'Interstellar' Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema on the Beauty of Shooting Things Practically

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Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema must have had some inkling of what he signed up for when he was tapped to lens Chrisopher Nolan's Interstellar. Nolan is a well-known advocate for both shooting on film and shooting as much of his big-budget spectacles practically as possible.

"For me it's a treat because it's just much nicer to shoot something than not to shoot anything and just imagining it and relying on whatever post is coming afterwards," van Hoytema tells HitFix about the film's effects. "Especially if you like things to be tactile and tangible, there's nothing nicer than basing what you do on what you have in front of the camera. I've found green screen always very difficult because I'm very nerdy about the way light is refracting and the way that certain things get slightly dirty in a certain reality. Like for instance, when you see the point of view of the black hole through the window, I really did things like try to build a black hole and shoot it through the window and get the light refracting exactly the way it would refract, and suddenly you start to see dirty stains on the window. If you have to sort of invent those things and think about those things while putting up a green screen, you'll never get it as bright or as good, or they never feel as important, but if you do it practically you get so many beautiful things for free."

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