Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with one of the most surprising interviews I've done in my long time here at AICN. I heard from the local publicists about HERO interviews about a week and a half ago. I was totally down for talking to anybody from the film and I heard Christopher Doyle (cinematographer) and Donnie Yen (super action star badass supreme) were doing the circuit. Too cool!
So, last Friday I wake up around my usual time... 3pm-ish... to find an email saying that Mr. Doyle is doing interviews only through email and if I wanted to get my questions answered by today, then I'd need to send them questions ASAP. Well, that took away any prep time I was going to have, so I just whipped up some quick questions and sent them off, thinking that the interview was going to be pretty drab because of my rather boring questions. So, imagine my surprise when I read Mr. Doyle's responses and found myself gut-laughing.
This guy seems to be a class-act and really likable. I now wish I could have done this interview in person or over the phone (even if it would have added to my backlog of transcription I already have waiting for me) because this sounds like a hoot. I corrected some of the misspellings, but I left the rest just as he wrote it... My personal favorites are the second and fourth questions! Give it a go... It's short, but a helluva fun interview!
QUINT: Thanks for your time, Mr. Doyle. I'll try to keep it short.
CHRISTOPHER DOYLE: thats what you say to all the boys
QUINT: When did you discover your interest in cinematography and how did you learn your craft?
CHRISTOPHER DOYLE: all the big questions at this time of my day!!! Let me try ... where to start? ... in our house the batteries would rust in the camera before we could even get close to finishing a roll of film .. my interest have and remain literature, the sea and women .. my frinds are mostly in dance or music and i guess that is where my life and my images intersect . I want to be mick jagger but i am closer to keith richards ( or pirates johnny depp ) .. i just happened into what i do now when someone put a camera in my hand and i fucked up so much. i still do and thats where i have learned most: through and because of appropriating all these mistakes
QUINT: You've worked on both American and Asian films, but you work more often in Asian cinema. What is it about the experience or sensibilities of Asian cinema that attracts you to it?
CHRISTOPHER DOYLE: They dont fire people for liking the stars ego in asia .. the process is more organic (you can find a film or a style instead of appropriating one) We make real films Hollywood buys the remake rights .. white women are more difficult to light ... the food is better here .. we work longer hours so i stay out of trouble a little more .. the 7/11 , the corner store even the gas station sells beer ...
QUINT: HERO is a film epic in scope. Was it more demanding of your talent to do a picture that big or is it just like doing a smaller film like MADE?
CHRISTOPHER DOYLE: its all about people . Some films seem to have more people and some films show less .. but at the end of the day the encounter with the small group who are actually making the film is what it is all about .. to be honest the frustrations of making a film like Made are perhaps greater than the waiting for three days in the desert for the sandstorm to subside . The give and take of any relationship are even more preicous and more intense on a film than in so called normal life
QUINT: I would imagine the cinematographer has one of the most collaborative jobs on a film set. Tell me a little bit about how you work with directors.
CHRISTOPHER DOYLE: like a whore: you pay me and i give you a good time! Tell me what you want and i will do more than you can! I make a lot of noise but i like what i do! I'll call you BIG BOY if you will just let me get on with my job .
QUINT: What was the most challenging aspect for you shooting HERO?
CHRISTOPHER DOYLE: the late night meetings after 14 hours on the set
QUINT: What do you have coming up next?
CHRISTOPHER DOYLE: hopefully a life
QUINT: This is something I ask just about everyone I interview. What's your favorite dirty joke?
CHRISTOPHER DOYLE: where i have been and come from so far
"White women are more difficult to light"? I love this guy! Many thanks to Mr. Doyle for taking my boring questions and turning them into one of my favorite interviews I've been a part of! I hope you liked it as much as I did!
That's it from me, squirts! I got a face to face, eye to eye interview with the youngest and hottest (next to Eli Roth, of course) director in the world tomorrow plus my mountain of transcription still to work through... It'll be worth it, though... Take my word for it... Got one more SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW interview from Comic-Con and one of the kids from the upcoming (in most of the States, anyway) MEAN CREEK. 'Til then this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu!