ZEISS’S Cinematographers and Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival 2018

From LENSPIRE Cinematography

During the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, I had the pleasure of interviewing over a dozen cinematographers that were attending with their officially-selected feature films. These women and men were seasoned professionals who have years of work under their belts; filming movies, TV shows, commercials, music videos and other content.



by Snehal Patel, Sales Manager Cine for ZEISS Americas
research by Michael Valinsky
All photos by Jacqueline Lehr

The reason I enjoy working in this industry is because I get to learn a great deal about the artform from observing and interacting with creators. The way a film is photographed, the choices made by the artist and the method by which a story is told; are all special efforts made to create the magic you seen on the big screen.

Interviewing these filmmakers was like being back in film school all over again. I learned about their techniques, their tastes, budgetary issues, their personal lives, politics on set and off, the universal fight to be present during the color timing, and so much more. Each cinematographer brought up something new about their work which I had not yet considered. So that is why I keep nodding my head in the videos! A YouTube playlist of these interviews is here

Björn Charpentier talked about pulling off a no-budget, low-light shot using street lamps in his period drama starring Jon Hamm titled Beirut. Ole Bratt Birkeland, who shot American Animals, told us how he embraces lens flares from ZEISS Super Speeds to keep things interesting. Yamit Shiminovitz and Soraya Sélène reminded us that they also deal with the same kind of gender barriers as their female director counterparts, highlighted in the documentary Half the Picture. Eric Lin, cinematographer of the lovely Nick Offerman drama Hearts Beat Loud, spoke about retaining the look he intended on-set during the color process. It was amazing to geek out with Pepe Avila del Pino, who photographed the indie favorite, The Kindergarten Teacher, because he created the look for one of my favorite Netflix shows, Ozark. Nadim Carlsen explained why he choose to shoot the disturbing drama Holiday in high-key instead of low key lighting, which is typical of other films in the thriller genre.

A lot of films shown at Sundance have gone on to make a splash, including quite a few selections from our interviews. Many have found distribution and are available to watch right now.


(Click here to read and watch more.)

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