American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 67
Unit photography by Parrish Lewis, Matt Dinerstein and Elizabeth Morris, courtesy of NBCUniversal Media LLC. Lisa Wiegand, ASC portrait by Janna Bissett Photography.
for cinematographer Lisa Wiegand,
ASC, who helped establish the franchise's visual language by shooting the
pilot and first three seasons of Chicago
Fire, which included the backdoor pilots
for Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med. Part
of what drew Wiegand back was the
chance to reunite with the local crew she
had bonded with during those early
seasons. "When you're working together
for 10 months a year, 14 hours a day, you
become really close," the cinematographer says. "There are people on those
crews that became like my family."
That family included 2nd-unit
Tari Segal and 1st AC Luis Fowler, the
latter of whom remained with Chicago
Fire when Wiegand departed. So
Wiegand paid a courtesy call to the
show's current cinematographer, Jayson
Crothers, before poaching the focus
puller. "When Lisa asked me to key the
camera department, I couldn't say no -
and I knew that Jayson would understand that I was kind of 'on loan' from
Lisa," says Fowler. "Lisa is awesome to
work for, and we have a long history. I
wanted to repay that loyalty."
To round out her crew, Wiegand
promoted many former collaborators
into new positions - a necessity
because of the boom in Chicago
production in the years since Chicago
Fire debuted in 2012. "When we were
doing the first season of Fire there were
no other shows shooting their entire
season in Chicago, so I felt like I got the
best crew in town," Wiegand recalls.
"When I came back to do Justice,
Chicago already had three Dick Wolf
shows, and Empire, The Exorcist and
APB were all shooting their seasons here
As a result, Matt Rozek was
promoted from 2nd AC on Fire to Bcamera 1st on Justice. Camera utility
Matt Feasley slid into a 2nd AC slot.
Key rigging grip Stuart Slack ascended
to main-unit key grip. And electric
Ronald Dragosh became Chicago
Justice's gaffer. "I think we have one of
the best crews in town now, and I'm
super-grateful," says Wiegand.
in the Cook
Peter Stone (Philip
tough cases in the
This page, above:
left) meets with
(Jon Seda). Left:
Lisa Wiegand, ASC
measures the light.
Though all of NBC's Chicago
shows exist in the same universe - with
characters and even sets crossing over
between series - that doesn't mean
they share the same aesthetic.
Wiegand's work on Chicago Fire
immersed the viewer into high-stakes
incidents with a cinéma vérité-inspired
style featuring energetic handheld
camerawork and mid-shot zooms. For
Chicago Justice, Wiegand knew a fresh
look was needed.