September 21, 2020

Ben Kutchins, Emmy-nominated cinematographer of Ozark, on creating the look of the show, working with Jason Bateman, the Veronica Mars movie, Mozart in the Jungle

Cinematographer Ben Kutchins feels that in filmmaking, you have to be fully committed to believing the story you’re telling, and your focus must be unwavering when shooting. There is no other story happening in the world other than the story you’re telling. This single-mindedness has served Ben well when shooting the series Ozark for Netflix, which is shot with very controlled light sources and camera movements. Every scene in the show is planned out carefully to reveal more about the story or the character. He and director/producer Jason Bateman wanted it to always look dark and shadowy, and many of the shots in the show are done as “oners,” or one long take. It might take seven to ten takes to get the oner, depending on how intricate it is. Before Ozark, Ben started off exploring still photography as a teen, then landed an internship at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), which led to a production assistant job at ILM. He had the opportunity to use the lab at Lucasfilm to experiment and process film to understand how it could look. But Ben knew his passion was film, so he enrolled at NYU Film School in order to learn more and work with other young filmmakers such as Rachel Morrison and Reed Morano. He shot about 60 short films in two years, then worked on several indie films before getting hired to shoot the Veronica Mars movie and then the Amazon series, Mozart in the Jungle. Shooting Mozart in the Jungle gave Ben the opportunity to work with and learn from very seasoned directors. He thinks working in television has been an amazing opportunity to collaborate with other DPs and that television has helped him develop a style and hone his craft.

You can find Ozark season three streaming on Netflix.

Find Ben Kutchins: http://www.benkutchins.com/
Instagram: @benkutchins

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/ep92/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

WIN a Sony A7SIII, Gitzo tripod and $100 Hot Rod Cameras gift card! Worth over $4,000, for one lucky winner! Follow us on Instagram @thecinepod and click on the link in bio to enter by September 29, 2020.

Website: www.camnoir.com
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

September 15, 2020

Armando Salas, ASC, on Ozark season 3, his Emmy-nominated episode, shooting the series Mr. Mercedes, From Dusk Til Dawn, Strange Angel

Armando Salas, ASC was recently nominated for an Emmy for his work on Ozark season three. Ozark is intentionally lit and shot to be very blue and very dark, because all the characters are in the shadows, desperately hiding and scrambling to avoid exposure. Armando began working on Ozark during season two and was already a fan of the show. He worked closely with director and actor Jason Bateman and the other DP on the series, Ben Kutchins. On season three, Armando shot the last four episodes with director Alik Sakharov. (Find our interview with Alik Sakharov here.) This four hour block of the show was a lot like shooting a film, and required him to refer to a detailed shot list, make many notes and continuously refer back to the script. As a kid, Armando grew up in Miami and was drawn to cinematography as a teenager, when he started shooting skateboarding videos. He studied fine arts and did a graduate program for film school, starting off his career as a gaffer before transitioning fully into cinematography. Armando shot several indie features and worked on a few films in China before landing his first episodic show, From Dusk Till Dawn, based on the film by Robert Rodriguez. For the Stephen King series Mr. Mercedes, Armando had the opportunity to create the look of the show, traveling to locations and deciding how to shoot it. The show quickly transitions from from loose and handheld at first, to very smooth and formal framing once the vehicle arrives on the scene. On the CBS show Strange Angel, Armando shot the second season. In this case, the whole look of the show was meant to feel different from the first season, with different cameras, lenses, and lighting.

You can find Ozark season three streaming on Netflix.

Find Armando Salas: https://www.salasfilm.com/
Instagram: @cinesalas

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/ep91/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

WIN a Sony A7SIII, Gitzo tripod and $100 Hot Rod Cameras gift card! Worth over $4,000, for one lucky winner! Follow us on Instagram @thecinepod and click on the link in bio to enter by September 29, 2020.

Website: www.camnoir.com
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz