The Cinematography Podcast Episode 89: Jas Shelton

Jas Shelton’s career has spanned nearly every genre, from comedy to horror and suspense. Jas grew up in East Texas and attended the University of Texas in Austin. He had difficulty getting into the film program, so he started shooting music videos for bands, then began shooting student films. Austin was a hub for fairly large films at the time, where Jas found work as a gaffer or on second unit, including Miss Congeniality, Varsity Blues, and The Ladykillers. When he and director Kyle Alvarez began planning for the second season of Homecoming on Amazon, they chose to use a different color palette from season one, with darker, moodier looks for the flashback sequences vs. the present day. They were influenced by the look of 70’s movies and Brian DePalma films, with slow push-in zooms on the characters, several split-screen sequences and off-center framing. Jas shot all seven episodes of the series, and has received an Emmy nomination for his work. Jas had also worked with Kyle Alvarez on The Stanford Prison Experiment, which was another challenging project since most of it was shot on a white laboratory set, but careful use of close-ups and shadow helped bring more depth to the film. Jas’s tight camerawork and careful planning for Homecoming was a much different approach from Jas’s previous work with the Duplass brothers on the series Togetherness, The Do-Deca-Pentathalon and Cyrus. Mark and Jay Duplass favor a rough, homemade, documentary style, with lots of improvisation, so scenes often began with close ups on long lenses, with wider shots at the end. For the film Keanu, Jas’s experience with more improvisational filmmaking was useful, since Jordan Peele would often rewrite scenes right before shooting.

See Homecoming season 2 on Amazon Prime

Find Jas Shelton

Instagram: @jasshelton

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras

Close Focus: Layoffs at CAA and some former agents are moving into management. Sequels and re-imaginings/reinterpretations of series, such as Suicide Squad, The Batman, the new Justice League Zack Snyder cut, the various Spiderman movies, Halloween movies and Terminator films.

Ben’s short end: Adobe After Effects has a new version of Roto Brush for rotoscoping, called Roto Brush 2 that’s a game-changer- it doesn’t need nearly as much retouching and retooling as the old version.

Illya’s short end: Cuties, a movie that came out at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and the controversy about the artwork Netflix chose to represent the movie, which has been accused of over-sexualizing girls and doesn’t accurately represent the film.

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Podcast Credits:

Editor in Chief:  Illya Friedman@hotrodcameras

Instagram: @illyafriedman

Ben Rock:  Twitter: @neptunesalad

Instagram: @bejamin_rock

Producer: Alana Kode

Editor: Ben Katz

Composer: Kays Alatractchi

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