Magazine article American Cinematographer

Relativity: "Karen and Her Sisters"

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Relativity: "Karen and Her Sisters"

Article excerpt

Michael D. O'Shea, ASC


"Karen and Her Sisters"

"Although the series Relativity began with a different cameraman," says director of photography Michael D. O'Shea, ASC, "I was grateful that Michael Watkins, ASC recommended me to the show's producers, Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. I had just worked with Michael on the Movie of the Week To Love, Honor and Deceive [see additional article in this section]. In reading the script for Relativity, I knew the show had a quality that would afford me some unique lighting opportunities."

O'Shea was also drawn to the series due to the involvement of line producer Peter Schindler, with whom he had previously worked while shooting the feature comedies Dracula; Dead and Loving It and Robin Hood: Men in Tights for director Mel Brooks. "Peter is an old friend, and I knew I could count on him to help me develop my concepts for this series," the cameraman says.

O'Shea broke into the industry in 1965 as a loader at Warner Bros. before becoming n first assistant and operator for Howard Schwartz, ASC. After operating for many other cameramen (including ASC members William Jurgensen, Edward R. Brown, Robert Stevens and James Crabe, as well as Nick McLean), he served as a second-unit cinematographer on such features as Spaceballs, The Goonies, The Lost Boys, Geromino and The Specialist.

O'Shea earned a previous Emmy nomination for his work on the lighthearted drama Doogie Hawser, M.D., which was his first series as a director of photography. He filmed Hozi'ser for three seasons. "I came on to operate for Frederick Moore, who left after a year and let me move up with the complete crew. When I got the job, I knew what I liked lighting-wise, but had to accomplish it in a roundabout way. While I had operated for a long time, my focus and vocabulary needed to expand to include all of the departments working around me. Fortunately, I had a wonderful gaffer, Tim Evans, and a great crew, who taught me. I'm still learning every day."

The cinematographer's other credits include the feature Double Dragon, the series Raising Cain, Sweet Justice and Weird Science, a pair of Rockford Files telefilms, and pilots for Life Wl and The Player.

O'Shea credits Relativity's succession of strong directors, including Ed Zwick and Michael Watkins, for some of his success with the image-making. "As a cameraman, it's important to have directors who know what they want," he says. …

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