Interview: Phedon Papamichael Talks Cinematography and ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’

Joey Magidson

March 1, 2021

You often see a truly great cinematographer return to work numerous times with certain filmmakers. It’s actually rare to see a DP who always works with different directors. So, it’s not surprising that Phedon Papamichael has consistent fans in storytellers like James Mangold and Alexander Payne. He has a flexible visual language that allows him to shoot literally any subject matter. Of course, that’s undoubtedly part of what made him such an attractive hire for Aaron Sorkin when he made The Trial of the Chicago 7. Last week, I was lucky enough to get on the phone with Papamichael for nearly a half hour to talk cinematography, his work with Mangold, Payne, and Sorkin, as well as plenty more.

You often see a truly great cinematographer return to work numerous times with certain filmmakers. It’s actually rare to see a DP who always works with different directors. So, it’s not surprising that Phedon Papamichael has consistent fans in storytellers like James Mangold and Alexander Payne. He has a flexible visual language that allows him to shoot literally any subject matter. Of course, that’s undoubtedly part of what made him such an attractive hire for Aaron Sorkin when he made The Trial of the Chicago 7. Last week, I was lucky enough to get on the phone with Papamichael for nearly a half hour to talk cinematography, his work with Mangold, Payne, and Sorkin, as well as plenty more.