Three cinematographers craft a unique period look for Vinyl, HBO's deep dive into the music scene of 1970s New York City.
When Mick Jagger first had the idea for a rock history some 15 years ago, he never imagined television as the ideal medium; feature film seemed the way to go. But the long gestation paid off. First Martin Scorsese, then Terry Winter and HBO linked arms with the Rolling Stones frontman, and now Vinyl has come to fruition during the golden age of cable. “Now is the perfect time for the story to be done in this format,” says Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC, The Wolf of Wall Street director of photography who reteamed with Scorsese for Vinyl’s pilot before handing the reins over to cinematographers Reed Morano, ASC, and David Franco. “It probably would have been a pretty interesting movie, but this gives you the chance to see a whole era.”
As eras go, the seventies is a musical gold mine. Punk and glam rock were emerging from the underground and disco was igniting the dance floors as soft-rock sirens like Karen Carpenter and diehards like Robert Goulet still crooned on the airwaves. All these musical forms are woven into Vinyl’s 10 episodes, with everyone from Alice Cooper to Led Zeppelin written into the script. [...]