There’s never enough time to speak with a living legend like Janusz Kaminski.
Kaminski, one of the greatest cinematographers to ever step foot behind the camera, began his collaboration with Steven Spielberg on 1993’s Schindler’s List. That black-and-white epic garnered Kaminski his first Academy Award nomination and win for cinematography. His partnership with Spielberg would amass seven total Oscar nominations, including another win for 1998’s Saving Private Ryan.
He returns to the Oscars this year with his seventh nomination for Spielberg’s re-imagining of the classic Broadway musical West Side Story. Kaminski worked with Spielberg to create a new visual experience that would also honor the musical’s Broadway roots. The resulting film emerges as a glorious work of art both starkly realistic and gloriously romantic. West Side Story is not only one of the best films of 2021, but Kaminski’s work ranks among some of the best cinematography seen in theaters over 2021.
Here, in an interview with Awards Daily’s Clarence Moye, Janusz Kaminski talks about what he looks for when evaluating cinematography. He also reveals how he works with Steven Spielberg and how his cinematographic style evolves from film to film. He also goes into depth about his work on West Side Story and how he created such a visually stunning cinematic experience.
West Side Story is currently playing in theaters. It will debut on Disney+ and HBO Max on March 2.