October 16, 2020

Phedon Papamichael, ASC on The Trial of the Chicago 7, working with writer/director Aaron Sorkin, and more

Phedon Papamichael’s latest project is The Trial of the Chicago 7, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. The bulk of the story centers on the 1969 trial of seven men accused of inciting a riot in the park outside of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In Phedon’s view, a film is actually made three times: it’s conceived in the writing process, developed during principal photography, then reinvented and finalized in the editing process. When working with a director and writer like Aaron Sorkin, the way the film is scripted is exactly what he wants to see on the screen. The person speaking must be on camera, and specific shots are needed to sync with the rhythm of his words, like a poem. Sorkin is not a technical filmmaker, and after their initial meeting, Phedon knew Sorkin would rely heavily on him for creating the visuals. Since the majority of the action takes place in the courtroom, Phedon had to generate visual interest, making sure they had the right lenses and angles to enhance the drama, and to get good reaction shots of the jury and spectators. He used the lighting within the courtroom to enhance the moods and tension, and adjusted the light coming through the windows to reflect the changing seasons. When shooting the protests in the park and the violent clashes with the police, the camera crew went hand-held documentary style. Some of the footage from the protests was actually intercut with real footage taken from a film called Medium Cool, a combination documentary/fiction film by famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who shot actual footage of the riots in the park from the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

You can watch The Trial of the Chicago Seven streaming now on Netflix.

Find Phedon Papamichael: https://www.phedonpapamichael.com/
Instagram: @papa2

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December 16, 2019

Phedon Papamichael, ASC talks Ford v. Ferrari, his love of racing and classic cars, working with director James Mangold

Phedon Papamichael and director James Mangold created an exciting, visceral experience of auto racing for Ford v. Ferrari, rather than the basic panning wide shots used in sports broadcasting or car commercials. Phedon had to shoot extremely close to the speeding cars in order to capture the effect of high velocity.

June 24, 2018

SPECIAL PODCAST- Phedon Papamichael, ASC – LIVE at Hot Rod Cameras “Cine Beer” Summer Bash! Talks about his films with Alexander Payne, Oliver Stone, James Mangold and more.

SPECIAL PODCAST- Phedon Papamichael, ASC – LIVE at Hot Rod Cameras “Cine Beer” Summer Bash! Cinematographer Phedon Papmichael, ASC In our first ever LIVE podcast Academy Award nominated cinematographer Phedon Papmichael, ASC discusses his collaborations with director’s of Alexander Payne, Oliver Stone, James Mangold.  Phedon also discusses his early career working for Roger Corman and