Goran Stolevski’s Of An Age chronicles the slow, sweet awakening of romance during a brief 24-hour encounter in Melbourne in 1999. When Kol (Elias Anton) tries to help his ballroom dance partner, Ebony (Hattie Hook), who is stranded at a local beach, he ends up meeting her brother, Adam (Thom Green). Driving about town discussing Borges, Wong Kar-Wai, and themselves, the two young men find a connection that ignites into something unexpected and unforgettable. Indeed, when the two meet again 11 years later, that connection still lingers.
“Shot with an eye for a warm and inviting intimacy (courtesy of Matthew Chuang’s cinematography)” writes Variety, the film captures the visceral experience of falling in love.
Describing his work on Stolevski’s debut feature, Showbiz CheatSheet wrote, “Matthew Chuang’s gorgeous cinematography elevates every frame.” Adapting a similar visual strategy for Of An Age, Chuang worked closely with Stolevski to capture the immediacy of the actors’ performances and the world around them. In his films, from Justin Chon’s Blue Bayou to Stolevski’s features, Chuang demonstrates a deft ability to reflect the inner lives of characters with his camera movement and framing.
We spoke with Chuang about working with Stolveski, imbuing the Melbourne locations with a dreamy quality, and using cutting-edge technology to enhance their naturalistic look.
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Stolevski and you have a very instinctive approach to shooting.
Something we both learned in making You Won’t Be Alone was to be more instinctual, to not be afraid of not knowing what to do when you come on set. Bethany [Ryan, the production designer,] set up spaces that feel very real for the actors to move around in, and Goran guides them to get what he needs from the scene. I position the camera to best capture how the actors are within that space and within the light and framing. Do I show a lot of their face? Do I silhouette them? Do I hide them or do I reveal them and let them be very present? It is all very instinctual. Whatever plans we have made, once the actors are there, everything changes. For lighting, I don’t have many stands or lights inside that space. We usually light from outside windows, hide them in the roof, or work with the production design to use practical lamps on set. That gives us the freedom to follow the actors.