Updated: Sep 12, 2019
INTERVIEW WITH STEVE WHILE HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS TIFF EXPERIENCE
Steven Holleran, the Director of Photography for the highly-anticipated drama,“The Obituary of Tunde Johnson,” starring Steven Silver and Nicola Peltz, premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
In addition to leading the visually stunning imagery for “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson,” Holleran has also shot a wide range of fan-favorite projects, such as “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream,” which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Netflix’s epic documentary series, “Fire Chasers,” and more. Best know for the films The Land (2016), Fire Chasers (2017), and A Boy A Girl A Dream (2018), Steve's first two feature films have garnered back to back Sundance nominations. Selected to Variety's 2018 Artisan's Elite, Steve is one of only a handful of cinematographers in history to shoot an entire feature film as a oner. He has also gained wide acclaim for his dramatic cinematography on the Netflix series Fire Chasers where he embedded with CalFire for fifteen weeks on the frontline during the devastating 2016 SoCal wildfires.
He has an MFA in Film Production from USC's School of Cinematic Arts, is an American Film Showcase Media Expert, and a 2008 Thomas J. Watson Fellow. Steve is a passionate environmentalist and outdoorsman, surfing and traveling extensively through six of the seven continents. He owns and operates an aerial cinematography drone company, Tank Aerial, and is a member of IATSE Local 600.
Named VARIETY’S 2018 UP NEXT LIST, Steve has quickly gained recognition for his work as a cutting-edge cinematographer. His first two features garnered Sundance nominations and high-profile sales in 2016 and 2018. The political drama A BOY, A GIRL, A DREAM, which was shot unconventionally in one night using one 90-minute-take, stars Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good and was just bought by Samuel Goldwyn Films. His Macro and Nas-produced, hard-hitting drama, THE LAND, starring Erykah Badu and Michael K Williams, premiered in 2016. It featured Steve’s stunning, inventive camera-work which included footage from his own cleverly re-purposed skateboard. The film was quickly picked up by IFC for theatrical release post Sundance. Steve has also gained wide acclaim in the documentary realm for his cinematography on the Leonardo DiCaprio produced Netflix series FIRE CHASERS where he embedded with CalFire for fifteen weeks during the dramatic 2016 SoCal wildfires. Recent 2nd Unit work includes blockbusters for MGM, Legendary, and HBO. Steve has been featured by top industry outlets including The Atlantic, Moviemaker, Filmmaker, No Film School, F-Stoppers, Buzzfeed, and ICG Mag. He has an MFA in Film Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, is an American Film Showcase Media Expert, and a 2008 Thomas J. Watson Fellow. He is a passionate environmentalist and outdoorsman, surfing and traveling extensively through six of the seven continents. He owns and operates an aerial drone company, Tank Aerial, providing 4K imagery for many of his shoots.
Some of Steve's gorgeous work on feature films, documentarys and commercial work
A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM
THE LAND - IFC FILMS
Steven Holleran's cinematography is flawless with his composition and how he captures authentic moments . We learned the importance about having good rapport and relationships with your team members/cast, which can make or break a film! - I'm Here With Magazine
The Obituary of Tunde Johnson
A gay African American teenager is forced to relive, over and over again, the day he is shot and killed at the hands of the police, in Ali LeRoi’s incisive and urgent feature debut.
Tunde Johnson departed this life 9:38pm, May 28th, 2020 at the hands of police officers in Los Angeles, California.
Perhaps the only fate worse than death is having to relive it more than once. In this major, timely theatrical debut by Ali LeRoi (co-creator of TV's Everybody Hates Chris), teenager Tunde Johnson (Steven Silver) becomes trapped in a bizarre time loop that has him experiencing his school day and horrific fate over and over again.
Photo by: TORONTO FILM REVIEW /TIFF
On the day of Tunde's death — which we begin to witness differently as he chooses different paths — a number of events occurred: Tunde attended his film seminar, he visited his secret boyfriend Soren (Spencer Neville), and he found the strength to come out to his supportive parents. But high school is never easy: Soren isn't ready to come out, and he's "dating" Tunde's best friend Marley (Nicola Peltz), making Tunde's life as a gay Black man in America even harder — and more confusing — than it already is.
Nigerian-born Stanley Kalu wrote this screenplay as a 19-year-old student at USC and he smartly uses the Groundhog Day-esque structure to deconstruct the everyday threats of racism, homophobia, and police brutality all too prevalent in American society. Through all this, the film gently reminds us (as Tunde is repeatedly told) that he has so much ahead of him to live for. LeRoi expertly blends style and cool contemplation, instilling this story with a welcome optimism while empowering the film's relevant, incisive commentary on growing up Black and gay in America in the 21st century.
BY MICHAEL LERMAN
Premiered Sun, Sep 08 TIFF Bell Lightbox at 12:00pm Tue, Sep 10 Scotiabank Theatre at 4:15pm
Sat, Sep 14 Scotiabank Theatre at 9:00pm
The Obituary of Tunde Johnson
Cast Steven Silver, Spencer Neville, Nicola Peltz
Cinematography Steven Holleran
Editing Shannon Baker Davis
Executive Producers Eduardo Cisneros, Dr. Madeleine Sherak, Roya Rastegar, Sanjay Sharma
Producers Zachary Green, Jason Shuman, Marni Bond, Chuck Bond