We recently caught up with the veteran DP and discussed his journey into the film industry, as well as his work on After the Wedding. Macat has worked on several notable films and TV shows such as Life of the Party, Daddy’s Home Two, The Boss, Daddy’s Home, Horrible Bosses 2, Blended, Pitch Perfect, Wedding Crashers, A Walk to Remember, and The Wedding Planner.
How many years have you worked as a DP? How did you get your start?
I got my start working at a rental house in 1978. I originally worked as a tech there, and eventually became an assistant. It was around this time that I became Mario Tosi’s (DP) apprentice. Over the next few years, I started working as an operator with director Andrei Konchalovsky, and eventually landed the 2nd unit DP gig in Tango & Cash (1989), which got me Home Alone in 1990.
Was there any film or TV show in particular that inspired you to get into the film industry?
It was my dream at a young age to be able to work on a film set one day. How the West Was Won (1962) in particular was a huge inspiration for me. I loved everything about it, especially the actors!
What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?
Home Alone (1990). It was my first real feature, and I gave it all I had. We tried out a bunch of new strategies/techniques on this film, all of which were very successful.
How would you describe the visual style/look of After the Wedding?
Classical photography was the visual style we were going for. We used the Alexa 65 to capture a wide frame for very personal close-ups. The goal was also to open up the film with big scope exteriors so that it would not feel claustrophobic. LiteMats helped create the look we were going for. They were brilliant, so easy to hide, and super clean as a light. It was super easy to add diffusion or broken gels.
Were you presented with any challenges throughout filming? How did the locations you shot in factor into your lighting scheme?
Working on a low budget film presents quite a few challenges. We had a small crew, but we worked with our hearts and were inspired to give our best work. That itself makes all the difference.
I picked locations that were naturally well lit. We could not afford big lighting units and large set-ups, so I had to be smart about filming locations with good photographic balance and also be sure to shoot at the right time of day. This is a great lesson for for up and coming film students– Every low budget film can photograph the same gorgeous sunset, and if it’s right for the story, you gained free beautiful photography.
LiteRibbon came in handy for much of our location work. We created custom “pillow lights” utilizing the hybrid LiteRibbon inside of a gutted plastic bathroom fixture. This saved the day, especially when we shot in India!…LiteRibbon is one of the most versatile tools in my kit, and has been well worth carrying it no matter where I go!
After the Wedding is currently in theaters. Check out some great photos from the film below, including the trailer.