John Curran on Choosing Film for ‘Tracks’

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In telling the true story of Robyn Davidson’s epic 9-month walkabout through the Australian desert, Tracks director John Curran took inspiration from his own backpacking experiences and the natural, austere beauty of his location.

"When you go out to beautiful places, it's pretty easy to just shoot 'em and make it look beautiful. If you bring a camera crew and a really good cinematographer to photograph, that's a real joy,” he tells Fast Company’s Co.Create.

To tell the story, which takes place in 1977, Curran very deliberately chose to shoot on film over digital. “Everyone accepts that film is a dying medium and more than anything, that was probably the reason I wanted to shoot Tracks on film. If this is going to be my last movie shot on film, I want to go out on something I feel really proud of visually,” he explains.

Film was also necessary to help evoke the era that the story takes place in. “Somebody could have shot a digital version of the story, hand-held, run and gun, with four people in the crew but I wanted to have the texture and scope and quality of movies from the period when the story took place, in the 1970s," Curran says.

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