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‘Chi-Raq’ DP Matthew Libatique Says Working In-Camera Is as Close to Reality as Possible

Cinematographer Matthew Libatique has two films in theaters this year: Straight Outta Compton and Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq. In an interview with MovieMaker Magazine, the in-demand DP explains his shooting philosophies and why his preferred mode is to work as much in-camera as possible.

“I’ll do everything I can in camera before post. I don’t like leaving things to chance,” he says. “First of all, as a cinematographer, you never know where you’re going to be when that moment happens, when they’re finishing the film. Two, I find it very frustrating to search for something digitally. I also am fortunate enough to have started this career at a time where I had to be precise, because of photochemical finish. So it’s something I’m used to. The more you manipulate something the more false it feels. I think at the moment of capture is the most reality you’re going to capture.”

CHI-RAQ Trailer from 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks on Vimeo.