Eric’s fascination with movies began in childhood with the arrival of home video. “THE BLACK STALLION,” “STAR WARS,” and “THE RIGHT STUFF” were a few of the movies watched over and over. He began to realize he was relating not only to story, but also the look and feel of the movies. It wasn’t until seeing Spielberg's “EMPIRE OF THE SUN” that he learned the word ‘cinematographer.’ This is where his love for film truly began.
In 2006 Steelberg broke out into the feature film world with “QUINCEAÑERA,” a small indie which earned both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prizes at the Sundance Film Fesitval. Since then, Eric has ejoyed collaborating with director Jason Reitman on seven films including “JUNO,” “UP IN THE AIR,” and the recently completed "THE FRONT RUNNER" starring Hugh Jackman. “JUNO” and “UP IN THE AIR” both garnered Academy Award® nominations for Best Picture. In 2017 he saw Paramount Pictures’ “BAYWATCH” released to broad international enjoyment. In addition to those films, he has also photographed the Golden Globe and Spirit Award nominated “(500) DAYS OF SUMMER." Always searching for diversity, Steelberg also tried his hand in television by shooting the pilot Showtime’s “BILLIONS,” ABC's "THE GOOD DOCTOR," and season two of HBO’s “EASTBOUND AND DOWN.” When not involved in feature films, he fills his schedule shooting commercials for some of the biggest corporations in the world. Occasionally, this work takes him to locations around the globe.
In 2012 Eric became the youngest member ever invited for membership into the American Society of Cinematographers, in which he also on several committees. He has been a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences since 2011 and is currently in his second term as a member of the Executive Committee, Cinematographer’s Branch. When time allows, Steelberg has also spent time participating in educational outreach by making himself available for school visits and master classes. He is born, raised, and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Interview: Cinematographer Eric Steelberg, ASC
The director of photography for films including Up in the Air, Labor Day, and Juno talks about how he uses a meter during preproduction and on set, how he handled the complicated lighting situations in Up in the Air, and the sometimes counterintuitive ways he's used light to communicate moods and themes in his collaborations with director Jason Reitman.
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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The crafts of "Up in the Air"
Because some of director Jason Reitman’s work tends to be stylistically traditional and classic, he says there might be the assumption that he’s not a visual filmmaker. But seven years as a commercial director tends to make you as visual as the next guy. And make no mistake. He is absolutely specific when it comes to below-the-line elements on his features, and “Up in the Air” was no exception.
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