'Artemis Fowl' Will Show Diversity of the Real World: Cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos
Business Standard, 29 October 2018
"Artemis Fowl" is the story of a teenager steering through a magical land of fairies, elves, goblins and pixies. But the movie adaption of the Eoin Colfer's book will be deep-rooted in reality, and will put a spotlight on the issue of diversity without losing the essence of fantasy.
Cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos hopes the film will be entertaining and educational for all.
"We haven't finished working on the film. But I hope it is an enjoyable and educational film for people," Zambarloukos told IANS in a recorded response.
Being helmed by Kenneth Branagh, the Disney film is based on the first book of Colfer's series of the same name. Stars like Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Ferdia Shaw will bring the story alive on the big screen.
Shaw plays the role of teenage genius Artemis Fowl, who descends from a long line of criminal masterminds. He finds himself in a battle of strength against a powerful, but hidden, race of fairies who may be behind his father's disappearance.
"It is an adaptation of a literary work which is a challenge in terms of how you interpret the book. It is a very popular book for children. They have some idea in their mind (about the story, characters and the places) and you want to do something that probably works better as a film in a way.
"They are different mediums and different formats, so that is a challenge. In terms of the magical world, we tried to do as much we could do in camera. But in a way it was a chance to show some form of diversity and fantasy equivalent to the diversity in the real world we live in."
Zambarloukos has worked on films like "Mamma Mia!", "Thor", "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit", "Cinderella" and "Murder on the Orient Express".
He says working on "Artemis Fowl" has been a sort of a reunion of the team behind "Murder on the Orient Express", which aired in India on Star Movies Select HD in October.
Branagh directed the adaptation of Agatha Christie's crime mystery novel of the same name. It features Dench and Gad, and Zambarloukos worked as director of photography on the movie.
When it comes to his working philosophy, Zambarloukos takes each film as a challenge.
"Every film is a challenge. And you choose to do it because you are interested in that part of the human condition you are exploring in that given moment. Movies are about human condition -- the way people treat each other or react to situations. Even in a film like 'Cinderella', which is a fairy tale, there is huge emotion involved. So, these are the things that I want to explore.
"The story and human condition exploration has always attracted me over any kind of visual interpretation of the film," added the cinematographer, who started working in the industry back in 1997.
There has been a dialogue around diversity and gender equality in the entertainment industry around the world.
Asked whether there are enough women working behind the camera, Zambarloukos said: "It is still a long way to go unfortunately. And I think cinematography and the camera departments are one of the worst.
"Production may be a little further ahead and casting departments are quite far ahead in their equality."
"Hopefully, step by step, it will get better. We need to have an open mind and feel it is our responsibility to help create both gender and race equality within the film industry... If that is what you want to see in the world, then it should be what you see in the workplace," added Zambarloukos, who is also a Vice President of The British Society of Cinematographers.