Shutter Angles

Conversations with DPs, directors and below-the-line crew by Matt Mulcahey

  • Dwayne Johnson on the set of Black Adam (photo by Frank Masi) “Every Change I Make is Then Turned into a Budget and an Invoice”: Editor Mike Sale on Black Adam

    Your first feature film credit is a memorable experience for anyone who grew up loving movies, but for editor Mike Sale, ACE, that inaugural gig was particularly indelible. Sale made his cinematic debut on the infamous trading card-to-movie adaptation of The Garbage Pail Kids. “It was like a film school—the Garbage Pail Kids film school,” laughed Sale. “It was a fascinating learning experience and I had a lot to learn back then. Just seeing that kind of movie come together was incredible for a young person who had never made a movie before.” Sale graduated from Garbage Pail Kids film…  Read more

    On Nov 23, 2022
    By on Nov 23, 2022Columns
  • Florence Pugh in Don't Worry Darling Biscuits, Blackwings and Busby Berkeley: Cinematographer Matthew Libatique on Don’t Worry Darling

    When choosing a project, cinematographer Matthew Libatique says, “My first priority is that whatever I’m doing next is different than what I did last.” That guiding principle is how one bounces from Requiem for a Dream to Josie and the Pussycats, Noah to Straight Outta Compton. The two-time Oscar nominee’s quest for variety found him wrapping the Netflix musical The Prom, the Stepford Wives-esque thriller Don’t Worry Darling and the Darren Aronofsky-directed drama The Whale in the span of a calendar year. In Darling, Florence Pugh and Harry Styles star as a young couple that relocates to an almost too…  Read more

    On Nov 18, 2022
  • Mia Goth in Pearl “Either It Blows Up or It Doesn’t”: DP Eliot Rockett on Pearl

    Despite their dissimilar filmographies, I have great affection for both the arthouse friendly A24 and the drive-in exploitation of American International Pictures. That’s why I’m such a sucker for the story behind the making of A24’s Pearl, which follows AIP’s old philosophy that if you’re going to go to the trouble of hauling a cast and crew out to a remote location, you might as well make two pictures while you’re there. Pearl began life in a New Zealand hotel room in October of 2020. While in a government-mandated two-week quarantine ahead of making the 1970s-set horror film X, writer/director…  Read more

    On Nov 11, 2022
  • DP Alex Disenhof (with viewfinder) and director Charlotte Brändström on the set of The Rings of Power All Along the Parking Lot Watchtower: DP Alex Disenhof on The Rings of Power

    Conventional wisdom says not to start with anything particularly difficult on the first few set ups of a new project. Start simple and let the crew acclimate to each other as they begin the process of finding the rhythm that will carry them through the long days and nights ahead. However, schedules don’t always allow you to ease into things. Sometimes, as cinematographer Alex Disenhof discovered on Amazon Studios’s The Rings of Power, you spend day one on a 14,000-foot mountaintop accessible only by helicopter. “Our first two days of shooting were on Mount Kidd, which is on [New Zealand’s]…  Read more

    On Nov 4, 2022
  • The cast of The Midnight Club “We Used Almost Every Lens Set They Had in Their Inventory”: Cinematographer James Kniest on The Midnight Club

    If you’ve begun watching The Midnight Club on Netflix, you may have noticed the tag “Part of the Flanaverse” affixed to the new series. Though the individual entries in said universe aren’t particularly interconnected, the sheer breadth of writer/director Mike Flanagan’s output for the streamer certainly justifies the “Flanaverse” moniker. The Midnight Club marks Flanagan’s fourth Netflix series, in addition to the four Flanagan-directed movies currently residing on the platform. Based on the young adult novel by Christopher Pike, Flanagan’s newest show follows a group of terminally ill teens at a remote cliffside hospice facility who meet in secret each…  Read more

    On Oct 26, 2022
    By on Oct 26, 2022Filmmaking
  • Bodies Bodies Bodies Building LUTs From 35mm Tests: DP Jasper Wolf on Bodies Bodies Bodies

    In A24’s Bodies Bodies Bodies, a clique of privileged twentysomethings retreats to an upstate New York manor to ride out a hurricane in style. They’re soon being bumped off one by one in a Gen Z variation of Agatha Christie. It’s basically 10 Little Influencers, a slasher-esque satire shot with glow stick-fueled style by Dutch cinematographer Jasper Wolf. With the movie now out on physical media and VOD, Wolf spoke to Filmmaker about using film tests to create digital LUTs, stressing out the prop master with an array of actor-wielded flashlights and using characters’ emotions rather than practical sources to…  Read more

    On Oct 20, 2022
  • Halloween Ends “You Want To Avoid a Shot Looking Like a Fruit Salad”: DP Michael Simmonds on Halloween Ends

    Pronouncements of finality by slasher franchises have always been amusingly premature. Final Chapters. Final Fridays. Final Nightmares: You can’t keep a good (or at least a profitable) slasher down for long. While Halloween Ends—the 13th film in the franchise—probably won’t be the last we ever see of Michael Myers, it certainly does feel like the conclusion of director David Gordon Green’s chapter of the story. Set four years after Halloween Kills, the new entry finds Myers long missing from Haddonfield and Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode attempting to move on with her life. She’s relocated from her remote survivalist compound…  Read more

    On Oct 19, 2022
  • “Don’t Shoot Too Many Takes”: Walter Hill on Dead for a Dollar

    The closing title card of the new Western Dead for a Dollar includes the dedication “In Memory of Budd Boetticher.” Had director Walter Hill worked during Boetticher’s era, he too may have churned out exceptional, modestly budgeted Westerns at a clip of roughly one a year, like Boetticher did for Columbia Pictures in the 1950s. Instead, Hill has settled for being one of a handful of contemporary repeat practitioners of the Western, a disparate group ranging from Clint Eastwood to the Coen Brothers, Kevin Costner to Quentin Tarantino. Hill’s first Western, The Long Riders—a retelling of the Jesse James story that…  Read more

    On Oct 12, 2022
    By on Oct 12, 2022Columns
  • Ana de Armas and cinematographer Chayse Irvin on the set of Blonde Chayse Irvin on Shooting Blonde in Digital Black and White and God’s Creatures in 35mm Color

    This week, Netflix’s Blonde and A24’s God’s Creatures head to streaming and theaters, respectively. The digitally-shot Blonde is a highly stylized look at the life of Marilyn Monroe, shifting aspect ratios and alternating between color and monochrome while employing extreme wide angle lenses, body cam mounts, infrared and more to expressionistically convey Monroe’s perspective. God’s Creatures is the antithesis—austere and somber, captured on 35mm, with an observational point of view distanced from the main characters, a mother in a small Irish fishing village whose life crumbles after providing a false alibi for her son. The films do share one thing in common—cinematographer…  Read more

    On Sep 29, 2022
  • Georgina Campbell in Barbarian Fincher Upstairs, Raimi Downstairs: DP Zach Kuperstein on Barbarian

    On a rainy night in a rundown Detroit neighborhood, Tess (Georgina Campbell) arrives at her Airbnb rental only to find the abode double booked and Keith(Bill Skarsgård) already nestled comfortably inside. That’s about all Barbarian’s refreshingly cryptic trailer gives you, along with a few glimpses of the subterranean terror that awaits. So, that’s all I’m going to give away about the plot as well, other than to say that whatever you expect from Barbarian after its first act is most decidedly not what you’re in store for. With the movie in theaters, cinematographer Zach Kuperstein spoke to Filmmaker about recreating…  Read more

    On Sep 22, 2022
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