“It was a challenge, for sure,” reveals “Genius” cinematographer Mathias Herndl during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above). This National Geographic production stars Geoffrey Rush as the older famed physicist, following him from his early years (portrayed by Johnny Flynn) through his time as a patent clerk and finally to the development of his theory of relativity. The limited series is NatGeo’s first attempt at scripted television and is produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, who directed the first installment.
The multi-part series was certainly an ambitious undertaking, spanning several decades and locations. “The way to succeed with that is to set up a visual recipe that serves the show, and is visually interesting,” Herndl divulges. Working with Howard, “we were very mindful that we didn’t want the show quality-wise to drop off after the pilot. So with all the decisions that we made in terms of how we were going to approach this visually and technically… we made sure that once reality hits and we are finally landing on a TV schedule, that it’s still doable.”
Herndl has leant his photographic eye to several TV shows, including “Motive,” “Wayward Pines,” “Legends,” and “Witches of East End.” Given the TV Academy’s love of period work, will “Genius” land him his first Emmy nomination?
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