Clubhouse Conversations: Mare of Easttown and Perry Mason — HBO Roundtable

In this 59-minute episode, interviewer C. Kim Miles, ASC, CSC, MySC talks with Emmy-nominated cinematographers Ben Richardson, ASC and David Franco about their respective crime dramas.

A contemporary mystery story set in Philadelphia, the HBO Max limited series Mare of Easttown trails a police detective (played by Kate Winslet) as she tries to solve the tragic murder of teen mother — set against her own personal struggles and self doubts. Richardson (below) is nominated for the episode “Illusions,” directed by Craig Zobel.

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Richardson is nominated in the category Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.

Shooting with two cameras, he employed Arri Alexa Minis with Leitz Summilux-C lenses and Fujinon zooms, often working on Talon remote heads with an Aerocrane jib. He shot ProRes 4444 3.2K with a 2:1 extraction.

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This is the cinematographer’s first Emmy nomination. His previous credits include the series Yellowstone (for which he earned an ASC Award nomination), and the features Those Who Wish Me Dead, Wind River, The Fault in Our Stars and Beasts of the Southern Wild. The latter earned him a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography, among other honors.

Set in the 1930s, the HBO series Perry Mason investigates the early career of the famed character (played by Matthew Rhys), struggling with PTSD from World War I while working as a gumshoe in Depression-era Los Angeles. Franco is nominated for the episode “Chapter 2,” directed by Timothy Van Patten (seen together below).

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Franco is nominated in the category Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour).

To achieve a 2:1 anamorphic frame, he paired Sony CineAlta Venice cameras with Panavision T series optics, which offer higher contrast and closer focusing, shooting clean for a crisp look.

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This is Franco’s second Emmy nomination — previously winning in the category Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee in 2007, which also earned him an ASC Award nomination. 

This past year, the cinematographer earned an ASC Award nomination for this same episode of Perry Mason — his seventh, also including nods for his work in Million Dollar Babies, Falling for You, Intensity and Boardwalk Empire.

Winners will be announced during the 2021 Creative Arts Awards, held on September 11 and 12, and will then air on September 18 on FXX.


You’ll find all ASC Clubhouse Conversations episodes here.

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