133 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
    • 4.8 • 82 Ratings

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.

    Don Coscarelli- indie horror director and screenwriter of Bubba Ho-tep, Phantasm, The Beastmaster and John Dies at the End

    Don Coscarelli- indie horror director and screenwriter of Bubba Ho-tep, Phantasm, The Beastmaster and John Dies at the End

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 98: Don Coscarelli



    Don Coscarelli is a master of the horror-comedy. He believes that even in the most horrifying times of your life, there are also moments of levity. His films explore the idea that there is another world, it's terrifying and dangerous, and it's also hilarious. Don has always preferred to just go ahead and make his own films, and feels you lose a sense of fun and exploration on big studio projects. The great thing about making indie movies is that anyone can pick up a camera and go make a movie over a few days or even a few years. Don shot and directed all three of his early films until The Beastmaster, which was shot by John Alcott, a frequent director of photography for Stanley Kubrick. Don wanted to make an epic “sword and sandal” movie after making his third film, Phantasm. The Beastmaster was still a low budget indie film, but he wanted to use a great cinematographer to give it a real sense of grandeur. Don felt he had to sell his soul in order to get enough money to shoot The Beastmaster, and the producers even threatened to fire him, but fortunately John Alcott stood up for him.



    Prior to The Beastmaster, Don directed Phantasm, about a mysterious grave robber called the Tall Man. After the first week of shooting Phantasm, he decided to shut down, choosing to only shoot on the weekends and taking the time during the week to scout, rehearse and rework scenes for about a year. Don thinks it's helpful for indie filmmakers to pad their schedule with pickup days to give enough time to go back and get better shots, special effects or reshoot scenes if necessary. For his film, John Dies at the End, Don once again decided to take his time and made the movie on an intermittent basis, which luckily worked for the actors, who were all inexperienced, with the exception of Paul Giamatti. Mike Gioulakis was the cinematographer who also acted as the gaffer. Don went on to make the sequels Phantasm II, III and IV before writing and directing Bubba Ho-Tep. Elvis, played by Bruce Campbell, actually lives in a retirement home, and a fellow resident, played by Ossie Davis, have to fight a reanimated mummy who is killing the elderly. Don had a delightful time working with Ossie Davis, especially directing him to realistically fight a rubber mummy. Part of the horror of the movie was making the old folk's home truly scary- a place where people are abandoned and alone.



    Currently, Don has been on a quest to find the original negative of The Beastmaster in order to remaster it, and set up a website for tips on where it might be located. Luckily, a perfect interpositive was found in the vaults of Warner Bros. which will be used for the remastered version.



    You can read Don Coscarelli's book about his experiences called True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking.



    Find Don Coscarelli:



    Facebook: @doncoscarelli



    Instagram: @don_coscarelli



    Twitter: @DonCoscarelli



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    IT'S A BOOK GIVEAWAY! Enter to win Don Coscarelli's book, True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking.



    TO WIN: SUBSCRIBE to our a href="https://www.youtube.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Director Ángel Manuel Soto on Charm City Kings, working with young actors, and directing a stunt-heavy film

    Director Ángel Manuel Soto on Charm City Kings, working with young actors, and directing a stunt-heavy film

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 97: Ángel Manuel Soto



    When director Ángel Manuel Soto received the script for Charm City Kings, he found a connection in the story of disenfranchised youth growing up in a marginalized community like Baltimore- he himself grew up on the streets of Santurce in Puerto Rico. The movie is a coming of age story centered on a young teen named Mouse and his two buddies, who are determined to join the subculture of dirt bike stunt riders. The film, with a story by Barry Jenkins, is based on a documentary called 12 O'Clock Boys. Ángel wanted the film to be authentic to this rider culture. The bikers in the movie were all real and did their own stunts, which look amazing. His biggest inspiration for the film was Baltimore: shooting on location, working with locals as extras, and keeping it authentic. Ángel worked with cinematographer Katelin Arizmendi to create a raw and naturalistic look. He found it a pleasure to be able to work with such talented actors like Teyonah Parris, Will Catlett, and hip hop artist Meek Mill, who were proactive and prepared with what they wanted to bring to the characters. Ángel had to work within the limited hours for the young cast, but Jahi Di'Allo Winston as Mouse was very natural and intuitive, and all three child actors had chemistry from day one, which is hard to find.



    You can watch Charm City Kings streaming now on HBO Max



    Find Ángel Manuel Soto



    Instagram: @alohemingway



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    IT'S A BOOK GIVEAWAY! Enter to win the Video Palace book, Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man Collected Stories signed by our host, Ben Rock, who authored the story “Ecstatica.” The book expands the world of the Video Palace podcast that Ben directed for Shudder.



    TO WIN: SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel, LIKE and COMMENT on the "How To Vote" breakdown we just posted! We will randomly select a winner from the comments. We're expanding and adding to our YouTube channel, so look for new content there, too!







    Close Focus: Star Trek: Discovery is the first TV series to do post production entirely from home, which is something that has been possible for a long time but has only become a real possibility with today's reality and our current technology. Our interview with past guest Jeff Sengpiehl goes into great detail about this.



    Illya's short end: Wireless video can now stream from your camera to your phone or tablet without a lot of delay, with the Accsoon CineEye 2 Pro Wireless Video Transmitter & Receiver Set. You can buy one at Hot Rod Cameras.



    Ben's short end: In an episode of the web series, 20 Seconds To Live called “Astaroth,” Ben wanted to create a swarm of flies, but lacked the ability to do it at the time. He finally found a company called Creation Effects that has a plug-in called Swarms that can create swarms of different insects, birds, or fish.

    • 44 min
    Phedon Papamichael, ASC on The Trial of the Chicago 7, working with writer/director Aaron Sorkin, and more

    Phedon Papamichael, ASC on The Trial of the Chicago 7, working with writer/director Aaron Sorkin, and more

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 96: Phedon Papamichael



    Phedon Papamichael's latest project is The Trial of the Chicago 7, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. The bulk of the story centers on the 1969 trial of seven men accused of inciting a riot in the park outside of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. In Phedon's view, a film is actually made three times: it's conceived in the writing process, developed during principal photography, then reinvented and finalized in the editing process. When working with a director and writer like Aaron Sorkin, the way the film is scripted is exactly what he wants to see on the screen. The person speaking must be on camera, and specific shots are needed to sync with the rhythm of his words, like a poem. Sorkin is not a technical filmmaker, and after their initial meeting, Phedon knew Sorkin would rely heavily on him for creating the visuals. Since the majority of the action takes place in the courtroom, Phedon had to generate visual interest, making sure they had the right lenses and angles to enhance the drama, and to get good reaction shots of the jury and spectators. He used the lighting within the courtroom to enhance the moods and tension, and adjusted the light coming through the windows to reflect the changing seasons. When shooting the protests in the park and the violent clashes with the police, the camera crew went hand-held documentary style. Some of the footage from the protests was actually intercut with real footage taken from a film called Medium Cool, a combination documentary/fiction film by famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who shot actual footage of the riots in the park from the 1968 Democratic National Convention.



    You can watch The Trial of the Chicago Seven streaming now on Netflix.



    We've been lucky enough to have Phedon on our show three times! Check out our past interviews with Phedon Papamichael:



    Phedon discusses Ford v. Ferrari



    Phedon's live podcast at Hot Rod Cameras. You can also see it on YouTube!



    Find Phedon Papamichael



    Instagram: @papa2



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    IT'S A BOOK GIVEAWAY! Enter to win the Video Palace book, Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man Collected Stories signed by our host, Ben Rock, who authored the story “Ecstatica.” The book expands the world of the Video Palace podcast that Ben directed for Shudder.



    TO WIN: SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel, LIKE and COMMENT on the "How To Vote" breakdown we just posted! We will randomly select a winner from the comments. We're expanding and adding to our YouTube channel, so look for new content there, too!







    Close Focus: Discussing the great Coen Brothers film, Miller's Crossing at 30. A link to The Guardian article.



    Ben's short end: Dark Delicacies Bookstore in Burbank is a great independent bookstore for all your horror reading needs. You can pick up a copy of Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man Collected Stories signed by our host, Ben Rock!

    • 58 min
    DP Eric Branco on The 40-Year-Old Version, Clemency, shooting black and white film, working with director Radha Blank, and more

    DP Eric Branco on The 40-Year-Old Version, Clemency, shooting black and white film, working with director Radha Blank, and more

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 95: Eric Branco



    Cinematographer Eric Branco discovered early on that he enjoyed translating people's stories into visuals. Eric started out as an actor in high school, but quickly realized no one had any interest in holding the camera except himself. While in film school, he developed an eye and shot several student projects, then found work on film sets in New York as a grip and gaffer while shooting short films on the side. Eric's latest film, The 40-Year-Old Version was shot almost entirely on black and white film stock. Director Radha Blank was very firm that the movie be black and white- in fact, when Eric received the script, it read “A New York tale in black and white.” So Eric came with a suitcase full of black and white photo books of New York when he and Radha met, which helped them arrive at The 40-Year-Old Version's look: a matte texture with a prominent grain. Eric ran several tests to find the perfect film stock for the movie, and shot it handheld with vintage lenses. The movie is a funny, semi-autobiographical story starring Blank as a struggling, almost-40 playwright who is determined not to sell out or compromise her artistic principles and reinvigorates her creativity by becoming a hip-hop artist. The 40-Year-Old Version won the U.S Dramatic Competition Directing Award for Blank at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020. For Eric, it was the third film he'd shot to go to Sundance in as many years. He felt honored to be the cinematographer of Clemency, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2019. Written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, Clemency took a long time to get off the ground before Alfre Woodard was cast in the lead role.



    You can watch The 40-Year-Old Version streaming on Netflix.



    Find Eric Branco



    Instagram: @ericbranco



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    IT'S A BOOK GIVEAWAY! Enter to win the Video Palace book, Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man Collected Stories signed by our host, Ben Rock, who also authored one of the stories! The book expands the world of the Video Palace podcast that Ben directed for Shudder.



    TO WIN: SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel, LIKE and COMMENT on the "How To Vote" breakdown we just posted! We will randomly select a winner from the comments. We're expanding and adding to our YouTube channel, so look for new content there, too!







    Close Focus: How the top DPs are returning to work and staying safe on set; a side story on Sharegrid; the box office returns are at an 80% reduction of normal- how will theater chains pivot from this?



    Illya's short end: The Mill Valley Film Festival is currently happening as a drive-in experience around the North Bay Area. Check it out if you live in or around Marin County!



    Ben's short end: A few tips on how to expand the IP, or intellectual property rights, for projects. Video Palace, the podcast created by Mike Monello, Nick Braccia, Ben, and Bob DeRosa has expanded, though there is still no Season 2 greenlit by Shudder. Mike created a very rich world and decided to flesh out the mythology within a new framework by publishing Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man C...

    • 58 min
    War Stories Vol. 4: Tales from the Set featuring Quyen Tran, Mike Figgis, Dan Laustsen, Abe Martinez, Bill Wages, Larry Fong, Vanja Černjul, Rachel Morrison, Linus Sandgren, Stefan Ciupek, Matty Libatique

    War Stories Vol. 4: Tales from the Set featuring Quyen Tran, Mike Figgis, Dan Laustsen, Abe Martinez, Bill Wages, Larry Fong, Vanja Černjul, Rachel Morrison, Linus Sandgren, Stefan Ciupek, Matty Libatique

    Special: The Cinematography Podcast War Stories Vol. 4



    In our fourth War Stories Special, we feature eleven guest's harrowing, hilarious or heartwarming stories they had while on set, or a formative career experience that led them to cinematography.



    Find full interviews with each of our featured cinematographers in our archives!



    Cinematographer Quyen Tran on her life-changing experience after 9/11 in New York; Mike Figgis and a nearly disastrous screening of Timecode; Dan Laustsen tells the story of how his sister influenced him to go to film school; Abe Martinez serendipitously found the perfect house while staying in Kenya; Bill Wages was dissuaded early on from becoming a National Geographic Magazine photographer; Larry Fong talks about getting his big break with JJ Abrams on Lost; Vanja Černjul on his secret to decompressing after wrapping on a big shoot; Rachel Morrison's story of making a huge mistake as a set P.A. with Matty Libatique; Linus Sandgren on his early days working as a gaffer with a seasoned electrician; Stefan Ciupek talks about the blooper in the single-take film, Russian Ark; and finally, Matty Libatique on getting real concert footage for A Star Is Born.



    Do you have a War Story you'd like to share? Send us an email or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    LIKE AND FOLLOW US, send fan mail or suggestions!



    Facebook:@cinepod



    Instagram: @thecinepod



    Twitter: @ShortEndz



    Podcast Credits:



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



    Ben Rock:  Twitter @neptunesalad  Instagram: @bejamin_rock



    Producer: Alana Kode



    Editor: Paul Ohnersorgen



    Composer: Kays Alatractchi

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

    • 33 min
    Rodrigo Prieto, ASC on The Glorias, Frida, working with Julie Taymor, Martin Scorsese, Alejandro González Iñárritu

    Rodrigo Prieto, ASC on The Glorias, Frida, working with Julie Taymor, Martin Scorsese, Alejandro González Iñárritu

    The Cinematography Podcast Episode 94: Rodrigo Prieto



    When Rodrigo Prieto meets with a director, he comes with a clean slate and a present state of mind to hear their vision. Rodrigo first met Julie Taymor in New York to talk about filming Frida. He had just finished shooting Amores Perros with director Alejandro González Iñárritu and decided to move to Los Angeles from Mexico City. For Rodrigo, Frida Kahlo's work was very influential, and he was eager to work on a film about her life. He found that Julie Taymor loves collaborating with her team on her movies and is open to other's input, but knows what she wants and pushes for it. Working with a theatrical director means her ideas tend to be more representative and symbolic, rather than the naturalistic realism seen in most movies. For The Glorias, Rodrigo and Julie had to determine how realistically they wanted to portray some of the events in Gloria Steinem's life. In one scene, Rodrigo and the crew had to recreate the tornado from The Wizard of Oz, with the four Glorias as the witches on brooms. The crew built a 70's era TV studio, rigged lights and a green screen with a camera on a crane and the actresses on wires on brooms. They also decided early on to shoot the bus scenes in black and white, with color sequences showing outside the windows.



    You can watch The Glorias streaming on Amazon Prime.



    A new color timed version of Amores Perros will be coming out from Criterion Collection.



    Find Rodrigo Prieto



    Instagram: @rpstam



    Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras



    Close Focus: Coronavirus is knocking out certain parts of the industry, leading to layoffs at Disney and closure of movie theaters such as Regal Cinemas; Hollywood Reporter and Variety have merged under the same ownership.



    Illya's short end: Tehran, now streaming on Apple TV+, a spy thriller about an Israeli Mossad agent.



    Ben's short end: Working, a podcast from Slate Magazine, features an episode with Sneakers director Phil Alden Robinson.



    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



    Ben Rock:  Twitter: @neptunesalad



    Instagram: @bejamin_rock



    Producer: Alana Kode



    Editor: Ben Katz



    Composer: Kays Alatractchi

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

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
82 Ratings

82 Ratings

Wes Knapp ,

The Bee's Knees

A great companion to the experience of working as an AC or Cam Op for a seasoned DP. On set, you mostly get to observe their physical approach to the craft with possibly a little insight into their thought process. This podcast is great because it gives you the other side of that coin: emphasizing the decision making and problem solving that are just as (if not more) important than the physical execution of the craft itself.

calvin and r ,

Great podcast

Great podcast
Love Cinematography

Pedro Guimaraes,SOC ,

The best cinematography podcast!

Been binging for months now, just keeps getting better. Love all the segments and opinions. Keep it up guys!

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