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'The Matrix' cinematographer says working on film's sequels was "mind-numbing and soul-numbing"

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The Matrix cinematographer Bill Pope has described working on the franchise’s second and third films as “mind-numbing and soul-numbing”.

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Speaking on the most recent edition of the Team Deakins podcast, Pope recalled feeling under “pressure” during the making of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both of which were released in 2003.

“Everything that was good about the first experience [on the first film] was not good about the last two. We weren’t free anymore,” he said.

“People were looking at you. There was a lot of pressure. In my heart, I didn’t like them. I felt we should be going in another direction. There was a lot of friction and a lot of personal problems, and it showed up on screen to be honest with you.”

He also said that neither sequels were his “most elevated moment – nor was it anyone else’s”.

“There is something about making a shoot that long, 276 shoot days, that is mind-numbing and soul-numbing and I think it numbs the movie… There’s a limit to what we can take in.”

However, Pope did praise the films as well as the Wachowskis’ work as directors. “I just transferred them all to 4K for archive purposes at Warners and I wrote the Wachowskis and Keanu [Reeves] and Carrie-Anne [Moss] saying that we did a good job, we should be proud of them.”

Pope will not be involved in The Matrix 4, which is due to hit cinemas in April 2022. Footage emerged of filming taking place in San Francisco’s Chinatown in February, though production was later halted due to the coronavirus crisis.

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