SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
John Lennard: My name is John Lennard. I am a filmmaker/videographer from Myrtle Beach SC. I like to dabble in different aspects of production but primarily focus on cinematography, directing and editing.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a cinematographer?
John Lennard: From an early age I would say around 13. I grew up in the exhibitor industry and as a kid I was naturally drawn to cinematography and filmmaking in general, and the different ways you can tell stories with images always fascinated me. I was a movie junkie as a kid and it was a natural fit for me.
SKSM: How do you communicate with a director to design a visual strategy for a film?
John Lennard: With any collaborative effort you have to work together and as a cinematographer it is my job to bring the directors vision to life. So constant communication with the director of what they are wanting and throw in suggestions for what they might not be thinking about. I like to make a lot of suggestions for what I think they are wanting and I will usually add my own spin and suggest things that the director may not think about.
SKSM: You worked with Paul Inman on this film, what do you think the relationship between a director and a dp should be?
John Lennard: I believe the director and DP should be working hand and hand together. Constantly discussing and planning your next step. Especially on smaller budget productions due to financial restraint. You will always have issues pop up and the better you communicate with the director and have solutions in place ready to go. If you are both off doing your own thing never communicating it will never work.
SKSM: You worked in a Dollar Baby based on a Stephen King short story. It was your most challenging film?
John Lennard: I would say this was one of the most difficult but not the most difficult. I have done other small productions that have had twice as many FX shots but at the same time on this production we had a small crew, were very short on funds and had very limited time to get this complete. Overall, it was difficult but a very smooth process at the same time.
SKSM: When you’re going to shoot, what are your favorite lenses? formats?
John Lennard: To me lenses help tell a story and are a tool to do that. I really don’t have a favorite because I love them all. I love shooting wide and I will always have a 50MM or 35MM on me as they are the most versatile.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
John Lennard: Nothing really happened that stood out. We were very short on time. But beyond the typical panther that happens nothing really comes to mind.
SKSM: Who are some of your influences (favorite dps/films)?
John Lennard: From a DP standpoint Roger Deakins can do no wrong in my opinion. My main influences are 80’s cinema as a whole, Slasher films and Drive-In cinema. John Carpenter, Wes Craven to name a few.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
John Lennard: I am. I will get some flack for one of my choices, but my top three favorite films based on his works are Christine, Maximum Overdrive (It’s cheesy fun!), and The Stand.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
John Lennard: Right now, I am finishing up a script have been writing for a while and hope to start production on that by the end of the year. I am also going to be D.P. on a short film that will be starting production in the next couple of months.
SKSM: What one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
John Lennard: I love musicals.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
John Lennard: I just want to thank everyone for their support and we hope you enjoy the finished product.