“As a director, I’m extremely picky of the projects I accept,” says Turpin. “It has to get into my blood.”
In the role of cinematographer, Turpin’s profile is more extensive. He boasts more than 30 movies to his credit — framing scenes for big name collaborators that include Quebec directors Denis Villeneuve and Xavier Dolan.
“They’re both people who control the whole filmmaking process — they have an all-encompassing vision,” says Turpin on why he’s typically eager to work with Villeneuve and Dolan.
Turpin won two Genie Awards for best cinematography — given by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. The first was for Maelström in 2000 and the second for Incendies in 2010, both directed by Villeneuve. The latter was Canada’s Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category that same year.
Among Turpin’s projects with Dolan are Tom at the Farm (2013) and Mommy (2014). Turpin was the cinematographer on the music video for British singer Adele’s single “Hello,” directed by Dolan and released in October 2015.
The video also has over a billion views on YouTube. “My goal isn’t to make things everyone will see,” says Turpin. “I care about quality and not really the glamour part.”
Turpin notes that his time at Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema was a formative period for him.
“What’s great about the film production program is that it’s practical,” says Turpin. “You actually make movies while you’re a student.”
Turpin returned to his alma mater as a part-time instructor in 1992, teaching a course to first-year students on his craft.
Though busy promoting Endorphine, Turpin is currently involved with Dolan’s first English-language film, the forthcoming Death and Life of John F. Donovan.