Five years ago, Michelle Morgan made her Sundance debut with the short film K.I.T. She returns to the festival in 2017 as the writer, director and star of her first feature, L.A. Times, a romantic comedy where she plays alongside Jorma Taccone of Lonely Island fame. Morgan hired Nicholas Wiesnet, a DP known primarily for documentary and short film work, to shoot the picture. Below, Wiesnet discusses how he got the job, why he shot the film in anamorphic widescreen and his approach to lighting and blocking comedy. L.A. Times will screen six times during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker: How and why did you […]
Three years ago, writer/director Gillian Robespierre premiered Obvious Child at Sundance to much acclaim. The film would go on to earn more than $3 million at the domestic box office, making it one of the bigger titles to emerge from Sundance 2014. Robespierre returns to the festival in 2017 with Landline, which reunites her with lead actor Jenny Slate and DP Chris Teague. Set in 1990s New York, Landline is a seriocomic portrait of a family in flux. Below, Teague discusses shooting in NYC apartments, the influence of ’70s American cinema on Landline and recreating the Village Halloween Parade on a small budget. Filmmaker: How and […]
It took a team of four seasoned documentary DPs to capture the stories of Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman. Shot in Montana, Kansas and Louisiana, the film documents the lives of three men (the titular rancher, farmer and fisherman) who act as environmental conservationists in their respective fields. Directors Susan Froemke and John Hoffman have the action unfold in a vérité fashion, which stresses the land and the people who work it. Among the DPs they hired for the project were Bob Richman (An Inconvenient Truth), Buddy Squires (The Central Park Five) and Thorsten Thielow (30 for 30). Below, these three cinematographers discuss the unique challenges […]
Hailed one of Filmmaker‘s 25 New Faces in 2016, Amman Abbasi makes his Sundance and feature film debut with Dayveon. The film stars Devin Blackmon as a 13-year-old kid coping with the violent death of his older brother in small-town Arkansas. Given the setting, age of the characters and Abbasi’s lyrical approach to the story, the film has strong echoes of George Washington by David Gordon Green, who served as an executive producer here. Below, Filmmaker speaks with Dayveon DP Dustin Lane about his connection to the American South, shooting in a small town and his visual approach to this story. Filmmaker: How […]
Everything changed for Gillian Robespierre after Sundance. In 2014 she arrived at the festival with her debut feature, Obvious Child, a personal, provocative, NYC-set comedy starring Jenny Slate. Before the festival even wrapped, she had found an enviable distributor for the film in A24. Obvious Child would go on to play on 200 screens nationwide, earn more than $3 million and garner Robespierre a directing award from the National Board of Review. She returns to the festival three years later with Landline, an observant family comedy set in ’90s New York. Filmmaker spoke with Robespierre ahead of the film’s world premiere about her love […]
Early in La La Land, Emma Stone’s aspiring actress rises from a restaurant conversation about the unpleasantness of contemporary moviegoing and sprints to the Rialto Theatre to take in Rebel Without a Cause with Ryan Gosling’s intractably traditionalist jazz pianist. The burst of exuberance doesn’t last. The Rialto later closes down and as Gosling waxes poetic about jazz’s declining cultural relevance you begin to feel that for La La Land jazz is just a surrogate for the state of film itself. La La Land is an ode to the magic of movies – at a time when going to the movies has […]
Kristi Jacobson was nominated for the Truer than Fiction Spirit Award for her artful and incisive documentary on solitary confinement, Solitary. The film plays this month on HBO, and filmmaker Alix Lambert interviewed Jacobson for our Winter issue. With Solitary, filmmaker Kristi Jacobson offers her audience an experience both visceral and intimate inside the notorious Red Onion supermax prison in Wise County, Virginia. Jacobson, who spent a year filming at the prison, examines the devastating effects of solitary confinement by introducing us to the men who are incarcerated as well as to the guards and others who work at the […]
Yesterday we shared part one of a podcast conducted with Walter Murch conducted by Glenn Kiser for the Dolby Institute Conversations with Sound Artists series. In this second part, Murch discusses how Apocalypse Now changed the state of film sound, why going to film school could be a good idea, and using sound effects to express a character’s emotional state.
We’re pleased to be sharing this podcast conversation with legendary editor Walter Murch, conducted by Glenn Kiser and including questions from other leading sound designers including Randy Thom, Gary Rydstrom, and Ren Klyce, for the Dolby Institute Conversations with Sound Artists series. In this first part, he discusses documentaries’ effects on contemporary films, as well as aspects of his work on four of his most famous films: Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The Godfather and The English Patient. We’ll post part two of the podcast tomorrow.