Lenses

Windows to the Past, Present, Future

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 10:08 -- Nick Dager

Claudia Raschke is an award-winning New York City based cinematographer best known for such films as Oscar-nominated and Emmy winning RBG (Magnolia/ Participant/ CNN), Oscar-nominated God is Bigger Than Elvis (HBO), Peabody Award-winning Black Magic (ESPN), Oscar short-listed Mad Hot Ballroom (Paramount), Particle Fever (Bond), Atomic Homefront (HBO), and The Freedom to Marry (Argot Pictures). Her latest film, which screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is My Name is Pauli Murray. Fifteen years before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat, and a full decade before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned separate-but-equal legislation, Pauli Murray was already knee-deep fighting for social justice. A pioneering attorney, activist and dedicated memoirist, Murray shaped landmark litigation—and consciousness— around race and gender equity. As an African American youth raised in the segregated South—who was also wrestling with broader notions of gender identity—Murray understood, intrinsically, what it was to exist beyond previously accepted categories and cultural norms. The film was made by the same team that made RBG including directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West, producer Talleah Bridges McMahon and editor Cinque Northern. My conversation with Raschke, via email, began with that team.

Making A Suitable Boy

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 10:40 -- Nick Dager

Produced to extremely high production standards and directed by Indian American filmmaker Mira Nair, A Suitable Boy tells the story of spirited university student Lata (Tanya Maniktala) as she comes of age in North India in 1951, at the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election. The series involves more than a hundred characters, many belonging to one of four extended families.

Shooting Remotely in a Pandemic

Tue, 01/05/2021 - 11:01 -- Nick Dager

When Graham Sheldon got the call from showrunner Johnny Fountain to be his DP for remote production on the new Behind Every Man series, he felt up to the challenge. Sheldon’s technical background, and his willingness to try new and potentially unproven shooting methods gave him the confidence to capture the interview-heavy documentary-series amid COVID-19 restrictions.

Landscape as a Character

Mon, 12/28/2020 - 09:55 -- Nick Dager

When director Carlos Montero finalized the deal to turn his novel, The Mess You Leave Behind, into an eight-episode mini-series for Netflix, one of the first calls he made was to cinematographer Isaac Vila to ask him to take on the project. Vila, a frequent Cooke lenses user, knew the range of S7/i Full Frame Plus lenses would allow him to achieve a sharp, subtle and smooth rendering to create magical scenery when playing around with the fog, humidity, stone, and contrasts of the scenery the series would have in the background.

The Dreams of Lost Souls

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:24 -- Nick Dager

Fugitive Dreams, based on the play by Caridad Svich, is an allegorical road movie touching on themes of homelessness, mental health and addiction, as two lost souls embark across a dreamscape America. Their darkly strange journey confronts them with their traumatic pasts, and bonds them in compassion and love. For cinematographer Peter Simonite, ASC, CSC lensing the film meant needing a vintage look — but a look that was also consistent between lenses.

Shooting The Flight Attendant

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 12:19 -- Nick Dager

The Flight Attendant, the Max original series from WarnerMedia Entertainment for the new HBO Max streaming service in the U.S., tells the story of how an entire life can change in one night. Flight attendant Cassandra “Cassie” Bowden (Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory) wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man — and no idea what happened.

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