Lorenzo Senatore interview: ‘The Outpost’ cinematographer
Lorenzo Senatore vividly recalls the moment when he found that Scott Eastwood, the leading man in his new movie “The Outpost,” had broken his ankle just weeks before filming was to start. “We had to shut down for three weeks and shift the schedule around so as to not have him shoot first as had been in the original. He was in 70% of the movie. But it gave us a chance for some extra prep, so in the end everything worked out for the best.” Senatore was part of Gold Derby’s Meet the BTL Experts panel, conducted virtually by this writer (watch above).
“The Outpost,” which is directed by Rod Lurie, tells the true story of the 2009 Battle of Kamdes in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan. A unit of 54 American GIs are based at a small camp located deep in a valley. They are forced to defend themselves against a day-long coordinated attack from an overwhelming force of hundreds of Taliban fighters. In the bloodiest American engagement of the Afghan War, eight U.S. soldiers were killed and another 28 wounded. Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV stands as one of the most decorated units of the 19-year conflict.
Lurie is an ex-soldier, which Senatore says made for an even richer collaboration. “Everything he planned, he knew what he was talking about. We had military advisors on the set but he made the final decisions. He is a filmmaker and has military experience so he had just the right balance.”
At the heart of the film is the siege of Combat Outpost Keating, which takes up more than a third of the running time. As Senatore details, “the battle was two weeks of our schedule. It was mostly done by one-ers, with very long shots. We were able to cover a lot of ground by doing just a couple of shots a day. We would rehearse a one or two minute sequence for several hours and then shoot it only two or three times. We didn’t have time to reset.”
Senatore has worked in a variety of capacities on such movies as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” “Spectre,” “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Wonder Woman.” His most recent film as cinematographer was the 2019 blockbuster “Hellboy.”