Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of the most beloved science-fiction/fantasy novels ever published, and a long-awaited adaptation directed by Denis Villeneuve and photographed by Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS (below) has brought a new, epic take to the big screen.
Dune follows Paul Atreides (Timotheé Chalamet), the brilliant son of a galactic leader, born to a great destiny, who will one day inherit an empire. His father, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), has just gained control over the desert planet Arrakis, which is home to an invaluable spice-mining operation. The spice promises to unlock humanity’s greatest potential.
In this ASC Clubhouse Conversation discussion with Mandy Walker, ASC, ACS, Fraser discusses the production, which employed Arri Alexa LF cameras as well as spherical Panavision H Series and Ultra Vista 1.65x anamorphic lenses to render 1.43 and 2.39:1 sequences.
Fraser was born in Melbourne, Australia, and studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (aka RMIT University). His credits include Zero Dark Thirty, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Snow White and the Huntsman and Vice. For his work on the feature Lion, he won the ASC Award and earned Oscar and BAFTA Award nominations. For his work on the Disney Plus series The Mandalorian, Fraser was honored with the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) as well as an ASC Award nomination.
Walker was also born in Melbourne, and after graduating from high school, she studied film criticism and cinema studies with filmmaker and academic John Flaus. Her credits include Tracks, Hidden Figures, The Mountain Between Us and Mulan. On the 2008 feature Australia, she became she first woman to photograph a feature with a budget over $100 million, and she is also the first woman of the Motion Picture Academy’s Cinematographers Branch to be elected to the Board of Governors.
Reporting by Jay Holben.