Shutter Angles

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

  • 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
  • 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, 2022Columns
  • 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
  • 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
  • Marc Rissman and Anna Fiamora in 1883 (Photo: Emerson Miller/Paramount+ © 2022 MTV Entertainment Studios) “We Did Not Have an Interior to Shoot for Eight-and-a-Half Episodes”: DP Christina Alexandra Voros on Her Emmy-Nominated 1883 Work

    “The landscape is its own character,” says 1883 cinematographer Christina Alexandra Voros. It’s not an unusual declaration for an epic outdoor adventure, until Voros adds, “And that character was the biggest diva on the show.” A prequel to Paramount+’s popular Yellowstone series, 1883 subjected its crew to both a stifling Texas summer and a frigid Montana winter to trace the Dutton clan’s westward journey via wagon train. “It was punishing,” said Voros. “It was either raining, windy or just plain freezing, or it was 500 background people in downtown Ft. Worth sweltering under the August sun in wool clothing.” Braving…  Read more

    On Jul 28, 2022
  • Jules O'Loughlin lines up a shot on the set of Ms. Marvel. “Over-Coverge is the Enemy of Style”: DP Jules O’Loughlin on The Old Man and Ms. Marvel 

    In Disney’s Ms. Marvel, a teen in an exuberantly colored Jersey City discovers super powers after slipping a magical bangle on her wrist. In FX’s The Old Man, a septuagenarian dusts off a long-dormant aptitude for violence when his former life as a CIA operative catches up with him. In the overlapping Venn diagram of these seemingly disparate shows, you’ll find cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin. The Australian DP shot two episodes of each series, which also share critical flashbacks set on different continents than their main story, as well as shoots that were greatly affected by COVID. With both shows now…  Read more

    On Jul 27, 2022
  • When A Wide Shot is 12 Inches from the Lens: DPs Bianca Cline and Eric Adkins on Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

    There’s a saying that a movie is made three times: once when it’s written, once when it’s shot and once when it’s edited. To create the new A24 release Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, that maxim had to expand to accommodate an additional creative cycle. Marcel, the story of a chatty one-inch tall seashell searching for his family, was in essence shot twice. First, cinematographer Bianca Cline captured the live-action components, leaving a Marcel-sized space in the compositions. Months later, armed with copious notes to match lighting, lensing, focus, etc., stop motion director of photography Eric Adkins brought Marcel…  Read more

    On Jul 20, 2022
  • Ethan Hawke in The Black Phone Super 8 Dream Sequences and Jump Scares: DP Brett Jutkiewicz on The Black Phone

    It’s fitting that The Black Phone, an adaptation of Joe Hill’s short story, was shot in Wilmington, North Carolina. Forty years ago, it was the fertile imagination of Hill’s father—Stephen King—that birthed the city’s film industry. Needing a sprawling estate for an adaptation of King’s novel Firestarter, Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis settled on an antebellum plantation in Wilmington. Pleased with the experience, De Laurentiis made the coastal town his America base of operations, shooting three more King films there (Silver Bullet, Maximum Overdrive and Cat’s Eye) and constructing what is now EUE/Screen Gems Studios—the very soundstages that The Black…  Read more

    On Jul 11, 2022
  • “Elvis’s Eyes Were Very Special”: DP Mandy Walker on Elvis

    While the use of larger format sensors like the Alexa LF and the Sony Venice has continued to accelerate—increasingly eclipsing Super35 as the default for robustly budgeted digital cinematography—the sprawling canvas offered by the Alexa 65 has remained more of a specialty, employed by projects seeking a scope of particularly monumental proportions. That’s exactly how cinematographer Mandy Walker envisioned Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. “I remember Baz and I talking about the film really early on and thinking, ‘This character is larger than life,’” said Walker, who also used the Alexa 65 on Mulan and The Mountain Between Us. “Elvis was epic,…  Read more

    On Jul 1, 2022
  • Juancho Hernangomez and Adam Sandler on the set of Hustle “It Was More Akin to Shooting Dance than Shooting a Live Sporting Event”: DP Zak Mulligan on Hustle

    In Hustle, a burned out Philadelphia 76ers scout (Adam Sandler) discovers a raw talent (pro hooper Juancho Hernangómez) in a Spanish pick-up game and attempts to put him on the NBA’s draft radar. It’s got the familiar structural bones of the underdog sports drama—complete with epic training montage—but Hustle is like a perfectly run play. Even if you know what’s coming, you’re defenseless when it’s executed properly. The plot mechanics may be recognizable, but the approach to shooting the basketball scenes is novel. As Hustle cinematographer Zak Mulligan points out, televised presentations of the sport—and most basketball movies—offer the action…  Read more

    On Jun 29, 2022
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