EXCLUSIVE: We were thrilled and honored when we found out we would be interviewing legendary cinematographer, Larry Fong. If you do not know who Larry is then you might want to move from the under rock you have been living. Larry has been the DP and cinematographer on some of the greatest films and television shows. Larry has worked on Now You See Me, Watchmen, 300, Batman v Superman, Kong: Skull Island, Super 8 and Lost to just name a few. In our interview we discuss Larry’s long time friendship and partnership with Zack Snyder, his inspiration for getting into film, who he would love to work with next and much more.
GVN: What was your motivation for getting into cinematography?
Larry: At a young age I loved the movies. Luckily for me, my father had some still cameras and a super 8 movie camera that he let me experiment with. Over time I realized I connected with the imagery the most, and my interest in the arts grew alongside my passion for filmmaking.
GVN: What personality or character traits are necessary to excel in being a cinematographer?
Larry: Great question. I think asking a director, producer, or crew person would be the most telling. I can only speak for my own goals: be the best I can be technically and artistically, and to pay attention to the needs of the director. I would go further and say treating other crew people with respect is something there should be more of.
GVN: What is it like working on these movies that have had somewhat of an impact on culture?
Larry: Nothing is more gratifying than to know your work has influenced or affected the public at large. Of course, when you are making the film you have no idea what the end result will be or how it will be received, but you always hope for the best.
GVN: What was it like DPing ‘300’, your very first studio film? What did you learn from that experience?
Larry: Having never worked on a project that size or with that schedule, I was pretty intimidated. When you start to doubt yourself, that’s when you need to take a breath and remember it’s one day at a time. Remind yourself of the basics that’ll get you off and running, then be open to inspiration that will take the work further.
GVN: Looking at what you’ve accomplished throughout your career, you’ve worked primarily on action/sci-fi movies. What is it about these genres that call to your attention and makes you want to film it?
Larry: I do enjoy these genres, but what many don’t realize is, you can only partially create your resume, your body of work. Most of it depends on who calls you, and for what projects. There’s a certain amount of pigeonholing that exists, but hopefully some will have the insight to see beyond your track record.
GVN: How has it been working so closely to a director like Zack Snyder?
Larry: I’m extremely lucky to have met Zack so long ago in film It’s great to work with an old friend with whom you have a visual shorthand and understanding. He makes imagery a priority which is a cinematographer’s dream.
GVN: Is there a genre of film you’d like to work in but that you haven’t?
Larry: Strangely, my favorite films have usually been simple human dramas, that explore the psyche and emotions—not just VFX I’m crossing my fingers that a good script like this will come my way.
GVN: Who is someone you’d like to work with?
Larry: My heroes like Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola, the Coen Brothers… would be exciting to collaborate with but I’m not holding my breath!
GVN: What is it about the dark aesthetic that you love the most?
Larry: I’ve always been attracted to it. The hidden. The mystery. The subtlety. The beckoning.
GVN: What film was the most difficult or challenging to shoot and why?
Larry: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was incredibly epic, with many locations, cities, nights, a lot of VFX, and a long schedule. It was all worth it though, because I think it has some of my best work. Sadly the critics were not kind. I highly recommend your readers check out The Ultimate Edition which is considerably better than the theatrical release.
GVN: What future projects are you looking forward to most?
Larry: The best part of this industry is that you never know what the future holds—until it If you talk to me in a few months, the question will answer itself!
GVN: Thank you so much Larry for taking the time to speak with us and open up about your passion. We hope our readers will check out your films and other work and we look forward to see what you are part of next.
Cainan is a walking talking Superman fanboy since age 2! He has been a lover of movies since he could understand them which was probably around the age of 5. Geeking out to He-Man, G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and just about every other Saturday morning cartoon. An old school action flick kind of guy, he grew up with Arnold, Stallone, and Willis keeping him company. He is also big into technology and video games. From the classic NES to the PS4, he has played them all. He runs the Geek Vibes Nation Twitter account and is also the main point of contact for booking guests for the podcast shows.