SXSW Bound with Director of Photography Oliver Bokelberg part 1

8 03 2011

Oliver Bokelberg on Win Win set.  Photo by Kimberly Wright.

Thomas McCarthy’s latest film Win Win is going to be at SXSW.  PSD chatted with Tom’s director of photography, on all of McCarthy’s films, Oliver Bokelberg.  Enjoy our chat with this extremely talented Cinematographer.

Oliver Bokelberg‘s love of the camera starts from his father, Werner, who continues to have a career in photography.  The irony though was pointed out by Oliver himself as he told me a story about his father.

But Oliver didn’t really get into cinematography until he attended a particular film school in the Big Apple.

It was at NYU that Oliver would start up an important working relationship with a few different directors, but Michael Kreihsl seems to stand out.

Director Michael Kreihsl, Oliver, and Actor Ulrich Tukur in Hunters in the Snow.

Another filmmaker would have a tremendous impact on Oliver’s career.

I asked Oliver about Director Tony Goldwyn and got a great surprise.

But if there was a moment when Oliver would realize his full potential as a DP, it was once again Michael that would help find the truth.

It would be another Director who would introduce Oliver to a PSD favorite Thomas McCarthy.

Oliver talks about  The Station Agent shoot.

Oliver would then end up with a talented trio of comedians in the form of Strangers with Candy.

Oliver’s career though has really become attached to Tom McCarthy’s journey as a Director.  The two would team up in a wonderful film,  The Visitor which would garner Tom an Independent Spirit Award and Richard Jenkins an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

The film revolves around how the post 9-11 New York, especially the immigrant population, is a cautious and fearful place.  In the film a detention center in the middle of the quiet part of New York, yeah those exist, ends up housing one of the lead characters.  Its the image of the detention center and what goes on to those detainees, who are hidden or sent away, that is the basis behind the emotional ending to The Visitor.  Oliver talked about the real life inspiration of the film.

The film does an incredible job showing the city of New York.  Both Tom and Oliver are long-time New Yorkers and its that knowledge of the city that gives The Visitor its real-life feel.

Walter (Richard Jenkins) and Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) play in the drum circle in central park.

Video from Overture Films (

On Thursday March 10th, Win Win will be played here in Dallas, Tx with Director Tom McCarthy in attendance.  Check back on PSD for Part 2 of our chat with Director of Photography Oliver Bokelberg.  Oliver talks more about his wonderful partnership with Tom McCarthy and expands on more cinematographer insights.  As a treat though, check out the HD trailer for this wonderful looking film, Win Win.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: