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Andrew Reed: Poised for happy accidents

10 Cinematographers to Watch

Cinematography may all be in the planning, but when it comes to working with a director on low-budget indie projects, Andrew Reed finds that being ready for the unplanned is the key for lensers.

“There’s kind of a bizarre contradiction,” he observes, “between your efforts to create an exact replica of what you have in mind for filming and then responding to situations you never anticipate, but that always come up. And no matter how hard you try, and think of every contingency, you never fully realize what’s in your head. It’s always a surprise during filmmaking.”

Reed is notable for rising in the ranks of younger d.p.s by working almost exclusively with writer-director Aaron (“Cold Weather”) Katz, with whom he went to school at the North Carolina School of Design. As he puts it, Reed stumbled onto the set of fellow N.C. alum David Gordon Green’s “All the Real Girls,” and “when I saw how a film was made with friends, very little money and a lot of fellow-feeling, I knew I wanted to be involved with this.”

He says he, Reed and their other pals from college days have stuck together for much of the past decade, first making the fine, seldom-seen “Quiet City” and then “Cold Weather” in various Portland locations.

“Because the city is an important character in the film, we wanted to shoot Portland as it is,” Reed says. “This would mean rain, but we shot about a month past the really rainy season, and I encountered too much light and early spring green, when I wanted the gloom of the title.

“I had to hang outside a window and spray water on it to create a rain effect, which only goes to show how your pre-production design ends up getting tossed out when you face actual conditions.”

Role models: Mark Twain, Charles Burnett’s “Killer of Sheep” and Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks”
Camera & film used: Red One camera for “Cold Weather”
Fave tool: Zoom lens

10 Cinematographers to Watch:
Adam Arkapaw | David Boyd | Benoit Debie | Zoltan Honti | Yorick Le Saux | Jody Lee Lipes | Michael McDonough | Reed Morano | Kramer Morgenthau | Andrew Reed

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