American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 88

Stuart Dryburgh, ASC, NZCS

When you were a child, what film made the strongest impression on you?
The Ipcress File (1965).
Which cinematographers, past or
present, do you most admire?
Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, from his early
British work, through his collaboration
with the Coens, to the gorgeous Skyfall.

Have you made any memorable
blunders?
When I first started working in the U.S.,
I didn’t understand the politics of being
loyal to the producers and responsible
for schedule and budget while staying
true to the director and his vision. Luckily, I am a quick study.

What sparked your interest in
photography?
My father always had a camera and
took photographs, and when I was
around 8, he bought me my first
camera, a plastic 120-size-roll-film Ilford
Sporti 4. My first serious attempts were
documenting my family’s immigrant
journey by ship from Britain to New
Zealand. The results were somewhat mixed.
Where did you train and/or study?
I did not have any formal film training. In fact, I studied architecture
at Auckland University, which gave me an excellent visual-arts education. I learned the skills and techniques of camera and lighting on the
job, from the cameramen with whom I worked.
Who were your early teachers or mentors?
When I started in the business, I was blessed to gaff for a great group
of New Zealand cinematographers, notably Alun Bollinger, John
Toon [NZCS] and James Bartle [NZCS]. I was also the gaffer on
Battletruck, which was shot by Chris Menges [ASC, BSC] when he
was the British go-to guy for sci-fi after shooting second unit on The
Empire Strikes Back. He taught me a lot, especially about window
light.
What are some of your key artistic influences?
Photojournalism, particularly the Magnum photographers (past and
present); the socially aware photography of William Eggleston; and
the long-view photographs of Andreas Gursky.
How did you get your first break in the business?
I was fortunate to get involved in film in New Zealand when the business there was just getting started. I was interested, unemployed and
therefore available. After a decade as a gaffer, I was asked to shoot
some low-budget commercials by a few directors who had got to
know me and figured I knew how to light. Then, shooting Kitchen
Sink, a short by Alison McLean, led to meeting Jane Campion and
getting the opportunity to shoot An Angel at My Table.

88

August 2013

What has been your most satisfying moment on a project?
So many things come to mind, but operating a camera on Martin
Scorsese’s Shine a Light at the Beacon Theatre was a real career highlight. Not only did I get to shoot a Rolling Stones concert over several
nights and work with a great director,
but I also shared the experience with a
large and enthusiastic crew, amongst
them many ASC members.

What is the best professional
advice you’ve ever received?
Using the Pentax spot meter, John Toon taught me the relationship
between incident and spot readings. I have used this method of
exposure calculation ever since.
What recent books, films or artworks have inspired you?
Books: The sci-fi novels of Ian Banks, Neal Asher and Neal Stephenson, and Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. Films: Biutiful, Rust
and Bone and Skyfall. Artwork: I am currently inspired by the work
of my children, Isobel and Emil, both graduates of the Elam School
of Fine Arts in Auckland.
Do you have any favorite genres, or genres you would like to
try?
I am about to start work on an international crime thriller, and I am
very excited to be working in this genre.
If you weren’t a cinematographer, what might you be doing
instead?
Given my educational background, I might have become a very
mediocre architect. But what am I good at? I make very good coffee
and would be a kick-ass barista.
Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for
membership?
Sol Negrin, Adam Holender and Philippe Rousselot.
How has ASC membership impacted your life and career?
I have always enjoyed the camaraderie and conviviality that can be
found at the Clubhouse and amongst ASC members wherever we
meet.
●

American Cinematographer

Photo by Wilson Webb.

Close-up



American Cinematographer - August 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - August 2013

American Cinematographer - August 2013
Contents
Editor’s Note
President’s Desk
Short Takes: Wild Horses
Production Slate: The Hunt • Berberian Sound Studio
Big Guns
Battle Bots
Rapturous Action
Shattered Past
Post Focus: Under the Dome
New Products & Services
International Marketplace
Classified Ads
Ad Index
Clubhouse News
ASC Close-Up: Stuart Dryburgh
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - American Cinematographer - August 2013
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 8
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Editor’s Note
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - President’s Desk
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Short Takes: Wild Horses
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 16
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Production Slate: The Hunt • Berberian Sound Studio
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 28
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Big Guns
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 42
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Battle Bots
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Rapturous Action
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 57
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 58
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 59
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 60
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 61
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 62
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 63
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 64
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 65
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Shattered Past
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 67
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 68
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 69
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 70
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 71
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 72
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 73
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Post Focus: Under the Dome
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 75
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - New Products & Services
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 77
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 78
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 79
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 80
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 81
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - International Marketplace
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Classified Ads
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Ad Index
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 85
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Clubhouse News
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - 87
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - ASC Close-Up: Stuart Dryburgh
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - August 2013 - Cover4
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