
Frank Passingham talks to Stop Motion Cinematographer about the Cinematography of 'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio
For Frank Passingham, Director of Photography on stop motion classics ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’, and ‘The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!’, ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ gave him the opportunity to experiment with light and colour in a way he hadn’t done before. The film, which had long been talked about in the industry, was a passion project for Del Toro. It deals with issues of love and loss, as well as fatherhood, and was treated as a sibling movie to his previous well loved films ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’. The movie is filled with action and drama but also heartfelt moments of emotion. There are travelling carnivals and the constant threat of war, as well as scenes that take place within the stomach of a dogfish while lost in the ocean. It has characters that both accept and emanate light.
I spent two years working on Pinocchio as lighting camera alongside Frank and was constantly fascinated by his love for animation and the way he is so passionate and enthusiastic about films and cinematography. I asked him if he could put some of these thoughts into words for Stop Motion Cinematographer and if he could explain a little bit about how he approached the cinematography of Pinocchio.
Building an emotional connection
“The best way to get a really good emotional connection between your audience and what they’re looking at, is to treat it as naturalistically as possible. On the one hand because you want your audience to believe in these puppets as living, breathing entities. I think that is one of the really key things. But, given that, you’re in a world which is puppets, it is a set. You’re in this particular universe, which I think enables you to bring a little bit more colour, to exaggerate things a little bit, to enhance the drama and to enhance the emotion.”
“When I approach any project I think the most important thing is to look at your script, become very familiar with the subject matter, and all the lighting and the camerawork has got to be designed to fit specifically. Think about how you are going to interpret the camerawork, what kind of camera language are you going to use? What kind of lighting and colour?”.
“You can never think about a single shot in isolation. It’s how it fits into the sequence. Continuity is really important, not just continuity of action, but continuity of light. One of the things that takes me out of movies, and it happens again and again, I’m watching a movie and I see someone, and then it cuts to a different angle and the key light on them changes completely. I’m sure it doesn’t take other people out of it, but I’m taken out of the movie completely. So paying attention to the continuity of light is really Important because it’s something that keeps people’s attention, and it keeps their concentration. If you want to play up an emotion, play out the drama, if you keep the constant continuity of your light absolutely solid, no it’s going to have far more impact.”
Creating a New Look for a Well Loved and Familiar Tale
Pinocchio is a well loved story that has been told in many different forms over the years and it was going to take a particular vision to create something that retained the heart of the story while feelling new and exciting. It was also the first time del Toro would be directing a stop motion feature, although his love of practical effects meant that there was always an element of it in his work. Guillermo talked about how you get accidents in live action, but in animation everything needs to be created. Frank had to work out a style that could achieve this naturalistic visual style while working frame by frame. Collaboration and the relationship between the director and the cinematographer was important to both Frank and Guillermo. They got together early in the process to discuss their plans.
“And the thing is, he is a true collaborator. He wants, and he gets, very good, talented people to work on his films because he wants them to bring their talents to whatever the project is. So I had a good initial meeting because one of the good things is that you get on well with your director and you can see that you have a clear line of communication between each other. When we were getting into the pre-production in Portland, Guillermo would come and visit us. I always like to get a little bit of time with him because I wanted to talk about the cinematography and I wanted to talk about the look with him.”
Communication is an Important part of the Cinematography Process
“I think the key is having a good open communication with the director to really know where he’s coming from and to talk about your plans because one of the key things is being confident in what you’re doing, the colours you are using, and the way you’re lighting.”
“One of the first things that he said was “red is going to be a really important colour”. He talks about Pinocchio as being the third film in his trilogy, beginning with ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and then ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, and he looks upon Pinocchio as being the third in the series. One of the themes in those films is Fascism. So whenever there was a fascist element, we were going to use red, and use it as a particular element. We had to be really careful when we used it, but we ended up using it more than I thought that we would.
“I think one of the reasons he was very open about what look he wanted for Pinocchio was that this was really his first animation feature. And so I think he was going to lean on me a little bit for that look. I’ve been working in stop frame animation for, you know, what is it, almost 40 years or something horrific. And so I think he was open to suggestions and he was open to having a real dialogue about that look.”
Colour was always going to be symbolic in a Guillermo del Toro Film
Colour is very important to both Frank and Guillermo, and there is a striking colour palette throughout the film. The film goes between environments that are naturalist and based on realism, and those that are fantastical and magical. Pinocchio is not mortal but he does experience death. At these moments he enters a realm inhabited by Tilda Swinton’s character ‘Death’. While red was used for fascism, strong blues and purples were used to represent this limbo that Pinocchio keeps returning to. Frank knew that Guillermo would be very particular about this creature and her domain and each department had to work together to create the perfect look.
“The first ideas were of a black arena, black sand, black shelves, and a creature that we knew was going to be painted with a range of blues, violets and magentas. This was one of those times where the art department and the puppet department all had to really come together because, between us, we had to make that look. We couldn’t do it on our own. I couldn’t say “Oh, I’m just going to pile a whole lot of blue light in”. We started with some of the first paint renditions of the puppet. We put it in front of the camera. As soon as we had the plinth that Death was going to be sitting on we got that in there too. We get this black sand. And then it was really experimenting.”
“I had an idea that I wanted to keep the light moving all the time because time never stops. Time is moving. The sand through the hourglass is moving all the time, so I thought just keep the light moving , that was something that I really wanted to do.”
“We knew we wanted it to be blue. The creature was going to have blue in it. But what kind of blue should it be? I knew that there was going to be a little bit of violet in Death. And so I thought, well, this needs to be on the red end of the spectrum. We ended up with elysian blue and we used magenta, both on Death and on the ridges of sand, and we kept those lights moving as well. So the play of the magenta and the cyan also had a little bit of movement, a bit of oscillation to it as well.”
Creating Organic Movement with Geometric Patterns
“I wanted to create this movement with gobos and I thought, well, what should those gobos be? I was thinking back on a trip that I had to the Alhambra and looking at all those Moorish designs which were amazing. And I wanted to read up and see how they made those designs. And they made those designs through numerology and systems. So I read this book, ‘The Language of Pattern’, by Keith Albarn, and that told me a lot about the ways of producing patterns. I started making some patterns based on numerology and when there was one particular one that I really liked, I got two copies printed on acetate. And I was going to have a contra movement and track them against one another in front of a 5k light and just see what I got. It was a very geometric pattern based purely on rectangles and rotating rectangles and I was kind of surprised because what you get from that isn’t geometric at all. It made a pattern that was more organic, almost watery, and I thought, wow, this is maybe like the way water flows, like the way time flows, so maybe this is the way to do this.
“We had a period of a few weeks where we could experiment like this. We could work on the puppets, work on the paint job on the puppet. The art department was working on the black sand and whether there would be these arabesques and swirls in the sand and the degree of how black it was going to be. We were all going to inform each other really. eventually it all came together and I was able to shoot a test of revealing her from Darkness.”
“We did a reveal, just bringing on those lights and then bringing in the gobo light, the moving light on her. we revealed both Death and the arena, everything. We had this visit from Guillermo coming up. We got him into the theatre and we thought we just have to show it to him and see what he thinks. And so we sat there, he saw the whole reveal of Death and the moving light and everything and the colours, the elysian blue that we opted for in the end. And when it got to the end, we’d shot between 15, and 20 seconds, he said, Let’s do it like that. And I thought “Relief”, he was very happy with that. One of the really good things about him is that he’s open. You can show him things and suggest things and if he likes it he says yeah, let’s go with it. And that was one of those occasions, which was great.”
“I think you have to sort of be aware of that. you have to step a little carefully, be a little bit tentative in what you offer the director, but it’s getting as much information from him as possible. You get a lot of that information from watching his other movies as well. That’s always a good thing.”
Finding Inspiration from an eclectic range of Movies
As well as Guillermo’s previous work, Frank was also inspired by an eclectic range of other films. He would hold regular movie nights with his crew and would have camera meetings where he would talk enthusiastically about everything he had watched that week. Discussions about films and cinematography, and moments of inspiration, were an important part of his approach.
“One of the movies, or two movies, in particular, were ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Godfather Part II’. Gordon Willis, and his overhead lighting, were going to be a feature of the movie. I watched The Godfather again recently, just before starting on the pre-production for Pinocchio. I’d forgotten what a great film it is. I’ve always liked that movie. You’ve got very naturalistic lighting but the way he uses it to really push certain dramatic points in the movie is great, and I thought ‘we can definitely use that, we can absolutely go with that.’”
“We would have these camera meetings, it was just a half hour, a camera meeting that we had every week, and we’d usually have a film of the week. I’d have something, it wasn’t always totally related to Pinocchio, but it was something that I thought people could pick up on and use. I’d say ‘this is something that we can look at and we can bear in mind, for either this sequence or that sequence, in Pinocchio’. There were times that I was looking at some of Russell Metty’s work. He’s probably most famous for doing ‘Spartacus‘, but had done some old black and white movies like ‘Ride The Pink Horse’. It’s a crime movie set on the border with Mexico. The way he lights people, he lights their faces, and the light isn’t totally over their face, but it’s over part of their face, and then they get a sort of glow. There’s times where parts of their bodies were in shadow, and I really like this. It’s got a certain something to it. And it really adds to the drama in a particular way. It was something you couldn’t actually put your finger on what it was, but I really liked it. So when we were looking at shooting, say Pinocchio and Gepetto when they’re in the church together, sometimes the light wouldn’t be on all of them.”
“It was like in Godfather. There’s one point, in ‘The Godfather Part III’ actually, Al Pacino is sitting in this chair, and the only thing that’s really lit, he’s totally in shadow, but his hands are in the light. I wanted the idea of light coming in through the window, and it doesn’t totally light them up, it’s just got the lower part of their body, or it just comes up to their chest, but the head is more in shadow. There was something about that that I really liked and the way it added to the drama of the moment. So there were definitely particular cinematographers who inspired me during Pinocchio. I wouldn’t bring all of them to the camera meetings, or tell everyone about them, but there were a few, particularly Gordon Willis, that I wanted everyone to look at, or look again at ‘The Godfather’, and remind themselves of that lighting and the way it worked for that movie.”
Creating a Naturalistic Look Through the Constant Movement of Light
One of the techniques that Frank uses to keep a naturalistic / live action look within his films is to keep the light moving. This can be created by moving the light or by moving the shadows. A signature of his style is to use cloud movers to give a naturalistic feeling of life to a scene that is not always present in stop motion.
“It probably goes all the way back to ‘Chicken Run’, that was the first time I moved a Gobo in front of a light to give myself a cloud effect. It’s something that I’ve found really useful because light moves all the time and, most days, when you’ve got clouds in the sky, you see characters going into shade and coming out again and you can really use that as a device that can really enhance the emotional impact and the drama of a sequence or a shot. So I use clouds sometimes, just to enhance an outdoor feel. We use these big frames that might be in front of a 5k light.”
“If it’s a landscape, say, Gepetto and Pinocchio going into the village, or Gepetto and Carlo, and I want it to be a sunny, airy, breezy feel, I’ll just use some 0.3 ND cloud shapes, that I’ll then track in front of the Key. It’s a subtle light. Then you could go to 0.6, where youve got two stops of ND coming in front of a light, you can use that if you want a dramatic shadow to travel across somebody’s face. If they start in shadow and then they come into the light, that can give an uplifting thing emotionally, or if someone comes into shadow, it can be more ominous. So there’s lots of ways you can use shadows and movement of light. And we were lucky because, having watched the last few Of Guillermos’s films, I knew for one thing, the camera never stopped.”
Lighting an Emotional Journey
As well as moving shadows within shots and sequences, Frank also kept the light constantly changing. The movement of light was used to show the passage of time as well as both the emotional and physical journeys of the characters. This was used within sequences, but also throughout the film as a whole.
“If you take the beginning of the film and the end of the film, we have a scenario where the sun comes up at the beginning of the film and it goes down at the end. When we have the sun coming up, we actually track the light. I think the light gets to about ten feet off the ground by the end of that shot. We can change the intensity on the DMX and we can change the angle of light by tracking it up in the air. At the same time as we did that, I also changed the fill light. I had two colours on the fillboard. I start with a really cool blue colour and then I end with something which is a little bit more violet, it’s got more red in it. So I’m actually changing the colour of the fill light for the duration of the shot. As the sun comes up, the fill lights change, and the angle and intensity of that key light is changing and getting brighter as it gets to its zenith. At the end of the film, we do the opposite and track the light down. The fill is doing a crossfade between 2 1k lights, ending out with a much cooler light.”
“When Geppeto is on Carlos’ grave and we see the tree growing, we’re also tracking the light and changing the colours. On that occasion, it was the one time where I really thought we needed an LED keylight. Throughout the production, and really because of the budget, I needed to use tungsten light for all the key lights, and then all the indirect light, the bounce light, and green screen light, it was all LED. This was part budgetary, we could get tungsten lights a lot cheaper. We had 60 units and we could never have kitted out those units with a good quality LED Light. So we built bucket lights. We had stainless steel buckets that we put LED emitters into them, and we could use these for our bounce boards. We also made gutter lights. They were eight foot gutters fitted with three strips of LED, and we used these for lighting our green screens. They were built at a fraction of the cost that you could buy any other light that would do the same job and we wanted to stretch out our budget. But for this particular shot I wanted to use an Arri L7 because of the ability to program and change the colour throughout the shot. So we were tracking an L7 and then changing the colours so that it would start off cold, go to blue and then end up with a kind of sunset.That was the only light that would do the job and show the changing seasons”
A Constantly Moving camera
Camera moves were also an important part of the cinematography. A particular aspect of Guillermo’s style is that the camera is constantly moving and it was important to Frank that this was retained in order to create life and movement within the story, and to give a cinematic look that was true to Guillermos’ vision. The film contains many beautiful camera moves that all needed to be created frame by frame. This required careful planning so that the desired look could be achieved while also dividing the motion control equipment over multiple units. The musical nature of the film added an extra dimension with characters often breaking into song and dancing across the frame.
“The camera never stopping moving is one of the things I was quite nervous about. I knew we were never going to be able to move the camera on every single shot but if you look at ‘The Shape of Water’, the camera just doesn’t stop. I wanted to get as much moco equipment as possible. I knew the part of that moco equipment would be needed to just move lights. We knew that some of the moves wouldn’t be that complex. It was making sure that, when you knew you had a complex move, that you had a proper rig to do that shot on, it was always trying to use the least amount of kit you could, so that you could always reserve the big rigs for the more complex moves.”
“With any sort of camera move, especially on a stop frame film, it is essential to work closely with the animator. If it’s about following a character through a scene, you really need to see where that character is going to be. Is it going to move a bit further away from the camera or is he going to come closer to the camera? And do I need to be pulling focus at this point? So it’s tricky, it’s always a tricky thing to do in stop motion. And to get that right, to get the focus points right all the time, working closely with the animator is essential. The thing is to program your move, and even if it is really rough, even if you’ve only got a semblance of your lights up, shoot it really roughly, but play it back and see how it works with the music, that’s really important. The speed of the camera move, and what your cadences are, and the music, I think it’s really important that they work together”
Creating Dynamic Camera Moves by Moving the Set
“We used the rotator a couple of times. It was huge. There was one shot that came up early in the shoot and it was Gepetto and Carlo in their early days. They’re sat round the dining table and the shot was a circular shot that was going to go 180 degrees around the table. With any motion control the arm is going to get in the way. It’s always going to come in front of the light. So we put the whole dining room set on the rotator. It was big enough to handle it, and to attach the lights to the set so that the lights rotate with the set, and I think it made it much easier for the animator to animate because they weren’t having a struggle getting in round the piece of motion control. That would have been a really complex move as well and a really difficult move to program. So it actually simplified the whole thing. We had candlelight on that scene and we had the DMX giving a little bit of flutter to the candlelight”
“We also put the set on a rotator for when Pinocchio is singing Ciao Papa, when he’s on his big tour and we see him in front of these arches and the whole set rotates around and ends up on the back of him looking out at the audience. Much, much easier to do. As long as you’ve got a big enough rotator and it’s solid enough that you can connect the lights and that all the lights are going to rotate with the set it’s not a problem.”
While shooting a film frame by frame can add extra complications to the process, it also comes with benefits that can be used to enhance the image. One of these is to be able to shoot multiple exposures. This allows you to shoot two different lighting setups at the same time. It also allows you to separate some of the lights so that they can be enhanced in post. Small LED lit practical props can look great in frame but dont always emanate enough light to light the scene in the desired way without burning out at the source. This process of layered lighting was used to create some of the scenes for Pinocchio.
“One example is when Volpe wants to burn Pinocchio and he’s tied to a crucifix. Spazatura is standing with his burning torch. There is a point where Volpe goes and snatches the torch from Spazzatura. We wanted that to look as realistic as possible in terms of direction of light. We had a little bunch of LEDs making the light of the flames that were lighting up Spazzatura on the side of his face and as he moved the light around, it would move very realistically, and when Volpe snatches the light away again, the light moves very realistically. But it wasn’t strong enough to shoot with the moon light and all the other lights in the scene. So we gave that a separate exposure of just the torch light on its own so that we could have VFX enhance that in post-production, and to really make the shot work and give it the dynamic it needed.”
“There were times where we used two lighting setups in shots. I think the best example is when Pinocchio is trying to save Gepetto from drowning after they’ve been spat out of the dogfish. We see them above water and underwater. We wanted an above water, direct light, but then underwater there is the idea of the light coming through the water but it is much more green. And again using a gobo to get that movement of light underwater. So it was like using a cloud mover, but with a very different gobo. A much more organic gobo for that underwater movement of light. We shot with two different lighting scenarios throughout that shot so that VFX could take the underwater exposure and apply it to the underwater part and the over-water light to the overwater part. The animator would have some pre-viz which would show where that water level was so in their animation they would know when they’re above water, when they’re underwater, and that was also a good guide for the VFX people in terms of exactly where the water level needed to go and to get the colours right for underwater and overwater. We often used a laser so that the animator had an idea where that waterline was throughout. Being able to do multiple exposures for that is one of the great things about dragonframe, really very useful and about the only way you could really do that.”
Collaborating on Visual Effects
Working with so many layers and complicated sequences meant working closely with the VFX team. The collaborative nature of this process was a great experience for Frank and allowed him to be very involved with the cinematography of set extensions and matte paintings as well as working closely with the designers on the look of skies for the film. The effects were done off site by Mr. X (MPC) as well as on site by a small local VFX team led by Cameron Carson.
“Initially during the pre-production, we had a visit from Mr. X who came down from Toronto. We were able to discuss a lot of the sequences, what we thought would be the more complex sequences. Particularly things like, for example, the dog fish, and when the water was going to be reacting with the dog fish. I think the Mr. X people were really good. We had several meetings throughout production to make sure that we’re all on the same page with them.”
“We had a brilliant on-site VFX team headed up by Cameron Carson, who was amazing, because what you really want is for the director to get a really good idea of how their shot is going to look. To do a quick bash comp, put some water in, put some sky in immediately, that’s going to give the director a much better idea about how the shots are working. So it’s absolutely invaluable to have an on site VFX team. We were really lucky to have, not just an on site VFX team, but a really, really good one who could turn bash comps around really quickly.”
Working with Scale
Pinocchio contains a number of different scales of puppets. This brought extra challenges to the production as many of the characters would appear in the same shot and were required to interact with each other as well as with the set and the lighting.
“We had a tiny cricket that lived in the heart of Pinocchio and, because he had to be a ten inch high puppet, and Pinocchio was also ten inches high, it did give us a few problems. He was usually going to be put into another scene and it was a green screen scenario. Quite often, say in the school playground where Pinocchio is moving around, the cricket is in the nook, as he moves, he would move out of the sunlight and go into shadow. We had to be very careful about choreographing when the shadows would appear on the cricket to make sure it happened at the right time, in terms of the main shot, that was going to be filmed separately without the cricket.”
“At one point the cricket is jumping around in the workshop and he’s followed by these yellow orbs which come from the wood sprite. Because we wanted the play of lights, both on Pinocchio and on the cricket, that was the one time where you had to have a really large scale Pinocchio head and torso, to match the scale of the cricket.”
“The cricket also had his own lighting scenario because we wanted him to appear quite iridescent. I had a particular colour, I think it was 704 and 708, this sort of violet, and every time you see the cricket he’s actually got his own special cricket lights on him.”
Characters that Accept and Emanate Light
Many of the other characters also required their own lighting scenario. The two sister characters, Death and the Wood Sprite, both required lighting effects to create a sense of fantasy and surrealism as well as to represent their opposing natures.
“I wanted Death to be accepting light and the Wood Sprite to be emanating light. We had to make it look like she was emanating light but I knew that we wouldn’t be able to totally make her look like this, because if she was emanating light, there would never, ever be any shadows on her, and of course, occasionally there are. I wanted to minimise that as much as possible. There are some shadows but I wanted to make it look like she was really glowing.”
“Any shot in which you’re going to be moving a character through a particular lighting scenario, they are always going to change. They’re going to look different as they move through that light. It’s always useful to get the animator to do a quick block for you, to make sure that the characters always look how you expect them to, in all of the light, especially if it’s a camera move. You just have to have this confidence that the shots are going to work.”
“And I think the continuity of lighting is far more important than other people think it is. For me it is the difference between being in a scene or being taken out of it. Suddenly I’m thinking about the lighting and I should be thinking about what action is going on between these two characters. So it’s very, very important. The animators want to get it right as much as you do, so they’re always happy to help you out with a block through.”
A Whole New Crew
Working closely with crew members is an important part of stop motion features. They often involve a large number of people, working together, for a number of years. Pinochio was shot in Portland, Oregon, a city that already has a large community of artists and animation crew, so creativity and collaboration was always going to be central to the films approach, but it was Shadow Machine’s biggest project to date, and that meant expanding and gathering together a whole new crew.
“I’ve always joined studios that have got their crew of people there. They’ve got a moco crew and the lighting crew. Pinocchio was very different because we started with no crew, an empty warehouse with just a few lights knocking around. So we had to build that studio from the ground up and to build the crew from the ground. But that was great for me because I thought, well, I’ll just look for all my favourite cinematographers on the planet and ask them if they want to come and work on this extraordinary project.”
“That was the first time that’s ever happened, to get a crew that I wanted to work with, and to get all the kit that I wanted to work with, and it will probably never happen again, but it was great that it happened on that occasion. I think that’s one of the things that made Pinocchio that bit more special, being able to really hand-pick all the people that I wanted to work with. It was great.”
“I had five LC’s, Laura Howie, from Scotland, Adam Jones, from Portland, Gunnar Heiðar, he’s from Iceland, Drew Fortier is from Canada and Michel Amado from Mexico. So it’s a truly international team.”
“And one of the things you do when you’re initially planning everything is, you think ‘these are my cinematographers’, you’re familiar with their work, so you look at casting them and giving them sequences that you think that they’ll do really well, but they’ll also enjoy. I’m quite open to being approached If someone’s got a favourite sequence that they’d really like to do. I think there is a bit of casting because you know what people’s various abilities are and you’ve got a good idea of a sequence that they’re probably going to do really well.”
Working across countries with the Guadalajara Crew
It was important to Guillermo to involve the animation community from his home city of Guadalajara in the film. This meant setting up a separate unit in Mexico that would take responsibility for some of the stand alone sequences, such as those with the rabbits, while being overseen by Frank from Portland. Initially this was to involve travel to Mexico but filming during Covid meant that this had to be done remotely.
“What was great is that I’d met a lot of the camera team. I’d gone down to do a couple of lectures and some workshops, one of the animation festivals that was taking place in Guadalajara. So I got to meet Rita Basulto who was doing the lighting camera for the Guadalajara part of the sequence. And I met Gilberto Torres who was going to be the main AC on it. I’d met some of the animators previously. So it was great. The only thing which I would have liked is to have been able to visit the studio, which I didn’t get to do.”
“It was a really great team. We had a really good dialogue together. They were very responsive to any notes coming from me. They were an incredibly talented bunch of people. There weren’t any problems caused by the distance, or it being in Guadalajara and us being in Portland. it actually worked out really well. Anyone who had any questions, they could always email and we could get a Google meet, sort any problems out pretty quickly. It was a pleasure working with the Guadalajara crew. They were really great. And I thought Rita Basulto did some really great lighting work. Gilberto Torres, he took over the lighting duties just on the final credits, with the cricket dance, as well and he did a really good job on that.”
The Final Film
The hard work was all worth it for Frank and his crew, as the film went on to win numerous awards, including being only the second stop motion film to win the Academy Award for best animated feature.
“When I read the script, I was bowled over by the best script I’d ever read. I was so excited for the opportunity of working on such a good story. Any cinematographer is going to love the fact there are so many diverse sequences, so much drama, and what the film’s saying as well. Guillermo has said that better than me already. I thought it was a great story, just having that opportunity to play with the different drama and the different emotions that we’ve got and run through it. It was a huge opportunity for me, I just loved it. And I think in the end, I’m really very happy with the way it turned out. If I got the opportunity to work again on a script or a story as good as that one, with all those elements of drama in there, I’d be really lucky. So let’s hope it might happen.