The Cinematography Podcast Episode 135: Flavio Labiano

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 Timecrimesan 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 Flavio Labiano

Close Focus: The passing of our friend and podcast guest, Dan Kneece. An extraordinary person and cinematographer who will be greatly missed.

Illya’s short end: Aputure has a new version of the 600d light called the 600x which is one of the smallest and least expensive bicolor lights out there. You can pre-order one at Hot Rod Cameras.

Ben’s short end: As a follow-up to last week’s short end on the podcast, “The Plot Thickens,” Ben finally watched the film, The Bonfire of the Vanities. Phil Tippet, stop motion genius, has been working on a stopmotion film called Mad God for 30 years and it’s finally finished and being released.

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Podcast Credits:

Editor in Chief:  Illya Friedman.  Email:
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Producer: Alana Kode

Editor: Ben Katz

Composer: Kays Al-Atrakchi

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