Deep Fried Interview: The Sacrament cinematographer Eric Robbins

Ti West’s new thriller The Sacrament is presented to the audience as the edited footage of fictitious Vice Media correspondents detailing their harrowing encounter with a South American cult leader. That conceit posed unique challenges for cinematographer Eric Robbins, from choosing the right camera to creating DIY lighting fixtures to making Georgia double for a lush tropical respite.

Robbins talked to Deep Fried Movies about those challenges, reuniting with film school cohort West and his quest to buy every skinny fluorescent tube in a 45-mile radius of Savannah. The Sacrament is now out on all home media platforms. Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes: Noah (2014)

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After the more intimate The Wrestler and Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky returned to large scale storytelling with Noah, a $125 million Biblical disaster epic. Below is a collection of behind the scenes production stills from the film. The majority of the pics come from photographer Nico Tavernise, who also shot stills on Aronofsky’s previous two movies. Check out more of Tavernise’s work here.

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Deep Fried Interview: Person of Interest cinematographer Manuel Billeter

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As cinematographer Manuel Billeter worked his way up through the crew ranks of the camera department as an assistant and then an operator, he tried to absorb something from every Director of Photography he came in contact with.

“With any DP that you work with, you always try to learn something,” Billeter said. “You’re almost like a spy (laughs), watching and trying to figure out what does and doesn’t work. It’s a free lesson in filmmaking.” Continue Reading ›

Deep Fried Interview: Black Rock cinematographer Hillary Spera

Black Rock poster #2

A trio of estranged friends (Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell and Katie Aselton) retreat to an isolated Maine island from their youth to reconnect. However, their cathartic trip down memory lane is interrupted when an accident places them in violent opposition to a group of recently discharged soldiers hunting on the island. Imagine Deliverance with a gender twist and you get the idea behind Black Rock, an indie horror thriller with an emphasis on character and a naturalistic aesthetic atypical of the genre. (continue reading) Continue Reading ›

Deep Fried Interview: You’re Next cinematographer Andrew Palermo

You're Next poster 3

In the last decade, the three dominant trends in studio horror films have been the torture cycle initiated by Hostel, the spate of slasher remakes and, most recently, the flood of supernatural found footage flicks. The first repulsed with its sadism. The second cloyingly grasped at nostalgia. The third bored by ignoring most of the tools in the filmmakers’ arsenal in favor of a “realistic” aesthetic with scares predicated on pieces of furniture scooting around on their own.

You’re Next, given a wide release by Lionsgate in early August, is an antidote to everything that’s made slogging through these horror cycles an unpleasant chore. Continue Reading ›

Behind the Scenes: The Wild Bunch (1969) and Django Unchained (2012)

Ever wonder how actors in westerns manage to stay so still atop their horses for close-ups? This still from Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969) provides the answer. Below, a behind the scenes shot from Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2012) shows Leonardo DiCaprio atop a ladder to provide a horseback-level eyeline.

The Wild Bunch (1969)

Django Unchained (2012)

The Wild Bunch photo comes from the blog http://kinoimages.wordpress.com/, which is updated daily with film-centric images.

Behind the Scenes: Cinematographer Jack Cardiff

Behind the Scenes Still: Cinematographer Jack Cardiff

Jack Cardiff’s career spanned eight decades and included everything from classics The Red Shoes (1948) and The African Queen (1951) to not-quite-classics Conan the Destroyer (1984) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985).

This still from the documentary Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010) shows why operators weren’t all that eager to do handheld work in the 1930s.