The 8 Cinematographers, Sound Gurus, and More Who Elevated Fall Festival Films

IndieWire | 9/19/2019 | Staff
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With the Venice, Telluride, and Toronto International Film Festivals in the rearview mirror, IndieWire looks back at the incredible craft behind some of most discussed and loved films that played during the early days of the fall circuit.

From “If Beale Street Could Talk” to “Wonderstruck” to “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” to the warehouse model of the city in “Synecdoche, New York,” few production designers have transformed the essence of New York City into the perfect story container quite like Mark Friedberg. Friedberg was the obvious pick for director Todd Phillips’ take on Gotham, which has one foot firmly planted in the down-and-out New York of 1981.

Amount - Detail - Texture - Researcher - Sets

The amount of detail and texture in the obsessive researcher’s sets and set dressing transports you to the grit and steamy grime of a trash-filled city too broke and corrupt to function. It’s a world designed to feel overwhelming, always an impossibly long set of stairs away for Joaquin Phoenix’s pre-Joker transition, as he slides into the margins of a society on the edge.

The use of location shooting gives the world the touch of realism Phillip’s “Joker” requires, but Friedberg in turn finds the perfect thin layer of artifice, a touch whimsy, to bridge the gap with the familiar noir comicbook of Batman lore and the tone of Phillips’ Joker.



Sixty percent of “Parasite” takes place in the Park family home, one of the most ingenious and delicious sets in recent cinematic memory. Designed by a famous, fictional master of modern architecture, production designer Lee Ha Jun constructs a set that embodies the film’s central themes, while supplying director Bong Joon Ho and cinematographer Hong Kyung Pyo the perfect compositions to tell a story of people trying to keep secrets from one another.

Satire - Class - Parks

In a satire about class, the Parks live high atop the...
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