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Paul Greengrass Uses Camera instead of Script, Drama to Express - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palm Springs-Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd knows what Director Paul Greengrass wants without having too much talk during shooting; they have cooperated in three movies: “United 93” (2006), “Green Zone” (2010), and “Captain Philips” (2013); but what mostly matters about those two is that they both believe in the “reality of the image.”

Ackroyd first started his journey with documentaries and cooperated with Director Ken Loach known for his focus on social reality in his works; the experience he acquired from those two trends has allowed Acroyd to create a production that brings the movie closer to the real world, even if the film was based on fictional events mainly made for entertainment, like in “Jason Bourne” , Paul Greengrass’s latest movie.

*Real adventures
“Jason Bourne” is the fifth installment of the action series launched in 2002 with the movie “The Bourne Identity.”
Greengrass loves technical dialogues; Ever since his start in the movie industry in 1989, he has tried to express the story through the lens more than script or pure drama. “Jason Bourne” that made its debut two months ago and achieved remarkable success, has opened chances to learn about the director’s concepts in this field.

Below, is the text of the interview with Paul Greengrass:

*This is the third film of your movie series “Bourne”. From your point of view, how does this movie differ from its predecessors?
-The story differs, but has the same rules; incidents differ, but main characters and the plot are the same in all movies. However, the difference among the movies is that “Jason Bourne” is not “James Bond” as he doesn’t live in a mysterious world; he is a different hero, a character who lives in our world, therefore we have to believe all things he does.

*Shooting challenges
– The world we live in is full of problems, wars, and security issues; all people know about the efforts of the CIA in the United States and the other security bodies in this field; therefore, the movie discusses the post-Snowden phase and secrets he has disclosed; the movie plot has mainly focused on the authority that seeks to control information supposed to be discrete, and has been increasingly spread among people; the movie is tackling this plot with a real aspect that fits the whole work.

*Is it true that to shoot this movie, which includes a political twist and focuses on featuring former staff from the CIA, you had to receive the prior approval of studios?
– I have worked for many studios in Hollywood, which were cooperative and never intervened in our work; all what was said is mere guessing.

*You and Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd have similar backgrounds; you both love and focus on reality in your works…How do you work together on details?
– This is true; we have similar backgrounds and I like it because it has allowed me to depend on him in handling the scene design and decisions related to the filming process without concern…we totally understand each other and this is so important.

*The reality you are talking about means the absence of digital effects of graphics, right?
– Yes; the movie doesn’t include a single shot designed on the computer. We have really been in the streets and cities we shot in; we really shot in Athens and London in cooperation with the authorities of these cities. There was no need to fake anything; therefore, we face a lot of challenges.