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Cinematographer Crescenzo Notarile, ASC, AIC discusses his work in the stylish series Gotham, which chronicles the intrigue and drama surrounding a young Bruce Wayne long before he became Batman.
About the Project
Set decades before young master Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) would become the crime-fighting superhero Batman, the DC Comics/Warner Bros. Television series Gotham delivers a detailed backstory on the origin of not only the Dark Knight, but his future trusted comrades and villainous foes, including Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), butler Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), Selena “Catwoman” Kyle (Camren Bicondova), Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) and Edward “The Riddler” Nygma (Cory Michael Smith). Photographed in and around New York City — based at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn — the show offers a unique vision incorporating practical locations with expressive lighting and camerawork, rendering a convincing and dramatic “graphic novel” result.
About the Cinematographer
Born in Sicily, Crescenzo Giacomo Notarile was raised in Brooklyn, New York, from first-generation Italian descent. His parents — Maria, an interior designer and sculptress, and Vincenzo, an art director, graphic designer and painter — encouraged his creative inclination throughout his life. Graduating from high school in Huntington, Long Island, Notarile received a scholarship to New York University for outstanding photographic achievement, and also a high honors degree from the Nikon School of Photography for Photojournalism. Upon completing an extensive photo essay on the homeless, Notarile created a 16mm black-and-white PSA on the same subject. It received with critical acclaim at a student festival, an experience that inspired Notarile to shift his focus from photojournalism to motion picture filmmaking. As a result, he followed a mentor filmmaker who was teaching at The New York Institute of Technology and transferred there.
At this time, Notarile’s father was an award-winning art director and graphic designer for a major advertising agency in New York City. Among his collaborators was photographer Richard Avedon, and Notarile sat in on many shoots, learning the persuasive art of advertising. At this time, Notarile also worked summers at his father’s agency as a camera production assistant, during which he learned the art and craft of cinematography.
Upon graduating Cum Laude with a B.A. in communication arts, Notarile joined I.A.T.S.E. Local 644. He quickly worked his way up the ranks in the camera department and, among his first assignments, worked as a camera assistant for director Sergio Leone and cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli, AIC on Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
Now, with more than 30 years in the film business, Notarile’s credits as a cinematographer include the series Skin, Ghost Whisperer and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and he has earned Emmy and ASC Award nominations for his work on Gotham.
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