Sir Ridley Scott is up there for me as a filmmaker; the Apple Mac ad for the Superbowl in 1984; Alien; Blade Runner and, of course, Gladiator, which won five Oscars in 2001. I must have watched Gladiator at least 20 times, but there is one Ridley Scott movie that has prompted me in my work more than any other and that, of course, is Thelma & Louise, which inspired the location to tell our own road trip story.
Ridley’s camera dived into the pages of a road trip storybook and coupled vivid cinematography with a character rich narrative. At all times he showed that he was fully in command of his medium and in so doing reminded us of the grandeur and majesty of the American West.
His vignettes of Arches National Park in Utah were shot with picturesque sentimentality and were the defining moments of the film. I have long wished to shoot there, but out of respect for him, I knew my narrative could not be lame.
Cara Delevingne and I work together regularly these days, and I knew there could be no more powerful lead in this story.
The rest was up to good fortune and in particular the light. We shot in early March when we could secure road permits by the iconic organ rock which features in the film. But the weather had to play ball and the forecast the previous night looked unpromising. However, at 7.10 am the next day, there was a shaft of full on light and we had our moment.
Cara smashed it - but always does. Cara is unique. The frame is as good as we can do and the reward for many hours of negotiation and contemplation. I hope Ridley Scott will approve.
This image features the rare Tamaskan dog breed - genetically almost identical to a wolf