Cinematographer Tami Reiker on A Woman Under the Influence
“You think there’s something wrong with me or something? You think I’m wacko or something?”
Talking About John Cassavetes’ 1974 film ‘A Woman Under the Influence with our guest Tami Reiker
In this episode of Movies We Like, we’re joined by award-winning cinematographer Tami Reiker to talk about one of her favorite movies, John Cassavetes’ 1974 film A Woman Under the Influence. This is a film Tami has often shown to directors she’s worked with as they discuss the projects that influence them and what they want to pull from it to bring in as influences on the project. It’s a powerful film that’s full of incredible moments brought by both leads – Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk – not to mention fascinating direction by Cassavetes himself. How has it influenced Tami over her career and what does she pull from it?
Tami’s Current Project Surface on Apple TV+
We also talk about the new series she’s worked on with director Sam Miller and star Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Surface. For the episodes she worked on, Tami and Miller wanted to use swing shift lenses to amplify the disconnection Mbatha-Raw’s character has from the world due to post-accident amnesia. It’s a powerful tool and connects directly with their authorial voice.
There’s a lot to talk about with Tami about both A Woman Under the Influence and Surface on The Speakeasy. Tune in!
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Award-winning cinematographer Tami Reiker, ASC, made history by becoming the first woman to win an American Society of Cinematographers award. She took home the ASC Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography Award for her work on the HBO pilot, Carnivalé.
Reiker recently worked on the highly anticipated new Apple TV+ series Surface starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and created by Veronica West, bringing together innovative technology and breathtaking visuals for the first two episodes of the psychological thriller, each with director Sam Miller. She also lensed Regina King’s directorial debut One Night In Miami, chronicling a fictional account of a real night when the lives of Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown and Malcolm X are forever changed. The drama already made history at the 2020 Venice Film Festival as the first film directed by a Black woman to be selected and is also an official selection at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.
Previously, Reiker photographed the action epic The Old Guard for Netflix and frequent collaborator director Gina Prince-Bythewood. Based on the graphic novel series of the same name, the film follows a group of immortal soldiers who must defeat a corrupt man trying to expose their secret. The feature shattered records after its release, becoming one of the top ten most streamed films in Netflix’s history, with Prince-Bythewood becoming the first Black female director to land a spot on the list.
Reiker’s additional feature credits include: Beyond the Lights for Gina Prince-Bythewood, starring Minnie Driver, Danny Glover and Gugu Mbatha-Raw; the critically praised Pieces of April for director Peter Hedges; and High Art, a visual collaboration with director Lisa Cholodenko, which earned Reiker a Best Cinematography nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards.
For television, Reiker lensed: episode one of Woman of The Movement, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood; HBO Max’s Delilah pilot for director James Griffiths; Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger pilot; CBS’s Charmed pilot, with director Brad Silberling; the pilot for Fox’s Shots Fired, the critically praised ten-part series chronicling the investigation of a police shooting; and HBO’s Getting On pilot for director Miguel Arteta.
After beginning her career and making a name for herself in the New York film community, Reiker moved to Los Angeles where she still lives now, with her son. She is represented worldwide by DDA.
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Welcome to Movies We Like
In each episode, co-hosts Andy Nelson and Pete Wright invite someone from inside the film industry to discuss their favorite films. What makes a movie inspirational to a cinematographer or a costume designer? Listen in to hear how these pros watch their favorite films.