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"The Batman" Cinematographer Discusses Long-Take Action Scenes


The Batman is currently in theaters gaining quite the acclaim and raking in $128 million it's opening weekend at the domestic box office. One of the aspects that drew us in, as our review points out, was the immersive nature of the story. The in's and out's of the Gotham City that favored intimacy in each scene rather than a more fast-paced, traditional blockbuster feel that has become the framework for superhero films. Another way, as it turns out, that director Matt Reeves immersed the audience was the use of long takes in the action sequences, courtesy of the film's cinematographer Greig Fraser.

Fraser is also up for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography this year for his work on Dune, but his filmography consists of many great films including Zero Dark Thirty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and several episodes of The Mandalorian. However, before any of those, he first worked with Reeves on the director's 2010 film Let Me In. And with their new collaboration, it became obvious early on that they wanted audiences to really take in each scene, revealed in a new interview Fraser had with Variety:

"I’m maybe showing my age a little bit here, mate. I hate to say this, but I kind of have a bit of a short attention span, or I have problems when things become too flashy. Maybe it’s not an age thing. Maybe I am the conscious version of an audience member’s subconscious. I believe, and this is if you want the Gospel according to Greig, when an image comes up on screen, it takes you half a second, subconsciously, to work out where you are, what you are, who it is and what you’re doing. If you’ve got edits that are one second long, then it’s distracting you from actually telling the story properly. I feel like you need to simplify the image, so that when it flashes on the screen, you read it as fast as possible. And that doesn’t necessarily mean no production design or no feeling or no mood. It just means you’ve got to have focus and simplicity to the image."

Another major praise for the film was it's bleak and intense tone. The action could have easily broken the trance this brooding story cast on the audience. Without a doubt, Fraser has earned that Oscar nomination and we wish him the best of luck at the Academy Awards! Stay tuned!

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