Different DPs may have different styles and approaches to lensing a film, but the through-line is always the power that they have to show, not tell. No Film School sat down with two talented, up and coming DPs who shot award-winning films that first premiered at Sundance 2017, and are now continuing on the festival circuit. 

Andrew Ackerman shot the colorful, underwater documentary Chasing Coral, and speaks about the numerous logistical nightmares of shooting underwater timelapse, as well as character arcs back on land. Ante Cheng shot the Justin Chon's actor-director narrative Gook, which is a black and white period piece set amid the 1992 LA riots (not to mention the first feature film Cheng has shot!) Below is an excerpt from the discussion. 


Andrew Ackerman: To be able to show someone something is one of our universal languages as humans [is what’s appealing about cinematography.] 

Ante Cheng: The ability to tell a story visually. Even though I’m doing narrative and you’re doing documentary, I feel like all images have a timeless aspect of it. If you capture it, it will be there almost forever. It lets the audience see the world through our perspective.

Andrew Ackerman: I always thought it was cool when you take early photography classes. Your teacher would give you the same assignment, but everyone would come back with a different photo. And you’d look at someone elses photo, and be like, how the…I don’t understand how your brain works like that! 


Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.  

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