Vilmos Zsigmond: Art of Film

From American Cinematographer, A Transcendent Career Foretold by Bob Fisher (February '99)

Zsigmond spent four years at film school, putting in many 14-hour days and six-day weeks. While he deplored living under the tyranny of the communist government, he learned some great truths from the head of the department, Gy├Ârgy Illes, and other faculty members.

"They taught us that a movie is only art if it has something important to say. It should be more than entertainment. It should have social value...

My rule is that if a movie doesn't say something of value for the audience, I don't think it's worth making. You only have time to make so many pictures in your life. Maybe 75 percent of the time, you can tell if a film will be worthwhile when you read the script, but I've been fooled on occasion. There were times when I thought something was going to be a good movie, but it didn't turn out that way. There are so many things that have to come together — the actors, the director, the script."

- Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC

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