The Cinematography Podcast Episode 216: Dave Garbett
New Zealand cinematographer David Garbett has shot more versions of the Evil Dead franchise than any other cinematographer. These include the series Ash vs. Evil Dead and the latest movie, Evil Dead Rise. Dave has enjoyed working on Evil Dead because it's been a fun, creative, and over-the-top experience.
Evil Dead Rise director Lee Cronin felt that after 10 years, the movie needed a different setting. The action takes place on the top floor of a Los Angeles apartment building. Dave felt a responsibility to get the tone just right since Evil Dead is loved around the world. Evil Dead Rise is witty, but it is more of a straight up horror movie compared to the other Evil Dead films, starring Bruce Campbell. It definitely doesn't skimp on the blood and gore.
Dave thinks that the essential comedic aspect of Evil Dead is a huge part of the dynamic between director Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. He had the amazing experience of working with both of them on the series, Ash vs Evil Dead. The show is like a gory cartoon, with lots of humor and a huge performance by Bruce Campbell as Ash. One of the aspects of shooting Ash vs Evil Dead that Dave loved was getting the script every week and thinking, what the hell kind of bizarre situation am I going to find myself in this week? For the series, Dave got to use many of the low-angle, fast moving “evil force” POV shots. Every time they needed an “evil force” shot, it required a lot of thought and logistics preparation to figure out how to maneuver the camera. They would use many different techniques to get the right look and speed- the evil force has a fast-moving energy and intensity. Dave captured the “force” with the camera mounted on a variety of tools: a gimbal, a pipe, a remote controlled car, a techno crane and also just physically running handheld to give an organic nature to the movement.
When Dave began going to film school in Auckland, he realized that he was drawn to a career as a director of photography, because you can be both technical and artistic. Dave's timing was good, because the film industry in New Zealand was just ramping up. The movies Once Were Warriors and The Piano were being made there, followed by Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners. Soon after, Peter Jackson put New Zealand on the map with The Lord of the Rings movies, which brought an incredible amount of work and visibility to the film scene in New Zealand.
Dave also shot several episodes of the Netflix series, Sweet Tooth. Season two of Sweet Tooth is currently streaming.
Evil Dead Rise is currently playing in theaters.
Find Dave Garbett Instagram: @jarbaye
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