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'Gravity' Cinematographer Reveals How He Got Those Astonishing Shots

Nebraska

Phedon Papamichael

For Papamichael, the final scene in Alexander Payne's black-and-white film is a hopeful one. "Woody's [Oscar nominee Bruce Dern] dream is finally, if only partially, realized. It sums up the journey father and son have undertaken together," he says of the film, lensed with an Alexa. "Woody gets to drive down Main Street in his own truck. With his hands firmly grasping the wheel, he takes in the last impressions of his past. We chose an extreme close-up on Woody. The various characters of his past drift by, and Woody shares one last, meaningful moment of eye contact with each person. The strongest moment comes from his old love, the newspaper lady. The camera rotates into her close-up: one last moment of unfulfilled love."

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