Clubhouse Conversations — Westworld

In this new video, interviewer Eric Steelberg, ASC talks to Paul Cameron, ASC about shooting and directing episodes for Season 3 of HBO’s critically acclaimed series Westworld.

Westworld-EP-301.png?mtime=20200618093023#asset:92504Paul Cameron, ASC (far right) confers with director and series EP Jonathan Nolan (center) while shooting the episode “Parce Domine” (#301).

The cinematographer previously set the visual tone for the show when he photographed the sci-fi drama’s premiere episode — “The Original” — back in 2016. Cameron shot it on 35mm film to enhance the large-scale cinematic feel, earning an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series and an ASC Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in a TV, Movie, Miniseries or Pilot. (Complete feature story here.)

Westworld-thandie-newton.jpg?mtime=20200618093027#asset:92505Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay.

For primary image capture on Westworld’s third season premiere — “Parce Domine” (#301) directed by executive producer Jonathan Nolan — Cameron employed Arricam LT, Arricam ST and Arriflex 235 cameras paired with Cooke S4, Canon K35, Fujinon Premier, Angeniuex Optimo and Leitz Summilux-C lenses, and Kodak Vision3 35mm film. Digital capture was done in 6K with Sony Venice cameras. While FotoKem handled film processing and transfer, Cameron was also supported by Keslow Camera, Otto Nemenz and Pro-Cam Rentals.


Cameron then directed the Season 3 episode “The Mother of Exiles” (#304), shot by John Grillo, who alternated photographing additional episodes with Zoë White and Matt Flannery.

You'll find Cameron’s lighting diagrams for key sets used in “Parce Domine” here, here and here.


Cameron is well-known for his work on the stylish features Swordfish, Gone in 60 Seconds, Man on Fire, Déjà Vu, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Total Recall.

In 2004, his camerawork in director Michael Mann’s crime drama Collateral confirmed the capabilities of the still-young digital medium, and it is immortalized now as one of the first major studio films to embrace digital cinematography. The film earned Cameron a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award and the Los Angeles Critics Award for Best Cinematography. 

Cameron is also a top commercial cinematographer. In 2003, his work caught the eye of the Clio and AICP awards as his photography on the BMW featurette “Beat the Devil” for RSA and director Tony Scott took top cinematography honors at both events and is now part of the NYC Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. He won another Clio in 2008 for the VW Golf “Night Drive” spot with director Noam Murro — his third Clio to date. 

Cameron’s recent features include 21 Bridges, The Commuter and the upcoming sci-fi thriller Reminiscence, directed by Lisa Joy and set for release in the spring of 2021.

A native of Los Angeles, Steelberg’s upcoming supernatural comedy Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the cinematographer’s eighth feature film collaboration with director Jason Reitman, following The Front Runner; Tully; Men, Women & Children; Labor Day; Young Adult; Up In the Air and Juno. His other credits include 500 Days of Summer, Baywatch and the period biopic Dolemite Is My Name. 


You’ll find more episodes in this discussion series here