Ari Wegner on carving out a career in cinematography

Ahead of a hotly tipped awards season for The Power of the Dog, we speak to Wegner about bringing the film’s aesthetic to life, plus how awards can help promote diversity in a male-dominated industry

Looking at Ari Wegner’s expansive body of work, it’s clear that she doesn’t feel beholden to one genre of storytelling. The cinematographer has created aesthetics for everything from commercials for big brands such as Apple through to feature films such as Janicza Bravo’s Zola, which is based on a now infamous Twitter thread about a stripper’s weekend in Florida, and most recently Jane Campion’s Western epic, The Power of the Dog.

“I love fulfilling a brief and in many ways not being pigeonholed into one particular style, but knowing that actually if you have the technical skill you can kind of do any style. There is a lot of joy and satisfaction in that,” Wegner tells CR.

Wegner’s journey into the world of cinematography began in the early noughties, when she went to film school in Melbourne and began shooting shorts with some of her fellow students in her spare time. After graduating, she continued to do shorts and did a stint working as a camera assistant. “I was really just there to spy on what the cinematographers were up to. Then I started doing longer, bigger projects, moving into commercials and then features. With each project came a bigger responsibility, and especially with the feature films it’s been a natural progression,” she says.

Top and above: Stills from The Power of the Dog; Images courtesy Netflix

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