Cinematography of “Below Her Mouth” – interview with Maya Bankovic

November 7th, 2017

Continuing the ongoing series of interviews with creative artists working on various aspects of movie and TV productions, it is my delight to welcome Maya Bankovic. In this interview she talks about the world of cinematography and the evolution of digital tools at her disposal, how she chooses her projects and collaborators, and the balance between being emotionally involved with the story and staying aware of her job on the set. The second half of the interview is about Maya’s work on the recently released “Below Her Mouth”, a tale of desire, passion, and sexuality made by an-all female crew of storytellers.

Kirill: Please tell us about yourself and your path so far.

Maya: I took up 35mm photography as a hobby when I was a teenager, and I loved using my Minolta and spending time in the darkroom. But I didn’t want to pursue still photography because it seemed like kind of a lonely life. What I did realize was that I loved working as part of a team, bouncing ideas around and making something as a group, in theatre class for example. Having people around me was very satisfying, and I was thinking about how I could do that as a job [laughs].

I went to a film school and met a lot of new people, and it worked out pretty well, because twelve years later I still work with a lot of them. At that age I was chasing a certain type of life that would give me interesting experiences and access to other realities, while satisfying the technical part I loved about doing photography.

Kirill: As you started to work in the industry, was there anything particularly surprising for you?

Maya: It is such a demanding industry to be working in and the hours are really long, so it’s always surprising to me when people don’t love doing it yet stay. I didn’t want to risk becoming too jaded with all of that so I worked my way up as a cinematographer from tiny projects to bigger ones. I think doing independent films with people I care about has enabled me to maintain the love that I have for filmmaking, because the demands of the industry itself can make for a difficult lifestyle. Now that I’m working on larger projects with people I’m meeting outside of any kind of shared history together, I still go into a new film with that same spirit of community – it helps me ignore the stress of the business apparatus that’s always functioning in the background and concentrate instead on the creativity.

Kirill: What are your thoughts about the evolution of digital cameras in the last decade or so?

Maya: I talk about this all the time – this technological shift is the reason why I have this career. It started around 2005 when I took out a small bank loan to buy a DVX100a, which was the only camcorder at the time that could do 24p at an affordable price. Shooting in 24p was what was creating a distinction in the look and quality level among documentary filmmakers and indie filmmakers at that time, the same way cameras later on offered large sensors and we all made the leap towards that, collectively.

So that camera was the reason I was able to put myself out there as a cinematographer after I left school and lost access to the equipment there. People cared a lot about whether or not you’d shot film, which I had done a lot of at school. But you had to basically be able to afford to shoot a project on film in order to keep doing things at the industry-standard level. And the minimum price for a film project was around $20,000. But people were coming around to the idea of using my little DVX100a so that we could keep busy between those more expensive film projects.

Then the RED camera came out, and everything changed. Access to the RED and others that came out shortly thereafter levelled the field. It was no longer about the film standard, but rather about your eye. It allowed me to experiment. When you’re using digital equipment, it frees you up to play with composition or exposure or white balance without worrying about wasting film. The price of one foot of film comes to around one dollar, once it’s all purchased, processed and transferred. That’s about one dollar per second, which is a lot if you’re experimenting. I think a lot of DPs [directors of photography] felt liberated to play around more with cinematography and open up their imaginations thanks to digital cameras.

Kirill: Is there anything still missing in digital cameras from the artistic perspective?

Maya: I love the texture of film, and there’s a certain discipline that comes with shooting film. It is part of the process that is maybe gone now. It was the texture and certain imperfections that you could get that made me love shooting film. Those imperfections were not always appropriate for every project, but when they were, it was magical.

For me, now, it’s more about the quality of the story that I’m capturing. It doesn’t matter to me that digital has taken over. I love shooting film with its gorgeous texture, and I do adore the process. But in terms of the artistic or the creative approach, that should all be motivated by the story. That’s what dictates the creative direction you follow, not necessarily the thing you use to capture it.

The most important thing to me is the quality of the story that we are putting into the world, and I think that a lot of these projects wouldn’t get made if we were still counting on film, with its prohibitive costs. There would be very little money invested in stories that are more niche or fringe, because no one would want to sink a huge investment into a TV show or a film that is not guaranteed to show a return on investment by appealing to mainstream audiences. Projects that reach beyond mainstream culture’s usual narratives can get made now, and look good, and to me that is an important artistic development, because it’s a cultural one.

Kirill: To me as a viewer that means that I have more productions to choose from. These days I find myself having to decide what not to watch, because there’s only so many free hours in the day.

Maya: It’s definitely true. I think the main problem with that are the really low-budget productions which neither take any creative or conceptual risks nor provide good jobs for people. There’s an oversaturation of those types of productions in every major city in the world. When you only have a shoestring budget, it’s sort of a false dream to think that you’re going to make your mark as a filmmaker when you’re trying to make something with mainstream appeal but you’re up against thousands of similar projects of a similar scope. It’s not sustainable, but ultimately it’s the choice of the people that pursue it. Again, that’s why seeking out stories that exist outside of those story conventions are where I find most of my own feelings of personal urgency and devotion as a cinematographer. Same goes for when I’m choosing which films to watch. Because yes, there are so, so many of them.

Kirill: There seems to be more of evolutionary steps in the couple of years in the digital camera market, perhaps around the sensor size and the resolution. Do you think there’s still space left for more revolutionary changes as far as that technology goes?

Maya: People talk about resolution, and it’s a given that it’ll only continue improving, but what is more exciting to me are alternate viewing experiences. Around seven years ago I saw a 180-degree projection happening at the Berlinale, and I thought that kind of subjective spectatorship idea was very cool. It was similar to the feeling you get now watching a VR project, where you take on less of a passive role since you’re choosing where you want to look. I’m surprised that there is so little experimentation with new viewing experiences in cinemas, though.

I guess for the most part, people still love the two-dimensional passive viewing experience. For the most part, they want to be told the story. I understand that. It’s why I still shoot two-dimensional, linear stories.

Kirill: And there is a certain degree of control that the director and the cinematographer have to direct my eye towards that part of the story that you want to tell.

Maya: Especially when it comes to lighting. That’s what was so different with that 180-degree experience, where people were given the freedom to look at the different parts of a scene and decide what they thought was important or interesting. When you’re the one shooting the stories, you explore what you as an individual bring to the table. It’s how you see that moment and what you think is important that can teach you something about yourself. You can draw the eye to that thing with lighting, including the removal of light, or with depth of field, and of course with camera movement.

A lot of directors will talk in broad strokes about lighting, but when we’re actually shooting they typically let me do my own thing, and that’s where I think a lot of my contribution, or point of view, is felt.

Kirill: What are your thoughts about digital monitors attached to the cameras where a lot of people can immediately see and comment on what is being captured? Is that a double-edged sword for you?

Maya: I’ve been lucky because I get to work with people who talk color palette or contrast and lighting a lot in prep, but then let me achieve those moments or decisions organically on set. It’s like those filmmakers and I, we choose each other very carefully. I don’t like to chase jobs that are not meant for me to shoot. When something is a good fit, there’s no chase, just a really joyful “I’m glad we met!” kind of feeling. We already know we are in it together. So I never, ever mind when someone is looking over my shoulder. In fact, I love having that confirmation that I’m getting them what they want. I love watching a director light up when the frames they’ve dreamt about are appearing before them on the monitor. It’s why I’m a DP! I enjoy bringing someone’s vision to life. I don’t really understand why someone would exhaust themselves fighting with a director (or a client in the commercial world), by the way. To me, it’s just obvious when a team is badly matched and they should all just work with other people! I guess it’s like any human compatibility situation in that sense. Much better things come about when there’s a flow of communication, creative striving and a shared sensibility.

I also like monitors for peace of mind, where everyone knows exactly what it is that we’re getting. It’s very different from when I was learning on film. With film, you were the only one who saw through the viewfinder – the monitors were often shapes and blobs for reference at best. For me, at least, it’s nice to have more eyeballs on the image now so that everybody is aware of what is being captured. That way I have the peace of mind that I’m capturing what they wanted me to shoot. And then I also know that our instincts are aligned, and that we can run with what we’re doing that much more.

Kirill: It might be a nostalgia for people who started their career in film, but as you mentioned, you’re not the only one working on it. So if everybody needs to wait for the dailies to be processed, those discussions happen so much later.

Maya: It’s very important to me that the director likes the shots. If they can see them that much sooner, I go home happy instead of stressed out, and the next day we’re only thinking about the future and not about yesterday. There was some magic in having to wait for the dailies to be processed back when I was doing 35mm and 16mm. It was the latent magic of the film being developed and seen at a later time. It was beautiful, and sometimes I get nostalgic for that anticipation, and just the magic of celluloid and the chemical and physical miracle of exposing film, rolling it through a gate.

But what we gain now is more certainty and, therefore, greater collaboration. You used to be a sort of magician or mad scientist. You were the only one that knew what was going on with that negative. But it wasn’t that perceived status that attracted me to the job, and that’s why I don’t miss that part of it at all. In school, I remember a lot of people were drawn to the power of that position, but the reason for me to be on set is collaboration. So I don’t miss those things.

Kirill: When you talk with people outside your field, what is the biggest misconception they have about what cinematography is?

Maya: People assume that I always operate the camera, and I have to explain that being the director of photography involves more than that, and often none of that – so they get surprised that I sometimes do not touch the camera at all. I do camera operate a lot, though, and I used to get comments on my size, because I’m pretty small. It went on for many years, but recently stopped, I guess because people have gotten used to the idea that size isn’t everything! Also, it’s pretty useful to be a small person in this profession because I find myself cramming into a lot of tight spaces with a camera and it seems to be a bonus.

Kirill: Do you go into the details of finding the right visual language for the story, the discussions with the director, setting up the lighting, etc?

Maya: Only if they ask me to elaborate. I will say that I oversee the lighting and the camera and those crews, and most people are content with that answer. In Toronto you see a lot of film crews around, and people see what is happening behind the scenes. So people here get it already. But they like to hear stories about what the director/DP relationship is like, things like that.

Sometimes people ask about specific things, like traveling for shoots. I like those conversations because I can talk about the other places that filmmaking has taken me to, and I’d rather talk about those experiences than anything technical. Shooting gives you a different experience of a place than you would get as a tourist, and people get curious about those stories, rather than the actual process of filmmaking. I’m grateful that I hardly find myself in a studio.

Kirill: Perhaps people think that it’s a glamorous job, even though the reality doesn’t quite match that. If somebody would watch you do 20 takes on the same scene over and over again, that gets boring pretty quickly, at least from the outside.

Maya: Definitely. People come to visit on set sometimes, and they’re instantly bored. They don’t realize that we’re doing the same thing five times, every time. You see that switch turn off behind their eyes as they realize that they shouldn’t have agreed to come for this [laughs].

That is when I remember that you have to have a specific single-mindedness or obsessional quality in order not find this job boring. It’s strange and exciting, the minutiae and perfectionism involved, but definitely not glamorous whatsoever.

Kirill: Transitioning to talk about “Below Her Mouth”, how did it start for you?

Maya: During my first interview with the director and producers we were already talking about pretty personal stuff – depictions of desire and sexuality. We went deep with it, and I had a good feeling about that project. I connected with the producers and the director, but I didn’t want to get too hopeful about it. You never do, because you can only hope that the connection was real but there are, of course, so many factors in why a team will chose a DP. But I knew that the personal connection would be a good thing for me. I did get the job, and that became about two months of intimate conversations and lovely new friendships, which is a very appealing part of this profession. Of course, we were also talking about color palettes and lighting styles, and I was excited about it visually.

The reasoning behind wanting an all-female crew made a lot of sense to me as well. It was a political act for sure, but it was also done for the comfort of the actors. We wanted to make sure that our leading actresses would have a safe environment with minimal crew. It felt like an interesting experiment, not only politically but also as a process-driven decision.

I do get a lot of calls wanting a female director of photography, and sometimes I get the impression that they want the street credibility for doing it. It might be a backwards script, every scene dripping with covert or even explicit sexism, but the idea is if you have a female on board, it justifies script elements that are not very progressive. So I stay away from those.

Or some people think that women need to be thrown a bone. I’m a hard-working person, and a lot of us women in the field are constantly employed. On this film, we were all women who were doing what we do in the industry. Many took time off of other gigs or were flown in from other parts of the country to be a part of it. These definitely weren’t idle women waiting for an opportunity – it was, for most of us, a political act.

Kirill: In the context of this movie and in general as well, do you prefer to work with people who have similar artistic sensibilities? What happens when the differences in opinion are so significant that it’s a constant struggle on set?

Maya: I think about it all the time. If I stick with people who I mostly agree with, does it prevent me from growing as a person and as an artist? But so much of your artistic style and the projects that you choose in the first place reflect your personal values. I don’t work on projects that don’t represent something that I can support. It may be a story that needs to be told. A story that we don’t have enough of. Or simply a new perspective that I find interesting and worthy of amplification.

Typically the director cares about that kind of story as well, and that’s where the intersection is. That’s where I see that we are probably going to get along creatively, because we are coming from a similar place culturally or philosophically. So my directors and I tend to watch the same shows and movies anyway. We are influenced by the same things. We like the same photographers. It works out that way when you’re consciously shaping your career. It feels like finding your tribe when your points of reference are the same, similar, or newly inspiring to one another.

But then, the director on Below Her Mouth pushed me to do things with color and lighting that I wouldn’t have done otherwise on my own. So within the comfort of the millieu, you still need to be stretched. I’m thankful to her for doing that for me.

Kirill: When you are on set, do you want to get immersed in the story and become a part of that world, perhaps similar to what actors do when they get into the character?

Maya: It’s tricky. You want to be careful, because it can become your actual reality. The line gets really blurry, and if it’s a good story, chances are that you’re going to become immersed in it.

I find myself learning so much from what I shoot. You absorb a lot of it. If you don’t sympathize or empathize with your characters or subjects, it’s very difficult to figure out where the camera should be or how to light that situation. And the same goes for the actors. You want to capture what they’re doing and what they’re giving to you and do it justice, so you absolutely need to merge with them a little in the moment. You can feel it when they respect and love someone who is photographing them. And on my end, it’s the choice of the lens. It’s how long the camera holds them. And of course, attention to detail with lighting them.

On the flip side, sometimes I’ll watch something I shot a year or two later and only then allow myself to feel the full gravity of the situation.

Kirill: Especially on a movie like “Below Her Mouth”, you probably wouldn’t want a very cold and clinical look into that intimate story. Did you happen to catch yourself identifying with a particular character in a particular scene, and then pulling yourself back because you do have to continue with the technical side of things?

Maya: The scene where they are both crying, wondering how they can carry on together, was very heavy. It felt like witnessing a very real moment, and to some extent I think it truly was a real moment. Not just a facsimile, but real. And it brought up a lot of stuff from my own life that I was going through at the same time but not ready to acknowledge.

You do want to turn that off sometimes. It’s not about just being professional, but also about getting the shot properly. The wave of emotion comes over you, and you have to acknowledge it and then quickly put it into a different compartment so that you can continue doing what you’re doing, for the greater good of the film and for the audience you hope to bring this experience to. And I’ll feel it with them later.

It’s the same thing when you’re doing a comedy. You have to learn how to disconnect from it, because if you have a handheld camera you’ll wreck the shot if you’re laughing! There’s a lot of psychological control that people need to have over themselves in this field, and sometimes I wonder if it’s healthy [laughs]. You find yourself in one high-stakes emotional situation after another, and you’re encouraged to feel deeply but not react. It’s a state of confusion you thrust yourself into. You have to capture things so that many more people can experience them later. You know that you are witnessing a powerful moment, you acknowledge that it’s a powerful moment, but you don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the power of it – just guided by it. So yes, I finally have a reaction to something when I watch it in the theatre with everyone else, or often in the colour grading suite where, again, I need to put it aside and complete the grading.

Kirill: How surprising can it get for you on set? You know the script and the scene that you’re about to shoot. Is it about the power of the acting performance that catches you off guard?

Maya: Definitely. There are always surprises within a plan. We spent around six hours shooting some of those lovemaking scenes. And then there would be a moment where the two women would start sincerely giggling or laughing together. And it wasn’t in the script, but one of them would say to the other “Oh, you’re so pretty”, and, it’s not just the words but the feeling that these two were, in that moment, being genuinely loving and tender with one another. My heart would just burst, and I’d look at April Mullen our director and she’d be beaming, just melting. It was so sincere and so very beautiful.

Those are the surprises, even if you don’t see them in the final movie. Those are the moments that to me feel like why we do it. You roll and roll and roll with these fabricated, false versions of reality, but then there’s a glimmer of something real. A real moment happens, and you need to have patience for those moments. They do happen in a sincere way, like a performance that takes you over the edge. People sometimes push each other to the limit where it doesn’t feel like acting any more. And it will continue to surprise me every single time it happens on set. It fills my heart up because I know those moments can only happen when a safe enough space has been created for it.

Kirill: You mentioned that you had an all-female crew, but there’s still crew and a lot of equipment on set. How do you minimize the disruptions so that the actors can stay in the character, especially in such intimate scenes as on “Below Her Mouth”?

Maya: That’s one of the ways the all-female crew idea came about. One of our producers had worked on a film twenty years ago where the female lead had a lovemaking scene and saw a male grip up high in the studio grid holding a piece of equipment, but he had to be watching the scene in order to properly set a flag. The actress became really distressed and didn’t want to continue the scene. The trust the actress lost on that set was something that still haunted that producer, so the team thought it would be much better to only have women on set for this one as well as minimal equipment.

Advancements with technology can play a big part in these sensitive situations as well. There’s so much that you can do with minimal lighting. A lot of what we had on BHM was practical lighting – placing practical lamps strategically knowing how we would shoot each scene. If we wanted to light through the windows, we would schedule a scene at the right time of day, for example with nice soft evening light or knowing when the sun would dip to the other side of the building.

We wanted to minimize equipment and crew on set. That’s the thing about fast camera sensors, too – you don’t need a ton of lighting to get exposure, and you end up lighting for mood and contrast.

Kirill: The story happens throughout all times of the day, inside and outside, in apartments and night clubs. Would you say that it was a large variety of lighting setups in all those environments?

Maya: It was about different lighting designs and approaches for the different environments. In some places we wanted it to be dark and dimly lit, and if there was a light, it would be neon light, particularly for Dallas’s world. April, the director, would want this one bathroom to be lit all red, and she was very excited about that. She was excited about the colors. The strip club was all black light, and she had all these very clearly-defined images in her head of how to make it work with Steadicam. I would show her a cyan gel, and she would say “Let’s go more crazier, more saturated”. She was always pushing it to the limit.

In Jasmine’s world, life was filled with natural light, so we used simpler “white light” balanced to 5600K, bouncing HMIs from outside through the windows, with hardly any practical lights supplementing that or mixing the colour temperature. Big windows, to me, have always denoted a certain level of comfort within a home. In Toronto big windows come at a premium, and that’s Jasmine’s world. Dallas, on the other hand is all about the neon light life. So in this film, lighting was part of establishing who these people are and how they live.

Kirill: When you light a scene, we as viewers do not necessarily look at every individual detail of that, but rather absorb it at a subconscious level. How much power do you think you have to influence the visual mood? How much of that story can you tell with light?

Maya: To me it’s all about drawing the eye where you want it to go, and supporting the composition with interesting light. But sometimes it’s also just about not getting in the way of the story. I’m working on a TV show now, and I light in a way that’s not very finicky – more like large sources coming through windows, giving the actors a larger stage to play on. The scenes fly by very quickly, the dialogue is funny, and the jokes are quick. Sometimes you have to stay out of the way a little bit with cinematography. In more dramatic scenes on that same show though, I’ll tweak an eyelight forever or make sure it feels like a single practical lamp is doing all the work, even though we’re hiding little lights just outside of frame. So in that sense, yes, the hope is that the audience goes along with you and the atmospheric vibe you’re setting but that no one is over-intellectualizing the cinematography very much.

But at all times, it’s about drawing the eye to the place that the story needs it be looking. If a character picks something up and that object is important to the story, we have to make sure that we see that thing. It’s literally part of the storytelling, and not just about making a shot look cool. It’s about moving the story forward. You put the light on the gun because otherwise the gun doesn’t exist in the story. It’s making sure that things are reading properly in a way that is hopefully interesting but also supporting the storytelling.

Kirill: Do you find yourself scrambling at the last moment because the setup that you had didn’t play well with the skin tone or complexion of the actors?

Maya: Sometimes if someone looks too pale it becomes a collaboration between lighting and makeup. That’s really what I love about filmmaking – how much all the departments work together. In my position I talk with everybody, and I need to be able to do that. If we need to adjust for something like skin tone, it can be done with lighting but also with any number of other things. You can put on a different coloured shirt, or use different makeup. But I like to do camera tests with cast ahead of time, especially with a multicultural cast with differing skin tones. I like to have a strategy in place.

Kirill: What stays with you after a production has been wrapped up and some time has passed?

Maya: A part of me definitely forgets how physically demanding it all is. If I thought about it a lot every time, maybe I wouldn’t want to do it again [laughs]. You want to forget about this to make sure that you want to do it again and again. You use your short-term memory for that.

I remember the feeling of coming to work on each production, and the energy of the people that I was working with. Each project has its own energy, or like a resonant frequency that is its own. I remember that frequency. I often get sentimental about that. I’ve been lucky in that it’s usually a very positive experience. I tend to, for the duration of it at least, become very much a friend of the people I’m working with. I become very, very fond of them.

I don’t really remember the hardships. Sometimes I will run into somebody, and we reminisce back to some freezing rain scenario years ago where the equipment was outside on a roof and we had to get it in before lightning hit. But that’s not what I’d think about when I think about that shoot as a whole. I do remember when I was working in the electric and camera department as an assistant about ten years ago, my perception of what it was like working on a film set was different. The folks in video village were like existing in another dimension. The emotional investment was not there for me, so I really only remembered the logistical nightmares or technical feats. I try to remember that now, that the same film set is a vastly different experience for each person on it.

Kirill: There are so many screens around us, from the big TVs to our phones and tablets, to the in-flight entertainment systems, to the screens in the back of family vans and so on. How does it feel to see your work that, perhaps, was intended for the large cinema screen, projected onto those much smaller and grainier surfaces?

Maya: Obviously that’s not the best way to see it. But to me, it’s meaningful that people are watching it at all. I don’t really mind. You still want people to see your work. That’s why it’s so important to like the projects you’re working on on a conceptual level. You have to like the script. You have to like what they’re going for with the story.

People are going to be watching stuff on their iPhone or during a flight. That’s just the reality of the times that we live in. There have to be more reasons to like the work you do, outside of just the visual. It means a lot to me when people say that my show was really funny, or that they relate to it. Those things don’t have to do with the cinematography, but I know that they are connecting with the project as a whole.

I know that if it didn’t look a certain way or didn’t reach a certain standard, they wouldn’t be able to immerse themselves at the level that they had. We need to earn that emotional involvement from people through providing them with something interesting to look at. To me that’s a part of the whole package. That’s why I don’t mind that they are looking at it on their iPhone. It’s better than not engaging with it at all.

The one thing that I really can’t stand is the “smooth motion” setting on TVs. If you’re watching really well-made shows and films with that weird, smooth ’90s camcorder video effect on your TV because the manufacturer happened to turn it on for you, that makes me pretty sad. It’s not about the lighting or the composition, but rather about the visual quality of the motion – it makes everything looked like some sort of botched NTSC-PAL conversion. Everyone should sign that petition asking manufacturers to get rid of it!

Kirill: What keeps you going and staying in this industry?

Maya: The thing that keeps me going is that I don’t know what the next thing is going to be. It’s exciting to see what comes my way. Every project and script is an opportunity to see a new world, to learn from a new director that has their own language that I can learn from. I like understanding people. I like understanding how their brains work. The unknown aspect of who’s next and what’s next is enough for me.

I’m lucky that I got to the point where I could choose from a few things at any time. But I make sure that I give myself breaks. I make sure that I’m holding out for stuff that I really care for. And I do try to build in my time-off these days. That’s something a lot of DPs struggle with. There’s a lot of workaholism.

But trust and faith in the things to come, that’s exciting.

Kirill: I’m certainly grateful for all those long hours that result in the great stories that are being told in film and episodic television.

Maya: It’s a crazy thing. People want stories. Since the beginning of time people wanted to be told stories. They want that reflection of themselves, or of their realities, even if it’s through other characters, just to know that they’ll be alright, or that they are not unique in their humanity and vulnerability. It’s not just passive entertainment. For some people it’s guidance. They want to see themselves up there and know that it’s OK.

It’s a very strange thing, and sometimes I have a hard time justifying why I care about this weird thing that we do. But people seem to not only want it, but also need it. So I guess if I like making it, and people want to keep watching, that’s a beautiful relationship.

The crew of “Below Her Mouth” on the set. Courtesy of Maya Bankovic.

And here I’d like to thank Maya Bankovic for graciously agreeing to answer a few questions I had on the art and craft of cinematography and on what went into creating the worlds of “Below Her Mouth”. You can find more from Maya on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and her blog.

“Below Her Mouth” is out now on BluRay and other physical and digital formats. Finally, if you want to know more about how films and TV shows are made, click here for additional in-depth interviews in this series. Stay tuned for more interviews in the near future!