‘I grew up experiencing two very different kinds of light. The Caribbean light is intense, powerful and high contrast. On the other hand, there was the soft, silver grey light of northern Europe. Much of my work exists in this tension between these two sensibilities’.
Jess Hall was drawn to painting from an early age. These artistic tendencies were encouraged by his parents who were professors and his aunt a psychoanalyst.
Hall went on to study Film at St Martins College of Art, London and New York University. Prior to graduation he began an influential collaboration with the innovative and highly acclaimed contemporary choreographer William Forsythe.
This produced an award-winning film for the BBC. Solo subsequently formed part of the 1997 Biennale exhibit at The Whitney Museum of American Art NY. Hall’s graduation film The Whites of Their Eyes was screened at The Institute of Contemporary Art, London and film festivals internationally.
In 2001 Hall photographed his first feature film Stander for the director Bronwyn Hughes. The film was celebrated for its authentic portrayal of 1970’s Apartheid South Africa. Hall went onto photograph the iconic British Comedy Hot Fuzz written and directed by Edgar Wright. In 2007 Hall received a Satellite Award Nomination for his cinematography on Brideshead Revisited. Taking his approach from the Dutch masters he was credited for crafting a dark yet luminous visual palette which subtly reflected the themes of love, faith, family and betrayal. Creation 2009 was made in direct collaboration with the Charles Darwin family. In 2010 Hall was invited to become a member of The British Society of Cinematographers.
The pursuit of Hall’s naturalistic palette and poetic minimal shot structure was celebrated on James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now which took the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. In 2013 Hall was invited to join The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2014 Hall worked with Academy Award winning cinematographer Wally Pfister on his directorial debut Transcendence. The film shot on 35mm anamorphic was finished photochemically at Fotokem in Los Angeles using a traditional film workflow.
Ghost In The Shell 2017 was widely recognized for utilizing many innovative technical strategies. In collaboration with Digital Air Hall developed the first ‘Videogrammatry’ capture system to be used on a live action feature film. His use of LED lighting to achieve the precise rendering of the complex Anime color palette was honored in the reception of the HPA award for Best Color Grading on A Feature Film.
In 2019 Hall became a member of The American Society of Cinematographers.
JESS HALL BSC ASC: FEATURE FILM CREDITS - 2020
GHOST IN THE SHELL
Director: Rupert Sanders
Producer: Avi Arad, Avi Arad, Michael Costigan.
Director: Wally Pfister
Producer: Andrew A Kosovo, Broderick Johnson, Aaron Ryder
Studio: ALCON ENTERTAINMENT
THE SPECTACULAR NOW
Director: James Ponsoldt
Producer: Andrew Lauren,Sean Levy, Tom McNulty, Michelle Krum
Director: John Amiel
Producer: Jeremy Thomas
Director: Julian Jarrold
producer: Kevin Loader, Robert Bernstein, Douglas Rae
SON OF RAMBOW
Director: Garth Jennings
Producer Nick Goldsmith
Studio: HAMMER & TONGS/CELLULOID DREAMS
Director: Edgar Wright
Producer: Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Nira Park
Studio: UNIVERSAL/WORKING TITLE
Director: Bronwyn Hughes
Producer: Martin Katz, Julia Verdin, Chris Roland
Studio: SEVEN ARTS PICTURES