Shooting ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ to the Rhythm of Aaron Sorkin’s Layered Script

For cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, going from “Ford v Ferrari” to “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was more than merely shifting gears and genres within the period lane of the late 1960s.

Shooting the timely conspiracy trial, showing Vietnam War protesters outside the 1968 Democratic Convention that turned horribly violent, required a new mindset and rapport with writer-director Aaron Sorkin, making his second outing behind the camera following “Molly’s Game.”In fact, on “Chicago 7,” Sorkin’s technical inexperience demanded more visual heavy lifting from the cinematographer.

Finally, Papamichael was able to facilitate Sorkin’s vision, just as he’s done all along with his frequent collaborators James Mangold and Alexander Payne (the Oscar-nominated “Nebraska”).Papamichael realized on day one that “Aaron is all about the rhythm and the language,” he said.

“And therefore he doesn’t want any shots that are not just on the person who’s speaking.

And, you

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