June 24, 2020

Xavier Grobet, ASC on HBO’s Watchmen, going to film school with Mexican filmmakers Rodrigo Prieto and Alfonso Cuarón, early experience on films Total Recall, Revenge, Before Night Falls

The Cinematography Podcast Episode 80: Xavier Grobet

Mexican-born DP Xavier Grobet grew up surrounded by visual images. His mother was a professional photographer, and from an early age, Xavier made his own Super 8 movies every summer with his cousins and family members. He started out going to architecture school, but soon decided his passion was film. Xavier’s generation of fellow Mexican filmmakers, “Chivo” Emmanuel Lubezki, Rodrigo Prieto, and Alfonso Cuarón were also attending film school at one of the two main colleges in Mexico City. One of Xavier’s early experiences was operating the third camera on a French film, Les Pyramides Bleues, with Alfonso Cuarón as the assistant director. Many American productions were shooting in Mexico at the time, so Xavier was able to work on huge movies like Tony Scott’s Revenge and Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once he moved to America, it took awhile to get established again, but he got a big break shooting the Julian Schnabel film Before Night Falls and the series Deadwood. Xavier Grobet’s most recent work has been on HBO’s phenomenal series Watchmen, on episodes three, five, and seven. Going into the world of Watchmen proved to be a huge challenge, because each episode works as its own separate piece, but required a familiarity with the script for the entire series to ensure the consistency and look of the story. He always found ways to shoot from different angles, and used blue lighting selectively to suggest and reveal Dr. Manhattan. It was daunting working within the framework of the show’s look and following its guidelines, but Xavier embraced it and made it his.

See Watchmen on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/watchmen

Find Xavier Grobet: http://xmexdp.com/ Instagram: @xmexdp

Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: http://camnoir.com/ep80/

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Website: www.camnoir.com
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July 13, 2019

Ep 39 – Manuel Billeter – Talks the Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Orange is the New Black and working with Alfonso Cuarón

Manuel Billeter discusses his early career and getting his big break working in post production editing “Y Tu Mama También” for director Alfonso Cuarón, who encouraged him to pursue a path in cinematography. He talks about the high profile series he’s worked on, such as “Law and Order,” and “Person of Interest,” how a show getting canceled or getting fired can lead to better opportunities, working in urban settings with night exteriors and the incredible energy it can generate. When creating the unique noir feel for “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage,” Manuel loved the look of sodium vapor streetlights, but most of New York has converted to LED lights, so each individual streetlight was gelled to get the yellower look.