November 2, 2022

Checco Varese, ASC on his Emmy winning work for the Hulu series, Dopesick

This week we welcome Checco Varese, our friend of the podcast and 4th time guest!

The Hulu series Dopesick tells the complex story of the opioid epidemic through multiple points of view over its eight episode arc. Cinematographer Checco Varese, ASC shot every single episode, and recently earned his first Emmy award in 2022 for Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited or Anthology Series.

Checco decided to approach the story and its characters as a series of four concentric plot circles. At the center of Dopesick is the Appalachian mining town and the small town doctor (Michael Keaton) who serves the community there; then the prosecutors trying to nail Purdue Pharma; the pharmaceutical company reps who are riding high on drug sales; and finally the Sackler family, who knowingly misled everyone about the addictive nature of OxyContin. He met with showrunner Danny Strong and director of the first two episodes, Barry Levinson, to discuss the look of each section. For the small Appalachian town, Checco was influenced by the look of the film The Deer Hunter, and used the cool blues of winter light. The Insider was a reference for the storyline of the DEA and Virginia prosecutors, and they embraced the use of florescent lights and conference rooms. To symbolize the wealth and excess of the Sackler family and the Purdue Pharma sales people, Checco liked the bright colors and opulence of Eyes Wide Shut. Since it’s a character-driven story dramatizing true events, Checco knew that Dopesick was about being a fly on the wall, while keeping everything engaging and compelling, so he wanted to make sure that each film reference still felt subtle, natural and realistic.

Checco feels that lighting for film and television can be like poetry. Most of the mood and atmosphere is made with lighting, with the camera movements serving as the film’s punctuation marks: commas, exclamation points, or periods. As a cinematographer, Checco loves to go deep into the project and usually feels passionate about what he’s doing, so that his soul is on the screen. He’s had the opportunity to work with his wife, director Patricia Riggen, on several projects, and they also worked together on a few episodes of Dopesick. Checco says that when they’re on a show together, they get very absorbed in their work, and there’s no “off” switch, but he loves having that relationship with her. For Dopesick, he was excited to work on a series that was truthful and honest, and he enjoys telling important stories that matter.
Dopesick is currently on Hulu.

Find Checco Varese: https://checcovarese.com/wp/
Instagram: @checcovarese

Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/
Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

October 5, 2022

Mike Prickett, Emmy-winning surf cinematographer of HBOs 100 Foot Wave

The six part HBO documentary 100 Foot Wave is the story of big wave surfer Garrett McNamara, as he learns about the biggest waves in the world in Nazaré, Portugal. Then, with help from the town of Nazaré, he and his team set up a safety and support system and invite surfers to come from all over the world to surf. The series captures the amazing power of the ocean, and the passion of surfers chasing big waves and putting themselves at risk of serious injury and death.

Surf and ocean cinematographer Mike Prickett was the perfect DP for 100 Foot Wave. Mike has decades of experience shooting in the water, following Garrett and many other big wave surfers around the world. He’s shot documentaries Riding Giants, Step Into Liquid and the biopic Chasing Mavericks. As a kid growing up on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, Mike took advantage of living in a tourist spot. He had his own camera, took pictures of the tourists, developed and printed the pictures while they did glass bottom boat tours, and then sold the photos to them when they returned. He soon figured out how to take photos underwater with his camera in a water housing, then got a 16mm Bolex camera and started shooting movies. Mike learned how to surf and began filming the top surfers around the world, developing new and better camera systems as the technology progressed.

On a shoot in Tahiti in 2012, Mike saved a diver who got caught in a current that pushed him down at least 220 feet underwater. As Mike swam back up with the diver, they began to run out of air and had to surface quickly. Mike got the bends, which has left his legs partially paralyzed. But he’s kept right on shooting, developing different and exciting ways to further the technology of water cinematography. Mike says that even if you can’t use your legs very well, it doesn’t matter when you’re out there. He’s able to shoot from the cliffs, use remote controlled jet skis and drones, and fly in helicopters, ride jet skis or boats on the ocean.

For 100 Foot Wave, Nazaré, Portugal presented some unique challenges as a location, because the waves are so big and the area gets so foggy. The surfers and the camera crew wait all year for the big waves to come to Nazaré by November and December, and they must be ready to go and shoot at a moment’s notice. Shooting is a massive undertaking, with at least 15 camera people on the waves to catch the action. The crew caught the action with long lenses from the cliffs, the beach, and with waterproof drones, but when it was foggy, they needed to have people in the water. Mike and the team built a special remote controlled electric jet ski with a gimbal system that could be controlled by an operator from the cliffs- basically inventing a way to do smooth dolly shots on the water.

Mike Prickett just won a Creative Arts Emmy for episode four of 100 Foot Wave.

100 Foot Wave is streaming on HBOMax.

Find Mike Prickett: https://saltnairstudios.com/
Instagram: @mikeprickett_

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/ep186/

Sponsored by DZOFilm: https://www.dzofilm.com/
Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

September 28, 2022

Cinematographer Alicia Robbins on the Netflix series Keep Breathing, Grey’s Anatomy and the upcoming season of Bridgerton

Cinematographer Alicia Robbins’ work on the Netflix show, Keep Breathing, was quite challenging as they had location scouts at seven different remote forests in Vancouver, Canada near Whistler. The crew had to off-road it for miles, and they filmed in some locations that had never been shot before.

Keep Breathing is about Liv Rivera, a high-powered attorney whose private plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. Alone, she must conquer her inner demons and struggle to survive while finding her way back to civilization. Liv’s life is shown in flashbacks as she tramps through the forest.

Alicia shot the second block of Keep Breathing while fellow cinematographer Jon Joffin shot the first block. Jon put the team together for the first half and she was happy that the key crew was already established. Due to the pandemic, Alicia had to quarantine in her apartment in Canada for two weeks. The added time gave her the chance to go over the lookbook, watch dailies from the first half, and have hours of discussion with the director about shots, colors and tone. As a DP, Alicia says so much of the time you’re just thrown into prep, quickly looking at locations, without enough time to think it all through.

Cinepod host Illya and Alicia first met working on a small low budget indie feature called Boppin’ At the Glue Factory, written and directed by Illya’s longtime friend Jeff Orgill. Alicia began her career after graduating from AFI and started shooting low budget features while working her way up. Her first big television DP job was the series Grey’s Anatomy, where she worked for nearly three years. Alicia was ready to to try something new and expand her skills as a cinematographer, so she was excited to face the challenges on Keep Breathing.

Alicia is currently shooting the new season of Bridgerton, which has been a delight. She enjoys working in London, with amazing, beautiful locations and lush, colorful costumes and set design.

Find Alicia Robbins: https://www.aliciarobbins.com/
Instagram: @aliciacamchick

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/ep185/

Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/
Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

August 10, 2022

Cinematographer Larkin Seiple on shooting Everything Everywhere All At Once, Swiss Army Man, and the Emmy nominated Gaslit

When cinematographer Larkin Seiple first saw the script for Everything Everywhere All At Once he thought: This is very long and how in the world are we going to shoot this? But having worked with directing team Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (known collectively as Daniels) for ten years, he knew the film would be unique, creative and fun. Larkin loves telling stories through the medium of film, and Everything Everywhere explores the multiverse concept as the most ridiculous, messy, scary, poignant, and mind-blowing place.

Everything Everywhere All At Once contains many different scenes referencing dozens of films with a multitude of looks. Larkin loved creating so many mini movies, and he had specific ideas for the lighting and continuity for most of the universes- changing up the lighting, lenses and even the aspect ratios for each universe and what it was referencing. In order to keep to any kind of schedule or budget, the team needed to shoot as much as possible in one location. They shot primarily in two places- a giant empty office building with the atrium, stairway, elevator and cubicles in Simi Valley, and DC Stages in downtown LA, which gave them about 40 different sets to choose from. Principal photography was 36 days, mostly in the Simi Valley office building. The Daniels always scout things in advance and try to find the best locations for the budget, which was about $15 million- not a lot for such an ambitious movie. Larkin had to creatively and carefully compose shots so that the office location didn’t seem like a big empty space, and focused on small details and transitions, shooting scenes as efficiently as possible. Fortunately, a lot of sets in the office building were already there, leftover from other film shoots, such as the elevator set and the kinky office sex room, which allowed them to add it into the movie. Directors Daniels often writes a script with just the bare bones of what they’re looking for, with only a line for action, such as “fanny pack fight,” leaving it up to Larkin and the fight coordinators to decide how to shoot it. They operate as a sort of hive mind, and each Daniel really knows how the movie cuts together in their head.

Once he completed film school, Larkin realized that, unlike a director, as a cinematographer he could work on many different projects per year. He enjoys the collaborative element of filmmaking and started his career as a gaffer and electrician. He realized that if he wanted to become a cinematographer, he needed to quit doing side projects as a gaffer or electrician to concentrate on only working and shooting as a DP. Larkin began shooting music videos and beauty commercials, until he was able to make a living off of shooting commercials, while picking and choosing what music videos he wanted to do. Working on music videos led him to meeting the Daniels. One of their most memorable music videos is Turn Down For What by DJ Snake and Lil Jon, which stars Dan Kwan- ½ of Daniels- as one of the main performers in the video. Another noteable video Larkin shot was This Is America by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover), directed by Hiro Murai.

After working on several music videos together, Larkin shot the Daniels first feature, Swiss Army Man. Swiss Army Man is a strange and surreal movie about a man (Paul Dano) stranded on a deserted island who befriends a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) that washes ashore. Hank is able to use the dead body to get off the island and he begins to find his way home, believing that the dead man is talking to him and helping him stay alive. They shot in Los Angeles, the woods near San Francisco, and up in Humboldt County under the giant redwoods, with a tiny crew. Actor Daniel Radcliffe was very enthusiastic about playing the dead man, and even though they had a corpse dummy for the film, he refused to let them use it. He was in every scene as the dead guy with Paul Dano, even when just playing dead.

Most recently, Larkin shot all eight episodes of the Starz television show Gaslit, a political drama that follows the intrigue around the Nixon White House during Watergate in the 1970’s. Larkin has been Emmy nominated for his work on the series.

Find Larkin Seiple: http://www.larkinseiple.com/
Instagram: @larksss

Everything Everywhere All At Once is still playing in some theaters and is available to rent or buy on VOD.
The series Gaslit is streaming on Starz.

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/ep178/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

May 18, 2022

Cinematographer Eric Koretz on shooting the last season of Ozark and more

Cinematographer Eric Koretz and our host Illya Friedman have known each other a long time, going back to when Eric blogged about the latest camera gear. Since then, Eric has become a very successful DP. His current work can be seen on the last and final season of the Netflix series, Ozark. Eric shot 4 episodes of the last half of the final season, including the show finale, “A Hard Way to Go” directed by Jason Bateman.

Eric loved the look of Ozark, and knew he would have to adapt to the established shooting style of the show. However, he knew that he wanted to bring his own look to it too. Anytime the crew is shooting outside, they begin blocking out the sun, keeping the outdoors very shadowy using negative fill techniques. Eric felt Ozark was a cinematographer’s dream to shoot- they use every tool to tell the story, and the producers allow the cinematographers to do what they wish within the style parameters. The show is shot more like a movie than a TV show, with time allowed to let scenes have space and play out, allowing the DP to shoot a closeup on a glass of whiskey or shoot a long shot out a window as a car pulls up, creating tension. Eric found that Jason Bateman as a director and producer knows exactly what he wants and is very technical and precise as a craftsman.

Eric first went to college for graphic design. He started making animated videos and applied to American Film Institute to learn more about shooting. While at AFI, he discovered that he really enjoyed cinematography and after graduation, began working in commercials. But the idea of storytelling through longer forms of film and television really appealed to Eric. His first feature was Comet with director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), and his second feature, Frank & Lola,  went to Sundance. Eric still shoots commercials as well, which is a great place to learn- commercial shoots tend to have a lot more resources, and these days commercials tend to be very creative, artistic and cinematic, with more crossover from film.

Find Eric Koretz: http://erickoretz.com/
Instagram: @erickoretz_dp

See all of the seasons of Ozark on Netflix.

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com//ep168/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com
Sponsored by DZOFilm: https://www.dzofilm.com/

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

February 9, 2022

Academy award winning cinematographer Linus Sandgren, FSF, ASC on No Time To Die and Don’t Look Up

Acclaimed cinematographer Linus Sandgren just happens to have two Oscar nominated films out right now- the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die and the Adam McKay satire, Don’t Look Up. Both films are extremely different from each other, and Linus was excited to work on both. Linus says that working on a Bond film is about creating a heightened reality, escapist adventure that romanticizes action and espionage. Don’t Look Up is also about creating a type of heightened reality, but in an absurd, satirical way that tells the truth.

Linus was very excited to shoot No Time to Die with director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Linus always tries to find a story and script that he hasn’t done before, and it was a new challenge for him to take on a film with so much action. They focused on making it their own Bond, rather than looking at previous James Bond films. No Time to Die even begins differently from past Bond films- instead of an action set piece, Linus and Fukunaga chose to create a horror movie feeling in the opening. For the opening sequences of No Time to Die, Linus set the creepy tone, choosing monochromatic grays and icy blue skies, and a very isolated location. By contrast, the very next action sequence featuring Bond is full of harsh bright sun washed in yellows and browns. For every film Linus shoots, he likes to have keywords for the emotions in the script to guide him in prep for different scenes, such as horror, grief, loss, humor, etc. and decides how to address those emotions visually. Linus and Fukunaga also discussed the expectations of a Bond film: an entertaining action-packed joyride, but still have No Time To Die act as a final chapter wrapping up Daniel Craig’s arc as James Bond.

Don’t Look Up is a disaster-movie satire film directed by Adam McKay. Linus felt the script was terrific and horrific at the same time, and it was clear to him that McKay wanted to comment on how people’s personal and political agendas cause them to ignore glaring problems, such as climate change, and hijack the actual solution that could save lives. Linus felt like it was an important and hilarious film to shoot. He decided that the visuals should feel like a political thriller, because the comedy and satire would come through in the writing. Linus would dolly in to create tension, use longer zooms to compress the shots, then go close up with a macro lens in order to get right on a character’s eyes. The shoot required a lot of extras, which was made even more challenging with COVID protocols. Linus had to be creative to figure out how to shoot with fewer extras, using longer lenses so the physical distancing wouldn’t be as apparent, and they often re-used the same actors in different scenes since they were in a quarantine bubble together.

Find Linus Sandgren: Instagram @linussandgren_dp

You can purchase and stream No Time to Die on AppleTV, Amazon, Vudu, or your preferred service. Don’t Look Up is available on Netflix.

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com//ep158/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

Sponsored by Arri: https://www.arrirental.com/en

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

January 26, 2022

Cinematographer Ari Wegner, ACS on shooting The Power of the Dog, working with director Jane Campion

Ari Wegner, ACS became a fan of director Jane Campion after seeing her short films in high school. Seeing those films opened Ari’s eyes to the possibilities of choosing filmmaking as a career. Several years later, she had an opportunity to work with Campion on a commercial in Sydney, Australia and found they shared a similar working aesthetic. Campion contacted her next about shooting The Power of the Dog, and wanted to work closely with Ari on prepping the film over the course of a year. Most DPs only have a few weeks to meet with the director, location scout, and prep the film. They began with location scouting in New Zealand, Campion’s home country, searching for the right mountains as the backdrop. The Power of the Dog takes place in 1920’s Montana, so finding the right location to build an entire ranch set was also important. Ari and Campion agreed that the colors in the film should reflect the natural environment of cattle, sun, dust, golden grass, and brown leather. The color palette was key to unifying the look of the film, from the costumes to even the color of the cows.

Ari and Campion spent the last month before the shoot storyboarding every scene, in a cabin closer to the set. As the set was being built, they would go to the location and walk through it to figure out if the shots were going to work. The ranch house exterior was built on location, while the interiors were built on a stage. The script also required knowing exactly where the actor’s eyelines would be as the characters stalk and spy on each other, so Ari needed to know the layout of the house very well so that the shots lined up just right. Campion always uses storyboards as plan A, and is open to things changing once the actors physically embody the characters and find their own unique moments and flow. Ari often filmed handheld in order to move in on the actor’s faces to capture the quiet moments, expressions and unsaid private thoughts of each character.

Ari’s work on The Power of the Dog was just nominated for an ASC Award.

Find Ari Wegner: https://luxartists.net/ari-wegner/
Instagram: @ariwegner

You can see The Power of the Dog on Netflix

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com//ep156/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

Sponsored by Assemble: Assemble has amazing production management software. Use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/
Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate Watkin showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8

Sponsored by Aputure: https://www.aputure.com/

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

January 19, 2022

Quyen Tran, ASC, on directing and shooting episodes of the Netflix limited series Maid

Cinematographer Quyen Tran, ASC enjoys telling stories that are compelling and have impact and meaning. Q’s previous work on the show Unbelievable led showrunner Molly Smith Metzler and executive producer John Wells to ask her to shoot Maid, a limited series for Netflix. Maid deals with the complex issues of poverty, domestic abuse, the working poor, addiction, single parenthood and mental health. With amazing performances by Margaret Qualley, Andi McDowell and young actor Rylea Nevaeh Whittet, the series handles all of these heavy and heartbreaking issues with sensitivity, peppered with moments of levity and joy.

For Q, shooting Maid was incredible, and incredibly challenging. It was her first job during the pandemic, beginning in August of 2020, and the crew had to quarantine for two weeks in Victoria, British Columbia, wear masks, get frequent COVID tests and follow strict COVID protocols. Quyen thought she would only do the pre-production and shoot the pilot because she didn’t want to leave her family for very long.

Quyen shot extensive tests for the look of Maid. She knew it would be primarily handheld, which creates intimacy and forces a personal perspective on the viewer. Q decided she wanted to use the Alexa Mini and Panaspeed lenses because of the vintage, soft look, and they allow for close camera to subject distance. As part of the pre-production process, Q created a look book for the whole series that the other DPs could pick up and reference.

After shooting the pilot, Q returned to Los Angeles. Then, right after the holidays, director/executive producer John Wells asked Quyen to come back and direct episode eight of Maid. Although Q had a little bit of experience directing, it was very scary for her to even think about directing in a narrative format. She never went into filmmaking to become a director, and never had the desire to be one. But she knew she could do it because she was so familiar with the characters and the story. As both DP and operator on the show, Q already had a rapport with the actors, but now as a director, it was about discussing the motivation of why their characters were doing certain actions. She also had to keep three year old actor Rylea Whittet engaged with the action. As Maddy, single mom Alex’s daughter, Rylea is in nearly every scene and Q often entertained her with piggyback rides and games. For her directorial episode, Quyen camera prepped everything and storyboarded the entire episode. One of the most visually interesting and challenging elements in the episode Q directed is the couch that literally pulls Alex in and swallows her. Q and the production designer worked together for about three weeks to create the couch that Alex could sink right into and disappear.

During the pandemic and in their down time, Quyen and her friend and fellow DP, Jeanne Tyson, found a passion for making sourdough bread. They started Doughrectors of Photography and in exchange for a donation to the LA Food Bank or other charity, patrons receive bread, cookies or other goodies. You can check out Doughrectors of Photography and find out how you can donate and get some delicious baked goods on Instagram at @doughrectorsofphotography

Find Quyen Tran: https://www.qtranfilms.com/
Instagram: @qgar

You can see Maid on Netflix

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com//ep155/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

Sponsored by Assemble: Assemble has amazing production management software. Use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/
Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate Watkin showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8

Sponsored by DZOFilm: https://www.dzofilm.com/

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

December 8, 2021

Jeff Cronenweth, ASC on Being the Ricardos, working with Aaron Sorkin, shooting a 1950s period film

Jeff Cronenweth, ASC understands that creating a period piece such as the film, Being the Ricardos, involves lighting and set design, period costumes, hair and makeup styles, and of course, positioning the camera. For today’s more sophisticated and contemporary audiences, everything must be shot in a more dynamic way than in the staid 1950’s style. Jeff and director Aaron Sorkin had the TV show I Love Lucy to work from as well as photographs from the I Love Lucy set, which were invaluable for recreating scenes for the movie. They also watched films that take place in the 1950’s such as LA Confidential, Carol, and Peggy Sue Got Married, to see how those filmmakers approached the time period, while carefully crafting their own unique vision of what 1952 looked like. Jeff created four looks for the time periods within Being the Ricardos: 1952, where most of the story takes place; contemporary interviews from the mid-90’s by the story’s narrators; the 1940’s with flashbacks to when Lucy and Desi first met; and then black and white footage paying homage to I Love Lucy that represents what is going on in Lucy’s imagination. For the black and white sequences, Jeff embraced the theatrical “fashion noir” look using a starlight/hard light method for portrait photography from that time period.

Jeff and director Aaron Sorkin had previously worked together on The Social Network for just one scene. Being the Ricardos was their first real opportunity to collaborate for a longer amount of time. Aaron Sorkin is known for crafting fast and complex back and forth dialog, and his writing style was similar for Being the Ricardos- tight, structured, and well thought out with brilliant dialog. Jeff found Sorkin’s script created a sturdy framework for the entire movie- when the script is really confident and solid, everyone else on the film has a clear map of how and where they can be creative within those parameters. As the cinematographer, Jeff knew the actors would have fast, overlapping lines and were on an emotional roller coaster as they navigate through a crisis. He used lenses with a very close focus to give the feel that the characters were in a world that made them feel vulnerable and alone. He decided to use as much contrast as possible, balancing light and dark throughout the movie while still creating richness and depth with points of light in the background.

Being the Ricardos is in theaters December 10 and will be on Amazon Prime Video December 21, 2021

Find Jeff Cronenweth: https://www.ddatalent.com/client/jeff-cronenweth-asc-narrative

Instagram: #jeffcronenweth

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com//ep150/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

Sponsored by Assemble: Assemble has amazing production management software. Use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/
Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate Watkin showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8

Sponsored by Arri: https://www.arri.com/en

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz

November 30, 2021

Eduard Grau, ASC on shooting Passing, working with director Rebecca Hall, A Single Man with director Tom Ford, shooting Buried

Cinematographer Eduard Grau, ASC thinks it’s important to take risks in filmmaking because it sparks creativity and passion for what you’re doing. Passing director Rebecca Hall had worked with Edu on several films as an actor, and trusted him to bring his creative skill to her first directorial project. Based on the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, Hall had been trying to get the movie made for several years. She held firm on her vision from the beginning that Passing would be a black and white film, and she wanted it to be in the square 4:3 aspect ratio as a throwback to the movies of the 1930’s time period, so that the characters were more intimately centered in the frame. Edu was excited to work on such an exceptional film, in which cinematography is so integral to both the look of the film and the storytelling narrative.

Passing explores race and identity in the lives of two former friends who reconnect in late 1920’s Harlem. Ruth Negga’s character Clare is passing as white while Tessa Thompson’s character Irene is a respected member of the black community. Hall wanted the film to feel very restrained, as the characters are feeling under constant scrutiny, and the story is told mainly through the women’s faces. Edu kept the shots close and intimate, with very natural lighting.

Edu grew up in Spain and became interested in cinematography in high school. He went to film school in Barcelona and the UK. He made a short film that went to Cannes, then had a chance meeting with a producer at the Edinburg Film Festival. She passed his reel to Tom Ford who needed just the right DP to shoot A Single Man. Ford saw exactly what he was looking for in Edu’s reel and asked him to fly out to the U.S. It was Edu’s first movie on 35mm, his first movie in the United States, and his first movie with such big movie stars. After A Single Man, Edu went on to shoot Buried starring Ryan Reynolds, whose character is buried alive. He loved the challenge of shooting Buried in an interesting way with such extremely limited space constraints.

You can watch Passing on Netflix.

Find Edu Grau: http://www.edugrau.com/
Instagram: @eduardgrau

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com//ep149/

Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com

Sponsored by Assemble: Assemble has amazing production management software. Use the code cinepod to try a month for free! https://www.assemble.tv/
Be sure to watch our YouTube video of Nate Watkin showing how Assemble works! https://youtu.be/IlpismVjab8

The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheCinematographyPodcast
Facebook: @cinepod
Instagram: @thecinepod
Twitter: @ShortEndz