Bradford Lipson's Mission Statement
I thrive on telling a compelling story through film-making. On today’s set the job of the cinematographer is so much more than helping the director tell the story, finding the right lens, and creating an appropriate look; anticipating challenges, finding creative solutions, and the collaborative process to move production forward are my key goals.
Aside from Lipson’s latest work on the CW series Legacies and In The Dark, he enjoyed collaborating with director Jeremy Garelick on the Netflix limited series comedy Best Worst Weekend Ever. He also shot the political comedy Graves for Epix starring Nick Nolte and Sela Ward, show creator Joshua Michael Stern.
Past features include The Wedding Ringer from writer/director Jeremy Garelick, a comedy starring Josh Gad as a loner who hires a “wedding ringer,” played by Kevin Hart, to be the best man at his wedding; and The Female Brain, a romcom directed by and starring Whitney Cummings.
Lipson lensed the first two seasons of FX’s Wilfred. He was nominated for and won Outstanding Cinematography awards from the ASC and the Pan-American Association of Film & Television Journalists for his work on the series, which was unprecedented at the time since it was shot on DSLR’s.
Lipson is extremely passionate about filmmaking, not just his own work as a cinematographer, but the entire process: problem solving and finding solutions to the various challenges that appear daily. Lipson loves the collaboration held in pitching ideas to directors. He is of the opinion that it’s better to come to the table with an abundance of big ideas, and prepared to scale back if needed.
To Lipson, there is something inherently thrilling about pitching ideas back and forth to build a scene, and something like magic in transforming an idea into a reality. And the challenge perhaps most exciting to Lipson is the creative problem-solving which the work demands; often it requires strong communication and improvisation between departments.
Lipson always finds it exciting to see these solutions work so beautifully. One small example stands out to Lipson on In The Dark when he had to create a shot with a cigarette in the foreground for an important story beat. The composition required a wide angle lens, which would have made the cigarette too small. He pitched having props make a large cigarette and use forced perspective. The directors were extremely happy with the outcome.
As a cinematographer, Lipson thinks it is extremely important to identify what each scene is about and then find the best way to lens it. It is also important for the cinematographer to help push the story forward, rather than distract from it. It is equally important to be there to support the director, listen to what is being asked for as well as offer ideas and solutions when needed. As a department head preparation is key in order to know what the day looks like, sharing as much information as possible with each department. Lipson also prefers having a solid partnership with the producers and the UPM, and appreciates when there is strong two-way communication, creating a camaraderie that can lead to the best possible outcome for the production.
Lipson also derives a great deal of satisfaction from helping and supporting those who want to move up. He gets even greater fulfillment from seeing someone he helped go on to do great work. Lipson believes empowering others through his creativity and leadership skills is a gift he can use to give back, doing the same as those who helped him.
Bradford Lipson is a member of the IATSE Local 600 . He is a California resident and is represented worldwide by DDA.
2013 For outstanding cinematography in a half hour television series ~ Wilfred
PAN AMERICAN AWARD
2013 For outstanding cinematography ~ Wilfred
20Los Angeles Horror Competition17
Won, 2017 For Best cinematography ~ Girl #2
Best Cinematography for Girl #2 (2016)
Los Angeles Horror Competition
Won, Platinum Award
Best Cinematography for Girl #2 (2016)