Speaking the same Language

The first week of the New Year is over and we are warming up nicely on the pre-production of The Fitzroy. At the moment we are working up through the gears and just getting back up to speed after the festive holidays.

One of those gears is starting initial conversations about the cinematography and shooting style for the film.

Now apart from the short film – Choke Mate – that we made during the campaign, I haven’t worked with Ciro, our Director of Photography, before. This is exciting but also presents a problem. Over the next few months we will have many conversations and make plans about The Fitzroy, but first we need to get on the same page and ‘speak the same language’.

And this, at least to my mind, means having a common bank of films to reference on.IMG_20130109_155009

Over the Christmas period I compiled a list of films that I felt would be beneficial for us both to watch/re-watch.

Now these films aren’t necessarily direct inspiration for The Fitzroy, you can see those inspirations in these previous blogs.

Inspirations and References Part 1 (Visuals)

Part 2 (Comedy)

Part 3 (Music)

Nor do we want The Fitzroy to copy the cinematography. It is more a case of these films containing elements that we might want to cherry pick, learn from and fold into The Fitzroy’s visual identity.

For example, we might study how colour is used to convey mood and emotion in The Red Shoes. Or how The Grinch uses Dutch (wonky) angles. Or how Terry Gilliam uses a wide-angle lens to help convey the weirdness of his characters. Or the strong compositions of Ashes and Diamonds and how these can add power and strength to characters.

As we want to share as much with you about the production as possible, here is a list of the films we are referencing and watching. Be warned it is quite long!


  • Brazil
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • The Brothers Grimm
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • The Fisher King
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  • Time Bandits
  • Jabberwocky
  • A matter of Life and Death
  • Black Narcissus
  • The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
  • The Red Shoes
  • Amelié
  • The City of Lost Children
  • Delicatessen
  • Mic-Macs
  • Raising Arizona
  • Barton Fink
  • The Hudsucker Proxy
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • The Bedsitting Room
  • The Knack and How to Get It
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • Help
  • Black Cat White Cat
  • Underground
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Hot Fuzz
  • The Grinch
  • Billy Elliot
  • Signs
  • Breathless
  • Ashes and Diamonds
  • It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
  • Crimes of Passion
  • The Devils
  • The Frighteners
  • Gremlins
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • The Magical Mystery Tour
  • Noirs … Modern and classics – especially British
  • Submarine films??

Like I say we don’t necessarily want to emulate these films, the reason for watching them is so we have common reference points.

It’s really early days and there is a lot we need to discuss both in terms of ‘artistic vision’ and the practicalities of the shoot, which will have an impact on how we end up filming The Fitzroy.

I’ll be posting more updates as we develop the visual style but thought you’d be interested in some of our references and hopefully we are all speaking the same language now.

If you have any suggestions that you think might be worth a watch, please let me know in the comments. Particularly if it is British Noir!