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The Team Deakins podcast is an ongoing conversation between acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins and James Deakins, his collaborator, about cinematography, the film business and whatever other questions are submitted. We start with a specific question and end....who knows where! We are joined by guests periodically. Followup questions can be posted in the forums at

May 3, 2023


Team Deakins speaks with cinematographer Russell Carpenter (TITANIC, TRUE LIES, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER) on this episode of the podcast. We dive headfirst into Russell’s professional relationship with director James Cameron, beginning with a chance encounter at a local TV station that led to Russell working on some of the biggest movies in history. Russell also shares his appreciation for the technical challenges of working on Cameron’s films and describes the sink-or-swim nature of filming TITANIC. We later discuss being submerged in anxiety when starting out and mustering the courage and discipline to put yourself out there. We also touch on developing a ‘cinematic immunity’ during production that instills the supernatural confidence needed to shoot a film. Wading through the years-long process of shooting AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, Russell describes the unique environment Cameron created to realize the film. Additionally, we compare working on smaller, less effects-heavy projects with the contrary and discuss the joys of knowing what you got on the day and the immediacy of that type of filmmaking.


This episode is sponsored by TrueCut Motion