The film Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is an adaptation of the 1970 Judy Blume book about a pre-teen girl coming of age. Cinematographer Tim Ives, ASC was drawn to working on the film because with three kids, including two daughters, he was interested in opening up the conversation about girls going through puberty and getting their first period. Tim also admired screenwriter and director Kelly Fremon Craig’s work on The Edge of Seventeen.
Tim had previously shot the series Stranger Things, so he had a comfort and familiarity with kids in their early teens. Tim also appreciated that Kelly Fremon Craig brought so much enthusiasm, love and commitment to the film, and deeply respected the book by Judy Blume. Though the film is set in the 1970’s, neither Tim nor Craig wanted Margaret to feel too dusty and faded. They wanted the film to have a nostalgic feel while still seeming contemporary. At first, they had trouble finding just the right look, until Tim showed Craig a book of photographs by Tina Barney. Her photos influenced the look of the movie, with a very amber, Kodak Gold film look. Tim wanted every scene in the movie to feel like it was a snapshot taken from real life.
In his work, Tim most enjoys working on stories with flawed characters with hopes of redemption. He first broke into narrative storytelling through the HBO series Girls, then went on to shoot the pilot for Mr. Robot and several seasons of Stranger Things. Tim enjoyed working on Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret because he likes the timeframe of film, where it’s working on one thing for about half a year, with one singular vision from one director. In series television, it usually means working intensely on one thing for almost a year, with a few different directors.
Tim Ives’ latest project, Love & Death, another period piece set in 1980, is currently on Max.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is currently available on VOD or DVD.
Find Tim Ives: https://www.timives.com/
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