On our 250th episode, we welcome returning guest and longtime friend of the show, cinematographer Abe Martinez, who catches up with Ben and Illya about his work around the world for the past few years.
Most recently, Abe completed the new Disney+ show National Treasure: Edge of History and a new Netflix action-comedy series, Obliterated, by the creators of Cobra Kai. Abe has been learning and perfecting his technique of using video walls for action on big sets, creating a version of “poor man’s process” to shoot cars and figuring out the exact size video walls needed. They coined the phrase “middle class process” because it looks much better than the old poor man’s process. Using video walls requires a lot of math and tech setup, but it also offers plenty of opportunities for creativity without spending a lot of money to actually go to locations. Abe enjoys the challenge of trying to create realism with the proper lighting and angles.
After working as a loader and camera operator on many films, Abe began working on the series Queen of the South on USA Network. Working on Queen of the South launched Abe’s career into director of photography work, where he became the lead DP in season 3 and worked on the show for the next three years. As a Latino person who grew up in a rougher area, Abe felt he could really relate to the storylines about gangs. He also sees a throughline from his real life as a nomadic world traveler to the storytelling he’s drawn to lately- many of the shows he has been shooting are about characters who are being displaced, or who feel displaced.
Abe’s passion is doing street photography everywhere he goes. He enjoys exploring color and movement and experimenting with different film stocks or digital color science. This often gives him the creative spark for shots and compositions to use in his work. You can see Abe’s street photography on Instagram.
Find Abe Martinez: https://www.abemartinez.com/
National Treasure: Edge of History is currently showing on Disney+
Obliterated is coming to Netflix in 2023.
Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com
The Cinematography Podcast website: www.camnoir.com