ASC Clubhouse Conversations 2020 Video Collection

In this interview series, leading cinematographers share their inspirations and experiences while analyzing their work and creative process. 

Though these events are traditionally held live at the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood with a guest audience, allowing for their participation, concerns about COVID-19 have changed our procedure for this year, taking the discussions online. 

Our 2020 participants include: Mike Berlucchi; Charlie Lieberman, ASC; Michael Grady; Lawrence Sher, ASC; and Gonzalo Amat; Karl-Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK; M. David Mullen, ASC; M. Night Shyamalan, Mike Gioulakis, Steven Fierberg, ASC; Jeff Cronenweth, ASC; Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC; Stephen Lighthill, ASC; Colin Watkinson, ASC, BSC; Paul Cameron, ASC, Eric Steelberg, ASC; Armando Salas, ASC, Alik Sakharov, ASC; Checco Varese, ASC; Amy Vincent, ASC; Martin Ahlgren; Patti Lee, ASC and more.


Mike Berlucchi interviewed by Charlie Lieberman, ASC

Mythic-Quest-2.jpeg?mtime=20200429172253#asset:90669
On the set, from left, are B-camera operator Andy Depung; Ericka Ward; DoP Mike Berlucchi and director David Gordon Green.

Berlucchi photographed all 10 episodes of the first season of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet for creator Rob McElhenney and Apple TV+. Hailed by critics as a groundbreaking show, it brings The Office-level humor to the complicated world of video games. He also shot the first season of Netflix’s upcoming Teenage Bounty Hunters series from executive producer Jenji Kohan. Previously, he photographed the third, fourth and fifth seasons of FX’s beloved You’re the Worst series for directors Stephen Falk and Jordan Vogt-Roberts.   

A native of Chicago, Lieberman is a self-taught cinematographer who learned on the job while shooting documentaries, shorts and industrial films before photographing his first feature, the horror classic Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer. After relocating to Los Angeles, he began working in television, shooting a series of stand-out network series, including My So-Called Life, Once and Again, Joan of Arcadia and Heroes. An alternate member of the ASC Board of Governors, he is also the chair of the ASC Photo Gallery committee. 

Watch Now


Michael Grady interviewed by Lawrence Sher, ASC

The-Morning-Show-TMS_102_S00035F.jpg?mtime=20200506120117#asset:91001
Michael Grady (seated) checks a setup while shooting The Morning Show.

Cinematographer Michael Grady details his camerawork on the AppleTV+ series The Morning Show, as interviewed by Lawrence Sher, ASC — the pair diving into a lively discussion regarding the creative approach to this character-driven story about cutthroat rivalries taking place behind the scenes on a network show, starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon.

A native of Texas, Grady studied at Texas Christian University, New York University USC, CalArts and the American Film Institute — all the while pursuing his dream of working behind she camera by crewing while shooting shorts, music videos and then small features. Early breaks came with shooting the features Wonderland, directed by James Cox, Bug, directed by William Friedkin, and Factory Girl, directed by George Hickenlooper. Grady’s other feature credits include Hotel for Dogs, Easy A, Friends with Benefits and Stand Up Guys. His other TV credits include One Tree Hill (Pilot), The Leftovers and Ozark.

Born in New Jersey, Sher attended Wesleyan University, where he studied economics. During the program, he took a course in film history, which sparked his passion for cinema. After graduating, Sher relocated to Los Angeles, where he served as a camera assistant and gaffer before working his way to director of photography. His credits include Kissing Jessica Stein; Garden State; I Love You, Man; Paul; The Dictator and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. His most recent feature, Joker marked the sixth collaboration between Sher and director Todd Phillips, following The Hangover trilogy, Due Date and War Dogs. For his camerawork on Joker, Sher earned the Golden Frog at Camerimage and Academy and ASC Award nominations.

Watch Now


Gonzalo Amat interviewed by Jim Hemphill

Cinematographer Gonzalo Amat snaps a selfie on the set.

Director of photography Gonzalo Amat discusses his approach to shooting the Amazon Studios series The Man in the High Castle. He has photographed episodes of the sci-fi-flavored alternate-history drama since the show made its debut in 2015. For his camerawork in The Man in the High Castle, the cinematographer earned Emmy and ASC Award nominations for the episode “Jahr Null,” and another ASC nomination for the episode “Land O’ Smiles.”

Currently based in New York, Amat grew up in Mexico and Spain and later studied fine-art photography at CCAC in Mexico City and painting at Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London. He earned an MFA in film at the London Film School, and an MFA in cinematography at the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles. He gained extensive experience shooting short films, documentaries and indie features before photographing episodes of the popular supernatural series Niño Santo. His other series credits includePerson of Interest, Believe and Outer Banks, as well as the pilots for SEAL Team (for which he also directed several episodes) and Happy!. Amat’s feature credits include Goodbye Cruel World; The Devil Inside; Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and Carrie Pilby. 

Interviewer Jim Hemphill is a longstanding contributor to American Cinematographer and has conducted numerous live discussions at the ASC Clubhouse. He is the award-winning screenwriter and director of the romantic drama The Trouble with the Truth. After receiving his BFA from Columbia College in Chicago and his graduate degree from the film school at USC, Hemphill began his career by writing and directing the micro-budget horror movie Bad Reputation. He is also a film historian whose essays have appeared in the Chicago Reader, Film Comment, Film Quarterly, Moviemaker and other outlets. He is a researcher and interviewer for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Visual History Project, and has contributed audio commentaries to DVD releases of many titles. Hemphill also the author of Focal Point, a regular column on directing for Filmmaker Magazine

Watch Now


Karl-Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK and DIT Roi Vissel interviewed by David E. Williams

Karl-Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK

Discussing his camerawork in the National Geographic TV science series Cosmos: Possible Worlds, hosted by Neil deGrasse TysonKarl-Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK details his approach to a complex, global production. 

Lindenlaub’s extensive credits include such complex science-fiction and fantasy features as Stargate, Independence Day and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, as well as dramatic projects including Rob Roy, Red Corner, Black Book and Driven.

Setting up to photograph series host Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson on the set of the Spaceship of the Imagination.

The cinematographer is joined for this interview by his DIT and pre-production assistant on the project, Roi Vissel, and American Cinematographer associate publisher and web manager David E. Williams.

Watch Now


Jeff Cronenweth, ASC interviewed by Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC

Unknown-1_200526_150058.jpeg?mtime=20200526150057#asset:91652
Jeff Cronenweth, ASC

Interviewer Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC talks to cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, ASC about his work in the fantastical Amazon Studios sci-fi drama series Tales from the Loop

The show is loosely based on the book of the same title by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, which was designed as an alternate-reality take on childhood nostalgia. Its protagonist reflects on growing up during the 1980s in the small, country town of Mälaröarna, where work on a gigantic, underground particle accelerator nicknamed “the Loop” is responsible for littering the landscape with giant robots and rusted, decaying industrial machinery.

The director of this premiere episode of Tales from the Loop, Mark Romanek, and Cronenweth first worked together on Michael and Janet Jackson’s 1995 Scream video, photographed by Harris Savides, ASC. Cronenweth was the B-camera operator on that project, and he went on to shoot many music videos for Romanek, as well as One Hour Photo, the director’s 2002 feature.

Cronenweth’s other feature credits include Down With Love, Fight ClubThe Social NetworkThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and A Million Little Pieces.

You’ll find our feature story on the making of Tales from the Loop here.

Watch Now


M. Night Shyamalan and Mike Gioulakis interviewed by Lawrence Sher, ASC

Interviewer Lawrence Sher, ASC talks to executive producer-director M. Night Shyamalan and cinematographer Mike Gioulakis about their collaboration on the haunting Apple TV+ series Servant.

Director of photography Mike Gioulakis sets a shot.
Shyamalan and actor Rupert Grint confer on the set of Servant while shooting the premiere episode.

In the story, a bereaved young couple, Sean and Dorothy Turner (played by Toby Kebbell and Lauren Ambrose), hire a mysterious nanny, Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) to sit for their baby boy — which is actually a doll that has taken the place of their recently deceased son, Jericho. Suspense ensues as tensions and suspicions mount.

Shyamalan built his career as a writer-director on depicting relatable people in unsettling situations. As a student at NYU, the filmmaker made his first feature, Praying with Anger (1992). After gaining attention with his follow-up, Wide Awake, he wrote and directed the paranormal drama The Sixth Sense — which earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture Screenplay and Director. He followed this success with the films Unbreakable, Signs, Lady in the Water and The Village. Most recently, Shyamalan directed the features Split and Glass — sequels to Unbreakable — and two episodes of Servant.

Gioulakis earned his BFA at Florida State University and gained experience behind the cameras by shooting music videos and shorts while also working as a gaffer on feature films commercials. After moving to Los Angeles and focusing on television work for a time, he got the opportunity to shoot the feature John Dies at the End, which screened at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. This led to shooting the features Bad Fever, Pearlblossom Hwy and the breakthrough horror hit It Follows. This brought Gioulakis to the attention of Shyamalan, for whom he shot the suspenseful drama Split and the follow-up Glass. The cinematographer’s other credits include Lake Los Angeles, California Dreams and Under the Silver Lake, as well as director Jordan Peele’s Us.

Servant was photographed using Arri Alexa LF cameras (4.5K, open gate, ArriRaw) and Panavision Primo 70 lenses. Dailies and finishing work was done at Technicolor. Supervising digital colorist Michael Hatzer previously worked with Gioulakis on Split, Glass and Us. 

Sher, Oscar and ASC Award-nominated this past year for his cinematography in Joker, has also shot the features Kissing Jessica Stein, Garden State, PaulDue Date, War Dogs, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the Hangover trilogy.

Watch Now


James Hawkinson interviewed by Eric Steelberg, ASC

In this video, cinematographer James Hawkinson discusses his camerawork in this Nat Geo period drama series Barkskins with interviewer Eric Steelberg, ASC. 

Barkskins_Ep101_Sc234_Day7_0003-copy.jpg?mtime=20200603231229#asset:92069
Director and EP David Slade (left), DoP James Hawkinson and crew behind the scenes. (National Geographic/Peter H. Stranks)

Based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Annie Proulx, the series chronicles the arrival of English and French settlers in the New World and the colonists’ willfully destructive impact on the Native Peoples and their environment. The term “barkskins” refers to wood cutters — the profession of these unskilled immigrants tasked with clearing the land, many of whom were trapped in indentured servitude. 

A native of Los Angeles, Hawkinson’s previous credits include the TV series The Man in the High Castle, Hannibal, Community and Arrested Development, as well as the features The Unborn and The Hitcher. After getting his start as an electrician, he gained experience shooting numerous shorts, commercials and music videos for such directors as Chris Cunningham and Anthony and Joe Russo. Hawkinson earned a 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series for his work in the Man in the High Castle pilot, entitled “The New World.” It also earned him and ASC Award nomination. He was subsequently Emmy-nominated for the episode “Fallout.” 

Also a native Angeleno, Steelberg’s upcoming 2021 supernatural comedy Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the cinematographer’s eighth feature film collaboration with director Jason Reitman, following The Front Runner; Tully; Men, Women & Children; Labor Day; Young Adult; Up In the Air and Juno. His other credits include 500 Days of Summer, Baywatch and the period biopic Dolemite Is My Name.

Watch Now


Colin Watkinson, ASC, BSC interviewed by Steven Fierberg, ASC

In this video, cinematographer Colin Watkinson, ASC, BSC discusses his visual approach to the award-winning dystopian Hulu drama The Handmaid’s Tale with interviewer Steven Fierberg, ASC.

Handmaid-Tale-THT_302_ED_1658RT_f-copy.jpg?mtime=20200605110728#asset:92113
Watkinson lines up a shot on series star Elisabeth Moss. (Photo by: Elly Dassas/Hulu)

Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the post-American religious fundamentalist state of Gilead. The story follows Offred (Elisabeth Moss), one of a group of handmaids who are forced into lives of subservience and tasked with bearing children for the barren wives of their totalitarian masters. The series has completed three seasons and earned numerous accolades. A fourth is in the works but on a production hiatus.

Handmaid-Tale-THT_302_ED_BTS0170RT_f-copy.jpg?mtime=20200605110731#asset:92114
Watkinson on the set. (Photo by: Elly Dassas/Hulu)

Watkinson first knew he wanted to be a cinematographer after going on location with Peerless Camera Company, a visual effects studio in London.

His first feature, The Fall — directed by Tarsem Singh — was critically acclaimed and described by film critic Roger Ebert as “one of the most astonishing films I have ever seen.” For his work on the picture, Watkinson won the 2008 Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography and was nominated for best cinematography awards by the Chicago Film Critics Association and Online Film Critics Society.  

Throughout his career, Watkinson has served as director of photography on music videos for artists including Paul McCartney, Katy Perry and Pink; commercials for companies such as Apple, Coors, Disney, Verizon and Nike; and the television series Entourage.

In 2016, Watkinson again collaborated with Singh on NBC’s Emerald City.

For his work on The Handmaid’s Tale, Watkinson won the 2017 Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) and was again nominated in 2018 and 2019. He has also earned two ASC Award nominations for the show, winning in 2020.

Steven Fierberg is an award-winning cinematographer whose feature credits include Secretary and Love & Other Drugs, while his extensive TV series credits include Entourage, Good Girls Revolt and The Affair. 

You'll find an AC feature story on the show — with Watkinson and EP and director Reed Morano, ASC — here.

Watch Now


Simon Dennis, BSC interviewed by Stephen Lighthill, ASC

Here, Simon Dennis, BSC is interviewed by Stephen Lighthill, ASC regarding his work the Netflix period drama Hollywood — an alternate-history take on Tinseltown of the 1940s.

Director of photography Simon Dennis, BSC (just right of the crane) plots a shot during the production's recreation of the Academy Awards ceremony.

Hollywood-OSC5.jpeg?mtime=20200608170130#asset:92157

Created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, Hollywood imagines what the motion-picture business of the Post-War 1940s could have been like had racism, sexism and homophobia not existed to hamper the hopes and dreams of a collection of young, aspiring performers, writers and filmmakers. The show’s narrative conceit serves to reveal and cleverly critique real-world issues that remain today.

Dennis sought an “optimistic, natural, grounded, wholesome, earthy” lighting approach featuring moments of “color noir.” Influences included the dramatic still photography of famed portraitist George Hurrell; the style of Chinese-American movie star Anna May Wong; the look of 3-strip Technicolor; Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC’s lighting in the Studio-Era satire Barton Fink (1991); and the classic “Hollywood” film The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) shot by Robert L. Surtees, ASC.

Hollywood-IMG_1823.jpeg?mtime=20200608170142#asset:92161
Shooting on location at the famed Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood.

The cinematographer shoots Hollywood in 4K using Sony Venice cameras paired with Panavision Primo lenses lightly diffused with Schneider Hollywood Black Magic filters.

Dennis has been shooting diverse movies and high-end TV drama around the world for 10 years. He prides himself on being versatile and passionate to create visuals that are story driven and emotionally motivated.

Raised in Devon, U.K., he was a very keen photographer from a young age. During a course in fine arts (he initially wanted to be a graphic designer) he discovered his love for film-making and graduated with a first-class honors degree in film and television at Napier Film School in Scotland before winning a Scottish BAFTA for his photography on the short film Sex & Death. He quickly moved into various pop promos before shooting his first feature film, The Last Great Wilderness, for director David Mackenzie.

Dennis spent 10 years soaking up as much experience as possible shooting a number of movie projects before shooting The Sweeney in 2012, which reached number one at the U.K. box office. 

In 2015, he was nominated for a BAFTA and RTS award for his photography on Season 2 of the BBC drama Peaky Blinders.

Other recent projects include features American Hero, The Girl With All The Gifts and The Limehouse Golem, as well as the TV series Jekyll & Hyde, Black Sails and Krypton.

In 2017, Dennis was invited to the U.S. to shoot the miniseries The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which led to Pose, The Politician, Ratched and, most recently, Hollywood, all for Ryan Murphy TV.

Hollywood-IMG_04.jpeg?mtime=20200608170139#asset:92160

Honored with the ASC Presidents Award in 2018, Stephen Lighthill, ASC earned his masters degree in journalism at Boston University and later launched his career behind the camera in San Francisco, where he gained experience photographing documentaries and television news. He honed his skill in shooting on the fly and capturing natural realism on various programs, including 60 Minutes and On the Road with Charles Kuralt, as well as the infamous concert doc Gimmie Shelter, directed by Albert and David Maysles. 

After getting a break operating for another future ASC member, Stefan Czapsky, on the indie drama On the Edge, Lighthill soon after was able to join Local 659. A natural educator, he helped train new guild members. He would later focus on narrative production, including such series as Earth 2 and Nash Bridges. 

In 2001, Bill Dill, ASC — then chair of the cinematography program at American Film Institute — offered Lighthill a full-time faculty position. He is now the head of the AFI program and a member of the ASC Board of Governors.

Watch Now


Cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes and writer-director Derek Cianfrance interviewed by Larry Sher, ASC

In this video, interviewer Lawrence Sher, ASC talks to cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes and writer-director Derek Cianfrance about their HBO limited series I Know This Much Is True, based on the 1998 novel by Wally Lamb and starring Mark Ruffalo.

The HBO series focuses on brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey (played by Mark Ruffalo).

The show concerns identical twins Dominick and Thomas Birdsey (both played by Ruffalo), the latter suffering from severe paranoid schizophrenia. Following a traumatic incident, Dominick must care for his sibling while also struggling to deal with his own chaotic life and relationships.

The project was shot in a 2.0:1 aspect ratio on Eastman 500T Vision3 5219 35mm neg using ArriCam LTs (both 2-perf and 3-perf; framed for a 2-perf negative area) matched with Cooke S4 lenses and Angenieux Optimo 24-290mm zooms. The stock was rated at 1,000 ASA and no filtration was used other than NDs and color correction.

I-Know-This-Much-IKTMIT_EP106_100119_SS_0538-copy.jpg?mtime=20200610232045#asset:92262
Director of photography Jody Lee Lipes

Lipes is a director and cinematographer with diverse experience in film, television, commercials and music videos. He recently lensed Marielle Heller's biographical drama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks. 

In film, Lipes has worked with such acclaimed directors as Kenneth Lonergan, on Manchester By the Sea, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture; Sean Durkin, on Martha Marcy May Marlene, which won Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival; and Judd Apatow, on Trainwreck, which earned a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Picture. 

In commercials and music videos, Lipes has worked with (among others), Cianfrance, Mark Romanek, Gia Coppola, Grant Singer and Miles Jay. 

Lipes directed and shot the documentary feature Ballet 422, an Official Selection at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, which went backstage at the New York City Ballet, and has directed episodic series such as Antonio Campos' The Sinner and Lena Dunham's Girls.

I-Know-This-Much-IKTMIT_102_041019_AN_0012-copy.jpg?mtime=20200610232052#asset:92264
Writer-director Derek Cianfrance

Cianfrance (above) is a writer, director, cinematographer and editor best known for his films Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams; and The Place Beyond the Pines, also starring Gosling as well as Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes. 

His most recent feature film was an adaption of M.L. Steadman’s New York Times bestseller The Light Between Oceans for DreamWorks, starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz. 

In addition to his films, Derek has been celebrated for his documentary work — on subjects including Mos Def, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, and Run-DMC — as well as his high-profile commercial work, for which he was awarded the DGA's Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials in 2016. 

Sher, Oscar and ASC Award-nominated this past year for his cinematography in Joker, has also shot the features Kissing Jessica Stein, Garden State, PaulDue Date, War Dogs, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the Hangover trilogy. 

Watch Now


M. David Mullen, ASC interviewed by Stephen Lighthill, ASC

In this 85-minute interview, M. David Mullen, ASC discusses his Emmy-winning work on the comedic Amazon Studios period drama The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with ASC President Stephen Lighthill — focusing on the new creative challenges and opportunities presented in the show’s third season, featuring major production numbers and new venues.

Maisel-MRSM_S3_Unit_307_4391R.jpg?mtime=20200616083228#asset:92428
The cinematographer with series star Rachel Brosnahan.

As Mullen details, the show — created by executive producer and frequent director Amy Sherman-Palladino — is photographed with Panavised Arri Alexa Mini cameras and Panavision Primo lenses. He employs Schneider Hollywood Black Magic, Tiffen Black Diffusion/FX or Schneider Black Frost filters to control sharpness and contrast to imbue the images with a nostalgic sheen when required. 

Maisel-MRSM_S3_Unit_305_0502R.jpg?mtime=20200616083234#asset:92430
Shooting a musical number on location in Miami.

Maisel-MRSM_S3_Unit_305_2462R.jpg?mtime=20200616083215#asset:92424

Maisel-MRSM_S3_Unit_BTS_0163R.jpg?mtime=20200616083212#asset:92423

Maisel-MRSM_S3_SG_306_00003.V1.jpg?mtime=20200616083243#asset:92432

Mullen studied filmmaking and cinematography at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he received his Master’s Degree. Since then, he has photographed almost 40 independent feature films, plus several television series and pilots.  

He was nominated for the IFP Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography in 2000 for Twin Falls Idaho and again in 2004 for Northfork. Mullen won the Dublin Film Critics Circle Award for Best Feature Cinematography in 2017 for The Love Witch. He was twice nominated for an Emmy Award and an ASC Award for Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, winning the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) for the series’ second season. 

Maisel-MRSM_S3_Unit_301_2312.V1.jpg?mtime=20200616083238#asset:92431
Staging a nostalgic USO show sequence.

Maisel-MRSM_S3_Unit_301_4302.V1.jpg?mtime=20200616083225#asset:92427

Maisel-USO.jpeg?mtime=20200616083204#asset:92421

Mullen is also a member the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His other recent television work includes Get ShortyWestworld and the pilot episode of Designated Survivor.

You'll find an AC Podcast episode with Mullen about the second season of Mrs. Maisel here

Maisel-MRSM_S3_SG_305_00095.V1.jpg?mtime=20200616083251#asset:92434
A nightclub scene in part inspired by the film Soy Cuba (1964).

Maisel-MRSM_S3_SG_305_00097.V1.jpg?mtime=20200616083258#asset:92436

Maisel-MRSM_300_C_305_V32_10_33.V1.jpg?mtime=20200616083301#asset:92437

Honored with the ASC Presidents Award in 2018, interviewer Stephen Lighthill, ASC earned his masters degree in journalism at Boston University and later launched his career behind the camera in San Francisco, where he gained experience photographing documentaries and television news. He honed his skill in shooting on the fly and capturing natural realism on various programs, including 60 Minutes and On the Road with Charles Kuralt, as well as the infamous concert doc Gimmie Shelter, directed by Albert and David Maysles. 

After getting a break operating for another future ASC member, Stefan Czapsky, on the indie drama On the Edge, Lighthill soon after was able to join Local 659. A natural educator, he helped train new guild members. He would later focus on narrative production, including such series as Earth 2 and Nash Bridges. 

In 2001, Bill Dill, ASC — then chair of the cinematography program at American Film Institute — offered Lighthill a full-time faculty position. He is now the head of the AFI program and was recently elected for a second term as president of the ASC.

Watch Now


Paul Cameron, ASC interviewed by Eric Steelberg, ASC

In this video, interviewer Eric Steelberg, ASC talks to Paul Cameron, ASC about shooting and directing episodes for Season 3 of HBO’s critically acclaimed series Westworld.

Paul Cameron, ASC (far right) confers with director and series EP Jonathan Nolan (center) while shooting the episode “Parce Domine’ (#301).

The cinematographer previously set the visual tone for the show when he photographed the sci-fi drama’s premiere episode — “The Original” — back in 2016. Cameron shot it on 35mm film to enhance the large-scale cinematic feel, earning an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series and an ASC Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in a TV, Movie, Miniseries or Pilot. (Complete feature story here.)

The Man in Black and Emily Grace (Ed Harris and Katja Herbers).
Westworld-thandie-newton.jpg?mtime=20200618093027#asset:92505
Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay.

For primary image capture on Westworld’s third season premiere — “Parce Domine” (#301), directed by executive producer Jonathan Nolan — Cameron employed Arricam LT, Arricam ST and Arriflex 235 cameras paired with Cooke S4, Canon K35, Fujinon Premier, Angeniuex Optimo and Leitz Summilux-C lenses, and Kodak Vision3 35mm film. Digital capture was done in 6K with Sony Venice cameras. While FotoKem handled film processing and transfer, Cameron was also supported by Keslow Camera, Otto Nemenz and Pro-Cam Rentals.

Westworld-Paul-Cameron-1_Photo-Credit-John-P.-Johnson_HBO12.jpg?mtime=20200618093043#asset:92509

Cameron then directed the Season 3 episode “The Mother of Exiles” (#304), shot by John Grillo, who alternated photographing additional episodes with Zoë White and Matt Flannery.  

You'll find Cameron’s lighting diagrams for key sets used in the “Parce Domine” episode of Westworld here, here and here.

Cameron is well-known for his work on the stylish features Swordfish, Gone in 60 Seconds, Man on Fire, Déjà Vu, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Total Recall.

In 2004, his camerawork in director Michael Mann’s crime drama Collateral confirmed the capabilities of the still-young digital medium, and it is immortalized now as one of the first major studio films to embrace digital cinematography. The film earned Cameron a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award and the Los Angeles Critics Award for Best Cinematography. 

Cameron is also a top commercial cinematographer. In 2003, his work caught the eye of the Clio and AICP awards as his photography on the BMW featurette “Beat the Devil” for RSA and director Tony Scott took top cinematography honors at both events and is now part of the NYC Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. He won another Clio in 2008 for the VW Golf “Night Drive” spot with director Noam Murro — his third Clio to date. 

Cameron’s recent features include 21 Bridges, The Commuter and the upcoming sci-fi thriller Reminiscence, directed by Lisa Joy and set for release in the spring of 2021.

A native of Los Angeles, Steelberg’s upcoming supernatural comedy Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the cinematographer’s eighth feature film collaboration with director Jason Reitman, following The Front Runner; Tully; Men, Women & Children; Labor Day; Young Adult; Up In the Air and Juno. His other credits include 500 Days of Summer, Baywatch and the period biopic Dolemite Is My Name. 

Watch Now


Armando Salas, ASC and director Alik Sakharov, ASC interviewed by Eric Steelberg, ASC

In this video, cinematographer Armando Salas, ASC and director Alik Sakharov, ASC discuss their collaboration in the Netflix family crime drama series Ozark with interviewer Eric Steelberg, ASC. 

OZARK_303_Unit_01492RC.jpg?mtime=20200623121336#asset:92659
Jason Bateman plays Martin “Marty” Byrde.

Ozark tells the story of financial adviser Martin “Marty” Byrde (Jason Bateman) who drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks after a money laundering scheme for a Mexican drug cartel goes wrong, and he must now launder $500 million in five years to make amends. The series has completed three series and has earned numerous accolades.

Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Salas immigrated to the Miami, Florida during the Mariel boatlift in 1980.

His feature work includes the documentary Cocaine Cowboys as well as My Lucky Star, Bitch and The Most Hated Woman in America. His television work includes episodes and seasons of the series From Dusk Till Dawn, Mr. Mercedes, Six, Raising Dion, Strange Angel and The Old Man. He has photographed Seasons 2 and 3 of Ozark.

OZARK_304_Unit_00851R.jpg?mtime=20200623121245#asset:92658
Director of photography Armando Salas, ASC.

Sakharov has photographed a number of features and television shows, including The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Rome, Sex and the City and more. His work as a director includes episodes of House of Cards, The Witcher, Game of Thrones, Black Sails, Boardwalk Empire and Dexter, among others.

A Los Angeles native, Steelberg’s upcoming 2021 supernatural comedy Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the cinematographer’s eighth feature film collaboration with director Jason Reitman, following The Front Runner; Tully; Men, Women & Children; Labor Day; Young Adult; Up In the Air and Juno. His other credits include 500 Days of Summer, Baywatch and the period biopic Dolemite Is My Name.

Watch Now


Cinematographer Martin Ahlgren interviewed by Checco Varese, ASC

In this video, interviewer Checco Varese, ASC talks to cinematographer Martin Ahlgren about his camerawork in the HBO mini-series The Plot Against America, an alternate-history drama set in the 1940s.

A cautionary tale based on the Philip Roth’s 2004 novel of the same name, it depicts life in the United States after the political defeat of Franklin D. Roosevelt by populist hero Charles Lindbergh — a Nazi sympathizer who signs a neutrality pact with Germany and fosters the rise of violent anti-Semitism.   

Plot-America-PAA_EP105_080519_MKS_0021-1-copy.jpg?mtime=20200625102046#asset:92744
Cinematographer Martin Ahlgren (far right) lines up a shot.

Inspired by photojournalists of the era — including Margaret Bourke-White, Helen Levitt and Robert Frank — Ahlgren shot the project with Sony Venice cameras paired with Kowa Cine Prominar, Cooke 5/i and Canon Cine Prime lenses. Seeking clean images and a deep-focus effect, he eschewed filtration and rarely used the camera’s internal NDs. He also controlled depth of field by windowing the camera’s sensor when necessary, alternating between 3K, 4K and 6K for specific creative needs to help tell the story. 

theplotagainstamerica-18.jpg?mtime=20200625102239#asset:92762

theplotagainstamerica-21.jpg?mtime=20200625102252#asset:92765

theplotagainstamerica-16.jpg?mtime=20200625102233#asset:92760

theplotagainstamerica-4.jpg?mtime=20200625102149#asset:92748

theplotagainstamerica-14.jpg?mtime=20200625102225#asset:92758

theplotagainstamerica-10.jpg?mtime=20200625102212#asset:92754

A native of Sweden, Ahlgren has been making movies since he was a teenager — working with a Hi8 video camera and friends willing to be splattered in ketchup. As a cinematography student at the School of Visual Arts in New York, he shot just about any student film that would allow him, which lead to a start in commercials and music videos. After spending a decade working on campaigns for major brands all over the world and on music videos for artists such as The Rolling Stones, Beyonce and Kanye West, he moved into long-form storytelling with independent features and television. His credits include the Netflix series Altered Carbon, House of Cards and Daredevil, as well as the pilot episodes for Blindspot and NOS4A2.

Born in Lima, Peru, Varese got his start while spending a decade shooting news and documentaries in major conflict zones, covering such subjects as the Chiapas uprising, the  U.S. invasion of Panama, the Colombia drug war, and major events in Haiti, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Middle East, South African and Rwanda. He later moved into narrative production, working as a Steadicam operator and then photographing music videos (working with artists including Prince and Dave Matthews Band) and commercials. His television credits include Reign, True Blood, Fidel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Strain and Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan. His feature credits include El Aura, 5 Days of War, Under the Same Moon, Prom Night (2008), The 33, Replicas, Miracles From Heaven and It: Chapter Two.

Watch Now


Cinematographers Christopher Norr and Pat Capone interviewed by Larry Sher, ASC

Directors of photography Christopher Norr and Pat Capone talk to interviewer Larry Sher, ASC about their work in the HBO series Succession, which depicts the impossibly wealthy lives of the Roy family as they contemplate their future once their aging patriarch begins to step back from the conglomerate they control. 

Succession-Roy.jpg?mtime=20200629143134#asset:92900
Logan Roy (Brian Cox) is the patriarch who resists retirement.

The series is photographed on Eastman Kodak 35mm film — Vision3 5219 500T and 5203 50D — in 3-perf to achieve a 1.78:1 frame, employing Arriflex LT cameras paired with Leica Summilux primes and Angenneuix Optimo zooms.  

Succession-Skyline.jpeg?mtime=20200629143146#asset:92904
Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) is the heir apparent — yet thwarted by his father.

Patrick Capone has been shooting Succession since the show’s inception. He also shot the opening season of Sara Bareilles’s Little Voice for Apple TV and two seasons of Garry Trudeau’s Alpha House, a political satire streaming series produced by Amazon Studios. He was the second-unit director for Tate Taylor on Girl on a Train.  

Capone has collaborated with directors Adam McKay, Bong Joon-Ho, Joe Wright, Oliver Stone, Jonathan Demme, John Wells, Paul Feig, Nancy Meyers, Ben Stiller, Harold Ramis, M. Night Shyamalan, John Patrick Stanley, and Sam Mendes as their chosen second-unit director of photography. 

He attended the NYU graduate film program. In his early career, he was privileged to have assisted, operated for and learned from such luminaries as Nestor Almendros,  Laszlo Kovacs, Michael Chapman, Tak Fujimoto, Andrew Dunn and Emanuel Lubezki. Capone has won several awards for his cinematography, including best film at Slam Dunk Festival, Cine awards and the Kodak Emerging Cinematography award for Born Loser.         

Succession-Kneel.jpg?mtime=20200629143137#asset:92901

Christopher Norr is the son of Carl Norr, an award-winning commercial director of photography, who engendered in him the love of the moving image from the time he could walk. While still in high school, Chris began learning filmmaking as a camera assistant alongside such directors as Woody Allen, Sidney Pollack and Oliver Stone. After graduating, he continued developing his career behind the lens with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Michel Gondry. 

By the time he was 30, Norr already had five feature films under his belt as a cinematographer, two of which screened at Sundance. Over the years, he has received numerous accolades for his work on such features as Sinister, The Hottest State, Sympathy for Delicious and Rob the Mob

His work in the stylish DC Comics series Gotham earned him ASC Award nominations three years in a row for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. Other recent credits include the features PuzzleGodfather of Harlem and Godmothered.

Succession-Champagne.jpg?mtime=20200629143139#asset:92902

Born in New Jersey, Larry Sher attended Wesleyan University, where he studied economics. During the program, he took a course in film history, which sparked his passion for cinema. After graduating, Sher relocated to Los Angeles, where he served as a camera assistant and gaffer before working his way to director of photography. His credits include Kissing Jessica Stein; Garden State; I Love You, Man; Paul; The Dictator and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. His most recent feature, Joker marked the sixth collaboration between Sher and director Todd Phillips, following The Hangover trilogy, Due Date and War Dogs. For his camerawork on Joker, Sher earned the Golden Frog at Camerimage and Academy and ASC Award nominations. 

Watch Now


Cinematographer Chris Teague interviewed by Patti Lee, ASC

Cinematographer Chris Teague discusses his camerawork in Season 3 of this Netflix comedy-drama with interviewer Patti Lee, ASC.

GLOW_310_Unit_00376R.JPG?mtime=20200702124230#asset:93208

Taking place in the 1980s, GLOW dramatizes the characters and gimmicks of the syndicated women’s professional wrestling circuit, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, founded by David McLane. The series has run for three seasons and has received critical acclaim and many accolades. GLOW has been renewed for a fourth and final season.

GLOW_305_Unit_00062R.jpg?mtime=20200702124210#asset:93206

Chris Tague earned an MFA in directing and screenwriting from Columbia University, where he directed a number of award-winning shorts. As a cinematographer, his work includes the features The Volunteer, Obvious Child, Bob and the Trees, People Places Things and Love After Love. The latter earned him a best cinematography award at the Tribeca Film Festival. His television work includes Season 1 of Shrink, Season 4 of Broad City, and the pilot of the HBO comedy Mrs. Fletcher. For his work on Season 1 of the Netflix series Russian Doll, Teague was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour). 

GLOW_305_Unit_00164R.jpg?mtime=20200702124220#asset:93207

Born in Los Angles, Patti Lee attended he UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Her break came when she was hired as a gaffer on Season 3 of The Bernie Mac Show and finished Seasons 4 and 5 as director of photography. In the decade since, Lee has served as director of photography on more than 25 television shows, pilots and features. In 2018, she made history as the first woman ever nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series for her work on the television series Superior Donuts.

Lees serves as co-chair of the ASC Vision Mentorship Program.

Watch now


Cinematographer Jas Shelton interviewed by Charlie Lieberman, ASC

Unit photography by Ali Goldstein/Amazon Studios

Cinematographer Jas Shelton discusses his camerawork in Season 2 of this Amazon Prime Video psychological thriller with interviewer Charlie Lieberman, ASC. 

homecoming-season-2-HOCO_S2_01771_rgb.jpg?mtime=20200706154343#asset:93399

The first season of Homecoming was based on a podcast of the same name created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg. Season 2 of this suspense drama deviates from the podcast and features a new story with mostly new characters. It follows Jackie (Janelle Monáe) after she wakes up to find herself floating in a boat in a lake with no memory of who she is or how she ended up there.

homecoming-season-2-HOCO_S2_00721_rgb.jpg?mtime=20200706154331#asset:93398

Born in Texas, Shelton served as an electrician and gaffer before shooting the comedy drama feature Cyrus. He followed this by photographing the comedies Keanu, The House and Like a Boss. His television credits include Dating Rules from My Future Self, Togetherness and the pilot of Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

homecoming-season-2-HOCO_S2_Unit_202_01239.V1_rgb.jpg?mtime=20200706154357#asset:93401

A native of Chicago, Lieberman is a self-taught cinematographer who learned on the job while shooting documentaries, shorts and industrial films before photographing his first feature, the horror classic Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer. After relocating to Los Angeles, he began working in television, shooting a series of stand-out network series, including My So-Called Life, Once and Again, Joan of Arcadia and Heroes. He is also the chair of the ASC Photo Gallery committee.

Watch now


Stay tuned for the next new entry in this ongoing video series.

Previous Conversation Collections

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 
2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Comments

Subscribe Today

Act now to receive 12 issues of the award-winning AC magazine — the world’s finest cinematography resource.

Print Edition   Digital Edition
August 2020 AC Magazine Cover July 2020 AC Magazine Cover June 2020 AC Magazine Cover