Clubhouse Conversations — Outer Range

In this new 49-minute episode, cinematographer Drew Daniels and executive producer-director Lawrence Trilling discuss their Amazon Studios sci-fi Western series, as interviewed by Patrick Cady, ASC.

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Set in vast prairies and small towns of rural Wyoming, Outer Range finds rancher Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin) discovering a mysterious black void in a remote pasture — which is seemingly a portal to an alternate reality.

The filmmakers discuss their collaborative process, creating visual threads using Western and sci-fi genre elements, creating coverage that serves the story, blocking action, using split-field diopters, the creative use of zoom lenses, the inspiration of Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC’s work in No Country for Old Men, and much more.

Shooting on location in New Mexico, they employed Arri Alexa LF cameras generally paired with Panaspeed lenses and sought to create a visual language by starting the series with very limited depth of field, increasing the range of focus as the story unfolds.

Additional episodes of this series were photographed by cinematographers Jay Keitel and Adam Newport-Berra, who both contributed key creative choices that helped evolve the look of the show.

This interview was shot at the ASC Clubhouse during the 2022 International Cinematography Summit, with Daniels joining in via Zoom.

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Drew Daniels’ passion for filmmaking developed through another passion: skateboarding. Together with friends, he shot and edited skate videos, finding and honing his early film language. Attending film school at the University of Texas-Austin, he held a range of positions on set. While observing cinematographers at work, it was immediately obvious to him that that was the job he wanted to do. After film school, he began working on independent features in the Austin area, and he was eventually recommended to writer-director Trey Edward Shults. The two hit it off and have so far collaborated on three features: KrishaIt Comes at Night and Waves. The cinematographer’s other credits also include Jim Cummings’ prize-winning short Thunder Road; Guy Nattiv’s Oscar-winning short Skin; Matthew Heineman’s documentary feature The Boy from Medellín, Sean Baker’s much-honored drama Red Rocket, and episodes of the HBO series Euphoria. In 2020, Daniels was named one of AC’s Rising Stars of Cinematography.

Born in Wayne, New Jersey, writer, director and producer Lawrence Trilling spent most of his childhood in Santa Monica, California. He later graduated from Columbia University and received an MFA from UCLA. He has since written and/or directed four independent features and directed over 100 hours of television. His series credits as a director include such shows as Felicity, Scrubs, Alias, Invasion, Pushing Daisies, Parenthood, Agent Carter and Goliath.

Interviewer Patrick Cady was raised in rural New York and attended Ithaca College, later studying cinematography and directing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. “My middle-school teachers encouraged me that a country kid could actually end up working in the movie business,” he told American Cinematographer. “I then learned from a slew of wonderful cinematographers in the Nineties when I was a gaffer. Sol Negrin, ASC and [honorary ASC member] Larry Parker have mentored me in both film and family.” His career took a turn in 2000 after shooting his first feature, director Karen Kusama’s award-winning drama Girlfight. His extensive television credits include Cold Case, Make It or Break It, Suits, Rizzoli & Isles, Body of Proof, Betrayal, Rectify and Bosch. He earned a 2018 Emmy Award nomination for his work on the series Insecure. He has been a member of the ASC since 2011.


You’ll find all episodes in our ASC Clubhouse Conversations discussion series here.

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