Future Man / Eduardo Mayén

, Episode #95

Download podcast (40 min.) Subscribe on iTunes

SPONSORED BY: ASC Master Class

About the Project

The setup for Hulu’s Future Man takes its cues from the classic 1980s movie The Last Starfighter. In the first season — shot by Cort Fey, ASC — a yutzy janitor named Josh (played by Josh Hutcherson) is the first person to complete the video game Biotic Wars. Upon doing so, Josh is recruited by the game’s main characters: Tiger and Wolf (played by Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson) to wage war against the machines in real life.

Josh (Josh Hutcherson) in the second-season episode “Addicted to Overwatch.” (Photo by Erin Simkin/Hulu)
Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and Josh ready for action. (Photo by Erin Simkin/Hulu)

In the second season — shot by director of photography Eduardo Mayén — Josh, Tiger, and Wolf are thrust into an alternate future dimension where humanity clings to survival, and two of its last strongholds — the luddites of the Nag, and the techno-utopians of the Mons — are engaged in a civil war for the fate of the species.  

Wolf (played by Derek Wilson) is primed to fight. (Photo by Erin Simkin/Hulu)

Mayén photographed his season of Future Man with a Panavized Red Weapon Helium in conjunction with Panavision Gand E series 2:1 anamorphic lenses. The filmmakers employed three shooting modes for standard (8K 6:5 at 60 fps, with a 25mm wide angle limit), high-speed (5K at 60-120 fps), and wide-angle photography (7K WS for wider than 25mm). In addition to this, Mayén had to frame for both the 2.35:1 (letterboxed for Hulu) and 1.78:1 (extracted for all other platforms) aspect ratios. “Because of these framing challenges, we used an Artemis Prime viewfinder,” says Mayén. “It kept us honest with all of the field of view and resolution changes. My hat’s off to first AC Jay Levy, who made sure that all of the cameras were filming at the correct resolutions.” 

Shooting the episode "Guess Who's coming to Lunch," director of photography Eduardo Mayén employs an Artemis Prime digital viewfinder to demo a shot for director Craig Zisk. (Photo by Erin Simkin/Hulu)

According to Mayén, Future Man’s writers and producers — including executive producer Seth Rogen — fostered an environment of creative expression and experimentation, something that’s not always possible in the fast-paced milieu of television production. “The great thing about a science-fiction show that plays with alternate realities is that you can bend the rules of naturalism,” he remarks. “But then again, this is Future Man, so everything goes.”

The series was recently renewed for a third season.

Shooting the episode “The Last Horchata,” Mayén checks his frames. (Photo by Erin Simkin/Hulu)
Mayén and director Michael Weaver set up a shot while shooting the episode “The I of the Tiger.” (Photo by Erin Simkin/Hulu)
Behind the scenes of the episode “A Wolf in the Torque House,” the characters Wrench (Patrick Cox), Ladder (Kash Abdulmalik), Wolf (Derek Wilson) are blocked out for a scene with director Michael Weaver and Mayén. (Photo by Erin Simkin/Hulu)
Eduardo Mayén (Photo by Erin Simkin/Hulu)
About the Cinematographer

Originally from El Salvador, Eduardo Mayén cut his teeth working as an intern for Rodrigo Prieto, ASC — starting with the feature 21 Grams— an experience he still carries with him. “Because of my background as a street photographer and working with Rodrigo, I’m always thinking about the motivation of the light,” he muses. “I’ll ask myself why it’s behaving in a certain way, and where it’s coming from. I like to joke that I’m kind of ‘method’ about it.”

Mayén’s other credits include a number of independent features, in addition to TV series such as El Rey’s From Dusk Til Dawn, the CW’s Black Lightning, and Amazon Prime’s Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, for which he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Single Camera Photography. 

You’ll find his personal site here.

American Cinematographer interviews cinematographers, directors and other filmmakers to take you behind the scenes on major studio movies, independent films and popular television series.

Subscribe on iTunes

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
January 2000 AC Magazine Cover February 2000 AC Magazine Cover April 2000 AC Magazine Cover