October 26th, 2012 by Glendyn
I’m a bit late posting about the passing of the late, great cinematographer Harry Savides who passed away last week. Such an inspiration. He shot so many great films but I think my favourite is Gus Van Sant’s Last Days. The film is so beautifully shot. I remember seeing it with my Dad in a near empty cinema Kino in Melbourne when it was released years ago. I was so blown away by it’s minimalism, beauty and poetry. It’s become one of my favourite films. I left the cinema in awe, speechless. My Dad turned to me as we hit the foyer and said in disgust “Don’t you ever make a film like that…!”. Double speechless…!
So whenever I think of Harry Savides, I think of Last Days and when I think of Last Days apart from fathers ‘advice’ I think of this very simple but stunning scene…
After watching the above clip, watch how they shot it below. Something wonderful about watching a small crew work in unison. I often wonder why they didn’t lay all the track for the dolly and then remove the front pieces as they dollied back, and not have to relay and level on the fly. I like to think that not even Gus Van Sant can afford all the toys all the time and they only had a few lengths of track in the (small) grip truck. A perfect example of how necessity particularly in film making are nearly always the mother of invention.
Harry Savides, genius!