American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 26

Top: The bedroom set was built on a stage to allow for overhead shots of Paterson and his wife, Laura
(Golshifteh Farahani), in their bed. Bottom: Paterson and Laura converse over a meal.

it doesn't move at all. It's reporting where
she is in that moment of the day when
Paterson's in the middle of his. The camera
is there to keep her presence alive and tell us
more about her, but the focus of the story is
on him.
Paterson doesn't seem to be
concerned with digital technology. He
26

January 2017

exists in this largely analog world with
his pencil and paper, and doesn't even
use an alarm clock in the morning.
Because the story is largely filmed from
his point of view, were you compelled
to take a more analog approach to the
camerawork?
Elmes: That didn't really influence
American Cinematographer

us. We approached the story traditionally.
We shot digitally, with an Alexa Studio and
Alexa Mini. I like the Studio because it has
the spinning-mirror shutter, and you're
actually viewing through the lens, which I
find is an easier way to light. The Mini
proved to be particularly useful in the bus
because we were in cramped quarters, and
we needed two cameras running most of
the time.
Was there ever a discussion
about shooting on film?
Elmes: We talked about shooting
film, but given our modest budget, we
decided that it was better to keep as many
shooting days as possible so Jim could have
more time with the actors. He had worked
with the digital medium on Only Lovers Left
Alive and found it satisfying, but that was a
movie shot at night. It's a little tougher to
make a digital camera look great when
you're shooting outside during the day.
That was part of the challenge.
How would you describe that
challenge?
Elmes: Sometimes digital cameras
fail to capture the subtle gradations of light
and shadow on a person's face in bright
sunlight. Other times the contrast range is
too great, for instance when there is hard
sun in one part of the frame and the actor



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - January 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 9
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 26
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 28
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 30
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 33
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 35
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 36
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 37
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 38
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 43
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48a
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48b
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 50
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 51
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 53
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 54
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover4
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