‘One Piece’ Cinematographer on Making Netflix’s Live-Action Version Distinct from the Anime

one piece cinematographer

There’s a lot of pressure for the live-action One Piece team to bring this iconic manga series to life. Not only will they be compared to the original work but also any other adaptation out there, most notably its anime. Still, it’s not an undertaking that is taken lightly and it seems cinematographer Nicole Hirsch Whitaker prepared quite a bit to bring this series to life.

In an interview with the Filmmakers Academy, she reveals how she consulted with cinematographer Paul Cameron of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as well as some grips that worked on Life of Pi to get a better feeling for how she can film with boats. She also revealed that she had her crew for six weeks ahead of production, which just wrapped today.

She has also actively prepared for the project for around three months in advance to prepare how she can tackle the project. In the interview, she confirms that she was mainly responsible for the “first block of production, which amounts to 62 days” as she worked alongside director Marc Jobst on the project. In the interview it was highlighted how they tried to make it stand out from the anime.

They wanted it to stand out on its own and not just be a carbon copy of the anime. Together, they referenced different films along with photography and the look of the show. 

She still did her homework as she actively watched 1,000+ episodes of the anime alongside her son, who’s seemingly a fan. She also seemingly read the manga to her kid in the past, which adds an extra connection to the project. She highlighted the following in regard to how they set it all up.

There will always be fans and critics. You can’t please everyone but at the heart of it, the most important thing is the story. And if the story isn’t there, and that doesn’t grab the viewers, it doesn’t matter what you do. We can only hope that we’re going to gain a new audience and people that find it fascinating and interesting.

Nicole Hirsch Whitaker

It definitely sounds like she had quite a bit of fun working on the live-action One Piece series, and making it stand on its own feet to “gain a new audience” is exactly the right approach. While these projects are made for fans alike, it’s always a trouble to fall into familiar territory that pays more tribute to fans but doesn’t ease in new viewers. So, it’ll be exciting to see how they approached the series and added their own visual touch to make it stand out from the rest.

Source: Filmmakers Academy

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