“If I’m Not Nervous About Getting Fired Between Wrap and Dailies…I Probably Didn’t Push Myself Hard Enough”: Cinematographer David Klein Discusses his Emmy-Nominated Work on Deadwood: The Movie

Filmmaker Magazine | 7/19/2019 | Matt Mulcahey
Click For Photo: https://filmmakermagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Deadwood-628x348.jpg

by Matt Mulcahey

in Cinematographers, Columns, Interviews

HBO - Plug - Deadwood - Dozen - Years

When HBO pulled the plug on Deadwood a dozen years ago, it left the denizens of the lawless South Dakota boomtown dangling at the end of a Season 3 cliffhanger. The show’s ostensible hero (marshal Seth Bullock, played by Timothy Olyphant) and villain (saloon owner Al Swearengen, played by Ian McShane) were left equally battered and bruised by a common enemy in ruthless mining magnate George Hearst. Imagine if the original Star Wars trilogy ended after The Empire Strikes Back and you’ll get a sense of the incompleteness that has haunted Deadwood fans over the years – myself included.

HBO has salved that wound with Deadwood: The Movie, a fitting farewell full of perfectly played grace notes that picks up ten years after the show left off as the town celebrates South Dakota statehood. Most of the cast is back, as is series creator David Milch and frequent series director Daniel Minahan. However, there’s a new face behind the camera in cinematographer David Klein, a veteran of television (two Emmy nominations for Homeland) and film (a bevy of Kevin Smith flicks, including Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Red State).

Klein - Filmmaker - Deadwood - Tradition - Light

Klein spoke to Filmmaker about continuing Deadwood’s tradition of “warm light and cold hearts” and visualizing the movie’s preoccupation with the changes wrought by time.

Filmmaker: January marked the 25th anniversary of Clerks’ premiere at Sundance. What lessons do you still carry from that film?

Klein - Time - Punks - Kids - Film

Klein: That was such a long time ago. We were punks — kids right out of film school. I won’t speak for [director] Kevin Smith or [producer] Scott Mosier, but I was still a **** amateur. It’s a miracle that Clerks was even exposed properly. The lesson I learned from Clerks — and many other films early on in my career — is that...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Filmmaker Magazine
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