top of page

112 Days in Iceland: DP Florian Hoffmeister on True Detective: Night Country


February 01, 2024

The diversity of cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister’s output makes it difficult to typecast him. The German DP won an Emmy for his work on a BBC version of Great Expectations and followed with the Rowan Atkinson spy spoof Johnny English Strikes Again. Then, in succession, he lensed the Scott Cooper horror flick Antlers, the Apple prestige drama Pachinko and Todd Field’s Tár, picking up an Oscar nomination for the latter.

But with True Detective: Night Country, Hoffmeister returns to a previous specialty–unsettling subzero horror.

Hoffmeister’s work on AMC’s The Terror followed an ill-fated 19th century artic expedition. He’s back to frigid dread with the new season of True Detective, with Hoffmeister shooting all episodes as a pair of Alaskan cops (Jodie Foster and Kali Reis) investigate the disappearance of the crew at a remote research station during a wintry period of perpetual darkness.

Filmmaker: The show is set in Alaska, but you filmed in Iceland. How long was the shoot and how much of it was on stage in Reykjavik compared to small towns in northern Iceland?

Hoffmeister: It was 112 days total. I think we did something between 40 or 50 days of exterior nights. We started with about six weeks on stages in Reykjavik, with a mixture of location work as well. Basically, the idea was to begin on the stage in the fall before it snows, then to go outside when the snow came. So, in January we went up north to a town called Akureyri, which has about 20,000 people living there. Near to that was a little village called Dalvik [population 1,500] and that’s where we did a lot of exterior work. When the weather got more like the spring, we went south again and finished on the stages in Reykjavik.

bottom of page