The David Gribble ACS Interview

By - CTL
May 22, 2016

(Tom Selleck on the set of Jesse Stone)

CTL.CO was fortunate enough to spend a few hours with David at his house on the lower North Shore of Sydney, Australia.

David Gribble ACS, lives and breathes lighting. He carries a small digital camera almost everywhere.  “When I see light that I like, I photograph it for reference so I can figure out later, how to reproduce it”, he explains.

Early this year in Hollywood David was nominated by the American Society of Cinematographers for ‘Outstanding Cinematography’ for his work on ‘Jesse Stone, No Remorse’ directed by Robert Harmon. In 2007, David received the Milli Award for ‘Australian Cinematographer of the Year’, presented by The Australian Cinematographer Society. He has won a Golden Award for ‘Television Features’,  ‘Ike Countdown’ and ‘Jesse Stone Death in Paradise’ as well as ’Best Cinematography in a Feature’ for ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ starring Anthony Hopkins and directed  by Roger Donaldson. David followed up with another Golden Award for best Cinematography in a television commercial for ‘I love U Lamb’ and ‘Mitsubishi Triton’.

DogEmptySeatL1050059 (The lighting behind the scenes)

Both directors Roger Donaldson and Dennis Hitchcock were very excited to hear the news. “If you don’t have a relationship with the director”, David explains, “you don’t have a film.”

Robert Harmon, director of ‘The Hitcher’, ‘Nowhere To Run’ and ‘Stone Cold’ with Tom Selleck said of David, ” David is one of a handful of internationally recognised  Directors of Photography who have earned the right to work all over the world and for some of the world’s toughest directors”.

David has also addressed many industry forums and has given his time generously to up and coming directors.L1130753(David Gribble suggests if we lit our lives like he lights films we’d all be better off)

He sees how light can affect real life at almost every turn. “People should light themselves when they’re video calling”, he says, “Seriously”. “In business, if companies took the time to light their boardrooms according to how they want to set the mood of the meeting, they might be surprised at the improved results”. he continues. “What’s the effect you want when people come to see you? It’s just like in a film. How you present, how you appear, depends on the light”.

(Sir Anthony Hopkins)

The shift from film to digital didn’t phase David, however sometimes experience triumphs over technology. “These days”, he says “I use a light meter to tell me what I already know”.

He likes attics, “because of the way the light comes in”. He has been known to choose a restaurant, “because of the way it is lit or not”.

(Sir Anthony Hopkins and David Gribble on the set of The World’s Fastest Indian)

He wouldn’t comment on what it is like to work with stars such as Anthony Hopkins and Tom Selleck.

David divides his time in Australia between Sydney and a small town on the far South Coast of NSW where he is building a lodge, a project he began 13 years ago as a single builder. But he works all over the world. All in all a pretty remarkable career for someone who originally wanted to be an architect.

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