Dune Cinematographer Greg Fraser Talks Star Wars Similarities & Differences
The acclaimed director of photography explained his approach to filming the movie.
Dune cinematographer Greg Fraser is a man with a rich legacy. Having filmed Zero Dark Thirty, Let Me In and Vice and set to film Matt Reeves’ The Batman, Fraser has also been recruited by Denis Villeneuve to help with Dune. Villeneuve has a great history of working with top-notch cinematographers himself, having scoured Roger Deakins twice for 2013’s Prisoners and 2017’s Blade Runner 2049. In an interview, Fraser talked about his approach to shooting the film and how it differs from another popular franchise.
That franchise in question is Star Wars. Fraser shot the spin-off film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as The Mandalorian and while George Lucas may have gained some inspiration from Dune when making the 1977 film, Fraser worked consciously to avoid repeating his Star Wars techniques and applying them to Dune.
It was quite fun because I had to forget a lot of Star Wars when I was making Dune. It wasn’t hard, though. Denis and I spoke clearly about how the film should look and should feel, and the formats and this and that, so it was not hard to swerve and change lanes. There were some similarities like the deserts. I mean listen, ultimately I’m positive George Lucas was inspired by Dune when he made Star Wars. I don’t know if that’s sacrilegious to talk about, but there are a lot of similarities in some areas, so you could tell he was definitely influenced by that. So I had to be careful doing both [Dune and The Mandalorian] and not to repeat myself. Also not just for the sake of the movie, but for fun. I hate to do the same thing twice.
In the course of the interview, Fraser also offered some hints at what we can expect from the completeness of the story, especially since Villeneuve has staunchly mandated that Dune be a two-part endeavor, with the 2020 film only spanning half the novel. According to Fraser however, this doesn’t affect the film that sits complete as its own story.
It’s a fully formed story in itself with places to go. It’s a fully standalone epic film that people will get a lot out of when they see it… It was quite an adventure visually. It was a beautiful experience making it. The people involved with it, I was overwhelmed. Some of the actors, as well as being insanely talented actors, are just lovely, lovely people who I’ve become very close to since then.
Check out the piece on Collider through the source link below as well as the detailed chat with Fraser for more info on his other efforts. Dune is set for release on December 18, 2020 and doesn’t look like it’s moving thus far.