“The Iron Orchard”
Plainfossé was in Japan shooting a commercial when his agents called him with an urgent message: A DP dropped out of a big-screen adaptation of Tom Pendleton’s 1966 novel “The Iron Orchard” that was getting ready to roll in West Texas and “you need to read the script right away and make a decision.”
“I read the script on the flight back to New York, Skyped with the director [Ty Roberts], and maybe four days after I got the script, I was in West Texas starting the prep,” says Plainfossé, who earned cinematography noms for his work from the Camerimage and Madrid Film Festivals.
Plainfossé wasn’t the obvious choice to lens a film about a Texas oil field wildcatter in 1939. A native of France who studied film at EICAR, the international film and television school in Paris, he forged a working relationship with then-fledgling director and musician Yoann Lemoine (aka Woodkid) early in his career, and went on to work with a variety of helmers shooting music videos for artists such as Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Sia, Selena Gomez, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B and Migos.
“Imagine a French guy living in New York who keeps traveling the world, flying to Texas, where I never shot, and going deep into a different culture,” says Plainfossé, who used “There Will Be Blood” and “No Country for Old Men” as aesthetic reference points. “But Ty told me, ‘I want a European DP because I want a fresh eye on West Texas that is going to discover this place and see beauty.’”