During our recent webcam chat (watch above), “The Path” cinematographer Yaron Orbach readily admits to being drawn to work on this hit Hulu series about faith for personal reasons. “I would say that I have a sensitivity towards religion,” the Israeli-born cameraman says, “the good, the bad, and the ugly about it. So this script was attractive for me. I just feel like I have a thing for the material as far as people who are believing in something very rigorously, and are willing to go to extreme lengths to make sure that people follow their religion or to make sure that they’re heard.”
On “The Path,” Emmy winner Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) stars as a member of a controversial movement who suffers a crisis of faith. Orbach was interested in exploring “the dynamic of a movement/cult: how people get in, how people perform once in them, how the people who are leading it rationalize the movement’s theories and beliefs to themselves and to the people they’re trying to persuade.”
The lenser wanted to visually represent the divide between “the facade of this movement, which is very inviting and warm and organic and natural on the outside, and the very dark currents, both personal and thematic, on the inside.” As he explains, “On one hand, we’re going to shoot it in a very natural, inviting way, because that’s how the movement is projected to the world, and then on the other hand, there is this very dark layer underneath that you learn about as the season goes on. We use that visually to bring that part of the story out.”
Since a full 10-episode season was ordered as opposed to a pilot, “we could establish the look from frame one to the end.” Yet, he readily admits, “this was challenging because you know that everything has a meaning that will have to be sustained throughout the season.” He gives due credit to Mike Cahill, who helmed the first two episodes. “I was fortunate to be working with someone who was a very visual director,” he raves. “He was very influential obviously in creating the look with me, and then in sustaining it throughout the show.”
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