Wrap Shot: Interview with the Vampire

Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC films this stylish 1994 horror epic directed by Neil Jordan.

David E. Williams


In this photo by still photographer Francois Duhamel, cinematographer Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC plots a shot while filming the stylish horror epic Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), directed by Neil Jordan. After completing principal photography on the picture, Rousselot could sympathize with the plight of the film's undead protagonists. Over the course of a 100-day shoot that involved just two half-days of daytime photography, the cinematographer began to wonder if he would sprout fangs himself. "Actually, on a schedule like that, you turn more into a zombie than a vampire," he joked to American Cinematographer at the time. "Vampires thrive on that kind of situation, but we were more like victims."

"During one of my conversations with Neil, we decided we didn't want this film to resemble any other vampire or horror movies," Rousselot said. "It's not necessarily against the genre, but we didn't want to get into genre conventions. I've seen and enjoyed many vampire films, such as those by F.W. Murnau [Nosferatu, 1921] and Carl Dreyer [Vampyr, 1931], but the style of photography has changed enormously in this area, and Neil and I didn't want to play the game of a 'genre film.' We wanted to create a film that would have a style of its own." Interview with the Vampire was one of the French cinematographer’s first major studio productions shot in the U.S., followed by such projects at The People vs. Larry Flynt, Remember the Titans and Constantine

The cinematographer recently photographed the period comedy The Nice Guys, which was featured in the June, 2016 issue of AC, and the fantasy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Rousselot was honored in 2017 with the ASC's International Award for his outstanding body of work.

Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC on set filming the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016).
Rousselot on set filming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016).

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