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Emmanuel Lubezki Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (3) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 1964Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Birth NameEmmanuel Lubezki Morgenstern
Nickname Chivo

Mini Bio (1)

Emmanuel Lubezki was born in 1964 in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico as Emmanuel Lubezki Morgenstern. He is a cinematographer and producer, known for Gravity (2013), Children of Men (2006) and Sleepy Hollow (1999).

Trivia (3)

Son of Muni Lubezki and brother of Alejandro Lubezki.
2007 - Ranked #24 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.

Personal Quotes (7)

The language of film is further and further away from the language of theater, and is closer to music. It's abstract but still narrative. Everything feels less rehearsed. It's more experimental than classical.
[on Terrence Malick] Working with Terry has changed my life. I'm a different parent, I'm a different husband, and I'm a different friend. I see nature in a different way. He is one of the most important teachers in my life.
[on managing Sandra Bullock's physical performance in Gravity (2013)] We literally had puppeteers controlling her. I couldn't stand being in the rig for more than thirty seconds, and she would be up there for hours. Sandra is an athlete, an acrobat, a ballerina and a total Buddhist.
[re The Tree of Life (2011)] The camera needed to capture that sense of freedom and joy and life you have when you're young. But it was very, very difficult, and it required a great camera operator and an incredible focus-puller and another person helping me expose as I moved through the rooms...If I hadn't done Y Tu Mamá También (2001), I would have been terrified about the difference in exposure between interior and exterior, about the direction of the lighting at certain moments, the overexposure from the windows. It took me a long time to get to that point where I could accept that. I had to be a more mature cinematographer so I could be less mature in my work.
[re 12-minute-long, single-take opening scene Gravity (2013)] I have to say something about that: [Alfonso] Cuarón tried to make the shot much longer!" I felt a little bit like the Inquisition, coming in and saying, 'Cuarón, this is too long.' It felt contrived, like we were pushing it. I don't like it when a movie becomes a series of 'tour de force' shots, and in a way, I was disappointed that with Children of Men (2006), people noticed that the car scene was one shot with no cuts. If people notice that, it's like they're noticing my trick, you know what I mean? I'm doing it so people will get immersed in the movie, not to show off...Cuarón told me, 'I want to it be the most immersive movie we've ever done.' It was incredibly difficult to make. We wanted this movie to feel as naturalistic as possible, and that's really hard to do in CG...If the audience starts to sense your trick, it's good to stop the trick at some point and start again. It's like erasing your tracks, so that the people cannot trace and follow you.
[re To the Wonder (2012)] Maybe for some people it doesn't feel honest, because he's shot tall grass before, but it's a very honest thing. It's not forced, it's not that he's trying to make it pretty - it's his backyard! It's like Woody Allen shooting in New York; why do you see these tall buildings over and over in his movies? This is a place he knows well...And there was an interesting reason for [shooting in 65mm]. There's a moment where you fall in love where light feels enhanced, where things look bigger than what they are. You experience life in a much more powerful way. And we felt like capturing this moment with a bigger negative, with more resolution, was going to help you feel a little bit of what he's going through in that moment.
When Alfonso [Cuaron] started talking to me about the scene in Children of Men (2006), he said, 'I would love to do it in one shot, and I have an idea: Why don't we put the car on a stage and surround it with a green screen?' Basically, to shoot it as a visual effect. For probably a week, I was thinking that way, until I realized it was absolutely the wrong way to do it. The rest of the movie was going to have a very naturalistic, almost documentary-like feel to it, and maybe the best way to shoot it was to really be in the car with the actors..."It was very, very scary. At that time, we didn't have much support for doing those very long scenes, because the other people around us were used to cutting and doing these scenes in a very Burbank way. They'd say, 'Why bother? What a waste of effort.'...In reality, we could not shoot it more than two or three times, because the scene is so long and the choreography is so complex that it takes hours to reset between takes. So we did our first attempt, and when we said, 'Cut,' we had achieved it on the first take, and the actors were screaming. They couldn't believe it! I've never seen something like that, where they were shouting like little kids, 'Yeah, we did it!' The guy who was operating the crane? He was crying. It was that release of tension.

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