The Cinematography Podcast

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The Cinematography Podcast is the program about the art, craft and philosophy of the moving image and the people who make it happen. Your job title doesn't have to be cinematographer to be featured on the show. We interview a wide variety of filmmakers including, actors, directors, producers, production designers, editors, storyboard artists and those in related filmmaking careers. This is not a film school, more like a professionally produced radio program found on NPR, each episode brings an interesting perspective to an often overlooked and widely misunderstood craft. Recorded in Hollywood, California at the world headquarters of Hot Rod Cameras. Hosted by Ben Rock and Illya Friedman.

The Cinematography Podcast

Los Angeles, CA

    • Feb 1, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 2m AVG DURATION
    • 257 EPISODES

    4.8 from 94 ratings Listeners of The Cinematography Podcast that love the show mention: cinematography podcast, dps, ben, craft, film, process, production, thanks guys, longer, young, industry, professional, insight, enjoy, interviews, hearing, real, listened, love this podcast, great podcast.

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    Latest episodes from The Cinematography Podcast

    Award-winning Sundance films Bad Press and The Persian Version

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2023 67:11

    We kick off our Sundance Film Festival 2023 interviews with the documentary Bad Press and the dramatic comedy, The Persian Version. Bad Press follows the battle for a free press on the Muscogee Creek Nation reservation in Oklahoma. As a sovereign nation, the Muscogee are not bound by the U.S. Constitution to guarantee freedom of the press. When local journalists for the tribal paper Mvskoke Media discover that the tribe's “Free Press Act” will be repealed, they begin demanding that freedom of the press be written into the tribe's constitution, led by Mvskoke Media reporter Angel Ellis. The Free Press Act does get repealed, and immediately the newspaper is in danger and put under the control of the tribal government. The tribal council began censoring the news and preventing the community access to free and fair reporting, which reporter Angel Ellis knew would impact the upcoming tribal elections. Filmmaker Rebecca Landsberry-Baker is a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation and a journalist, so the people in the film are her people. Co-director and editor Joe Peeler was an acquaintance with a background in documentary filmmaking, so he came on board right away. Cinematographer Tyler Graim was brought on to the project when Joe had had enough of shooting everything himself, allowing him to focus more on what was happening as a director. They wanted the footage in the documentary to give people an accurate feeling of what it's like to be on the reservation, and the oppressive heat of an Oklahoma summer. Becca, Joe and Tyler agreed that they also wanted Bad Press to have a distinctive look, and were influenced by newspaper movies such as All the President's Men. They made a conscious choice for viewers to make the larger connections of what is happening to free press from within the microcosm of the Native American community, to the macrocosm of what's happening to media in the outside world. A free press supports tribal sovereignty, because it supports an engaged and informed electorate and the movement to ensure a free press by writing it into tribal constitutions is spreading in Indian Country. Bad Press won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Freedom of Expression at the Sundance Film Festival and is seeking distribution. Find Bad Press on social media: #BadPressFilm The Persian Version is a dramatic comedy that follows Leila, a young Iranian American woman who grew up in New York and New Jersey with 8 older brothers. Leila is determined to forge her own path and has a tumultuous relationship with her immigrant mother. When her father is hospitalized for a heart transplant, she must return home to help care for her grandmother and uncovers a secret about her mother's past. Director and writer Maryam Keshavarz chose to make The Persian Version semi-autobiographical. While much of the story is true, the film had to take artistic liberties for it to fit within two hours and also stay funny. Maryam wanted the past and present within the film to feel similar, but for all of the storytellers in the movie to have a point of view, so there is a tonal shift within the film when Leila's mother's narrative begins. Maryam felt like her cast was family, and as they rehearsed, she rewrote the script as needed. Maryam's first feature film, Circumstance, also won the Sundance audience award, and she went on to make a bigger-budget feature, Viper Club in 2018, starring Susan Sarandon. But Maryam found that she wanted to feel more personally connected to the cast and crew during the filmmaking process, so she returned to independently writing and directing with The Persian Version. She feels that films from her standpoint in the world as an Iranian-American hold a large place in her heart. Maryam enjoyed making a film that was both meaningful, funny and reflective of current and past societal and political views. The Persian Version won the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award & The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award in...

    Yule Log director Casper Kelly and cinematographer Alex Allgood

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2023 69:10

    Yule Log is a crazy, surreal, comedic horror movie written and directed by Casper Kelly and with cinematography by Alex Allgood, made for Adult Swim and available on HBO Max. Even though it's a month past Christmas, fire up Yule Log if you haven't seen it already- it's bound to be one of the weirdest and most original movies you've seen in awhile. For Yule Log, Casper and cinematographer Alex Allgood decided to keep the camera locked off on the fireplace logs for as long as possible, so people might think it was just a recording of a fireplace for holiday ambiance, before introducing more action around (and inside) the fireplace and in the cabin, as people enter and events unfold. The movie takes place in a cabin, but over multiple timelines that overlap and combine different genres from comedy to horror to Lynchian-style surrealism. Alex liked the script, and felt that even though the movie leads with the long lockoff shot on the fireplace that the dialog kept everything going. He only had about three weeks to prep the movie, and they shot Yule Log in about 14 days. He enjoyed working with Casper and combining so many different creative elements into the movie. Alex always sees projects in terms of lighting first and camera second, so he tried to create a cohesive look with the lighting on the film throughout each scene, using a lot of firelight of course. Casper has always enjoyed taking risks and seeing things that he hasn't seen before vs. following a formula. His first job was on the low budget horror movie Basket Case 3, and he wrote and directed another short dark comedy spoof TV show for Adult Swim called Too Many Cooks. With his previous experience and relationship with Adult Swim, Casper pitched Yule Log and was paid to make it- he thinks if he had done it as a spec script, no one would have given him money to make such a crazy film. Casper wasn't sure the many, many ideas in Yule Log were all going to work, but he wanted to go for it and take risks. But everyone was on board through all the crazy twists and turns the story takes. You can see Yule Log on HBO Max. Find Casper's short for Adult Swim, Too Many Cooks, on YouTube. Find Casper Kelly: Twitter & Instagram: @heycasperkelly Find Alex Allgood: Instagram @alexisallgood Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Greentree Creative: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Russell Carpenter, ASC on Avatar: The Way of Water, working with James Cameron, creating realistic lighting for a virtual world

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2023 45:57

    Our guest Russell Carpenter, ASC comes back for a second time on the podcast to talk about Avatar: The Way of Water. When cinematographer Russell Carpenter began working on Avatar: The Way of Water, it was much different from any other film experience he'd had. Russell had previously worked with director Jim Cameron on True Lies and Titanic, which won him the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. He began working on Avatar: The Way of Water before they even rolled cameras, testing and integrating the world of live action capture with completely virtual images. The process was like a huge layer cake of world creation, with writing, concept art and production design all being developed simultaneously. As the cinematographer, Russell's primary concern was making sure that the lighting design on the live, motion captured actors looked real and played well with the CGI generated world. It's hard to fool the eye when people instinctively know what sunlight, water and shade in a forest should look like, so every scene with a live person and a Na'vi person had to be exactly right. It was important to Cameron that everything on Pandora be grounded in reality. The animals had to move realistically and the interplay of shade and light in the forests needed to feel real to an audience so that they would have an emotional connection, rather than watching an alien-feeling, fake-looking science fiction world. The entire process of making Avatar: The Way of Water was a huge puzzle, with a small army of teams working on different parts of the movie and simply trying different things. As the writing and story development continued, Cameron would decide they needed a certain scenario or plot point, and he would ask the teams to creatively figure out how to make it happen. After the locations were computer generated, several virtual cameras were used to shoot multiple angles to get an idea of the blocking, lighting and camera placement for the CGI action. Finally, the actors came in to do motion capture and read their lines. Russell thought he'd start to see scenes coming together, but everything was such a piecemeal process that he watched the virtual camera material to get an idea of how the lighting was matching and coming together. They would move lights around on automated overhead trusses in the studio to change the lighting for each scene and to keep as many lights out of the blue screen shots as possible. You can see Avatar: The Way of Water in a variety of formats in theaters everywhere. Find Russell Carpenter: Instagram @russellcarpenterasc Hear Cinepod's first interview with Russell Carpenter, ASC: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Greentree Creative: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Director Antoine Fuqua and cinematographer Robert Richardson on the Apple TV+ film, Emancipation

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 44:46

    To tell the story of Emancipation, director Antoine Fuqua and cinematographer Robert Richardson were influenced by the colors in the famous photo "Whipped Peter," whose story and the photograph of his scarred back is still one of the most famous photos documenting the brutality of slavery today. They chose to desaturate the images to a sepia-tone with just hints of color. Antoine also felt the lack of color reflected the world of a slave- it's bleak and hopeless, and he wanted the film to look beautiful but brutal. The Louisiana swamps Peter must navigate through as he escapes also looked more eerie and otherworldly with a lack of color. Antoine says he and Bob spent a lot of time discussing the film, designing shots, laying out storyboards, and going over the story more than with any other cinematographer he worked with. Antoine wanted Emancipation to show that a movie about slavery could also be a taut, entertaining thriller. They both wanted to create an action movie with sustained intensity throughout, but at its heart, Bob saw the film as a love story about a man fighting against insurmountable obstacles, on the run to get back to his family. They decided to show the caring Peter has for his family in the opening scene of the film, as Peter gently washes his wife's feet. Bob chose to use long, sweeping one shots to build the tension throughout the film, rather than relying on quick cutting. This allowed the tension to build as the slaves run away into the swamps. He and Antoine didn't do multiple takes or alternate shots if they didn't think they needed it. Antoine created tension within the railroad camp scenes with many layers of action- it wasn't necessarily what was going on right in front of Will Smith's character, but also what was happening to the men and overseers behind him. As a director, Antoine always wanted to work with Bob Richardson, but at first Bob said no to shooting Emancipation. Bob says that as a white man, he didn't really feel comfortable making a story about race. Antoine points out that most human beings could feel compassion for someone else's story, and slavery exists across races. Though it wasn't Bob's personal history, Emancipation was telling the story of our history in America. Antoine Fuqua and Robert Richardson are currently shooting a second project together. Find Antoine Fuqua: Instagram @antoinefuqua Find Robert Richardson: Instagram @robertbrichardson Emancipation can be streamed on Apple TV+. Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Linus Sandgren, ASC, FSC on shooting Babylon with director Damien Chazelle

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2023 45:25

    We welcome cinematographer Linus Sandgren, ASC, FSC for his third time on the podcast. On his latest film, Babylon, Linus was happy to work with director Damien Chazelle again. The two had previously collaborated on La La Land and First Man. In all of his films, Chazelle thinks musically, and camera movement is essential to his films instead of just relying on editing. Linus liked Babylon's script- though it was long, it had many fast moving pieces, and the story was told in a refreshing, unconventional way. He thought of it as a 2.0 version of La La Land- it expressed Chazelle's love of cinema, and despite some of the dark places the story goes, he felt an affection for the characters in Babylon. Like La La Land, Linus combined long takes with complicated camera moves, while also using handheld verité techniques they developed on First Man. To prep for the film, Linus and Chazelle watched several Los Angeles-period films together, such as Chinatown, There Will Be Blood, and Boogie Nights. The movie combines absolutely maximalist wide shots to intimate closeups and tracking shots on specific characters, in order to keep the film emotional. One of the biggest and most spectacular scenes in Babylon is the 32-minute pre-title opening sequence, depicting a wild Bel Air party complete with revelers, cocaine, and an elephant. They shot it in the lobby of the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, crammed with hundreds of extras. Chazelle wanted a really high angle on the party, but they couldn't fit a crane into the space, so Linus rigged a cable cam corner to corner from above to capture the action. They spent a long time blocking and rehearsing the party sequence, filming the overhead shots, then shot with a Steadicam through the party the second day. Babylon is about the early days of cinema, when the silent movie era is transitioning to sound. The crew had to show the process of shooting film in the first days of “talkies” and the filmmaking equipment of the time had to be historically accurate. Though Linus didn't use vintage film cameras on the movie, the production designer found film cameras to use as props and they were able to use old arclights that were fitted with HMIs so they actually worked on set. Find Linus Sandgren: Instagram @linussandgren_dp Babylon can be seen in theaters nationwide. Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Matthew Libatique, ASC on shooting Don’t Worry Darling and The Whale

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2022 46:14

    We welcome cinematographer Matthew Libatique, ASC for his third time on the podcast. For this interview, Matty, Ben and Illya have a more technical discussion about lenses, LUTs and cameras used on Don't Worry Darling, A Star is Born and The Whale. For the film Don't Worry Darling, Matty found it easy to find the right mid-century modern visual style, since the production design, costumes, hair and makeup were all influenced by that distinctive look from the 50's and 60's. Director Olivia Wilde wanted to invoke the Rat Pack era of Las Vegas and Palm Springs. She also heavily referenced the 1975 movie The Stepford Wives, along with an 80's and 90's thriller element from movies like Devil's Advocate. They were able to shoot some of the exteriors at the historic Kaufmann Desert House in Palm Springs, while all the interiors were sets. Matty chose the Arri Alexa Mini LF camera for the larger sensor, so they had more focus fall off on the wider focal lengths. He also wanted as much color in the frame as possible, and chose a LUT that accentuated the reds, oranges and yellows without affecting or oversaturating the skin tones. The lenses he used were Blackwings and Sigma Classics, because he liked the multiplicity of lens flares. Matty immediately went from shooting Don't Worry Darling into prepping and shooting The Whale with director and frequent collaborator Darren Aronofsky. They spent some time figuring out how to take a play and translate it into a film, where Charlie, the main character, spends most of his day stationary on a couch. Matty and Aronofsky realized that using 4:3 framing to hold the vertical in the foreground solved the problem. Aronofsky also wanted to block the scenes so that the camera wouldn't be stationary and static the entire time. Matty chose to use the Sony Venice camera for the first time, due to its light sensitivity, with Angenieux Optimo Prime lenses. The camera movement was dictated by the characters who come and go around Charlie, so different scenes were marked with a wide shot, then pans and forced cuts to make it more visually interesting. As for the composition of each scene, the camera had to follow the eyeline of where each character is looking. Matty also used as much minimalist, naturalistic lighting to tell the story. He used the windows as a light source to show subtle changes in the weather outside of the apartment, and while there were not a lot of windows, it helped show the passage of time and affected the mood of the film as the days pass in the story. Find Matty Libatique: Instagram @libatique Don't Worry Darling is available streaming on Hulu and HBO. The Whale is currently in theaters. Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom on the film Thirteen Lives and working with director Ron Howard

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 42:18

    The film Thirteen Lives is about the rescue of the Thai soccer team who were trapped in an underwater cave in 2018 for 18 days. Cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, who is Thai, knew that it was important to make the film seem as realistic as possible since everyone in Thailand was very familiar with the story. He liked director Ron Howard's movie Apollo 13, which vividly dramatized a real-life event, so he was excited to work with Howard on Thirteen Lives, a true story he was familiar with. After reading the script, Thirteen Lives was a movie he could clearly see in his head, because it dealt with people against the elements. Sayombhu decided to approach the film like a documentary, as though the viewer is right there in the cave with the characters. His first task was to think about how to shoot and light underwater, and he worked closely with the second unit crew to find the best methods. When shooting, Sayombhu did a lot of handheld camerawork, operating the B camera on first unit. He would actually occasionally duck underwater with the camera, so that it looked as dynamic as possible, even though the second unit handled most of the underwater work. The caves were all a set built in Australia, except for some exterior shots of the real cave in Thailand. Because the caves had no light sources at all, Sayombhu knew all the light had to be motivated. He had to pick the color and intensity of the light, and figure out where to place lights and cameras during the cave design set build. The actors became part of his lighting crew, since much of the light had to come from their flashlights and headlamps. Sayombhu would often ask them to hold the lights and point them up or down to help illuminate the scene- actors Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell practically became a part of the lighting crew, he jokes. Sayombhu Mukdeeprom IMDB: Thirteen Lives is currently on Amazon Prime Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Abraham Martinez on Queen of the South, the Disney+ show National Treasure: Edge of History, the upcoming Netflix series Obliterated and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2022 57:47

    On our 250th episode, we welcome returning guest and longtime friend of the show, cinematographer Abe Martinez, who catches up with Ben and Illya about his work around the world for the past few years. Most recently, Abe completed the new Disney+ show National Treasure: Edge of History and a new Netflix action-comedy series, Obliterated, by the creators of Cobra Kai. Abe has been learning and perfecting his technique of using video walls for action on big sets, creating a version of “poor man's process” to shoot cars and figuring out the exact size video walls needed. They coined the phrase “middle class process” because it looks much better than the old poor man's process. Using video walls requires a lot of math and tech setup, but it also offers plenty of opportunities for creativity without spending a lot of money to actually go to locations. Abe enjoys the challenge of trying to create realism with the proper lighting and angles. After working as a loader and camera operator on many films, Abe began working on the series Queen of the South on USA Network. Working on Queen of the South launched Abe's career into director of photography work, where he became the lead DP in season 3 and worked on the show for the next three years. As a Latino person who grew up in a rougher area, Abe felt he could really relate to the storylines about gangs. He also sees a throughline from his real life as a nomadic world traveler to the storytelling he's drawn to lately- many of the shows he has been shooting are about characters who are being displaced, or who feel displaced. Abe's passion is doing street photography everywhere he goes. He enjoys exploring color and movement and experimenting with different film stocks or digital color science. This often gives him the creative spark for shots and compositions to use in his work. You can see Abe's street photography on Instagram. Find Abe Martinez: Instagram: @abe.martinez.dp National Treasure: Edge of History is currently showing on Disney+ Obliterated is coming to Netflix in 2023. Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Florian Hoffmeister, BSC on TÁR, working with director Todd Field and Cate Blanchett

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2022 53:51

    In TÁR, Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tár, a fictional world famous female conductor and composer whose life takes a dramatic downturn after serious allegations are made against her. Cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister and director Todd Field made a conscious choice to “not put a hat on a hat”- keeping the cinematography very restrained and still throughout most of the film. The focus remained on the music and the performances, with little camera movement save for a few orchestra scenes and the finale of the movie. Florian found Field to have a very precise visual sensitivity so he was able to light the space and still allow the actors to have freedom of movement within the scene while shaping the light more precisely as needed. Florian wanted the precision of his cinematography to reflect the precision of the orchestra. His work also aided the storytelling- carefully deciding where to place the camera and what to focus on allows TÁR to unfold in a slow burn, as the movie purposefully omits information and significant details at first. Florian feels that really good cinema leaves room for reflection and allows us to develop our own perceptions about the story. TÁR allows the audience to see itself and think about the time we're living in, and it feels both timeless and contemporary. He found it an equal privilege to work with an actor like Cate Blanchett because she has a dedication to her craft and a focus on getting the best out of every single shot. She has a good understanding of the technical elements necessary to showcase the best performances. Florian is currently shooting the new season of HBO's True Detective in Iceland. TÁR is currently playing in theaters Find Florian Hoffmeister: Instagram: @florian.hoffmeister Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Autumn Durald Arkapaw, ASC on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Loki, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 58:10

    Unsurprisingly, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has been a huge hit, and cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw was excited to join the crew. She had worked with Marvel on the Disney+ series Loki and felt her creative vision on the show was really supported there. Autumn felt ready to step into a huge movie like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever after she spoke with original Black Panther DP Rachel Morrison and meeting with director Ryan Coogler. Rachel and Autumn were friends from AFI, and Rachel was not available to shoot the sequel as she has been transitioning into directing. Director Ryan Coogler had Autumn join the Black Panther team early for storyboarding and previs for the movie. She and Coogler had lots of time to discuss the images and were on the same page visually. Even though the movie has a huge scope and a massive amount of people making the film, Autumn felt like her ideas were supported and her images were well represented on screen. Early in her career, Autumn worked on many projects for free both during and after film school, so that anyone could find her and see who she was through her visual approach. She approaches each film with passion, putting all of her creative energy into her work. Autumn's breakout early work was on director Gia Coppola's indie film, Palo Alto. The two bonded and worked together on more projects, and Autumn met director Spike Jonze through her. She worked with Jonze on Aziz Ansari: Right Now, a Netflix standup special, and Beastie Boys Story, a 2020 documentary about the band. Autumn enjoys framing her shots with symmetry and low angles, with a lower eyeline, pointing towards the ceiling rather than the floor. For the series Loki on Disney+, she shot a lot of scenes from below, but the production designer Kasra Farahani embraced it, creating visually interesting ceilings that could be rigged with controlled lighting. They worked together to create a space in the Time Variance Authority (TVA) that felt full, with motivated light. Building practical ceilings was a big part of their design discussions during production meetings. Normally on a set, the ceiling is not built and isn't ever seen, so adding it to the set design always adds to the cost. Autumn knew that shooting low in those spaces would create the desired effect of something looming over you. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently playing in theaters Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Ben Davis, BSC on The Banshees of Inisherin, My Policeman, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 69:01

    Cinematographer Ben Davis enjoys working on both big budget Marvel movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange as well as smaller films such as The Banshees of Inisherin, My Policeman, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Ben feels that the challenges of shooting large scale movies vs. small intimate movies might be different, but each film speaks for itself and needs to be told in a particular visual style. Ben and The Banshees of Inisherin director Martin McDonagh have enjoyed working together regularly, beginning with Seven Psychopaths, then Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. When McDonagh called him about shooting Banshees, Ben agreed before even reading the script, because he knows McDonagh's scripts are lyrical with humor sprinkled into the drama. They were shooting during the pandemic, so the two had to spend 10 days quarantined in a house together, which was a great opportunity to talk through and visualize the film. McDonagh knew that he wanted a period piece about a remote, gray and dreary place, but he wanted to bring in a more colorful palette, so costume design became important to bring in more colors. Ben found Banshees difficult to shoot emotionally and physically, with everything shot on location on a couple of small, uninhabited islands- Inisherin is not actually a real place. They had to build all the sets for the movie from scratch on the coastal Atlantic islands, so everything had to withstand powerful winds and storms. The wide landscape vistas Ben shot were influenced by John Ford and Terrence Malick, and he enjoyed going off independently in the early morning with a camera to shoot small intimate aspects of the island. For the night exteriors using moonlight, Ben couldn't use large equipment like cranes due to high winds. He used old techniques of lighting black and white, making shapes with mesh over hard light. The Banshees of Inisherin is currently playing in theaters. My Policeman can be found on Amazon Prime. Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Trevor Kossack, WPA partner and commercial agent for cinematographers, production designers, editors, costume designers and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 59:00

    As a partner and commercial agent at WPA- Worldwide Production Agency- Trevor Kossack represents directors, cinematographers, production designers, editors and costume designers. Trevor has a passion for those responsible for crafting the images that make movies, television shows and commercials. Trevor first studied medicine in college, but soon realized that he didn't want to be a doctor. He also had family in the entertainment industry and got an entry level job at the William Morris Agency. He found he really enjoyed working in a talent agency. As he switched agencies and worked his way up, Trevor decided he wanted to represent those below the line more than actors or writers. He appreciates what cinematographers, production designers, costume designers and editors need to do to create art, and everyone needs representation to protect their bests interests when they're up for a job. When looking for new talent, Trevor wants to fall in love with the person's work and how it makes him feel. He likes to see real, human stories that draw people in, no matter what the subject. He networks with potential clients at film festivals and industry events, and keeps his finger on the pulse of industry news to find out the latest projects and people on the rise. Trevor enjoys having a good relationship with his clients, and is always looking to create a great “marriage” between a director and a DP. As an agent, Trevor's job is to have conversations with his clients about what's available, what their brand is and how it can be adjusted, and matching the person to the right job. He always respects an artist's choice on the jobs they decide to take, or pass over. Trevor's tips on how to find an agent: Have a reel of your work and feel confident in the work you've done so far, no matter how much experience you have. Make a plan and discuss what your plans are for your career in the next year, and then the next 5 years. Figure out who your influences are, including any and all art, from fine art and photography to architecture or anything else. Remember that getting an agent is just a step along the way. Everyone in the entertainment industry still needs to network and hustle to find their next projects. He's always open to emails, phone calls or taking a look at a potential client's reel. Even if you don't get representation right away, it's always good to stay in touch. Find Trevor Kossack at WPA: Sponsored by Aputure: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Checco Varese, ASC on his Emmy winning work for the Hulu series, Dopesick

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 60:09

    This week we welcome Checco Varese, our friend of the podcast and 4th time guest! The Hulu series Dopesick tells the complex story of the opioid epidemic through multiple points of view over its eight episode arc. Cinematographer Checco Varese, ASC shot every single episode, and recently earned his first Emmy award in 2022 for Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited or Anthology Series. Checco decided to approach the story and its characters as a series of four concentric plot circles. At the center of Dopesick is the Appalachian mining town and the small town doctor (Michael Keaton) who serves the community there; then the prosecutors trying to nail Purdue Pharma; the pharmaceutical company reps who are riding high on drug sales; and finally the Sackler family, who knowingly misled everyone about the addictive nature of OxyContin. He met with showrunner Danny Strong and director of the first two episodes, Barry Levinson, to discuss the look of each section. For the small Appalachian town, Checco was influenced by the look of the film The Deer Hunter, and used the cool blues of winter light. The Insider was a reference for the storyline of the DEA and Virginia prosecutors, and they embraced the use of florescent lights and conference rooms. To symbolize the wealth and excess of the Sackler family and the Purdue Pharma sales people, Checco liked the bright colors and opulence of Eyes Wide Shut. Since it's a character-driven story dramatizing true events, Checco knew that Dopesick was about being a fly on the wall, while keeping everything engaging and compelling, so he wanted to make sure that each film reference still felt subtle, natural and realistic. Checco feels that lighting for film and television can be like poetry. Most of the mood and atmosphere is made with lighting, with the camera movements serving as the film's punctuation marks: commas, exclamation points, or periods. As a cinematographer, Checco loves to go deep into the project and usually feels passionate about what he's doing, so that his soul is on the screen. He's had the opportunity to work with his wife, director Patricia Riggen, on several projects, and they also worked together on a few episodes of Dopesick. Checco says that when they're on a show together, they get very absorbed in their work, and there's no “off” switch, but he loves having that relationship with her. For Dopesick, he was excited to work on a series that was truthful and honest, and he enjoys telling important stories that matter. Dopesick is currently on Hulu. Find Checco Varese: Instagram: @checcovarese Sponsored by Aputure: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Eric Branco on the new Showtime series, Let The Right One In

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 52:08

    The new Showtime series Let the Right One In expands on the ideas introduced in the now-classic 2008 Swedish horror movie and the American remake. A man, Mark Kane (Demián Bichir) and his tween daughter, Ellie (Madison Taylor Baez) move in to a New York City apartment, where she befriends the lonely, bullied boy down the hall. But she has a huge secret that her father helps her keep- she is a child vampire who must survive on blood and can't go outside in the daytime. The series Let The Right One In explores the relationships and conflicts within families, the horror of vampires, and brings in new characters, crimes and mysteries to add layers to the story. Cinematographer Eric Branco had seen the original Let The Right One In, shot by legendary DP Hoyte van Hoytema, as well as the American version, Let Me In, lensed by none other than Greig Fraser, and it remains one of Eric's favorite movies. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to bring his own look and feel to the story and make it his own. Eric focused on the idea that for the young vampire girl, the indoors is safe and the outdoors is not, so the home features very warm light with lots of yellows, while outside is a shadowy, cool blue and green. He also played with the natural contrast of light between night and day. At night, it was important to play up the danger and horror elements with action taking place in shadows and tunnels, with yellow streetlights selectively showing bits and pieces, building suspense. Let The Right One In is much wider in scope than the movies, featuring many other storylines and locations, which created its own challenges. Eric and the crew had to work within the time constraints for the child actors, especially at night. Planning, blocking and rehearsal became an essential part of some shoot days. When they were shooting the pilot, they had to wait until dark, during the summer solstice- the longest day of the year. That left them with about 2 ½ hours to shoot with the lead actress, Madison Taylor Baez. The most challenging day for Eric was when they did a night shoot at Coney Island with very limited time on the Wonder Wheel with the actors. He and the camera department planned extensively and strategically placed cameras all over to cover all of the action, after several scouts and extensive rehearsals before dark. Eric says that when you have to work with that many cameras and with so much riding on timing and coordination, it becomes more like a team sport and it feels amazing to pull it all off. Eric also likes to have an open, trusting relationship with the actors and let them have more freedom of movement within the frame to explore their characters and enhance their performances. Eric thinks the trust is built on the DP's end, especially when you're shooting something in an unconventional way like on Let The Right One In. Let The Right One In is currently on Showtime. Find Eric Branco- Instagram: @ericbranco Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Hear Eric's previous interview on The Cinepod: Sponsored by ARRI: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Court Crandall, writer and director of the buddy comedy Bromates

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 39:21

    The comedy Bromates is about buddies Sid (Josh Brener) and Jonesie (Lil Rel Howry) who are both going through a breakup, so the two move in together. During a night out at a bar with a group of friends, nerdy Sid meets a woman from out of town. The guys convince Sid to go after her, and head out on a road trip to Texas together, encountering crazy situations and adventure along the way. Court and writing partner Chris Kemper wanted to do a story about guys moving in together and helping each other through a breakup. The film was independently made at first, and Court says it was a hard sell to make a movie about guys behaving like jackasses, since these days, so many comedies just go straight to streaming. Luckily, musician and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg came on board as an executive producer with his new production company, Snoopadelic Films Inc. He plays himself in a few scenes of the film, and though Snoop doesn't prefer to act, he was willing to do it for Bromates. Court and the production team pursued several different comedians who could bring plenty of laughs and gags to the movie. They found comedic actors who could do a ton of improv. A good portion of the movie is ad-libbed, and Court found it easy to work with funny people who make the script stronger. Court would shoot the scene once for coverage, and then they'd start playing around. As a director, Court values time management, so he knew it was important to know when to say when, and to limit the amount of takes for each scene. They only had a five week shoot, and he found it was important to hit the main story points so that the plot stayed cohesive than just keep shooting endless jokes. Court is the found and CEO of the ad agency, Positivity, with screenwriting as just a side gig. His first script was for a movie called A Lobster Tale, which he sold and then was finally made 10 years later. Court also wrote the first draft of the movie Old School, based on his experience of being in a fraternity. He pitched the story to director Todd Phillips, sold the idea and received “story by” credit for the film. Find Court Crandall: Instagram: @courtcrandall Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Aputure: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Charlie Sarroff, cinematographer of the horror films Smile and Relic

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 58:12

    Cinematographer Charlie Sarroff loves to shoot horror movies, and he knew when he read the script for the horror film, Smile, that it would be fun, gory and dark. This week (10/12/2022) Smile is still the number one movie in America, with the biggest opening of September and the highest box office take overall for its second straight week. Charlie and Smile director Parker Finn first met at a SXSW event, where each had movies showing at the festival. They found they had similar tastes and sensibilities. Finn loved Charlie's previous work on the horror film Relic and asked Charlie to be Smile's cinematographer. Movies such as The Ring, It Follows and Rosemary's Baby were big influences on their approach to Smile. Charlie chose to build a sense of suspense with camera movement, so the audience feels as though a lurking presence was there at all times. They almost exclusively used wide lenses and no over the shoulder shots so that the character of Rose would always feel isolated. Every scene Rose is in, she is meant to feel disconnected from other people. Smiles were also a big motif in the film, of course, and served as a metaphor for the masks everyone wears. As a kid, Charlie really loved skateboarding and video production became a big part of it. He had a camcorder and recorded skate videos of his friends. Charlie knew early on that he enjoyed shooting and editing more than directing, and he decided to go to film school in Melbourne. Friends in film school asked him to shoot their movies and he worked his way up, filming music videos and commercials. Charlie's biggest break came when director Natalie Erika James asked him to shoot her short film Creswick which she expanded into the feature film Relic and was picked up by IFC. At first, the film's backers wanted to go with someone more experienced to shoot Relic, but Charlie prevailed and the film ended up going to Sundance and SXSW. Find Charlie Sarroff: Instagram: @charlie_sarroff Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Arri: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Mike Prickett, Emmy-winning surf cinematographer of HBOs 100 Foot Wave

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2022 46:56

    The six part HBO documentary 100 Foot Wave is the story of big wave surfer Garrett McNamara, as he learns about the biggest waves in the world in Nazaré, Portugal. Then, with help from the town of Nazaré, he and his team set up a safety and support system and invite surfers to come from all over the world to surf. The series captures the amazing power of the ocean, and the passion of surfers chasing big waves and putting themselves at risk of serious injury and death. Surf and ocean cinematographer Mike Prickett was the perfect DP for 100 Foot Wave. Mike has decades of experience shooting in the water, following Garrett and many other big wave surfers around the world. He's shot documentaries Riding Giants, Step Into Liquid and the biopic Chasing Mavericks. As a kid growing up on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, Mike took advantage of living in a tourist spot. He had his own camera, took pictures of the tourists, developed and printed the pictures while they did glass bottom boat tours, and then sold the photos to them when they returned. He soon figured out how to take photos underwater with his camera in a water housing, then got a 16mm Bolex camera and started shooting movies. Mike learned how to surf and began filming the top surfers around the world, developing new and better camera systems as the technology progressed. On a shoot in Tahiti in 2012, Mike saved a diver who got caught in a current that pushed him down at least 220 feet underwater. As Mike swam back up with the diver, they began to run out of air and had to surface quickly. Mike got the bends, which has left his legs partially paralyzed. But he's kept right on shooting, developing different and exciting ways to further the technology of water cinematography. Mike says that even if you can't use your legs very well, it doesn't matter when you're out there. He's able to shoot from the cliffs, use remote controlled jet skis and drones, and fly in helicopters, ride jet skis or boats on the ocean. For 100 Foot Wave, Nazaré, Portugal presented some unique challenges as a location, because the waves are so big and the area gets so foggy. The surfers and the camera crew wait all year for the big waves to come to Nazaré by November and December, and they must be ready to go and shoot at a moment's notice. Shooting is a massive undertaking, with at least 15 camera people on the waves to catch the action. The crew caught the action with long lenses from the cliffs, the beach, and with waterproof drones, but when it was foggy, they needed to have people in the water. Mike and the team built a special remote controlled electric jet ski with a gimbal system that could be controlled by an operator from the cliffs- basically inventing a way to do smooth dolly shots on the water. Mike Prickett just won a Creative Arts Emmy for episode four of 100 Foot Wave. 100 Foot Wave is streaming on HBOMax. Find Mike Prickett: Instagram: @mikeprickett_ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by DZOFilm: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Alicia Robbins on the Netflix series Keep Breathing, Grey’s Anatomy and the upcoming season of Bridgerton

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 54:15

    Cinematographer Alicia Robbins' work on the Netflix show, Keep Breathing, was quite challenging as they had location scouts at seven different remote forests in Vancouver, Canada near Whistler. The crew had to off-road it for miles, and they filmed in some locations that had never been shot before. Keep Breathing is about Liv Rivera, a high-powered attorney whose private plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. Alone, she must conquer her inner demons and struggle to survive while finding her way back to civilization. Liv's life is shown in flashbacks as she tramps through the forest. Alicia shot the second block of Keep Breathing while fellow cinematographer Jon Joffin shot the first block. Jon put the team together for the first half and she was happy that the key crew was already established. Due to the pandemic, Alicia had to quarantine in her apartment in Canada for two weeks. The added time gave her the chance to go over the lookbook, watch dailies from the first half, and have hours of discussion with the director about shots, colors and tone. As a DP, Alicia says so much of the time you're just thrown into prep, quickly looking at locations, without enough time to think it all through. Cinepod host Illya and Alicia first met working on a small low budget indie feature called Boppin' At the Glue Factory, written and directed by Illya's longtime friend Jeff Orgill. Alicia began her career after graduating from AFI and started shooting low budget features while working her way up. Her first big television DP job was the series Grey's Anatomy, where she worked for nearly three years. Alicia was ready to to try something new and expand her skills as a cinematographer, so she was excited to face the challenges on Keep Breathing. Alicia is currently shooting the new season of Bridgerton, which has been a delight. She enjoys working in London, with amazing, beautiful locations and lush, colorful costumes and set design. Find Alicia Robbins: Instagram: @aliciacamchick Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Aputure: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Kays Al-Atrakchi: director, composer, colorist, VFX artist and filmmaker of the upcoming short film, Everbliss Inn

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 65:07

    At long last, we welcome longtime friend and multi-hyphenate filmmaker, Kays Al-Atrakchi to the Cinepod! Kays feels there are film composers who love music and composers who simply love movies. He himself absolutely loves all things film. Born in Florence, Italy, Kays started to get interested in music as a kid and picked up a soundtrack to Dario Argento's Inferno in a local record store because he liked how the cover looked. It didn't sound like anything he'd ever heard before, and he decided to listen to more movie soundtracks. Then he bought the soundtrack for John Carpenter's Escape From New York, and found he could replicate the soundtrack on his keyboard at home. His only connection to Dario Argento and John Carpenter was through the music, since he wasn't able to see their movies. As a teen, Kays' family moved from Italy to Orlando, Florida. He continued to pursue his love of film, music, and composition, and attended Berklee College of Music to learn film scoring. He began scoring student films in Orlando, where he met future friends and collaborators Ben Rock, Dan Myrick, Ben Hershleder, and many others before relocating to Los Angeles. He has composed the soundtracks for several of Ben's movies, including Alien Raiders. For Kays, composing is more about interpreting someone's vision and trying to elevate it, and to create through music an emotional connection with the audience. Kays felt unfulfilled as a filmmaker, so between film scoring jobs, he decided to make his own short, Appntmnt, followed by another short, In Lucidity. For In Lucidity, Kays simply didn't have the budget to hire someone to create all the visual effects he wanted, so he taught himself how to do all the special effects and color grading by watching YouTube videos. Filmmaking technology has progressed so much, he feels confident that with enough time and self-education, a filmmaker can learn any aspect of moviemaking. Kays loves the collaborative nature of film, but as an independent filmmaker, he finds he has to do the bulk of the work on his projects alone out of necessity rather than a desire to work solo. He enjoys sharing what he's learned and has created Right Brained Tutorials, a YouTube channel for other filmmakers to learn visual effects. Kays' latest short horror directing project, Everbliss Inn, will be streaming in November. Kays wrote, directed, composed the music, color graded, and created the VFX for the film. You can hear original theme music by Kays throughout The Cinematography Podcast. Find Kays Alatrakchi: Filmmaking: Instagram: @kaysfilmmaker YouTube channel: Right Brained Tutorials: Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by ARRI: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Brendan Uegama, CSC on Moonshot, Riverdale, Truth Be Told, Child’s Play and Mike, the Hulu Mike Tyson dramatic series

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 53:08

    Cinematographer Brendan Uegama, CSC enjoys shooting many different genres, from romantic comedies such as Moonshot, to horror movies such as Child's Play (2019). He enjoys changing his approach to each project depending on the needs of the script. Brendan feels that a good filmmaker knows that the cinematographer is there to serve the story and builds trust with the DP to create the look and feel. As a kid, Brendan was always into photography and art. He and some high school friends shot skate videos of themselves, and soon after he began making motocross videos. He knew then he wanted to get into film and went to film school in Vancouver, Canada and began working his way up. Brendan shot 26 episodes of the CW series Riverdale, including every episode of season two. Being the DP for every chapter of the show meant prep time was very short, and Brendan relied on and trusted his team to do location scouts and work ahead. Riverdale was a great show to do that was fun, creative and led to many other projects for him, such as the show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and later, Moonshot. The film Moonshot is a romantic comedy set in space, rather than just a science fiction movie. Mars has been terraformed and colonized and the two main characters are traveling to see their significant others, but fall for each other. Because of the science fiction aspect, everything was storyboarded out and had a decent amount of prep time, and much of Moonshot's science fiction aspects were done with practical effects. Brendan knew where they needed to rely on visual effects ahead of time. The most challenging part of the film to shoot was the spacewalk scene, which involved extensive wirework and visual effects. Brendan's latest project, Mike, a dramatic biography series on Hulu about heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson, is currently streaming. Find Brendan Uegama: Instagram: @brendanuegama_dp Twitter: @brendanuegama Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by DZOFilm: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul director Adamma Ebo, producer Adanne Ebo, and cinematographer Alan Gwizdowski

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 42:25

    Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul is a satirical dark comedy and mockumentary about Trinitie Childs, (Regina Hall) the “First Lady” of a Southern Baptist mega church and Lee-Curtis Childs, (Sterling K. Brown) her pastor husband. The pastor is accused of sexual misconduct and the two are struggling to relaunch their megachurch in the face of the controversy. As part of their public relations campaign, Trinitie and Lee-Curtis consent to a documentary crew following them. Adamma was the writer and director of the film, and her twin Adanne was one of the producers of the film. The sisters have been partners their entire life, and enjoy working together. They grew up southern Baptist in Georgia, immersed in the megachurch culture. Both Adamma and Adanne felt that any evangelical megachurch's messaging seemed insincere and un-Christian to get rich off of their congregants' donations. With that background, Adamma decided to write a satire about a black southern megachurch- a fresh subject that she'd never seen on screen before. Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul started out as a short film that Adamma was able to develop into a feature. Cinematographer Alan Gwizdowski (nicknamed Gwiz) took over the production when fellow DP Adam Bricker had a scheduling conflict. Adamma wanted the film to look and feel very much like a real documentary, mixed with a more cinematic, narrative film look. Gwiz knew they needed the two different worlds to be separated- the part of the documentary that the Childs want the “filmmakers” to see, vs. what the documentary filmmakers are able to capture behind the curtain. They decided to keep the more illicit documentary scenes handheld and the official documentary scenes had a more cinematic look. Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul is in theaters and also streaming on Peacock. Find Adamma Ebo: Instagram: @adamma.ebo Find Adanne Ebo: Instagram: @adanne.ebo Find Alan Gwizdowski: Instagram: @alangwiz Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Director Steve Pink and cinematographer Bella Gonzales on the indie film The Wheel

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 63:01

    The Wheel is about a young couple whose marriage is in crisis. They decide to retreat to a house in the woods to try to work out their differences, where they meet another couple who seem to have it all figured out. As they get to know each other, all four characters prove to be flawed and complicated. The Wheel is the first romantic drama Steve Pink has directed. He's known for his work on comedies such as High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank and Hot Tub Time Machine, and he was thrilled for the chance to direct a drama. Steve cast actor Amber Midthunder (Prey), who had worked with cinematographer Bella Gonzales a few years ago on a short film, Prayers of a Saint. Steve admired her work on the short, and asked Bella to be the DP for The Wheel. It was during the summer of 2020 and most film productions were still shut down, so it was appealing to work with a small cast and crew that could stay in a bubble together to shoot a true low-budget indie drama for 18 days. They found a summer camp location in the mountains outside Los Angeles, and after a short two week prep, Steve, Bella and the 20 person crew drove up, with their own cars packed with equipment. Steve even used some of his own furniture, with some of the female cast member's costumes provided by his wife's wardrobe. For cinematographer Bella Gonzales, the movie was about finding moments and figuring out the heart of the movie. Every visual decision was based on what emotion the characters were feeling in each scene. It wasn't about getting the perfect shot, it was all about capturing the moods of the characters and the drama of complicated relationships. They had a circle of trust with the actors and the camera crew to create intimacy. Bella and Steve embraced the limited scope of the location- being able to shoot in the small area of the woods and the house made their creative decisions very easy. The crew was so small that everyone was extremely involved and invested in making the film great. Find The Wheel on VOD such as AppleTV+ or other streaming services. Find Steve Pink: Instagram: @alsostevepink Find Bella Gonzales: Instagram: @bellagonzalesdp Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Cybel Martin on A League of Their Own, Black As Night, horror movies and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2022 58:28

    Cinematographer Cybel Martin believes that great cinematography comes from a place of trust between the director, DP and crew. Great art can be created when someone says: this is my vision and I trust you to make it happen. Cybel especially loves horror movies, because it's the best genre for cinematographers to try out visuals that are not based in reality. The opening scene always establishes the visual rules, no matter how weird. You start from scratch and play with how you see the story, and with a good script you can naturally visualize the world. Horror films underscore symbolism and dramatize emotions even more than dramas, and good horror movies still have solid character development even without a supernatural element. Cybel had the opportunity to work in the horror genre on the show American Horror Stories (Season 1) and most recently on the Amazon Prime movie, Black As Night. Black As Night is about an African American teenage girl who battles a band of vampires who prey on the homeless and drug addicted in New Orleans. Cybel wanted to lean into the richness, color and texture of New Orleans and was inspired by the thematic colors of purple, green, and gold. The new Amazon Prime series, A League of Their Own, is an historic drama and comedy about the first women's professional baseball league in the 1940's. Though the series has the same name as the 1992 movie, the production team never wanted to replicate the film. Their reference material was all of the historical research, photographs, and real stories from the time. Cybel is interested in 1940's films, sports, and female athletes so there were many elements in the show that she was excited to explore. She shot three of the episodes and her favorite one, “Over the Rainbow” features one of the characters going to an underground speakeasy. Cybel loves the idea of speakeasies and house parties- a place that is secret, where you can be bold, naughty and intimate, but also have a place for community. They shot the speakeasy scenes in just a day and a half, with two steadicam operators, and played with shutter angles and color palette in the dance sequences, with In The Mood For Love as an inspiration for the colors. As a painter and photographer, Cybel was also grateful she could bring her own aesthetic to the project. Cybel's latest project is Beacon 23, a new futuristic sci-fi series set to air in 2023. Find Cybel Martin: Instagram & Twitter: @cybeldp Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Girl Picture director Alli Haapasalo and cinematographer Jarmo Kiuru, FSC

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 50:12

    Girl Picture is a Finnish film about the friendship between three young women as they experience the emotional ups and downs of life as they transition from teenagers to women. Director Alli Haapasalo felt the English title perfectly described the finite time of girls who are trying to figure out their own life's picture and who are developing an identity as women through their friendship. The film follows the girls as they chat and hang out over a few nights together during the dark winter in Finland. Sex, sexual identity and finding pleasure is also a theme in Girl Picture. It was important to Alli to depict the young women discussing and exploring their sexuality in mature ways rather than with shame or drama. So much of coming of age is not just about finding who you are, but what you want and need. In the sex scenes, Alli worked with an intimacy coordinator, chose not to show nudity and to portray the characters asking for consent in natural, casual ways. Cinematographer Jarmo Kiuru had worked together with Alli on three previous projects. For Girl Picture, they wanted to find a way to bring the energy and movement of being a teenager, and also wanted a natural, documentary feel, so the film was shot entirely handheld. Jarmo also decided to shoot the movie in the 4:3 aspect ratio. He felt that 4:3 not only frames the face better, giving the film a more intimate feeling, but he also wanted to show how the world is limited by parents and other rules when you're a teenager. Girl Picture won the Outfest Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Performance in an International Narrative Feature and also won the World Cinema Audience Award at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Girl Picture is in limited theatrical release and will be available to stream in the fall. Find Alli Haapasalo: Find Jarmo Kiuru: Facebook: Instagram & Twitter: @jarmokiuru Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Larkin Seiple on shooting Everything Everywhere All At Once, Swiss Army Man, and the Emmy nominated Gaslit

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 92:08

    When cinematographer Larkin Seiple first saw the script for Everything Everywhere All At Once he thought: This is very long and how in the world are we going to shoot this? But having worked with directing team Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (known collectively as Daniels) for ten years, he knew the film would be unique, creative and fun. Larkin loves telling stories through the medium of film, and Everything Everywhere explores the multiverse concept as the most ridiculous, messy, scary, poignant, and mind-blowing place. Everything Everywhere All At Once contains many different scenes referencing dozens of films with a multitude of looks. Larkin loved creating so many mini movies, and he had specific ideas for the lighting and continuity for most of the universes- changing up the lighting, lenses and even the aspect ratios for each universe and what it was referencing. In order to keep to any kind of schedule or budget, the team needed to shoot as much as possible in one location. They shot primarily in two places- a giant empty office building with the atrium, stairway, elevator and cubicles in Simi Valley, and DC Stages in downtown LA, which gave them about 40 different sets to choose from. Principal photography was 36 days, mostly in the Simi Valley office building. The Daniels always scout things in advance and try to find the best locations for the budget, which was about $15 million- not a lot for such an ambitious movie. Larkin had to creatively and carefully compose shots so that the office location didn't seem like a big empty space, and focused on small details and transitions, shooting scenes as efficiently as possible. Fortunately, a lot of sets in the office building were already there, leftover from other film shoots, such as the elevator set and the kinky office sex room, which allowed them to add it into the movie. Directors Daniels often writes a script with just the bare bones of what they're looking for, with only a line for action, such as “fanny pack fight,” leaving it up to Larkin and the fight coordinators to decide how to shoot it. They operate as a sort of hive mind, and each Daniel really knows how the movie cuts together in their head. Once he completed film school, Larkin realized that, unlike a director, as a cinematographer he could work on many different projects per year. He enjoys the collaborative element of filmmaking and started his career as a gaffer and electrician. He realized that if he wanted to become a cinematographer, he needed to quit doing side projects as a gaffer or electrician to concentrate on only working and shooting as a DP. Larkin began shooting music videos and beauty commercials, until he was able to make a living off of shooting commercials, while picking and choosing what music videos he wanted to do. Working on music videos led him to meeting the Daniels. One of their most memorable music videos is Turn Down For What by DJ Snake and Lil Jon, which stars Dan Kwan- ½ of Daniels- as one of the main performers in the video. Another noteable video Larkin shot was This Is America by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover), directed by Hiro Murai. After working on several music videos together, Larkin shot the Daniels first feature, Swiss Army Man. Swiss Army Man is a strange and surreal movie about a man (Paul Dano) stranded on a deserted island who befriends a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) that washes ashore. Hank is able to use the dead body to get off the island and he begins to find his way home, believing that the dead man is talking to him and helping him stay alive. They shot in Los Angeles, the woods near San Francisco, and up in Humboldt County under the giant redwoods, with a tiny crew. Actor Daniel Radcliffe was very enthusiastic about playing the dead man, and even though they had a corpse dummy for the film, he refused to let them use it. He was in every scene as the dead guy with Paul Dano, even when just playing dead. Most recently,

    Jules O’Loughlin ASC, ACS on shooting the FX series The Old Man and Disney+ series Ms. Marvel

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 50:27

    Australian cinematographer Jules O'Loughlin's path to movie making was a long journey. After graduating from the prestigious AFTRS- Australian Film Television and Radio School- he worked steadily and shot a wide range of films and TV shows including the action movie The Hitman's Bodyguard, the series Black Sails, the horror movie Krampus and the children's film Come Away. His recent work on two series, The Old Man and Ms. Marvel, show off his ability to visually transport audiences to other worlds. The FX action spy series The Old Man began shooting in the fall of 2019. Jeff Bridges plays Dan Chase, a retired CIA agent whose old enemies are still hunting him. The series is very well acted, with great dialog scenes between Bridges and John Lithgow. Jules believes that as a cinematographer, it's important to tread softly, be respectful and give the actors space to work without technical distractions. Jules shot two episodes of the series, with a planned location shoot in Morocco which was standing in for Afghanistan. But in March of 2020 the entire production shut down because of the pandemic. After a few months, production resumed and the desert around Santa Clarita, CA became the Afghanistan location. Unfortunately, shortly after that, Jeff Bridges, who actually did a lot of the fight scenes himself, was diagnosed with lymphoma. Bridges' stunt double stepped in and the VFX team used some digital face replacement for certain parts while he was undergoing treatment. Despite all the setbacks, The Old Man has been a hit and is coming back for a second season. The Disney+ series Ms. Marvel is about young Pakistani-American teen Kamala Khan, who discovers she has super powers after putting on a magic bracelet. The show is energetic, vibrant and colorful, reflecting Kamala's personality and South Asian culture. Jules and director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy knew they could create a slightly different look for episodes four and five, since they take place in the Pakistan city of Karachi. Obaid-Chinoy is an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, and she and Jules chose to use more handheld cameras to explore the story's historic narrative as Kamala travels through time to learn more about her family's past. Ms. Marvel has brought an enthusiastic younger audience who are responding to Kamala's cultural identity. In Pakistan. Ms. Marvel is showing in movie theaters, since Disney+ is not available. Jules is currently working on Percy Jackson and the Olympians for Disney+, which involves some new challenges using LED screens on the soundstage. Find Jules O'Loughlin: Instagram: @jules.oloughlin The Old Man is on Hulu and Ms. Marvel is available on Disney+. Both shows are currently streaming all episodes. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Aputure: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Marcel The Shell With Shoes On cinematographers Bianca Cline and Eric Adkins

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 46:23

    Marcel The Shell With Shoes On began in 2010 as a series of stop-motion shorts written and directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp and actor Jenny Slate, who also does the voice of Marcel. It's a “documentary” about Marcel, who's a hermit crab shell with one googly eye and doll shoes. What makes both the shorts and the film so charming is hearing Marcel's funny, optimistic witticisms and seeing how he uses real full-sized human objects in his miniature life, such as a piece of lint on a thread as a pet, using a spoon to catapult onto shelves, and putting honey on his shoes to walk up a wall. For the full length film, Fleischer-Camp, Slate and screenwriter Nick Paley expanded the story to include Marcel's grandmother Connie. The two live in the house alone, but they used to be part of a whole shell community. With the help of Dean, Marcel's documentarian, Marcel goes on a quest to find the rest of his family and friends. As a live-action and stop-motion movie, Marcel The Shell was extremely complicated to shoot. DP Bianca Cline, who has a documentary background, shot the principal photography on location so that cinematographer Eric Adkins, an experienced stop-motion DP, could use her footage as background plates for the stop-motion. Then, all of the stop-motion portions and live action portions were composited together into a seamless film. Eric was on set and took extensive notes, photos and measurements during the live action portion, since creating realistic, fool-the-eye stop-motion is extremely technical. All of Bianca's documentary footage was edited and animatics created before Eric's job as the stop-motion DP began, with puppeteers using interchangeable shell models of Marcel and Connie. Bianca tried to approach the film as if Marcel was a real living character. Once she began shooting, the voices and music were already fully recorded and finished along with extensive storyboards, so it helped to have a clear blueprint. She could find the best locations within the house and use naturalistic lighting for each scene. An important part of the story is to emphasize that Marcel is very small in a big world. Bianca wanted him to always be placed next to things that made him look small, and she often used one of the Marcel models as a reference. The team took care to make everything look effortless, as if they just showed up with a camera. As with a real documentary, Bianca wanted it to seem slightly imperfect with handheld movement and a little bit of jolting motion once in awhile. They were constantly brainstorming and problem solving together with the production designer, VFX supervisor and animation director on set. For Eric, the most complex scenes to replicate in stop-motion were the driving portions, shot with GoPros mounted inside the car, as Marcel gets driven around looking for his family. All the lighting in stop motion is strictly controlled on a set, so using flickering and moving light in scenes is rare. But complex problems just inspire Eric to find more creative solutions, and he enjoyed the challenge of making sure that the stop-motion shadows matched the movements of the real car. Find Bianca Cline: Instagram @biancaclinedp Find Eric Adkins: Instagram @eradop Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is currently playing in theaters and is proving to be another indie hit for A24. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Arri: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Paula Huidobro on CODA, Pam & Tommy, Physical

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 40:50

    Our returning guest is Paula Huidobro, who has been very busy the past few years shooting the 2022 Best Picture winning film CODA, the Hulu series Pam & Tommy, and the AppleTV+ series Physical, just to name a few. Paula and CODA director Siân Heder knew each other as grad students at AFI, and have worked together on four other projects including the film Tallulah and the show Little America. For Paula, shooting CODA was definitely a different process. There were interpreters for each of the actors on set, and most shots had to be framed as medium shots so that their hands could be seen while they were talking. There could be few over the shoulder shots, or someone saying lines with their back to the other person. Siân Heder and Paula wanted to make sure that a deaf person watching the movie could understand exactly what the actors were saying. CODA is set in a New England fishing village, and Paula found it was a very visual environment to shoot, and extra challenging going out on a fishing boat in the ocean. The Hulu show Pam & Tommy is about the 1990's stolen sex tape of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. Paula served as DP for every episode of the 8-part series, and she watched Pamela's film Barb Wire and Tommy's Mötley Crüe performances for the references. It was hard work to shoot every single episode- she felt she never had enough prep time with the director, location scouting or script. She enjoyed working with director Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya, Cruella) who also was the pilot director on Physical. He wanted to give complete freedom to the actors to move within the scene, so Paula would light the whole space and would start with her camera all the way wide, then push in for a close up. It was like a dance between the actors and they would explore the scene as they filmed it. Paula would shoot in nearly one take then just pick up whatever was missing. Pam & Tommy has a very aggressive style, using a lot of shots pushing in closer and closer, as the release of the sex tape and the fallout for Pamela's career becomes an unstoppable freight train. It also has elements of humor and absurdity, and Paula enjoyed the novelty of shooting scenes with Tommy's talking penis (an animatronic). Pam & Tommy had an excellent makeup and prosthetics department, and actors Lily James and Sebastian Stan are made up to be remarkable likenesses of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. Paula found the makeup to be so good that it wasn't difficult to light the actors. Most of all, Paula and each of the directors wanted to be thoughtful in how they portrayed Pamela Anderson and how her world and entire career had been shattered by illegally releasing this tape. Physical explores the troubled interior life of Sheila Rubin, an extremely unhappy 1980's suburban housewife with an eating disorder. But once she finds aerobics, things begin to change for her. Paula finds Physical to be a very dark show, but she really likes how they portray Sheila's inner thoughts. The character almost always says one thing but in her mind she's thinking dark thoughts about herself or someone else. Paula would hold shots on actor Rose Byrne a bit longer so that later, her inner thoughts are added in voiceover. The show has great production design- a mix of drab and dark 70's interiors with big splashes of 80's color saturation on the set, especially during the workout scenes. Paula enjoyed being able to do some fun and playful things with lighting and camera work for the aerobics sequences. Find Paula Huidobro: Instagram @paulahuidobro CODA is streaming on AppleTV+. Physical Season 2 is currently streaming on AppleTV+. You can find Pam & Tommy, a limited series, on Hulu. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by DZOFilm: The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.

    Cinematographer Chris Teague on the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 55:45

    Cinematographer Chris Teague has shot many acclaimed television series and films such as Obvious Child, GLOW, Russian Doll and Mrs. America. His latest work is on the Hulu series, Only Murders in the Building, both Season One and Season Two, and he also directed episodes seven and eight of Season Two. Only Murders in the Building has many different tones, ranging from funny to dark, dramatic and even scary. The show manages to strike a balance to keep the darkness from undermining the comedy. As the DP, Chris created a very cinematic and timeless look and feel for the show, which is mainly shot on sets that are meticulously built and planned. Each episode takes about 6 ½ days to shoot, and Chris and the crew are able to create visually interesting shots that feel very natural because of having such well built sets with excellent lighting. Actors Martin Short and Steve Martin have such a rapport, and their friend dynamic is baked into the script- the two actually don't do very much improv or riffing. If they do come up with something, Martin and Short run the line changes through for the crew to see how they play. Chris has enjoyed coming back to work on a second season of the show, because he has a body of work to reference and the crew knows the look of the show really well. As a kid, Chris made lots of short movies with friends growing up, and always loved photography and writing. It seemed a natural fit to go to film school and he decided to pursue cinematography full time after the film he shot, Obvious Child, went to Sundance in 2014. Find Chris Teague: Instagram @_christeague Only Murders in the Building Season 2 is currently airing on Hulu. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Aputure: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Director Jim Archer, actors and writers David Earl and Chris Hayward on the offbeat film, Brian and Charles

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 39:02

    Brian and Charles is about an awkward and lonely inventor, Brian, who lives in rural Wales. He rarely makes contraptions that are useful or work right, but one day, he finally creates a robot. Charles Petrescu, built out of an old washing machine and a mannequin, becomes Brian's friend. But as Charles becomes more and more curious and self-aware, he decides he wants to explore the world on his own. Actor David Earl is a comedian and came up with the eccentric character of Brian as a bit on the stand up circuit in the UK. One day on an internet radio call in show, a friend called in to interact with David's character using computer voice simulation software. Fellow actor and comedian Chris Hayward heard it, came up with the idea of Charles as Brian's robot sidekick, and the two took it on the road as a live show. Chris built the Charles robot character as a costume, and another friend would type in what Charles would say into the voice simulator to interact with the audience. In 2017, the two teamed up with director Jim Archer to make a short film about the characters, and it did well at festivals. After that, the UK production company Film4 backed developing the script into a feature film. For the feature version of Brian and Charles, director Jim Archer decided to expand on the mockumentary style. He wanted it to look like a real documentary, with a serious dramatic and cinematic look rather than as a wink and a nod to other mockumentaries. The friends were inspired by the documentaries American Movie and Monster Road – true stories about lonely people desperate for their dream to come true. Brian and Charles premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is currently playing in theaters. Jim Archer: Instagram & Twitter: @alrightjim David Earl: Instagram @davidearlhello Chris Hayward: Charles Petrescu has his own twitter account: @CharlesPetrescu Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Arri: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Director Chloe Okuno and DP Benjamin Kirk Nielsen, DFF on directing and shooting the film Watcher

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 39:28

    Watcher is a psychological thriller about a young actress, Julia, who has just moved to Romania from the U.S. with her boyfriend. A serial killer is on the loose in the city, and Julia begins to feel like she is being followed and watched from the apartment across the street. She has trouble convincing her boyfriend and the police that she's being stalked, and the film builds on her increasing sense of dread. Director Chloe Okuno and DP Benjamin Kirk Nielsen first met at American Film Institute, and collaborated on their thesis film, a short horror movie called Slut. They both believe in extensive organization, preparation, shotlisting and planning for their projects. Chloe was hired to direct Watcher in 2017, and it took some time to get the movie off the ground. They ended up shooting in Romania during the summer of 2021 under strict COVID protocols. Chloe liked that the script was a simple thriller that could be told from one character's point of view. Chloe and Benjamin looked at Rosemary's Baby, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, and David Fincher films Seven and Gone Girl as references to impart the sense of terror Julia feels. Benjamin wanted to find a simple, straightforward way to portray Julia's isolation in a foreign city as her fear escalates. He chose to start with longer camera focal lengths and longer shots, then progressively move closer and closer as the Watcher creeps closer and closer to Julia. Watcher premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is currently playing in theaters. Chloe Okuno: Twitter @cokuno_san Benjamin Kirk Nielsen: Instagram: @b_kirk Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by DZOFilm: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Director Carey Williams and DP Mike Dallatorre on directing and shooting the film Emergency

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 35:57

    Emergency is a comedy about three men of color- college roommates Kunle, Sean, and Carlos, who are about to go out for an epic night of spring break partying when they find a white girl has accidentally stumbled in and passed out on their apartment floor. Concerned about what might happen if they call the police, they decide to take the semi-conscious girl in their van and drive around town for hours, trying to find a safe place to leave her and not get in trouble. Meanwhile, the girl's friends chase after the men as they track her phone and call the police. Director Carey Williams and cinematographer Mike Dallatorre met about twenty years ago and have worked together on several music videos and other projects. Emergency began as a 2018 short film directed by Carey and shot by Mike. The short won a jury award at the Sundance Film Festival and Best Narrative Short at SXSW. Carey and writer KD Dávila worked together to expand the story into a feature, and Temple Hill Entertainment and Amazon Studios produced it before the feature premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. As two men of color themselves, both Carey and Mike have had personal experience with being profiled and detained by police officers. In Emergency, once the roommates are caught and detained by the police, Mike and Carey decided to make the film feel extremely terrifying, shooting the encounter in slow motion and selectively out of focus. Mike deliberately kept the police officer's faces out of frame so that they feel like scary monsters in a horror movie. Having worked together for so long, Mike and Carey had an easy shorthand way of talking through the shotlist and visual feel for each scene, and put together a look book as a reference. Emergency is Carey's biggest movie to date, while Mike brought a lot of experience with seven other features under his belt. As a visual director, Carey always wanted to know what the movie would look like and feel like. The most important piece of the movie for Carey was to show the relationship between the friends, their emotions and vulnerability as they go through a crisis together. Emergency is currently playing in theaters and on Amazon Prime. Carey Williams Instagram @cdubig Mike Dallatorre: Instagram @dp_miked Hear our previous Cinepod interview with Mike Dallatorre: Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Aputure: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Michael FitzMaurice, aerial cinematographer for Top Gun Maverick, shooting second unit on The Dark Knight, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 65:09

    Cinematographer Michael FitzMaurice is known for his aerial and second unit cinematography on huge films such as The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and now Top Gun Maverick. In the film business, second unit and aerial cinematography are involved in all of the action shots, and as a more technically-oriented DP, Michael has been able to combine his two loves- flying and shooting movies. Michael started out learning about photography in seventh grade, and then got a job out of high school working as a PA for a production company, eventually working his way up shooting music videos and commercials. It was hard to get into aerial cinematography, but with a love of flying and a pilot's license, he was able to prove he could shoot while flying, and pilots would recommend him for aerial cinematography jobs. Aerial cinematography is a very small and select group of people, requiring a very special skill set. When shooting film in a helicopter or plane, it's tough for most DPs to focus on composing a shot in a small space that is also moving quickly and unpredictably, and not get airsick. Top Gun Maverick was hugely dependent on its aerial unit, with most of the action done as a real, practical effect. The aerial unit used two jets, a helicopter and also shot from mountaintops to capture the action as the fighter jets flew past. As a trained pilot himself, Tom Cruise actually flew the jets and did many of his own stunts. Each training jet was outfitted with six cameras to capture the action of the actors in the cockpit. Michael and the aerial crew worked on the movie for over a year, developing new, special gimbal camera systems mounted on the jets. The crew had hours and hours of pre-production meetings, to get a clear idea of the shots needed and how to accomplish them with aircraft and cameras. Michael took a lot of notes and used models to act out aerobatic maneuvers for the planes before shooting them. For Michael, one of the highlights of working on Top Gun Maverick was being allowed to fly very low over a Navy aircraft carrier, although they were not allowed to land on it. Working on Top Gun Maverick was great, but Michael's craziest movie experience was working on second unit of The Dark Knight with director Christopher Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister. The movie was shot in IMAX, which is a notoriously difficult format to shoot- IMAX cameras at the time had a very faulty video tap for the monitors. For the scene, Heath Ledger as the Joker blows up a hospital and walks away, all in one take. The explosion was done on a real building, rigged up with real explosives, so there were no second takes. They began the take, but as soon as they went outside, the video tap went white and they couldn't really tell if they were actually getting anything on film at all, but they kept rolling, the building exploded, and hoped the whole thing was actually caught on film- which took about two days to get the film developed and the dailies back. Luckily, it all turned out perfectly. Top Gun Maverick is currently playing in theaters. Michael FitzMaurice: Instagram @michaelfitzmaurice Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by ARRI: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Filmmakers James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte on their new documentary series, The Big Conn

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 59:11

    James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte are Emmy-nominated documentary directors and producers for the HBO documentary series, McMillion$. Brian and James return to Cinepod to talk about their latest documentary, The Big Conn, now airing on Apple TV+. The Big Conn is a four-part documentary series that tells the unbelievable true story of larger-than-life attorney, Eric C. Conn. Conn stole over half a billion dollars from the government and taxpayers in the largest Social Security fraud case in United States history. Conn got away with it for more than 10 years before two whistleblowers told the FBI what he was doing and Conn went on the run. Documentary filmmaking has grown and elevated as an art over the years, and James and Brian take a cinematic approach to the form. Their previous documentary series, McMillion$ had a thread of comedy throughout, with such interesting characters that it reminded them of a Coen brothers movie. For The Big Conn, Brian and James took a similar approach. They dive deep into Eric Conn's life, using comedy to hold the audience's interest, but underneath it's a very serious exposé about the broken American Social Security system. To put together such sprawling stories, James and Brian create a story outline, determine who the interviewees should be, interview the characters, write a script and then decide where they need to put in animated graphics, archival footage and recreations during the editing process. Talented cinematographer Jeff Dolan has worked with the team for years, shooting both interviews and recreations on The Big Conn and McMillion$. Brian and James planned out and put together a guide for lighting and shot composition for the look of the interviews, based on shots from scripted movies they love. The Big Conn is a 4-part documentary series currently airing on Apple TV+. James and Brian have a podcast to accompany The Big Conn, diving deeper into the story and subject matter. Fun Meter, James and Brian's production company: Instagram: @funmeterofficial James Lee Hernandez: @iamthejlh Brian Lazarte: @bdlazarte Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Aputure: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Eric Koretz on shooting the last season of Ozark and more

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 65:04

    Cinematographer Eric Koretz and our host Illya Friedman have known each other a long time, going back to when Eric blogged about the latest camera gear. Since then, Eric has become a very successful DP. His current work can be seen on the last and final season of the Netflix series, Ozark. Eric shot 4 episodes of the last half of the final season, including the show finale, “A Hard Way to Go” directed by Jason Bateman. Eric loved the look of Ozark, and knew he would have to adapt to the established shooting style of the show. However, he knew that he wanted to bring his own look to it too. Anytime the crew is shooting outside, they begin blocking out the sun, keeping the outdoors very shadowy using negative fill techniques. Eric felt Ozark was a cinematographer's dream to shoot- they use every tool to tell the story, and the producers allow the cinematographers to do what they wish within the style parameters. The show is shot more like a movie than a TV show, with time allowed to let scenes have space and play out, allowing the DP to shoot a closeup on a glass of whiskey or shoot a long shot out a window as a car pulls up, creating tension. Eric found that Jason Bateman as a director and producer knows exactly what he wants and is very technical and precise as a craftsman. Eric first went to college for graphic design. He started making animated videos and applied to American Film Institute to learn more about shooting. While at AFI, he discovered that he really enjoyed cinematography and after graduation, began working in commercials. But the idea of storytelling through longer forms of film and television really appealed to Eric. His first feature was Comet with director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), and his second feature, Frank & Lola,  went to Sundance. Eric still shoots commercials as well, which is a great place to learn- commercial shoots tend to have a lot more resources, and these days commercials tend to be very creative, artistic and cinematic, with more crossover from film. Find Eric Koretz: Instagram: @erickoretz_dp See all of the seasons of Ozark on Netflix. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by DZOFilm: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Gregory Middleton, ASC, CSC on Moon Knight, shooting reflections and lighting for imaginary characters, Watchmen, Game of Thrones

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 65:16

    Cinematographer Greg Middleton's intention in his work is never to make viewers think, “Oh wow, cool shot!” He wants them to be able to experience the movies or television series he shoots without drawing attention to the cinematography or lighting. For him, the art of cinematography is about making illusions, and convincing audiences that they are actually somewhere else. Greg was excited to work on episodes 1, 3, 5, and 6 of the series Moon Knight  on Disney+ because it's more of a personal and emotional journey for the character Marc/Stephen, rather than just the action and the superhero elements. He didn't know anyone involved in the project before he was hired, which is unusual, but director Mohamed Diab liked Greg's Emmy-winning work on HBO's Watchmen, particularly episode 6: “This Extraordinary Being” which dives into the past of Hooded Justice. For Moon Knight, episode 5 needed someone who could handle seamless transitions through multiple scenes in Marc/Stephen's past life. Greg also had experience from Game of Thrones working quickly in multiple foreign locations with large cast and crews. There were many challenges for shooting a show like Moon Knight- location work, virtual sets, twinning, and animated characters interacting with real characters. Greg also had to play a lot with reflections and light. Because Marc/Stephen has a form of mental illness called dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder), his personalities often interact through reflective surfaces. Greg and director Mohamed Diab discussed and did extensive testing to figure out how they would make the reflections and successfully shoot them. Greg would move the camera, shoot the reflection one way, then later shoot it again to match it, or do a nodal camera pan, so that the perspective of the character doesn't really change, but the reflection does. For the museum bathroom scene with infinity mirrors, the visual effects team needed to paint out the camera and boom mic later. Because actor Oscar Issac was playing two different characters with different body language and accents, it was easier for him to play first one character and then the other, and he didn't usually switch quickly from one character to another. For Marc/Stephen's interactions with the god Khonshu, they used an actor in costume, adding a pole to make him seem 9 feet tall. Greg also used a very real-looking maquette of Khonshu's head to establish the proper lighting for the visual effects team to reference. The sets also incorporated small hints of Marc/Stephen's reality and dream world, so that deciding what is real is always in question. Find Greg Middleton: Instagram: @middlecam Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by ARRI: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Special Episode: Directors of festival docs To The End, TikTok, Boom. TV pilot Chiqui and short film Daddy’s Girl

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 53:00

    It's been a busy few months and we finally bring you our interviews with four directors of documentaries and shorts from Sundance 2022. To The End is director and cinematographer Rachel Lears' follow up to her 2019 documentary, Knock Down the House. It once again follows representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three women environmental activists pushing hard for climate change legislation- first with the Green New Deal, then with President Biden's Build Back Better plan. Rachel wants people to watch the film and become inspired to engage in politics in the United States in order to build a better world. To The End is currently playing at the Hot Docs film festival in Canada and is seeking distribution. Find Rachel Lears: Twitter: @jubileefilms Instagram: @racheliplears As the title suggests, TikTok, Boom. is about how the social media app TikTok has exploded for both viewers and content makers. Shalini Kantayya's documentary explores the phenomenon, from the young people who consume it to the influencers who are now themselves a brand. But the Chinese company behind TikTok, Bytedance, uses the app for data mining, restricts certain content deemed too political, and could pose security risks for anyone watching or using TikTok. Shalini researched, found the TikTok influencers and shot the documentary very quickly. TikTok, Boom. also played at SXSW this year and has yet to be released. Shalini's previous film, 2020's Coded Bias is critically acclaimed and won several awards. Find Shalini Kantayya: Instagram @shalinikantayya Chiqui was inspired by director and writer Carlos Cardona's parents' immigration story. The television pilot takes place in 1980's New Jersey as the vivacious Chiqui and her husband Carlos have just arrived from Colombia and are looking for work. Carlos set out to make it as a feature film, but decided to develop the story into a television series instead. To keep it true to the look of the 1980's he decided to shoot it on super 16mm and used Zeiss super speed lenses. Carlos is currently developing Chiqui into a television series. Find Carlos Cardona: Instagram @carlos.cardona The comedic short film Daddy's Girl is writer and director Lena Hudson's third short film. Alison is a young woman in her 20's who is a bit aimless, and her father comes to help her move out of her wealthy older boyfriend's apartment. Lena had been playing around with the idea of a father/daughter movie that would be short and filmable, especially during COVID. Daddy's Girl also screened at SXSW this year and Lena is developing it into a longer feature film. Find Lena Hudson: Instagram @lenahudson Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: All web and social media content written by Alana Kode Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Eliot Rockett on the period horror film X, working with director Ti West, techniques of shooting horror

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 61:04

    Cinematographer Eliot Rockett is a frequent collaborator with Ti West, who is a well known director/writer/editor for horror fans. West and Eliot's latest film, X, is a classic slasher/horror movie set in 1979, at the time when the popularity of porn movies and slasher films were at their height. With X, West decided to write an erotic horror film that combines elements of both genres. The film is about a group of aspiring filmmakers who head to a remote farm to shoot a porno, but aren't completely transparent with the elderly couple who owns the property what kind of movie they're making. Then the bloodbath begins. Interestingly, Eliot is actually not a big horror fan- he dislikes feeling anxious and tense. But after shooting so many films in this genre, he genuinely appreciates how important the cinematographer is to making a horror movie. In horror, the camera is the instrument that takes the audience through the experience. The camera setups, angles, and lighting choices are incredibly important to setting the tone- more than any other genre. The characters and dialog are usually secondary, unlike dramas or romantic comedies. Eliot first learned some tips about how to shoot a horror film on the movie Crocodile with director Toby Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Hooper explained some of the finer points to creating “seat jumper” moments, based on keeping the camera static and not cutting away. Eliot and director Ti West also worked together on The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers. West is known for creating a suspenseful slow burn, starting off at a normal pace, then progressively building into a manic frenzy of blood and guts to the end. Eliot has always been involved in the filmmaking process early on, and the two share similar ideas about aesthetics and cinema. They discuss far in advance how the drama is going to unfold and figure out how to achieve those goals. Once shooting begins, Eliot and West work smoothly together because the movie is well understood. Eliot shot Pearl, the prequel to X, directly after they wrapped X. The production was based in New Zealand in early 2021, still during the height of the COVID pandemic, and it made sense to roll right into pre-production on Pearl and stay longer to shoot the movie, using production crews in New Zealand for both films. Pearl is a completely different sort of horror movie and is almost a musical, with dance numbers and lots of color saturation. Eliot calls it “the best feel bad movie you'll ever see.” Eliot Rockett is currently shooting Season 2 of Perry Mason for HBO. Find Eliot Rockett: Instagram: @elrockett and @eliotrockett Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Aputure: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    DP Jendra Jarnagin on the film Asking For It, tips on working with short prep time, developing a DP/director bond, how to light for women

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022 60:06

    Jendra Jarnagin returns to The Cinematography Podcast after 7 years to talk about her latest movie, Asking For It, a female vigilante revenge thriller, about women who exact revenge on men who have abused women. First-time director Eamon O'Rourke wanted it to be a female exploitation-style movie without the exploitation, and he and Jendra were influenced by films such as Switchblade Sisters, Belly, True Romance, and Natural Born Killers. Jendra was hired to work on the low-budget film only three weeks before the shoot, so she had to hit the ground running with a very short amount of prep time. O'Rourke had made a look book, so Jendra used what he created to get herself up to speed. The days were full of casting and scouts, but the evenings were spent as sacred one-on-one time to discuss the film and create the DP/director collaborative bond. O'Rourke was concerned about the fact that he is a white man telling a story with women of color and their experience with sexual assault. He was open to handling the material with sensitivity and listened to Jendra and the female cast and crew members about how to shoot certain scenes. They gave careful consideration to what the film wanted to say and how to portray the feeling of emotional overwhelm visually. Jendra also discusses her recent work on a 2020 commercial featuring former First Lady Michelle Obama. It was shot soon after production started returning after COVID lockdowns, and the directors had to work remotely. One of Jendra's skills is understanding how to light women, and she is very proud of her work on this commercial. She had limited time with Mrs. Obama and knew she would not be able to tweak the lighting again once they were rolling. Find Jendra Jarnagin: Instagram: @jendradp See Asking For It in select theaters and VOD. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by DZOFilm: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Special Episode: Snehal Patel, head of cinema sales for ZEISS lenses, on the ZEISS lens line and their new lenses

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022 40:03

    Snehal Patel manages sales for the entire line of ZEISS cinema lenses in North and South America. He works with many cinematographers such as Reed Morano, Jon Joffin, Alicia Robbins and several of our Cinematography Podcast guests like Quyen Tran, Robert McLachlan and Checco Varese. ZEISS has their own Cinema Lens Demo Center in Sherman Oaks, CA for DPs to come and try out lenses by appointment. The brand-new 15 mm Supreme Prime wide angle lens from ZEISS will be available to try at this year's NAB show in Las Vegas. With this new lens, ZEISS' Supreme Prime line is now a 14 lens set. ZEISS also offers the Radiance line of lenses that have different optical coatings to create more flare. Looking to the future, Snehal sees even more choices available for lenses. The best cinematographers are constantly learning, so it's important to excite them with something new and different, and to continue to innovate and develop new technology. The new 15 mm Supreme Prime is available to pre-order from Hot Rod Cameras. If you'd like to schedule a demo at the ZEISS Cinema Lens Demo Center, email Snehal Patel: ZEISS representatives and lenses will be available to see and demo in North America at: -NAB Apr 23-Apr 27, 2022 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. -2022 Pacific Northwest Lens Summit May 13-May 14, 2022 at Koerner Camera -Cine Gear Expo June 9-12, 2022 at the LA Convention Center Sponsored by ZEISS: ZEISS Cinema Lens Demo Center: Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Jessica Lee Gagné on Severance, working with Ben Stiller, Escape at Dannemora, Mrs. America

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2022 54:12

    Severance, a trippy, mind-bending thriller on Apple TV+, takes the idea of work/life balance to an extreme. Certain employees working for the mysterious corporation, Lumon, undergo a surgical procedure called severance that plants a chip in their brain. Severed employees can't remember anything from their personal lives while at work, and outside of work, they can't access their memories of their office life. This creates two separate people, known as “innies” at work and “outies” at home. Cinematographer Jessica Lee Gagné grew up in Quebec City, Canada, surrounded by movies from her father's video stores which sparked her love of film. She took photography in school, then enrolled in a film program in Montreal. Jessica first began working with director Ben Stiller on the Showtime series, Escape at Dannemora. The two enjoyed working together, and while shooting Escape at Dannemora, Stiller was already talking about directing Severance. Jessica didn't particularly like the idea of shooting an office show with absolutely no windows, with the same lighting setups over and over. However, during the preproduction process, she was able to find references that allowed her to find ways to shoot the Lumon offices in a cinematic way. The production design team also created a very strange and surreal world within the gigantic building, whose brutalist exterior is a real location at the former Bell Works in Holmdel, New Jersey. Jessica crafted a unique camera style for Severance. Most of the scenes that take place in the Lumon offices are done with tracking dollies on remote heads, rather than with Steadicam. She enjoyed playing with camera height, often showing the ceiling and choosing wide, surveillance-like angles from corners or above. The office workers are often physically “severed” in shots- by cubicle walls, computers or doorways. In the elevator up or down from the office, the office workers transition from their “innies” to their “outies,” with a dolly in and zoom out on their faces to create a morphing effect. Find Jessica Lee Gagné: Instagram: @jessicaleegagne See Severance on AppleTV+: Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Arri: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Cinematographer Panel Discussion: Fernando Argüelles, ASC, AEC, Tom Magill and Greg Middleton, ASC, CSC discuss their creative processes, challenges and careers

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 30, 2022 65:07

    In our second panel series, Ben and Illya speak to cinematographers Fernando Argüelles, ASC, AEC (Fear the Walking Dead, Swamp Thing, Hemlock Grove), Tom Magill (Atypical, Saved by the Bell, Parks and Recreation) and Gregory Middleton, ASC, CSC (Moon Knight, Watchmen, Slither) as they discuss their current work, career journeys, creative processes, challenges and career goals. Be sure to check out the video panel on YouTube! Produced in partnership with Impact24 Public Relations. Find our guests: Fernando Argüelles: Instagram: @fernandoarguellesasc Twitter: @fernanradikal Tom Magill: Greg Middleton: Instagram: @middlecam Twitter: @middlecam Impact24 PR Instagram: @impact24pr Twitter: @impact24pr Facebook: @impact24pr Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Jenelle Riley, Variety's Deputy Awards and Features Editor, discusses the 2022 Academy Awards nominations

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2022 43:55

    Long-time friend and colleague Jenelle Riley of Variety magazine chats with Ben and Illya for our third annual Oscar nominations special. They discuss what they liked, what will win, what should win, and their favorite movies of the year that may not have been recognized. Here's a rundown of some of the nominations discussed in this episode, as well as great films that were not nominated this awards season. Listen to our interviews with some of the nominated DPs and other noteable films of the year! Annette The Sparks Brothers The Power of the Dog, Ari Wegner Jane Campion Zola Dune, Greig Fraser Denis Villeneuve Nightmare Alley, Dan Laustsen The Tragedy of Macbeth, Bruno Delbonnel Westside Story, Janusz Kominski Steven Spielberg King Richard, Robert Elswit Cyrano, Seamus McGarvey Licorice Pizza, Paul Thomas Anderson Belfast, Haris Zambarloukos Find Jenelle Riley on Instagram and Twitter: @jenelleriley and Variety: Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Director Mariama Diallo and cinematographer Charlotte Hornsby on the horror film Master

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 64:24

    The horror film Master explores the idea of institutional and historic racism at an elite, mostly white college campus, as two Black women are stalked by evil spirits. Director and screenwriter Mariama Diallo is a lifelong horror fan, and sees the horror genre as an expression of anxiety. She feels that horror frees you to talk about ideas that are disturbing and unsettling at their core. Master incorporates some of Mariama's personal experiences as an undergrad at Yale, where the advisors/mentors were called Master. As an African American, Mariama later found it bizarre and perverse to have referred to someone in this way. She knew she wanted to make a film called Master, and examine the scary realities of what that word means. Once she began to write, Mariama found that accessing her memories of being a Black woman at an elite university felt painful and horrifying, so she knew this was where the script needed to go. She started imagining how to picture the school- orderly, controlled, static and a looming presence. When the malevolent spirit appears, it is a jarring, violent rupture to the polite presentation of the school. Mariama and cinematographer Charlotte Hornsby worked together on her short film Hair Wolf, and they knew they shared the same ideas and influences. As they got into preproduction on Master, they watched movies, had long discussions about the look of the film, and shotlisted the film together. Prior to becoming a DP, Charlotte was an art director, so she has a deep understanding of using color in her work. Charlotte was definitely influenced by the color palette in Suspira and chose to use shades of red and experimented with using shadows for a haunted feel. Charlotte also liked the use of zoom lenses in movies such as Rosemary's Baby, and used a long slow zoom in Master to key into the pace of the scene. She chose to represent the POV of the supernatural forces watching from a distance with a zoom lens, while putting the camera on a dolly to act as the character's perspective. Find Mariama Diallo: Instagram: @diallogiallo Find Charlotte Hornsby: Instagram: @charlottehornsby_ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Aputure: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Haris Zambarloukos, BSC, GSC on Belfast, working with Kenneth Branagh, Death on the Nile, Locke and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 62:25

    Cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos enjoys using filmmaking to study the human condition. As a Greek who grew up in Cyprus, Haris was immersed in the history of Greek tragedy from a young age. He went to art school and studied painting, but found he was more interested in the visual storytelling that filmmaking can do. Haris' background in portraiture painting carries over into his cinematography today- he favors using closeups in his work, because he finds that the human face is the landscape of our emotions. Haris' current film, Belfast, is his eighth collaboration with director Kenneth Branagh. It's a deeply personal story about Branagh's childhood experience growing up in Northern Ireland during the civil war between the Catholics and Protestants known as The Troubles. Haris and Branagh chose to shoot the movie almost entirely in black-and-white. The two both love the format, and Haris felt using black and white provided less distraction from the character's emotions than using color would. They also decided to use extremely limited additional lighting in the movie, relying heavily on natural light in most scenes. Every scene was thought out with depth of field and depth of action, and not just shot for coverage. For the 2013 film Locke starring Tom Hardy, Haris' friend, cinematographer Chris Menges, had tested the new Alexa Mini and found that it was possible to shoot with just available light in small spaces. This gave director/writer Steven Knight the idea to write a script that takes place entirely in a car, with only one character, and he asked Haris to be his director of photography. Haris had just wrapped Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit and was about to shoot Cinderella, so Locke seemed like an interesting challenge to take on. Knight had planned for only a 9 day shoot, with the entire script shot beginning to end each night for three nights. The additional actors, never seen on camera, all phoned in their vocal performances live during the shoot. Capturing the intimate and emotional performances in Locke gave Haris a deep satisfaction about his decision to become a filmmaker. Find Haris Zambarloukos: Instagram: @zambagram WIN an autographed copy of Directing Actors, 25th Anniversary Edition! Follow us on Instagram (if you don't already!) @thecinepod and comment on our Judith Weston post! Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Arri: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Judith Weston, author of Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television, 25th Anniversary edition

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 2, 2022 61:14

    Judith Weston has coached and taught directing classes to several now renowned directors, such as David Chase, Ava DuVernay and Taika Waititi. She has updated her book, Directing Actors for its 25th anniversary edition, revising nearly every chapter and adding two new ones. Judith teaches that a director must have a vision. It's the director's job to be the shepherd of the story and have it mean something. The director must also go deeper to figure out what matters to the story, and listen, communicate and collaborate with the actor on the ideas they are trying to convey. A key chapter in Directing Actors discusses how a director must find the “emotional event” or the key dynamics in each scene. This is something both the cinematographer and the editor must understand as well to make a good movie great. Finding the essential emotional event in a scene is what changes someone from simply wanting to be a director into actually thinking like a director. Find Judith Weston: Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film and Television, 25th Anniversary Edition is available on Amazon WIN an autographed copy of Directing Actors, 25th Anniversary Edition! Follow us on Instagram (if you don't already!) @thecinepod and comment on our post for this episode! Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by DZOFilm: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Martin Ruhe, ASC on The Tender Bar, working with George Clooney, Catch-22, The Midnight Sky, and Counterpart

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2022 47:23

    Cinematographer Martin Ruhe's latest film is The Tender Bar, a coming-of-age movie about J.R., a boy growing up in 1970's Long Island, N.Y. He and his mother move in to his grandparent's house, filled with noisy extended family, including his uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck) who runs the local bar. Charlie acts as a father figure to him, sharing books and knowledge, influencing J.R. to become a writer. Martin and George Clooney have worked together on several films and TV shows, including The American, the Hulu series Catch-22 and The Midnight Sky. For The Tender Bar, Clooney wanted to direct a warmly nostalgic movie. Together, they worked with the production designer and costume designer to create a look reminiscent of 1970's films. The production team wanted to show a thoroughly lived-in house and bar that don't change much over time as J.R. grows up. It was shot digitally, but Martin wanted the film to have a Kodachrome quality. The family home was a real location, and Martin kept the lighting simple- mainly placing lights outside the windows so that the actors could move freely inside. As the lead DP for the series Counterpart, Martin spent eight months establishing the look and shooting several episodes of the first 10 episode season, and setting up the show for his fellow cinematographers. It was a new experience for him to work on a complex 10 hour show, but he loved the writing and craft of creating the series. Find Martin Ruhe: Instagram: @martinruhedp The Tender Bar is on Amazon Prime Video. Martin's next project is The Boys in the Boat directed by George Clooney. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Special Episode: Sundance 2022- Sirens director Rita Baghdadi

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 20, 2022 19:55

    The Cinematography Podcast Sundance 2022 Special: Sirens Sirens is an intimate coming of age documentary focused on Lilas Mayassi and Shery Bechara, guitarists and co-founders of Slave to Sirens, the Middle East's first all-female thrash metal band. The documentary follows the band as they rehearse and play concerts, rebelling against the country's criticisms and stereotypes about women and heavy metal music. The relationships between bandmates is complicated, but they find an outlet in their music amid violent protests, fires and bombings in Beirut, Lebanon. Documentarian Rita Baghdadi had set out to find a story based in the Middle East or North Africa because her family background is Morrocan. In 2018 she found Slave to Sirens' EP online, saw photos of the band, and felt drawn to tell a story about the five women. The band was looking for press opportunities, and they welcomed Rita and her camera. None of them, including Rita, were sure Sirens would become a feature length documentary. Rita made several trips to Beirut from the U.S. to shoot and direct the documentary on her own, with just one camera, over a period of three years. She enjoys making intimate verite films, and unobtrusively focuses on the emotions in each scene. Rita was able to spend enough time with the band to weave a compelling documentary about independent women in the agony and ecstasy of their 20's, creating their own world to escape the chaos of their reality. Sirens premiered at the Sundance 2022 Film Festival and is seeking sales and distribution. Find director Rita Baghdadi Instagram: @ritaamal Instagram: @sirensdocumentary Find the band, Slave to Sirens: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Catch The Fair One director Josef Kubota Wladyka and actor/screenwriter Kali Reis

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 16, 2022 47:13

    Catch the Fair One is about Kaylee “K.O.” Uppashaw, a mixed Indigenous boxer who is searching for her sister, Weeta, who has been missing for two years. K.O. sets off on a dark and dangerous journey as she willingly allows herself to be exploited by a sex trafficking ring to find out what happened to her sister. Catch the Fair One is the second feature for Josef Kubota Wladyka, who has also directed episodes of Narcos, Fear the Walking Dead and The Terror. It's the acting debut for Kali Reis, who is an Indigenous/Cape Verdean world champion boxer and activist for missing and murdered Indigenous women of North America. Josef met Kali through a friend's boxing gym. Watching her train and box helped Josef form an idea for the story of Catch the Fair One and he wanted a collaborative partner who could help shine a light on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women. With such dark subject matter, Kali and Josef knew they wanted the film to be a thriller, with themes of pain, loss, and regret that intentionally draws the audience in. Kali enjoyed being a part of the creative writing process. Though she had never written a script before, she feels she drew on her ancestors' tradition of storytelling and it felt natural. Kali was able to write her own character, building Kaylee from the ground up. Josef and Kali shoot a lot of rough footage, working out different character and script ideas. Kali also trained at an acting boot camp to help her learn acting and character work. Josef felt fortunate to work with Darren Aronofsky, who came on board as executive producer, and he gave Josef feedback on the movie to help bring it into focus. Find Kali Reis: Instagram: @ko_ndnbxr Twitter: @KO_Reis86 Catch The Fair One opened February 11th in theaters and on demand. Learn more about Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women: Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Aputure: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Academy award winning cinematographer Linus Sandgren, FSF, ASC on No Time To Die and Don’t Look Up

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2022 54:32

    Acclaimed cinematographer Linus Sandgren just happens to have two Oscar nominated films out right now- the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die and the Adam McKay satire, Don't Look Up. Both films are extremely different from each other, and Linus was excited to work on both. Linus says that working on a Bond film is about creating a heightened reality, escapist adventure that romanticizes action and espionage. Don't Look Up is also about creating a type of heightened reality, but in an absurd, satirical way that tells the truth. Linus was very excited to shoot No Time to Die with director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Linus always tries to find a story and script that he hasn't done before, and it was a new challenge for him to take on a film with so much action. They focused on making it their own Bond, rather than looking at previous James Bond films. No Time to Die even begins differently from past Bond films- instead of an action set piece, Linus and Fukunaga chose to create a horror movie feeling in the opening. For the opening sequences of No Time to Die, Linus set the creepy tone, choosing monochromatic grays and icy blue skies, and a very isolated location. By contrast, the very next action sequence featuring Bond is full of harsh bright sun washed in yellows and browns. For every film Linus shoots, he likes to have keywords for the emotions in the script to guide him in prep for different scenes, such as horror, grief, loss, humor, etc. and decides how to address those emotions visually. Linus and Fukunaga also discussed the expectations of a Bond film: an entertaining action-packed joyride, but still have No Time To Die act as a final chapter wrapping up Daniel Craig's arc as James Bond. Don't Look Up is a disaster-movie satire film directed by Adam McKay. Linus felt the script was terrific and horrific at the same time, and it was clear to him that McKay wanted to comment on how people's personal and political agendas cause them to ignore glaring problems, such as climate change, and hijack the actual solution that could save lives. Linus felt like it was an important and hilarious film to shoot. He decided that the visuals should feel like a political thriller, because the comedy and satire would come through in the writing. Linus would dolly in to create tension, use longer zooms to compress the shots, then go close up with a macro lens in order to get right on a character's eyes. The shoot required a lot of extras, which was made even more challenging with COVID protocols. Linus had to be creative to figure out how to shoot with fewer extras, using longer lenses so the physical distancing wouldn't be as apparent, and they often re-used the same actors in different scenes since they were in a quarantine bubble together. Find Linus Sandgren: Instagram @linussandgren_dp You can purchase and stream No Time to Die on AppleTV, Amazon, Vudu, or your preferred service. Don't Look Up is available on Netflix. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: Sponsored by Arri: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

    Special Episode: Sundance 2022- Blood director Bradley Rust Gray and cinematographer Eric Lin

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2022 23:16

    The film Blood is about Chloe, a woman who travels to Japan for her work as a photographer, just a couple of years after the death of her husband. She meets up with her Japanese friend Toshi who is interested in turning their friendship into a relationship, and she needs to decide if she is ready to welcome romantic love back into her life. Blood is a quiet and contemplative movie about human relationships, and unfolds slowly through Chloe's conversations, interactions and dreams. Director Bradley Rust Gray and cinematographer Eric Lin had worked together before on Brad's film, The Exploding Girl. A lot of Blood was improvised, and Brad used the script mainly as an outline short of a few scenes needed for exposition. They found opportunities to weave in the dreams Chloe has about her past with her husband in Iceland. Eric and Brad wanted everything to feel very naturalistic, as if the camera is eavesdropping. Eric chose to shoot much of it on very long lenses, as though shooting a nature documentary. They wanted Blood to feel like the audience is present with Chloe the whole time, peering in on moments in her life. Blood premiered at the Sundance 2022 Film Festival and was the Special Jury Award winner for Uncompromising Artistic Vision. Blood is seeking sales and distribution. Find director Bradley Rust Gray: Find cinematographer Eric Lin: Instagram @holdtheframe Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: The Cinematography Podcast website: YouTube: Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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