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Wally Pfister: Filmmakers Need to 'Fight' for Celluloid

Wally Pfister Oscars List - P 2012
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The director of photography of "The Dark Knight Rises" talks with THR about keeping film alive and assembling the team for his directorial debut.

Academy Award wining director of photography Wally Pfister—a longtime collaborator with Chris Nolan who is about to embark on his directorial debut—urges Hollywood not to let celluloid see its demise.

“Chris and I—and I’m hoping other filmmakers—will fight as hard and long as we can to keep it going,” the Dark Knight Rises cinematographer told The Hollywood Reporter.

For Pfister, shooting film in the current Hollywood climate is both bitter and sweet. “It's sweet; we love film,” Pfister said. “A lot of cinematographers really like digital cameras, but Chris and I still prefer film. There are plenty of other filmmakers out there—Paul Thomas Anderson, Spielberg, J.J. Abrams—that still prefer film. The bitter part is that it is being forced out of the market. There are plenty of us who aren’t willing to give it up yet. The sad part is these so-called market forces are pushing our film away.

“We want to be able to have an option. It can be the vinyl of image capture, but we want to be able to have access to it,” he added. “I’m planning on shooting my movie on film, 35mm anamorphic.”

Pfister is currently in pre-pro on his directorial debut, Alcon’s Transcendence, which will be exec produced by Nolan and his wife Emma Thomas.

Unsurprisingly, there is curiousity surrounding whom Pfister will select as director of photography on the film.

“I haven’t [decided] yet. We are in the final phases of that, but I don’t have to start [the cinematographer] until December,” he said, adding with a chuckle, “I’m being careful and choosing wisely. It will be someone who really knows what they are doing.”

Pfister did confirm that he brought on production designer Chris Seagers—who worked with Tony Scott on a string of films including Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Déjà Vu and Domino. “His work with Tony was exceptional. He has got a great eye and imagination. He has brought a great vision to [this project].”

Additionally, Pfister will reteam with costume designer Cindy Evans, with whom he worked on Chris Nolan’s Memento.