Image of Steven Poster by Scott Humbert.
This Masterclass showcases cinematographer Steven Poster, ASC in an all-day discussion beginning with a screening of his acclaimed film Donnie Darko. Following the screening, Poster will present an overview of his collaboration with visionary director Richard Kelly and deconstruct key scenes from the film. Poster will also dive deep into his projects and inspirations, and share his secrets about how to persevere and flourish in the film business across many years.
This masterclass will be moderated by Nick Dawson, Editor-in-Chief for The Talkhouse Film and previously Managing Editor at Filmmaker Magazine.
Thirteen years post-release, Donnie Darko has become a part of our collective consciousness. With ample time for audience Q&A and great insights from this veteran cinematographer, this event promises to educate & motivate filmmakers of all stripes.
Steven Poster has a long history as a cinematographer in the business of motion pictures. From legendary films like Rocky V and Big Top Pee-wee, to the controversial, award-winning Madonna video Like a Prayer, to the indie innovation Donnie Darko, and most recently, Amityville Horror 2015, Poster has made a splash with work that challenges audiences.
For the small screen, Poster was the cinematographer on Mrs. Harris, Roswell, Color of Justice and Courage – all critically acclaimed television movies—as well as on the first episode of the Netflix series Hemlock Grove.
Poster was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie for Phyllis Nagy's Mrs. Harris and for an American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award for Best Cinematography on Ridley Scott’s Someone to Watch Over Me.
Poster is currently National President of the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG), Local 600. He was formerly President of the ASC, where he was responsible for reinvigorating the ASC Technology Committee.
A look into the critics' voice in response to Donnie Darko:
“…There is a kind of movie that calls out not merely to be experienced but to be solved” – Roger Ebert
“A stunning technical accomplishment that virtually bursts with noise, ideas and references” – Andrew O'Hehir, Salon
"Steve Poster’s lensing is beautifully fluid, and all other tech work is of a high standard" – Todd McCarthy, Variety
“…with beautiful and at times deceptively haunting cinematography, making the mundane ominous, and the truly ominous insane” – Joshua Tyler, Cinemablend
Donnie Darko (dir. Richard Kelly) tells the story of a typical upper-class suburb, where the film's protagonist (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a maladjusted teenager; actually, he's borderline delusional, beset by visions of a monstrous rabbit, which is trying to keep Donnie under its sinister influence. Prompted by this apparition, Donnie commits antisocial acts while he is undergoing psychotherapy, surviving the vagaries of high-school life and romance, and fortuitously escaping a bizarre death from a falling jet engine. As the film develops, Donnie battles his demons, literally and figuratively, in a series of intertwining storylines that play with time travel, fundamentalist gurus, fate and predestination, and the machinations of the universe (Geoffrey Gilmore, Sundance Institute).