Interview with cinematographer Alfie Hollingsworth

Alfie majored in cinematography and hopes to make a name for himself in the Irish film industry and abroad in the coming years. He’s worked on a variety of projects having started out on his filmmaking path at the age of 11. He loves long walks on the beach and anything camera!

  • What personality or character traits are necessary to excel in being a cinematographer/DP?

Organised, good communication, strong leadership, a good eye, confidence, resilience & patience to name a few.

  • In terms of cinematographers, who do you like?

Roger Deakins obviously….Emmanual Lubezki, Rachel Morrison, Janusz Kaminski, Vittorio Storaro. The classics.

  • What makes good cinematography?

Lighting, feeling, composition, timing and movement.

  • What makes a good camera? And what has been your favorite camera to use?

After the picture quality it produces(the sensor’s colour science, dynamic range, highlight role-off, resolution(to a degree) and bit-rate) you’d have ease of use and durability. Any one of the Arri Alexas, by far my favourite. It’s built for filmmaking, with the crew in mind.

  • Do you think that cinematographer’s work has changed when movies went from film to digital?

No, I don’t believe so. Maybe more risks are taken, but then that is counteracted by the need to make money with your film.

  • Now that people watch films on TV, computers and even their phones, do you think about that end experience when you are shooting?

I rarely think about it when I’m shooting films, unless the content is specifically for phones, then I won’t.  

  • Which one is more important: light or shadow?

Neither. You can’t have one without the other.

  • What is the cinematographer’s involvement in pre-production, production and post-production?

In Pre-Production: Hopefully, if budget allows it, visiting the locations. Working on the shotlist to some degree, if the director is open to it. Creating mood boards and or lighting plans. Getting to know the script.

In Production: Making it look damn good! Perhaps also that the words in the script are successfully translated into moving images. Haha!

Post Production: It’s nice to be able to get involved in the grade afterwards.

  • What involvement in the production budget does the cinematographer/DP have?

They have to come up with how much lighting and camera gear they want and then are told how much they can get! They also could get to choose a camera operator for A-cam, if they don’t operate themselves.

  • What is your most valuable advice for being a Cinematographer/DP?

Never stop learning!