Eye On Horror

Saw X Cinematographer Nick Matthews

October 18, 2023 iHorror Season 6 Episode 15
Saw X Cinematographer Nick Matthews
Eye On Horror
More Info
Eye On Horror
Saw X Cinematographer Nick Matthews
Oct 18, 2023 Season 6 Episode 15
iHorror

Send us a Text Message.

This week, the boys welcome Saw X cinematographer Nick Matthews in for an in depth talk about his career, from self taught cinematography in the digital age to crafting the looks of Spoonful of Sugar and Saw X! Nick goes into great techy details about working with the established look of the franchise while modernizing it. 

The boys also review The Exorcist: Believer, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, Saw X, V/H/S/85, No One Will Save You, Elevator Game, The Creator, and Jacob goes to Beyond Fest to review the new Toxic Avenger, Suitable Flesh, When Evil Lurks, and It's A Wonderful Knife! Its all new on EYE ON HORROR!!

https://linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror

Follow us on the socials: @EyeOnHorror or check out https://linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror
Get more horror movie news at: https://ihorror.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

This week, the boys welcome Saw X cinematographer Nick Matthews in for an in depth talk about his career, from self taught cinematography in the digital age to crafting the looks of Spoonful of Sugar and Saw X! Nick goes into great techy details about working with the established look of the franchise while modernizing it. 

The boys also review The Exorcist: Believer, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, Saw X, V/H/S/85, No One Will Save You, Elevator Game, The Creator, and Jacob goes to Beyond Fest to review the new Toxic Avenger, Suitable Flesh, When Evil Lurks, and It's A Wonderful Knife! Its all new on EYE ON HORROR!!

https://linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror

Follow us on the socials: @EyeOnHorror or check out https://linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror
Get more horror movie news at: https://ihorror.com

James Jay Edwards:

Welcome to Eye On Horror the official podcast of iHorror.com. This is episode 114, Otherwise known as season six episode 15. I am your host James Jay Edwards and with me as always is your other host Jacob Davison, how you doing Jacob?

Jacob Davidson:

exhausted. We're only nine days into October and already between screenings, haunts, and all kinds of stuff. It just it. There's so much happening. It is so crazy.

James Jay Edwards:

Yep. Also with us, as always is your other other host and Jon Correia. How you doing Correia? Are you exhausted too?

Jonathan Correia:

Oh, yeah. You know, just like you're keeping busy, you know, not doing as many screenings or haunts I know as Jacob. But you know, just it seems like every weekend there's something you know,

James Jay Edwards:

let's dive right into it. Because we haven't talked in a while and we have a lot to talk about. Our the big release this week is The Exorcist: Believer. Either you guys see this?

Jonathan Correia:

We're, we're just going right into it.

James Jay Edwards:

That we're ripping this band aid off.

Jonathan Correia:

Jacob, you haven't seen it yet?

Jacob Davidson:

No. I mean, it just came out. And I've been pretty, like I said, but pretty swamped with Beyond Fest. Like, I haven't had the chance to really be or do much else.

Jonathan Correia:

Well, we'll keep it spoilery free.

Jacob Davidson:

I mean, I do want to get to it. So yeah, avoid spoilers if possible.

James Jay Edwards:

We have to keep it spoiler free, because there are some massive spoilers that you want to avoid. But it's it's pretty rough. I thought that it was the setup I thought was great. It's basically about these two little girls who go not little girls, they're like, maybe Middle School

Jacob Davidson:

Pre-teens.

James Jay Edwards:

They're their teenager. Yeah, they're like 13-14 and they go into the they go into the woods and they're missing. They think they've been gone for just a couple hours, but they've been gone for three days. And they come back and they are possessed. And so you know, what do you do with the possession, you call it an exorcist. Is that the the part about the little girls going into the woods and coming back that I thought was great, but then once the exorcisms going down, it just gets really really hokey really, really fast. And Ellen Burstyn is in it. And she doesn't need to be they could have done the movie without her and it would have been it's about two hours. They could have done the movie without her and it would have been probably an hour 40 And it wouldn't have lost a thing it's just complete fanservice that Ellen Burstyn is there it she has very little actual impact on the movie. What do you think Correia?

Jonathan Correia:

you know, I was I was pretty pretty into it until like the one hour mark which is when Ellen Burstyn is is brought back and the

James Jay Edwards:

the setup is pretty engaging. You're like oh my god, this is this is good. But then yeah, just

Jonathan Correia:

my my my biggest thing is because and I'll talk about this a bit more with the other ones is I saw three franchise entries this weekend between Exorcist, Pet

Sematary:

Bloodlines, and Saw X and I found myself sitting there going, Okay, why was this? Why was this made? Why was, Why did this story need to be told what about this is is necessary for it. And the only thing with the with The Exorcist: Believer I can think of is well we spent$400 million dollars on the rights and so now we have to make something. There's some really cool ideas that are happening in it that just aren't fully followed through like first of all, there's it's a two person exorcism, which that's really cool. You can do some really cool stuff in there. They have a few cool moments with that, but it never really good finishes the line with it, you know, like it doesn't go that as hard as it could. There's too many moments in the movie where it's like, okay, you're doing this because this is this is what's expected from an Exorcist movie. Okay, so they used to they did out of a new version of Tubular Bells as a montage hype music?

Jacob Davidson:

Oh, jeez.

Jonathan Correia:

I don't know how I feel about that. That was that was a choice. That was was a choice

James Jay Edwards:

Its weird because yeah, because I guess it's a new version and you're like, is that that? That that is that's tubular but it's like you don't realize it at first and then yeah, it the thing is with it is like you said it's a two person exercises, exorcism and possession one of the one of the families The family is like codal Bible beater, you know, fire and brimstone Christians or. And the other

Jonathan Correia:

evangelicals Yeah,

James Jay Edwards:

yeah, yeah. And the other is, is more of an agnostic father, like a single father. So you get kind of the two sides of you know, and, and by the end, they're just throwing everything at the wall to see what will stick. And that's kind of what the characters are doing anyway, they're like, all okay, something has got to work. Let's just try all this stuff. And it gets a little convoluted, you know, it becomes

Jonathan Correia:

Tower of Babel, the exorcism scene, because they do try to be like, first of all, Ellen Burstyn's character basically is just like, I'm not an exorcist. But I'm an expert about exorcism. She tells us that about 10 or 12 times, and they kind of tried to do something where it's like, Alright, we're gonna try. It's like exorcisms for different cultures and stuff. But it's Yeah, it really does become a tower of Babel thing. What all I have to say is there was already a legacy sequel to The Exorcist, where they brought back the character of Chris and Reagan and brought back the whole story of the original of the first movie and continued it really well. And it's called Exorcist The Series. And just like, Yeah, watch that. It's so good.

James Jay Edwards:

Let's move on. Let's what, let's, let's hear about pet cemetery bloodlines.

Jonathan Correia:

And neither have you watched it? No, I

Jacob Davidson:

haven't gotten to that. Oh, boy.

Jonathan Correia:

You guys know, I don't like being negative. So I feel real bad this week. Um, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is the origin story that we didn't ask for. It's, it takes place in the in the 70s. And it kind of follows the story that Judd alludes to, in, in both Pet Sematary movies about a guy coming back from Vietnam and not being right. And so you see, so you get young Judd, it's in the 70s. You got David Duchovny, you got Henry Thomas, you got Pam Grier. So the cast is really great. And it kind of works as like not only an origin story of like, Judd being Judd, but also they do have an origin story of the cemetery itself. And almost nothing works in the movie. Because first of all, it's about young Judd. So it's his big first interaction with the Pet Sematary thing. And by the end of it, you can imagine that a lot of stuff goes down, and a lot of people die, all this stuff. And then you're like, wait, if he went through all that in the 70s, why in the 90s, or 2000s, Did he recommend this grieving father and give them the step by you know, that was always the thing like the originals? Where it was like, why is Judd showing this guy step by step on how to bring back his kid and like this? This movie just makes that look even dumber?

James Jay Edwards:

That's something Yeah, even in the originals. You're like, you know, he even says, you know, dead is better. But I'm gonna show

Jonathan Correia:

Dead's bettah. Yeah. Dead is bettah

James Jay Edwards:

But I'm gonna show you how to do it this way. It's right. Yeah, that's something that that I've never gotten about Pet Sematary. It's like, you should be keeping that secret to your grave. You shouldn't.

Jonathan Correia:

But at the very least in Pet Sematary, and the 90s and the 2000s with both of you like just enough that you're like, you kind of forgive him. You're like, oh, man, he just kind of gave into the grief right? Because both, Pet Sematary is a meditation on grief. It's a meditation on breaverment. Right? And this movie just Isn't at all like all three of the previous Pet Sematary movies were great meditations on greif especially Pet Sematary 2 fuck yeah, dude, Mary Lambert killed it with that one. But this one like it opens up with David Duchovny's character, immediately burying his son who? Timmy who came back from Vietnam in the pet cemetery. So you don't see really any meditation on grief like Timmy just immediately comes back as a vengeance zombie.

James Jay Edwards:

So you don't actually feel anything for Timmy because you didn't know him before like you did Gage Yeah,

Jonathan Correia:

like some weird flashbacks later in the movie but like I really wish they had had to be come back alive but like have massive PTSD and watch that effect happen on Judd, on Tommy's dad and watch like this character get to the point where he has to be buried in the cemetery because you know of PTSD and all that's like really focused on that but instead No, it just becomes like a revenge zombie thing and then, they underused Pam Grier hard like it. I wonder I wonder how much of this got changed in post and how much didn't I'm not going to try rumors but it just kind of feels like especially with the there's suddenly like a lot of flashbacks at the end where it's like was this supposed to be like an opening scene was this must be earlier in the movie but like you've changed it for time. But yeah, dude just that fundamental like not having like missing out on those themes that Pet Sematary is known for? And not really also making Judd even more ridiculous and not a single fucking Maine accent in the entire goddamn movie which I get that happens a lot with King movies but like it's is Pet Sematary you're supposed to your characters when they say dead is better it's supposed to be deads bettah like I get it sometimes some Maine accents sound like Foghorn Leghorn fucked a Kennedy but, come on dude

James Jay Edwards:

let's kill off the, the trilogy. How was Saw X?

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, I loved saw X. I'm not even really that big of a Saw person. But, you know, even as a standalone, and you know, oddly, since it's a prequel, it was a solid movie. And I love that. Yeah, like, just to give a quick rundown basically, it's about Jigsaw, John Kramer, in between Saw and Saw 2 be like, he's trying to find a treatment for his brain cancer. And he gets tricked into this, like grift fake procedure in Mexico. So this time, it's personal. He says it's not personal, but it is personal. And I really loved it because like it really put Kramer and his and Amanda, played by Sidney Sweeney in the spotlight. And it does, it does really humanize humanize them and kind of give their perspective. Plus, there's some really brutal traps. And it also it's nice that you know, like Jigsaw is up against some actually pretty reprehensible people.

Jonathan Correia:

I'm with Jacob in the boat of yes, I've seen all the Saws but I'm not that big of a Saw fan. Like, you know, like, they're fun, you know, but like, overall I you know, I enjoy them but I'm not you know, I really like this one of the three I feel like the people behind Saw X knew, we're making a Saw movie and we're gonna make a damn good solid movie because I especially in the sequels, man sometimes a lot of times I should say they got really bogged down with police procedurals, even though no one knew how to write a police procedural in some of those Saw sequels. And they also got really bogged down with the whole disciples of of of Kramer of Jigsaw and it was like got real preachy, this one it it focuses more on the relationship between John Kramer and Amanda and really humanizes their relationship and Kramer himself and I Yeah, it was just really well done and it didn't forget that it was a Saw movie at any moment you know the traps were really fun yes, there is the then Anna then Anna Anna big thing again, but it wasn't so egregious. Like they actually did like a really decent job where it wasn't like boom, boom, boom, here's 20 different things that you didn't see before like they they like all around it was really well made and I really dug out like it was a modern Saw but it still kept the look and aesthetics of like previous entries as well. So like yeah, no Bravo on Saw X.

James Jay Edwards:

The other big thing that's come out in not not in theaters so much but on Shudder is V/H/S/85 You guys get to V/H/S/85

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. I in fact, I got to see V/H/S/85 on the big screen at Beyond Fest!

James Jay Edwards:

Awesome. What do you think?

Jacob Davidson:

I loved it. I thought it was solid entry. And you know, like I've seen every V/H/S movie and I'm always interested in seeing it and seeing new ones because well, you never know what you're gonna get. They

James Jay Edwards:

this one it's weird because it's been getting kind of skewered people are like not happy with it. And I actually was I thought it was really good. The Scott Derrickson segment which is it's called Dream kill. First of all, you can totally tell it Scott Derrickson because it has Sinister Black Phone vibes written all over it. But it um it might be my favorite since the original V/H/S actually. And also the the one that I forget the guy's name but the guy who did Wrong Turn the remake

Jacob Davidson:

Mike P. Nelson

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, him Mike P. Nelson. He does one that is kind of split in two. And that one I think is really good as well. It's weird though because it's the first segment that's not the wraparound. And it just kind of ends and at first I'm like what the fuck you know this is my problem with V/H/S the they have good ideas that don't end but then it comes back later and ends so don't get frustrated with his. But yeah, I thought that this was a pretty solid entry. It might be my second favorite after the first.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, its, always it's hard to gauge favorites but I was also a big fan of Gigi Saul Guerrero's segment with the earthquake on Mexican television. And they go I don't want to spoil they go into the bowels of the city and This stuff happens and also Natasha Kermani. I really like her segment techno guide where it's basically like a one woman show about VR that goes way off the rails and gave me kind of Lawnmower Man vibes.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, it's quite and it sticks to the 1985 aesthetic, you know, in some cases a little too hard. The the one you mentioned about, about Mexico City earthquake actually looked it up and that earthquake did happen.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, that she talked about that at the q&a. Yeah,

James Jay Edwards:

that's like a legit earthquake when it happened. Cuz there's a specific date. It's like September 17th 1985. And I'm like, I wonder if something that destructive and sure enough, there was actually a real Mexico City earthquake on that time. So what else has been going on What do you been seeing? What else you've been seeing at Beyond Fest?

Jacob Davidson:

Oh, what happened? I've been seeing but no, yeah, no. Yeah, but mostly been working Beyond Fest, but I have managed to see a lot of stuff. And it has been a hell of a great year, there's been a solid lineup. Well, in terms of the new stuff, big shout out to Joe Lynch's Suitable Flesh

James Jay Edwards:

with Heather Graham.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah. Heather Graham and Barbara Crampton.

James Jay Edwards:

Love Heather Graham. She's roller girl, you know?

Jonathan Correia:

Have you seen Boogie Nights? Check it

James Jay Edwards:

once or twice.

Jacob Davidson:

But anyway, yeah, Suitable Flesh was great. I thought it was a fantastic Lovecraft adaptation in line with the works of Stuart Gordon. So definitely check that out when you get the chance. And let's see what else. Oh, I got to see the Toxic Avenger, reboot, remake, etc. With Peter Dinklage. And that shit was awesome.

Jonathan Correia:

I hear that someone Someone said that it was basically they got permission to do a Troma movie but with the Legendary Pictures budget,

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah they did!

Jonathan Correia:

like and like every with like the humor and everything it was there.

Jacob Davidson:

Ya know, it was very much in line with the kind of humor with Troma, plenty of violence, some but not as much nudity, but lots of gross out humor and slime and bodily fluids and what have you is, and yeah, Kevin Bacon and Elijah Wood are really good as the bad guys that are very much against type because Kevin Bacon's like this really stupid, like CEO evil CEO, and Elijah Wood is basically doing his best Igor. Yeah, so it's it. Yeah, it's I don't know what's coming out. But definitely check it out when you can. And also gotta give a big shout out to well, you guys saw Terrified by Demián Rugna? Yeah, well, yeah, I saw his new movie When Evil Lurks and is just as if not scarier than Terrified. Like this is a masterclass in tension building and scares, like, there was one particular scare that I think somebody fell out of their seat. They were so freaked out. That's like, yeah, because basically, it's about demonic possession. And it's kind of like a plague and it goes for it like it really does. And let's see oh, and I saw the new movie from Tyler McIntyre. It's a Wonderful Knife, which is another kind of horror, classic movie mashup from Michael Kennedy. In this case, it's kind of Scream meets It's, It's a Wonderful Life, because it's about this girl who is She's a final girl, she kills the killer, but her life takes a turn for the worse. So she wishes she was never born. So she sees what happens, what life would have been like if she hadn't been born and hadn't stopped the killer.

James Jay Edwards:

That's awesome. That is a great name, too.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, and Justin Long and is in it and I don't want to spoil too much. But he, he plays a real dickhead character. And he's got these veneers that I just can't stop thinking about because of just his inflection with them. It's it's fantastic.

James Jay Edwards:

have you guys gotten around to the Elevator Game?

Jacob Davidson:

No, I haven't.

James Jay Edwards:

It is a, it's a movie. It's just the Elevator Game is one of those creepy pastas. And it's kind of one of the ones that you know, when you're, when you're hearing it or reading it. You're like, Oh, come on, you know, because it's one of those getting the elevator, push four, push eight, push three, push 10, Push five and you know, You're like, oh, hell, but um, this one is this movie. It's by Rebekah McKendry. Directed by Rebekah McKendry. And written by her and her husband, David. And it's it's kind of cool because it's about this it like, like a YouTube show that like investigates, you know ghosts stories and legends and stuff. So they go to an elevator to a building where a girl disappeared as part of this, playing this elevator game and they play the elevator game in this building where this girl disappeared and it's actually pretty creepy. It runs a little long which is weird because I don't think it's a long movie. I think it you know, it's I don't think it's any more than 90 minutes. Maybe I could be wrong on that though. But um, so it does kind of stretch itself out a little bit. But it's actually pretty fun because this group you know, clearly this group goes in plays the elevator game and you know, things go wrong with them playing the elevator game, you know, the elevator game is real, as it turns out, but yeah, I mean, it's it's cool. I mean, it's on Shudder if you like creepy pasta movies.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, like Rebecca and David Mackenzie's work so definitely check that out.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, I like my pasta creepy So also, I don't want to I want to say I want to talk about a positive movie here. I was pretty negative this episode. Not through my own doing. But have you guys seen No One Will Save You?

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah. Oh, that was fun

Jonathan Correia:

Jay you need to fire up your Hulu tonight and watch No One Will Save You. It's a new Brian Duffield movie which we love right? Yeah,

Jacob Davidson:

we love Brian Duffield that's

James Jay Edwards:

it. I was I was going back going way back to V/H/S/85 our pal Nick Junkersfield shot. The way he shot the one that Mike P. Nelson did because Oh, Wrong Turn you know. You know the guy he used his entourage. So it's now that you mentioned Brian Duffield and former guests anyway, continue.

Jonathan Correia:

Well and Charlie Clauser did Saw X So like, friends of the the podcasts are killing it this month. But ya know, it's a new Brian Duffield movie and it stars Caitlin Dever. And it's absolutely phenomenal. It's about this young woman who it's basically a an alien, a home invasion, but with aliens, and so her homes getting bombarded with aliens, right. I don't want to spoil it too too much with it. But there's next to no dialogue in the movie. Which if you know anything about Caitlyn Dever, you know, she's in Booksmart, you know, and a bunch of other things. She's an amazing actress. So she carries that movie, and just like gets put through the ringer.

James Jay Edwards:

What's the reason for the no dialog? Is she is she hearing impaired or is it just that she is there? She's the only character so there's no that you guys remember that Twilight Zone? It's kind of like that with the old woman.

Jacob Davidson:

The invaders

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, the, and there's no dialogue in it until like the very end. I don't want to spoil it.

Jacob Davidson:

But funny enough. Guillermo del Toro did that exact same comparison when he recommended the movie.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah. Yeah. And that's a very good comparison. It's kind of like that, but the aliens are the grey men. And so their faces look very typical, but they do some really cool stuff that I haven't seen anybody do anything with grey men before. So if Jay I know you're really big in Alien movies, you'll really enjoy this like, it's like, classic look and design but like they take it into new different directions, which is really dope.

James Jay Edwards:

If they take it into a big foot direction I'm totally in.

Jonathan Correia:

Theirs there's a there's a there's a I can tell you this there's something with big and there's something with feet with these aliens. So being corrupted,

James Jay Edwards:

I'll check it out.

Jonathan Correia:

No, but they do a really good job of of explaining why there's little to no dialogue and it's very simple. It's just she's a complete shut in. Due to life experience and and it's just like extremely like it hit too close to home like her like going there. It's there's scenes where she goes into town interacts with people and it's the most cringe awkward interactions. And like nothing is said but like through body language everything is said. It's one of those words like it's exactly that. You know, no words are said but so much story is said with like how people interact with each other and what have you and it's phenomenally done. It's it's absolutely just thrilling some of the points and like the ending is just it's it's insane. Yeah, like, again, Caitlin Dever gets put through the fucking ringer both physically and emotionally. All throughout it. So yeah, fire up your Hulu because No One Will Save You it's another one of those 20th century films that went to Hulu. And so it's same quality as Prey same quality as Hellraiser it's it's awesome.

James Jay Edwards:

Cool. I'm fired up. Another thing that I saw that isn't really horror, but it might be of interest is The Creator. You guys see the Creator?

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, I saw an IMAX look.

James Jay Edwards:

Oh, cool. Oh, that's I saw an IMAX as well. That's the only way to see it. It's Oh, it's a spectacle movie. Visually, I loved it. It's just it's just is visually stunning. My issue with it is what it is. It's about basically a war between AI and people. And they're all these robots that they're more than just robots. They're like aI roll as they learn, and they're very, they're almost human like. And the thing my issue with it is that I didn't really care about any of the characters. So the most, the most human character in it is actually a robot. It's this little kid that, um, the main character is played by Denzel Washington's son,

Jacob Davidson:

John David Washington,

James Jay Edwards:

John David Washington. Yeah. And he, he finds he's supposed to be out to find this weapon that the AI have developed, that's supposed to end the war. And when he finds it, it's this. It's this little kid robot that basically, it's a robot that will grow up and learn and develop and just has these superpowers. And the kid is the most human. I didn't care about any of the characters except the kid and the kid is technically the bad guy, even though the Alliance's shift, and it's hard to tell who is right and who's wrong in the movie. So I liked the ideas. And I liked how it looked. I just I didn't care about any of the characters. What about you Jacob?

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, no, I felt that had similar issues. I mean, of course, stunning to look at beautifully shot with some incredible, special and practical facts. But yeah, the plot was a bit lacking. And yeah, the characters didn't really pop out as much. I mean, it was a fun kind of journey movie, even if it wasn't really that deep. But yeah, could it could have been stronger. And it did hit a lot of sci fi cliches. So yeah, it could it could have been better, but I am glad I saw it in IMAX and it was very visually appealing.

James Jay Edwards:

Now let's bring out this episode's special guest. Today, we're joined by Saw X cinematographer Nick Matthews, how're you doing?

Nick Matthews:

I'm doing great. Thanks for having me come on.

James Jay Edwards:

Thanks for being here. The question I always like to start off with is how did you get your start?

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, I, you know, I grew up in a family that loved art and love to literature. I've got an older brother who's studied flute performance and ended up going to Julliard and studying Baroque flute. And I, my parents grew up, you know, showing us all sorts of movies they saw, like Lawrence of Arabia, and very early like second or third grade, and that made a huge impression. But simultaneously, I also grew up in a home that was very fundamentalist, Christian and conservative, and grew up in the South. And so a lot of media was censored, a lot of literature was censored. And so I kind of had to fight to watch any sort of like, more macbre sort of cinema, but the Bible itself has a lot of like, primal dark kind of themes.

Jonathan Correia:

Bible's pretty metal.

Nick Matthews:

Yeah. Yeah, there's a lot of blood, there's a lot of violence, there's a lot of like, you know, the themes of the book are very, they're steeped in violence. And so I think there's actually like a, I would say, in that sort of world, there's actually quite a bit of intrigue and familiarity with violence, much more so than, like sexuality. So that so when I was in, I started just devouring movies. And I was reading, like from very early and got into like Kafka and Hemingway and a bunch, you know, Hawthorne and a bunch of other writers. Flannery O'Connor was a big influence. And then I started watching movies in high school, probably because of Lord of the Rings coming out, Gladiator and some of these films. And then there was like, the era where they were doing tons of behind the scenes. And, you know, I think they're trying to figure out how to sell box DVD and sets and stuff like that. And so I started making films with friends in high school and doing that sort of thing. And when Saw came out, I got just, you know, it actually was something I was very excited to watch. And I really pressed and pressed and eventually rented it from blockbuster. And, you know, that was sort of that was sort of my very beginning like childhood interest in it and then eventually I went to like a small Christian school, studied electronic media. I came to Los Angeles into like an internship for a little bit on a film called Pete Smalls is Dead that has like Peter Dinklage, Steve Buscemi, Lena Headey, and Mark Boone Junior Bunch of really interesting talent and I got to see that and be a PA on that project. And then I ended up working at a religious organization for a few years and kind of in the process, I lost my faith and also started shooting stuff on the side and this was about 10 years ago and I decided to give it a shot. I knew I would regret it. If I didn't move to Los Angeles and try to work in the movies. I wanted to be a cinematographer. And I wanted to, you know, be able to pursue that. So I had been shooting, kind of since high school, I've been shooting and directing. And then in college, I sort of realized that I wanted to pursue cinematography. That's when I first discovered people like who Roger Deakins was, and manual basky and a bunch of these other, you know, really heavy hitter, sort of greats, and then just started reading. And I didn't go to a formal education for cinematography, I just started reading a bunch of things and shooting my own things and, you know, moved to LA and it was just a very slow path of doing like, jobs off Craigslist, and Mandy and a bunch of other things, but I got really lucky.

Jonathan Correia:

I remember those years.

Nick Matthews:

I've done done my share of like, $300 a day like Christian rap video or whatever, on Craigslist, whatever, could just I can make a little money to pay the bill. You know,

Jonathan Correia:

that low budget music video that's like, hey, we couldn't afford a fog machine who vapes here who

Nick Matthews:

exactly yeah,

Jonathan Correia:

you're you're I was a grip during that time. So they were like, oh, yeah, your grip you vape come fill this room with fog. I'm like, no. Okay. Nicotine poison. What?

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, exactly.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah. So how did you get your start into doing cinematography for feature films?

Nick Matthews:

Yeah. So I, because I had done, I got lucky in that I had, you know, when I worked at this religious religious organization, we've done a few like bigger, I'll just say that they are, I worked at the Creation Museum when they were starting to build the Ark Encounter. And so as a result, we like, we're shooting some of their promotional material for the Ark Encounter, which, you know, I completely disagree with the dogma and ideology of the places, but it's where I was at the time in my life. But it gave me the opportunity to shoot some stuff that was period that had some bigger production value. And then every time we would rent gear, like at the time, that was the red MX and then the Red Epic. To shoot something for the Creation Museum, I would take it and go with one of the friends that I worked with there. And we would just go shoot our own short film or our own commercial projects. So I started assembling a reel doing that. I when I moved to Los Angeles, I was very cautious about telling anyone I'd done any sort of religious work because I didn't want to be pigeonholed or associated with it. And I wanted to kind of make a new break and new start. So when I moved to LA, I had my wife and I moved out here, we'd saved up a little money and didn't quite know how we were going to make it. And so in that process, I was applying to shoot features on Mandy and Craigslist. I just knew I needed to get one in order to get more. And so the very first movie I did was I did I got something off of Mandy that was like an experimental horror film. It never actually came out as far as I know. But we did crazy stuff on it. We shot like, you know, 30 Naked extras for a cult dancing around which smells terrible in the middle of the night. You know, we did like, a lot. Yeah, it was just kind of a crazy movie. It's the first time I watched like, started watching like Gasper Noel lay and some of the sort of filmmakers and like, watch Suspiria before we made that. And so it really was just like, there was a bit of luck involved in getting that project. And then I was able to use that project in order to get another independent feature, I probably got booked at like three or four months after that. So I actually got on a run for a little bit of doing a few like independent films, but it took me probably six or six or so years to do a movie that I was actually stood behind as an audience member and also as a filmmaker.

James Jay Edwards:

You said that you didn't have any formal training as cinematographer. How did you learn it? Because we had a Marcus Friedlaender on a while back, and we were talking about film school. And he said that the most important thing in film school is to learn storytelling, because you can learn the mechanics and the technical stuff from like, YouTube. How did how did you learn all of the mechanics and technical stuff?

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, I it's because I'm very much a product of the digital cinema era. Like I didn't shoot anything on film until like, probably three years ago. Most of my work started as a result of digital cinema. So candy, you know, I started with camcorders then like three and you know, three CCD like, cameras which were like camera, camcorder, you know, the old Ikegami cameras and then eventually, like started shooting on like the DVX100 XL one. So it really was like as camera technology came out because of the, you know, the spheres of influence I was in. I had access to a lot of those cameras. And so I would say Take them, and I would learn them. And then I would actually, I shot shorts in college, I shot shorts, you know, through out that sort of period. And I would use those experiences of shooting to try and you know, every time you shoot something, you would light it, and you would try to figure out how to use so it really was kind of piece by piece, it's like, I started off with, you know, an ARRI, you know, an ARRI kit that had like two or 300 Watt, you know, for nails on it and 650 like, between, like the 220s and, you know, two or 300, you know, and then you would figure out what, what if I use diffusion opes, I put it against the barn doors, and I melted it onto them, because I didn't understand that the gel doesn't go directly on the done it, you know, put a light. So it was like a very hands on very, like, almost anything like a videographer. I was just doing it myself. And I got the opportunity to be on a few bigger sets. But it really was like, you know, piece by piece. And then it's like, eventually you have enough money or project where it's Oh, we can shoot on the red MX with a set of super speeds. And we're using lights to actually light this project. And so I was, you know, in that era, it's like, oh, I just know how to use Kinos. And I was like, okay, like, we'll use like these lights called Vista beams. And we'll use the, you know, as our punchy source and all this sort of stuff, because I didn't know how to run power more than like, you know, 20 amps at a time. So it really was like, every project that I did was like, I want to try to figure out a way to do something new. And every project gave me a new opportunity or capacity. And luckily, because of the you know, because of having access to gear, because of having access to some resources, I was able to sort of do that sequentially. And then I remember when DSLRs came out, and I was just like, holy shit, this changed everything like we could do, we could create very high, you know, heightened cinematic images with small cameras. And sure, there were some, you know, the 5D wasn't perfect, and the 7D wasn't perfect. But it opened the door for a lot of prosumer videography, videographers to make very cinematic images. So I think yeah, I mean, it was, I would say that David Mullin, read us, you know, red user thread was extremely valuable. Roger Deakins has a forum that's available online, very, extremely valuable. There's a number of books that I could recommend that, you know, became a big part of my understanding. And I would say stuff, like, The Visual Story by Bruce Block is like a really pivotal book, you know, and it really was also at the same time, I was less, you know, watching movies, and reading literature and listening to DVD commentaries, like, not nonstop. And you actually do just learn a lot by hearing the stories people tell by hearing how they think about filmmaking. So yeah, it's felt like, you know, I've been doing this professionally, I've been working as a cinematographer for 10 years. And I think, every, you know, every single one of those years I've been learning, and before that, even just to have enough of a reel to go out there and say, I'm a cinematographer. It was, it was a real process to learn along the way. So there have been a lot of moments where I was confused and didn't know what something did. And you ask questions, and then you rent it, and you try it on set. And you're like, okay, an M40s, not as bright as I thought it was, you know, or whatever, you know, and you need to be like, Oh, I did need an 18k. And, you know, but it has been very gradual. I've only even just recently, on the last, I joined the Union on the last movie I did, and condors, you know, condors and 18K's on probably three projects of, you know, many, many, many. So it just, it really is like a process and you don't always have the budget to do everything you want. And then there are times where you're like, this is I don't know how to light 200 yards and a mansion at the same time without a condor? You know,

James Jay Edwards:

how is the transition to film from digital? Because film is what it's, it's a different kinds of shooting, it's a completely different animal. How did how did you make that transmission transition?

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, so I want to do more of it. I only shot two projects on 16 millimeter. They and both of those have come through a friend where we, the first one, you know, you kind of have to take this approach of no one's gonna hand anything to you in this industry. So you sort of have always taken this mindset of, if there's something you want to do, you need to do it first, and then somebody might be willing to pay you to do it. So one of those choices was there was a music video that a friend wanted to do. And you know, we didn't have a huge budget because it was an alternative rock band. And you know, very Nine Inch Nails sort of Cronenberg sort of concept. And we were just like 16 millimeter feels right for this. So he and I both decided, let's toss our rate in, we won't make anything on this, and we'll just shoot it on film. And we did that as a way to create a piece that, you know, gave us the bargaining tool to say I can shoot this project on film for the future. The trend, the process of doing it was very exciting for me. And so you know, I'm very used to digital, very used to the way that digital under exposes, but I've also shot 35 millimeter stills and, you know, I've been using a light meter for years, I'm not, I don't lean on my light meter, because false color is so good and monitoring so good. And there's so much that I don't necessarily need a light meter for, but learning to be able to say, okay, like, I'm going to, you know, I'm going to respect what the negative gives me and I'm going to meter at a certain stop. And then I'm going to light to that it was fun to sort of scientifically be like, everything's two stops under, you know, and everything's going to live in this kind of darker space for a specific grain. And it was scary in the sense that, like, we didn't have the money to go and test before we shot. So it was making decisions based off of limited information. And then, you know, the next time I got to do it, I felt a little more comfortable. And it was still the same process of like, letting go. I think there's an advantage to shooting in a way where you don't have immediate feedback, it allows you to let go a little because you don't know that and sure you're anxious, I was anxious at night, but then you have the scans back. And it's sort of this beautiful thing where they just actually look so much better than you envisioned they would. And that was my experience both times was like, Oh my God, this just does what I wanted to do. And looks the way I want to look.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, shooting on film is nerve racking, because you don't get the immediate feedback. And it's like you said, it's almost like science, you can measure out the focal, you know, and light meters. But it looks so beautiful. When it's done

Nick Matthews:

yeah, it's just a great, it really, it's frustrating, because, you know, in the end of the day, it's like almost everything I shoot, I want the digital work to feel more like film. And I, you know, I'm always looking for ways to sort of rip the image apart and make it more textural, and sort of have it be something that doesn't feel so clean. And you know, sort of like where you feel the the zeros and ones of digital. So film, I just love, I love the poetry of it, I love that it does feel like you know, feels like something you could pick up and hold in your hand. There's like, just like some a textural quality to it. And the way it reads colors, the way that highlights roll out, roll off and sort of bloom in film. And those are things that with the right colors, you can do a lot to get you very close to that kind of feel. But it's just, you know, it's just not quite the same. I have yet to do anything long form on on film, almost every project, it's just not a financial possibility or not doesn't work for the style. You know, the last four films I've shot at then two cameras for almost every setup. And that's just a lot of film to burn.

James Jay Edwards:

And also, unless you're you know, Scorsese or Tarantino, like you said the budgets not there, it's much more expensive to shoot on film.

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, yeah, it's just you have to take in those upfront development and, and like, processing and purchasing costs. And for some people, it's totally worth it. And they're able, you know, that's worth what it means in the budget. And for most films, it's just not a possibility.

Jonathan Correia:

I'm just thinking of those early Apatow comedies where they would have two camera, you know, multi cameras going and they doing all that improv but it was all on film too. And it's just like, Jesus how many feet of did you go through on that? Just what the multiple takes and everything total? It's a you've had a great year because not only did Saw X come up but Spoonful of Sugar as well. That hit Shudder this year. I don't think we're gonna get you on the show when that first came out but schedules didn't lineup. But tell me what was the Spoonful of Sugar visually is very different from Saw, I really want to get into Saw, But Spoonful of Sugar. This contrast the color is everything. And the visuals were the walk us through a bit of your process and ideas with that one.

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, absolutely. So a Spoonful of Sugar was a you know, it's made for Shudder their their films tend to have like a fairly limited budget. And so you have to make something that works within the confines of that sort of budget. I got brought on to Spoonful of Sugar. It was sort of happenstance and very exciting happenstance. I was friends with a producer ser that. That works at Vanishing Angle, this person who Natalie Metzker. And she was involved with Thunder Road and a bunch of other really tremendous independent films. And I reached out to her just to reconnect, and she was actually starting prep on Spoonful of Sugar. And at the time, originally, Oren Sofer was supposed to shoot it. But Oren had booked, The Creator, and so Oren went off to shoot the Creator. And I met Mercedes, Bryce Morgan, the director of Spoonful of Sugar, right around that time, and we just hit it off right away, we actually just, we just shot another movie in Georgia earlier this year. And it was, you know, we jumped budgets and did like a$5 million erotic horror thriller. So, you know, so and we took a lot of what we did on spoonful of sugar and brought it to the table on that film. So spoonful of sugar is a film that it's because it's psychedelic, because it deals with LSD, because it's, you know, sort of a babysitter kind of a film, it plays with a lot of the tropes of those kinds of movies. And we wanted the visual language to essentially go from realism into magical realism. So it moves from realism to surrealism. And the movie kind of starts with these very, like bright, more lush kind of tones. And there's, you know, we're using much more fairytale kind of imagery. So there's a lot of haze, there's a lot of shafts of light, we're using, you know, mixed color palettes, but it's much more subtle than like something like saw, which is much grittier, and more, you know, maybe more pronounced. The looks in this movie are much more elegant and more painterly, I would say. And so we were using, you know, we still play with shutter speed and frame rate, we're still doing stuff, where we're playing with that for some of the LSD sequences, we're still using Vaseline on the lenses to play with creating like a different tonal sort of like approach to scenes, we're doing a lot with macro lenses, or we're shooting like, eyes and lips. And, you know, it's sort of creating this kind of like, this sort of cadence and rhythm to the photography. And then also, you know, for something like spoonful of sugar we, I mean, I had a gripping electric team of three people, you know, and I had one of my my swing would jump, when we would have finished shooting a scene or a shot, I'd finished lighting and then my swing would jump in. And I basically, we use the Alexa Mini with super speeds as a camera. And then I had a Blackmagic 6k Like pocket camera with like old Nikon lenses that we use as a p camera. And so we actually mixed those cameras quite a bit for that movie. And it's just, yeah, it's very like visually, it's very painterly, and it's a different kind of horror, it's, you know, it's much more about erotic tension and building erotic tension. We use a lot of lavender. In that movie, it was based off of a there's this French photographer whose name is escaping me right now. But he had this collection called in, in some, you know, and so on. And it was like, these night work shots. I mean, Crewdson was obviously a reference, but we're, you know, we pulled the lavender from that photographer, and we were like, we haven't seen a movie that plays with lavender, Moonlight, lavender night tones. And, you know, it's usually like blue or much more like cyan, or like steel blue. And we wanted to play with like, magenta, like lavender kind of, you know, tones. And then we also played a lot with Amber. And so we were using Amber and lavender throughout the movie and playing with those tonal spaces. And there's, we pulled the saturation back on a lot of these sorts of pieces. So yeah, I mean, the photography for that movie, similar to the costume design and sort of the actual aesthetic of the place because it's essentially a one location. Not quite, but you know, home it's like a home of horror film set in that beautiful house and in that home we shot in was actually all made of old redwood and just really gorgeous. So we're able to do these like, very, like Renaissance or, you know, old, like shafts of light Rembrandt sort of, like poking into the darkness. I mean, there's still darkness, there's still, you know, there's some staples to the work that I do. And it's like playing the shadow playing with darkness playing with contrast, trying to develop some sort of visual arc or some sort of color arc through the movie. So yeah, that's just a few pieces of kind of like about spoonful of sugar and it was a lot of fun and it was well received and I honestly can't wait for people to see the next movie that Mercedes and I did because we shot an anamorphic we, you know, we kind of had we just had a bigger budget to play with and so are we took those tonal choices that we made on screen full of sugar. And we're like, let's take this to the next level. And let's play and let's go big. So but yeah,

Jonathan Correia:

I'm exciting because yeah, Spoonful of Sugar was very visually like, appealing. It was like across the board. So

Nick Matthews:

Thank you so much,

Jonathan Correia:

Always happy to hear what people do something really good and they're like they're like we got more of a budget this time. So we're gonna go next level I'm like, I can't wait to see what that looks like.

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, it's really fun movie. Yeah, I can't I haven't seen it yet but I'm just hearing great things and it was really fun to shoot. So

Jonathan Correia:

yeah. Now visually on the spectrum on the other side Saw X which is very realistic very gritty as a very dirty look to it but it also has a very established look to it has a very established style of filmmaking, editing all this stuff and with Saw X you guys were all around I'd say like from from the spirit of script, through the editing to cinematography everything you guys were able to like take what's been done before, replicate, but also modernize it and put your own spin on it. So what was what was very well too I was very happy with Saw X what was what was that like take your gun, something with that type of legacy and that type of established aesthetic while also trying to put your own kind of spin on it.

James Jay Edwards:

I actually wanted to ask about that too, because you had said that you Saw was one of the movies that you kind of lobbied to let your family let you watch. Did you approach it as a fan? So you knew the history? So now answer Correia's question. It's kind of this kind of the same question.

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, totally. I think, you know, I was not a super fan in the sense that like, I kept up with the franchise throughout its entire sort of the process of like every movie coming out. I watched Saw in high school. And then I saw two and three. After that, I think I went to college and then started just like watching a bunch of different kinds of films, you know, everything from Tarkowski, to Evil Dead and all that. So I think because it was very formative for me though, it was something I really cared about. And I remember why I loved it the very first time I saw it, and I hadn't really revisited any of the soft films until I booked the job. So when the script came my way, I just, it came through my feature representative. And he was just like, I think I've got some he'll be really interested in. It's the next Saw movie. And I was like, oh, fuck yes. I read the script. And I was actually just like, this is the best script of the franchise of what I had seen. And I've only seen 1-3 Yeah, and I always was like, this is a fantastic script. It got Tobin Bell, like front and center, because John Kramer is front and center and the emotional story of John Kramer is front and center. I felt like there were fantastic twists in the film. And not, you know, it's the sort of film that didn't just have one twist, and then it's game over. Because at the end of the day, we always knew that one of the early first act twists was going to be spoiled by the trailer, which you know, it's frustrating at the end of the day, because you want people to experience something for the first time and but, you know, everyone knows going into a solid movie, at some point, people are gonna end up in traps. So, you know, there is a certain, there's a certain expectation, um, I read the script, and then I interviewed for the job five hours after that. So I didn't have a lot of time to process how I felt to put together a lookbook, anything like that. But I did get to see Kevin Gertz lookbook. And I got a sense of what he saw as and so much of what our initial conversations about the movie were, came from a place of what do we love about Saw, what do we love about the early films, you know, and Kevin was like, watch 123 and six. And those will be what we use as a basis for what we make in Saw X, we knew it was set between Saw one and Saw two. So that immediately meant for me, I wanted this film to feel like you could put Saw one on, then you could immediately turn and watch this movie and then immediately turn on watch Saw two and not feel like somehow you've departed completely from the world of these movies. So as much as you know, I know that fans we're not a big fan of Jigsaw fans. We're not huge fans of Spiral, you know, worked for some people it didn't for a lot. I didn't watch either of those movies before I shot this film because I didn't want to be influenced by the decisions that they made. I did watch them after we shot the movie. And I have seen them since and, you know, those movies decided to shoot anamorphic though, or at least in a cinema scope, sort of aspect ratio. They're much more modern look, they're much cleaner. They're more they're more precise, and in some ways, what Kevin and I were interested in and what we talked about and what we loved was we love the Giallo color palettes of the early films. I mean, Billy's basically lifted from Deep Red, like Billy, it's, you know very much from the Giallo world. And while Giallo films don't all like, connect with me or click with me Suspiria, and Deep Red and some of these films, they all have these big moments. And they're so expressionistic with lighting and with the camera, so we wanted to return to this sort of Giallo color palette. In the early 2000s, it was very much driven by the DI and the color grade, we wanted to do it with lighting, you know, and we still, of course, color corrected the film, but it was more for matching purposes and less for like, Let's go green. Let's go blue. You know, and I think some of the early Saw films fill some of monochromatic. Yeah, and it's like we're in, you know, we're in the original bathroom, and it's blue. And there's nothing, you know, or we're in the, you know, this sort of like, the trap house, and it's, you know, it's yellow, it's ochre yellow. And so I wanted to kind of take some of those colors they played with in a very monochromatic sense. And I wanted to blend them in use color separation, to still have primary colors, but then play with some of those other colors in the background. As lights turn on, and, you know, or as traps turn on and shut off in the movie, I wanted us to sort of have lights turn on and shut off to kind of connect with what the traps are doing as though John built these things on circuit timers. You know, he's very theatrical, he creates these traps that individually speak to everyone's morality and their own choices. And so I think we got a lot of leeway with the lighting. I mean, he's wearing a robe. You know, he's got these big decisions he's already made. So I think I just wanted to to also live with the tech of 2000, early 2000. So no led, we use LED, but we didn't treat it as LED. We treated it everything. You know, all of every light you see inside the main game space in this movie is a LED light that I have complete control over on a digital console, but it's all put inside of industrial fixtures and housings. So I wanted to return to the industrial feel and look of the original Saws. We from a design perspective, Anthony Stably, our production designer, they were building in these oxidized rusty, you know, make you want a tetanus shot kind of environments, they brought in the chains and the like fencing and like those were staple pieces, and those are staple things we looked at, for us Saw was, you know, light, its darkness where lights poking into the darkness, it's, it's light embedded in darkness. So we're using practical lighting where there's a roughness to it, this film moves from a more dramatic space into more of a horror space. So we do start with a lighter, more like as saccharin as Saw gets, it's still got to look, it's still got a style, it's very pushed. But its so contrasty there's always deep blacks in the movie, but it doesn't necessarily, you know, there's more of a Rembrandt rapping, like there's more beauty to it. And then as the movie gets more brutal, and you know, the twists start to unfold and a trap start to happen, we take all the colors we've set up in the abduction scenes and the beginning of the movie. And we play those out in their most heightened extravagant form. So that's on the lighting side. On the from the camera side, we were not able to shoot 35 millimeter, which is what they shot those early films. But what I did was I used these cook, I classic pink rose, which are modern lenses. And then they have like modern, you know, housings modern everything, that they're designed to look like vintage lenses in terms of the way the Glass reads the world. So you have a softness to them you have fall off on the edges, you have, you know, all of these vintage characteristics. And then on top of that we use filtration in front of the lens, we use the pearlescent one, in order to break the image up, soften it up and take away from this sort of digital, you know sort of tone. And then additionally, we shot at a high ASAP so most of the movie was shot at 2000 AASA. Now the Ventus is technically a 500 as a 2500 as a camera. So technically regains down a little from that just give us a little bit of a safety stop. But I wanted to start from a place where we were already baking some grain into the film, we added more grain and post we didn't want to go so far because we knew we couldn't do a film out. We and ultimately adding green in posts it can feel very digital implant, you know, it can be wrong if you're too far. I wanted to film out I pushed to shoot, you know, an eight millimeter for some of the traps to really bring in a gritty aesthetic, but ultimately, we ended up shooting on the Venice and then I also had a Blackmagic 6k pocket camera that I just you know I purchased it for a Spoonful of Sugar to give Mercedes a second camera on that movie. And then I was like this is gonna be my cinematic outro that I take around with me and shoot stuff. And so there's actually some pretty Some important shots in the movie that ended up on that black magic, one of which is, you know, there's a certain trap that places someone under a waterfall of blood and I'll just say that is hopefully not spoilery. And there's the cameras right here on the person. And that's my black magic rigged onto this, you know thing. And there's, we're doing stuff like in the brain surgery trap, which is in the trailer. And there's, you know, rear Lens, I'm using lens whacking and shooting at six frames a second and I'm doing low shutter speed, and that's to create kind of those film rollout sort of looks. So the light bleed happens in Kevin, because Kevin directed and cut the movie he was able to cut those pieces in. We're additionally we brought back the circular dolly track. You know, we wanted to bring that in and just be like, fuck you It's Saw! Like we love that stuff! Yeah, we're just like, this is fun, like, the traps open, and we do snap zooms where it's like it starts on a character and then snaps back. And it's very giallo, it's very heightened. I think of soft sort of as like, Seven by way of a new metal music video. Like, exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point, reveal of information, revealing information, you know, and, and there's, I think we have some really like, for instance, there's an abduction sequence. I won't give away which character that just, you know, I think we we nailed a very Giallo sort of like sequence with this one specifically, that happens in a house where there's a lot of lighting cues and reveals of characters and things. And I think so for us, it was like, let's take what makes the original Saw great. And these, you know, these other films great, what a fans love about them, what do we love about them, the griminess, the grit, the texture, you know, we loved that they sort of go for broke with the camera movement, that there's no like, you know, they're not just sitting the movie, don't the movies don't sit around, there's an in this movie, there's 4000 cuts. I mean, there's, you know, are over that. So it really is about crafting a visual language that just keeps the audience perpetually moving forward, guessing what's going to happen next. And then additionally, we shot in a 1.85 aspect ratio, because I wanted, once again, I wanted this to feel like a bridge between Saw one and Saw two. Yeah, I think one of the big concerns or questions and that was also like, Okay, our actors are 20 years old, or you know, and I was just like, we just have to accept, like, we're not going to make deep fake. People will accept that these actors are older, because every time I went in and tried to clean up the light, to glamorize them and make them look younger, it didn't feel like a Saw movie.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah. And I did want to ask, because the movie does focus a lot on John Kramer in a more intimate light. And I think, pretty much any of the other movies did. And I just was wondering how that affected your work in going from that to, you know, the traps and the gore?

Nick Matthews:

Absolutely. Yeah, it's, I think, because we wanted to tell, you know, we were nervous that fans wouldn't want to stick through the drama, frankly, you know, there's Saw all traditionally has like an opening trap that's not tends to not be related to the rest of the movie, we sort of found a different way to work that into this film. But I, in general, we were hoping that the strength of Tobin Bell as a performer, that the intrigue around his story, and then also that we were telling a very emotional human story about somebody who is dying of cancer and looking for any possible hope, you know, in a way out. We were hoping that that would be enough to carry the audience forward. So I think we did approach shooting the early sequences, you know, in the beginning of the film, The movie starts in the US. So he took a very like, steely blues, grays, whites, you know, sort of a monochromatic bluish sort of tones to reflect John's world. He's dying of cancer, he's, you know, he's sick in the face is there's a whitish pneus to his skin tone even. And we wanted to shoot it in a more traditional character drama. And also, like, there's a lot of intimate close ups where we end up like, you know, right in John's face, where it's eyes to mouth. And I think for us if it was, let's trust the strength of Tobin Bell as a performer, let's trust that. We got very lucky. I mean, most of the saw films have not had nearly the strength for performers we've had. We had fantastic cast. And so I think, you know, we shot the beginning more as a traditional drama. Then we move into Mexico, we do go for this like jaundice yellow, we knew people would call it out and people would say, Oh, the yellow filter, but we were like, Look, do we establish like, we're like, we want Mexico to feel gold and we want it to feel rich and lush with green and red. And, and then when this, you know, this sort of twist happens and we start to end up seeing these abductions and the scams and the traps, then we're going into a heightened color palette where everything is starting to be a little more punchy to call it, you know, the yellows turn from being gold to more jaundiced, the, you know, the the green start to take more precedents, the red start to come alive, you know. And so then I'm taking those sort of colors, I'm playing them in the abduction scenes knowing that I'm going to take the same color palettes and amp them up in the trap sequences. So I think the beginning is it's brighter, it's more filled in, there's more of a lushness to it. And it's, you know, shot and a little bit. There's no, it doesn't make sense to do like big snap zooms, and big push the traps sort of create the environment to let us get away with that kind of heightened language, that really expressive language. So that's kind of Yeah, approach wise, sort of what we did. And beginning of the movie is more like sticks and Dolly, there's an steadicam. And that actually is the trap start, we move into more like handheld intercut with techno crane and handheld and, you know, so it's very, like, you know, gritty gritty in the moment, and then boom, like, it's this crazy, like techno crane shot or Zoom shot or whatever like that. Cool.

James Jay Edwards:

We are all out of time for this morning. But before we go, what do you got coming up? What's next for Nick Matthews?

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, so I'm getting ready to color on this film I brought up earlier. It's called Bone Lake. It's produced by this company called LD Entertainment that did stuff like Jackie and they just sold a movie called The Curse to neon. They do really fantastic work. They were super supportive of our creative process. And I can't wait to color that film. Then, you know, the strikes, the actor strikes still ongoing. So I don't know what my next feature will be. But I hope it's something that gives me an opportunity to do some really exciting visual world building and take people on another journey. That's just as dark and weird as Saw X.

James Jay Edwards:

Were can people catch up with you to keep track of you? Are you on the socials? You know, so? So when you do know what's next? It'll be announced there?

Nick Matthews:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, you can follow along. I'm on Instagram @NickMatthewsfilm. And feel free to hit me up ask me questions. I, you know, I'm come from a background where I didn't have access to a lot of people or resources as I was learning how to be a cinematographer. So I genuinely do like sharing that information with people who are up and coming and people who are figuring it out on their own. So please do hit me up. Ask questions. I'm very happy to answer them and share about my process. And hopefully it leads to other people making more provocative and challenging work on their own. And I just can't wait to see what all of you guys make.

James Jay Edwards:

Well, cool. Thank you for joining us this morning. As far as we go. You can find Eye On Horror on any of the socials under @EyeOnHorror or ihorror.com which is a site we call home. Our theme music is by Restless Spirits. They have a new record out Afterimage you gotten it Correia,

Jonathan Correia:

I have the record ordered. Yeah. And they put some of their tour shirts online,

James Jay Edwards:

Restless Spirits Afterimage. It's out. Now, our artwork is by Chris Fisher. So go give him a like and go see Saw X with Nick Matthews cinematographer. And thanks for joining us again and we will see you all in a couple of weeks. So for me, James Jay Edwards.

Jacob Davidson:

I'm Jacob Davison.

Jonathan Correia:

I'm Jonathan Correia.

Nick Matthews:

I'm Nick Matthews.

James Jay Edwards:

Keep your eye On horror

Intros
Jay and Correia Review The Exorcist: Believer (In Theaters)
Correia Reviews Pet Sematary: Bloodlines (On Paramount+)
Jacob and Correia Review Saw X (In Theaters)
Jacob and Jay Review V/H/S/85 (On Shudder)
Jacob Beyond Fest Reviews Suitable Flesh (In Theaters)
Jacob Beyond Fest Reviews The Toxic Avenger Reboot (Coming Soon)
Jacob Beyond Fest Reviews When Evil Lurks (In Theaters 10/27)
Jacob Beyond Fest Reviews It's a Wonderful Knife (In Theaters 11/10)
Jay Reviews Elevator Game (On Shudder)
Correia and Jacob Review No One Will Save You (On Hulu Plus)
Jay and Jacob Review The Creator (In Theaters)
Introducing Cinematographer Nick Matthews!!
Self Taught In The Digital Age
Going From Digital To Shooting on Film
The Colors of Spoonful of Sugar (On Shudder)
Balancing Established Looks of Saw and Adding To It
Going From Character Drama to Death Traps
Whats Next for Nick Matthews?
Outros and Restless Spirits New Album is Out Now!
Restless Spirit Goes Hard ASF