This Is Not ‘Groundhog Day’: Creating the Look and Visual Language of ‘Russian Doll’

There were inherent challenges to shooting “Russian Doll.” For starters, the Netflix show had a limited budget, with mostly location shooting, and allowed for only five days of production per episode. It had to deal with “Groundhog Day” -like repetitions and develop a visual language of how it would create a cohesive style across different directors and metaphysical dimensions.

It was also a show that was very much grounded in a real place, New York City’s East Village, but that called for a unique, often nighttime, stylized look in an environment where the production had very little control. To shoot the series, co-creator and showrunner Leslye Headland – who directed half of the episodes, including the pilot – turned to a New York indie stalwart, cinematographer Chris Teague. IndieWire recently caught up with Teague and Headland (a guest on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast) to talk about capturing the look of “Russian Doll.
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