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Clerks 3 DP Learan Kahanov on Reuniting With Kevin Smith Due to a Mandalorian Scheduling Conflict

Jeff Sneider

September 30, 2022

For fans of Kevin Smith, a group I proudly include myself among, the fact that Clerks III is currently in theaters is a pretty big deal.

It’s likely an even bigger deal for DP Learan Kahanov, who completed a cyclical career arc with the Lionsgate sequel, having gone from serving as Smith’s gaffer on Chasing Amy to working alongside the director as his cinematographer on the trilogy capper, which brings back beloved characters Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randall (Jeff Anderson).

Clerks III finds the duo forced to grapple with the big questions including the very meaning of life when one of them gets a frightening wake-up call, putting his priorities into perspective. It’s a film about friendship and making the most of the time we have left — something Smith has been doing ever since he suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 2018.

Below the Line recently chatted with Kahanov, who talked about how he tried to bring something fresh to the visual look of the franchise while still honoring the core values of its low-budget aesthetic. After all, the original film was shot in black-and-white for just $27,000.

Kahanov also discussed how a hard-partying college roommate inadvertently helped launch his career, why he has just begun to develop his own projects, the misperception that Smith’s films aren’t much to look at, and how it felt to be part of the director’s inner circle of collaborators this time around, as well as how another DP’s scheduling conflict with The Mandalorian landed him the job in the first place.

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