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Harris Savides: 1957 - 2012

In Memory of Harris Savides (1957-2012)

"I don't want to light their faces and bodies specifically.
I like to light the space."

Harris Savides wanted to be a fashion photographer. Instead he became one of the greatest cinematographers of all time and a true inspiration. He will be missed. RIP Harris.

Harris was an Independent Spirit Award nominee as cinematographer of Milk, also for Focus Features, starring Academy Award winner Sean Penn. The latter film marked Harris’ fifth feature collaboration with director Gus Van Sant. Their prior works together include Gerry and Elephant, for which Harris won a New York Film Critics Circle award (for both films) and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards (for each film), Last Days, for which he was again an Independent Spirit Award nominee; and Finding Forrester. Their sixth film together was Restless.

Harris’ other films as Director of Photography include Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, also for Focus Features, and Margot at the Wedding, David Fincher’s Zodiac and The Game, Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, for which he was a BAFTA Award nominee, Martin Scorsese’s Hitchcock homage short The Key to Reserva, Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, James Gray’s The Yards and Jonathan Glazer’s Birth.

Harris Savides photographed by Brigitte Lacombe

"I light a room and let the people inhabit it, as opposed to lighting the people. It's more organic. You want to protect the people you're working with, and there's a constant battle between the best light for their face and the best light for the story. You don't want to get to the point where the audience notices the light." - Harris Savides