"Zodiac" Character portraits and Harry Savides Interview

Jake Gyllenhaal - "Zodiac" Character Photoshoot.

"The 1970s were a heyday not just for directors but for cinematographers.
Savides's success as a director of photography on music videos and commercials has afforded him the luxury of only working with directors he wants to work with. So far, that includes James Gray, Gus Van Sant, Noah Baumbach, David Fincher, and Sofia Coppola (for whom he has shot the upcoming Somewhere). It may be a coincidence, but some of his finest work has been for movies set in the 1970s, including Milk, Zodiac, and American Gangster. For Savides, the '70s lives on as a state of mind. His latest, Noah Baumbach's Greenberg is set in present-day Los Angeles, yet its purposely deglamorized photography evokes such films as Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye and Bob Rafelson's Five Easy Pieces.
Greta Gerwig in "Greenberg" (2010).

Savides's artistry is a bit hard to define; he doesn't have a trademark device (although he is remarkably adept at fluid long takes). As seen below, his images reflect a nuanced, organic understanding of a wide range of influences, from cinema and photography to painting. But the basic pleasure of a Savides film is simple: his images are pure, not flamboyant. Serving the rhythms and personalities of the performers, he is an actor's best friend. He is also a filmgoer's best friend: he creates compositions that breathe, that give us the time and the space to see the world in a new light.
Jake Gyllenhaal - David Shire CD Score Booklet (Scans)

Noah Baumbach, director of "Greenberg".

You have a great collaboration with Noah Baumbach; he seems like a very cerebral writer and director, but the films Greenberg and Margot at the Wedding have an organic, lived-in quality.
Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason-Leigh in "Margot at the wedding" (2007).

When I was asked to do Margot at the Wedding, he already had a good idea of what he wanted—not what he wanted the movie to specifically look like, but he wanted me to see a couple of movies that he really liked, just to get a feel for what he loves, in terms of mise-en-scène, and also the feel of the film. He introduced me to the Rohmer film La Collectionneuse.

Very much. Stylistically, Zodiac is somewhat the opposite, because you and David Fincher had this very interesting approach of creating an almost matter-of-fact style. Which is not the usual serial killer movie approach.

I think that came from the fact that that movie was about information, and about information getting delivered and not getting delivered. And we just wanted to keep it neutral, from our point of view.

Are there specific scenes from that film that you're particularly proud of?
We weren't too showy in that movie, and that just works for the story. I was afraid the movie was going to be dull. It's long, and it's just people on the phone trying to understand why we didn't get this and why did we get that information. I do like the first killing. That was done simply. And I thought the editing was precise. It was terrifying and very well done. Car leaves, car comes back. It's a desolate parking lot. I thought we were successful in the way it looked, and also the whole blocking was done very well".
Source: www.movingimagesource.us