“I think the key is that you want to keep the audience as engaged as possible,” Ozark cinematographer Ben Kutchins tells Kelle Long. “That’s what most of our conversations are about. How do we really keep the audience on the edge of their seats and use the camera as a tool to really help the audience take one step further into our world and want to peer around the corner, peer down into the well and see what’s going on down there?”
“I like that (Ozark) has a lot of danger and weight and unsettling elements, both in what the family is going through in the story and emotionally, and I like that those things necessitate a director pulling on the levers of all the different departments to try to communicate to the audience,” says Jason Bateman, who stars in an executive produces the series. The second season launches on Netflix August 31.
“We shot the show on a Panasonic VariCam,” Kutchins tells Matt Grobar, “and the reason we chose that is a combination of needing to shoot on 4K, but also the camera really performs well in low light, and that’s something that we knew we were going to be doing a lot of.
“Really, there’s an effort on the show to use the least amount of light possible. If I’m looking at something and I’m not quite sure if it’s right, I just turn it off. That’s sort of been my go-to on this show. The Panasonic performs in low light and there’s a grittiness to it, and a little bit of an earthy quality that I think fits the show. Using what we call ‘the toe,’ that bottom of the curve, there’s a grittiness that comes out in that sensor that I think is filmic, so that’s what we responded to.” To read the full interview, click here.
The show’s cinematography, Kutchins continues, “is about how you reveal “Jason [Bateman] and I nerd out and have a lot of fun with revealing information for the audience and teasing the idea or suggesting a lie or suggesting something that’s just beneath the surface of what’s obvious. What’s that thing that’s going to keep the audience asking questions? I think a good episode, a good scene, a good line of dialogue makes the audience start asking questions.” To read the full interview, click here.