Dan Stoloff interview: ‘The Boys’ cinematographer
Joining an existing series could be daunting, especially one as singularly striking and special effects-heavy as “The Boys,” but cinematographer Dan Stoloff was up for the task in Season 2 of the Amazon hit.
“They were ready to take a step forward and they weren’t married to anything specific in terms of the look of the show. And I opted to stay with the same basic look because I thought it was great,” he tells Gold Derby at our Meet the Experts: TV Cinematography panel (watch above). “What was intimidating was the amount of visual effects. I’ve done a lot of it in the past. But in this sort of concentrated dosage, it was a lot, and fortunately, production gave us sufficient support, sufficient time for pre-production, extensive meetings and extensive brainstorming sessions with the visual effects department, who are all right there with us all the time. In retrospect, it wasn’t all that scary because I felt I was supported.”
The superhero satire carries a cinematic quality, thanks to the use of anamorphic lenses, cool, blue tones, and use of light and shadows. But one episode in the second season deviated a tad from the norm; in the fifth episode, members of the Seven film their action blockbuster “Dawn of the 7,” and for those scenes within a scene, Stoloff seized the chance to employ/spoof a different look.
That was a really fun opportunity to sort of take a, I dunno, a sort of Zack Snyder look, for want of a better adjective, and do a scene in that world,” he explains. “And suddenly, that world collapses in on itself and it’s sort of more realistic, more gritty and cooler, and using the palette to kind of reflect those things. The palette of the actual movie within the movie was a sort of golden, warm, saturated look. And suddenly you’re pulled behind the scenes and it goes kind of cool, and it goes into a different palette — cooler blues and greens, handheld, gritty, sort of that behind-the-scenes feeling.”
Stoloff, who’s also DP’d “The Americans” and “Suits,” is returning for the third season, production for which is underway. “It picks up right where it left and it is as wonderful as much as of a roller-coaster ride certainly as the previous two seasons were,” he teases. “There’s so much that happens even in the first several episodes to realign us with the world and how it’s changed and how it’s adapted since the finale last year.”