Speaking to British Cinematographer, Wally Pfister discusses working with Nolan on several films and a few other minor details on the film making aspect of The Dark Knight Rises.
Q: What are your thoughts on this collaboration with Chris Nolan?
WP: This is the sixth film I’ve made with Chris. Our collaboration began on Memento – we got along together very well, and saw eye to eye – we have similar filmmaking sensibilities. This has only gotten stronger, and here we are on our third Batman film. I think we bring out the best in each other, the way we analyse the material, find new depths, and figure out the best way to put it on the screen.
Q: Batman has been incredibly successful. So how are you going to ‘wow’ the audience this time around?
WP: You’re right, The Dark Knight made, upwards of $1bilion at the box office, so there’s lots of pressure to up the ante, to create a bigger bang than the previous movie. Chris came to me with the project, said it was the third and concluding part of a trilogy. He wanted there to be a bridge between The Dark Knight and this one, so I set about getting a look that is combination of previous films, while also being original. Batman movies have always been dark. So we’re covering some ground from the previous films, but there’s something new in this one. Chris also wanted to ‘up’ action. We’re shooting segments on IMAX again, and this will really elevate the visual aspect of the film.
Q: What was your prep time on the film?
WP: Chris came to me with project at end of last year. I read the script at Christmas, and then had about four months prep, during which time I travelled across the world scouting locations and assembling the crews in different countries. I also spent lots of time back in LA mapping things out with Chris, before we kicked off in India in April this year.
Q: How about 3D?
WP: We’re not huge fans of 3D, and believe you get more out of IMAX – a more immersive quality for the audience. People really respond to it. It looks big and exciting and people like that in the theatre, rather than a dim 3D experience with glasses. The wonderful thing about this production is that we have shot more IMAX than we did on The Dark Knight, which is groundbreaking. We shot 28 minutes last time on IMAX, but we’re now upwards of 50 minutes on this film.
Q: What can you reveal about the plot?
WP: Not much! It’s the continuing story of Batman, beginning where it left off last time, with Batman on the run and Gotham City facing continual problems. They realise they need Batman back, but there are new villains he has to tackle. What I can say is that Chris has gathered a lovely family ensemble cast – with Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne again, Gary Oldman back as Commissioner Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and Michael Caine as Alfred. He has also reunited Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who we worked with on Inception.
Q: What’s been the greatest challenge so far on the production?
WP: Keeping up with Chris. He likes to shoot incredibly fast, and a 15 or 20-minute lighting set-up is not unusual. We have to be on our toes at all times.
There's a lot more in the interview over at the source, Pfister touches on some of the more technical aspects of filming and talks a little more about his crew and the shooting schedule.
Running Time: Unknown
Release Date: July 20 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: Unknown
Starring: Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Jonathan Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (screenplay), David S. Goyer (story)
The Dark Knight Rises is an upcoming superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film will be the third installment in Nolan's Batman film series, and is a sequel to Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). The Dark Knight Rises is intended to be the conclusion of the series. It stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman. The film will take place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and will introduce the characters of Selina Kyle and Bane—portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy, respectively—two villains from the Batman mythology.