Wally Pfister Poster


Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (6)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (2)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameWalter Pfister

Mini Bio (1)

Wally Pfister is an American cinematographer and film director, who is best known for his work with Christopher Nolan. He is also known for his work on director F. Gary Gray's The Italian Job (2003) and Bennett Miller's Moneyball (2011).

He made his directorial debut with the film Transcendence (2014), starring Johnny Depp.

His first collaboration with Nolan was on the neo-noir thriller Memento (2000). The success of this collaboration resulted in Pfister taking over as director of photography for Nolan's subsequent films: Insomnia (2002), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), which he partially shot with IMAX cameras, and Inception, which was shot partially in 5-perf 65 mm. He is the only cinematographer that has worked with director Christopher Nolan between Memento and Dark Knight Rises.

Pfister won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Inception (2010).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Spouse (1)

Anna Julien (1992 - present)

Trade Mark (3)

Often works with Christopher Nolan
Gothic style of filming
Frequently breaks the 180-degree rule

Trivia (6)

The Batman Begins (2005) video game includes a character who does not appear in the film named "Walter Pfister". This character was voiced by the real-life Pfister.
Grandfather was the city editor of a newspaper in Wisconsin.
As of 2013, he is the only cinematographer that has worked with Director Christopher Nolan since and including "Memento" (2000).
Member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) since 2002, and the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC) since 2011.
Graduated from the AFI Cinematography program in 1989 where he befriended cinematographers Janusz Kaminski, Mauro Fiore and Phedon Papamichael. All four friends apprenticed together on various low budget Roger Corman films early in their careers.
Caught the film bug after seeing Shamus (1973) with Burt Reynolds being shot on location in his New York neighborhood when he was just a 10-year-old boy.

Personal Quotes (5)

The battle that we have to fight as cinematographers is to not let anybody treat us like we are consumers by using marketing techniques to push technology that's not better than what we have. Good enough isn't good enough. 24P is nowhere near the resolution of 35mm film, and if you put it side by side with anamorphic it's off the charts. There's not even a comparison. I don't see why we should settle for that and I don't see why the public should settle for it. I don't understand why we would use an inferior product to capture our images, when we want to see all the nuances and into the darkest details. I want to push the envelope. I don't think we have the power to fight this battle alone. The technology vendors have enough power and money to influence our art form. We need to get the directors on our side, because they have the clout.
Sadly, some people think of good cinematography as a beautiful sunset or a spectacular vista. I believe we affect the audience in a much more subtle way. We're manipulating them emotionally with light, darkness, colors, contrast and composition. I know the Dogme 95 theories, but I believe actors respond to light. Just look at a Rembrandt or Caraveggio painting or any of the Dutch masters, and tell me light isn't important. The pictures have to be true to the narrative, but I like to test the boundaries and see how far I can go.
I liked photographing people kind of on the sly with a long lens. I tried to capture stolen moments and find humor in them. I took pictures in natural light with interesting colors and shapes. But photography wasn't my main interest. I loved music. I played guitar in high school bands and that's still one of my passions.
Film has an enormous amount of exposure latitude and dynamic range, which gives us infinite creative ability in creating images. I can underexpose it by 3 stops and overexpose it by 5 stops within the same frame and see the entire spectrum on the screen. That's simply not possible in any digital format I've seen. Every digital camera is trying hard to emulate 35mm film, and there's a reason for that.
My work will not be seen on screen the way I want it to if I'm forced to compromise my tools and my integrity. I can't short-change my director by taking a chance that the perfect shot is going to be ruined because we're using a format of lesser quality than film.

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