The Cinematography Podcast Episode 226: Anastas Michos
Cinematographer Anastas Michos ASC, GSC humbly calls himself a journeyman cinematographer. However, after 25 years and multiple awards, Anastas possesses expert skill and versatility that can be seen across all genres. Most recently, Anastas was nominated for an Emmy for “The Autopsy,” an episode of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities anthology TV series on Netflix.
Del Toro selected the directors for each episode of Cabinet of Curiosities, and he chose idiosyncratic directors who brought their own sensibilities to each piece. Anastas had worked with “The Autopsy” director David Prior before on a horror film called The Empty Man, and they enjoyed collaborating together again. Anastas enjoyed working on Cabinet of Curiosities because it felt like making a short film rather than a TV show, with each piece a crafted short story rather than a serialization. For a consistent look, each episode used the same production designer, Tamara Deverell, who also did the production design for del Toro’s Nightmare Alley. While shooting the episode, Anastas was always conscious that “The Autopsy” should fall under the look of del Toro’s brand.
Anastas has always enjoyed shooting horror films because they explore the human condition in a very specific way. The cinematographer can creatively stretch the imagination and the image in a way that can’t be done as much in dramas, comedies or romances, since they’re usually based in our day to day reality. But Anastas likes to switch around among genres- after working on an intense horror film such as Texas Chainsaw 3D, a light rom com might sound really good. He’s interested in any project that has a great story, script, director and crew.
Before finding his way behind a camera, Anastas thought he’d go into the music business since he grew up in a musical family. Instead, he became a news cameraperson, learning visual storytelling on the job. He’s found that his music background has actually served him well as a cinematographer- he feels musicality is very much a part of camera movement. One memorable time early in his career, Anastas was working Steadicam for Born on the Fourth of July. Director Oliver Stone pulled him aside and had Anastas put on a walkman so that he could move the camera to the pace of the music Stone wanted.
After working as a camera and Steadicam operator for several years, Anastas got to shoot his first feature as a DP for Man on the Moon. Anastas found director Milos Forman to be simultaneously generous and demanding, with the capability of recognizing someone’s potential and holding them to it.
Find Anastas Michos: Instagram: @anastasmichos_asc_gsc
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities anthology TV series is on Netflix.
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Close Focus: A news roundup: The death of William Friedkin; four movies crossed $25 million on the same weekend: Barbie, Oppenheimer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Meg 2: The Trench; the AMPTP and the Writers Guild were going back to the table (but failed to reach an agreement); Deadline’s Striketalk podcast and The Town podcast detail more of the inner workings of what’s wrong with the business.
Ben’s short end: Talk to Me, a horror movie currently in theaters, truly scared him.
Illya’s short end: The AppleTV+ series Silo is an excellent sci-fi show that explores deep secrets and hidden truths in a dystopian future society.
Listen to Ben’s new horror series Catchers, available NOW only on Audible!
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