90 episodes

The Cinematography Podcast is the program about the art, craft and philosophy of the moving image and the people who make it happen. Your job title doesn't have to be cinematographer to be featured on the show. We interview a wide variety of filmmakers including, actors, directors, producers, production designers, editors, storyboard artists and those in related filmmaking careers. This is not a film school, more like a professionally produced radio program found on NPR, each episode brings an interesting perspective to an often overlooked and widely misunderstood craft. Recorded in Hollywood, California at the world headquarters of Hot Rod Cameras. Hosted by Ben Rock and Illya Friedman.

The Cinematography Podcast The Cinematography Podcast

    • TV & Film

The Cinematography Podcast is the program about the art, craft and philosophy of the moving image and the people who make it happen. Your job title doesn't have to be cinematographer to be featured on the show. We interview a wide variety of filmmakers including, actors, directors, producers, production designers, editors, storyboard artists and those in related filmmaking careers. This is not a film school, more like a professionally produced radio program found on NPR, each episode brings an interesting perspective to an often overlooked and widely misunderstood craft. Recorded in Hollywood, California at the world headquarters of Hot Rod Cameras. Hosted by Ben Rock and Illya Friedman.

    John Brawley, DP of the Hulu series The Great, talks creating his visual manifesto for the satiric show and more

    John Brawley, DP of the Hulu series The Great, talks creating his visual manifesto for the satiric show and more

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 82: John Brawley



    John Brawley began his career shooting television series in his native Australia, coming to the U.S. to shoot the USA series, Queen of the South. John approaches each project with a “visual manifesto,” or a set of rules for yourself and the crew to follow with the camera, lenses, lighting, and color story defining what you're doing. John's recent project, The Great, stars Elle Fanning as Catherine The Great and Nicholas Hoult as Peter, the (not great) king of Russia. John worked closely with series creator Tony McNamara, a fellow Aussie who also received an Oscar nod for writing The Favourite. While shooting, John, Tony and the production designer determined that all the light sources be consistently candlelight, daylight, or firelight. Since it was Catherine's story, she was always in the center of the frame and her close-ups were always just a little closer. The UK is the home of period drama, but Tony McNamara wanted The Great to be “punk history” or satire, taking liberties with the Catherine The Great story, both in costuming and language. He and John also resisted the urge to do period cliché visuals- for example, they did not use any “sweeping” crane shots and avoided using excess smoke for atmosphere.



    The Great was just renewed for a second season.



    Find John Brawley



    See some tech tests from John's projects



    Instagram: @johnbrawley



    See The Great on Hulu



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    Aputure: The Aputure Spotlight Mount Set offers a high degree of control, and is a versatile light modifier with an included 26° lens for producing a dramatic, yet clean, beam of light. You can buy it now at Hot Rod Cameras.



    Close Focus: The first feature film featuring an actual robot as the lead is coming in 2021. “Erica” is an AI robot, who is set to star in “b,” a $70 million science fiction film. Ben also gives an update on working with the collaborative whiteboard program Miro.



    Illya's short end: There's a new $300 plug in app from Sound Devices called Noise Assist. Noise assist takes away background noise and can recognize different unwanted sounds. You can dial it out even while recording sound on set.



    Ben's short end: Film Courage features deep dive video interviews with screenwriters, filmmakers, actors and more, on both their website and YouTube channel.



    LIKE AND FOLLOW US, send fan mail or suggestions!



    Facebook:@cinepod



    Instagram: @thecinepod



    Twitter: @ShortEndz



    Podcast Credits:

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Serengeti director/producer John Downer and DP Richard Jones on the Discovery Channel series, the challenges and new technologies for shooting wildlife documentaries

    Serengeti director/producer John Downer and DP Richard Jones on the Discovery Channel series, the challenges and new technologies for shooting wildlife documentaries

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 81: John Downer and Richard Jones



    Director John Downer and cinematographer Richard Jones have always had a love of animals. John went to work for the BBC after film school and quickly moved into the BBC Natural History division. Richard grew up in Kenya and started out in the film industry, then went to work with a wildlife filmmaker in Botswana, soon picking up a camera and teaching himself. They both agree that to be a good wildlife documentarian, it's important to spend a great deal of time around the animals, in order to understand and anticipate what they are going to do and capture it on camera. For the Discovery Channel/BBC series Serengeti, John and Richard felt for the first time that all the camera technology was finally advanced enough to capture the true nature of the animal's lives. They were able to use small, high quality hidden remote cameras that are durable and “lion proof,” as well as a special array of cameras with long lenses on a stabilization system attached to their vehicles, so Richard could shoot while the jeep was driving. While wild animals are definitely not directable, John and Richard knew what wildlife they wanted to follow as characters with the script following the changing seasons as an overarching story plotline. Serengeti follows the interconnected stories of a cast of savannah animals over one year, capturing the drama of the wildlife up close. It was important for John and producer Simon Fuller to show that animals are a lot like us and we are all in this world together.



    See Serengeti on Discovery GO



    Find John Downer



    Find Richard Jones



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    Aputure: The LS-60 D and the LS-60 X are coming soon from Aputure.



    Close Focus: As reported in The Hollywood Reporter, some documentaries on controversial subjects by big-name filmmakers are getting censored or having trouble finding distribution on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and even YouTube.



    Some of these documentaries include:



    The Dissident, by Icarus filmmakers Bryan Fogel and Jake Swantko, which premiered at Sundance and deals with the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia, has yet to find a distributor. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a journalist, even appears in the documentary.



    Planet of the Humans, produced by Michael Moore, about the big money's influence on the environmental movement, was pulled by YouTube reportedly for copyright claims to some of the footage.



    Citizen K, a documentary about Putin by director Alex Gibney, had a deal with Amazon, who then pulled out.



    Welcome to Chechnya, which documents the persecution of LGBTQ people in Chechnya, almost had a deal with Netflix before they dropped out. The doc is now available on HBO Max.



    Ben's short end: Directing Actors by Judith Weston is now available on a href="https://www.audible.com/pd/Directing-Actors-Audiobook/1974970523?

    • 1 hr
    Xavier Grobet, ASC on HBO’s Watchmen, going to film school with Mexican filmmakers Rodrigo Prieto and Alfonso Cuarón, early experience on films Total Recall, Revenge, Before Night Falls

    Xavier Grobet, ASC on HBO’s Watchmen, going to film school with Mexican filmmakers Rodrigo Prieto and Alfonso Cuarón, early experience on films Total Recall, Revenge, Before Night Falls

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 80: Xavier Grobet



    Mexican-born DP Xavier Grobet grew up surrounded by visual images. His mother was a professional photographer, and from an early age, Xavier made his own Super 8 movies every summer with his cousins and family members. He started out going to architecture school, but soon decided his passion was film. Xavier's generation of fellow Mexican filmmakers, “Chivo” Emmanuel Lubezki, Rodrigo Prieto, and Alfonso Cuarón were also attending film school at one of the two main colleges in Mexico City. One of Xavier's early experiences was operating the third camera on a French film, Les Pyramides Bleues, with Alfonso Cuarón as the assistant director. Many American productions were shooting in Mexico at the time, so Xavier was able to work on huge movies like Tony Scott's Revenge and Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once he moved to America, it took awhile to get established again, but he got a big break shooting the Julian Schnabel film Before Night Falls and the series Deadwood. Xavier Grobet's most recent work has been on HBO's phenomenal series Watchmen, on episodes three, five, and seven. Going into the world of Watchmen proved to be a huge challenge, because each episode works as its own separate piece, but required a familiarity with the script for the entire series to ensure the consistency and look of the story. He always found ways to shoot from different angles, and used blue lighting selectively to suggest and reveal Dr. Manhattan. It was daunting working within the framework of the show's look and following its guidelines, but Xavier embraced it and made it his.



    Find Xavier Grobet



    Instagram: @xmexdp



    See Watchmen on HBO



    Xavier also shot episodes of the acclaimed Netflix series Unbelievable.



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    Aputure: The LS-mini20 Daylight 3-Light Flight Kit from Aputure is a lightweight 3-point lighting setup that's great in the studio but also great on the road. This handy light kit has been discontinued, but you can still buy a few at Hot Rod Cameras.



    Close Focus: Trash TV infiltrating our TV viewing, director/actor Werner Herzog's take on it, Ben and Illya pitch their worst reality TV show ideas.



    Ben's short end: Miro, an online whiteboard for writing scripts, changing scenes, making script notes and collaborating remotely.



    Illya's short end: The sequel to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill & Ted Face The Music, looks totally excellent.



    LIKE AND FOLLOW US, send fan mail or suggestions!



    Facebook:@cinepod



    Instagram: @thecinepod



    Twitter: @ShortEndz



    Podcast Credits:



    Editor in Chief:  Illya Friedman@hotrodcameras instagram@illyafriedman instagram



    Ben Rock:  @neptunesalad twitter@bejamin_rock instagram



    Producer: Alana Kode

    • 1 hr 11 min
    BONUS Episode: Alexandra Cunningham, showrunner of Dirty John on adapting the popular podcast into a television series

    BONUS Episode: Alexandra Cunningham, showrunner of Dirty John on adapting the popular podcast into a television series

    The Cinematography Podcast Bonus Episode: Alexandra Cunningham



    Showrunner Alexandra Cunningham talks about season one of her hit series Dirty John with producer Alana Kode at the 2019 Produced By conference. She tells the story of adapting the podcast for television and explains her role as the showrunner, executive producer and writer on the series. Alexandra hadn't listened to a podcast prior to hearing the Dirty John podcast, and she developed an instant love for the podcasting medium. As a showrunner, she sees a great future in adapting podcasts into television shows and loves the crossover partnership of shows such as HBO's Chernobyl and Watchmen that included a weekly podcast in addition to the TV show.



    You can watch season two of Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story right now on the USA Network, and hear the companion podcast, Dirty John Season 2: The Podcast.



    Find Alexandra Cunningham



    LIKE AND FOLLOW US, send fan mail or suggestions!



    Facebook:@cinepod



    Instagram: @thecinepod



    Twitter: @ShortEndz



    Podcast Credits:



    Editor in Chief:  Illya Friedman@hotrodcameras instagram@illyafriedman instagram



    Ben Rock:  @neptunesalad twitter@bejamin_rock instagram



    Producer: Alana Kode



    Editor: Ben KatzComposer: Kays Alatractchi

    Subscribe to the Podcast on Apple Podcasts or click on the link below to listen here

    • 22 min
    Director Yance Ford, DP Alan Jacobsen on Oscar-nominated documentary, Strong Island and the importance of breaking your own rules

    Director Yance Ford, DP Alan Jacobsen on Oscar-nominated documentary, Strong Island and the importance of breaking your own rules

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 79: Yance Ford and Alan Jacobsen



    Yance Ford's powerful documentary, Strong Island, is about the murder of his brother, William Ford Jr. in 1992. The man who killed William, who is white, claimed self-defense when William, who was black and unarmed, confronted the man over shady car repairs. The decision by an all-white grand jury not to prosecute caused Yance's family even more devastation. The film conveys the personal agony and visceral grief in tight closeups on family, friends and Yance himself. Interestingly, at first Yance had a set of rules for how he wanted the documentary to be shot. Number one: he did not want to be on camera. But cinematographer Alan Jacobsen broke the rules, secretly shooting Yance from a corner one day while he was absorbed in looking at old photographs. They both saw how powerful it was to have Yance take a front-and-center role in the documentary. That intimacy proved to be the most important aspect of Strong Island, but the most difficult part for Yance. A first time director at the time, Yance felt fortunate to have the luxury of working on Strong Island for ten years as a two person team with Alan, and every creative decision of what the film would look and feel like was carefully and deliberately made. Alan used the camera as a tool to maintain the intimacy of the film. He would never pan or tilt, and he kept most shots tightly framed. Every shot was held for at least 60 seconds to hold the intensity and force the audience to watch, even if it became uncomfortable. Strong Island was nominated for an Academy Award in 2018 and also won a Creative Arts Emmy.



    You can stream Strong Island right now on Netflix.



    Yance Ford is a transgender director, and he talks about his experience in Hollywood in the documentary Disclosure, on Netflix June 19.



    Yance also directed a segment of the Netflix series, Trial by Media.



    Cinematographer Alan Jacobsen recently worked on the documentary Rebuilding Paradise for director Ron Howard.



    Find Yance Ford: Twitter @yford



    Strong Island: @strongislandfilm



    Find Alan Jacobsen: Instagram @alanjax7



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    Aputure: The Aputure Amaran AL-MW Waterproof LED Light is the brightest, most rugged mini LED that Aputure has ever made, and actually works underwater. You can order it today at Hot Rod Cameras.



    Close Focus: New information came out for The Academy Awards this year. The Oscars are pushed back until April 25 and the qualifying dates for films are also pushed to February 28. The Academy also announced the “next phase of equity and inclusion initiatives” five years after Oscars So White. #oscarssowhite



    Ben's short end: Ponysmasher, a YouTube channel by director David F. Sandberg: Shazam!, Lights Out (short) and Annabell...

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Bradford Young, ASC- PART 2: Arrival, directors Denis Villeneuve, Ron Howard, and Ava DuVernay, Solo: A Star Wars Story, When They See Us, working on long form episodic vs. movies

    Bradford Young, ASC- PART 2: Arrival, directors Denis Villeneuve, Ron Howard, and Ava DuVernay, Solo: A Star Wars Story, When They See Us, working on long form episodic vs. movies

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 78: Bradford Young Part 2



     



    Bradford Young continues our conversation from his busy household. One lesson he's learned is that the cinematographer's job is to make the director happy. Bradford was drawn to the science fiction film Arrival because it had an intimacy and a perspective about who we are that many sci-fi movies lack. Arrival takes us on a journey of discovery while keeping the human experience at the center of the film, with the camera following Louise, played by Amy Adams, the entire time. At first, Bradford found it difficult to find the visual language of the story, since it was so much about decoding the aliens' language. But his collaboration with Denis Villeneuve and the rest of the team makes Arrival feel cohesive and engaging. When Bradford was approached to shoot Solo: A Star Wars Story, he knew it would be a power move for his career, although it was uniquely challenging to work with four cameras plus huge action sequences and special effects. He also had to adjust to the turmoil of Lucasfilm's decision to fire directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were replaced by director Ron Howard in the middle of the Solo shoot. But Bradford felt fortunate to be able to continue shooting Solo and to work with a seasoned and respected director like Ron Howard. Bradford was happy to work with director Ava DuVernay again on When They See Us, which was his first episodic series. He and DuVernay wanted to bring weight and care with their approach to the story of the Central Park Five, using minimal lighting, composed photographic shots and anamorphic lenses. For Bradford, When They See Us was a hard story to tell and they told it the best way they could. He feels that while films are powerful, they are also fleeting- sometimes it takes longer to tell and inform a story, and the injustices done to Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam was better served as a series.



    You can stream When They See Us right now on Netflix.



    You can find Selma streaming on Amazon, Vudu, or iTunes.



    Bradford Young was featured in the May 2020 issue of American Cinematographer.



    Find Bradford Young



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    Aputure: The Aputure Nova P300c Panel light is the first product in Aputure “Nova” Professional LED Panel product line. By utilizing a unique RGBWW chipset, the Nova strikes a balance between intense output and precision color quality. You can pre-order it today at Hot Rod Cameras.



    Close Focus: The white paper Proposed Health and Safety Guidelines for Motion Picture, Television, and Streaming Productions During the COVID-19 Pandemic has been released, outlining the safety measures and steps to reopening Hollywood. But there's still a lot of questions about where, when and how productions will come back.



    Ben's short end: A documentary now available on Amazon Prime called Making Apes: The Artists Who Changed Film,

    • 1 hr 16 min

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