How I Shot That: Ed Lachman Overcomes the Usual Challenges to Lens the Audacious ‘Wiener-Dog’

How I Shot That: Ed Lachman Overcomes the Usual Challenges to Lens the Audacious 'Wiener-Dog'

READ MORE: Sundance: How Greta Gerwig Learned What Kind of Director She Wants to Be From Rebecca Miller and Todd Solondz

Hot off the critical and awards success of Todd Haynes’ gorgeous period piece “Carol,” lauded cinematographer Ed Lachman is at the Sudance Film Festival with a very different new feature, Todd Solondz’s “Wiener-Dog,” a multi-layered almost-anthology piece that serves as something of a spiritual sequel to his classic “Welcome to the Dollhouse.”

The duo previously worked together on Solondz’s 2009 feature, “Life During Wartime,” but “Wiener-Dog” comes complete with its own challenges, including shooting in a variety of locations with a sprawling cast, but it seems as if the creative bond between the two artists helped make the shoot a productive one, with a final product that’s unabashedly Solondz, bolstered by Lachman’s uncanny eye for beauty in the most unexpected of places.

What camera and lens did you use?
We used an ARRI 416, with a 16.5-135 master zoom, a Cooke 20-60mm 3.1 lens that had been converted to a super-16mm format, a 10-30mm T1., an Angenieux Optimo 25-250 Zoom T3.5, and a set of Cooke Speed Pancros and Cooke S4’s. 

Was this the right camera kit for the job? If I have to shoot digitally, I prefer the results of the Alexa. 

What was the biggest challenge in shooting this movie? How did you pull it off? It’s always time and money. 

Of all your training and schooling, what one experience made you the cinematographer you are today? Museums and screening rooms, which inspire me through other people’s work.

What advice would you give to an aspiring cinematographer? Is film school a good place to start? Take every opportunity you can to make your own films, and work on other people’s films to gain experience. 

Who is your favorite cinematographer, and why? Too many to mention, but I always love Chris Doyle’s level of experimentation in image and word. I’m always discovering new cinematographers’ work.

What new piece of equipment are you most excited about using in 2016? My eyes and mind. 

[Editor’s Note: The “How I Shot That” series is part of the Indiewire and Canon U.S.A. partnership at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, where we celebrated cinematography and photograph Sundance talent at the Canon Creative Studio on Main Street.]

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