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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Filmmaker Ernest Dickerson: "Television Right Now is Doing What Film Wishes It Can Do"

Ernest Dickerson
I really love when filmmakers are so candid in interviews. On Sunday's episode of Cinema in Noir we got a chance to chat with Ernest Dickerson, notable cinematographer and director of some of your favorite movies and TV shows (including The Walking Dead, Treme, Dexter, The Wire, Malcolm X and Do the Right Thing to name a few). He discussed his transition to the small screen, the new Golden Age of TV and reveals that he's now directed eleven episodes of The Walking Dead (but can't give away any details about the new season *insert sad face here*).

Dickerson was nice also enough to dish some advice for filmmakers just starting out, what it's like to work with Spike Lee (they've known each other since film school students) and how "television right now is doing what film wishes it can do." The latter is a particularly intriguing comment as the debate about TV versus film Tyrant, Extant, I'm looking at you. Pick it up).
continues to roar on. He explains that character development in films is too often the first thing to be edited out for length; on the other hand, TV has broader space to develop both characters and plotlines, which yields a more fleshed out story. As a filmmaker who's worked in both mediums, he says, "Every show I do I try to approach like a mini movie." I wish more filmmakers understood this. Although, while they have more space to tell the story, as a viewer I think it's important that small screen filmmakers grab the audience right at the first episode of a series and not wait to until a few episodes in to get into the story. That's how you lose an audience, and also how you get canceled. (

Also on the show we shared our reactions to the 2014 Emmy nominees (Spoiler: We're psyched about Orange is the New Black!), and our reviews of Boyhood, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Life Itself. Missed the show? Listen to a recap here.


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