Stargazer

Meet The New Wave / Will Baldy

Unknown-6

Stargazer

Meet The New Wave / Will Baldy

Filmography (so far): TV dramas… S4C Home Work (2017, dir. Ed Thomas), BBC Doctor Who 11 (2nd Unit) (2018, dir. Jamie Childs), and Sky Atlantic Curfew (action unit) (2018, dir. Colm McCarthy). Shorts… The Words (2018, dir. Ben Mankin), FOG (2018, dir. Shan Ogilvie), Franklin’s Brain (2016, dir. Scott Quinn), Denise (2016, dir. Kenneth O’Toole).

When did you discover you wanted to be a cinematographer?

I don’t think it happened in a specific moment, but I was always trying to create means of escape through painting, music and inevitably filmmaking. I was always driven towards the cinematography side of the process. I would often take the family’s DV camera, collect all the lamps in the house, and drag my friends over to be in the movie. I’d hold family screenings and hand out lemon sherbets during the show.

Where did you train?

The majority of my learning came through shooting whatever I could. I attended UCA Farnham’s film course, but left to become a camera trainee. It’s here I learnt the valuable lessons about a DP’s role outside of the image.

What are your favourite films?

Days Of Heaven (1978, dir. Terrence Malick, DP Néstor Almendros)

Blade Runner (1982, dir. Ridley Scott, Jordan Cronenweth ASC)

Children Of Men (2006, dir. Alfonso Cuarón, DP Emmanuel Lubezki AMC ASC)

What’s the best advice you were ever given, and from whom?

The best advice given to me has been from the DPs, operators and focus pullers I used to assist. They’d all say “If you want to light, get out there and start lighting – don’t wait.”

Who are your DP/industry heroes?

Roger Deakins CBE BSC ASC – I love his work, but it’s his manner, approach to filmmaking and cinematography that inspire me.

Emmanuel Lubezki AMC ASC – for how he constantly shows the versatility and reliability of natural light.

Hoyte van Hoytema FSF NSC ASC – for the perfect imperfection of his work that grounds it in a fixating reality.

Unknown-1

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

When I was asked to join the team as a camera trainee. I felt like I had no way into the industry, so I walked onto a set, straight to the production office, and asked for a job in the camera department. After a week of on-set experience, the camera team asked me to join as a camera trainee.

What’s the worst knock-back/rejection you ever had?

There have been so many, but it’s important to not let them throw you off-course.

What have been your best/worst moments on-set?

Best: when you capture that moment, perfectly.

Worst: when the location power failed and I had to re-plan my entire lighting approach with natural light only.

What was the biggest challenge on your latest production?

Lighting nighttime action work, knowing the director wanted the freedom to shoot in all directions at all times and with multiple cameras.

Tell us your most hilarious faux pas?

As a trainee I was told to get some Sky hooks, only to return without them and to find the whole set, including the actors and director, laughing at me. It was bad.

Unknown-5

Away from work, what are your greatest passions?

Street photography, writing and astronomy.

What one piece of kit could you not live without?

My light meter – I just feel safer with it on my waist.

Which films are you most proud of to date?

The Words (2018, dir. Ben Mankin), as I think we really captured a rare atmosphere in that short, and Curfew (action unit) (2018, dir. Colm McCarthy), because every day there was something new.

What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever shot in?

I once filmed a short in a house a week after the occupant had passed away.

Unknown

"I was always driven towards the cinematography side of the process. I would often take the family’s DV camera, collect all the lamps in the house, and drag my friends over to be in the movie.

I’d hold family screenings and hand out lemon sherbets during the show."

- Will Baldy

What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever shot in?

I once filmed a short in a house a week after the occupant had passed away.

What’s the hardest shot/thing you’ve had to light/frame?

A shot on a Russian arm, spinning around an actor, driving a bright-coloured van with windows everywhere, that became mirrors under the hard sun.

Tell us your hidden talent/party trick?

I’ve been weight training since I was about 15, so I’m pretty damn strong.

In the entire history of filmmaking, which film would you love to have shot?

The Thin Red Line (1998, dir. Terrence Malick, DP John Toll ASC)

What are your current top albums?

I’m known for only listening to film soundtracks. I’m never allowed to DJ.

Can you tell us your greatest extravagance?

Good food.

Unknown-3

What’s the best thing about being a DP?

Helping to create the world, characters and reality that audiences peer into, and become inspired by.

What’s the worst thing about being a DP?

It’s easy to get caught up and forget why you wanted to become a cinematographer originally. It’s important to find the time to inspire yourself.

Give us three adjectives that best describe you and your approach to cinematography?

Simple. Evocative. Natural.

If you weren’t a DP, what job would you be doing now?

Something in the world of astronomy.

What are your aspirations for the future?

To shoot the stories that break barriers and keep audiences thinking.