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, ASC; 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; James Neihouse, ASC; Erik Messerschmidt, ASC and more.


Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet: Mike Berlucchi interviewed by Charlie Lieberman, ASC

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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. 

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The Morning Show: Michael Grady interviewed by Lawrence Sher, ASC

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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.

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The Man in the High Castle: Gonzalo Amat, ASC interviewed by Jim Hemphill

Cinematographer Gonzalo Amat, ASC snaps a selfie on the set.

Director of photography Gonzalo Amat, ASC 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

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Cosmos: Possible Worlds — 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.

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Tales from the Loop: Jeff Cronenweth, ASC interviewed by Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC

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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.

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Servant: 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.

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Barkskins: 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. 

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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.

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The Handmaid’s Tale: 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.

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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.

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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.

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Hollywood: 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I Know This Much Is True: 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.

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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.

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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. 

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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: 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.

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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. 

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Shooting a musical number on location in Miami.

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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. 

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Staging a nostalgic USO show sequence.

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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

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A nightclub scene in part inspired by the film Soy Cuba (1964).

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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.

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Westworld: 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).
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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.

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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. 

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Ozark: 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. 

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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.

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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.

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The Plot Against America: 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.   

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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. 

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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.

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Succession: 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. 

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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.  

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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.         

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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.

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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. 

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GLOW: 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.

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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.

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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). 

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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.

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Homecoming: 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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Hunters: Frederick Elmes, ASC and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon interviewed by Steven Fierberg, ASC

Interviewer Steven Fierberg, ASC talks with cinematographer Frederick Elmes, ASC and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon about their work in the Amazon period crime series Hunters — which depicts the exploits of investigators tracking Nazi war criminals in the 1970s. 

Elmes photographed the show’s first episode, “In the Belly of the Whale,” for  Gomez-Rejon (both seen below), employing Red Weapon Monstro cameras and Sigma FF High Speed lenses.

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The cinematographer was honored with the ASC Lifetime Achievement Awardin 2019 for his outstanding body of work. His long career began with collaborations with such pioneering directors as David Lynch (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart) and John Cassavetes (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Opening Night). His feature film work includes multiple films for directors Ang Lee (The Ice Storm, Ride with the Devil, Hulk) and Jim Jarmusch (Night on Earth, Coffee and Cigarettes, Broken Flowers, Paterson, The Dead Don't Die). Elmes won Independent Spirit Awards for Night on Earth and Wild at Heart, and earned a third nomination for Blue Velvet.

Elmes has also shot acclaimed television projects, receiving an Emmy for his work on The Night Of, an HBO miniseries written and directed by Steve Zaillian, and a nomination for In the Gloaming. His TV credits also include the Emmy Award-winning HBO limited series Olive Kitteridge, directed by Lisa Cholodenko, and the multi-nominated mini-series The Looming Tower, produced by Hulu/Legendary Television. 

His recent work includes an untitled documentary by Bennett Miller, and The Jesus Rolls, a feature film written and directed by John Turturro.

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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.

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Unbelievable: Cinematographer Quyen Tran interviewed by Eric Steelberg, ASC

Interviewer Eric Steelberg, ASC talks to cinematographer Quyen Tran about her work in this harrowing Netflix drama, which depicts the complex and frustrating hunt for a serial rapist and the lasting damage inflicted upon his victims — especially one whose story is doubted by investigators. 

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The pilot for Unbelievable, photographed by Tran (seen above, prepping a shot on actress Kaitlyn Dever), was recently honored with a Peabody Award. She also shot two additional episodes of the series.

The cinematographer photographed Unbelievable with Panavision Millennium DXL2s paired with Primo70 lenses, employing the camera with special rigs in a subjective manner to replicate the experience of the primary character (played by Dever), drawing the viewer into her experience. 

Over the course of this discussion, Tran also details her inspirations and mentors, the difficulties she has encountered while building her career, maintaining the delicate balance of career and family, how she found her creative voice as a cinematographer, and her collaboration with her Unbelievable director, Lisa Cholodenko. 

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Tran — aka “Q” — is based in Los Angeles and prioritizes story above all else. It was while shooting stills on an NYU thesis film that Tran caught the movie bug and decided to apply to film school herself. She attended UCLA, where she met cinematographer-in-residence Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, who became a valued mentor, along with Johnny Simmons, ASC.

Tran was featured in American Cinematographer as a Rising Star in 2017, and last year was named one of Variety’s 10 DPs to Watch. She was also the 2019 recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Alumni Award. 

Tran’s latest feature, Palm Springs, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, was released by Hulu on July 10. 

She recently was prepping a feature in New Zealand for director Espen Sandberg, and prior to that was in Calgary shooting the FX limited series A Teacher.

A native of Los Angeles, 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. 

Note: Inspired by true events, this discussion on Unbelievable includes details on filming scenes of sexual assault and includes depictions of sexual violence. 

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The Outsider: Cinematographers Igor Martinović and Zak Mulligan interviewed by Polly Morgan, ASC, BSC

Photos by Bob Mahoney, courtesy of HBO.

Interviewer Polly Morgan, ASC, BSC talks with cinematographers Igor Martinović and Zak Mulligan about their work in this HBO horror crime drama miniseries.

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Cinematographer Igor Martinović on the set with with actor Cynthia Erivo.

Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, The Outsider presents as a straightforward investigation into the gruesome murder of a young boy. But as an insidious supernatural force edges its way into the case, it leads a seasoned cop and an unorthodox investigator to question everything they believe in.

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Croatian cinematographer Martinović has photographed television series, documentaries and features. His documentary credits include Man on Wire; No More Smoke Signals; The Tillman Story; What Happened, Miss Simone?; Keith Richards: Under the Influence; and American Dharma. His television work includes Wallander; Nurse Jackie; House of Cards; The Night Of; It's Not Crazy, It's Sports; and Wormwood. He has photographed the features Silent House, Room 304 and Lost Girls, among others.

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For his work in the miniseries The Night Of, Martinović earned an ASC Award. He was also nominated for Emmys for his camerawork in What Happened, Miss Simone? and House of Cards.

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Cinematographer Zak Mulligan (in white) and Martinović (second from right).

In addition to his work as cinematographer on The Outsider, Martinović directed Episode 5, “Tear-Drinker,” which was photographed by Mulligan. Of working with Martinović, Mulligan says, “It’s exceedingly rare for me to have the opportunity to collaborate with another cinematographer, and it was such a pleasure. We all have our own methods developed over time, but we don’t often get to witness a colleague working firsthand. I’ve definitely added a few of Igor’s tricks to my repertoire.”

Mulligan’s feature credits include Obselidia, I’m Not Me, Future Weather, Blumenthal, The Sisterhood of Night, Bleeding Heart and Custody. For his work in the indie drama We the Animals, Mulligan was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. His camerawork in Obselidia earned him an excellence in cinematography award from the Sundance Film Festival.

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Mulligan and Martinović collaborating on set.

In addition to his work on The Outsider, Mulligan’s television credits include the FX miniseries The Most Dangerous Animal of All.

Raised in the British countryside, Polly Morgan attended the American Film Institute. Early in her career, she shot a feature, The Truth About Emanuel, that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and she has since had films premiere at South by Southwest and the Tribeca Film Festival. Her feature work includes The Intervention, Slumber, Spinning Man, 6 Balloons and Lucy in the Sky. She has also photographed a number television series, including Call the Midwife, From Darkness, The A Word and Strange Angel.

For her work in Legion, Morgan was nominated for an ASC Award. Her recent work includes the forthcoming feature A Quiet Place Part II.

Morgan is a co-chair of the ASC Vision Committee.

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Greyhound: Director Aaron Schneider, ASC and cinematographer Shelly Johnson, ASC interviewed by Eric Steelberg, ASC

Interviewer Eric Steelberg, ASC talks to director Aaron Schneider, ASC and cinematographer Shelly Johnson, ASC about their taut World War II adventure drama, now streaming on Apple TV Plus.  

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Schneider confers with Tom Hanks on the set.

With a screenplay by Tom Hanks, adapted from the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by English writer C. S. Forester (also the author of the Horatio Hornblower book series), Greyhound is set in the Mid Atlantic and stars Hanks as an inexperienced U.S. commander coordinating the cat-and-mouse battle between his U.S. destroyer — and the convoy he is assigned to protect alongside other Allied warships — and a ruthless “wolf pack” of multiple German U-boats. 

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Johnson checks a close-up on Hanks.

The production was heavily dependent upon complex visual effects to bring its open-ocean combat sequences to life, calling for the filmmakers to deliver live-action material that not only offered emotional and dramatic authenticity, but would mesh perfectly with the CGI work to be done in post. 

The picture was photographed with the Panavision DXL (Dragon sensor), which was dictated by the desire to employ optics that would facilitate close-proximity photography — Sphero 65 lenses —  and maintaining a compact package while working in tight quarters within their destroyer set. 

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In the video, the filmmakers discuss their creative approach project — working from Hanks’ screenplay — and the need for very close collaboration between production and post to bring the picture’s ferocious oceanic combat action to the screen. “The script was a cinematographer’s dream,” says Schneider. 

“I liked the fact that a large part of the script had to be depicted visually, largely through camera performance, because the camera had to be a participant,” Johnson confirms.

Portions of the film were shot aboard the World War II-era destroyer USS Kidd — permanently docked along the Mississippi River as a museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — and at sea in the North Atlantic aboard the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Montréal, stationed in Halifax, Canada.

The filmmakers simulated the effect of the static, 376-foot USS Kidd cruising across the Atlantic by utilizing telescopic cranes to maneuver their camera around the moored vessel. Schneider was in part inspired by the motion-control approach to shooting model spaceships (specifically the Millennium Falcon) pioneered while the creating effects for Star Wars (1977) — as executed by ASC members John Dykstra, Richard Edlund and Dennis Muren.

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A State-side scene featuring Hanks and actress Elisabeth Shue was photographed at Celtic Studios in Baton Rouge. The warm light and rich colors contrast with the cold, slate-gray color palette employed in the convoy and combat scenes. Below, Schneider (crouching) confers with Hanks: 

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A native of Springfield, Illinois, Schneider built his career as a cinematographer after graduating from USC, shooting a multitude of music videos before getting his break to shoot narrative projects. Recommended by actor/director Charles Haid, his first major credit was producer Steven Bochco’s ABC series Murder One in 1996, for which Schneider earned Emmy and two consecutive ASC Award nominations. He would soon move into features, shooting the thriller Kiss the Girls and the period drama Simon Birch, while also photographing TV projects including the pilots for the series Supernatural, C-16: FBI, Buddy Faro and The Agency. He would also do second-unit work for Russell Carpenter, ASC on Titanic

Schneider became a member of the ASC in 1999 and later became interested in directing, resulting in the short film Two Soldiers (2003; photographed by David Boyd, ASC), for which he earned an Academy Award. He subsequently directed and edited the fantastical period feature Get Low (2009; also shot by Boyd), starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek.

Schneider's path to becoming a director was discussed in this AC blog post

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Johnson is a California native and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in 1980. Inspired in part by the camera crews his father worked with as a television director, Johnson focused on cinematography, soon establishing himself with an impressive and diverse array of television series, movies and miniseries, including the 1997 retelling of Stephen King's The Shining. He was nominated for ASC Awards for his work in the telefilms Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure (1990) and The Inheritance (1997), as well as the series The Others (2000). Johnson parlayed this success into the feature film realm, with his credits including Jurassic Park III, The Last Castle, Hidalgo, Sky High, The Expendables 2 and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. 

American Cinematographer published feature stories on his work in The Wolfman (AC Feb. 2010) and Captain America: The First Avenger (AC Aug. '11).

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A native of Los Angeles, 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.

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Greyhound will also be the subject of a feature story in the September 2020 issue of AC.

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Insecure: Cinematographers Ava Berkofsky and Kira Kelly interviewed by Larry Sher, ASC

Cinematographers Ava Berkofsky and Kira Kelly discuss their camerawork in HBO’s acclaimed comedic drama series Insecure, interviewed by Larry Sher, ASC. Launched in 2016, the show explores the racial, cultural and relationship experiences of two successful African American women making their way in the world. It was recently renewed for a fifth season.

The series is primarily photographed with a combination of Arri Alexa Mini cameras and Cooke S5i lenses, capturing in 3.2K ProRes 4444.

Episodes of Insecure have also been photographed by Anette Haellmigk, Michelle Lawler, Paula Huidobro and ASC members Patrick Cady and Matthew J. Lloyd.

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Berkofsky (pictured above) is a two-time Emmy-nominated director of photography who has shot numerous award-winning films, television, documentaries and shorts. Her two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) were earned 2019 and 2020 for her work on Insecure, where she collaborated with director and executive producer Melina Matsoukas to create the distinct look and visual language of the show. This year’s honor came for the episode “Lowkey Lost.”

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Additionally, Berkofsky’ directing debut on the show — the episode “Lowkey Happy,” photographed by Kira Kelly — was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography.

Berkofsky’s award-winning feature credits include A24’s Share, directed by Pippa Bianco, which won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award at Sundance and was nominated for the Caméra d'Or at Cannes, and Free In Deed, directed by Jake Mahaffy, which earned her a nomination for Best Cinematography at the Independent Spirit Awards, among other international accolades. Other films have premiered at festivals including TIFF, AFI, Rotterdam, Sundance and SXSW, twice winning a SXSW Special Jury Prize, for shorts Sequin Raze, directed by Sarah G. Shapiro, and Share.

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She has also created and executed looks for shows on Netflix, Stars, Amazon, HBO, Hulu and PBS. Her short form commercial clients include Nike, Puma, Netflix, P&G, Spotify, Redbox, Vogue and LACMA. 

Born in Wales (United Kingdom) and raised in the mountains and cities of California, Berkofsky is now a U.S.-based cinematographer. Her background in fine art and documentary photography inform her textured approach to cinematography and filmmaking, looking for the nuance of subjectivity, time and place. When not shooting, she can usually be found laying in the grass and cloud gazing with her five-pound chihuahua, Tiny.

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Kelly (pictured above) is a two-time Emmy-nominated director of photography. She earned her first nomination in 2017 for the Netflix documentary 13th, directed and produced by Ava DuVernay, and her second this year for the Insecure episode “Lowkey Happy.”

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Kelly’s recent projects include the Netflix limited series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker, starring Octavia Spencer. Prior to that, she shot three seasons of critically acclaimed Queen Sugar. Her other television credits include The Red Line for CBS and the Emmy-nominated Hulu show East Los High

Her interest in cinematography started with a love of movies and a still camera. She studied cinematography at Northwestern University with an emphasis on film theory. To this day, Kelly is still mesmerized by the study of film as a visual language, and is constantly striving to create images that speak independent of dialogue.

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Kelly’s ability to shoot iconic images earned her spots on American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars of Cinematography list, Variety's Top Cinematographers to Watch, ICG Magazine’s GenNEXT.

Her commercial clients include Amazon, L’Oreal, Zalando, Google, Nike, Chase, Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, Comcast and Cover Girl.

Represented by DDA, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter and two dogs: Birdie and Taco.

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


2020 Amazon Studios Emmy Nominees Roundtable

In this 85-minute video, cinematographers M. David Mullen, ASC (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel); Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (Tales from the Loop) and Jas Shelton (Homecoming) are joined by interviewers Larry Sher, ASC  and Eric Steelberg, ASC. During this in-depth dialogue, the subjects discuss their Emmy-nominated cinematography in their respective Amazon Prime series and the state of shooting for television with all its inherent challenges — including the art of collaboration with other cinematographers who may be contributing to their series and how to maintain a consistent overall look to the show.

Participants

Once onboard the Tales From the Loop production, director Mark Romanek wasted no time in approaching longtime collaborator Jeff Cronenweth (below, on far right) to photograph the pilot episode, “Loop.”

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The filmmakers 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. The cinematographer’s other feature credits include Down With Love, Fight Club, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and A Million Little Pieces.

You’ll find a previous Clubhouse Conversation interview with Cronenweth focused on Tales From the Loop here.

Born in Texas, Jas Shelton (below, left of monitor) served as an electrician and gaffer before shooting the comedy drama feature Cyrus. He followed this by photographing the comedies KeanuThe House and Like a Boss. His other television credits include Dating Rules from My Future SelfTogetherness and the pilot of Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

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You’ll find a previous Clubhouse Conversation interview with Shelton focused on his work in the second season of Homecoming here.

M. David Mullen (below, far left) studied filmmaking and cinematography at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he received his Master’s Degree. Since then, he has shot almost 40 independent features, plus several television series and pilots. 

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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 and ASC Award for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, winning the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) for the series’ second season. His other recent television work includes Get ShortyWestworld and the pilot episode of Designated Survivor.

You’ll find a previous Clubhouse Conversation interview with Mullen focused on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel here.

Interviewers

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.

A native of Los Angeles, Eric 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


Life Below Zero: Cinematographers Michael Cheeseman and Danny Day interviewed by James Neihouse, ASC

Cinematographers Michael Cheeseman and Danny Day discuss their work in the National Geographic series Life Below Zero and their creative approach to non-fiction shooting in hostile environments with interviewer James Neihouse, ASC — who also has extensive production experience in similarly difficult locations.

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Launched in 2014 and produced by BBC Worldwide, Life Below Zero depicts the daily trials and tribulations of the isolated inhabitants of remote corners of the frigid Alaskan wilderness. Many survive by providing essential services, while others live almost completely off the grid and rely only upon their own resourcefulness. All are independent and tough.

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While the show’s primary cameras are Canon EOS C-300 Mark IIs, they employ Sony NEX-FS700 and FS5 Mark II units for slow-motion work (up to 120 fps), and Go-Pro Hero 7 Black cams to capture other unique (and often dangerous) perspectives. Heavy use is also made of DJI Mavic Pro 2 and Inspire Pro drones, with extensive aerial footage helping to convey the epic — and often imposing — Alaskan landscapes.

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This is Cheeseman and Day’s fifth joint Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program Emmy nomination for their work on Life Below Zero — they and the show’s camera team shared wins in 2016, ’18 and ’19. 

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This year, Cheeseman and Day also share their nomination with series director of photography Dwayne Fowler.

At the beginning of his career, Michael Cheeseman gained experience as a camera assistant and then operator while shooting reality series including Top Shot, The Apprentice, Dancing with the Stars and Ice Road Truckers. In 2014, he became a director of photography on Life Below Zero, earning credits on more than 70 episodes. His other recent credits include the spinoff series Port Protection, which similarly depicts the rugged lifestyles of those who choose to live in a coastal Alaskan outpost with fewer than 60 inhabitants.

Danny Day joined the Life Below Zero team in 2014 and has collaborated behind the camera on more than 80 episodes, starting as an assistant and operator before becoming a director of photography on the show.

James Neihouse, ASC is no stranger to the documentary realm or harsh environments. He has worked on more than 30 Imax productions, including all of the company’s collaborations with NASA, such as Space Station 3-D and Hubble 3-D. Over the course of the NASA projects, he has trained more than 25 space shuttle and space-station crews on the intricacies of large-format filmmaking. His credits also include The Eruption of Mount St. Helens! (the first Imax project nominated for an Academy Award), Mission to Mir, Blue Planet, Michael Jordan to the Max, NASCAR: The Imax Experience, Ocean Oasis and Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees. He has won two cinematography awards from the Giant Screen Cinema Association, for Space Station 3-D and Hubble 3-D. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, he recently coordinated a global photographic team for the project One More Orbit, a record-shattering, high-speed flight around the Earth, commemorating the Apollo 11 landing and a tribute to the past, present, and future of space exploration.

Watch now


Mindhunter: Erik Messerschmidt, ASC interviewed by Charlie Lieberman, ASC

In this 60-minute video, Erik Messerschmidt, ASC discusses his Emmy-nominated camerawork in the disturbing and insightful Netflix crime series Mindhunter with interviewer Charlie Lieberman, ASC. 

Based on the true-crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit and set in the early 1980s, this period drama depicts the investigations of two FBI special agents from the Behavioral Science Unit (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) tasked with furthering the understanding of serial killers and their motivations, with the hope of using this research to solve cold cases or stop active predators.

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Shooting in Mindhunter in 8K for 4K delivery with a 2.2:1 aspect ratio, Messerschmidt (pictured above) generally employs multiple Red Xenomorph Mk2 8K Helium cameras paired with Leica Simmulux-C Primes and Fujinon Premiere Zooms, often with Mitomo IR TrueNDs. (More about the show here.)

Messerschmidt had a childhood dream of becoming a cinematographer, which he began pursuing at Emerson College, where he studied film production. Following graduation, he relocated to Los Angeles to further his career in the industry. Shortly thereafter, he met ASC members Mark Doering-Powell and Mark Weingartner, who served as mentors. Doering-Powell hired Messerschmidt on several smaller feature projects as a grip and later gaffer. 

Gordon Lonsdale, ASC hired Messerschmidt as his gaffer on the TV series Bones, and the two worked together for six seasons. During this time, Messerschmidt also gained experience as a director of photography, shooting several commercials, short films and documentaries.

Jeff Cronenweth, ASC hired Messerschmidt as his gaffer on director David Fincher’s Gone Girl, and encouraged the director to hire Messerschmidt to photograph his next project, Mindhunter

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Messerschmidt has also photographed several episodes of the television series Legion as well as second-unit work on the feature Sicario: Day of the Soldado, shot by Dariusz Wolski, ASC. On the recommendation of Wolski, Messerschmidt was hired to photograph the HBO Max series Raised by Wolves.

His upcoming credits include Fincher’s feature, Mank, depicting the life of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and the writing of the script to Citizen Kane.

He became a member of the ASC this year and now co-chairs the Society’s Future Practices committee.

After earning a B.A. in anthropology from Northern Illinois University, Charlie Lieberman settled in Chicago to pursue a career in still photography. He landed a series of jobs in camera shops and advertising studios before setting out as a freelance photographer. And one of his first assignments was to photograph indigenous cultures in small villages across 14 countries for a series of anthropology books.

Returning to Chicago, Lieberman displayed his work in a gallery and was subsequently hired as a still photographer on a documentary about Olympic athletes. This first taste of motion-picture production prompted Lieberman to change tacks, and he began working as a cinematographer in documentary, industrial and educational films. 

After shooting his first feature in 1985, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Lieberman remained in Chicago, primarily shooting commercials, until 1989, when he relocated to Los Angeles. He subsequently shot such features as South Central (1992) and Love is a Gun (1994) and network TV series including My So-Called Life, Party of Five, Joan of Arcadia, Once and Again and Heroes.

Lieberman has been a member of the ASC since 2008 and is the chair of the ASC Photo Gallery committee.

Watch now


2020 Netflix Emmy Nominees Roundtable

In this 97-minute video, cinematographers Adriano Goldman, ASC, ABC, BSC (The Crown); Ben Kutchins and Armando Salas, ASC (Ozark); and Benedict Spence (The End of the F***ing World) are joined by interviewers Larry Sher, ASC and Eric Steelberg, ASC. During this in-depth dialogue, the subjects discuss their Emmy-nominated cinematography in their respective Netflix series.

Participants

Adriano Goldman served as cinematographer on The Crown’s 2016 pilot episode and has shot 22 episodes in total thus far. For his work on the series, Goldman has won an Emmy, two ASC Awards and a BAFTA Television Award. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Goldman is also known for his work on such features as Romance, Conviction, The Company You Keep, August: Osage County and Burnt.

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Adriano Goldman, ASC, ABC, BSC

You’ll find a previous Clubhouse Conversation interview with Goldman focused on The Crown here.

Ben Kutchins has photographed 14 episodes of Ozark across Seasons 1, 2 and 3, for which he received a previous Emmy nomination. His television work incudes episodes of Legion, Mozart in the Jungle and The Dangerous Book for Boys. His feature credits include Veronica Mars, Crown Heights, Sleeping with Other People and the upcoming Clouds.  

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Ben Kutchins

Armando Salas was born in Havana, Cuba, and 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 11 episodes of Ozark across Seasons 2 and 3.

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Armando Salas, ASC

You’ll find a previous Clubhouse Conversation interview with Salas and director Alik Sakharov, ASC focused on Ozark here.

Benedict Spence was born in London and photographed Season 2 of British dark comedy-drama The End of the F***ing World. Spence is a prolific commercial cinematographer, and has worked for clients including Visa, Mastercard, Asda and Microsoft. His television credits include Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, The Blue Door and In My Skin.

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Benedict Spence
Interviewers

Born in New Jersey, Larry Sher’s 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.

A native of Los Angeles, Eric 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.


The Mandalorian: Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS and Barry “Baz” Idoine interviewed by Larry Sher, ASC

In this 87-minute discussion video, Emmy-nominated cinematographers Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS and Barry “Baz” Idoine — detail their approach to shooting the Disney Plus series The Mandalorian for interviewer Larry Sher, ASC.

A live-action Star Wars television series was creator George Lucas’ dream for many years, but the logistics of television production made achieving the necessary scope and scale seem inconceivable. Fans would expect exotic, picturesque locations, but it simply wasn’t plausible to take a crew to the deserts of Tunisia or the salt flats of Bolivia on a short schedule and limited budget. The creative team behind The Mandalorian solved that problem.

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Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS sets a shot.

In order for The Mandalorian to work, technology had to advance enough that the epic worlds of Star Wars could be rendered on an affordable scale by a team whose actual production footprint would comprise a few soundstages and a small backlot. An additional consideration was that the typical visual-effects workflow runs concurrent with production, and then extends for a lengthy post period. Even with all the power of contemporary digital visual-effects techniques and billions of computations per second, the process can take up to 12 hours or more per frame. With thousands of shots and multiple iterations, this becomes a time-consuming endeavor. 

The Holy Grail of visual effects — and a necessity for The Mandalorian, according to co-cinematographer and co-producer Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS — was the ability to do real-time, in-camera compositing on set, by employing high-resolution LED screens coupled with game-engine technology to create interactive virtual exterior locations and interior sets. (You'll find AC’s in-depth feature story on this process here.)

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Barry “Baz” Idoine checks a composition.

A native of Australia, Fraser studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and then focused on commercial still photography at the University of Melbourne. He later transitioned into shooting commercials and music videos and then narrative shorts. A break came when he was assigned to shoot second unit for Mandy Walker, ASC, ACS on the period drama Australia. One of his first Hollywood credits was the atmospheric thriller Let Me In, followed by such features as Killing Them Softly; Snow White and the Huntsman; Zero Dark Thirty; Bright Star, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Lion (for which he earned an Oscar nomination) and Mary Magdalene. He is currently shooting The Batman for director Matt Reeves.

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Idoine previously worked with Fraser for several years as a camera operator and second-unit cinematographer on features including Rogue One and Vice. He assumed cinematography duties on The Mandalorian when Fraser stepped away to shoot director Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming sci-fi feature Dune

Idoine learned the art and craft of cinematography by rising up through the crew, starting as a clapper/loader, then camera assistant and operator, working with mentors including Dean Semler, ASC, ACS; Edward Lachman, ASC and Robert Elswit, ASC. 

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Born in New Jersey, interviewer Larry Sher’s credits include Kissing Jessica SteinGarden StateI 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.


2020 Multi-Camera Emmy Nominees Roundtable

In this 72-minute video, ASC members Patti Lee (Bob Hearts Abishola), John Simmons (Family Reunion), Donald A. Morgan (The Ranch) and Gary Baum (Will & Grace) are joined by interviewer Steven V. Silver, ASC. During this in-depth dialogue, the subjects discuss their Emmy-nominated cinematography in their respective multi-camera series.

Participants

Patti Lee, ASC was born in Los Angeles, and her first break came when she was hired as a gaffer on The Bernie Mac Show and eventually served as director of photography for two seasons. Her television credits include Men at Work, Whitney, Sean Saves the World, Mulaney, See Dad Run, Mr. Robertson, Fam and the 2019 reboot of Mad About You. 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 camerawork on Superior Donuts

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Patti Lee, ASC

John Simmons, ASC grew up in Chicago and has had a prolific career as both a still photographer and cinematographer. He has photographed more than 25 television series, including Roseanne (2018), Family Reunion, No Good Nick, Men at Work, Good Luck Charlie, All of Us, The Tracy Morgan Show, and many others. Simmons earned an Emmy for his work on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and another two nominations for his work on Pair of Kings. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the ASC’s Vision Committee.

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John Simmons, ASC

Donald A. Morgan, ASC is a nine-time Primetime Emmy winner, earning an impressive 16 nominations. Among his many credits, he has photographed such hit series as Home Improvement, Girlfriends, Last Man Standing, My Wife and Kids, Moesha and The Conners. He won the Emmy for his work on The Ranch in 2019, and he was honored with the Career Achievement in Television Award at the 34th ASC Awards.

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Donald A. Morgan, ASC

Gary Baum, ASC photographed two seasons of Will & Grace before the show wrapped in 2006. He then moved on to shoot such shows as The Class, Gary Unmarried, The Soul Man, Hot in Cleveland, Sullivan & Son, 2 Broke Girls, The Millers, Crowded, Superior Donuts and Man with a Plan. He has earned 11 Emmy nominations and won for his work on Mike & Molly as well as the successful 2017 reboot of Will & Grace. He is a member of the Television Academy Board of Governors.

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Gary Baum, ASC
Interviewer

Steven V. Silver, ASC has photographed such hit television series as Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Still Standing, Dharma & Greg and Mom. His camerawork has earned him 11 Emmy nominations and three wins.

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

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