We had a Sit Down With Fresh Film's Michael Arnold to talk to him about all things to do with his job, his work, and what advice he'd give to aspiring directors!
1. What movie inspired you to be a DP/Director?
I can’t say one movie inspired me as there have been so many but certain moments have stayed with me. That glorious close up of the eye with the flames in Blade Runner, Dallas meeting his doom in the air vents in Alien and Rocky Balboa winning the Heavyweight championship of the World at the second time of asking, definitely stand out.
2. What other mediums do you draw inspiration from? (e.g. paintings, photographers, writers, etc)
Everything. Because of the digital age we live in it’s now so easy to find out who is responsible for certain work and then see their back catalogue. Films, photography, art, comic books and definitely music, which I listen to constantly, all are a great source of inspiration. I always go into bookshops and music stores when ever I’m near them to chance upon something I’ve not seen or heard before; thankfully these shops still exist.
3. Who is your favourite Cinematographer?
I don’t have a favourite but three off the top of my head are: Jordan Cronenweth for Blade runner, Derek Vanlint for Alien, Douglas Slocombe for Rollerball amongst many others.
4. Are you interested in making long form?
Yes definitely. That’s my goal to make at least one film, the one I’ve written hopefully. I’ve done a couple of shorts and am hoping to film another this year, which I’m very excited by, as it combines music and youth culture. So that’s the plan for this year.
5. What piece of advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers?
The 6 Ps. Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
6. Do you still prefer to shoot on film?
I haven’t shot on film for a long time. I do love it though, in the same way I have always been fascinated by Zoetropes. I love the fact that a series of still pictures on a reel can move, it’s like proper magic happening in front of your eyes. Honestly, if you’ve got kids get a Zoetrope and show them the running tiger, you get an insight into how amazing film must have been to people when it was invented.
7. What is your favourite piece of kit to use in your work? (Camera, crane, etc)
I love being able to move the camera so definitely a track and dolly. Also a good set of storyboards that I can cross off throughout the day to ease the stress on my producer…
8. How would you best like to showcase your work? (Good info for you) including technical spec for DP's format/res etc
If one of my films got selected by the cinema club at the local village hall, then I’ll know I’ve made it.