The Cinematography Podcast Episode 174: Chris Teague
Cinematographer Chris Teague on the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building
Cinematographer Chris Teague has shot many acclaimed television series and films such as Obvious Child, GLOW, Russian Doll and Mrs. America. His latest work is on the Hulu series, Only Murders in the Building, both Season One and Season Two, and he also directed episodes seven and eight of Season Two.
Only Murders in the Building has many different tones, ranging from funny to dark, dramatic and even scary. The show manages to strike a balance to keep the darkness from undermining the comedy. As the DP, Chris created a very cinematic and timeless look and feel for the show, which is mainly shot on sets that are meticulously built and planned. Each episode takes about 6 ½ days to shoot, and Chris and the crew are able to create visually interesting shots that feel very natural because of having such well built sets with excellent lighting. Actors Martin Short and Steve Martin have such a rapport, and their friend dynamic is baked into the script- the two actually don’t do very much improv or riffing. If they do come up with something, Martin and Short run the line changes through for the crew to see how they play. Chris has enjoyed coming back to work on a second season of the show, because he has a body of work to reference and the crew knows the look of the show really well.
As a kid, Chris made lots of short movies with friends growing up, and always loved photography and writing. It seemed a natural fit to go to film school and he decided to pursue cinematography full time after the film he shot, Obvious Child, went to Sundance in 2014.
Find Chris Teague: Instagram @_christeague
Only Murders in the Building Season 2 is currently airing on Hulu.
Illya’s short end: Hyatt hotels have LG TVs that are compatible with casting streaming apps from your phone, but the smooth scan/smooth motion default programming on the TV could not be turned off. Here is a guide by Variety from February 2022 on how to turn motion smoothing off- and WHY YOU SHOULD-on your television. (Unfortunately, like Illya, you may be out of luck at a hotel!)
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Host: Ben Rock
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Composer: Kays Al-Atrakchi