Episode 010 - IT: Chapter Two & The 33 w/ Checco Varese

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Checco Varese, ASC lensed It: Chapter Two for director Andy Muschietti, the highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s box office success, hitting theaters September 6, 2019. For Muschietti, who stepped back into the director’s role, tapping veteran cinematographer Checco Varese to shoot the sequel was a natural choice.

 “Checco and I go back a long time. We made commercials together a decade ago in Spain, as well as a little short film, and a pilot, too. Our communication has always been great, not only because of the shorthand coming from our cultural background and language, (I was born and raised in Argentina, while he is Peruvian but lived in Buenos Aires for years) but also because we speak a similar visual language. Just a few words were enough to express my vision of this film to him, and immediately an effervescent creative dialogue began. For a cinematographer, working with a director who is very visual can be a blessing or a curse. That’s why Checco is such a trooper. His patience is monumental, and his support unconditional,” compliments the director.

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Previously, Checco shot several episodes of the first season of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan for Amazon with John Krasinski starring in the titular role; the pilot for Fox’s legal drama Proven Innocent; and director Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s sci-fi thriller, Replicas, featuring Keanu Reeves and Thomas Middleditch. Working with his longtime collaborator,director Patricia Riggen, Varese lensed Miracles From Heaven, as well as Riggen’s The 33, based on the extraordinary real-life story of 33 miners trapped in a Chilean mine.His other feature credits include Riggen’s Girl in Progress, and second unit on Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Thanks to his prolific body of work, Varese has established a reputation as the unofficial‘pilot guy.’ He has lensed nearly two dozen season starters which, more often than not, go on to be picked up to series: FX’s The Strain; A&E’s The Returned; ABC Family’s The Fosters; Melrose Place for the CW; and The Defenders for CBS. And who can forget the True Blood pilot? This iconic series went on for seven seasons

Checco and Director Patricia Riggen on the set of The 33

Checco and Director Patricia Riggen on the set of The 33

In the mid-90s, Varese established himself as a leading director of photography,shooting hundreds of music videos, including Dave Matthew's Band's "Crash" and Prince's "Black Sweat," for which he was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. Born in Peru, Varese began his career in the mid-1980's, spending nearly a decade shooting news coverage and documentaries in major zones of conflict: Latin America(Chiapas Uprising, Salvador and Nicaragua Wars, Panama Invasion, Colombia Drug War, Shining Path, Chile's Military Junta); The Caribbean (Haiti Crisis); Europe (Bosnia Crisis, Chechnya Crisis); the Middle East (Gulf War, West Bank and Gaza Strip Crisis)and Africa (South African Riots and the Rwanda Crisis). Varese speaks six languages, lives in Los Angeles and is represented by DDA.

Episode 008 - Costume Design with Antoinette Messam

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Antoinette Messam has built an enviable career for herself in film and television. Her costumes can be seen in the Netflix original, Hold the Dark for director Jeremy Saulnier, starring Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keogh and Jeffrey Wright, which premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. For her work on the film she received a Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts & Design (CAFTCAD) award for Best Costume Design in Contemporary Film.

She recently wrapped another Netflix original film, All Day and A Night for director Joe Robert Cole. Previously, she designed on the remake of SuperFly for Director X. Her work is also on view in 1 Night , starring Anna Camp, Justin Chatwin, Isabelle Fuhrman and Kyle Allen; Colossal , starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis; and the award-winning Creed for director Ryan Coogler, co-starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone.

For television, Messam’s work includes the first season of the critically acclaimed hit series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency , for producers Robert Cooper, David Alpert and Kim Todd,and the popular drama series The Divide , for creators Tony Goldwyn and Richard LaGravenese.

Episode 007 & 009- The World of Underwater Cinematography With Ian Seabrook

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On the set of Deadpool 2

On the set of Deadpool 2

Underwater director of photography Ian Seabrook’s trailblazing work complements and enhances a story’s imagery to create cutting-edge visuals.

Seabrook recently completed underwater unit photography on M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass; director Albert Hughes’ survival drama Alpha; and the pilot for TNT’s Snowpiercer. His previous underwater photography includes Deadpool 2 for director David Leitch; Jason Reitman’s motherhood comedy Tully, starring Charlize Theron; Walt Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Men Tell No Tales; and director Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers starring Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston.

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His other feature credits include underwater unit contributions to: The Shack for director Stuart Hazeldine, a dramatic tale of one man’s spiritual journey starring Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer; Paramount’s Monster Trucks for director Chris Wedge; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for director Zack Snyder; and director Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen.

In addition to his feature work, Seabrook has also shot underwater for various episodes of television including: the CW’s Arrow, A&E’s Bates Motel, J.J. Abrams’ Fringe, and Warner Brothers’ Smallville. His commercial work includes spots for: Jaguar, Kellogg’s, Bud Lite and Land Rover.

Growing up, Seabrook watched The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, giving him his first glimpse into the captivating world of underwater photography. Without the benefit of a formal training program, Seabrook taught himself, working consistently to amass an impressive body of work – lensed all over the world. He enjoys the creative and technical challenges each new story brings, as well as the unexpected joys, like the time a pack of dolphins joined him while shooting in the Bahamas.

Seabrook is a member of IATSE Local 600, 669 and 667. He is represented by DDA.

Episode 006 - GET OUT and More with Toby Oliver

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GET OUT's Cinematographer Toby Oliver with Director Jordan Peele.

GET OUT's Cinematographer Toby Oliver with Director Jordan Peele.

Happy Death Day

Happy Death Day

Toby Oliver A.S.C.

On the set of Get Out.

On the set of Get Out.

Our chat with Toby ranges from his start in Australia, moving to LA in 2013 for his collaborations with Blumhouse Media, unintentionally becoming a Horror film Cinematographer, working on the Academy Award winning film GET OUT with Jordan Peele, and his most recent film Happy Death Day.

Bio:

Toby Oliver ACS is an award-winning cinematographer whose career extends from his native Australia to the United States and internationally. Named as one of Variety’s 10 Cinematographers to Watch in 2017, Oliver now resides in Los Angeles and has forged a remarkable and varied range of credits on feature films, documentaries and television.

In the United States, Oliver most recently shot back-to-back films: Insidious: Chapter 4 for director Adam Robitel, which will be in cinemas Jan. 5, 2018; and writer/director Chris Landon’s comic thriller Happy Death Day for Universal, screening nationwide Oct. 13.

Oliver also shot Jordan Peele’s racially-charged comedic thriller horror Get Out in, starring Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya. Get Out premiered at a midnight screening at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and went on to score a rare 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, ranking #1 at the US Box Office on its opening weekend in February 2017. Loved by audiences and critics alike, Get Out has become a cultural phenomenon and to date it has earned over $200m worldwide.

Previously, Oliver lensed Blumhouse Productions’ thriller The Darkness (aka 6 Miranda Drive) for director Greg Mclean, starring Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell; and in New York he shot the indie fantasy drama Wildling for Maven Pictures and director Fritz Bohm with Liv Tyler, Bel Powley and Brad Dourif. He continued his documentary cinematography work shooting the indie doc Roller Dreams in and around Los Angeles’ Venice Beach.

Oliver’s work on the Australian WWI suspense war drama Beneath Hill 60 earned him his third Australian Academy nomination, and the TV movie Beaconsfield, about a pair of miners trapped over a kilometer underground in a tiny cage, won a number of awards including a Gold ACS Award and the ACS Best in Show.

Episodes 004 and 005 - Giles Nuttgens, BSC

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Lauded cinematographer Giles Nuttgens recently completed photography on director Wash Westmoreland’s period drama Colette, starring Keira Knightley as a struggling French novelist. Previously, he lensed David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water, which premiered in Un Certain Regard at 2016’s Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim and was nominated for several Academy Awards. Starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster, Nuttgens earned a 2017 BAFTA Film Award nomination for Best Cinematography for his work.

Hell or High Water filmed with Director David MacKenzie and starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster.

Hell or High Water filmed with Director David MacKenzie and starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster.

In 2016 Nuttgens also worked on The Fundamentals of Caring, which first screened at Sundance.The film follows Craig Roberts, Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez as a trio who connect on a life changing crosscountry journey.

The last film to ever be shot on black-and-white Kodak 35mm film, Nuttgens shot Grain in Istanbul. Ironically, the movie tells the story of a seed geneticist attempting to save the last batch of genetically unmodified wheat. Nuttgens’ other feature credits also include: Young Ones and God Help the Girl, which both premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival; and The D Train (starring Jack Black and James Marsden) and What Maisie Knew (starring Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard) – both shot with his long-time collaborators, the directing team Scott McGehee and David Siegel.

With director Deepa Mehta, Nuttgens lensed Midnight’s Children, based on the bestselling Salman Rushdie novel. Nuttgens’ also shot Mehta’s elemental trilogy Fire, Earth and Water. Water received a 2007 Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and earned Nuttgens the 2006 GENIE Award for Best Cinematography.