wonder woman cinematographer

Wonder Woman‘s overwhelmingly positive reception blew away the people involved in the DC Extended Universe film.  The movie’s critical acclaim was not something that the cast and crew of Wonder Woman anticipated, nor the executives at Warner Bros., who hadn’t even settled on plans for Wonder Woman 2 yet.

But, cinematographer Matthew Jensen told us in an interview, the reception was not a complete surprise. The movie was always going to be a success because it was a solid film, he told me. But what he and other male crew members of the film could not have forseen was the emotional resonance that women found in the film, many of them crying or tearing up at the soaring battle scenes.

In our interview, Jensen detailed what went into filming those action scenes, and what he thinks sets Wonder Woman apart from the other DCEU films.

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Chronicle is not a superhero movie. It is a film about three young guys who, after exposure to a mysterious energy source, develop strong telekinetic powers. More to the point, Chronicle is about how having that empowerment in common forges a strong friendship between them, and the ways they deal with the unexpected power surge.

In the sort of telling which has become so familiar thanks to comic books and the TV shows and movies that follow them, those kids should quickly learn that their powers come with an obligation to help society. Then they foil some small-time crime and forge identities through which they can become virtuous examples of humanity, evolved.

That’s not how Chronicle works. I’m not sure these characters would know how to help humanity if they wanted to. There is nothing truly ‘realistic’ in this film, but there is something intimately recognizable in the ways in which these guys deal with their new powers. They’re kids. They play around with pranks and fun. They realize they can fly, and talk about destination vacations for the telekinetically-enhanced. Then — and this is what makes Chronicle stand out, and what really makes it worth seeing — their powers become lenses that magnify their true natures, to destructive and tragic effect. Read More »