Interview with CUSTOM’S cinematographer philipp Morozov
Interview by Tanya Kuruvilla
‘Custom’ is an erotic thriller/drama feature-length film battling the darker aspects of human nature and behaviour, shot by Philipp Morozov and directed by Tiago Teixeira. The pair are inspired by alternative inspirations like Phillippe Grandrieux, Igor Poplauhin and both Davids: Cronenberg and Lynch. The film is an uncomfortable watch. The intimate scenes, though, are done artistically and reflect the inner headspace of the character more than the actual happening. Philipp used the @shootblue ‘s R7 Sony Raw recorder to capture these more reflective scenes at 120 fps and 4K resolution, adding a certain surreal-like quality.
For most of the lighting in the film, Philipp used the light bridge system as space in the house was very limited, as was the budget. In fact, considering the content of the film and that it has a running time of about 75 minutes, the ten days they had to shoot were intense and very full indeed. They worked hard through long hours, and the entire film was self-funded. Such is the passion of all who worked on this film. A special mention goes out to the actors who held strong and committed throughout their performances. The cast and crew were consumed in the process and did not do much else for those ten days.
Philipp and Tiago, both draw inspiration from the European cinema scene. Philipp himself has a keen interest in portrait photography (as you can see on his Instagram), and this spills into his cinematography work with the use of intense close-ups and soft lighting, like in cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier’s films.
Philipp aims to become a director as well as a cinematographer, like Philippe Grandrieux and is interested in the darker, more sombre stories of the heart. He draws inspiration from Soderbergh and goes against the grain of needing exceptional equipment to be able to tell a story.
Talking to Philipp is like getting a Film Studies crash course on European art films. You walk away with many names added to that list of films to watch on the notes app on your phone.