New interview up over at Filmmaker Magazine with Dariusz Wolski. After more than 30 years of shooting features – including six for Ridley Scott, four with Gore Verbinski and two each for Tim Burton, Tony Scott, and Alex Proyas – Wolski picked up his first Academy Award nod for his work on the Paul Greengrass western News of the World. Shot on Alexa Mini LF’s paired with Angenieux zoom lenses and Panavision System 65 primes.

Here’s Wolski on the influence of American westerns on him growing up in Poland in the 1960s:

Filmmaker: Were theaters playing contemporary Westerns like Leone and Peckinpah, or was it revivals of Hawks and Ford?

Wolski: It was old classics. I remember seeing Rio BravoHigh Noon and The Searchers, the big movies that played in American theaters. They were a very big influence on me. So were some of the great westerns from the 1970s, which were slightly overlooked like Little Big Man, which had a little bit more accurate historical perspective.

There was actually a very funny thing that happened when I was young. We had these big billboards for the movie theaters in Poland, and there was this great image of James Dean with a cowboy hat [advertising George Stevens’ Giant]. I thought, “This is going to be a great Western!” I was like 12 or something. Then I saw the movie and was like, “They’re just talking all the time. How boring is that?” Then, of course, later it became one of my favorite movies ever. But I just remember that disappointment after seeing Giant for the first time. (laughs)

Filmmaker: And isn’t that movie like 3 1/2 hours long?

Wolski: Yeah, on top of it. I was a 12-year-old, expecting a big shootout and the bad guys coming in on horses and Native Americans attacking a stagecoach. Then I was like, “What the hell is this?” And they had cars in Giant. I couldn’t understand it at all.

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