According to Master of None cinematographer Mark Schwartzbard, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, the creators of the Netflix series, “were very interested in finding ways to linger in scenes and do much longer takes. We tried to come up with a style that allowed us to stage shots and create scenes that developed visually over time so we would not get tired of looking at them.”
Master of None is shot at 23.98 fps as AVC-Intra4K444 files with Panasonic VariCam 35 cinema cameras. “We needed a camera that could deliver the aesthetic softness we were looking for in terms of color and tonality. I find [the VariCam 35] very soft and accommodating,” says Schwartzbard. “We also needed a camera that was tolerant of the variety of skin tones we have in our cast.”
Schwartzbard didn’t want the show to look over-lit, so he tried to light as little as possible. A lot of the show is shot in dimly lit restaurants and bars, so shooting at higher ISOs made those scenes much easier. “We would typically go into restaurants and turn on the lights that were there, and kind of fill in what we needed to. We felt that gave us a more realistic look that was more true to the space we were working in.”
The second season of Master of None debuts on Netflix this month.