Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is currently in postproduction on “Dune”, Hollywood’s second big-budget attempt to bring Frank Herbert’s iconic sci-fi novel to the screen (David Lynch directed the 1984 adaptation).
In the latest edition of the “Team Deakins” podcast, Villeneuve chats with his longtime cinematographer, Roger Deakins, who worked with him on “Prisoners”, “Sicario” and “Blade Runner 2049”.
As Villeneuve tells Deakins, that latter movie is one “that I was not able to watch again. It takes time to be able to digest and make peace with [your own movies]. For me, when I make a movie, there’s a lot of deep joy and pain and anger linked with the process. When it’s done, it takes me years until I am able to watch it again and see the movie for what it is. I am not there with ‘Blade Runner’.”
While Villeneuve worked with a different cinematographer on “Dune”, he said that the lessons he learned from Deakins from their earlier collaborations informed many of his decisions on his latest film.
“I’m in a learning process working with you,” Villeneuve told Deakins. “It’s very rewarding and exciting. Right now I am doing VFX on ‘Dune,’ and I found myself talking about light and asking for things and I’m like, ‘I know it’s Roger.’ I know that I can do things [because of Roger].”
He added: “I realize how much sometimes the amount of things I’ve learned from you. I’m not saying you’ll agree with me when you see the thing, but I just know of sensibilities that I strongly increased being with you and working on ‘Blade Runner’. It was a formative experience. To design the movie from the storyboards until the very end by your side, it’s insane the amount of things I learned.”
After two back-to-back big-budget science fiction films, Villeneuve admitted he was ready scale down to something smaller for his next project.
“It would be healthy for me to do something small,” he said. “It will be good to go back to the size of something like ‘Sicario’ where I am not having to dream about the design of a car or the design of a wallet or gun for months before. I can just embrace the scale for what it is. It will be nice to go there.”
“Dune” is scheduled to be released Dec. 18.