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Header image for article DP Tommy Maddox-Upshaw Talks Inspiration, Empire, and Sony VENICE

DP Tommy Maddox-Upshaw Talks Inspiration, Empire, and Sony VENICE

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down for a conversation with DP Tommy Maddox-Upshaw to discuss his career, his inspirations, and his most recent work with the Sony VENICE on Season 6 of FOX's Empire, and two seasons of FX's SnowFall.

We discussed his approach to shooting Empire with the Sony VENICE camera and how he maximized the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to move more efficiently and faster on set, capture a variety of skin tones, and how he set up his video village to closely monitor exposure on set. We also talked about his theory and approach to choosing lenses for a project, and how the story always drives these decisions. On both shows, he has put the Sony Extension Block to use in extremely small spaces as a unique tool to achieve shots he couldn't otherwise dream of. We also touched on the technical advancements of lighting and how these new technologies paired with the extreme low light sensitivity of the Sony VENICE allowed him to capture the images he wanted and maximize the emotional impact of the story.

Watch the video of our conversation above for his advice on honing your craft.

To hear more from Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, watch his full Creative Forces Online discussion on our YouTube channel. 

Megan Donnelly
Technology and Education Development Manager, AbelCine LA

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