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how to make films with a single photo-Gregory Crewdson

by Ana Tatu
Ana Tatu
June 4, 2015

American photographer Gregory Crewdson, not only known for taking pictures but also because they provide a very particular aesthetic.


Gregory Crewdson (Twilight)

Although sometimes its hard to separate the concepts of photography as cinema are closely linked. In fact, roughly, we can say that what we see on screen are images which, played in a continuous manner, give us a sense of movement.Well, Gregory Crewdson do just the opposite, reduce the 24 frames per second on a single snapshot, this meeting in the characteristics of cinema.

The US does not consider photography as something fleeting and instantaneous (such as Cartier Bresson), but as something able to make a whole ideal scenario, where you have already created a place that image in your mind.Something that undoubtedly will get.


Gregory Crewdson

Thus, in most cases, the American artist is not in charge of pushing the button and capture the shot. In fact, their roles fit more into that of a producer or manage it in a photographer. Gregory Crewdson is usually the person responsible for designing the image and organize the team so that everything runs properly.

Sources of inspiration




There are multiple interviews, reports and documentaries that are responsible for collecting Gregory Crewdson how acts when taking a photograph. The documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters or reportage Channel Reserve are just some of the resources that can serve as documentation to understand its peculiar way of working.

However, his style will be influenced by various figures. Perhaps, as the author has in Reserve Channel, the main of them all is the figure of his father, who worked as a psychoanalyst in the same house where Gregory lived.

In addition, Walker Evans also be a major pillar that will sustain much of his work. The classic photographer noted for trying to portray American life on a daily basis, often using different elements to create certain metaphors box on the objects shown.

However, Crewdson not only nourish the seventh art, but also find artists in the field of painting, as Edward Hopper , who also serve as a reference. Painter pictures are marked by a sense of loneliness, reflected a peculiar film directors like so Hitchcock or David Lynch used his works as inspiration for their frames.



Gregory Crewdson

Electricians, an art director, actors, makeup artists … etc. It is not the designated team for a feature film, but one that is often used to create your snapshots Crewdson.

In the aforementioned report of Reserve Channel, we see very well the process followed by Gregory Crewdson before and during a snapshot. For example, especially in photos taken in Massachusetts , the author discusses how several days sought by the different neighborhood environments that could serve as alocation for your photos.

After that, the process to begin making one of his works is not easy. Organize a team of such characteristics entails, above all, a great capacity for coordinationamong all its members.

According to Crewdson “much time and energy to take only one photo is required.” And it usually takes about 2 or 3 days to prepare the stage to be used for that instant. Everything must be careful to the millimeter, and therefore also consume a lot of time.

Thus, production for a work of Gregory can lead to cordon off a main thoroughfare to prevent access to pedestrians, and even use more than 100 lights for that decision. Like a high production of Hollywood in question.

His way of photographing


Gregory Crewdson

all pictures are marked by a cinematic tone. The essence of light colors or cause snapshots frames photographer really seem straight out of a film.

Using a large format camera , the process to set up a work usually range from the call as blue hour until the sun goes down completely and turns into a night scene. Subsequently, these multiple snapshots will join together to set up a single image, similar to what can happen with the process HDR .

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