Style Wars

09 Feb 2007


I’ve been shooting with Brad off and on for seven years now. Over that time I’ve been lucky enough to have a creative sparring partner whose style has grown, twisted, and developed as mine has in loping strides and baby steps too. The nature of collaboration between a director and cinematographer can come in all shades, but at its best there is transparent communication, shared goals, and just enough creative tension to eek out more quality than is required from every shot. Over time we’ve come to know each other’s styles well and have come to a sort of peace over certain kinds of compositions.

It is my continual desire to shoot planes flat to the lens in a way that creates an almost awkward presentational tableau — a graphic. After rolling, brad will consistantly walk closer to the plane such that it angles past the lens and turn to me, “but Raaf, look at this!” He lenses depth as well as anyone I’ve worked with. As such, we use the phrases “the brad way” and “the raaf way” as shorthand for how we approach certain setups. There are few shots in cinema that dictate authorship to the viewer, and these two techniques of visualizing things surely do not belong to anyone.


the brad way

the raaf way

Still, because the working relationship has endured, the playful joust has become most enjoyable over time as we have learned to see through one another’s eyes. Walking back from lunch yesterday, joust or no joust, there was only one way I could imagine shooting that wall. Old habits die hard.


  1. 13 Feb 2007 Sean

    Great entry, great video, great new design. Is that a consensus or what? What did you shoot that on?

  2. 13 Feb 2007 raafi

    thanks, we aim to please. We shot in H-Dizzle with the Varicam. The orange stills were shot separately on a digital camera.

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