Shutter Angles

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

  • 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
  • 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, 2022 Columns
  • 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
    By on Nov 18, 2022 Cinematographers
  • 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
    By on Nov 11, 2022 Cinematographers
  • 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
    By on Nov 4, 2022 Cinematographers
  • 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, 2022 Filmmaking
© 2024 Filmmaker Magazine. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of The Gotham