The cinematography of Jojo Rabbit

Screenshot 2020 02 09 at 1 52 32 PM

On the latest Go Creative Show podcast, host Ben Concoli talks to the DP of Jojo Rabbit, Mihai Malaimare Jr.

Jojo Rabbit is a film by writer-director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE). The film is a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

Mihai and Ben discuss how they used rich color saturation to bring a new visual approach to a World War II film, what it’s like working with an actor who was also directing, how to motivate camera movement and composition, and working with child actors. You can listen to the full episode above.

Topics covered:

  • Mihai’s visual approach to Jojo Rabbit (03:48)
  • Working with director Taika Waititi (13:21)
  • Benefits of being your own camera operator (16:01)
  • How to motivate camera movement (18:08)
  • How being an editor can make you a better cinematographer (25:11)
  • The sets and locations of Jojo Rabbit (28:31)
  • How to motivate framing and composition (30:18)
  • The importance of shoes in Jojo Rabbit (35:21)
  • Working with child actors (38:16)
  • Mihai’s camera and lens choices (45:12)
  • Why Mihai used plastic wrap on the camera lens (52:45)
  • Using a lens baby to create interesting in-camera effects (54:45)
  • How Mihai used filters on Jojo Rabbit (56:37)
  • Breaking down the most challenging scene in Jojo Rabbit (58:59)
  • Reactions to being nominated for best picture (01:01:25)

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