You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hodge : Career catches fire with ‘Bellflower’

10 Cinematographers to Watch: Joel Hodge

Role model: “I grew up watching Arnold movies and loved them. I think he is the reason I make movies today. Among d.p.s, Emmanuel Lubezki’s work on “Children of Men” is friggin’ amazing. I’m also a big fan of Benoit Debie, the d.p. on Gasper Noe’s “Enter the Void” and ‘Irreversible'” (and one of Variety’s 10 Cinematographers to Watch last year).
Camera and film preferred: “I have never worked with film; it’s always been digital for me. The SI-2K was good to us on ‘Bellflower.’ Lately, I’ve been playing with the Epic and I love it.”
Favorite tool: “Our flamethrower.”
Representation: None

That Joel Hodge’s work on the unhinged, pyromaniacal anti-romance “Bellflower” is so in synch with the lunatic sensibility of director Evan Glodell makes sense, since they hang out, have made “a ton of short films” and even blew up a propane tank “for fun.” When they did it for the record, it got a little more serious.

“We set up a barricade,” Hodge laughed, “and I was shooting on my knees. But at some point I realized I was the only one in harm’s way.” Other volatile moments involved the use of a flamethrower made out of vacuum-cleaner parts and of a muscle car with flaming exhaust.

But there’s also a risk that the crazier aspects of “Bellflower” may distract from the highly stylized and emotionally precise visuals that Hodge contributes to a film that its makers never expected to go very far.

“We really just wanted to get on a shelf in Blockbuster,” says Hodge. “It’s been four years since we started, and there were still Blockbusters everywhere.”

“Bellflower” is still his only movie, although Hodge says several projects are in the works among the members of the Ventura-based production company Coatwolf. Meanwhile, he has supported himself with part-time work as a camera operator and editing reality TV shows.

Largely self-taught (“I took a video production class in high school”), Hodge plans to continue working with the Coatwolf crew, including on Glodell’s new project, and one by Jonathan Keevil, who scored and co-edited “Bellflower,” which was shot on hand-made cameras built exclusively for the film — most notably the Coatwolf Model II Ultra Large Format, essentially a modified Silicon Imaging SI 2K. “We were beta testers when it first came out,” Hodge says. “Then Evan built his camera on top of that.

“We’re not really sure where it’s all going to go, or who we’ll be working with,” he says, “but we like the idea of doing it ourselves and staying independent. The next movie will be similar. We’re building new cameras for the next movie. It’s going to have another crazy look.”

Trailer: “Bellflower”

Return to 10 Cinematographers to Watch

More Scene

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Why Sacha Baron Cohen Credits Donald Trump for ‘Who Is America?’

    Over the course of history, comedians have shared their take on current events with biting commentary on everything from class and gender to fashion and politics, and the current presidential administration is definitely no exception — with President Donald Trump regularly lampooned on shows like “Saturday Night Live” and by late-night TV hosts. But when [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment,

    Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment, Imprisonment for Trump, Says Maybe Al Pacino Should Lead Instead

    Robert De Niro honored Al Pacino, his longtime friend and four-time collaborator (with Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Irishman” marking their latest pairing), at the American Icon Awards, and then called for a different type of tribute for President Donald Trump — “impeachment and imprisonment.” “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content