Shutter Angles

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

  • L-R Rong Fu as Mitchell, Melissa Navia as Ortegas and Anson Mount as Capt. Pike appearing in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/Paramount+ “Each Episode is Like Its Own Movie”: DP Benji Bakshi on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

    In December of 1964, principal photography finished on the pilot of Star Trek, featuring captain Christopher Pike (played by The Searchers’ Jeffrey Hunter) as the commander of the Enterprise. When the show’s first episode finally aired almost two years later, Pike was nowhere to be found. The initial pilot had been scrapped and re-shot, with William Shatner’s James T. Kirk taking the helm and a different crew boldly going where no man had gone before. However, that wasn’t the end of Christopher Pike. The character returned as a Kirk mentor in the J.J. Abrams-directed reboot films. Now, with the Paramount…  Read more

    On Aug 31, 2023
    By on Aug 31, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Four women sit in a storage room. They wear brightly colored clothes and accessories, but look mildly bewildered. “I Spent Nearly 14 hours Staring At That Lamp”: DP Paul Yee on Joy Ride

    When you make your living in production, the relationship between work and time off can be a complicated one. After months of Fraturdays and Second Meal pizza at 2 a.m., you need to rest, decompress and resume the parts of your life that have been essentially paused during shooting. But stay off set too long and dread can fester—a fear of dwindling bank accounts, falling short on days for insurance and being usurped in your market’s hiring hierarchy. Cinematographer Paul Yee is acutely aware of that delicate balance and how it feels when the equilibrium becomes askew. He took a self-imposed…  Read more

    On Aug 9, 2023
    By on Aug 9, 2023 Cinematographers
  • DP Markus Mentzer on Shooting Six Episodes of I Think You Should Leave in 24 Days

    With only 24 days to capture nearly 30 sketches, the average I Think You Should Leave bit is shot in roughly six to eight hours. That might be for the best. When you’re slopping up steaks or shooting body after body busting out of cheap wood and hitting pavement, probably wise not to linger at a location for too long. Cinematographer Markus Mentzer, who has been behind the camera for all three seasons of the Netflix show, breaks down the newest crop of sketches for Filmmaker. Filmmaker: Your first three camera department credits on IMDB are Out of Time, In…  Read more

    On Jul 6, 2023
    By on Jul 6, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Earth Mama DP Jody Lee Lipes

    Jody Lee Lipes likes to ask questions—so many, in fact, that the cinematographer says it can sometimes annoy directors. However, Lipes found a collaborator with an equally inexhaustible inquisitiveness in Savanah Leaf. “Savanah wanted to go through every scene together [during prep],” said Lipes. “I loved it because that’s my favorite thing to do. We would talk about a scene for like three hours. We went literally word by word through the script.” Lipes, whose credits include Manchester by the Sea, Martha Marcy May Marlene and I Know This Much Is True, first met Leaf on a commercial. They developed…  Read more

    On Jun 27, 2023
    By on Jun 27, 2023 Cinematographers
  • Steven Yeun and Young Mazino on the set of Beef (photo by Andrew Cooper) “TV Shows are Like Better Funded Independent Films”: DP Larkin Seiple on Beef

    In the new Netflix series Beef, a struggling contractor (Steven Yeun) and an affluent entrepreneur (Ali Wong) become embroiled in an escalating feud following a road rage incident.  The series fits snuggly into a very specific quadrant of cinematographer Larkin Seiple’s wheelhouse— hard-to-classify A24 projects. Though his filmography includes sports biopics (Bleed for This), thrillers (Cop Car) and prestige dramas (To Leslie and Emmy-nominated work on Gaslit), Seiple’s most distinct work has come in A24’s Swiss Army Man, Everything Everywhere All at Once and now the studio’s Beef. With the full series streaming on Netflix, Seiple spoke to Filmmaker about Incubus clinching…  Read more

    On Jun 8, 2023
    By on Jun 8, 2023 Cinematographers
  • 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
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