Lachman was a cinematographer on for instance I’m Not There (2007) and Life during Wartime (2009) but he has also worked with Wim Wenders on the documentary TokyoGa (1985) and Werner Herzog’s La Soufrière (1977).

”I have always carried over ideas from documentary to narrative shooting” Ed Lachman

Wexler has worked on a number of feature films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and The Conversation (1974). Today both Wexler and Lachman also direct their own documentaries.

“If something looks too slick in the visual look and the film takes place in reality it makes me suspicious.” Haskell Wexler

How would you say you use your documentary skills when being cinematographers on a narrative film?
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Ed Lachman

EL: I have always carried over ideas from documentary to narrative shooting. One is the immediacy. I always try to keep one eye on reality, on the scene while shooting. The camera is just another actor who is reacting to an action. Also in documentaries you have to respond to the light in the environment you are in. Often in narrative films I try to work with the light I have because any artificial light will respond to the natural light and the surroundings too.

What would you say are the differences being a cinematographer in nonfiction and in fiction?

 HW:  The main difference is that in fiction you are part of bigger team and have more technology at your disposal. You have to listen to a lot of people who have different demands. I am not saying that’s bad, but it’s very different from being on a small documentary crew.

 EL: Sometimes in documentaries the cinematographer needs to have a function more like a co-director because he needs to decide just in that given moment what to shoot and how to shoot it. But all films are really documents. Also ‘in narrative film, you cannot plan everything, film deals with time and space, and any given shot is a depiction of that given moment – and moments are never the same.

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