Shutter Angles

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

  • 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
  • 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
    By on Oct 20, 2022 Cinematographers
  • Halloween Ends “One Light Has to Win”: 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
    By on Oct 19, 2022 Cinematographers
  • “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, 2022 Columns
  • 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
    By on Sep 29, 2022 Cinematographers
  • 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
    By on Sep 22, 2022 Cinematographers
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson on the set of Bullet Train “I Would Cut with Scissors if I Had To”: Editor Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir on Bullet Train

    In Bullet Train, a half dozen assassins, the screw-up kid of a Russian crime lord and a lethally venomous snake are among the passengers on the titular mode of transport travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto.  Balancing the sheer volume of characters and orchestrating the intricately choreographed tussles of action maestro David Leitch (John Wick and Atomic Blonde) already present ample challenges for an editor. For Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir, the Icelandic cutter of both Wick and Blonde, the degree of difficulty was further embellished by an array of flashbacks, Thomas the Tank Engine metaphors, surprise cameos and Engelbert Humperdinck needle drops. With…  Read more

    On Aug 24, 2022
    By on Aug 24, 2022 Columns
  • Episode 203, "The Last Day Of Bunny Folger," of Only Murders in the Building “We Tested a Million LED Flashlights”: DP Chris Teague on Only Murders in the Building

    After joining forces to solve a killing (and create a true crime podcast) in the first season of Only Murders in the Building, the trio of Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short find themselves the suspects in another slaying in the latest batch of episodes of the Hulu series. Set in New York in the fictitious swanky apartment building the Arconia, the show’s entire inaugural season was lensed by longtime Big Apple resident Chris Teague (Obvious Child, GLOW, Russian Doll). For the new season, Teague’s role expanded to the director’s chair for two episodes. With the season finale premiering…  Read more

    On Aug 19, 2022
    By on Aug 19, 2022 Cinematographers
  • The Predator (Dane DiLiegro) and Naru (Amber Midthunder) in Prey “Spielberg is the Master of Layering Multiple Actors Within a Frame”: DP Jeff Cutter on Prey

    1987 was a good year to be a young action movie fan. RoboCop, Lethal Weapon and Predator all hit theaters within five months of each other before landing on VHS, where they could be watched again and again provided you or a friend had parents with an appropriately laissez faire attitude toward R ratings. That cycle of action films made a deep impression on a teenaged Jeff Cutter. Predator, in particular, brought forth an unexpected revelation about the nature of moviemaking. “I saw Predator in the theater when it came out and absolutely loved it,” said Cutter. “The Terminator was…  Read more

    On Aug 16, 2022
    By on Aug 16, 2022 Cinematographers
© 2024 Filmmaker Magazine. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of The Gotham