8 episodes

"A place to unload all my cinematic truths." —Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC

How do you cultivate a career in Hollywood? What does it take to make iconic work? There’s an art to everything in life and the Art of the Shot explores the answers to those questions and more through deep-dives into the minds of master filmmakers.

Join host Derek Stettler, young filmmaker and writer for the ASC and SOC magazines since 2016, as he learns from the artists behind today's most strikingly-shot projects. Enjoy compelling conversations on the craft, insights from successful careers, tips, techniques + more! Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/art-of-the-shot/support

Art of the Shot Derek Stettler

    • TV & Film
    • 4.8 • 23 Ratings

"A place to unload all my cinematic truths." —Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC

How do you cultivate a career in Hollywood? What does it take to make iconic work? There’s an art to everything in life and the Art of the Shot explores the answers to those questions and more through deep-dives into the minds of master filmmakers.

Join host Derek Stettler, young filmmaker and writer for the ASC and SOC magazines since 2016, as he learns from the artists behind today's most strikingly-shot projects. Enjoy compelling conversations on the craft, insights from successful careers, tips, techniques + more! Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/art-of-the-shot/support

    8: Lady Gaga's "911" Music Video with Director Tarsem Singh & DP Jeff Cronenweth, ASC

    8: Lady Gaga's "911" Music Video with Director Tarsem Singh & DP Jeff Cronenweth, ASC

    I promised we’d explore not only cinema and television, but also music videos. And less than 10 episodes in, I'm happy to deliver on that promise. And it happens to be with none other than global superstar Lady Gaga’s latest—and most personal—music video, for her hit song "911".

    Watch the video: https://youtu.be/58hoktsqk_Q

    In this exclusive interview, you will hear from both the director, Tarsem Singh, and the cinematographer, Jeff Cronenweth, ASC.

    Listen and you will discover:

    —The genesis of the 911 video, and how it was greenlit without a written treatment (00:05:16)

    —Why it took 28 years for Tarsem to return to music videos, after winning Best Music Video and Best Director VMAS when he was 30 (00:08:41)

    —Tarsem shares a moment of appreciation for Jeff, saying his favorite lighting ever was done by Jeff in a music video for Janet Jackson (00:14:58)

    —Jeff shares what drew him to the project (00:15:28)

    —What was said in the initial discussion that defined the look of the video (00:18:10)

    —How 911 was shot without storyboards (00:22:04)

    —Oscar-nominated cinematographer, Jeff Cronenweth, on what it feels like to play God with lighting (00:26:49)

    —Tarsem on Lady Gaga's commitment and her crazy costumes (00:27:22)

    —Jeff's unplanned contribution to a key moment in the video (00:28:49)

    —Jeff describes what other directors can learn from Tarsem's approach (00:30:17)

    —Jeff on the idea that David Fincher hates the process of filming, and more about Fincher's approach to filmmaking (00:32:39)

    —On David Fincher's sense of humor and the truth about directing (00:34:31)

    —The initial idea for 911's video and the concept explained (00:39:47)

    —Color grading during a pandemic and making Pismo Beach, California look like White Sands, New Mexico (00:48:31)

    —Camera and lenses used, and the thinking behind that choice (00:51:32)

    —Locations the video was shot in (00:52:39)

    —The elaborate costumes designed for Lady Gaga (00:53:44)

    —About the ultra slow-motion wide shot (00:57:45)

    —More on some of the symbolic meaning of the visuals, and the truth behind a conspiracy theory about the video (00:59:53)

    —The role of the subconscious in making creative choices with greater meaning that serve the narrative, but which we're not consciously aware of until after the fact (01:03:33)

    —Why Tarsem has never tried any drugs… yet (01:05:37)

    —How a key shot was achieved, technically, how the video was edited in only a day, and why the release was delayed (01:06:58)

    —How the video was shot safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, even with a health scare on set (01:12:16)

    —The creation of the final tableau that reveals the whole meaning of the video (01:15:39)

    —Lady Gaga's performance in the church at the end, and how it was miraculously saved in the edit due to audio from the behind-the-scenes crew (01:21:31)

    —Lady Gaga's evolution as an artist (01:28:34)

    If you haven't yet, please subscribe to be notified of future episodes, and share this podcast with others to help grow the show and spread the knowledge! And if you're on Apple Podcasts, a review would be very appreciated!

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    • 1 hr 30 min
    7: Start from Perfect with Mindhunter DP Erik Messerschmidt, ASC & "A" Camera Operator Brian Osmond, SOC

    7: Start from Perfect with Mindhunter DP Erik Messerschmidt, ASC & "A" Camera Operator Brian Osmond, SOC

    In this episode, you'll hear from both the cinematographer and the "A" camera operator of Mindhunter, who worked together throughout Season 1 and 2 to shoot every single episode. Please enjoy this exclusive interview with Erik Messerschmidt, ASC and Brian Osmond, SOC!

    Listen and you will discover:

    —Erik's career path (00:04:06)

    —Erik's favorite part of the job (00:06:42)

    —What DP's should know to best work with their gaffers, from Erik's experience working as a gaffer before becoming a DP (00:07:02)

    —Unique skills Erik gained from his experience as a gaffer (00:07:56)

    —How Brian got his career started (00:11:19)

    —Brian's favorite part of his job (00:12:19)

    —What other directors can learn from how David Fincher treats his crew (00:18:39)

    —The thought process & techniques behind Mindhunter's precise camera movement (00:22:50)

    —The strategic use of handheld camera operating (00:34:27)

    —The collaborative nature of the Mindhunter set (00:37:34)

    —The importance of having a dedicated camera operator on set, especially on a David Fincher set (00:41:19)

    —Erik's role as "quality control supervisor” (00:44:21)

    —Why a monitor on a David Fincher set is covered in smudges (00:46:57)

    —Why there's no such thing as a B camera “bonus shot" on MIndhunter & how shots are planned out for multiple cameras (00:48:23)

    —What Erik thinks is the hardest shot to do well (00:52:04)

    —How Erik lights & shoots with 2 cameras simultaneously (00:53:41)

    —Erik's approach to lighting Mindhunter & techniques used (00:56:55)

    —Erik's preference for real fluorescent lighting (01:03:30)

    —Mindhunter's production design and how much of the locations were built (01:05:01)

    —Favorite set of Season 2 (01:06:26)

    —How getting scripts in advance helps them work better (01:10:44)

    —The innovative car process shooting on Mindhunter & how it works (01:12:38)

    —How virtual production helps realize every filmmaker's dream, stopping time, & how Erik used that to shoot a 9-minute dialog scene at dawn (01:18:02)

    —How the car process shooting on Mindhunter evolved from Season 1 (01:22:37)

    —How the custom RED digital cinema camera, dubbed the Xenomorph, evolved from Season 1 (01:27:22)

    —Why Brian prefers a fluid head over a geared head to achieve those smooth, precise shots David Fincher loves (01:37:34)

    —How to shoot a scene & why “Fix it in prep!" should be every filmmaker's mantra (01:42:08)

    —All about the lenses used on Mindhunter & how Erik art directed the artifacts & nuances of every optical aberration (01:48:10)

    —Tips from Brian on getting really precise shots with a fluid head, what operating technique Erik has learned from Brian, & how being self-critical is a key to his success (01:56:42)

    —What Erik & Brian feel is the most rewarding part of working on Mindhunter (02:02:47)

    If you haven't yet, please subscribe to be notified of future episodes, and share this podcast with others to help grow the show and spread the knowledge! And if you're on Apple Podcasts, a review would be very appreciated!

    Follow Art of the Shot on Social Media:

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    Brian Osmond, SOC

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    • 2 hr 9 min
    6: Westworld Production Design with Howard Cummings & Jon Carlos

    6: Westworld Production Design with Howard Cummings & Jon Carlos

    In this episode, we’ll be exploring the production design of Westworld, with an exclusive interview with not one but two of the key figures responsible for crafting the extraordinary design of the show: production designer Howard Cummings and art director Jon Carlos. 

    The two of them, along with their close collaborator, set decorator Julie Ochipinti, were all nominated for an Emmy this year for outstanding production design, and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you. Listen and you will discover:

    —How they started their careers and got to be where they are now. (00:04:16)

    —A benefit of the job that makes it one of the best in the world. (00:06:09)

    —Howard's experience working on Contagion. (00:09:49)

    —Designing accurate Biosafety Labs in Contagion. (00:11:38)

    —Making futuristic sci-fi worlds as grounded and realistic as period or contemporary worlds. (00:16:32)

    —Jon's path and education. (00:19:57)

    —How Howard got his first job as a production designer. (00:22:50)

    —Why production designers are technically art directors on every project... until they are awarded the title after principle photography. (00:25:45)

    —Why costumed theme parties every Friday on the Westworld set became essential. (00:31:19)

    —How Westworld's filmic approach helped elevate and dictate the production design. (00:34:48)

    —Process of conceiving 2058 Los Angeles. (00:41:00)

    —The vital importance of production designers understanding lighting. (00:50:05)

    —Importance of the set decorator as a key collaborator. (00:51:11)

    —The thinking that leads to the many Easter Eggs in Westworld. (00:54:32)

    —How props help tell the story. (00:55:40)

    —Why Howard had to hide from the actors all season. (01:00:06)

    —Difference and the nature of the collaboration between a production designer, art director, and set decorator. (01:04:51)

    —How the art department helps to set and handle the budget. (01:06:52)

    —The immense range of skills needed beyond art and design talents in order to succeed as an art director. (01:08:40)

    —Tools and tactics used to remain effective and manage all the details required to perform the job. (01:11:50)

    —Working with Visual Effects and the dynamics of that collaboration. (01:33:43)

    —How they know how much of the set to build ahead of time and how much to leave for visual effects set extensions. (01:48:01)

    —A detailed explanation of the design of one of the most impressive sets from Season 3. (01:49:50)

    —A tour through the process of designing a sci-fi concept vehicle from script to driving on the streets of LA. (01:59:03)

    —How Audi had a role in setting the shooting schedule of Season 3. (02:02:31)

    —The use of large LED screens with live visual effects as backdrops with interactive lighting. (2:08:15)

    —The guilt of how much waste production design can create and Westworld's use of more eco-friendly materials and efforts to responsibly recycle sets after production ends. (02:14:07)

    —Most valuable piece of career advice. (02:20:40)

    —Recent shows or films they've been inspired by. (02:23:10)

    —The characteristics of an ideal DP/production designer collaboration. (02:24:37)

    —Advice for up-and-coming art directors and production designers. (02:26:50)

    If you haven't yet, please subscribe to be notified of future episodes, and share this podcast with others to help grow the show and spread the knowledge! And if you're on Apple Podcasts, a review would be very appreciated!

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    • 2 hr 32 min
    5: Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC on Da 5 Bloods & Making Bold Choices

    5: Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC on Da 5 Bloods & Making Bold Choices

    Welcome back to the Art of the Shot podcast!

    I took a little mid-season break because of the pandemic, but rest assured that the Art of the Shot is alive and well. The past few months have been fruitful and I’m happy to bring you some great new episodes in the coming weeks.

    This episode features Oscar-nominated cinematographer, Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, the man responsible for lensing modern classics like The Usual Suspects and Drive, as well as Three Kings, 4 movies in the X-Men series, Bohemian Rhapsody, and the recent Netflix hit film, Extraction—the most watched Netflix film yet.

    Tom and I have a really deep conversation that delves into some of his amazing life experiences, his approach to lighting, thoughts on the art and craft of cinematography, and many details on shooting his latest film, Da 5 Bloods, for director Spike Lee.

    Listen and you will discover:

    —Tom's thoughts on this time we're in, having grown up in Detroit during a similar period of American history. (00:04:30)

    —How Tom got his career started. (00:17:40)

    —How Tom became the first person to film the Contras in Nicaragua and then became mentored by Haskell Wexler, ASC. (00:24:41)

    —Difference between a pro and a master and Tom's thoughts on what it takes to become a master of the craft. (00:29:47)

    —Tom's general approach to lighting and some lighting techniques. (00:45:06)

    —Difference between natural lighting and realistic lighting. (00:50:07)

    —Film vs digital and why digital is much more forgiving. (00:55:35)

    —The state of the art today and the challenge of making great images when it's increasingly easy for anyone to make good images. (00:57:30)

    —Democratization of visual storytelling and making an impact amidst overwhelming noise. (01:01:02)

    —Tom’s process of manipulating light to create the impression of naturalism. (01:03:38)

    —How some of the shots were created in Da 5 Bloods. (01:06:12)

    —How Tom got involved with Da 5 Bloods. (01:09:17)

    —Tom's experience of shooting in Vietnam, having grown up during the Vietnam War era and how that informed his visual choices. (01:14:14)

    —Reasons for choice of shooting 16mm reversal film. (01:17:57)

    —Camera and lenses used on Da 5 Bloods. (01:25:52)

    —Why the aspect ratio changes multiple times in the film. (01:26:47)

    —Use of the Arri Trinity over Steadicam. (01:28:52)

    —What it's like working with Spike Lee, Spike's process as a director, and what Tom has learned from him. (01:30:22)

    —How Tom played a role in the casting of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men. (01:39:26)

    —Tom's favorite shot from his career thus far. (01:44:16)

    —The importance of being present on set and always looking for ways to serve the film. (01:47:31)

    —Advice for up-and-coming filmmakers and cinematographers. (01:50:07)

    If you haven't yet, please subscribe to be notified of future episodes, and share this podcast with others to help grow the show and spread the knowledge! And if you're on Apple Podcasts, a review would be very appreciated!

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    Da 5 Bloods trailer audio copyright Netflix, Inc. Used with permission courtesy of Netflix.


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    • 1 hr 52 min
    4: Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS on The Mandalorian & The Future of Filmmaking

    4: Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS on The Mandalorian & The Future of Filmmaking

    May the Force be with you! Today, May the 4th, is Star Wars Day and for this 4th episode of the show, I'm very excited to be sharing a conversation with Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS. Greig is one of the main cinematographers and a co-producer on the Disney+ Original Series, The Mandalorian, which is the 1st live-action Star Wars series and one of my favorite new shows.

    Due to COVID-19, I managed to get a hold of Greig during a rare pause in his busy shooting schedule—he’s currently lensing the new Batman film. 

    Greig is so far the only cinematographer to work on two separate Star Wars properties, with his first being Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Greig is also the eye behind Snow White and the Huntsman, Zero Dark Thirty, and Lion, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography in 2016. He also shot the upcoming film adaptation of Frank Herbert's landmark science-fiction novel, Dune. Which is possibly my most anticipated film this year.

    Listen to learn how he went from shooting still photos and then short films in Australia, to working on the biggest projects in Hollywood, and a galaxy far, far away... including his work on The Mandalorian and the intricacies of a groundbreaking piece of technology that made the show possible. A technology that is set to be the future of filmmaking…

    The Art of the Shot podcast is brought to you by Evidence Cameras, an outstanding rental house in Echo Park specializing in high-end digital cinema camera packages, lenses, support, and accessories. Check them out at www.evidencecameras.com

    If you haven't yet, please subscribe to be notified of future episodes, and share this podcast with others to help grow the show and spread the knowledge! And if you're on Apple Podcasts, a review would be very appreciated!

    And if you gain value from this conversation, please consider supporting the show by donating here: https://anchor.fm/art-of-the-shot/support

    I handle every aspect of producing, publishing, and promoting the podcast myself, and your support helps me continue to provide these kinds of high-quality episodes with people working at the top of the craft. But even if you can't afford to donate, please know your time spent listening is already a deeply appreciated form of support. Thank you!

    Follow Art of the Shot on Social Media:

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    The Mandalorian trailer audio copyright Disney and Lucasfilm Ltd. Used courtesy of Lucasfilm.


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    • 1 hr 25 min
    3: Jeff Cronenweth, ASC on Tales from the Loop & How Story Drives the Visuals

    3: Jeff Cronenweth, ASC on Tales from the Loop & How Story Drives the Visuals

    For this episode, I'm speaking with none other than Jeff Cronenweth, ASC!

    Jeff is the two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer behind many of David Fincher’s films, including The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and their first film together—and Jeff’s first feature film—Fight Club.

    (And if you’re worried, no, we don’t talk about Fight Club... much.)

    Jeff has also shot numerous commercials and music videos for some of the biggest artists, including Madonna, David Bowie, Shakira, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.

    And this month marked the release of Jeff’s first foray into television, with the pilot to the Amazon Prime original series, Tales from the Loop: a sci-fi anthology adapted from the paintings of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag.

    What you may not know is that Jeff Cronenweth is the son of legendary cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth, the eye behind the era-defining look of Blade Runner. Enjoy this in-depth conversation about everything from how Jeff forged his own path while following in his father’s footsteps, and his approach to lighting based on story, to working with David Fincher, his work on Tales from the Loop (including how he achieved a never-before-seen lighting effect), and his tip for making sure eye lights look more natural.

    The Art of the Shot podcast is brought to you by Evidence Cameras, an outstanding rental house in Echo Park specializing in high-end digital cinema camera packages, lenses, support, and accessories. Check them out at www.evidencecameras.com

    If you haven't yet, please subscribe to be notified of future episodes, and share this podcast with others to help grow the show and spread the knowledge! And if you're on Apple Podcasts, a review would be very appreciated!

    And if you gain value from this conversation, please consider supporting the show by donating here: https://anchor.fm/art-of-the-shot/support 

    I handle every aspect of producing, publishing, and promoting the podcast myself, and your support helps me continue to provide these kinds of high-quality episodes with people working at the top of the craft. But even if you can't afford to donate, please know your time spent listening is already a deeply appreciated form of support. Thank you!

    Follow Art of the Shot on Social Media:

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    Derek Stettler:

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    Follow Jeff Cronenweth, ASC:

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    IMDb

    Tales from the Loop trailer audio copyright Amazon.com, Inc. Used with permission courtesy of Amazon Studios.


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/art-of-the-shot/support

    • 1 hr 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Leonard Zelig (FincherAnalyst) ,

In-depth conversations on filmmaking and cinematography

As an interviewer, Derek Stettler never sets himself above his guests. He is polite, respectful, and lets them talk. As an artist and professional, he is never behind them. His passion and knowledge for the art and the craft are revealed by his thoughtful counterpoints that engage the guests into in-depth and insightful conversations.

F Stop Sir Real ,

Inside Baseball for Cinematographers

Derek crafts his interviews with his obvious passion for the art and craft of moviemaking. His subjects are as likely to reveal the secrets from film’s magic moments as we are to recall our favorite memories going to the cinema. My background of filming with a 16mm Bolex taught me the importance of telling a good story from beginning to end. This series does just that, leaving us wanting more from the next chapter.

monicaset ,

Insightful behind the scenes

This podcast has provided a look into the amazing mind of a filmmaker. For someone who is a novice in this topic, it provided key elements to keep the listener intrigued and wanting to hear more episodes. Derek did an amazing job guiding the interview and provided opportune feedback.

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