Chris’ films, they are like a house of
cards. If you pull a card out, you’ve
got to be very careful of what you’re
doing.” There wasn’t much excess
material that needed to be removed.
“You try to use every idea in your
first assembly to flesh out what you
do and don’t want, and every scene
is a matter of tuning and trimming
it. Then you arrive at the final prod-
uct. When we got down to it I was
amazed how little came out.”
“The colors are natural,” re-
marks Smith. “Hoyte Van Hoytema
did an amazing job shooting it.
There’s no colorization of the film.
It was timed photochemically so
there’s only so much you can do
with color. It looks so amazingly
beautiful because there’s no hard-
core tweaking going on, which you
can do in a digital environment.
My assistant John Lee stayed on to
shepherd Dunkirk through the final
lab dealings with Chris for all of the
various ways they’re releasing the
“For a lot of this I turned the
sound off because it was IMAX cam-
eras whirling away,” remarks Smith.
“Cutting stuff silently is freeing
because you don’t have the sound
bumping on the cuts. It’s an inter-
esting way of doing it. I would put
the sound in afterward or cobble
together some stuff to give an idea
that sound was there, and then we
would ship it to [supervising sound
editor] Richard King. A massive
Soldiers awaiting rescue on the shoreline
Director Christopher Nolan operates an IMAX camera on the beach
Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) gazes at a medical ship