“I learned that nothing is impossible,” declares cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom about making “Thirteen Lives.” For our recent webchat he clarifies, “I know so much is impossible, but at the beginning I was not quite sure how to be real in the environment Hollywood thematics would have demanded. But then we made it. Unbelievable!” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“Thirteen Lives” is a film from two-time Oscar winner Ron Howard about a group of young soccer players and their coach being rescued from a flooded caves in Thailand. It is based on 2018 real life events which made news around the world.
As the movie’s DP, Mukdeeprom explains, “The story is so well known in the world. People at least know something about it. You are dealing with something where people have information in their head. If you twist it, someone is going to like it and another one won’t. So, we better not confuse it. We make it real and fill the gap of what people didn’t really see, which was inside of the cave. People know the outcome but we showed how.”
It explored the events from the perspective of the rescuers such as John Volanthen (Colin Farrell) and uses a distinct filmmaking approach to immerse the viewer in the narrow underwater caves. This involved underwater shooting, lighting dark caves and flashlights exploring crammed surroundings. Mukdeeprom says, “I work with tools. I work with lighting and equipment. The director has to deal with people. Trying to bring the two things together, it’s so important for both of us to have the skill set to understand each other.”
The filmmaker declares the movie is about, “the power of volunteerism. People have the will to do things not just for duty, but because you want to make it happen. And you sacrifice something for other people. So many sacrificed so many things at the same time it creates a powerful movement. Imagine what will happen with the effect of climate change. If we are only getting things for ourselves, it means we will only fight. We have to have our hands together.”
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