Mad Men / Christopher Manley, ASC

Episode #68

Mad Men / Christopher Manley, ASC


Shortly after wrapping the series finale of Mad Men, Christopher Manley, ASC sat down with AC to discuss his work on the show. 

He shares what he learned from taking some turns in the director’s chair, explains the production’s transition to digital capture, and discusses his unique collaboration with Phil Abraham, who shot the series pilot and moved on to then direct many episodes of the show.

  • Don Draper (Jon Hamm) endures a party at Megan’s house in Los Angeles in the episode “The Runaways,” directed by Christopher Manley, ASC, and shot by Don Devine.
  • Betty (January Jones) joins her son Bobby (Mason Vale Cotton) on a school outing in the episode “Field Trip,” directed by Christopher Manley, ASC, and shot by M. David Mullen, ASC.
  • Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) enjoys a musical afterlife in the episode “Waterloo,” directed by Matthew Weiner and shot by Christopher Manley, ASC.
  • Director Matthew Weiner (with viewfinder) and cinematographer Christopher Manley, ASC, fine-tune an office setup for “Waterloo” as actors Jay R. Ferguson (left) and Trevor Einhorn stand by.
  • Wearing his director’s cap for the episode “Field Trip,” Christopher Manley, ASC, sets up a shot with cinematographer M. David Mullen, ASC.
  • Christopher Manley, ASC, confers with actor Harry Hamlin while directing the episode “The Runaways,” which was shot by Don Devine.
About the Project

Created by Matthew Weiner and produced by Lionsgate Television, the AMC drama Mad Men made its debut in 2007 and is currently in its final season. The story follows ad executive Don Draper (Jon Hamm) through the turbulent decade of the 1960s, a period in which he rises to the top of his field, loses everything, and then tries to forge new paths in his professional and personal lives. Among many other honors, Mad Men has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series and received three other nominations in that category.

About the Cinematographer

A graduate of Temple University and the American Film Institute, Christopher Manley, ASC was the director of photography on Mad Men for six of the show’s seven seasons. He has received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations and two ASC Award nominations for the series, and he was also nominated for ASC Awards for episodes of CSI: NY and Threat Matrix. 

His other credits include the TV miniseries The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, the pilot for Homeland, and the features Dahmer and Are You Here.

American Cinematographer interviews cinematographers, directors and other filmmakers to take you behind the scenes on major studio movies, independent films and popular television series.

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe Today

Act now to receive 12 issues of the award-winning AC magazine — the world’s finest cinematography resource.

July 2024 AC Magazine Cover
June 2024 AC Magazine Cover
May 2024 AC Magazine Cover