Jeremy Saulnier on Why Being a DP is More Fun than Being a Director

But being a director is still pretty great too.

Jeremy Saulnier has carved out his own little place in film history. His second feature film Blue Ruin was the first of its kind in many ways, an artful genre thriller that is a spectacle to behold and shot on a shoestring budget. His next film, Green Room, cemented his place as one of today's most talented thriller auteurs. And it all stems back from blowing shit up as an eight-year-old in his backyard.

There wasn't really a time when Saulnier's life didn't revolve around the camera. From making zombie flicks as a teen to starting a film collective in high school to making his way up the film ladder as a cinematographer, his experiences have been a constant education on the ways of film. And while he swears his days as a DP were "more fun", his artful visual touch is still very much present as a director.

The latest film on his resume, the Netflix produced Hold The Dark, is further evidence of his unique ability to tell suspenseful stories from behind the lens of a camera. In it, Jeffery Wright plays a writer named Russel Core who, after the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, is hired by the mother of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness. 

I sat down with Saulnier to discuss getting your hands dirty on production, keeping that enthusiasm going, and not being afraid to ask for what your narrative demands.

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This episode was edited by Jon Fusco.

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