With ArcLight programming several of his films, this coming month (some, on film!), I thought that now would be a good time to have a thread for the interesting but little discussed work of Wally Pfister.
Memento, 2000, shot on Double X and Vision 1, with E series lenses
Laurel Canyon, 2002, shot on Vision 1, with Primo lenses
Moneyball, 2011, shot on Vision 3, with primo lenses (S35/4K DI)
Availability and quality of frame grabs varied widely; there are more Moneyball frames here but I didn't want to create a sixth post. Fifty images should be a sufficient showcase of Pfister's work, in any case. (I could've posted fewer but, as time goes on, Pfister's work gets so pretty - I didn't want to stop looking up stills.)
There isn't a whole lot of information available on Pfister's process but I've pieced together this much:
More than anything else, he wants his work to not appear to be lit
He invariably uses the latest and fastest Kodak stocks
More than most, he coordinates with other department heads, to get the exact colors, textures, and light that he wants on screen
On set, he prefers to shape the look of the film with changes in exposure, rather than stocks and lenses
I'll leave any further commentary to those more qualified than I and just ask, what is he doing that brings out the red in actors' faces?
I have a personal preference for Moneyball, although BB, TDK & TDKR look fantastic. I think his work on Moneyball has been seriously overlooked, as said, I like how natural it looks, and it looks really great, notably that opening with Brad Pitt in the stands, gorgeous stuff.