May 12, 2021

Seamus McGarvey, ASC on HBO’s The Nevers, Flying Saucer Rock ‘n’ Roll, Bad Times at the El Royale, Harry Dean Stanton, Oliver Stone and more

Seamus McGarvey is drawn to character-driven stories and loves how the camera studies the face in a very particular way. Even when shooting action-packed shows such as The Nevers, Marvel’s The Avengers, or the Oliver Stone film, World Trade Center, Seamus stays focused on the characters and uses a naturalistic approach to his composition.

The Nevers was Seamus’ first extensive experience working on a television series. He had only shot TV episodes here and there, such as “Nosedive,” a favorite episode of Black Mirror, starring Bryce Dallas Howard. For Seamus, shooting a television series was a much faster production schedule and made him think with economy. The Nevers creator Joss Whedon wanted the show to have a contemporary edge, but set in Victorian times, about people known as “The Touched” who suddenly develop supernatural, superhero-like abilities. Fortunately, they had a long preproduction prep time for the action-packed series, which made for a close-knit, collaborative and well-prepared crew. Seamus also worked closely with the second unit, who shot the numerous stunts in The Nevers. He was also able to use some old-school camera tricks for Primrose, a character who’s a giant. Seamus had to double the actor’s actual height with forced perspective, used a slightly slow-motion camera, and the aid of some special effects, making sure that the lighting stayed consistent between the normal-sized shots and the giant shots.

From an early age, cinema as an art form always fascinated Seamus. He was excited to work on a tiny throwback short film in the late 1990’s called Flying Saucer Rock ‘n’ Roll, which is a spoof of black and white sci-fi B movies. It’s still his favorite film, because it’s so full of invention, charm and joy. Seamus went back home to shoot it in Ireland, even after he’d already established his career with several feature films, and they shot it for no money. Steven Spielberg even saw it, loved it, and invited the director, Enda Hughes to meet with him to develop something at Amblin.

Seamus also enjoyed working with director and writer Drew Goddard on Bad Times at the El Royale. The set for the movies was completely built from scratch, which enabled the crew to build in practical light sources and be involved in the design from the beginning. The camera was able to move all over the set and look in all directions. Bad Times is a mystery puzzle movie that all fits together in the end, and Seamus used many visual cues of double images, mirrors and the camera peering through the lattice work to hint at all the character’s hidden secrets.

Because of his love of natural photography, Seamus also enjoys shooting documentaries, such as Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, about the legendary actor Harry Dean Stanton. He occasionally uses documentary sensibilities in narrative film as well. In We Need To Talk About Kevin, director Lynn Ramsay and Seamus went with actor Tilda Swinton’s idea to spontaneously shoot in the rain as part of a flashback scene.

Seamus is currently in post-production on Cyrano, his latest production with director Joe Wright.
You can see The Nevers streaming on HBOMax. https://www.hbo.com/the-nevers

Find Seamus on Instagram @seamiemc & Twitter:@mcseamus

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/ep124/
Hear our previous interview with Seamus McGarvey: https://www.camnoir.com/ep37/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

Website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNQIhe3yjQJG72EjZJBRI1w
Facebook: @cinepod
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Twitter: @ShortEndz

May 10, 2020

War Stories Vol. 2: Tales from the Set featuring Walt Lloyd, Shana Hagan, Byron Werner, Claudia Raschke, Sal Totino and Ruben Fleischer

Special: The Cinematography Podcast War Stories Vol. 2

It’s our second War Stories Special! Each of our featured guests shares an insightful, interesting, humorous or crazy story of an experience they had while on set.

Walt Lloyd, ASC still remembers a crazy nightmare he had during a shoot, Shana Hagan on getting locked inside a prison while shooting the documentary Shakespeare Behind Bars, Byron Werner recounts shooting in Colombia at a very dangerous time, Claudia Raschke describes her experience of being perilously close to a calving glacier for A Sea Change, Sal Totino, ASC shares a tense story from the set of Any Given Sunday, and director Ruben Fleischer on a nearly disastrous experience directing a rap video for Who Ate All the Pies?

Do you have a War Story you’d like to share? Send us an email or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/warstories2/

COMING SOON! War Stories Vol. 3.

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

January 20, 2020

Cinematographer Byron Werner talks The Last Full Measure, working with director Todd Robinson and Ed Harris on Phantom, the latest tech and apps he uses as a DP

An extremely seasoned director of photography, Byron Werner began shooting anything and everything that came his way once he graduated film school. Byron faced several challenges on his upcoming film, The Last Full Measure. Shot on location in Thailand, the film has many practical effects shots and very little VFX. The camera crew shot from helicopters and with multiple cameras- sometimes as many as 5 or 6. The Last Full Measure starring Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Plummer, and Bradley Whitford opens wide Friday, January 24.