Cinematographer Jakob Ihre discusses adapting to shooting on itital, lighting different characters for a thematic purpose, and how production design affects his creative choices. This is the third feature in our Special Issue on Thelma. Read the rest of the issue here.
“We go out well prepared. But we really are looking for the unknown, to get those kicks, to get that adrenaline that we get when we find something new, when something happens in front of us.” Cinematographer Jakob Ihre has now been working with director Joachim Trier for more than a decade. They started collaborating on shorts in film school, and Ihre has shot all of Trier’s features to date.
Their new film, Thelma, is their first genre film after three realist dramas, and as such, required even more preparation than usual. There were so many complex lighting cues written into the script — from the strobe lights that trigger Thelma’s seizures to something as seemingly simple as the sun fading up. “Basically, with her powers and her feelings, with that comes a lot of lighting cues,” Ihre explained. One of the reasons for making a genre film was to give themselves license to let loose and play visually. Still, some of the greatest highs while shooting came when they went back to their roots, finding moments of raw, emotional truth, often with spontaneous handheld shots.'We are looking for the unknown, to get that adrenaline that we get when we find something new.'Click To Tweet
“I try always to choose a project which I can really invest my everything into. What’s unique about Joachim’s films is we know the stories very well. Even though this is a supernatural movie, emotionally, we are very well connected with the character. We find elements which are very personal to us. The way Joachim works, he wants you to be involved. He wants it to be my film as much as his film. I operate myself. I know the actors. I know the characters that they play very well. It becomes very engrossing.”