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Julian Whatley sees the world — literally — through a cinematographer’s lens. After a decade apprenticing with Hollywood’s greatest image makers — David Fincher, Robert Richardson, John Toll, Dariusz Wolski, Jan de Bont, and Harris Savides — he worked more than twenty years as an acclaimed Director of Photography. Career highlights include a series of iconic music videos with total views of several 100 million for artists like Greenday, Avril Lavigne and Korn. Julian also photographed hundreds of commercials for international brands, and the Sundance Film Festival best-dramatic-feature award winner 'Forty Shades of Blue.' His visual storyteller’s aesthetic led to a body of California landscape photography reminiscent of great title sequence imagery.
“Working as a Hollywood cameraman for thirty years determined my artistic DNA. Every choice—film and processing, lensing, subject matter, lighting and perspective—is about communication. But, ultimately, there’s only one question I’m interested in communicating some answer to: ‘What is real?’ I’ve found that only art brings us into the vicinity of an answer.” J.W.
There's a larger story that I tell with my photographs: this world, reality, and our relationship with reality is mysterious and uncertain. Further, what we presume to be fixed and solid is evanescent and dreamlike. The artifacts and phenomena I shoot, the filtration, the film I shoot with, the way I develop the negative and scan it is all aimed at telling the larger story that reality is no more fixed or permanent than the glimmering play of sunlight on the sea and clouds in a windswept sky.
All my work is captured with film. I mostly shoot with a Pentax 6x7 medium format camera, and develop, scan and retouch all my own negatives. I also shoot instant film. For earlier work I used Polaroid 4x5 film. Now that Polaroid isn't available, I use expired Fuji FP-100.
Feature Films: Forty Shades of Blue, Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival, 2005.
Music Videos: Greenday, Time of Your Life/Good Riddance; Avril Lavigne, Nobody's Home; Korn, Freak on a Leash
As Hollywood Assistant Photographer: The Game, Seven, Lethal Weapon 3, Basic Instinct, Maverick, Demolition Man
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