The Cinematography of Harris Savides

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“He was a complete rule-breaker. He’d light anything to make a scene work, never paid attention to conventional wisdom and did not know from self-doubt.” – Scott Rudin, New York Times

“He liked the blacks to be not fully black, to have a milky, filmy quality, and he liked the light part of an image not to be fully blown out, not just gone complete white, so if someone was wearing a white dress in a window, there would still be details in the dress. He would say the word ‘creamy.’ He liked a creamy image. Otherwise there was no way to tell whether it was Harris.” – Van Sant, New York Times

Harris Savides was only 55 years old when he passed away from brain cancer. Above are a few quotes from the people he’s worked with over the years. Along with the tragedy of leaving at such a young age, he time sadly came when he was at arguably the highest point of his career.

I’ve kept a habit of starting off every one of these posts stating that you might not know this cinematographer, but that you know the films they made. But Harris Savides was someone who never even got nominated for an Academy Award. Admittedly, the Oscars aren’t something that determines the quality of a film (…Crash.), but the resume Harris had on him will make make you wonder why not either way.

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