The Cinematography Podcast

The Cinematography Podcast

Art, Business, Craft and Philosophy of the Moving Image

All Episodes

When director Ruth Platt first wrote and developed Martyrs Lane, it started off as much more of a horror film rather than a psychological thriller. She had the opportunity to develop the film into a feature from a short through BFI, the British Film Institute. In its feature form, Ruth pulled Martyrs Lane into a more unsettling ghost story that's told from the point of view of Leah, a 10 year old girl, who lives in a large old house with her family. Her mother always seems very sad and distant, and Leah doesn't know why, until a strange nightly visitor gives her a new clue to unlock every night. The visual palette of Martyrs Lane has a timeless and impressionistic feel, creating an atmosphere of hovering between the conscious and unconscious world. The house Leah and her family lives in is a reflection of the interior and exterior world of the family. Ruth knew that finding the perfect “haunted house” was key, and they were lucky to have found the perfect location. With two inexperienced child actors as the leads in the movie, Ruth focused on trying to keep the lines sounding natural instead of scripted, and kept the kids energy up in between takes and setups. Because she and the crew only had a short amount of prep time for the movie, they had to creatively problem solve for a few issues and were able to do almost all the special effects in camera. You can see Martyrs Lane on Shudder. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com//ep145/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Assemble: Assemble has amazing production management software. Use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/ Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate Watkin showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8 The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Oct 27

59 min 48 sec

After working together for 25 years, cinematographer Robert Yeoman, ASC and director Wes Anderson share a similar aesthetic and creative process. Bob finds he can anticipate what Anderson wants to see and exactly how he wants to shoot things. The trademark of a Wes Anderson movie is a sense of humor and whimsy, and each film has a distinct color palette that deliberately tells a story. Both Bob and Anderson love the symmetrical style of Kubrick movies, but the symmetry in the frame of Anderson's films draw on comic elements rather than those of horror. Anderson is involved in all the decisions on art direction, choices of textures, colors, costume, hair and makeup, testing many of his choices on film before making a decision. During their very long prep period, Anderson will make an animatic of the entire movie before the shoot, and try to match the reality to the animatic as much as possible. Bob finds this incredibly helpful, since Anderson's movies are very complex- many shots are oners and use complicated dolly movies. In the movie The French Dispatch, Bob and Anderson had planned on shooting at least one section in black and white. They fell in love with the black and white stock, so Bob ended up shooting a lot more than they had originally planned. Anderson also decided to mix three aspect ratios in the film to delineate different time periods and different stories, which Bob thought wouldn't work very well, but ended up liking the end result. On every movie he makes, Anderson has a library of DVDs, photo books and research books that are available for the cast and crew to borrow. Naturally, for The French Dispatch, French movies were often referenced. It made it easy for Bob to have a shorthand way to communicate with Anderson on which French film they were emulating for framing, lighting and aspect ratio. The 1989 film, Drugstore Cowboy, directed by Gus Van Sant, helped Bob make his name as a cinematographer. He used a much looser style, with the camera reacting to the actors rather than carefully planned out movements such as those favored by Wes Anderson. Bob found it a pleasure working with Van Sant, who is more of an experimental filmmaker, and from the moment he read the script for Drugstore Cowboy, he loved it. Bob's work on the comedies Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters (2016), and Get Him to the Greek also presented him with a different challenge- everything is cross shot with multiple cameras because so much of those movies are improvised. On both Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters, director Paul Feig's style is to allow the actors freedom to do what they like, and as the cinematographer, Bob let them have the space and simply moved with them, lighting in a more generalized way. The French Dispatch opens in theaters on October 22. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com//ep144/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Assemble: Assemble has amazing production management software. Use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/ Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate Watkin showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8 Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/ The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Oct 20

1 hr 12 min

Director and writer Potsy Ponciroli was scouting a location for another movie in the countryside just outside Nashville, Tennessee when he saw a historic old house built in the early 1900's at the bottom of a valley. He began thinking about how lonely and isolated a person living in that house might be, and it planted the seed of an idea to write Old Henry. Potsy ended up using that exact location, shooting in that house and the surrounding area. He and cinematographer John Matysiak set out to capture the feel of a classic western- a simple story taking place in the old west, showing how hard life was at that time. Old Henry is an action western starring Tim Blake Nelson as a farmer with a teen son living alone on their farm. Against his better judgement, Henry takes in a wounded stranger with a bag full of cash. Soon enough, a posse comes looking for the wanted man and Henry and his son must defend their homestead. Potsy approached Tim Blake Nelson to star in the film, and the two met several times over Zoom to discuss ideas from their favorite westerns. Soon, Nelson was also on board as an executive producer. During preproduction, Potsy and DP John Matysiak walked around the location, reading the scenes from the script, checking out different angles and shotlisting each moment. Shooting in a real homestead built in the 1900's was very challenging due to the small rooms with low ceilings and small windows that didn't let in much natural light. To keep the look fresh in such a limited space, they carefully figured out what scenes would be in what rooms and made sure they weren't shot back-to-back. John first met Potsy when they were working on a television show in Nashville together. When Potsy showed him the Old Henry script, John liked the ideas he had for keeping the film small and plot driven until it builds to the finale. John is passionate about finding a visual language for the world he's creating with the art of cinematography. He did as much research as he could for that time period, looking at old photographs and paintings from the early 1900's Old West to get a feel for how people lived at that time. He was influenced by more recent westerns such as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Hostiles. John Matysiak and Ben Rock actually met through the group Filmmakers Alliance and John worked on Ben's short film, Conversations as a gaffer back in 2003. Find Potsy Ponciroli: Instagram @getpotsy Find John Matysiak: Instagram @john_matysiak Old Henry premiered at the Venice Film Festival and is currently playing in theaters and will be on demand on October 15th. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com//ep143/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Assemble: Assemble has amazing production management software. Use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/ Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate Watkin showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8 Sponsored by DZO Film: DZO Film makes professional high quality, short zoom lenses for smaller cameras, such as the 20-70mm T2.9 MFT lens and the 10-24mm T2.9 MFT. You can buy them at Hot Rod Cameras. https://www.dzofilm.com/ The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Oct 13

1 hr 7 min

The new Netflix movie, The Guilty follows Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe Baylor, an LAPD police detective who has been demoted to working at a call center as a 911 dispatcher. The film was shot during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in November of 2020 in just 11 days with a very small cast and crew on a controlled soundstage. Additional actors remotely voiced their roles as 911 callers seeking help. Cinematographer Maz Makhani and director Antoine Fuqua had about one day of prep together before they started shooting. Maz and Fuqua walked through the set with Gyllenhaal for rehearsal while working out the blocking and coverage. Once the shoot day arrived, Fuqua could not physically be present as he had to quarantine after a COVID scare. He ended up directing the film remotely from a van parked outside. They wanted the film to have a “God's Eye” perspective, so Maz used a very wide lens that showed the entire room. Antoine and Maz both favor a high-contrast lighting style that helped the dark subject matter, making the film feel real and raw. They mainly used the ambient light from the screens on the set and three digital cameras so that it had a more live and urgent feel. Since Antoine could not be on set, it was fortunate they chose digital so that he could see what was happening via a remote feed in real time and could communicate via text, cell phone and radio. Find Maz Makhani: Instagram @mazmakhani_dp You can see The Guilty on Netflix Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com//ep142/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Assemble: Assemble has amazing production management software. Use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/ Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate Watkin showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8 The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Oct 6

51 min 38 sec

Using content collaboration tools and being able to share assets remotely has certainly become essential these days. Guest Nate Watkin walks us through his new software, Assemble, which is a complete project management platform for video production teams, from pre-production all the way through post-production. The software is very easy to use and very affordable- even non-production members can access projects as needed, and at no extra cost. Assemble includes: -a shared production calendar that stays in sync and shifts if deadlines change -a trackable task list for each team member -an asset management feature for sharing what's in your production binder- casting information, location scout photos, inspiration lookbooks, etc. file sharing all in one place -frame-specific feedback ability for videos Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8 If you're interested in Assemble, use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com//assemblespecial/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Oct 4

24 min 27 sec

In our first ever panel series, Ben and Illya speak to cinematographers Ana Amortegui (Resident Alien), Byron Kopman (Demonic), Bryant Fisher (Lenox Hill), and Julia Swain (Lucky) 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: Byron Kopman https://www.byronkopman.com/ Instagram: @bryonkopman Twitter: @ByronKopman Bryant Fisher https://www.bryantfisher.com/ Instagram: @bryantfisherdp Twitter: @bryantfisher Ana Amortegui http://www.anamamortegui.com/ Instagram: @mile9 Julia Swain https://www.juliaswain.net/ Instagram: @juliaswain Impact24 PR https://www.impact24pr.com/ Instagram: @impact24pr Twitter: @impact24pr Facebook: @impact24pr Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/panel1/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Sep 29

50 min 57 sec

Cinematographer John Guleserian has never liked to be pigeonholed into one genre. He's shot several romantic films, comedy movies and TV series, and with his latest film, Candyman, he can add horror movies to his skill set. After attending film school at Columbia College in Chicago and then AFI, John worked on several small films and web series before the film Like Crazy launched his career. Most of the characters' lines were improvised- director Drake Doremus worked from an outline rather than a script, and he had actors Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin improvise their blocking as well. John and Doremus went through the film chronologically in preproduction, deciding on the basic shots they wanted for the film, shooting it mostly in sequence. Like Crazy went to the Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury prize. John ended up doing several romantic movies after Like Crazy. Director Richard Curtis (Love, Actually) saw the film, flew John to London and asked him to shoot About Time- John's favorite movie that he's worked on so far. On About Time, John felt he learned about keeping the camera balanced between taking in the scope of a beautiful location and set, while still maintaining the intimacy of the characters. For Candyman, John was directly influenced by the 1992 movie and wanted it to look like the original. John began working on the movie with only about four or five weeks of prep, but he and director Nia daCosta storyboarded and completely previsualized many of the sequences before shooting. In Candyman, reflections play a very important role and most of the art, windows and mirrors were prevised and carefully placed so that the reflections could be picked up by the camera. The visual effects team could then paint out the camera and adjust the Candyman's movement in the reflections. Find John Guleserian: http://www.johndp.com/ Instagram @johnguels You can watch Candyman currently in theaters. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep141/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/ The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Sep 23

1 hr 9 min

The film Settlers is a blend of science fiction and western, about a mother, father and little girl who have created a peaceful homestead on a desolate part of Mars until another band of colonists invade their land and take everything. The girl, Remmy, must grow up fast under difficult circumstances. Her only friend is a small non-verbal robot called Steve. Wyatt Rockefeller both wrote and directed the film, which is also his first feature. Wyatt found the perfect place to create the Mars setting for Settlers in a remote part of the northern cape of South Africa, in one of the hottest places on the planet. His South African producer introduced him to cinematographer Willie Nel, and the two immediately began figuring out the look of the film, using some images from Mars as references. Willie found that the dry reddish landscape of their location naturally informed both the look of the film and how the characters dealt with surviving in a difficult place. Wyatt and Willie were able to spend lots of time in prep, discussing how they wanted to shoot the film and what the story needed to be. When it came to actually shooting, it went very smoothly since they were each so familiar with the script and shots they'd discussed ahead of time. But the crew couldn't foresee everything- they had to deal with rolling power outages in South Africa due to the heat and a crazy rainstorm that nearly ruined the set. Remmy's companion is Steve the farming robot, which gives Settlers one of its few science fiction visuals. Wyatt wanted Steve to exist as a practical creature for the actors to interact with, while keeping it simple so as not to break the budget. He also wanted Steve to seem like a real, functional piece of equipment that Mars settlers would need and use, so he based Steve's boxy design on the Mars Curiosity rover, but with legs. Wyatt began working with the production designer, the VFX team, creature builders and the lead puppeteer William Todd-Jones in the early stages of planning and prep to create a puppet version of Steve with visual effects used for some of his more complex motions. Find Wyatt Rockefeller: @wrockefeller Twitter Find Willie Nel: https://www.willienel.com/ @willie_nel_sasc Instagram You can watch Settlers streaming on VOD platforms and on Hulu in October. https://www.ifcfilms.com/films/settlers Read more about the design of Steve the robot by the Settlers team: https://www.talkhouse.com/designing-steve/ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep140/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Sep 15

57 min 49 sec

Cinematographer Donald A. Morgan, ASC has won 10 Emmys and is nominated this year for three more for his work on Netflix's The Upshaws, Fox's Last Man Standing, and ABC's The Conners. Like a few cinematographers, Donald had some experience studying architecture in college, which enabled him to take two dimensional drawings and visualize them in three dimensions. He also thought he'd be a professional baseball player or a musician- his father was a musician who played in Cab Calloway's band, so Donald grew up around musicians and stages. By his mid-20's he had a job working at KTTV in Los Angeles in the mailroom while trying to make it with his own band in the 1970's, and was soon offered a position in the lighting department. He found his experience reading architectural plans made it easy to understand electrical schematics. Donald worked on the lighting crews for several different shows produced by the legendary Norman Lear, such as Good Times, The Jeffersons, and Diff'rent Strokes, plus many other shows. Donald knew working on shows produced by Lear were progressive and groundbreaking for the time, telling stories about people of color like himself, and Lear made it a point to hire a diverse workforce for his shows. Soon, Donald was offered a union job as a DP on two shows on the Universal lot- Silver Spoons and Gloria. Donald was able to learn more about cinematography while working on the Universal lot by visiting several different film stages and making notes on how different DPs worked. Working on three camera shows, the whole set can be lit before there's any blocking, because typically, comedies use very high-key lighting. Donald notes where the walls and doors are, and then most sets can be lit with standard three point lighting.  For The Conners, as the show becomes a bit darker, Donald subtly shades the room for more drama, and brightens the room as the mood lightens. Most multi-camera shows use three to four fixed cameras, and dolly in for shots rather than just panning. Donald also uses a jib arm camera on the show Last Man Standing, a technique he began using back on Home Improvement. The jib arm came into use on Home Improvement because the character Mr. Wilson, Tim Allen's neighbor, was never seen over the fence, and the camera crew had to get creative with how to shoot those scenes. Donald enjoys working on multi-camera studio shows because it keeps him local, and he's been able to spend more time with his family with three weeks on and one week off, with the longest days about 10-12 hours. He tries to keep the work as creative as possible, always watching and learning about new techniques he can bring to the shows he shoots. Though Donald is very experienced with shooting multi-camera shows, he will often shoot single-camera short films to keep his skills fresh. You can see Donald A. Morgan's work: https://vimeo.com/12993063 You can watch The Upshaws on Netflix and find episodes of The Conners and Last Man Standing on Hulu. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep139/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Sep 9

54 min 7 sec

Director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino and cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom have worked together on Call Me By Your Name and Suspira. Ferdinando served as the second unit director on both films. Beckett is the second feature Ferdinando has written and directed. Sayombhu also shot Ferdinando's first feature, Antonia, and was Oscar-nominated for his cinematography on Call Me By Your Name. Prior to his experience working with Ferdinando and director Luca Guadagnino, Sayombhu built his cinematography career in Thailand, shooting films such as the Cannes festival winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Beckett is a thriller, reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock films, starring John David Washington as an American vacationing in Greece with his girlfriend, played by Alicia Vikander. After a tragic accident, Beckett is pursued by the police and drawn into a political conspiracy while being chased across the country. Ferdinando intended to have the film nod at Hitchcock, but he wanted to stay away from the heightened, perfectly choreographed elements of Hitchcock movies such as North By Northwest, where every scene is a spectacle, with amazing set pieces following one after the other. For Beckett, Ferdinando liked the idea of shooting everything with very natural light, keeping the movie grounded and not quite so heightened. As a hero, Beckett is relatable and believable- when he fights or runs, he sweats, gets out of breath and becomes seriously injured, and all of the action sequences are grounded in reality. Sayombhu enjoys shooting films using natural light, preferring to reshape or bounce sunlight. If he has to use lights, he uses as few as possible, and in a way that's almost invisible. He also prefers to light the environment rather than the actor, to give them space to move around, so that they can live in the moment and he can capture it as it happens. When Sayombhu scouts locations, he uses his eyes and his gut feeling to explore the place and memorizes the kind of natural light available, noticing potential issues before figuring out how to overcome them. To have a good rapport with a director, Sayombhu suggests listening to the director first, and only then make a suggestion that would make it better. Ferdinando enjoys collaborating with Sayombhu because they both understand the importance of preparation during pre-production and research, and they have similar taste in filmmaking and visual language. You can watch Beckett on Netflix. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep138/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/ The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Sep 1

47 min 20 sec

When Mark Doering-Powell, ASC was hired as the DP of Freeform's grown-ish after season one, he knew the show had to expand the storylines of each character's college experience. He was excited to take more of an anthology approach to some of the episodes, and get creative shooting each chapter with multiple looks. A single camera half-hour comedy such as grown-ish takes about four days to shoot, creating an extremely tight schedule between prepping and shooting. Mark thinks it's imperative to be in touch with post and the dailies colorist at the end of each day, so everyone can stay on top of the workload. On a rapid schedule it can be challenging to make the show look cinematic, but finding each character's point of view helps consolidate the work and keeps each shot economical. Mark favors using “swingles” on grown-ish, where the camera swings back and forth between characters on single shots, saving setup times. With a focus on each college-age character's personal life and position on social issues as they navigate their early 20's, the lighting on grown-ish is intended to make the cast look their best, and sometimes Mark employs classic Hollywood portrait lighting techniques using crisp, controllable hard light. Mark also likes to splash hard light onto the set, letting it naturally bounce off of something that is already in the room. He's learned to focus on lighting the people and then the space- lighting the space can aid lighting the people. Mark went to art school in New York, studying painting and graphic design until he found the film department and changed his major to film. He then worked as a Photo-sonics technician, which is a special high speed camera for shooting slow motion, on several commercials in the 1980's and 90's. But Mark wanted to focus more on filmmaking, so he quit, moved out to L.A. and started working for Roger Corman's studio in Venice, including camera assisting on Corman's famously unreleased 1994 version of The Fantastic Four. A documentary about the production called Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four was made in 2015.  Find Mark Doering-Powell: www.markdoeringpowell.com Instagram: @instamdp You can watch grown-ish Season 4 on Freeform: https://www.freeform.com/shows/grown-ish Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep137/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by DZO FILM: https://www.dzofilm.com/ The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Aug 25

1 hr

Our returning guest Checco Varese, ASC talks to The Cinepod about his latest work on the Amazon Prime show, THEM. As a trained architect, Checco finds some of the same techniques are useful in cinematography, such as understanding the use of space, flow, color, art and construction. Having spatial awareness as a cinematographer helps in understanding physically where the camera can go to allow it enough room during set design. THEM is a period piece about a Black family that moves to an all-white neighborhood in 1950's Southern California, and the terror they experience at the hands of their neighbors and a supernatural force. Checco and showrunner/creator Little Marvin discussed at length how they wanted THEM to look. Little Marvin described it as taking the classic look of a 1950's movie with the camera language of 1970's films like The French Connection and The Deer Hunter, using the tricks of 1990's music videos and the technology of 2021. Checco and fellow DP Xavier Grobet traded off shooting episodes, and they both really enjoyed prepping and collaborating together. They decided to avoid the color red in the set and costume design, so that when red does appear in the show, it's shocking and more frightening. Checco has been the director of photography on a few horror films and series, but he is choosy about what kind of frightening subject he wants to work on, and considers what the subtext is beneath each story. Humanity has always tried to make social injustice or social advancement digestible through a medium, and the horror genre is a great way to push the envelope. Checco sees a common thread in three of the scary projects he's shot. The Strain was about vampire creatures that take over the world, which are a metaphor for outsiders, or even immigrants. IT Chapter Two is a drama about outsiders who have to deal with their past, and THEM is about the horrors of racism, redlining and injustice. You can watch THEM on Amazon Prime. Checco's latest show, Dopesick, a drama series about the opioid crisis, will be streaming on Hulu in October. Find Checco Varese: http://www.checcovarese.com/ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep136/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Aug 18

54 min 51 sec

The Cinematography Podcast Special Episode: A tribute to cinematographer Dan Kneece We were incredibly saddened by the loss of cinematographer and Steadicam expert Dan Kneece. He was a friend and previous guest of The Cinematography Podcast. Here we have re-posted his 2018 episode in memorial and tribute to his long career. Dan Kneece spent nearly 3 decades as a Steadicam Operator on several David Lynch movies such as Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive. He shot the opening sequence to Wes Craven's Scream, one of the most memorable opening sequences of any film, and worked with Quentin Tarantino on Jackie Brown. Dan began his career during the advent of the Steadicam, and he co-founded the Steadicam Guild in 2002. He moved out of operating and Steadicam work and had established himself as a DP in his own right. Dan was one of the nicest and most genuine people you'd ever meet. His kindness and goofy sense of humor will be sorely missed. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/kneecespecial/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Aug 13

1 hr 25 min

Cinematographer Flavio Labiano doesn't consider himself an artist with a capital “A” but more of a craftsperson. To him, cinematography is a craft that you learn by making mistakes and taking risks, like any other craft that you hone and improve over time. On Disney's Jungle Cruise, Flavio found the planning and pre-production stages of the huge-scale movie to be especially challenging. It was about 100 days of planning, with two different sets- one in Hawaii and one in Atlanta, Georgia, and with the second unit shooting footage in the Amazon to use as background plates. All the exterior tank work was done in front of a blue screen in a parking lot in Atlanta. The town of Porto Velho, where the jungle cruise adventure begins, was mainly shot in Hawaii. Flavio paid close attention to the orientation of the sun in order to match the set in Hawaii with the set in Atlanta. He also had to match the hard sunlight in the South to the sunlight in Hawaii, and the crew had to deal with the constant interruptions of summer afternoon rainstorms in Georgia. Flavio and Jungle Cruise director, Jaume Collet-Serra, have worked together on several films including The Shallows, another movie that takes place mostly in water. Flavio grew up in Spain, then moved to Los Angeles to attend AFI. He found his first film jobs working for Roger Corman's studio alongside Wally Pfister, Phedon Papamichael, and Janusz Kaminski. Flavio moved back to Spain for film work and has made most of his career there with movies such as The Day of the Beast, which was a huge commercial success in Spain, and Timecrimes, an exciting and mind-bending thriller. Shortly after Timecrimes, he and fellow Spaniard, director Jaume Collet-Serra began working together. Influenced by director Alfred Hitchcock, who enjoyed making thrillers with characters who are celebrities, the two made Nonstop and Unknown with Liam Neeson. You can watch Jungle Cruise on Disney+ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep135/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Aug 11

38 min 45 sec

In the film The Evening Hour, director Braden King wanted to immerse the viewer in a fully formed world, with spare dialog and little exposition. This approach appealed to cinematographer Declan Quinn, ASC. With such little dialog, Declan paid close attention to finding the right camera placement, how each scene was composed and how the images told the story, with natural and motivated lighting. The Evening Hour tells the story of Cole Freeman, a health aid at a nursing home who lives in a fictional rural West Virginia town. He makes a little extra money on the side selling his client's prescription medication, until an old friend comes back to the Appalachian town and tries to convince Cole to get further involved in the drug trade. The film was shot entirely on location in Kentucky. Braden specifically wanted to shoot in autumn in order to capture the beauty of that time of year and show in images the collapse of these rural towns due to the opioid epidemic and the risk of environmental destruction by mining companies. Declan enjoyed actually shooting on location in the real Appalachia, instead of having to fake it on a soundstage or in a different area. He was able to freely capture everything in the environment, letting the art of cinematography work its magic in the film. The Evening Hour is screening in limited release in New York at the IFC Center and Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica on August 6th. https://www.laemmle.com/film/evening-hour Twitter & Instagram: @eveninghourfilm Braden King: www.bradenking.com Twitter:@bradenking Instagram: @truckstop Find Declan Quinn: https://www.artistry.net/clients/directors-of-photography/declan-quinn-asc#category=narrative Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep134/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Aug 4

52 min 23 sec

One of Adam Bricker's favorite things about being a cinematographer is the opportunity to collaborate with different filmmakers, try something new and make each project the best it can be. His most recent project is the HBO Max comedy series Hacks, which just earned him an Emmy nomination for best cinematography. Adam was given the scripts for the first two episodes, and loved the pilot script, which opens with a long Steadicam single shot following behind the main character, Deborah Vance, played by Jean Smart, for two minutes, until her character is finally revealed in the dressing room vanity mirror. Adam knew it's a rare thing to find a half-hour comedy with that level of cinema, and he was excited to shoot the show. Hacks takes place in Las Vegas, about a legendary comedian who is losing relevance and fading from the spotlight. Adam and show creator Lucia Aniello used vintage Las Vegas movies and photos as a reference point, as well as films such as Soderberg's Behind The Candelabra and Judy with Renée Zellweger. Adam likes to set the look based on how the viewer is supposed to feel, and he makes notes in his scripts about what emotions should be felt in each scene. Most of Hacks is filmed on tripods and dollies, but for the verbal duels between characters Deborah Vance and Ava, her young comedy writer/protégé, Adam chose to shoot handheld, which gives those scenes more energy and naturalism. Lighting on the show goes from naturalistic, when Deborah is at home or when Ava is in Los Angeles, contrasted with vintage glamorous stage lighting when Deborah performs her comedy act. Adam grew up in Chicago and attended film school there before attending the USC summer cinema program, which inspired him to transfer to USC and continue studying cinematography. After college, Adam began taking as many jobs as he could, and planned to work his way up through the camera department, before a DP mentor suggested he buy a camera and take as many cinematography jobs as possible. He and a group of friends invested in a Red One digital camera, and Adam shot dozens of music videos and low-budget films. The Netflix series Chef's Table has taken Adam all over the world. As one of the primary DPs of Chef's Table, Adam and show creator David Gelb have established the artistic look of the modern cuisine documentary, which has since been imitated by countless other food shows. When the show began, Adam had never shot a documentary before, so he had a more cinematic approach to the show, only using prime lenses and no zoom lenses. For him, it's been a dream job to explore new places, eat amazing food at excellent restaurants and work with good friends on the crew. Find Adam Bricker: https://adambricker.com Instagram: @realadambricker You can see Hacks on HBO Max. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep133/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/ The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jul 28

1 hr 2 min

Special: The Cinematography Podcast- War Stories Vol. 7 In our seventh War Stories Special, we feature eleven guest's harrowing, hilarious, heartbreaking or heartwarming stories they had while on set, or a formative career experience that led them to the film industry. Find full interviews with each of our featured guests in our archives! Both cinematographers Wally Pfister, ASC and Phedon Papamichael, ASC have war stories about working on Roger Corman films in their early careers; Ross Emery, ACS talks about the groundbreaking experience of shooting bullet time for The Matrix; Shane Hurlbut, ASC on how he was convinced to shoot Drumline; Alice Brooks on how she made her decision to become a DP; Robbie Ryan, BSC, ISC reflects on experiencing personal tragedy while working on The Favourite; Christian Sebaldt, ASC had to get extremely creative with lighting a dim military barracks; Lachlan Milne, ACS, NZCS, on shooting Minari in extreme summer heat; Armando Salas, ASC also has a story on filming in high temperatures; cinematographer Jas Shelton talks about working with actor John C. Reilly on Cyrus; and finally, director and cinematographer Brandon Trost's story about meeting Lorne Michaels in a pre-production meeting for MacGruber. Do you have a War Story you'd like to share? Send us an email or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/warstories7/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Instagram: @thecinepod Facebook: @cinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jul 22

43 min 29 sec

Director of photography Jake Polonsky was a fan of the band Sparks for several years, a love he developed after seeing the band perform at a music festival. Jake had frequently worked with director Edgar Wright, shooting commercials and music videos in the early 2000's, and then as the second unit DP on Wright's movie, The World's End. Both Jake and Wright shared a love of music, and in 2018 he saw Wright had posted a photo of himself with Sparks. He congratulated Wright on finally meeting the band. Wright let Jake know he was going to make a documentary on Sparks and asked if he would be the cinematographer. The Sparks Brothers documentary combines interviews, live and archival concert footage and collage-style animation in an eclectic style that reflects the aesthetic of Ron and Russell Mael, the Sparks Brothers themselves. In spite of putting out 25 albums over the past 50 years, Sparks has remained under the radar for most of the public. The brothers had some success at the beginning of their careers, mainly in the UK, writing and creating an unusual sound admired and imitated by many other bands. Sparks continues to reinvent themselves and has never stopped touring, building an incredibly devoted fan base. Both Jake and Wright knew that all the interviews for the documentary needed to have a certain look and visual continuity. They settled on a photograph from the cover of the 1976 Sparks album, Big Beat. The photo was taken in black and white with a large format camera, so Jake decided to shoot all of the interviews in black and white, using several large format Red Monstro cameras. Everyone would wear black so that each interview had a consistent look, no matter where it was shot, and each interviewee spoke directly to the lens, using an Eyedirect teleprompter. When Jake heard Wright was getting ready to make The World's End in 2013 with DP Bill Pope, he was eager to work on his first feature film, and asked if Wright needed anyone to shoot second unit. Wright was happy to give Jake the opportunity. Jake saw that even with a comedy such as The World's End, Wright found it important to have even the smallest scenes exactly right for comedic timing. Jake went on to work on several other UK based television shows, such as the Black Mirror episode, The National Anthem, and the interactive Black Mirror special, Bandersnatch. The executive producers of the Showtime series Billions noticed Jake's work on Black Mirror, and he became the cinematographer for 27 episodes of the show, as well as directing one. Jake was able to learn from many different directors on Billions, and loved working with actors Damien Lewis and Paul Giamatti. He thinks that as a DP, it's much more stimulating to work with a director you like and respect. It becomes easy to deliver what they want to achieve because you know it's going to be great. Find Jake Polonsky: http://jakepolonsky.com/ Instagram: @jakepolonsky You can see The Sparks Brothers in theaters and streaming on VOD. https://www.focusfeatures.com/the-sparks-brothers/ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep132/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jul 14

51 min 34 sec

As a filmmaker, director of photography Stuart Biddlecombe wants to visually put his ideas on screen, telling stories that he genuinely connects to with true creative collaborators who listen and contribute. When Stuart came aboard to shoot part of season three of The Handmaid's Tale, he knew he was taking on the mantle of what has become an iconic show. He had read the book in high school, and feels that the television series does an incredible job of putting the book into pictures, continuing to tell a meaningful and important story. Stuart was fortunate enough to begin working on the show with former cinematographer and Emmy winner Colin Watkinson, who had moved into directing. He was able to learn the ropes from Watkinson and continue the look of The Handmaid's Tale smoothly into season four. Stuart was very involved in the production of the fourth season of The Handmaid's Tale, and he loved the extraordinary creative input he's had on the show. He would meet with lead actor and executive producer Elisabeth Moss and showrunner Bruce Miller to talk though each episode, discussing with them what they wanted to shoot and what direction each episode should go. Color on The Handmaid's Tale plays a very important role- Gilead is presented with strong red, blue and black costumes while the colors and tones representing Canada are muted and softer. In season 4, as the story follows the main character, June (Elisabeth Moss) as she escapes to Canada, Stuart knew they needed to change the color palette, shifting into stronger colors and contrasts to push the look forward. Stuart began working in television in the UK before he went to film school, on game shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, but felt no love for the job. He decided to attend college at the National Film and Television School in order to learn more about the art of telling stories using a camera. He was in a very small film class with fellow cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen. After film school, he shot several episodes of Call the Midwife and Doctor Who. Working in television taught Stuart how to shoot quickly, creating storytelling in the purest form, without the need for a lot of coverage. Stuart finds working on many of today's television shows such as The Handmaid's Tale to be very satisfying, as the lines of quality storytelling are blurring between television and film, with many television shows matching or even exceeding much of what can be seen in the cinema. Find Stuart Biddlecombe: https://www.stuartbiddlecombe.co.uk/ Instagram: @stuartdop You can see The Handmaid's Tale season four streaming on Hulu Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep131/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jul 7

46 min 57 sec

Alice Brooks grew up on Broadway musical theater and movies as a kid, and loves shooting music and dance oriented films and TV shows. Alice has always been in awe of dancers, and though she isn't a dancer herself, she is inspired by their work ethic and loves that she can capture dance with her camera. Working on In The Heights has fulfilled a lifelong dream for Alice. She and director Jon M. Chu have known each other since college at USC. The two bonded over musicals- she shot his she shot his student short, a musical called When The Kids Are Away in 2002 and worked together again on the film Jem and the Holograms. Alice and Jon were shooting the Apple TV+ series Home Before Dark when he asked her to shoot In The Heights. Jon, choreographer Christopher Scott and Alice had also worked together on a Hulu series called The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers for three seasons, and they got used to working together and working quickly, figuring out how tell a story and develop characters through dance. Jon, Alice and Chris Scott felt their whole careers came together to make a musical like In The Heights. The characters' hopes, dreams, fears and anxieties can be played out not only through song and dance but in the environment around them, which sometimes shifts to where they are emotionally. With just 49 shoot days, preproduction for In The Heights was essential. Alice and Jon Chu would location scout in the mornings and then spend afternoons in the dance rehearsal space with Chris Scott. They would share their input and make suggestions from each location scout on how to face and orient the dance. Alice and Jon thought at first many more locations would be done on a soundstage, but they found that shooting in real places on the streets looked and felt so true- even the theater and the subway station were real locations. During shooting, every Sunday they would meet and go through the coming week because the schedule was so tight and the camerawork so complex, looking at videos from dance rehearsal to discuss the shots and angles to use, deciding if a crane shot was needed, and how many cameras to use for each scene. Jon made animatics detailing each scene from storyboards and dance rehearsal footage. With 17 song and dance scenes in In The Heights, Jon had huge goals for the musical numbers, and Alice, the dancers and the entire film crew were able to pull it off. Alice grew up in New York and got into acting at a young age. She and her family then moved to Los Angles, and she realized as a teen that she did not want to be an actor. Being on set around the camera crew made her realize that she wanted to shoot movies, and that being a DP was her true dream. After graduating from USC Film School, Alice asked many of the graduate students if she could shoot their projects, knowing that the key to honing her craft was practice, practice, practice. She shot about 20 shorts, including Jon M. Chu's musical short, When The Kids Are Away. Alice thinks it's important to find the right people to work with, since you're spending so much time together, and forming that bond helps everyone. She wants to make movies that inspire her daughter. For anyone with a family, it's important to pick the projects that are worth it, since filming can take so much time away from loved ones. Find Alice Brooks: https://www.alicebrooks.com/ Instagram: @_alicebrooks_ You can see In The Heights in theaters, the best place to experience the film's immersive sound design and visuals. You can also find it streaming on HBO Max. Alice's new musical film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda is tick, tick...Boom! releasing in the fall. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep130/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/ The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.

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Jun 30

55 min 32 sec

Over his long career, cinematographer Dan Stoloff feels he's always learning as a DP. Every job, even if it seems small, is an opportunity to meet people and build relationships. Dan's latest project, The Boys season two on Amazon Prime, plays with the idea that superheroes in that world are actually just corrupt and possibly psychotic people with special powers, who behave in ways that are anything but super. They have celebrity, play politics, and use publicists and the media to manipulate their image. A small group of people- “The Boys” in the show's title- band together to expose the superheroes and the corporation they work for. Dan likes that the show stays relatable and not to fantastical. When he came on board for the second season of The Boys, Dan knew he wanted to change the look as the story moves forward. The first season presented a slick, neatly packaged corporate world for the superheroes which was shot with a Steadicam, while the grittier world of the regular guys who are trying to expose and take down the supers was done handheld. For the second season, the two worlds have started to clash and unravel, so Dan gave everything a more ragged look. He decided to adhere more closely to the graphic novel of The Boys, sometimes using black silhouettes and contrasts such as subtractive lighting, positioning the actors against a dark background. Dan also enjoyed that season two presented a variety of scenes to shoot with different cameras, equipment, lighting scenarios and lenses, such as a big-budget hero movie, newscasts, an awards show, a country farmhouse and a gritty basement. In Dan's early career, he moved from Boston to New York, after having shot several claymation films. He began shooting comedy projects for Broadway Video, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michael's production company, and got a call to shoot The State, a 1990's MTV sketch comedy show shot on 16mm. But Dan hadn't considered television as a serious place for artistic expression until The Sopranos opened his eyes to the possibilities of a quality series. By then, the mid-budget independent features that Dan had worked on started to dry up, and he began seeking out jobs on television series. After landing his first television series, Memphis Beat, Dan found he likes the precision, continuity, and security of TV. He went on to DP the show Fairly Legal and then worked for nearly five seasons as the cinematographer of the USA show Suits. On Suits, Dan learned a lot about shooting through multiple levels of glass, playing with reflections and bouncing outdoor light to make it look more natural even within an office building or conference room. Prior to The Boys, Dan shot season six of The Americans on FX. In season six, more of The Americans takes place in Russia, and some of the street scenes and exteriors were actually shot there, though most of the interiors were shot on a soundstage. Dan wanted to differentiate between the two countries, keeping the colors to a green and cyan palette for Russia so that it felt cold, while in contrast the American scenes were shot in full, rich color. You can find Dan Stoloff: http://danstoloff.com/ You can watch Season Two of The Boys streaming on Amazon Prime. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep129/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQIhe3yjQJG72EjZJBRI1w Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jun 23

53 min 20 sec

Cinematographer Jeffrey Jur chose the path of filmmaker not just as a job, but to put something out into the world that he finds personally wonderful and amazing. He sees filmmaking as a way to express what he says to the world visually and photographically. Jeff always tries to find projects that reflect a part of him and keep him creatively inspired. For the Netflix series Bridgerton, executive producer Shonda Rhimes and the series directors knew the show needed to have a “female gaze” when it came to the sex scenes, emphasizing female pleasure and desire, bringing the series a refreshing, contemporary feel in spite of the historic setting. Jeff had shot several Shondaland projects over the past 20 years, beginning with the pilot for Grey's Anatomy and the pilot for How To Get Away With Murder. As the DP of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Dirty Dancing, Jeff also had experience with shooting movies from a more feminine perspective. He likes what Shonda Rhimes has to say to the world about relationships and race, and the colorblind alternate history of 1813 presented in Bridgerton. The scripts are written with modern language, and the show had to feel modern but keep true to the Regency-era romantic beauty. He found it very exciting to shoot in England, where the streets and historic houses needed very little alteration to fit the time period, especially around Bath. Jeff's inspirations for the vibrant, colorful look of Bridgerton included Pride and Prejudice and Stanley Kubrick's historic movie Barry Lyndon. In fact, one of the locations Bridgerton used, Wilton House, was also used in Barry Lyndon. Much of Bridgerton was lit by candles, natural light, and balloon lights. It was necessary to shoot in historic buildings without touching the ceiling or moving the furniture. Fortunately, the UK crew was used to shooting in many of the locations and knew how to manage the restrictions. In the mid-1980's, Jeff had just moved to L.A. from Chicago, getting by shooting shorts and a few dramatic films, when one of the producers for Dirty Dancing saw his work on American Playhouse and hired him as the cinematographer. Jeff had no idea that 1987's Dirty Dancing would become his big break, and he's honored to have been a part of something that has become so iconic. It was shot on a very low budget and no one had very high expectations for how successful Dirty Dancing would become. Dance films such as Flashdance and Footloose had done well, but everyone involved in Dirty Dancing wanted the dancing in the movie to be authentic, performed by the actors, not with professional dance doubles, as the audience follows the main character's journey as she learns how to dance. Soon after Dirty Dancing, Jeff shot The Big Picture, Christopher Guest's directorial debut. The Big Picture was a huge flop, but it ended up having a following once it reached home video. The story follows Nick Chapman, a recent film school grad whose short film wins an award- but breaking into Hollywood is not that easy. Jeff loved the film because the plot really spoke to him. Growing up in Chicago, he always had a passion for filmmaking and while in high school, his film won him a scholarship to Columbia Film School. The Big Picture includes many short films, fantasy sequences and student films within the movie which were great fun to shoot. Jeff switched gears creatively to shoot The Last Seduction, an indie film from the 1990's that was an homage and reinvention of film noir directed by John Dahl. He went on to shoot romantic comedies How Stella Got Her Groove Back and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which is still the highest grossing romantic comedy in U.S. history. Jeff began shooting television on the HBO series, Carnivale and he's found working in TV to be very rewarding. The mid-budget features Jeff used to work on have disappeared, and many of the directors he's worked with have moved into television, like John Dahl,

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Jun 16

1 hr 2 min

When cinematographer Polly Morgan reads a script for the first time, she finds herself immersed in images. Her cinematography draws inspiration from art and art history and she finds visuals speak to her on a fundamental level. For A Quiet Place Part II, Polly knew it was important to reference Charlotte Bruus Christensen's previous work on A Quiet Place and blend it seamlessly with her own style. Each DP has their own cinematic look, and she was able to settle into her cinematographic method once the family leaves the farmhouse in the film. From the very beginning, Polly talked with director John Krasinski about making the film as immersive and subjective to the characters' experience as possible. A Quiet Place achieved that look with Charlotte's primarily handheld, tightly eye-level and over-the-shoulder camerawork. With A Quiet Place Part II, Polly wanted to expand the feel of the camera as the Abbot family's world grows a bit larger. At its heart, the film is still a family drama about a mother and her children, although there's a lot more action in Part II compared to the first movie. She included many long oners that start wide and then push into a closeup, combining a slow methodic camera with fast paced, quick cuts to create a push and pull with the viewer's emotions to keep them on the edge of their seats. Polly and Krasinski decided to never cut away separately to the creatures or the source of the danger- they always keep the danger within the character's frame, with no escape from what is happening, which keeps it as close and immersive as possible. She and Krasinski prepped for a few weeks in New York City to discuss the look of the film, before going to Buffalo to shoot. They talked about the movie's rhythm, starting with a slower pace for the prologue, giving the audience a feel for the Abbot's town and the community before the monsters arrive. Polly found the script very descriptive, providing a roadmap for the composition. Krasinski was also clear on how much coverage for each scene was needed, and they would often shoot a scene in one shot, then move on. Polly grew up in the countryside in England and loved watching movies as a child. As a teen, a film crew used their farmhouse as basecamp, and she was fascinated to see how movies get made. She knew then that she wanted to pursue a film career. After university in England, she came to Los Angeles to attend AFI, but needed a job between semesters to afford school. Polly learned that Inception was going into production in England, found Wally Pfister's email, and he hired her as a camera assistant on the film, which served as a great learning experience. When she was first starting out, Polly found it hard to find steady work, but she was able to work on projects in the UK and bounce back and forth until she was hired to shoot season three of Legion on FX. Polly loved the visual surrealistic storytelling of Legion, where the camera plays such an important role in creating the practical visual effects for the show. She was also pleased to have the opportunity to DP for director and cinematographer Ellen Kuras who directed an episode of Legion. Polly is currently shooting the film, Where The Crawdads Sing. You can watch A Quiet Place Part II currently playing in theaters. Find Polly Morgan: https://www.pollymorgan.net/ Instagram @pollymorgan Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep127/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQIhe3yjQJG72EjZJBRI1w Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jun 9

53 min 51 sec

For the Disney+ series WandaVision, cinematographer Jess Hall had the opportunity to create the most avant-garde looking project in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jess explored every era of sitcom television to create seven different looks for WandaVision, ranging from the 1950's all the way through the 2000's. Each episode's look came down to researching the film stock, lenses, aspect ratio, the lighting, and whether it was shot with three cameras or a single camera. WandaVision director Matt Shakman was able to give Jess plenty of sitcom television research material and ideas, since Jess did not grow up around American T.V. One of the biggest visual touchstones for Jess for the earliest episodes of WandaVision was viewing a print from the original negative of the 1960's show, Bewitched. He found the black and white image to look warmer than modern day black and white- the contrast in the whites weren't quite as cold. Jess tested a number of vintage lenses and ended up using 47 different lenses over nine episodes, even having Panavision create a set of lenses reconstructed from older lens elements. He also used lighting technology that fit each time period, including early diffusion techniques over the lights to create the look. Jess grew up in England and studied film at St. Martins School of Art, embracing film more as an expressive art form. After graduating, he began shooting shorts and commercials, and then had the opportunity to shoot his first feature film, Stander, with director Bronwen Hughes. Stander is a biopic about a police officer in apartheid South Africa who becomes a bank robber. Jess' next film was Son of Rambow, a coming-of-age story about two boys making a home movie. Jess and Son of Rambow director Garth Jennings went to St. Martins together. Jennings carefully storyboarded the whole movie, but once they were actually shooting, they did not strictly follow the storyboards. Jess credits director Edgar Wright with being the most accurate storyboard-to-execution director he's ever worked with, which is important because Wright likes to work fast with many setups and quick cuts. On the movie Hot Fuzz, Jess accomplished over 30 setups per day, and famously did 50 setups in one day. He would try to light the room simply, and worked with camera operators who were used to shooting fast action movies. For the film Transcendence, cinematographer turned director Wally Pfister asked Jess to shoot his first film as a director, after seeing Jess' work on Brideshead Revisited. Jess was flattered, and found it wonderful to be able to communicate in a technical shorthand and to see up close how another DP works and thinks. Find Jess Hall: http://www.jesshalldop.com/ Instagram @metrorat You can watch WandaVision streaming on Disney+ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep126/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQIhe3yjQJG72EjZJBRI1w Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jun 2

1 hr 3 min

Special: The Cinematography Podcast- War Stories Vol. 6 In our sixth War Stories Special, we feature twelve guest's harrowing, hilarious, heartbreaking or heartwarming stories they had while on set, or a formative career experience that led them to the film industry. Find full interviews with each of our featured guests in our archives! Cinematographer Jim Frohna was thrown into the DP position at the last minute on a commercial; director Bruce Van Dusen on getting his first big Crazy Eddie commercial; sound designer Randy Thom on gathering sound in the field for The Right Stuff; 1st AD Adam Somner's story about his footrace with Russell Crowe while horsing around on the Gladiator set; cinematographer Paul Cameron on shooting the ending of Tony Scott's Man on Fire; Xavier Grobet talks about one of his first film experiences working on Total Recall; DP Eric Branco's crazy job working on a music video in Tanzania; cinematographer Tommy Maddox-Upshaw and the American crew get deported from Canada; Maryse Alberti on shooting the documentary Me & Isaac Newton with director Michael Apted and their emotional experience at an AIDS clinic in Africa; John Benam on his harrowing adventures in Sudan as a National Geographic wildlife cinematographer; one of Roberto Schaefer's shoot days on Quantum of Solace got spectacularly interrupted; and finally, Ben Rock talks about an early experience as an art department production assistant. Do you have a War Story you'd like to share? Send us an email or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/warstories6/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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May 26

53 min 59 sec

The job of the assistant director is to work in concert with the director and the DP to get everything done on a movie set. As a 1st AD, Adam Somner is trusted by the industry's top directors to anticipate their needs, motivate the crew, figure out the schedule, and drive the entire production forward to finish each day on time. He finds the best way to keep everything moving smoothly on set is though humor, high energy and uniting everyone as a group, persuading people to do things on the schedule and timeline needed to complete the job. Adam's father, Basil Somner, worked for MGM Studios in England, and through him, Adam got a job as a runner/production assistant at age 17. He began working on movies in the late '80's, like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Superman IV, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? He worked under many assistant directors, observed how they took charge on set, and decided he was really interested in becoming an AD. Adam has worked on eight Ridley Scott films to date, as well as several of the late Tony Scott's films. He was first hired on a Ridley Scott film as a third assistant director on 1492: Conquest of Paradise and White Squall, then moved up to second assistant director on Gladiator, where he learned how to manage a huge crew of extras and background action from the 1st AD, Terry Needham. On Black Hawk Down, Adam was promoted to first assistant director for the second unit. Black Hawk Down was shooting in Morocco, and the second unit was responsible for most of the helicopter sequences, with lots of moving parts and extras, involving real Black Hawk helicopters and real U.S. military soldiers. After Black Hawk Down, Adam got the call to begin working with Steven Spielberg on War of the Worlds, where he quickly learned to read Spielberg's mind and keep an eye on the details. He's worked with Spielberg on ten films now, including Munich, Lincoln, and Ready Player One. A 1st AD is responsible for coordinating most of the background action. Adam's ability to work on big sets with lots of action, extras and special effects led director Paul Thomas Anderson to hire him for There Will Be Blood, and Anderson has since become a personal friend. Adam finds Anderson's on-set approach to be very thoughtful and measured. Unlike the action-heavy films Adam has worked on, he knew it was important to keep the crew and background actors quiet and subdued on Anderson's films with heavy dialog, such as The Master and Phantom Thread. For The Wolf of Wall Street, Adam was thrilled to work with director Martin Scorsese. Scorsese and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto had Adam sit in during their preproduction shotlisting process, so they were all thoroughly prepared. Scorsese loves shooting scenes with complex background action, and Adam delivered. He carefully rehearsed all the extras in different stages of panic as the brokers watched the stock market crash. For the famous in-flight orgy scene, Adam wasn't totally sure how he wanted to deal with not just one sex scene, which is hard enough, but several at once. So he decided to hire a choreographer to help rehearse and plan all the action, making sure each background player knew exactly what they were doing and taking care that everyone was comfortable with their role in front of the camera. Adam was excited to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu on some of Birdman, and as the 1st AD on one of the may units shooting The Revenant, where Iñárritu and the DP Emmanuel Lubezki “Chivo” wanted everything shot and rehearsed during magic hour. Rehearsals were incredibly important on both Birdman and The Revenant, since Iñárritu and Chivo shot many scenes in one single shot. Adam is currently working on Killers of the Flower Moon with director Martin Scorsese. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep125/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.

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May 20

1 hr 10 min

Seamus McGarvey is drawn to character-driven stories and loves how the camera studies the face in a very particular way. Even when shooting action-packed shows such as The Nevers, Marvel's The Avengers, or the Oliver Stone film, World Trade Center, Seamus stays focused on the characters and uses a naturalistic approach to his composition. The Nevers was Seamus' first extensive experience working on a television series. He had only shot TV episodes here and there, such as “Nosedive,” a favorite episode of Black Mirror, starring Bryce Dallas Howard. For Seamus, shooting a television series was a much faster production schedule and made him think with economy. The Nevers creator Joss Whedon wanted the show to have a contemporary edge, but set in Victorian times, about people known as “The Touched” who suddenly develop supernatural, superhero-like abilities. Fortunately, they had a long preproduction prep time for the action-packed series, which made for a close-knit, collaborative and well-prepared crew. Seamus also worked closely with the second unit, who shot the numerous stunts in The Nevers. He was also able to use some old-school camera tricks for Primrose, a character who's a giant. Seamus had to double the actor's actual height with forced perspective, used a slightly slow-motion camera, and the aid of some special effects, making sure that the lighting stayed consistent between the normal-sized shots and the giant shots. From an early age, cinema as an art form always fascinated Seamus. He was excited to work on a tiny throwback short film in the late 1990's called Flying Saucer Rock 'n' Roll, which is a spoof of black and white sci-fi B movies. It's still his favorite film, because it's so full of invention, charm and joy. Seamus went back home to shoot it in Ireland, even after he'd already established his career with several feature films, and they shot it for no money. Steven Spielberg even saw it, loved it, and invited the director, Enda Hughes to meet with him to develop something at Amblin. Seamus also enjoyed working with director and writer Drew Goddard on Bad Times at the El Royale. The set for the movies was completely built from scratch, which enabled the crew to build in practical light sources and be involved in the design from the beginning. The camera was able to move all over the set and look in all directions. Bad Times is a mystery puzzle movie that all fits together in the end, and Seamus used many visual cues of double images, mirrors and the camera peering through the lattice work to hint at all the character's hidden secrets. Because of his love of natural photography, Seamus also enjoys shooting documentaries, such as Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, about the legendary actor Harry Dean Stanton. He occasionally uses documentary sensibilities in narrative film as well. In We Need To Talk About Kevin, director Lynn Ramsay and Seamus went with actor Tilda Swinton's idea to spontaneously shoot in the rain as part of a flashback scene. Seamus is currently in post-production on Cyrano, his latest production with director Joe Wright. You can see The Nevers streaming on HBOMax. https://www.hbo.com/the-nevers Find Seamus on Instagram @seamiemc & Twitter:@mcseamus Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep124/ Hear our previous interview with Seamus McGarvey: https://www.camnoir.com/ep37/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQIhe3yjQJG72EjZJBRI1w Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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May 12

1 hr 2 min

Randy Thom feels it's important for the sound elements of a film to be present right from the start, at the script writing stage. Sound is an important tool for a filmmaker because it “sneaks into the side door to your brain” and enhances the emotional impact of the film. As George Lucas once told Randy, sound is 50% of the movie experience. After working in the sound department on over 150 projects and winning two Oscars, Randy has helped elevate motion picture sound into an art form, and is often involved in the creative process right from the beginning. He thinks it's important for the sound production mixer to be as involved in preproduction with the director as the DP and production designer are, in order to think about the sound possibilities within the movie. Randy stumbled into sound design later in life, starting out in college radio, then moving to the Bay Area in the 1970's to work professionally in public radio. Once he saw the movie Star Wars, it changed his life, and Randy decided he really wanted to transition from radio into film. Through a friend, he managed to get in touch with Walter Murch, who worked as a sound designer at Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope Studios. He sat in on a remixing session of American Graffiti, and Walter Murch next hired him to work on Apocalypse Now as a field sound recordist, where he spent his time recording sound for a year and a half. Randy began working in sound at a time when Northern California filmmakers George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and Phil Kaufman had a shared philosophy that fresh sounds should be collected for each project. Each movie should have its own sound style, which can be difficult to articulate to a director, much as a cinematographer talks to the director about the visual style. Sound styles are audio look books for your ears. For example, when Randy created the auditory experience for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he had to think about what elements would create the sounds of magic, which had to be based in the natural world. Things disappear and reappear through the transporter in a Star Trek movie as well, but the sound style is distinctly electronic and digital. The sounds used for a transporter would be jarring in a Harry Potter movie. After Apocalypse Now, Randy was asked to record sound effects for Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back with supervising sound editor Ben Burtt. They needed to find the right sound elements for the Imperial Walkers. Randy found metal factories through the phone book, and was able to go record metal sheer noise from the factory in person. The metal noises Randy recorded comprise about 90% of the Imperial Walker sound effect. For the Robert Zemeckis movie Contact, sound plays an important role. Jodie Foster's character, a scientist listening for alien life in the universe, finally hears an alien signal. Randy and Zemeckis had to decide what that extraterrestrial signal would sound like. As the sound designer, Randy had input in preproduction early on and gave Zemeckis his take on how much sound to use in the visual sequences traveling through space. There was little dialog in the film The Midnight Sky, so Randy could collaborate closely with composer Alexandre Desplat. Randy integrated radio signal sounds with the score, so that it would sound interesting but not conflict harmonically with the music. For the dramatic ice breaking sequence in the film, they knew they needed an organic, natural sound, so he accessed the sound library at Skywalker Sound, using several types of ice breaking, even reaching out through contacts to find sound recordists who could get the raw recordings of breaking ice that were then layered and pitch manipulated to help them stand out and not just become background noise. You can see The Midnight Sky streaming on Netflix. Read Randy Thom's tips for sound design on his blog: https://randythomblog.wpcomstaging.com/

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May 5

1 hr 30 min

Dana Gonzales, ASC loves pushing himself to use creative lighting, lenses and camera moves to transport the audience into the story. While working on the mind-bendingly surreal television series Legion and the cinematic, character-driven crime stories of the series Fargo, Dana found a true creative home with producer and showrunner Noah Hawley. With Hawley, Dana has been able to explore how to create and maintain an image that challenges himself and makes an audience feel differently than they've ever felt before. Audiences today are more sophisticated and crave good visuals and storytelling. Dana sees many of today's television series leading the way in artistic expression, which is why huge actors and directors are getting involved. Writers can tell a 10-hour story, fully developing characters and plot, while the director and camera crew can build a world with a strong visual foundation to hold it up. Dana finds today's TV is certainly still challenging- shooting on tight schedules requires staying sharp all the time, and strong visionary showrunners and producers keep everyone motivated. For season four of the FX series Fargo, Dana shot three of the episodes and directed four, including the season finale. Being involved with Fargo since season one helped Dana confidently bring a point of view to the story. He thinks one of the most important aspects of directing is offering an interesting perspective that makes the most of the story, characters and tone. Working with cinematographers Erik Messerschmidt and Pete Konczal, they changed the look of the show to a small degree, using different lenses and framing, and departed from a strict adherence to the visual LUT of the first seasons. They instead decided on a Kodachrome look, which was also the first color film used in season four's time period. The biggest challenge of season 4 was shooting the tornado sequence- partly shot in black and white as a callback to The Wizard of Oz, the complex storylines leading up to and in the aftermath of the tornado all had to seamlessly weave together. As a kid, Dana grew up in L.A. He was always naturally attracted to cameras and began taking photos at a young age. He found jobs on film sets as a driver, set PA, loader and camera assistant, and worked his way up while shooting small side projects. Just working on low budget movies, where Dana was able to be bold and experiment, served as his film school. He maintains the philosophy that every single job needs to be an artistic statement better than the last one, with each script informing his approach differently. After several years working on features and television, Dana moved into directing, where he feels you're even more the author of a show than as a cinematographer. He continues to enjoy working as both a cinematographer and as a director. Dana loved working on the series Legion, where producer Noah Hawley gave him the freedom to be extremely bold and experimental. For Legion, Hawley wanted surreal, elevated images with beautiful and dramatic lighting, that both embraced and reimagined the comic book/graphic novel look. If they tried something and it didn't work visually, they would simply reshoot it. Even though they had access to a visual effects team, Dana chose to build most practical effects in camera, such as stacking several filters onto the lens to create a super surreal look for some scenes, knowing he would be satisfied with the results instead of leaving it up to post production or visual effects to create his vision. You can see season four of Fargo on FX and on Hulu. Find Dana Gonzales: https://www.danagonzales.com/ Instagram: @dana_gonzales_asc Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep122/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/ Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQIhe3yjQJG72EjZJBRI1w

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Apr 28

1 hr 18 min

In case you missed it, we are re-releasing our interview with filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw on their documentary, The Truffle Hunters from 2020's Sundance Film Festival. The film recently received the ASC Documentary Award. Filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw ventured deep in the forests near Alba, Italy for their documentary, The Truffle Hunters. This region is known for its rare white truffles, fetching thousands of dollars for the acclaimed delicacy. The methods of where and how to find truffles is a closely guarded secret. This small group of elderly men seek them in darkness, hiking for miles with their dogs and covering their tracks so no one knows where they go. The film is beautifully composed and uses mostly natural light. The filmmakers chose to keep the camera on a tripod and to observe the subjects at a distance, except for special leather harness rigs for POV doggy-cams that Dweck and Kershaw had specially made. You can find The Truffle Hunters in select theaters and available to rent on video on demand in the coming weeks. https://www.sonyclassics.com/film/thetrufflehunters/ Instagram: @thetrufflehuntersfilm Find Michael Dweck: Twitter @michaeldweck Instagram @michaeldweckstudio Find Gregory Kershaw: Instagram @gregorykershaw Find out even more about this episode, with show notes and links: https://www.camnoir.com/bonustrufflehunters/ ‎ LIKE AND FOLLOW US, send fan mail or suggestions! Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Apr 23

18 min 46 sec

Jenelle Riley, Variety's Deputy Awards and Features Editor, discusses the 2021 Academy Awards nominations Long-time friend and colleague Jenelle Riley of Variety magazine chats with Ben and Illya about Oscar nominations for this very unusual year. They discuss what they liked, what will win, what should win, and their favorite movies of the year that may not have been recognized. Some of the nominations discussed in this episode: Judas and the Black Messiah, Sound of Metal, Nomadland, News of the World, The Trial of the Chicago Seven, Mank, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Minari, Promising Young Woman, The Father, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Hillbilly Elegy Jenelle Riley on Twitter, Instagram: @jenelleriley LIKE AND FOLLOW US, send fan mail or suggestions! Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Apr 21

42 min 35 sec

In Part 2 of our interview, we continue our conversation with cinematographer Matty Libatique. After Pi, Matty couldn't believe that such a small movie shot on 16mm black and white film opened so many doors for him. He began to get calls for large Hollywood movies, such as Tigerland with director Joel Schumacher. Schumacher, known for big-budget, glossy films like Batman and Robin, was looking for a new look for the gritty Vietnam training camp film, starring an up and coming Colin Farrell. Matty and Schumacher decided to shoot hand-held 16 mm for Tigerland so that it would amplify the anger, stress and pain of preparing for war. Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing influenced Matty's path to a career in cinema, and he had the honor to work with Lee on four films, including Inside Man. Matty found Lee's approach to film to be incredibly unique. Lee would decide scenes with multiple cameras could become one camera done in one shot, or plan that a single camera scene should be done with multiple cameras and angles. Matty thinks that as a DP you are a collaborator and need to be present as a fellow filmmaker and not as a fanboy, so he resisted telling Lee that Do The Right Thing was the reason why he went into film. Matty also got the chance to work with another hero of his, director and cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, who shot Do The Right Thing, on the film Never Die Alone. Matty teamed up again with director Darren Aronofsky on The Fountain, an incredibly surreal sci-fi love story that takes place across space and time. It was a big challenge for Matty to bring Aronofsky's vision of The Fountain to life, bouncing ideas off Aronofsky's astrophysicist collaborator, who described what other universes might look like. By contrast, their next movie together, Black Swan, was a stripped down thriller, focused on taught performances and choreography. Black Swan earned Matty his first Academy Award nomination for cinematography. Surprisingly, working on the first Iron Man movie felt to Matty just like working on a giant independent film. With a comedic star like Robert Downey Jr. and an experienced comedic director like Jon Favereau, the two often reworked the script before shooting scenes. Matty had never worked on a project with such a large budget, and he helped create the look of the Marvel cinematic universe. When Matty heard Straight Outta Compton was in developement, he immediately asked his agent for a meeting with director F. Gary Gray, because he was such a big fan of the hip-hop group NWA. The film is about the origins of NWA's generation-defining album and the story of the band, but it was not a straightforward biopic, and Matty wanted to make sure the movie had the right look and feel for the era. For 2018's A Star is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Matty and Cooper, who also directed the film, wanted to pay homage to the other two versions but Cooper's take on the story was definitely different. They decided to feature more musical performance in their version, and early into shooting, Cooper changed the ending so that the main character, Jackson Maine, doesn't die in a motorcycle accident. Matty found that Bradley Cooper has the ability to clearly explain what he sees in his imagination, and his acting experience enabled him to be aware of where the camera was positioned so he didn't have to watch playback of his scenes. Matty's film, The Prom, can be streamed on Netflix. He is currently shooting the film, Don't Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde. Hear Part 1 of our interview with Matty Libatique: https://www.camnoir.com/ep120/ Hear our 2019 interview with Matty Libatique: https://www.camnoir.com/ep33/ Find Matty Libatique: Instagram @libatique Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep121/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.

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Apr 14

1 hr 12 min

Cinematographer Matty Libatique's work ranges from mind-bending features like Pi, Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream to huge Marvel movies such as Iron Man and Birds of Prey. He enjoys balancing his work on both large films and smaller indies in order to feel satisfied and to keep his craft sharp. For his latest film, The Prom, Matty met with director Ryan Murphy about the project. The star-studded cast and the message about gay acceptance appealed to him. But once Matty saw the Broadway play he was concerned- he had never shot a musical before, and he wasn't quite sure how to translate a big Broadway musical into a movie. Matty had worked on several music videos and was the cinematographer of 2018's A Star is Born, which featured musical performances, but it was incredibly gritty and grounded in reality compared to The Prom's bubbly feel-good fantasy world. He and director Ryan Murphy met and knew they wanted to keep it big and colorful while not going too over the top. Murphy loves working with color, and the two decided The Prom had to feature two distinct palettes of colors- the yellow/browns of normal Indiana contrasted with the bright pastels of “the prom” and the theater people who descend on the town. For the final scene in the movie where all the characters go to the all-inclusive prom, Matty and his team utilized a full array of lights on stage that they programmed on the fly. Growing up, Matty was always attracted to light, camera and composition in movies, but he didn't understand what anybody did on a film set until he saw Do The Right Thing. The Spike Lee film made him realize he wanted to make movies. He went to AFI film school along with director Darren Aronofsky and the two bonded right away. They began making movies together in a partnership that continues today. Matty says of his long relationship with Darren Aronofsky that when you keep working with the same directors, it's a sign you're doing the right thing and dedicating your craft to the right ideas. Their first feature together, Pi, had to be created within the parameters of an incredibly low budget. Aronofsky couldn't afford to shoot color film, only Super 16mm black and white reversal, so Pi had a grainy, gritty look and style immediately. A few scenes in Pi use a body-mounted rig to give it a first-person perspective. Matty and Aranofsky first saw the rig used by Icelandic cinematographers Eidur and Einar Snorri, now known as a Snorricam, and knew they wanted to use it in Pi- but the key was to use it sparingly. Matty's film, The Prom, is currently on Netflix. He is currently shooting the film, Don't Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde. Hear our 2019 interview with Matty Libatique: https://www.camnoir.com/ep33/ Listen for Matty Libatique, Part 2, coming next week! He talks about Tigerland, The Fountain, working with Spike Lee, Iron Man and more. Find Matty Libatique: Instagram @libatique Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep120/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQIhe3yjQJG72EjZJBRI1w Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Apr 7

57 min 21 sec

Maryse Alberti is a very eclectic and prolific cinematographer, shooting documentaries, indie films, television shows, commercials and large films over the course of her career. She prefers films that deal with something real- they don't have to revolutionize the world, but the characters have to be interesting and grounded in reality. On her latest film, Hillbilly Elegy, Maryse and director Ron Howard discussed how to treat the different time periods and places in the film. They wanted to juxtapose the character of J.D. at Yale against rural Kentucky and Ohio, while also making the flashbacks to his childhood stand out. The early childhood scenes are color rich and shot handheld, while Maryse used a Steadicam and normal color saturation for the more sedate and polite atmosphere at Yale. Hillbilly Elegy is about strong characters, requiring committed performances from actors Glenn Close and Amy Adams. Maryse made sure to give the actors and director the space to immerse themselves by devising unobtrusive lighting, coming in from windows outside and using lamps on the inside. Her  documentary experience of keeping it simple and natural also translates to her narrative work, and she's discovered that it is now second nature to find the best camera placement for a scene. Growing up in the South of France, Maryse didn't see many movies or television shows until she moved to New York as an au pair in the 1970's. She also worked in the art world, and had jobs as a performance trapeze artist, musician, assistant on small film sets, and took photos as a hobby. In 1990, she shot her first feature length documentary, H2 Worker, an expose of working conditions in the Florida sugar cane industry, which won Best Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival. The documentary launched her career as a cinematographer. Maryse next worked with director Todd Haynes on several films including Poison and Velvet Goldmine. She jumped at the chance to work on the visually rich Velvet Goldmine, loosely based on David Bowie's early career of the 70's. At the time, Maryse had just finished working with Bowie on a Michael Apted documentary called Inspirations, and was a huge fan of the glam rock era. She and Haynes spent a great deal of time in pre-production and Maryse found his storyboards to be amazing works of art. Maryse continued to work on indie films in the 1990's, never shying away from difficult subject matter, such as the controversial Todd Solondz movie Happiness, which includes a storyline with a character who is a pedophile. Maryse found Happiness to be a tough movie since it was so out of the mainstream, dealing with volatile and sexual subject matter that would be almost impossible to find today. But in spite of it all, the crew found ways to have fun with some of the absurd special effects props for the film. Director Darren Aronofsky wanted his film The Wrestler to be entirely hand-held. As a shorter woman, Maryse knew it would be difficult and physically demanding to shoot entirely herself, so they hired camera operator Peter Nolan. Maryse and Aronofsky decided to shoot the entire movie on a single 12mm lens. They committed to a naturalistic approach for shooting it and stuck to it. They used a real location for the wrestling ring, including the real wrestling crowd and real wrestlers. After The Wrestler, Maryse was able to use some of what she learned to shoot Creed, with the exception of the crowd. Maryse kept the camera on the action the entire time, to emphasize that a boxer is truly alone in the ring, rather than relying on any reaction shots from the audience. In her documentary career, Maryse has worked with director Alex Gibney on several films, such as The Armstong Lie, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and Taxi to the Dark Side. She also had the good fortune to work with the late documentarian Michael Apted on several films, such as Incident at Ogala and Moving the Mountain,

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Apr 1

1 hr 21 min

Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski prefers to take a realistic, documentary approach to most of the movies he shoots. His latest film, the western News of the World, is primarily shot outside using natural light, in a style Dariusz likes to call “well-observed” documentary. As with many of director Paul Greengrass's films, News of the World relies on a Steadicam and hand-held cameras to give it a more realistic and intimate feel. Daruisz watched a few Westerns to get ideas for his approach to News of the World, such as The Searchers and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Dariusz got his start after film school shooting music videos back in the 1980's and 90's, such as Suzanne Vega's “My Name is Luka.”  One of his influences was the late cinematographer Harris Sevides, whose approach to music videos for Madonna and R.E.M. was softer and more cinematic. Daruisz and several future icons of cinema were all working on music videos at the time, and he worked with directors David Fincher, Alex Proyas and Gore Verbinski. They all wanted to make movies and were just making music videos to stay employed. As trained filmmakers, Dariusz feels they elevated the music video to an art, bringing a film sensibility to it with longer shots and cinematic lighting. Though Daruisz found it hard to break into film at first, his work on music videos and commercials eventually got him there. Director Alex Proyas hired Dariusz as director of photography for the films Romeo is Bleeding, The Crow, and Dark City. The two used a dark and gritty music video aesthetic for shooting 1994's The Crow. Tragically, star Brandon Lee was killed by a faulty blank bullet during filming and the movie was finished without him, using early face replacement digital technology. For Dark City, Dariusz's next film with Proyas, he was influenced by films such as Metropolis and German expressionist art. He used sodium vapor lights on the set, which created a very orange and surreal glow. To add to the sickly green colors in the film, they decided not to use the correct fluorescent tubes in the automat scenes, or color correct the result. Dariusz went on to work with director Gore Verbinski on The Mexican and Pirates of the Caribbean. At the time, Pirates was anything but a sure thing. It was up against the biggest stigma in Hollywood- every pirate movie that had been made up until that point was a huge flop. Plus, the character Captain Jack Sparrow was a complete antihero, and though Johnny Depp was a known actor, he wasn't yet a huge movie star. After shooting several Pirates movies, Dariusz went on to work with Tim Burton on Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland, then with Ridley Scott on Prometheus , The Martian, and Raised By Wolves, all science fiction movies or series that are heavy on special effects. For Dariusz, even if a film is science fiction, it needs to feel as though it is grounded in its own reality, so it was important to be in constant communication with the VFX supervisor to figure out how they would collaborate on set. News of the World is playing in some theaters and is available to stream on VOD. Find Dariusz Wolski: @dariusz_wolski_official Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep118/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQIhe3yjQJG72EjZJBRI1w Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Mar 24

51 min 39 sec

Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, ASC uses light and color to help emphasize the drama and power of each scene on the FX series Snowfall. He enjoys putting opposing colors in the scenes to subtly suggest any underlying subtext and shifts in power between the characters. Tommy knows that understanding light and knowing how to photograph dark skin is important in a series revolving around primarily African American and Latino characters. Snowfall, created by the late John Singleton, is a period drama that takes place in 1980's Los Angeles during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic. For Tommy, Snowfall feels personal after growing up in the 1980's and 90's in the inner city neighborhood of Mattapan in Boston. Mattapan got the nickname of “Murderpan,” and crack addiction personally affected his own family. As the lead cinematographer on season four of Snowfall, Tommy reads each script, meets with the showrunners, and even goes into the writer's room to talk to them about the subtext in certain scenes to devise a color schematic for each storyline. He develops an idea of his approach and watching the blocking on set allows him to try different things. Snowfall is pretty collaborative- John Singleton helped develop an African American cultural understanding on set, often taking suggestions from people's lived experiences. Tommy says many cultural nuances come from behind the lens, and Black actors, crew members, and people from the neighborhood make the show. Tommy first got into the business as a production assistant in New York, moving up to grip/electric while going to college in Massachusetts. He started working with Spike Lee on commercials as a gaffer and as an operator on Lee's miniseries, When the Levees Broke. After attending AFI (American Film Institute), Tommy met fellow cinematographer and mentor Matty Libatique, who brought him on to Iron Man 2 and Straight Outta Compton. Tommy went on to shoot Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu in South Africa, and television series such as Tales, On My Block and Empire. Several years ago, Spike Lee had introduced Tommy to John Singleton at Singleton's birthday party. Singleton stayed in touch and later saw Tommy's work on the BET anthology series Tales, and approached him to shoot Snowfall. You can see Snowfall on FX on Hulu. https://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/snowfall Find Tommy Maddox-Upshaw: http://www.maddoxdp.com/ Instagram: @themaddoxdp Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep117/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Mar 17

1 hr 8 min

The film Promising Young Woman is many things: a dark comedy-noir-thriller-revenge fantasy, and even part romantic comedy. The film centers on Cassie, a smart and complicated character seeking revenge on men who prey on drunk women. Cinematographer Benjamin Kračun first met director and writer Emerald Fennell while working on a short video project together. Fennell mentioned she was working on a feature project, and she eventually contacted Ben to let him know she had funding and was ready to shoot. Fennell had seen one of Ben's previous films, Beast, which she felt had a similar sensibility. Once Fennell sent the script, Ben read it and found himself completely hooked. He found it very exciting because it was so unlike any Hollywood script he'd seen- a taut thriller, but a fun and enjoyable popcorn movie with elements of romantic comedy. He could see that the film would spark a cultural discussion afterward. For their first meeting, Ben put together images and ideas of what he thought the movie would look like- very dark, dramatic looks from films such as Gone Girl and Magnolia. Fennell came with a look book for a film full of pastel colors and the main character, Cassie, would dress in bright, happy colors. Ben was surprised at first, but Emerald had a very specific point of view for what she wanted. It was very clear from the beginning that it was Emerald's vision and her voice, even though it was her first feature film. Ben likes having specificity at all times from the director, and you can see when a movie has carefully thought through everything. Cassie is in disguise, working at a bright coffee shop by day, and playing different drunk girl roles at night, planning for something bigger. Using the pastel palette in the film takes Promising Young Woman a step away from reality, and hides the darkest undertones of what is really going on, and the audience doesn't see what's coming. You can pay to see Promising Young Woman streaming on VOD services. Find Benjamin Kračun: https://benjaminkracun.com/ Instagram: @benkracun Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep116/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Mar 10

1 hr 3 min

Andrew Dunn always tries to transport the audience into the screen, setting the right tone to capture the time and place of the film. He's drawn to character-driven movies in particular, and he likes to make the viewer feel like they are the person's friend. The United States vs. Billie Holiday is an intimate look at the singer during the latter part of her career, when she was battling drug addiction and under constant scrutiny by the FBI, who had targeted her over her controversial song, “Strange Fruit.” Andrew and director Lee Daniels really wanted to capture the emotional journey Billie Holiday was going through, especially in the scene where actress Andra Day sings “Strange Fruit.” Andrew held on her face with an extreme close up as she sings the song and connects with the camera. The moment is transporting, and the entire cast and crew realized that particular scene was something extraordinary. Andrew had previously shot another film featuring a singer: the 1992 film The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. He remembers her performing “I Will Always Love You” in a beautiful single take, and the entire room was transfixed. The Bodyguard was the biggest movie of that year, and Andrew's career as a cinematographer took off. As a kid, Andrew always wanted to be a cinematographer. He grew up around cinema, as his father worked for MGM studios outside of London. Hungry and desperate to get into the business, he began working for the BBC as an editor, and was able to shoot on documentaries and in local news. Andrew's first “Hollywood” movie was the epitome of Los Angeles- the 1991 movie L.A. Story, starring Steve Martin. It is a movie so about L.A.- a warm love letter and a biting satire at the same time. Andrew thinks coming from the UK to shoot a movie about a place he'd never been before brought a fresh perspective. He always wants to bring a sense of wide-eyed wonder to the world, and L.A. Story perfectly blends absurdity, wonder and magic. You can watch The United States vs. Billie Holiday currently streaming on Hulu. Find Andrew Dunn: Instagram @andrewdunn.dp Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep115/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Mar 3

53 min 18 sec

Sean Bobbitt thinks good cinematography is composed of a series of very carefully crafted and decided upon images. He began his career as a news camera shooter, but once he began to work on documentaries and features, Sean learned that each shot is not just coverage to edit together. After working in news and documentary for several years, Sean decided he wanted to transition into working on dramatic films, so he took a cinematography class with acclaimed cinematographer Billy Williams, and it changed his life. He knew he wanted to become a cinematographer. He soon got his first feature film job working on Wonderland, directed by Michael Winterbottom. Judas and the Black Messiah is a gripping biographical drama about FBI informant William O'Neal and Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton. O'Neil is a small-time criminal who agrees to go undercover for the FBI and infiltrate the Chicago headquarters of the Black Panthers. O'Neal's tips directly result in Chairman Hampton's assassination in his bed by police in 1969. Sean found the script gripping and incredibly relevant to today's ongoing issues of racial inequality. He realized he knew little about the Black Panthers and this chapter of racial injustice in America, and he needed to help tell the story. After reading the script, Sean met with director Shaka King, who brought hundreds of stills of the Black Panthers and talked Sean through the screenplay. Together, Sean and King began to explore what they wanted to visually create. The photographs became the basis for the look and color palette of the film. All the color photos were Kodachrome or Ektachrome, so they had a slightly faded look. Sean wanted high contrasts with punchy primary colors and worked closely with the DIT to get the color grade for the look he wanted. Previously, Sean had worked on a few biopics with director Steve McQueen, such as 12 Years a Slave and Hunger. Sean finds McQueen a very unique artist and a fantastic collaborator. They've worked together for so long that they are very good at communicating on set. McQueen loves long takes, and really began exploring those with Hunger- the film features a 16 and a half minute take, based on the idealogical concept that if you simply hold the frame, the audience begins to project themselves into the action. If there's no cut, the audience can't be reminded it's a film and can't be let off the hook. Sean learned to compose very considered frames where the action happens. One of the main concepts of the movie Shame was that most New Yorkers live their lives in high rises in the air, and the characters in the film only came down for sordid reasons. Most of the takes in Shame are also very long and purposefully make the viewer feel uncomfortable. You can watch Judas and the Black Messiah in select theaters and streaming on HBO Max. https://www.judasandtheblackmessiah.com/ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep114/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Feb 25

54 min 23 sec

Lachlan Milne believes that finding a connection and building a friendship with the director of a film is the key to making great art. Growing up in Adelaide, Australia, Lachlan had a clear idea of what he wanted to do from an early age, since his father was a director and his mother was an editor. He got his foot in the door as an assistant prop master, but knew his calling was in the camera department. At first he was barely scraping by from job to job before getting more established as a cinematographer on small movies such as Uninhabited and Not Suitable for Children. His big breakout movie was 2016's Hunt for the Wilderpeople with director Taika Waititi. Lachlan soon found a niche on challenging but fun supernatural movies such as Little Monsters, Martha the Monster, and Love and Monsters (coming soon to the U.S.) and then began work on the hit series, Stranger Things. Working on a big budget show like Stranger Things was weird for Lachlan, who was used to making do on small budget movies. Stranger Things has the luxury of shooting on a stage, and everything is a built set, with walls and ceilings that could be removed for ease of shooting and lighting. The crew was even able to customize and control all the neon and lighting in Episode 8- The Battle of Starcourt to make the entire mall flicker on demand. On his latest film, Minari, Lachlan and director Lee Isaac Chung decided the film needed to be one camera, that the pacing should be languid, simply and naturalistically shot. Lachlan feels that having a low budget actually worked to Minari's advantage, because the best version of the movie was a film that relied more on capturing the performances rather than big showy shots. He favors holding out for a closeup until it's emotionally warranted rather than doing it just for the sake of having closeups. Minari was a great opportunity for Lachlan to move back into shooting simple indie films. He and Isaac spent time together carefully shotlisting all the scenes. One of the most challenging aspects of shooting Minari was scenes in the trailer the family lives in. They used an actual trailer, and it was hard to cram sometimes up to 15 people into it, with no air conditioning and a limited range for camera motion and angles. Lachlan Milne is currently shooting season four of Stranger Things. You can watch Minari in theaters and streaming on VOD beginning February 26. Find Lachlan Milne: https://info509786.wixsite.com/lachlanmilne Instagram: @lachlanmilne Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep113/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/ Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Feb 17

1 hr 30 min

For many years, Barry Alexander Brown labored over bringing his film, Son of the South to the big screen. Barry is best known for his editing work with director Spike Lee, and was nominated for an Academy Award for BlacKkKlansman. Growing up in Alabama, Barry was familiar with civil rights activist Bob Zellner, and he knew he wanted to make a movie about Zellner's life. Zellner, whose grandfather was in the Ku Klux Klan, became an activist in the civil rights movement while a college student in 1961. His autobiography, The Wrong Side Of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement gave Barry a starting point for his screenplay, which made the rounds and was well received, but no one would commit to making the film. After nearly ten years, Barry gave up on ever being able to make the movie. Then at the end of 2017, Barry got a call from actor Daniel Radcliffe, who really loved the script, but was unable to star in it. This gave Son of the South some heat again, and Barry was able to get more producers on board and raise the money to make the film. Barry wrote some of his personal experiences with segregation into the script, and he hopes Son of the South inspires people to continue to fight for civil rights. You can watch Son of the South streaming now in select theaters and on VOD. Hear Barry Alexander Brown's previous interview with us in 2019, discussing BlacKkKlansman: https://www.camnoir.com/ep31/ Find Barry Alexander Brown- Instagram: @barryalexanderbrown Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep112/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Feb 10

49 min 40 sec

When filmmaker Ryan White first heard about the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in early 2017, he paid little attention to the story until a reporter called to let him know that it might make an interesting documentary. Kim Jong-nam was poisoned in the middle of a crowded Malaysian airport by two young women who smeared a highly poisonous nerve agent on his face. On the surface, these women seemed like bold, cold-blooded killers. But once Ryan and cinematographer John Benam flew to Malaysia to find out more about the story, they soon realized that the political assassination plot went deep, the women might be innocent, and were likely duped by North Korean operatives. The two women, Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong, were put on trial for murder in Malaysia. Ryan was able to speak with their lawyers and eventually interview Siti and Doan. With help from the women's defense lawyers, the Assassins editorial team painstakingly pieced together all the security footage from the airport and put together the entire sequence of events during the assassination. They were also able to see and use within the film many of the text messages the women exchanged with their handlers, which clearly pointed to their complete ignorance of what they were getting into. Ryan feels Assassins became controversial and had trouble finding distribution not because of the political content, but because big online companies feared retribution, as occurred with Sony Pictures getting hacked by North Korea when they released the film The Interview. Cinematographer John Benam has worked on several documentaries with director Ryan White, beginning with the the Netflix series The Keepers, about the murder of a nun and the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Baltimore Catholic Church. When John first decided to make a career out of filmmaking, he knew he wanted to stay in Baltimore, and started working in a camera shop during the switch from film to video. Luckily, Baltimore has a bit of a film industry and he was able to work locally on several TV shows, then got a job working for National Geographic shooting nature documentaries. For Assassins, John and Ryan dove deep into Siti and Doan's story, exploring where they came from and what brought them to Malaysia. They felt it was important to have the women tell their own story, and it required patience and sensitivity. John is a mission-oriented, emotional cinematographer, and shooting nature documentaries taught him the skill to sit still, keep a low profile, and watch a story unfold. John had to travel light and nimble, taking dozens of trips to Malaysia for the story over the course of two years while the trial was going on. He used two Canon EOS C300 Mark II cameras for shooting, because of its lightness and small size, staying under the radar from the general public. As he learned about the intricacies of the Malaysian legal system and shot the trial, John felt very emotional about the outcome of a guilty verdict for the women, which would mean execution by hanging. You can watch Assassins streaming now in virtual cinemas: https://www.assassinsdoc.com Find Ryan White: http://www.tripod-media.com/ Find John Benam: https://www.benamfilms.com/ Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep111/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Feb 3

1 hr 19 min

It's Groundhog Day! Director and cinematographer John Bailey, ASC sat down with us before the pandemic to discuss his work on the film, Groundhog Day, and briefly touched on his other work. John Bailey feels that the screenplay is the most important part of a film. It can be a leap of faith to work with a first time director, when they don't have a body of work, so a good script is always a solid starting point. As the DP of Ordinary People, John noticed the craftsmanship of that particular screenplay, which was carefully written and structured for several years by screenwriter Alvin Sargent and first-time director Robert Redford. He knew right away it would become a meaningful and important film. Both Sargent and Redford won Academy Awards for their work as screenwriter and director, respectively, and Ordinary People won the Best Picture Oscar. Groundhog Day grabbed John immediately as an interesting and offbeat idea for a film, but no one guessed that it would actually become part of the film canon and popular culture. To this day, John is surprised when people tell him how much they like that film and how much it has touched people. The movie famously had its own chaos, since star Bill Murray and director Harold Ramis had a very combative relationship on set. John spent two years as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His passion was in furthering the Academy Film Archive, the Margaret Herrick Library, and other AMPAS charitable projects. He became frustrated with the industry's focus on the Academy's role in the Oscars and how much punditry went into how to fix the awards process. Currently, John continues to work as a cinematographer and director. You can watch Groundhog Day all day long on Feb. 2 on AMC, or stream it (for a fee) on Amazon, Sling TV, or YouTube. Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/bonusjohnbailey/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Feb 2

18 min 21 sec

With a background in photojournalism and documentary, cinematographer Quyen Tran is drawn to emotional stories and giving voice to victims. But she also has a talent for shooting comedies, such as The Little Hours, the series Camping, and most recently the hit movie Palm Springs. Palm Springs is a comedy about two people trying to escape a time loop, reliving the same day over and over, like Groundhog Day. The film became hugely popular and critically acclaimed during the pandemic, probably because it resonated with everyone locked down and feeling like each day was the same. Palm Springs was shot on a relatively small budget and a pretty fast schedule, so Q was able to call in a few favors to help stretch the budget. She enjoyed working with Cristin Milioti, Andy Samberg and JK Simmons, who was a great foil for Andy Samberg's character. A great deal of the movie was actually improvised- while it was definitely scripted, there were many alternate takes that made it into the movie. Since the film is about a constantly repeating day, the actors improvising different takes kept the story fresh and each take could be a bit different each time. Q also shot a few episodes of the Netflix series Unbelievable, a true story about a young woman who is raped and then recants her story. Years later, two female detectives track the serial rapist and prove her story true. The series won a Peabody Award for showing a humanized exploration of rape survival. Q and director Lisa Cholodenko knew they wanted very literal and subjective camerawork, making the camera seem like it was always from the character Marie's point of view of being sexually assaulted. They had the actress Kaitlyn Dever block scenes in pre-production so that she could help contribute and feel comfortable in the environment. Q chose to place a camera under a table in the interrogation scene so that it could still get a close up on her face, and give a feeling of disembodiment and detachment from her body. The FX/Hulu series A Teacher explores grooming and sexual abuse, but this time with a male victim. Quyen shot the show in a naturalistic way as she did with Unbelievable. She wanted to stay true to the material and help the viewer emphasize with the victim. One of Q's passions in life is cooking and baking, and during the pandemic in her down time, Q and her friend and fellow DP, Jeanne Tyson, decided to start Doughrectors of Photography. In exchange for a donation to the LA Food Bank or other charity such as Vote Blue, patrons receive a loaf of homemade sourdough and/or cookies. Doughrectors has now donated over 100,000 meals to the L.A. Food Bank, and they continue to bake and raise money. Most recently, Quyen was shooting Maid with director John Wells in Victoria, BC. They had to follow strict COVID protocols, including quarantining for two weeks before shooting. She was able to have a lot of prep time over Zoom with the director. The crew had to have masks on at all times of course, and were tested 3 times per week, taking their time and limiting the amount of people in the space. You can check out Doughrectors of Photography and find out how you can donate and get some delicious baked goods on Instagram at @doughrectorsofphotography You can hear our previous interview with Quyen Tran: https://www.camnoir.com/ep26/ Find Quyen Tran: https://www.qtranfilms.com/ Instagram: @qgar Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep110/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/ Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jan 27

53 min 29 sec

Special: The Cinematography Podcast- War Stories Vol. 5 In our fifth War Stories Special, we feature ten guest's harrowing, hilarious or heartwarming stories they had while on set, or a formative career experience that led them to cinematography. Find full interviews with each of our featured cinematographers in our archives! www.camnoir.com Cinematographer Tom Sigel experiences a fight on the set of Three Kings; producer Lije Sarki and the horror film that never saw the light of day; Dan Kneece on working in Chile for a job; Jeff Cronenweth figured out an elaborate ruse to steal a shot while shooting The Social Network; storyboard artist Tony Liberatore on finding his career path; Trevor Forrest talks about one of his more unusual and life-affirming gigs; Iris Ng on the bureaucracy in Iraq to shoot at Shanidar Cave; Bill Totolo experiences the Survivor reality show shoot from hell; Johnny Derango races to get a shot; and finally, Alex Winter on shooting with a wind-up Bolex in a mosh pit. Do you have a War Story you'd like to share? Send us an email or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/warstories5/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jan 20

37 min 38 sec

Tami Reiker, ASC focuses on how to make beautiful, authentic performances while maintaining the director's vision. Her most recent film, One Night in Miami, is full of amazing performances. Directed by Academy Award winning actress Regina King, One Night in Miami is based on real events, when Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown met in a hotel room to celebrate Ali's fight victory over Sonny Liston. The film is based on a play by Kemp Powers, which presented a challenge for Tami since most of it takes place in one hotel room and it's almost entirely dialog. All the actors had very busy schedules, so she and Regina King had only four days for rehearsal. King had very specific ideas about the type of film she wanted to make, and they planned the blocking and the shots together. It was also important for King for Tami to reproduce some of the scenes from historic reference photos, such as the original Hampton House hotel, Cassius Clay working out in the swimming pool, the diner, and the fight scenes. To give One Night in Miami a less static feel, Tami kept the camera moving, hiding some in walls on the set and using a jib arm, keeping her shots fluid so that the camera feels like a fly on the wall during the men's conversations. Tami chose an Alexa 65 and used Prime DNA lenses with Bronze Glimmerglass to give the movie a vintage look. Growing up, Tami was always interested in photography. She attended NYU film school, where she worked on several student films and met director Lisa Cholodenko, with whom she later shot the film High Art. The 1990's to the early 2000's was the heyday of indie filmmaking and with the advent of digital cinema, Tami was excited to be involved with independent production companies such as InDigEnt, which produced Pieces of April in 2003 starring Katie Holmes. InDigEnt's business model allowed each person on the crew to own a percentage of the movie. Tami shot the film on a mini DV camera, and she still gets a residual check for Pieces of April today. One Night in Miami can be seen at drive in theaters in Los Angeles and is available to stream on Friday, January 15 on Amazon Prime. Find Tami Reiker: http://www.ddatalent.com/client/tami-reiker-asc Instagram: @tamireiker123 Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep109/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jan 13

50 min 17 sec

Cinematographer Jake Swantko spoke with us last year at the Sundance Film Festival after the premiere of The Dissident, the documentary he shot with director Bryan Fogel. Jake and Bryan had previously collaborated on the Oscar-winning film, Icarus. The Dissident explores the assassination and international coverup of outspoken Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Once director Bryan Fogel learned more about the circumstances surrounding the death of Khashoggi, he knew this was another important- and dangerous- subject to film for his next documentary. Bryan took the idea to Jake, who also worked as a producer on the film, and they began the grueling process, traveling to Canada and Turkey multiple times to interview Khashoggi's close friend and Saudi insurgent Omar Abdulaziz, speaking to Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz, spending a year digging into the case and meeting with the Turkish government. The Dissident team knew they had to have the cooperation of Turkey to shoot the story, since Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and they eventually scored an interview with Irfan Fidan, the chief prosecutor in Istanbul who investigated the murder. Since The Dissident was so huge in scope, Jake knew he wanted to elevate the production value of the film and shot it like a dark thriller. He set up most interviews formally instead of run-and-gun style, with three cameras and one on dolly track to push in on the subject's face. Despite being well received at Sundance, The Dissident struggled to find a distributor, even from Netflix, who had championed Icarus. Amazon Prime also would not buy the film, despite Jeff Bezos briefly being in The Dissident- Jamal Kashoggi wrote for his newspaper, The Washington Post and Bezos' phone was hacked by Saudi Arabian government hackers. It seems the streaming services feared retaliation by the Saudi government and didn't want to risk losing viewers in that market. Briarcliff Entertainment finally championed The Dissident, and it is currently available on VOD. The Dissident is available to stream now on video on demand services. https://thedissident.com/ You can hear our past interview with Jake Swantko in 2018 talking to us about the Oscar winning documentary, Icarus. https://www.camnoir.com/special-swantko/ Find Jake Swantko: https://www.jakeswantko.com/ Instagram @swantko IT'S A GIVEAWAY! Last week to enter to win Bruce Van Dusen's book, 60 Stories about 30 Seconds: How I Got Away with Becoming a Pretty Big Commercial Director Without Losing My Soul (or Maybe Just Part of It). Like and comment on our Bruce Van Dusen post on Facebook and we'll choose a winner from the comments. https://www.facebook.com/cinepod Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep108/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jan 10

49 min 21 sec

In our first-ever Best Of compilation episode, we have a dozen clips of listener favorites from 2020 and some of our selects as well. Cinematographer Bradford Young goes deep into his filmmaking philosophy and influences, such as on Selma; Kira Kelly talks about making the documentary 13th with director Ava DuVernay; Greig Fraser on Lion, Star Wars and The Mandalorian; Anthony Dod Mantle describes exploring New York City for The Undoing; Wally Pfister on his early career working on Roger Corman movies; Brendan Davis on leaving China as the pandemic hit; director Don Coscarelli remembers working with cinematographer John Alcott on The Beastmaster; legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman talks about his process of assembling his films; cinematographer Iris Ng on making documentaries that are personal narratives; commercial director Bruce Van Dusen tells an anecdote from an Ex-Lax commercial; director Julie Taymor on the visual language of The Glorias; and finally director Ron Howard on directing the documentary Rebuilding Paradise versus his approach to narrative films. Be sure to check out the full episodes, and let us know what you think! IT'S A GIVEAWAY! Enter to win Bruce Van Dusen's book, 60 Stories about 30 Seconds: How I Got Away with Becoming a Pretty Big Commercial Director Without Losing My Soul (or Maybe Just Part of It). Like and comment on our Bruce Van Dusen post on Facebook and we'll choose a winner from the comments. https://www.facebook.com/cinepod Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/bestof2020/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Jan 6

1 hr 33 min

Erik Messerschmidt, ASC believes that cinematographers get too much credit for how a movie looks and not enough for how the story is told. When you break a scene apart and assemble a sequence, the cinematographer has a huge part to play in the process of deciding when to move the camera, what lenses are used, how it flows and when it moves. Erik thinks when you look at it that way, cinematography has a lot more in common with editing rather than photography. Erik's most recent project, Mank- which is currently streaming on Netflix- was shot entirely in black and white. The look was the result of lots of conversations with director David Fincher. They both had a clear idea of what they wanted it to look like and also exactly what they did not want- too much heavy handed, contrast-heavy black and white cinematography in a film-noir style would take the viewers out of the experience, so it needed a lighter touch. Erik used fine art photography from the '30's to the mid '40's as a reference, and he and David Fincher wanted an homage to Citizen Kane without it actually looking like the film. Fincher was clear that he wished to transport the audience so they would lose their awareness of watching a black and white movie, and feel as though they are in the world of Herman J. Mankiewicz as he writes the script for Citizen Kane in the 1940's. Erik has worked with director David Fincher on several projects, first working as a gaffer on Gone Girl, then moving into the camera department on the series Mindhunter. Erik and David have become very close collaborators, and he enjoys working with him. Fincher likes a sense of hyper reality to his movies, and Erik sees it as his job as the cinematographer to learn what the director responds to, figure out how best to support their process and bring something to the party. Before moving into the camera department, Erik worked for several years as a gaffer. After working with David Fincher on two seasons of Mindhunter, Erik needed more work since he was a newly minted director of photography. He got the opportunity to shoot second unit on Sicario: Day of the Soledado with cinematographer Dariusz Wolski as the lead DP. He then worked on a few episodes of the TV series Legion with producer/director Noah Hawley and DP-turned-director Dana Gonzales, which was visually fun to work on. Legion's look was whimsical yet dark, as it explored the main character's mental illness and possible superpowers. He had the opportunity to work with Dana again on the finale of season four of Fargo. Erik also shot several episodes of the Ridley Scott series, Raised By Wolves, splitting the series with DP Ross Emery. Mank is available to watch right now on Netflix. Find Erik Messerschmidt: Instagram @emesserschmidt IT'S A GIVEAWAY! Enter to win Bruce Van Dusen's book, 60 Stories about 30 Seconds: How I Got Away with Becoming a Pretty Big Commercial Director Without Losing My Soul (or Maybe Just Part of It). Like and comment on our Bruce Van Dusen post on Facebook and we'll choose a winner from the comments. https://www.facebook.com/cinepod Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep107/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Dec 2020

1 hr 11 min

Director Bruce Van Dusen has had a long career making commercials, which is extremely rare. He's discovered that making a good commercial is finding a balance between art and commerce, and the end product must be exactly what the client wants while getting the viewer to pay attention. Working in commercials doesn't necessarily bring out the best in people- unlike a movie or TV show, there's even less time and more pressure on a commercial shoot. The crew must gel instantly, work quickly and create a spot that's going to be usable at the end of the day. A commercial director is in the unique position of not necessarily being completely in charge on set. The client is always present and is able to tell the director exactly what they want, even without any authority or experience. The director has to listen even if it seems stupid, or they get blamed for a bad result. Straight out of film school, Bruce first wanted to make serious documentaries. He greatly admired Frederick Wiseman's films, and Frederick happened to be listed in the phone book, so Bruce called him up. Frederick gave him a piece of advice- you'll spend a lot of your time trying to raise money for your film rather than making the documentary. This set Bruce down a completely different path, and he decided he would do anything to get a job working in movies. He started working as a production assistant, and saw how much money some of the big names in the movie business made making commercials on the side. At age 23, he quickly found some local clients, started his own business in New York and established himself as the king of low-budget commercials by undercutting all the other directors' rates. Over time, Bruce became an established name, doing bigger and longer commercials, and he was able to find a niche in longer-format emotional commercial “stories” dealing with actors. Once he created a rapport working with the same clients, there was more trust, more art, and more confidence in his work. He finally made a documentary, The Surge: The Whole Story, and directed three films, including Cold Feet, a small 1983 indie that made it to the Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, besides writing a book about his experiences, Bruce made a spot for The Lincoln Project. Find Bruce Van Dusen: https://www.brucevandusen.com/ Instagram: @brucevandusen1 IT'S A GIVEAWAY! Enter to win Bruce Van Dusen's book, 60 Stories about 30 Seconds: How I Got Away with Becoming a Pretty Big Commercial Director Without Losing My Soul (or Maybe Just Part of It). Like and comment on our Bruce Van Dusen post on Facebook and we'll choose a winner from the comments. https://www.facebook.com/cinepod Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep105/ Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com Website: www.camnoir.com Facebook: @cinepod Instagram: @thecinepod Twitter: @ShortEndz

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Dec 2020

1 hr 23 min