OnFilm Interviews A Conversation with Xavier Pérez Grobet ... - Kodak


OnFilm Interviews A Conversation with Xavier Pérez Grobet ... - Kodak

KODAK: Online Publications: OnFilm Interviews

QUESTION: What was your first film after moving to Los Angeles?

GROBET: My first film was Tortilla Soup. It was produced by Sam

Goldwyn, Jr., directed by Maria Ripoll. With my second movie, I got the

chance to enter the Camera Guild. It was a comedy called Chasing Papi

then came In the Time of the Butterflies with Salma Hayek and The

Woodsman. I shot four episodes of Deadwood, a great show for a

cinematographer with lot's of opportunities to play with textures and light.

QUESTION: You also shot an interesting feature called Nine Lives around

that time.

GROBET: It was written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia. He is a talented

director who understands human nature. We had a great cast, including

Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Sissy Spacek and Kathy Baker among others.

This are nine stories each told in real time, shot on a Steadicam rig. We

used Super 16 film, which allowed us to shoot over 12 minutes each take,

not having cuts had it's difficulty when it came to lighting in practical


QUESTION: You mentioned Nacho Libre. What was it like going back to


GROBET: It was a great to work with my old crew again. I got to work with

gaffer Fernando Moreno and key grip Jesus Ramirez whom I started my

career with. It was like being on a playground with my old friends. That's

important to me, because the crew becomes part of my family.

QUESTION: Let's go back something you said earlier about no two films

being the same. When we think about that, it is kind of like writing literature

or composing music.

GROBET: When you are a cinematographer you find out that there is a

common language that is global, but every movie and every director are

different. With every movie you start from scratch, finding the right camera

angles and movement, lighting, colors, lenses and formats for that specific


QUESTION: As we are speaking, you are in postproduction. Tell us about

that film.

GROBET: It is called Music and Lyrics. It's a comedy for Warner Bros.

written and directed by Marc Lawrence with Hugh Grant and Drew

Barrymore. The story takes place in Manhattan. It's a love story between

this '80s pop star who has to write a song in four days for his next gig. He

meets the girl of his dreams who helps him out. The most important of this

movie was to make Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore look great.

QUESTION: So, you were back in New York, where you did your first U.S.


GROBET: Shooting in Manhattan is interesting. The buildings are so tall

that once you get past mid-day you're in shadows. I used the (Kodak

Vision2) high-speed (500T) 5218 to have enough stop. I actually used the

same stock through out the film.

QUESTION: If you could go back in history and pick out one of the past

great directors to work with today, who would you choose?

GROBET: Vittorio De Sica. His film, Miracle in Milan, has been one of my

favorites since I was a little kid.

QUESTION: Do you think movies are our entertainment or something more

than that?

GROBET: Great movies are art, like going to a concert or reading a good

book they stick in your mind and affect how you think and feel about the

world. There are films that are pure entertainment, but there are also films

that stay with you forever. I don't think there is anything that compares to a

great film that has soul.

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