The cinematographer’s credits include Manchester By the Sea, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and I Know This Much Is True.
Growing up outside the small arts hub of New Hope, Pennsylvania, new ASC member Jody Lee Lipes was immersed in the works of creatives from around the globe. His father built a dark room in the family’s basement, and the young boy watched as his father developed black-and-white photographs.
“Film school seemed like the natural path forward for me,” Lipes says, and he attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While there, the young man’s focus narrowed to cinematography, and he says that his foundation as a DP was built upon his background in photography, experience working at NYU’s film equipment repair shop and an internship with Tom Richmond, ASC as a loader/electrician/grip on the feature Palindromes.
His first feature as a cinematographer, Afterschool, was offered to him by fellow NYU alumnus Antonio Campos and premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival. Following the PSB dance film NY Export: Opus Jazz — on which Lipes served as writer, co-director and cinematographer — he photographed the first theatrical feature shot on a DSLR, Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture, which earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination. He also shot the features Two Gates of Sleep and Martha Marcy May Marlene, both of which premiered at Cannes.
Following these projects, Lipes became a fellow at the Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Director’s Labs and joined the Directors Guild of America. He directed episodes of the first season of the HBO series Girls before directing and shooting the documentary Ballet 422. Director Judd Apatow invited Lipes to photograph the comedy feature Trainwreck, and he followed this with the critically acclaimed Kenneth Lonergan drama Manchester By the Sea.
After shooting the pilot for the USA crime drama The Sinner, and directing two episodes, Lipes spent time photographing commercials, including a spot for the Biden/Harris presidential campaign, and music videos for artists including Jay Z, The Shins and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. He shot Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” music video, which has over 1.3 billion views on YouTube.
He returned to long-form projects with the feature A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and the HBO miniseries I Know This Much Is True. Watch Lipes discuss his work on that show in this episode of Clubhouse Conversations.