New York Film Academy Los Angeles Cinematography Chair Tony Richmond recently discussed his long-standing career as well as the new 4k digital restoration of “The Man Who Fell to Earth” with Cineaste, a leading magazine on the art and politics of cinema.
Beginning with his first gig as a news runner on London’s Wardour Street, Richmond chronicles his rise in the business. Early in his career, Richmond had the extraordinary opportunity to work with Jean-Luc Godard on “One Plus One” (“Sympathy for the Devil”), followed by three groundbreaking films for Nicholas Roeg, including “Don’t Look Now,” “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” and “Bad Timing,” among many other films.
“The greatest thing about Godard, for me, and this has resonated throughout my career, is that, as he once said, movies have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order,” said Richmond about his work with Godard. “I think that’s fantastic…bloody fantastic!”
As to his work with director Nicholas Roeg, Richmond said, “The cinematographer’s job is to put the director’s vision on the screen and maybe enhance it. But Nic has a very strong vision for the movie. What I’ve always found is that as a cameraman, or as a cinematographer as we’re called, we want to learn from the director exactly how he wants his movie to look, feel, and smell. Some of them know what they want, but they can’t put those feelings into works, whereas Nic can.”
To date, Richmond has worked as a cinematographer on more than ninety films from all genres, including “Men of Honor,” “Candyman,” Legally Blonde,” “Dumb and Dumberer,” and recently completed “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” with NYFA alumnus Jeremy Harris working as his personal assistant on the film.
Having worked on a variety of genres, Richmond says he has now reached a point in his career where he will only work with friends. He’s currently working on a movie a year while serving as the Chair of NYFA LA Cinematography.
“It’s wonderful watching these new kids coming up,” said Richmond in his interview with Cineaste.“
Richmond will be heading east to NYFA’s New York location for an exclusive Cinematography Master Class on June 16, 2017.