March 31, 2020

DP Laura Merians Gonçalves on Pacified, shooting in Brazil, starting out as best boy electric on Bully, music videos, her love of Super 8 film

The Cinematography Podcast Episode 69: Laura Merians Gonçalves

As a kid, Laura Merians Gonçalves would play around with a Super 8 camera and make visual collages. But it was only for fun, and she had a degree in philosophy and was planning on traveling and studying martial arts in Japan when she got a summer job in Florida working as best boy electric on Bully,  directed by Larry Clark and shot by Steve Gainer. The film unionized and Laura was able to make a career in movies as a best boy and electrician. Her experience with martial arts influences her perspective on cinematography- learning a craft requires time, commitment, patience and practice. It took time for her to gravitate to the camera department and develop a skill through shooting short films, documentaries and reality TV. She further honed her skill with music videos for Bjork, Beyonce, Atoms for Peace, and Snow Patrol. Laura’s most recent film, Pacified, takes place in the favelas of Brazil and won Best Cinematographer’s Debut at last year’s Camerimage International Film Festival.

Find Laura Merians Gonçalves: www.lauramerians.com

Instagram: @lauramerians

Laura was recently featured in American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars of 2020: https://ascmag.com/articles/rising-stars-2020

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep69/

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March 30, 2020

BONUS Episode: J.D. Dillard, director of Sweetheart and Sleight

The Cinematography Podcast Bonus Episode: Director J.D. Dillard

It’s another very special Shelter In Place episode as we stay home and dig into our archives to bring you some past podcasts you might have missed. Enjoy our show and these films from the comfort of your safe space.

One of Illya’s favorite movies at Sundance in 2019 was J.D. Dillard’s midnight movie, Sweetheart. The horror/thriller movie stars Kiersey Clemons (Hearts Beat Loud, Dope) as a woman who is stranded on a desert island and stalked by a mysterious monster. J.D. discusses the difficulties of shooting on a small island in Fiji, on a short time schedule, while being entirely outdoors and subject to the whims of nature. As a black filmmaker, he feels like it’s important to put people who look like him in genre films such as fantasy and horror. Blumhouse, known for their horror movie slate, produced Sweetheart and you can currently stream it on Netflix.

J.D. is currently developing a new Star Wars project.

Find J.D. Dillard: @JGDillard (Twitter & Instagram)

Sweetheart is now streaming on Netflix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyg3gU09SX8 (trailer)

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/bonussweetheart/

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March 25, 2020

DP Stefan Ciupek on Guns Akimbo, the challenges of Russian Ark, working with Anthony Dod Mantle on Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours

The Cinematography Podcast Episode 68: Stefan Ciupek

Stefan Ciupek became interested in film while growing up in East Germany, but his options were limited in what was then a Communist country. His family managed to escape to Poland, and movies became a refuge from difficult times. In fact, Stefan and his mother were able to pirate Western films and re-sell them as bootlegs. His family managed to move to West Berlin, and by the age of 16, Stefan had a videocamera and started studying film in Germany. Stefan became one of the first adopters of digital camera technology, and became an early digital imaging technician (DIT) and colorist. He helped pull off an amazing achievement with 2003’s Russian Ark, a 90 minute film shot entirely in one take, in one location. After his accomplishments on Russian Ark, cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle found him and the two worked on several projects, including 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire, which became the first digital film to win an Academy Award for Best Cinematography and Best Picture. As digital technology became more technical, Stefan decided he wanted to be more involved in the creative process and returned to cinematography. He shot director Lulu Wang’s first film, Posthumous, as well as several episodes of the upcoming season of The Spanish Princess on Starz.

For Guns Akimbo, Stefan read the script and immediately knew how he would shoot it. Everything in the action movie is highly exaggerated and over-the-top. Stefan used the Red Monstro camera, a variety of different lenses and high key lighting to highlight some of the humor.

You can see Guns Akimbo streaming now on Vudu and Amazon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOFatKD0Vzo

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep68/

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Hot Rod Cameras is giving away TWO professional, cinema quality Aputure MC lights! One for you AND a friend you tag! Go to http://hotrodcameras.com/giveaway to enter. Contest ends March 30, 2020.

March 23, 2020

BONUS Episode: Big Time Adolescence director Jason Orley and DP Andrew Huebscher

It’s a very special Shelter In Place episode as we stay home and dig into our archives to bring you some past podcasts you might have missed. Enjoy our show and these films from the comfort of your safe space.

Illya sat down with director Jason Orley and DP Andrew Huebscher during 2019’s Sundance Film Festival to talk about their movie about arrested development, “Big Time Adolescence.” Starring SNL’s Pete Davidson, Griffin Gluck, and John Cryer, the story follows a teen whose idolization and friendship with a twenty-something stoner college dropout has destructive effects on his life. Orley and Huebscher discuss the close director/DP working relationship on the movie, creating the look of the film, working with production company American High, and using the Chemical Wedding Artemis Pro App and Hollywood Camerawork shot designer App to plan out where to place the camera and lights.

You can stream Big Time Adolescence right now on Hulu. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3PcDo4YcnY

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/bonusbigtime/

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Hot Rod Cameras is giving away TWO professional, cinema quality Aputure MC lights! One for you AND a friend you tag! Go to http://hotrodcameras.com/giveaway to enter. Contest ends March 30, 2020.

March 18, 2020

DP Kira Kelly on working with director Ava DuVernay, her Netflix series Self Made, 13th, Queen Sugar, East Los High

Cinematographer Kira Kelly had years of experience before director Ava DuVernay approached her to shoot her documentary, 13th. For 13th, DuVernay was interested in creating artful, composed shots rather than the typical “talking heads” of most documentaries, and pushed Kira and the team to get creative about how it was framed. The film examines the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery, yet the mass incarceration of African-Americans continues to this day as its own kind of slavery. 13th was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2017. Kira collaborated with DuVernay again on the second season of the critically-acclaimed series, Queen Sugar. When she was first starting out, Kira worked as a gaffer before moving into the camera department and establishing herself as a cinematographer, shooting a small independent film called Were the World Mine. Producer/director Carlos Portugal noticed her work and hired her to shoot four seasons of Hulu’s Emmy-nominated series, East Los High.

Kira Kelly’s latest show is a limited series for Netflix called Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madame C.J. Walker, starring Octavia Spencer. The series is based on the real-life story of an African American washerwoman who builds a hair product empire to become the first female self-made millionaire. Self-Made is on Netflix beginning March 20. https://www.netflix.com/title/80202462

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep67/

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Hot Rod Cameras is giving away TWO professional, cinema quality Aputure MC lights! One for you AND a friend you tag! Go to http://hotrodcameras.com/giveaway to enter. Contest ends March 30, 2020.

March 10, 2020

Jakob Ihre, FSF: Chernobyl cinematographer on shooting the incredible HBO series, his early career, working with director Joachim Trier

Jakob Ihre believes that making movies is very personal, and it’s important to create a connection to the material that the audience can feel. He graduated from the National Film and Television School in London knowing that he wanted to do smaller, quality projects that told personal stories. Jakob collaborated with fellow NFTS graduate Joachim Trier on several films, including Reprise, Louder Than Bombs, Oslo, August 31 and Thelma. The 2015 film, The End of the Tour, about writer David Foster Wallace, marked the Swedish cinematographer’s first English language movie.

The HBO TV series Chernobyl came to Jakob through the series’ director, Johan Renck. The two were friends but had not had the chance to work together. Writer and creator Craig Mazin had a completed 600-page script, and once Jakob read it, he knew he had to work on the project. The story was so gripping and mesmerizing, everyone involved felt a calling to tell the story in a way that was solemn about the material and accurate about what it looked like. Chernobyl shot for eight months in Lithuania and Ukraine and has won multiple awards.

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep66/

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Hot Rod Cameras is giving away TWO professional, cinema quality Aputure MC lights! One for you AND a friend you tag! Go to http://hotrodcameras.com/giveaway to enter. Contest ends March 30, 2020.

March 4, 2020

Sundance 2020-Coming of Age: Beast Beast director Danny Madden, DP Kristian Zuniga; Blast Beat director Esteban Arango, writer Erick Castrillon

Sundance 2020 Special Part 3: Coming of Age

Beast Beast explores the lives of three different teens who cross paths with tragic results. Director Danny Madden handles each character with sympathy and nuance. He and cinematographer Kristian Zuniga used different camera looks for each character, staying wide and documentary-style for some sequences and tight and controlled for others. The film came to the attention of Alec Baldwin who came on board as an an executive producer who helped fund its development into a feature.

Blast Beat is about two teen metalhead brothers from Colombia, uprooted from their lives in Bogota and struggling to find their place in suburban America. Director Esteban Arango and writer Erick Castrillon cast real life brothers Moises and Matéo Arias, who brought an added layer of authenticity to their characters’ relationship. It was also important to Arango and Castrillon to make a personal movie about their own culture, and they cast Colombian actors who spoke Spanish with authentic accents in the movie.

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/sundance2020comingofage/ ‎

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Hot Rod Cameras is giving away TWO professional, cinema quality Aputure MC lights! One for you AND a friend you tag! Go to http://hotrodcameras.com/giveaway to enter. Contest ends March 30, 2020.

March 1, 2020

Sundance 2020-Location, Location, Location: The Night House director David Bruckner, writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski; Black Bear director Lawrence Michael Levine

Sundance 2020 Special Part 2: Location, Location, Location
These two very different movies both had striking locations that set the tone for the films.

The Night House director David Bruckner and writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski enjoy working in the horror genre, and wanted to explore making a film that doesn’t make you “feel safe” with many dense layers. The film deals with the horror of grief, loss and loneliness faced by the main character, Beth, played by Rebecca Hall. The Night House was shot mostly at night in a lake house in upstate New York.

The Night House was one of the first deals to close out of Sundance this year. It sold for $12 million to Disney-owned Searchlight.

Black Bear takes place in a large lake house estate, and director/writer Lawrence Michael Levine wrote the script with a specific location in mind. Unfortunately, the original location fell through, and Levine had to find another spot, which turned out to be quite remote but amazingly striking on film. The movie stars Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon, whose characters and performances script-flip midway through the film, but we are never meant to know what the characters actually think. The movie wittily explores issues of gender and feminism, and later, has a funny take on indie filmmaking.

Black Bear has yet to find distribution.

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/sundance2020location/ ‎

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Hot Rod Cameras is giving away TWO professional, cinema quality Aputure MC lights! One for you AND a friend you tag! Go to http://hotrodcameras.com/giveaway to enter. Contest ends March 30, 2020.

February 26, 2020

Sundance 2020-Documentary: Ron Howard: Rebuilding Paradise; Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw: The Truffle Hunters; Ron Cicero & Kimo Easterwood: Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story

The Cinematography Podcast interviews the filmmakers for three documentaries at Sundance 2020. First up- Ron Howard, who talked about shooting his first documentary, Rebuilding Paradise. We present some selected soundbites of the conversation. Next, filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw ventured deep in the forests near Alba, Italy for their documentary, The Truffle Hunters. The filmmakers chose to keep the camera on a tripod and to observe the subjects at a distance, except for special leather harness rigs for POV doggy-cams that Dweck and Kershaw had specially made. Finally, Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story is both a story that will please fans of the beloved cartoon Ren & Stimpy, but it’s also a critical look at the cartoon’s volatile creator, John Kricfalusi.

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/sundance2020docs/

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Hot Rod Cameras is giving away TWO professional, cinema quality Aputure MC lights! One for you AND a friend you tag! Go to http://hotrodcameras.com/giveaway to enter. Contest ends March 30, 2020.

February 17, 2020

Director Adam Rehmeier and DP Jean-Phillipe Bernier discuss their movie Dinner In America at Sundance 2020

Dinner in America is a surreal punk-rock comedy filled with gleeful anarchy directed by Adam Rehmeier and shot by cinematographer Jean-Phillipe Bernier. It took awhile to cast the characters Simon and Patty, played by actors Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs, who are two oddball loners looking to take down all the a**holes in their “normal” Midwestern town. Dinner in America premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and has yet to receive a release date.

http://camnoir.com/ep65/

Adam Rehmeier: Twitter @AdamRehmeier

Jean-Phillipe Bernier: Instagram @jpbernierdop

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