Giuseppe Rotunno: Cinematography Analogy

From American Cinematographer, Renaissance Man by Ron Magid (March 1999)

Rotunno likes to say that he has created a great deal out of very little; he points out that just as music only has seven basic notes, cinematography has only three lights:

"You've got the key light, fill light, and back light, out of which comes an infinity of results. The light is like a kaleidoscope, but those three lights mixed together are more touchy than the kaleidoscope. It's difficult to ask a painter, 'How did you paint the picture?' I go with my eyes and intuition. I like so much to light, and I cannot stop. When I was shooting with Fellini, I was always lighting the next shot, because I was afraid to lose the idea of the light. My love for this work made it really easy. I work very hard, but the days seem only five minutes long. It's a business I'm very, very proud of, because I was able to crate wonderful harmony with my directors, and to release their fantasies."

-Giuseppe Rotunno, ASC, AIC

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