Cinematographer Sam Levy talks Lady Bird

Check out my interview with Lady Bird director of photography Sam Levy for Filmmaker Magazine.

Tech Info
Camera: Arri Alexa Mini
Lenses: Panavision Ultra Speeds and Super Speeds
Misc: Shot at 2K ProRes, with the camera rated at 1280 for day exteriors and 1600 for interior work

Here’s Levy on the film’s preproduction prep:

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Cinematographer Rachel Morrison talks Mudbound

Mudbound frame grabs

Check out my Filmmaker Magazine interview with Rachel Morrison regarding her work on Netflix’s Mudbound. Set in post-World War II rural Mississippi, Mudbound was shot on Alexa Minis using Panavision PVintage spherical lenses and Panavision B, C, and D series anamorphic glass.

Continue onward for a few set pics and a snippet from the interview in which Morrison breaks down the pros and cons of working with film vs. digital. Continue Reading ›

Cinematographer Dan Laustsen talks The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water frame grabs

Check out my interview with The Shape of Water cinematographer Dan Laustsen (Nightwatch, Crimson Peak, John Wick: Chapter 2, The Brotherhood of the Wolf) for Filmmaker Magazine.

Laustsen’s third collaboration with director Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water tells the story of a mute cleaning woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with the amphibious creature (Doug Jones) housed at the government research lab where she works.

Shot on Arri Alexa XTs with Master Prime lenses on a surprisingly skimpy budget of $19.5 million.

Here’s a snippet from the interview:

Dan Laustsen interview quote The Shape of Water

Interview: Gotham cinematographer Crescenzo Notarile

Check out this interview I did for Filmmaker Magazine with Emmy-nominated Gotham cinematographer Crescenzo Notarile ahead of tonight’s Season 3 premiere on Fox. Notarile talks about Gotham’s signature style, the challenges of hiding lights from the show’s wide-angle lenses, and what he learned from working on Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America.

Here’s Notarile on Once Upon a Time in America cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli.


12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer cinematographer Jonathan Furmanski

“Women don’t need orgasms. It’s science.” – Juror #10 (Paul Giamatti) 

Back in February a trolling movie critic questioned whether comedian Amy Schumer could possibly stir the loins of male moviegoers enough to be believable as the romantic interest of a chiseled, hunky lothario like Bill Hader in the upcoming romcom Trainwreck. Schumer responded as any talented comedian would – with pointed mockery. Unleashing an episode-length sketch on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, the show’s namesake transformed the 1957 drama 12 Angry Men into a satire of male chauvinism as a jury room full of legendary character actors- your Giamattis’, your Goldblums’, your Hawkes’s – debate whether Schumer is hot enough to be on TV.

It’s a transcendent piece of television – elevating the form of sketch comedy while using the power of farce to reveal the ridiculousness of the objectification of female performers. And it does so while reverently recreating the look of Lumet’s original, from the camera angles right down to the lighting fixtures. The show’s cinematographer, Jonathan Furmanski, enlightened Deep Fried Movies as to how he replicated the look and feel of one of cinema’s great chamber pieces. Continue Reading ›

Cake cinematographer Rachel Morrison


From the moment she began hijacking the family camera as a grade schooler, there was little doubt Rachel Morrison would live her life peering at the world through a viewfinder. The only question was whether Morrison would be adjusting the aperture on a still camera or movie camera.

Morrison spoke to Deep Fried Movies about the path that led her to choose the latter, a decision that has worked out well thus far for the cinematographer of Fruitvale Station and the new drama Cake starring Jennifer Aniston. Continue Reading ›

The Shot Behind the Shot: Zombeavers (2014)


I’m working on finishing up an interview with Zombeavers (2014) cinematographer Jonathan Hall for later this week. Here’s a little preview – a behind the scenes set-up showing how Hall pulled off an effect in which an animatronic beaver bursts through the planks of a wooden raft.

The film employed a pair of Arri Alexas – one of which floats above in this shot on a J.L. Fisher 23 crane. Behind the actors you’ll find a 12×12 frame of highlight serving as diffusion.

Continue onward to see the final result. Continue Reading ›