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Cinematographer Yves Bélanger walks backward to film "Wild"

Cinematographer Yves Bélanger on the set of
Cinematographer Yves Bélanger on the set of "Wild" with Reese Witherspoon. (Anne Marie Fox. Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.)
Anne Marie Fox

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The movie "Wild" tells the story of Cheryl Strayed and her journey of self discovery along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, much of the film is set out in the wilderness, as Cheryl (played by Reese Witherspoon) makes her way along the trail alone.


For director of photography Yves Bélanger, shooting the film presented some unique challenges. The first was having to hike along with Witherspoon a lot of the time. 

“I had to walk the same pace, and backwards. But I don’t know, with Reese it was very simple. We got the same beat... like two dancers.”

And then there was the matter of trying not to be too intrusive, since the whole film is about Strayed's solo journey through the wilderness.

Bélanger says he tried his best to make himself invisible. It also helped that he didn't use any rigs, lights, or reflectors.

"She only had me in front of her," Bélanger explains. "So that was quite a plus."