Film Courage: What factors into you saying yes to a project and what factors into you saying no?
Brad Rushing, Cinematographer: Let me limit my answer to a narrative (to scripted narrative) because there’s so many other manifestations but the one thing I would say is that it’s just got to be a great script. I’ve learned the hard way that that no amount of talent behind or in front of the camera, no amount of money can compensate for a bad script. Meanwhile you can take a really, really good script and and have shabby technical values and still have a really entertaining movie. I look at what I do as window dressing and I think it’s important of course but if I don’t have the skeleton to hang my pretty pictures on then it’s just gonna be vacuous. The first thing is that, I want to see a good script. The other thing is that I want to know that these people have enough money to do justice to that script. I’m not going to be biased if you come at me with 10 million dollars or if you come at me with $200,000 as long as you can do a good job on your script with that money. If you’re being unrealistic to me that’s like buying a ticket on the Titanic and I do not want to go down with it because I’ll be blamed if there aren’t the resources for the crew, if there aren’t enough days, if there are unrealistic expectations, if there are tons of visual effects and not enough money to pay for them it’s going to look like crap and my name’s going to be on it. I don’t care how much they pay me, I’m not going to do it. A good script and the ability to do a good job with it and then I look at the collaborators. Who is the director? Who is the producer? Who are the other keys, the production designer? Who’s the talent, the cast and if there are people I’m excited to…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Brad Rushing began working with Roger Corman’s Concorde/New Horizons film studio which afforded him some of his first feature film opportunities as Director of Photography where he learned valuable skills. After a number of years concentrating on indie feature films Brad began to shoot high end music videos photographing award-winning, iconic clips for artists like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, Nelly and Eminem. Brad’s ground-breaking work on Moby’s “We Are All Made Of Stars” won an MTV Video Music Award “Moonman” for Best Cinematography in a Video, and many of the other music videos he shot have won awards such as VMAs, MVPAs and Grammys for Best Video. Brad also won a Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award for Best Cinematography in a Video for the Alsou video “Always On My Mind.” Brad’s most recent work is the feature film “A California Christmas” which filmed in Petaluma, CA in July 2020, one of the first film productions to start under stringent COVID-19 safety protocols. The film debuted on a major streaming platform for the 2020 holiday season and was number one on Netflix for a week.
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