Interview with cinematographer Sebastian Lindblad

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

Excitement in capturing the moment or creating a world. Never settle for the first thought, Bend it, try something new, use the location, be open to happy accidents.

  • In terms of cinematographers, who do you like?

Gordon Willis.

  • What makes good cinematography?

Movement and intention. The pictures must match the story.

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

It’s all about the lenses. 🙂 Good ergonomics and ease of use. Don’t want to miss a shot because I am fiddling with the controls. I really love the FS7, but for travel, the Fuji XT-3 has been amazing.

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

With digital, you have the opportunity to take more risks I believe.

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

Unfortunately yes. I really want people to have the best sound and screen and the right settings when they watch what I made. Realizing that 80% will see it on a quiet phone, maybe on a subway breaks my heart, but I am also happy that people watch it at all… Oh, the question was if I think about it WHILE shooting… no, I don’t. I fantasize that everyone will watch it in their super calibrated home theater.

  • Which one is more important: light or shadow?


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

Very much all of it If I got to decide. At least if you want to have creative input from the start to finish.

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

NONE. As a creator, you should be blissfully unaware of the restraints. Someone might stop you on set, but you should NEVER stop yourself.

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

Keep the energy in your shots. Serve the story. Maybe a sequence is more emotional filmed on a phone with no additional lighting than in a controlled set with a Arri Alexa.