The Man in the High Castle cinematography Gonzalo Amat talks about creating the perfect visuals for the show

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE -- Amazon Studios -- Acquired via EPK.TV
THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE -- Amazon Studios -- Acquired via EPK.TV /

Gonzalo Amat is the cinematographer for The Man in the High Castle. His is one of the most challenging jobs on set and he shares exclusively with Amazon Adviser what it’s like and why his job is so important.

The Man in the High Castle may be coming to an end after the fourth season but that doesn’t stop us from being excited. There are currently so many questions. While Gonzalo Amat couldn’t share any answers to the questions, he did explain more about his challenging job as the cinematographer for the series.

His job isn’t just about shooting the series, but about making decisions on lighting, focus, and much more. With different worlds, there are different visual effects needed. How does it all come together?

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Amazon Adviser There will be some people who have no idea what a cinematographer does. Can you briefly explain what you do for The Man in the High Castle?

Gonzalo Amat: Sure! Basically, I’m responsible for the look of the show, anything that’s inside the camera. It’s mostly the camera, movement, light and darkness, framing, composition, things like that. The visual aspect of The Man in the High Castle.

I look at where the focus is, making sure there is focus, those elements of the photography.

AA: That all plays an important part in the series, with so many different timelines, alternate worlds, different parts of the country. What is it like to pull all that together and bring something so visually appealing for the audience?

Amat: It’s a lot of conversations about concepts. We talk about what the story is about and look at the different worlds. We build the visual concepts for the worlds, such as darkness, architectural framing. But then we need to tell the story in a way that feels familiar, so wide angle, close ups, etc.

We have to adapt so people relate to the series. They feel like they’re in a different world but one that is possible. It’s a team effort when it comes to concepts and execution.

It is a complex but rewarding project. There’s so much texture with everything we try to do.

AA: Have there been many shifts in the styles? It all started with the one alternate world and we’ve delved into more dimensions.

Amat: Yes. Whenever there’s a new world or dimension, we talk about the concepts. For example, the real 1962, we looked at footage from 1962 and look at how we would show that.

Every time there’s a new world, we have rules set up from the concept and script and from what the characters are experiencing.

Image acquired via Impact 24 PR
Image acquired via Impact 24 PR /

AA: The characters have grown so much now and there are lots of questions. What’s it been like, for you, when trying to tell these new stories. Can you tease anything?

Amat: It’s all based on what we’re trying to say in that moment. What is the character in this moment feeling or doing? We base our storytelling on the script. The evolution itself has worked with the evolution of the character.

A change in the character has changed how we shoot it. It’s great because it’s not your average TV show where everything looks the same. Every location is different in The Man in the High Castle, so we’ve evolved differently.

But it does still feel familiar. We still have some of the same visual elements.

Last season, we saw Juliana have to do something terrible. We used handheld close-ups, which we hadn’t done before but the script called for it, so we did it.

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AA: Does working outside a lot affect your decisions? In the studio, you have a lot more control over lighting. How does natural light affect your decisions?

Amat: Oh, it’s tricky. The exterior shots are the most challenging. We’re in Vancouver, so our weather changes a lot. It’s challenging because you have to keep the unity. There’s a lot of planning involved with the sun direction or the clouds. We have to adapt the equipment we need to control the sunlight.

We have limited daylight in the winter and nighttime in the summer, so that’s also a challenge. Every time I see “exterior” in the script, I wonder how we’ll do it. It’s a lot of planning.

AA: Everyone coming together to make it work. Is there one particular moment that you’ve filmed in The Man in the High Castle Season 4 that you can’t wait for the fans to see?

Amat: There are a few moments that are great. It’s always a challenge to wait for the series. There are some really nice twists and interesting moments. The Man in the Hight Castle Season 3 we had to wait a long time to show some of the sets we got.

Season 4 there are new sets and some of the characters are visually interesting. We have evolved from the third season in a cool way.

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AA: Has there been a specific place or timeline that you’ve loved the most to work on?

Amat: I really enjoyed the Neutral Zone from Season 1, even though it was difficult to shoot. It had a great quality and the aging we showed. There was a lot of scope because of the set, but we have some beautiful nostalgia.

Image acquired via Impact 24 PR
Image acquired via Impact 24 PR /

AA: The Man in the High Castle isn’t your only project. I know you’ve worked on one of my personal favorite shows, SEAL Team, and many others. Is there a particular type of show or movie that you’ve loved the most or is it all about the variety?

Amat: From a style point, I love variety. I like to be able to do everything from a style standpoint.

From the content, I carefully choose projects that are relevant. I want to do something that will make people think. As much as I love pure entertainment, I want to make people think, such as SEAL Team which is about the life of the soldiers and based on real people.

SEAL Team was a chance for me to show people something that they don’t already know, such as the SEALs going away for months at a time and not knowing when or if they’re coming back alive. The way they deal with that is relevant and it makes you think about life.

That’s the way I choose my projects.

Next. 20 biggest questions for The Man in the High Castle Season 4. dark

What are you excited to see in The Man in the High Castle Season 4? How important are the visual effects for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Man in the High Castle Season 4 will be released in fall 2019.