Phedon Papamichael's career as a cinematographer goes back to the 80s, but he's still a go-to DP for the best filmmakers in the business. You might call him an “actor’s cinematographer” or a stylistic chameleon. Here, Phedon talks about his approach to the craft: rather than trying to put his visual stamp on a movie, his goal is to serve the story and overall vision. He compares his experiences working with Alexander Payne, George Clooney, Aaron Sorkin, and James Mangold—and what it was like juggling the massive personalities on the set of Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7. Phedon recalls his early days shooting stripper-centered B-movies under Roger Corman’s tutelage—with Wally Pfister and Janusz Kaminski as his camera crew.
This is a masterclass in what it means to be an A-list cinematographer. Don't miss this one: Phedon is the man.
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This episode of The No Film School Podcast was produced by George Edelman and Jeffrey Reeser.