Clubhouse Conversations — The Man in the High Castle

Director of photography Gonzalo Amat 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.

High-Castle-8.jpg?mtime=20200514052226#asset:91293Amat took this self portrait in the show's Multiverse Room set — the effect is entirely practical.Amat took this self portrait in the show's Multiverse Room set — the effect is entirely practical.

Currently based in New York, Gonzalo 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 include Person 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. 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.”

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

Here are some addition production shots from The Man in the High Castle:

High-Castle-7.jpg?mtime=20200514052229#asset:91294A-camera dolly grip Todd Shelley lines up a shot with the Alexa on a remote head.


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Director Dan Percival lining up a shot with the Alexa on Scorpio Mini and a Felix arm.


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Shooting on a rugged location, a Techno 30 camera crane was used as a bluescreen holding device near a cliff.


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Key grip John Westerlaken (standing behind the crane) sees the grips move the 50' Techno used in a very tough location.

High-Castle-3.JPG?mtime=20200514052245#asset:91299Key grip John Westerlaken and best boy Marc Nolet position seven fly swatters on location to tame the harsh mid-day sun.


High-Castle-4.jpg?mtime=20200514052248#asset:91300Actor Rufus Sewell (back to us) and director Dan Percival (on right, seated) prepare to rehearse a stunt.


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You’ll find all the other episodes in this discussion series here

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