Shutter Angles

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

  • Jody Lee Lipes on the set of Dead Ringers “Annoying, Finicky Placement Stuff”: DP Jody Lee Lipes on Shooting Two Rachel Weiszs for Dead Ringers

    Cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes says that shooting an actor playing twins is like learning a new filmmaking language. By now, he’s fluent. Lipes lensed all six episodes of the 2020 HBO miniseries I Know This Much Is True, with Mark Ruffalo playing identical twins. As an added complication, the coverage of each brother was shot months apart as Ruffalo took a hiatus to gain 30 pounds to physically transform himself into the other sibling. On the new Amazon series Dead Ringers, it’s Rachel Weisz starring as twin New York City gynecologists who meet a tragic end. The show is a…  Read more

    On May 31, 2023
    By on May 31, 2023 Cinematographers
  • When the Fungus Catches the Light: DP Karim Hussain on Infinity Pool

    With Antiviral, Possessor and Infinity Pool, filmmaker Brandon Cronenberg has expeditiously carved out a distinct, experimental aesthetic for his work. However, he has followed in the footsteps of his legendary father David in one respect—forging a lasting alliance with his cinematographer. All but three of the elder Cronenberg’s 20 features films were shot by either Mark Irwin or Peter Suschitzky. All of Brandon’s efforts thus far bear the name of Canadian DP Karim Hussain. Hussain begin writing, directing and shooting low budget genre films while still a teenager, before eventually opting to focus solely on the latter of those roles. He…  Read more

    On May 26, 2023
    By on May 26, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4 (Photo by Murray Close) “A Kick is Like a Line of Dialogue”: Editor Nathan Orloff on John Wick: Chapter 4

    Though it hasn’t reached the fever pitch of absurdity of The Fast and the Furious franchise just yet—a series that began as a Point Break riff but now includes nuclear submarines and Pontiac Fieros in space —the John Wick saga has certainly expanded from its humble beginnings. Produced independently and shot in New York on a budget in the mid-$20 million range, the original film found its titular assassin (played by Keanu Reeves) emerging from retirement to avenge the death of his dog. Four chapters later, Reeves is hopping between New York City, Osaka, Berlin, Paris and the Wadi Rum…  Read more

    On May 3, 2023
    By on May 3, 2023 Columns
  • Dominique Fishback in Swarm “Friday Morning Donald Called Me and Said, ‘We’re Shooting Film'”: DP Drew Daniels on Swarm

    In the new Amazon series Swarm, a fanatical devotee of a Beyoncé-esque pop star embarks on a quest to meet the singer, with a few stops along the way to dispose of those who have disparaged her idol online. Created by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers, the show hops around between Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Seattle and L.A., but was shot largely in Atlanta by Drew Daniels. The Red Rocket and Krisha DP spoke to Filmmaker about the influence of Michael Haneke, the beauty of imperfect camera moves and Swarm’s extremely last-minute switch to 35mm film.  Filmmaker: Let’s start with some…  Read more

    On May 1, 2023
    By on May 1, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Scream VI Ghostface Takes Brooklyn: DP Brett Jutkiewicz on Scream VI

    In 1989, Friday the 13th transplanted its hockey-masked slasher from summer camp to concrete jungle for the franchise’s eighth installment, Jason Takes Manhattan. That titular promise was not fully delivered upon: Manhattan was mostly Vancouver and Jason spent much of the running time on a boat full of high schoolers traveling to the city. The newest Scream offers up a similar relocation as Ghostface follows the previous chapter’s survivors from Woodsboro to college. Again, a Canadian city (this time Montreal) stands in for New York. But this time, the killer actually spends the entire running time chasing his victims through…  Read more

    On Mar 22, 2023
    By on Mar 22, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Cate Blanchett in TÁR, shot by cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister “I Would’ve Shot the Telephone Directory of New York If Todd Had Asked Me To”: DP Florian Hoffmeister on TÁR

    According to cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister, writer/director Todd Field often expressed his desired aesthetic for TÁR in a series of repeated Field-isms: Let’s just witness. Don’t gild the lily. Don’t make it look like a movie with a capital “M.” In other words, make the style invisible. However, Hoffmeister’s work was far from invisible to his peers, who bestowed an Oscar nomination upon the German DP for his work on the film. TÁR—Field’s first feature in more than 15 years—follows the downfall of a composer/conductor played by Cate Blanchett as she prepares a career-capping performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic.…  Read more

    On Mar 9, 2023
    By on Mar 9, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Actor Felix Kammerer as Paul Bäumer in All Quiet on the Western Front. He wears a WWI-era military uniform and has his face painted with soot behind the scenes. “… A 7mm Difference Between Lenses is Actually Quite a Huge Amount…”: DP James Friend on All Quiet on the Western Front

    War is young men dying and old men talking. The former lies at the heart of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1928 novel All Quiet on the Western Front, based on the German writer’s experiences in the trenches of World War I. In Netflix’s new adaptation, the latter half of that axiom is also represented with the addition of a subplot centered on the armistice negotiations that ultimately ended fighting on the Western Front. As in Remarque’s novel, the story is principally told through the eyes of Paul Bäumer, a teenager who—propelled by patriotic fervor—enlists alongside his schoolmates only to be disillusioned…  Read more

    On Mar 4, 2023
    By on Mar 4, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw and actor Winston Duke on the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Photo by Eli Adé) “Anamorphic’s Biggest Fan”: DP Autumn Durald Arkapaw on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

    Upon release in 2018, the first Black Panther became the highest grossing standalone super hero movie in history, while achieving a lasting cultural relevance exceedingly rare even among the box office juggernauts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But with the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the actor behind the titular hero, maintaining the status quo in the sequel was an impossibility. For Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the story’s throughline became grief and the narrative center shifted from Boseman’s T’Challa to his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and mother Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett, who received an Oscar nomination for the part). That new focus…  Read more

    On Mar 1, 2023
    By on Mar 1, 2023 Cinematographers
  • M3gan in M3gan “Which One is the Real Doll and Which One is the Actress?” DP Peter McCaffrey on M3gan

    When Peter McCaffrey left the processing lab at New Zealand’s National Film Unit in the early 1980s to become a freelance camera assistant, his bosses told him he’d be asking for his job back in two weeks. There was no such thing as a film industry in New Zealand, they warned. 35 years later, McCaffrey still hasn’t looked back. Climbing the ranks from clapper loader to focus puller to camera operator, McCaffrey has built an impressive resume of large-scale credits including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Thor: Ragnarok. Now, he has…  Read more

    On Jan 26, 2023
    By on Jan 26, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult on set of The Menu (Photo by Eric Zachanowich, courtesy of Searchlight Pictures) “Cameras are Like Film Stocks Now”: DP Peter Deming on The Menu

    In The Menu, entitled dinner guests get more than they bargained for when they travel to a remote island to feast upon the culinary delights of a disillusioned celebrity chef (Ralph Fiennes). Despite being surrounded by exquisite works of gastronomical artistry during the shoot, cinematographer Peter Deming did not partake. “I didn’t taste any of it. I’m not a big food person,” said Deming. “I’ve actually talked to a number of people who said the first thing they did after seeing the movie was go have a cheeseburger.” While Deming may not have an appetite for ornate cuisine, the cinematographer certainly knows…  Read more

    On Jan 6, 2023
    By on Jan 6, 2023 Cinematographers
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