‘Black Panther 2’ DP Autumn Durald Arkapaw — Interview – KristenBellTattoos.com

Cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw was one of the most sought-after names at the recent Camerimage Film Festival, with fans and industry colleagues alike flocking to hear her speak in a post-screening Q&A.

The Bay Area native is currently enjoying a career boom after garnering attention with noteworthy work on indie pictures such as Gia Coppola. Palo Alto and the Elle Fanning starrer The excitement of youth Before he was drafted into the MCU, lensing the breakout series Loki And now, Ryan Coogler’s Black Cheetah The sequel Wakanda forever.


Arkapaw’s ascent has been rapid, but he told KristenBellTattoos.com that his process has remained mostly the same.

“I still see it as a small film,” she said. “Management, time, and money are all a side note because whenever you do something you want it to be good regardless of size. There are a lot of amazing people working on the film as well, so you have a lot of support. It is on the finger.

Now in its third week, Wakanda forever It has crossed the $500M mark at the global box office, making it one of the highest-grossing releases of the year and the biggest hit of Arkapao’s career, with early recognition for his innovative camerawork. The awards are buzzing. Below, Arcapa talks about his journey. Black Cheetahdeveloping the film’s visual language and working closely with director Ryan Coogler.

KristenBellTattoos.com: To begin with, how did you first get involved with this project?

AUTUMN DURALD ARKAPAW: I’ve obviously known Ryan and his work for many years. And a good friend of ours, Bradford Young [Selma cinematographer]I was initially brought to Ryan when he was looking for a DoP. Faith. I wasn’t able to Faith. I think the studio won’t approve me.


KristenBellTattoos.com: Why won’t they approve you?

Arkapao: I don’t know the nuts and bolts of the story, but I guess they thought I didn’t have a big enough budget movie yet, which is probably true, but it doesn’t really make sense. And I say now.


So, when Rachel [Morrison, Black Panther 1 DoP] Unable to film it, it hit me, and then I met Ryan. We had a zoom call. It was just such a beautiful phone call. We’re both from the Bay Area, so we get along really well. He is easy to talk to and ultimately, easy to work with. So it’s just the best fit.

KristenBellTattoos.com: Did you come to the project before or after the rewrites after Chadwick Boseman’s d*ath?

Arkapao: It was after that. Ryan was rewriting it. I was very aware because I was in Atlanta when Chadwick’s passing was announced, and everyone was thrown back because he kept it to himself and his family. So I knew about it.

KristenBellTattoos.com: On such a big film, where does your work begin?

Arkapao: So what’s great about Ryan, and not every director does, is that he brought me in to prepare. So before I was even on the ground in Atlanta, he had me in his storyboard and preview meetings. So I would join them via Zoom, and that was probably the first thing we did together.

KristenBellTattoos.com: Do you enjoy being involved in early preparation?

Arkapao: It’s not my favorite thing. But anything that will help the director, producers and everyone on set feel more comfortable is great. Because you have costumes, production design, SFX, and stunts, they all want a global idea of ​​what we’re trying to do. And so when you can give them a little framework, it helps them do their job better. And then you can change it. It is not set in stone. It’s just giving you an idea, and the great thing about Ryan is that we boarded it all out, but he’s still very supportive. So we are still very open to accommodate that day.

KristenBellTattoos.com: One of the most talked about scenes of the film is the opening in which Shuri tries to save T-Challa. It’s very emotionally charged and unlike anything else in the MCU. How did that scene come together?

Arkapao: Ryan had always had the idea of ​​doing this scene, and was interested in having a one-shot with tension and anger. He wanted the audience to be with Shourie. So we looked at which tool would be the best. Was it a Steadicam or handheld? My amazing camera operator had a handheld rig like this that is a little more stable. So yes, it was Ryan’s idea.

KristenBellTattoos.com: Many of the set-piece events in the film are informed by real-life traditions across Africa, never before seen in Hollywood. Where did you find visual inspiration?

Arkapao: Ryan and Hannah Batchelor, production designer, have worked together for a long time and are both great at researching. They want to be very true to the culture, so they take it seriously. For me, when I’m on set, I’m interacting with human beings. Emotions show up in front of me, and it doesn’t matter what time it is, it’s just human emotion, so you know the right place to put the camera. I feel it. I’m an emotional kind of filmmaker, and I love to work. So as far as references go, I just want to keep it relevant to the environment.

KristenBellTattoos.com: The film has made a lot of money, and you are getting a lot of appreciation for your work. How does it feel?

Arkapao: This is madness. I’ve been doing this for a long time, but if you choose a particular job, it can send you down the right path. Before Loki, I was working very hard. I was trying to get some jobs, but it wasn’t happening. But finally I got a chance to express my vision and collaborate with a great team of filmmakers. And that’s my favorite thing. So I’m very honored by the compliment, and it feels great, but I just love working with people I love. And I just want to let all the girls out there know that this is something they can do too.

KristenBellTattoos.com: What’s next for you?

Arkapao: It’s interesting, I just watched the movie for the second time, and I’m like, ‘What’s next?’ It was a beast. It was so fulfilling. That’s the thing, every job you say yes to, you think, will it fill a need? Are you doing a great job? Do you meet great people? And I was able to do a lot of it. So going forward, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it some more.

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