Larkin Seiple (‘Gaslit’ cinematographer) on designing ‘looks and lenses through each character’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“It was great!” exclaims director of photography Larkin Seiple, recalling the moment he discovered he was a first-time Emmy nominee for “Gaslit.” “I got a text from my agents and they just said, ‘Congrats,’ and I was confused because they didn’t say why. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ and they were like, ‘You got nominated!’ I checked the roster and five of my other friends had gotten nominated, which is pretty surreal. It was fun to share it with a bunch of other nominees as well. It was a trip!” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

Seiple is nominated for Best Cinematography for a Limited Series. “Gaslit” premiered on Starz on April 24 and shines its light most prominently on Martha Mitchell (played by Julia Roberts), a big personality and whistleblower who was the first to publicly expose President Richard Nixon’s involvement in Watergate. She was an Arkansan socialite and wife to Nixon’s loyal Campaign Chairman and former Attorney General, John Mitchell (played by Sean Penn). During Nixon’s reelection campaign, Martha enjoyed frequent guest appearances on news and variety shows and graced the covers of the nation’s most prominent magazines, where her frequent, unfiltered, and impulsive airing of personal views earned her the colloquial title “The Mouth of the South.”

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“I knew about Martha Mitchell because they had done a ‘Drunk History’ on her story,” Seiple reveals. “But I think the show was made because it’s an untold story for the most part. Obviously she was a celebrity at the time, but actually seeing the events and seeing it from her perspective felt new and compelling.”

Prior to jumping on board for the Starz series, Seiple had never been introduced to the show’s director, Matt Ross. “When I first met him, he didn’t want it to be an ode to the 70s. He also didn’t want us to constantly be fighting to make it feel like we were literally there. He wanted to focus the visuals around the characters and the story. What was fun about it is that there were a lot of characters in the show that were both heroes and villains, and he wanted to be empathetic towards both. Our whole approach was not to show off that we were a 70s show, but to feel like what it was like to be with someone in the 70s. To see the nuances, but not to single it out. We wanted it to be a very personal story. We designed looks and lenses through each character in the film.”

The director of photography goes on to explain memorable shots and techniques used throughout the series. He also talks about working on the surprise blockbuster movie of the summer, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

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