i have just read this mini quotes of christopher doyle and i wanted to share them here, because they are in my opinion absolutely inspiring:
"I went to Taiwan to study Chinese and, as usual, I hung out in bars, and people in bars are usually musicians and artistic kinds of people. I had accumulated a little life experience so I could articulate things which were a little bit more complex than I could actually do and for some reason Edward Yang trusted me. And then we made this film ("That Day on the Beach," 1983) that won all these awards and I didn't know what I was doing. I fluked it.
My best film is always my next film. I couldn't make Chungking Express now, because of the way I live and drink I've forgotten how I did it. I don't believe in film school or film theory. Just try and get in there and make the bloody film, do good work and be with people you love.
The East is rising and the energy of the region is reflected in everything we do here, whether commercial, military or cinematic. I just happen to be part of that. We're in a golden age of cinematography. Most people are on-line at least four hours a day. They're seeing images all the time and their visual sophistication is jumping far beyond all the old farts in the Academy.
I just finished reading the new book on M. Night Shyamalan making the Lady in the water. Most of it is terrible but there are large chunks devoted to Christopher Doyle and his "mannerisims/working methods". Fascinating and often hillarious. If you can find it cheap on ebay its worth picking up a copy but dont pay full price for it!
His brief 18-hour appearances at Camerimage every year are worth the cost alone. Absolutely out of his mind alcoholic, but what work! I remember a few years back he came in with tons of wonderful anecdotes, including (supposedly) telling Tom Cruise to fu** off after being asked to shoot MI3 because "where the fu** were you when I was 18, man? You're just trying to commoditize on Hero." He took a break from filming The White Countess to come out, and when someone didn't understand what a Merchant Ivory film was, he deadpanned "English people speaking slowly". He completely doesn't take himself seriously - even knocked Hero hardcore! I also have other stories regarding him and 4 AM public exposures, or making fun of his EPK appearances, or yelling at people what they need to give up about their lives. Quotes like "When my father died, I was on a film set. And I know that when my mother dies, I will be on a film set." He also hates talking about the tech specs and details, and would rather discuss the ideas behind the creative work. Immensely inspiring, but completely impossible to deal with in anything but small doses.
I have to say that I whole-heartedly agree with Chris Doyle in that article. Go and do it! Why is it so hard for people? Why do they let themselves get caught up in technical bull. I think that's what delineates a filmmaker from a technician or a wanna-be. If you are truly a filmmaker you make films anyway anyhow because you can't do otherwise, it's not in you. It's not about cameras, not about digital or film, not about money, not about lenses, it's about making.
I think those who are so caught up with everything else are more in love with the idea of making a film, not with actually making a film. That's why I feel film schools are pretty horrible on the whole. They are so dated and set in the way of the system, not about making films but about how to fill out reports, forms, and check boxes. About doing things the way they've always been done, i.e. to make a film you have to do this, this, and this. When really all you have to do is get a camera and start shooting, that's the way you learn.
Im canadian but i lived in taiwan for 16years, did 1 year of cinematogrpahy program in Vancouver, and now im going to china to see what are the chances their, I can speak chinese fluently 100%.
And i was wondering Is there anyway people can write to Mr. Doyle?
i think he has finally stopped drinking. drinking and working doesn't mix. people who have worked with him i know love him, but when someone doesn't show up and the director, gaffer, and grip have to figure out how to proceed on a daily basis; it's understandable why there are often 2 dp credits on wkw films.