Ava Berkofsky Interview: ‘Insecure’ cinematographer
“I feel like we matured into ourselves this season in a way that felt like a big jump,” declares Emmy-nominated cinematographer Ava Berkofsky about why her show “Insecure” exploded at the Emmys this year with eight nominations including its first time in the lofty Best Comedy Series category and her second consecutive nom in the half-hour cinematography category.
“I pushed myself further and we tried new things and we were challenged in new ways. It’s much more than visual storytelling. It starts with the writing and that hit a new stride this year.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Berkofsky above.
“Insecure” follows the highs and lows of life for a contemporary African-American woman and her friends in Los Angeles. It stars Emmy nominee Issa Rae, who co-created the show with Emmy winner Larry Wilmore (“The Bernie Mac Show”) and co-stars first-time Emmy nominee Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Alexander Hodge and Kendrick Sampson.
Berkofsky is nominated for her cinematography of the season 4 finale “Lowkey Lost,” which was written and directed by newly-minted Emmy nominated showrunner Prentice Penny. Throughout season 4, best friends Issa (Rae) and Molly (Orji) slowly drift apart, culminating in a falling-out that plays like a heartbreaking break-up between life-long friends.
The episode culminates in an emotional reckoning between the two friends as they attempt to reconcile their differences by meeting up at their favorite restaurant. It was a compelling scene thanks to the performances of the Emmy-nominated Rae and Orji, writer/director Penny’s vision and Berkofsky’s use of light and her intentional framing that gave the scene the depth and purpose that underlines the emotional payoff it represents for the show’s audience.
“I think it’s something that everyone can relate to. You get so caught up in these relationships and then something serious happens and then you’re like ‘none of that matters, I’m sorry, I did bad, I did bad, let’s do better.’ I was so happy that they ended the season that way,” Berkofsky reveals. “We made the decision to go through the glass and pull back into the street. We reveal the storefront and then the street and then more of the street. The idea is that life keeps moving and the world doesn’t stop and this is their moment of coming back together.”