South African cinematographer, Daniel Mindell, is collaborating with American producer J.J. Abrams as director of photography on the next instalment of the Star Wars film series, releasing in 2015.
Mindell, who previously teamed up with Abrams on Mission: Impossible III, 2009’s Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, is shooting Star Wars: Episode VII on 35mm Kodak film stock 5219.
Says Mindell about shooting on film: “The idea of having a 35mm frame with chemicals that react to a focused beam of light, and turning that into a picture – that is one of the most incredible things I can imagine. I try to excite and stimulate the film with light so that it does something that it’s not supposed to do. Those imperfections can give the images an unquantifiable magic. They put another layer of illusion onto something that is already artificial; tricking the audience into thinking it’s real.’
Starting his career in the film industry as a loader at a production house, Mindell progressed to director of photography for the Tony Scott feature film, Enemy of the State. Since then he has headed cinematography on various feature films including Shanghai Noon, The Skeleton Key, John Carter, Spy Game and The Bourne Identity.