Mark Kohl, ABC's "The Quest" series Cinematographer.
Meet Mark Kohl Cinematographer of ABC’s “The Quest”
Innovative cinematographer Mark Kohl is changing the look of reality television with ABC’s innovative series, “The Quest”.
Mark Kohl is changing the face of cinematography in the hybrid world of scripted meets non-scripted with ABC’s hottest new series, “The Quest”.
A genre-bending new reality series unlike anything else on television, “The Quest,” combines harrowing and intense competition challenges, narrative storytelling and cutting edge special effects and prosthetics to conjure an immersive fantasy environment. 12 real people, pulled from their everyday lives, are transported to a fantasy world where they are declared Paladins, defenders of a noble cause. The Paladins must compete to save the besieged kingdom of Everealm but only one will prevail and earn the right to be called the One True Hero.
Kohl says, “We broke the mold of traditional competition shows. We aimed to create a cinematic scripted/reality hybrid that included CG animation and real contestants. The goal was to create a reality show that looked and felt like a fantasy movie. Working with actors and real contestants was something that had never been done before. It was like shooting a feature film and live television at the same time. The blend of reality and characters created the fantasy in the world of Everealm.”
“There is a fine balance between making things look too polished and produced to the point where the viewer stops believing it's real. We had to be mindful and create an experience that balances production value with story.”
Kohl continues, “There were a total of 9 cameras rolling continuously…we even dressed them to be a part of the scene. Also, I wanted to shoot this using full sensor digital cameras with cinema lenses. The cameras available were the alexa and the red, both of which are NOT really sustainable in the reality world because of their ergonomics. So months before I had heard about Sony coming out with the F55, and Fuji coming out with their 19-90 zoom lens that had a handgrip and servo zoom motor on it exactly like and ENG lens. The combination of the two (with a little tweaking), created a lightweight balanced handheld camera that was extremely fast. Perfect for reality and scripted. We were able to shoot in extreme low light situations quickly and easily.”
Andy Dehnart, reality blurred, calls "The Quest"the "Summer's best new reality show" giving it an "A".
Mark Kohl is a multi-award winning, innovative Cinematographer/Director. He has shot feature films for Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope production company and served as the Director of Photography on Aaron Spelling’s “Safe Harbor.” Mark has lensed 15 feature films and HBO movies, including “Lonely Hearts” with John Travolta and James Gandolfini and “Recount” with Kevin Spacey and Dennis Leary. He has shot and/or directed over 130 episodes of “America’s Most Wanted” and in between, has over 2000 commercials to his credit including clients such as McDonald’s, Honda, Ford, AT&T, Pizza Hut, Carnival Cruise Lines and Dick’s Sporting Good’s.
The award winning Kohl, who’s accolades range from Addys, Tellys and multiple film festival prizes (Chicago International, Telluride, New York International…), keeps reinventing his craft by bringing unparalleled energy, experience and creativity to every project. Mark has developed the kind of versatile skills that allow him to take on any project, at any place, anytime while customizing the style and substance of each project he works on. Mark believes it’s not what you’re looking through, but rather what you’re looking at.