"Cinematography and still photography is nothing more than an extension of painting, except with the addition of motion. You are essentially paralleling what people do with brushstrokes. If you can understand the Old Masters and Vermeer and other aspects of the world of fine art, then it's easier for you to visualize a particular set of circumstances for a show that you're about to do."
About This Interview
In his over two-hour Archive interview, Thomas Del Ruth talks about growing up as the son of parents in the entertainment industry (his father, Roy Del Ruth was a director, and his mother a singer) and his early interest in cinematography. He discusses his first jobs as an assistant on such series as Batman and Peyton Place. He then details his climb up the production ladder, which culminated in his becoming a bona-fide Director of Photography on the series Mrs. Columbo. He discusses his other work in television, including the pilots for Simon & Simon, The X-Files and ER. Finally, he details his work on the series The West Wing, in particular, setting the tone for the series and his liberal use of the steadi-cam. Throughout the interview, Del Ruth discusses the art of cinematography and the technical aspects of the profession. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on January 18, 2007.