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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

My 15 Favorite DP/30s of 2016

It’s hard to describe exactly what makes a DP/30 interview one of my favorites. Honestly, I am already questioning my choices as I push “publish” on this entry. There are so many other DP/30 interviews from this year (I’m not including Celebrity Conversations on the list) that I love for so many odd reasons. Mica Levi fascinated me for every minute I was in the room with her. Casey Affleck took me to unexpected places, which is air to me. Finally got to sit with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and they were wide open. Greta, Jessica, Brolin, Frears, Juno… all regulars on the show who I would travel to talk to any day of the week. (Again, just the DP/30 list… the year wouldn’t be the same without regulars shot for Ovation this year, like Amy Adams or Felicity Jones or Nicole Kidman or Mike Shannon.)

Shot Alden Ehrenreich for the 2nd time… the first being for his debut… and he is a good guy on his way to being a big star. Refn is always wild. Finally got Colin Farrell and Cliff Martinez and Sarandon and Fenton/Barbato and Gillian Jacobs and Miles Teller and Kate Beckinsale and Tracy Letts and others I never really expected like Tori Amos and Shawn Levy and the fascinating Kyra Sedgwick. And that doesn’t even start on the directors: Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins, Pablo Larrain, Ken Lonergan, Denis Villeneuve, Garth Davis, Garth Jennings, Jeff Nichols, Bayona (still to be published), and Tom Ford, amongst others. And the amazing couple the work together, writing, directing, producing movies and are likely to have the first Oscar grace their home this February. And documentarians.

I get to talk to a lot of incredibly talented people about work that moves them deeply.

But there is something about these 15… something truly unexpected… something silly… something real… something that stuck with me in a different way.

The only one of these shot by Ovation is the hour with Jeremy Irons, which will air it a 23 minutes at some point, but which I intentionally made an hour. Expect longer interviews in 2017.

One Response to “My 15 Favorite DP/30s of 2016”

  1. Glamourboy says:

    A little self-congratulatory, isn’t it? In an industry full of year-end lists, why not post your top 15 list of the interviews you have done. Maybe film critics should post a top ten list of their own favorite reviews of the year. Personally, although I try, I can never get too far into any of these…about 5 or ten minutes

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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

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