How to Become a DOP for Sherlock, Game of Thrones, and Justice League

How to Become a DOP for Sherlock, Game of Thrones, and Justice League

As I began my interview with Fabian Wagner DOP, he sits there, totally relaxed and easygoing. Describing himself as just an ordinary guy, it quickly becomes clear that my conversation was going to be a very relaxed affair, without pretenses, and totally open to all questions I threw at him.

From starting out with his friends filming while still at school, Fabian's passion for film seems embedded within and pushed him to learn his craft by attending film college not only in Denmark but also attaining his masters in the UK.

Fabian explains how meeting many people throughout his career has helped him become the success he is now: it is all about luck and timing. From using cameras at weekends from a company he worked for making corporate videos, he suddenly had equipment to use to make music videos and got his name around as someone who was good at his craft.

Starting with second unit on film sets, to getting roles with the BBC with various series like Spooks, Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. He even got the opportunity to work on The Crown with his friend, which was a great moment. 

It was after working on Sherlock that he got his first Emmy nomination, After receiving this, Fabian says he didn’t know where it had come from, and upon receiving the call, he didn’t realize how big of a career-changing moment it would end up being. He was just happy working and doing the job he loved. It was then that he was able to make a call to his mom and tell her the news. This made her extremely proud, plus she was able to go to L.A. with her son for the Emmy event. 

Joining Game Of Thrones in season four, he worked with the show runners and many directors to produce some of the best cinematography, which was recognized by earning him his second Emmy nomination.

Fabian was responsible for the now infamous scene " Battle of the Bastards." He described how this was put together, and it struck me that he is an incredibly down-to-earth guy.

We discuss his approach to filming, his mindset, his blockbuster titles like Justice League, and how he is now giving back to the community with his first steps cinematography initiative. 

It's an incredible conversation overall, which shows that it is possible for anyone to be successful once they have the passion and drive to succeed. Of course, timing and luck are also very important factors .

Listen to the conversation here.

All images used with permission.

Darren Spoonley's picture

Darren J. Spoonley, is an Ireland-based outdoor photographer, Podcaster, Videographer & Educator with a passion for capturing the beauty of our world.

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