I can't even begin to say how proud I am that my friend and closest creative collaborator Drew Daniels was named one of Variety's "10 Cinematographers to Watch in 2016".
I've known how amazingly brilliant Drew is for years, of course, which is why he has shot every movie that I've directed. He is one of the absolute most talented people I've ever worked with. I'm not exaggerating when I say that if I had a choice between Lubeski, Deakins, Kaminski, or Drew, I'd pick Drew. I have no doubt that he will be on the Oscar stage some time in the next decade, and I only hope that I can continue to get to work with him for years to come.
His work on Found Footage 3D (especially when viewed in 3D) is just amazing. It's even more amazing when you consider that he was only operating the camera about half the time. The other half the time it was operated by actor Chris O'Brien, under Drew's supervision, and it's a testament to Drew's skill as a shooter and his dedication to making the premise of the film work that I can no longer remember who shot which parts. Drew taught Chris how to shoot well in just a few days, and between them they were able to really inhabit the character behind the camera and make it totally seamless. It's beautiful when it needs to be, well-choreographed without every LOOKING choreographed, frenetic without being nauseating, and overall perfectly what the movie needed to succeed visually. I set Drew a nearly impossible task with this film and he rose to the challenge and then some. I could not have made this movie without him.
And don't even get me started on First Date, which we shot in 4 days using nothing but a couple of china balls, a 1k, and some practicals.
Immediately after FF3D, Drew went on to shoot Krisha, which won both the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award at SXSW before playing Cannes. He later shot the short Thunder Road, which won the Grand Jury Award at Sundance this January. So he's been having a good year, and we hope our little movie continues his streak of successes.
Congrats Drew. As a filmmaker, I am nothing without your incredible talent and artistry and I wish you only awesome things in the future. Here's to hoping our next collaboration takes us to even greater heights.