Pam & Tommy
Pam & Tommy from Hulu had DOP Paula Huidobro joining in the rock ’n’ roll madness of the real-life story, mainly shooting on Steadicam and keeping the camera moving constantly. Everyone agreed that they needed a film look to suit the period, but didn’t want to actually shoot film. The LUT added grain and managed to produce imperfections, especially when used with old Panavision anamorphic lenses. The White Lotus on HBO has one thing in common with Ozark – DOP Ben Kutchins was the guy that initially gave the Netflix hit its cyan tint. Well, he’s at it again. The show is named after a Hawaiian resort, and Kutchins manages to make it suffocating and bleached out, much like the aura its inhabitants exude. This forcible use of colour is like the treacle that the drama cooks in, and successfully makes any viewer uncomfortable – but unable to look away. Our top tip is The White Lotus . The consistently heightened look is testament to the skill of its crew – in a mix of indoor and outdoor locations. And it dominates the supporting actress category.
Dopesick from Hulu is the tragic, ongoing story of the US opioid crisis – a no-nonsense adaptation of journalist Beth Macy’s book of the same name. Checco Varese’s cinematography uses tonal colours to reflect the sickness of victims, efficiency of police, and family tragedy: a great way of putting you in the moment almost subliminally. Another Hulu offering, The Dropout tells the true story of Elizabeth Holmes and her scamming of investors into the Theranos blood-testing company. Cinematographer Michelle Lawler shot the first four episodes, setting the tone
of the show. Those introduced Holmes growing up, presented in a softer, low- contrast way. When she started making money, the production design reflected how big her life and lie had become. Netflix’s Inventing Anna was another true story about a young female scam artist – and one of the streamer’s most popular shows. It had a similar job as The Dropout : don’t detract from the retelling of the story and stay consistent. Unfortunately, with four directors and cinematographers, that may not have happened. There didn’t seem to be a rigid set of rules from a visual point of view.
The White Lotus
39. SEPTEMBER 2022
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