For the better part of a decade now, Ryan Murphy has been innovating the way audiences look at small screen entertainment. As the creator of shows like Popular, Nip/Tuck, Glee,and The New Normal, Murphy has established a distinctive brand of filmmaking that’s faster, louder, and more attention-grabbing than its television contemporaries, and one that puts compelling visuals on par with addictive storylines. Case in point: American Horror Story, Murphy’s television show/miniseries hybrid that plays more like a horror anthology with a new theme each season. In season one it was Murder House, which was followed by Asylum and Coven. And this fall, Freak Show premiered with what Murphy describes as “the most terrifying clown of all time.”
Michael Goi, ASC, ISC has been there since nearly the beginning, shooting the second half of American Horror Story’s first season after first collaborating with Murphy on Glee. “American Horror Story had a visual style and approach for season one that was already established by the time I came on to it,” says Goi. “I didn’t make a lot of alterations to it, but in the last two or three episodes I started to veer in the direction that I felt like the material was taking me, and some of that approach is what’s reflected in season two, Asylum, where you’re dealing with an atmosphere that was very crazed. And I think the camerawork and the lighting reflected that a lot.”
Though he didn’t know it at the time, producer Tom Luse began preparing for a career in show business in college, when he was charged with the enviable task of popping the popcorn at an art house cinema in his hometown of Atlanta. “I liked movies, but it wasn’t something I had planned on going into,” explains the EMMY®-nominated producer. “But later, in graduate school, I had the opportunity to study film and ended up getting a degree in Communications.”
While these days it’s being an executive producer on The Walking Dead that keeps Luse busy (he’s been with the show since the very beginning), he has dabbled in a variety of job titles over the years. “I wanted to be a technician originally, and ended up working in the camera department as a grip,” Luse recalls. “I found that my skills were really in organizing things and thinking ahead, which eventually led me into location management, then into production management, and then into producing.” As he readied for the fifth season of The Walking Dead, Luse spoke with us about lighting a post-apocalyptic universe, the cost of time, and why zombies look better on film.
The Syfy series Haven, based on the Stephen King novella The Colorado Kid, takes viewers to the mythical town of Haven, Maine. There the series follows FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), who arrives in town to follow a routine case but soon finds herself caught up in the town’s many mysteries. Audrey quickly discovers that Haven is a longtime refugee for people affected by a range of supernatural afflictions known as “Troubles,” and she herself has a surprising connection to the town.
The series, which just completed its fourth season, is shot entirely in Nova Scotia, Canada, in and around the town of Chester. When the decision was made to shoot in Nova Scotia, Executive Producer Shawn Piller (Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Greek) turned to cinematographer Eric Cayla, CSC, whom he had worked with on a previous series.
The questions are in and the answers are back! A big Thank You to NFL Films cinematographer Dave Dart for taking the time during playoffs to answer questions from our readers! You all came up with some great ones with topics including focus pulling, film stock preference, shooting style, and the romanticism of football on film.
There's a reason NFL Films has won over 100 Emmy® awards, and here's a sneak peak at how they do it!
The 2013 football season is underway, and the crew at NFL Films is busy capturing all the leaping catches, goal line stands, pre-game pep talks, and sideline celebrations. Considered the gold standard of sports filmmaking, NFL Films strives to not just document the game, but to preserve it, and carry on the legacy of all those who have helped make the game what it is today. And motion picture film is part of that legacy.
Since 1962, NFL Films has captured and archived over 100 million feet of 16mm film. Their productions were the first to use ground-level slow motion, shoot sports with 600mm lenses, and to incorporate reverse-angle replays. Can you imagine shooting the Super Bowl handheld with a 1,000-foot magazine and a 50-500mm anamorphic zoom lens? Ever wonder what it is like to capture the fast-moving, hard-hitting action of the NFL? Now is your chance to get full access with NFL Films cinematographer David Dart.
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