Mr Flibble Talks To... Ice Cold Penguin
In the final part of Gil Taylor's interview with Mr Flibble, the penguin probes him about his approach to cinematography and his relationship to master of suspense and founding father of modern cinema, Alfred Hitchcock...
15 December, 2000
Gil Taylor Part 4
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

What's the lens that most matches the human eye? Is it about 50mm?

That is a nice lens, because people look right. As soon as you change lenses to 40's and 35mm's, then the perspectives all go with it. I mean, I like wide angle lenses, but I think 50's restrict you, you get lovely full people. The glass is good. Faces look good. In America they produces lenses - it's like painting with acrylic or painting with oil; if you paint with oil you have a natural... almost a glaze, and a transparency. With acrylic, it's a dead colour. It's given you the tone, but it hasn't got the depth.

So where would you use a 40mm - or your "Hitchcock 42mm"?

You have to use them because of set sizes - you can't get back far enough. Directors don't like to be too far away from the actors. They say, 'What are you going back there for?' Because they want to be standing next to the actor. Usually it's because of some imperfection in their hearing!

Did you like long lenses, to get far back?

Not particularly. I loved the 5:1 because when it's wide open, it gives you then what a 50 gives you, and then you can play around into going into the same lens. So if they say, 'We'll do the close-up', you've got the same lens doing the close-up that you had on the longer shot. Because lenses do vary, they vary whether you like it or not. A little bit biased one way or the other on colour - subtle colours, but if you're dealing in skin textures, you want it to be the same.

Obviously with a zoom lens, it's going to match perfectly...

That's right. You can just stay where you are and zoom in. You don't have to move the camera, don't have to move the lights. Make little subtle changes, just bring the eyes out or something.