(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Podcast: Team Deakins

Where You Can Stream It: Apple, Spotify, the usual places podcasts can be heard.

The Pitch: Twice a week, Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Shawshank Redemption) and his wife and collaborator James Deakins are joined by a guest from the film industry to have wide-ranging conversations about making movies.

Why It’s Essential Listening: There are approximately 90 billion movie podcasts on the Internet, but how many of them let you hear from one of the best cinematographers on the planet? This one does – and since almost every episode features a guest, there are frequently occasions in which more than one of the best cinematographers on the planet are on a single episode. Case in point: one of the most recent episodes features Rodrigo Prieto, who shot movies like 25th Hour, Brokeback Mountain, The Wolf of Wall Street, and is currently shooting Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.

There are a few reasons this has become one of my favorite film-related podcasts over the past year. As someone who has been following Roger’s work for years, it’s fascinating to get to hear him talk in detail about his experiences working on the sets of some of Hollywood’s most beloved movies. It’s also enlightening to hear James’ perspective, and get a sense of what a successful marriage is like between two people who work together in such high pressure situations in an industry that often chews up couples and spits them out. And I especially love how granular it gets about the filmmaking process – if you’re an aspiring cinematographer, Roger gets into specifics about the types of lights he’s used in certain scenes, how he works with different directors, and he offers little tips and tricks that make it feel like you’re learning at the feet of a master. No other podcast I’ve heard is better equipped to walk the tightrope of speaking broadly about filmmaking but also dipping into the types of details that I imagine some film fans are always longing to hear about, but very rarely get to.

But for me, the best thing about this show is the variety of guests. While chats with other cinematographers are always entertaining and informative, Roger and James also speak with makeup artists, gaffers, composers, aerial camera operators, directors, actors, prop masters, sound designers, production managers, writers, and more, giving listeners a vast array of experiences to learn from. The hosts’ humility about their work is refreshing in an industry that seemingly thrives on people constantly bragging about their accomplishments, and they’re genuinely curious about the jobs and lives of the people they’re speaking with, which makes folks open up when they join the show as a guest.

Previous guests include Sam Mendes, Denis Villeneuve, Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, Paul Dano & Zoe Kazan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Phil Lord & Chris Miller, and more. If you’re looking for a free alternative to film school, this is the show for you.

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