Clubhouse Conversations — I Know This Much Is True

In this video, interviewer Lawrence Sher, ASC talks to cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes and writer-director Derek Cianfrance about their HBO limited series I Know This Much Is True, based on the 1998 novel by Wally Lamb and starring Mark Ruffalo.

The show concerns identical twins Dominick and Thomas Birdsey (both played by Ruffalo), the latter suffering from severe paranoid schizophrenia. Following a traumatic incident, Dominick must care for his sibling while also struggling to deal with his own chaotic life and relationships.

The project was shot in a 2.0:1 aspect ratio on Eastman 500T Vision3 5219 35mm neg using ArriCam LTs (both 2-perf and 3-perf; framed for a 2-perf negative area) matched with Cooke S4 lenses and Angenieux Optimo 24-290mm zooms. The stock was rated at 1,000 ASA and no filtration was used other than NDs and color correction.


Lipes (above) is a director and cinematographer with diverse experience in film, television, commercials and music videos. He recently lensed Marielle Heller's biographical drama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks. 

In film, Lipes has worked with such acclaimed directors as Kenneth Lonergan, on Manchester By the Sea, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture; Sean Durkin, on Martha Marcy May Marlene, which won Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival; and Judd Apatow, on Trainwreck, which earned a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Picture. 

In commercials and music videos, Lipes has worked with (among others), Cianfrance, Mark Romanek, Gia Coppola, Grant Singer and Miles Jay. 

Lipes directed and shot the documentary feature Ballet 422, an Official Selection at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, which went backstage at the New York City Ballet, and has directed episodic series such as Antonio Campos' The Sinner and Lena Dunham's Girls.


Cianfrance (above) is a writer, director, cinematographer and editor best known for his films Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams; and The Place Beyond the Pines, also starring Gosling as well as Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes. 

His most recent feature film was an adaption of M.L. Steadman’s New York Times bestseller The Light Between Oceans for DreamWorks, starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz. 

In addition to his films, Derek has been celebrated for his documentary work — on subjects including Mos Def, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, and Run-DMC — as well as his high-profile commercial work, for which he was awarded the DGA's Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials in 2016. 

Sher, Oscar and ASC Award-nominated this past year for his cinematography in Joker, has also shot the features Kissing Jessica Stein, Garden State, PaulDue Date, War Dogs, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the Hangover trilogy. 


You’ll find more episodes in this discussion series here