SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Dmitry Savinov: Hi, I am a cinematographer from Moscow, Russia. Most of my jobs are series, along with commercials, features and music videos. My main hobby is film photography, medium and large format especially.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a cinematographer?
Dmitry Savinov: It was a happy accident, actually. When I was a kid, I just wanted to be a writer and journalist. My fellow cinematographer invited me to the business as a camera trainny/technician, so I started my professional growth through camera assistant positions to a DP (graduated at VGIK when being a working DP already). So I am about 25 year in the saddle)
SKSM: How do you communicate with a director to design a visual strategy for a film?
Dmitry Savinov: References are the first step, whatever that takes- pictures, photos, films, paintings… then you work on script, you talk to director about your impressions on the literature you’ve read. Your primal task is to figure out what’s in director’s head, than things come easier)
SKSM: You worked with Anna Shapiro on this film, what do you think the relationship between a director and a dp should be?
Dmitry Savinov: I think trust and coincidence rule.
SKSM: You worked in a Dollar Baby based on a Stephen King short story. It was your most challenging film?
Dmitry Savinov: I cannot say if it was most challenging film or not. Every time it is a journey without a certain route and final point. The most challenging was the winter weather I believe.
SKSM: When you’re going to shoot, what are your favorite lenses? Formats?
Dmitry Savinov: It was shot at 2.39:1 aspect ratio with Zeiss High Speed lenses as I remember. Nothing unusual.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Dmitry Savinov: I think it was a biker’s night club shooting when the band was playing and extras dancing and everything was a real mess but we handled it with courage and did it finally!
SKSM: Who are some of your influences (favorite dps/films)?
Dmitry Savinov: Number one is Roger Deakins, ASC/BSC, and most of his films. Than plenty of cinematographers and my professor Vadim Yusov, that is for sure.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Dmitry Savinov: OOOOH YEAHHH! All my childhood was under the influence of his books, and It is most beautiful among them.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Dmitry Savinov: Series titled Hypericum, it is a thriller like Se7en and near.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Dmitry Savinov: Once I substituted my friend at a mortuary and even made up a diseased granny.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Dmitry Savinov: Try to be different every time you start a new task AND DO NOT AFFRAID OF ANYTHING!!!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Dmitry Savinov: Thanks for your attention!