The Cinematography of “Zodiac” (2007)

The Cinematography of “Zodiac” (2007)
Cinematographer: Harris Savides
Nominated for the 2007 Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm Award

5 comments


  • […] how it could be done in a visual way. I told David we had to figure out ways to make these scenes interesting and cinematic, but our solution was the opposite: to simply have faith in the material and present it […]

    September 17, 2015
  • Cyrus Kimani Kamau

    How is it that this made the list of best photographed films since 1999, a list compiled by the American cinematographers’ guild; yet it didn’t garner an academy award nomination for it’s demonstrably outstanding cinematography? If for nothing else, this was at the time a prime example of the potential digital cinematography possessed. Also, I know this is a cinematography website, but this movie not getting any academy award nominations to me is just shocking. Critics named this as the top film of the year, alongside the other critical darlings of 2007, No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Zodiac IMHO should’ve gotten the same oscar recognition those 2 other films received. This is going even further off topic…but I think a case can be made for Fincher getting best director for Zodiac over The Coens(No Country For Old Men) or P. T. Anderson(There Will Be Blood), but that’s just me.

    January 22, 2018
    • evanerichards

      Finchers films have such a specific look. I think you could show me a scene from 5 different directors and I could pick out the Fincher one each time. I love it.

      I liked Zodiac…but man, I sure do love the Coens. Not sure if I could put Zodiac at the same level as the Coen brothers. Of course it’s always hard to separate how much you liked the film from the technical skill. For instance, “Citizen Kane” may have been a more technically accomplished film in every category but I’d still chose “The Graduate” over it ever time. Maybe the subject matter and the darkness turned people off a little.

      January 23, 2018
  • Cyrus Kimani Kamau

    Of course it’s always hard to separate how much you liked the film from the technical skill – I like this, very interesting perspective.

    This is just my opinion, but I believe Zodiac was just as good as the other 2 critical darlings of that year.

    But for me what sets Zodiac apart, and you may disagree, is that Zodiac had the higher potential of failing. It could’ve wrong in so many ways. A story like Zodiac being condensed into a movie should not have worked as well as it did.

    The Coens and P T Anderson,on top of being superb writers, were working from very good preexisting source material. I remember reading an interview where the Coens joked how easy the adaptation was because Cormack McCarthy’s novel is already good. Supposedly on of them held up the book while the other one typed.

    But Zodiac needed a lot of work to get it right. And not only didn’t Fincher and his screenwriter not fail, they made on the best movies of all time.

    If not winning the awards, Zodiac should’ve at least gotten the (major)awards nominations for it’s incontrovertible technical skill.

    January 26, 2018
  • Cyrus Kimani Kamau

    And if I may comment on Citizen Kane and The Graduate.

    I think The Graduate is also a straightforward adaptation of an already solid preexisting source material. I’ve read the novel and I enjoyed it immensely. The story sells itself and succeeds on its own merits.

    Citizen Kane I think is so well regarded because of its technical skill. Specifically with regards to the structure of the screenplay, the directorial decisions/choices, and the superb camerawork from Mr. Tolland.

    It’s a run of the mill story, bio of a wealthy man. But how Welles and Manckiewics tell the story is what sets it apart.

    And again this is just my opinion, but I appreciate more of the how something is pulled of as compared to what is pulled off.

    I don’t know if I’m making any sense.

    January 26, 2018

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