Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: 'Doctor Who' Season 8 Episode 2, 'Into the Dalek,' Lets Peter Capaldi Show Off Some Darkness Review: 'Doctor Who' Season 8 Episode 2, 'Into the Dalek,' Lets Peter Capaldi Show Off Some Darkness Telluride Review: Ethan Hawke Discovers a Brilliant Mind in 'Seymour: An Introduction' Telluride Review: Ethan Hawke Discovers a Brilliant Mind in 'Seymour: An Introduction' Indiewire's Real-Time Oscar Odds: First Reactions To All the Festival Premieres Indiewire's Real-Time Oscar Odds: First Reactions To All the Festival Premieres Amazon Pilots Ranked Best to Worst (Season 3): Whit Stillman & Steven Soderbergh Compete for Your Votes Amazon Pilots Ranked Best to Worst (Season 3): Whit Stillman & Steven Soderbergh Compete for Your Votes Telluride Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Carries Uneven WWII Drama 'The Imitation Game' Telluride Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Carries Uneven WWII Drama 'The Imitation Game' Telluride Review: Nick Broomfield's Powerful 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper' Puts a Serial Killer in Unique Light Telluride Review: Nick Broomfield's Powerful 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper' Puts a Serial Killer in Unique Light Vote for Project of the Week: Will It Be 'Power of Love,' 'Song the Zombie Sang,' 'Florence' or 'Kitty's 9 Lives'? Vote for Project of the Week: Will It Be 'Power of Love,' 'Song the Zombie Sang,' 'Florence' or 'Kitty's 9 Lives'? Review: ‘The Two Faces of January,’ Starring Oscar Isaac and Viggo Mortensen, Is Not Your Typical Patricia Highsmith Adaptation Review: ‘The Two Faces of January,’ Starring Oscar Isaac and Viggo Mortensen, Is Not Your Typical Patricia Highsmith Adaptation Venice Review: Al Pacino Excels in Barry Levinson's Otherwise Troubled 'The Humbling' Venice Review: Al Pacino Excels in Barry Levinson's Otherwise Troubled 'The Humbling' Venice Review: South Korea Gets a Firm Critique (As Does the World) in Kim Ki-Duk's 'One on One' Venice Review: South Korea Gets a Firm Critique (As Does the World) in Kim Ki-Duk's 'One on One' Telluride Review: Reese Witherspoon Finds Nature, Catharsis in the Sentimental 'Wild' Telluride Review: Reese Witherspoon Finds Nature, Catharsis in the Sentimental 'Wild' 7 Reasons ‘Party Down’ Is Your Next Must-See Series (That You’ve Hopefully Already Seen) 7 Reasons ‘Party Down’ Is Your Next Must-See Series (That You’ve Hopefully Already Seen) Review: 'Intruders' on BBC America Finds Suspense in Interwoven Stories, But Loses It in Action Review: 'Intruders' on BBC America Finds Suspense in Interwoven Stories, But Loses It in Action Watch: Mira Sorvino on Speaking 5 Languages, Comedy and Her Role in BBC America's Drama Series 'Intruders' Watch: Mira Sorvino on Speaking 5 Languages, Comedy and Her Role in BBC America's Drama Series 'Intruders' Watch: Terry Gilliam and Ralph Steadman Get Animated In Exclusive Clips from Johnny Depp-Starring 'For No Good Reason' Watch: Terry Gilliam and Ralph Steadman Get Animated In Exclusive Clips from Johnny Depp-Starring 'For No Good Reason'

How I Shot That: Filming Sundance Drama 'Fishing Without Nets' at Sea was like a Roller Coaster

Photo of Eric Eidelstein By Eric Eidelstein | Indiewire January 22, 2014 at 4:19PM

Cinematographer Alex Disenhof spoke to Indiewire about shooting "Fishing Without Nets," a U.S. Dramatic entry that premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was directed by Cutter Hodierne.
0
Fishing Without Nets

Cinematographer Alex Disenhof spoke to Indiewire about shooting "Fishing Without Nets," a U.S. Dramatic entry that premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was directed by Cutter Hodierne. "Fishing Without Nets" chronicles the life of a Somali husband and father forced into piracy in order to provide for his family. Disenhof previously worked on "The We and the I," "Funeral Kings" and "Emoticon."

Which camera and lens did you use? We used the Red Epic and Red Scarlett cameras with Zeiss Super Speeds and Angenieux Optimo DP 16-42mm, and 30-80mm zooms.

What was the most difficult shot in your movie, and how did you pull it off? We had many difficult shots, as we often did ten minute long handheld takes looking 360 degrees. Possibly the most difficult of all was shooting handheld on a rickety wooden boat deep out at sea. I had to follow several 'pirates' as they grabbed their weapons and jumped overboard into small skiffs. We were almost 30 miles out in a very rough Indian Ocean, so it was extremely difficult to stay upright, especially with a camera on my shoulder. I was able to get all the angles I needed, bouncing off my gaffer and key grip as they pushed me one way and another to keep me on my feet as the boat swayed heavily from side to side. Additionally, my key grip had a body harness attached to me and tied me to the mast of the ship so that I wouldn't fall overboard! It was like shooting on a roller-coaster that never stopped!

Who is your favorite cinematographer, and why? I have so many! If I had to name one, recently, I've really enjoyed the work of Sean Bobbitt, BSC. His handheld camerawork and simple, straightforward approach to lighting is something I really admire. Every movie he does is an immersive, textured and energetic visual experience.

What's the best film school for an aspiring cinematographer? Working on set is the best film school! I went to Emerson College and thoroughly enjoyed my experience there, but the best way to learn cinematography is to shoot and watch other cinematographers shoot. Have an open mind, don't be afraid to admit you don't know something and always try something new.

Do you think the shift from digital is good or bad? I think the shift from film to digital isn't good or bad - it just is what it is, and it isn't going to stop. I'll use either when it is appropriate, and I enjoy shooting both for very different reasons. I think digital is a great tool, and should be treated as that - another tool in a filmmaker's tool belt.

What advice do you have for cinematographers who want to get to Sundance? Seek out projects you believe in and find good collaborators. I wouldn't be at Sundance if it weren't for the people I worked with to make this project happen!

What's the best career advice you received? First and foremost: it's not a race. Enjoy the whole journey and be proud of yourself even when things aren't going your way. Not everybody has the courage to follow their dreams.

Editor's Note: The "How I Shot That" series is part of the Indiewire and Canon U.S.A. partnership at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, where we celebrated cinematography and photographed Sundance talent at Canon Craft Services on Main Street.

This article is related to: Sundance, Fishing Without Nets, Cinematography, How I Shot That, Filmmaker Toolkit: Production, Cutter Hodierne, Sundance 2014