Cinematographer Craig Kief’s impressive body of work spans numerous genres and styles, making him a perfect fit for a diverse set of directors.
Kief shot two seasons of The Unicorn, following a newly-widowed father who struggles with the full responsibility of raising his two daughters as he discovers new relationships alongside his close friends. Also for television, Kief lensed the pilots and first seasons for: the 1970s-based period show The Kids Are Alright, the dramedy Me Myself and I, and action comedy The Mick.
Kief recently completed principal photography on The Muppets Haunted Mansion movie for Disney+, which was shot primarily inside an LED Volume using realtime 3D environments running in Unreal Engine instead of practical sets. In addition the film has over 800 VFX shots with many hundreds of elements that were shot and are being composited together, all of which is being finished in 4K Dolby Vision HDR.
Earlier, Kief shot the sophomore mockumentary film Tour De Pharmacy, rejoining the team behind 7 Days In Hell, both of which were for HBO. The film stars Andy Samberg and follows the 1983 Tour de France – told through mixed media archival footage Kief shot with vintage cameras. Simulating the television coverage of the Tour’s mountainous ride required a variety of specialty rigs, camera cars, and drone work.
In between long form projects, Kief shoots commercials for clients such as Apple, Under Armour, Disney, AT&T, Google, and many others. He has also lensed dozens of music videos, including Lovett's 'Eye of the Storm', which earned Kief a nomination for best cinematography at Camerimage. His work has been covered in American Cinematographer, ICG, IndieWire, Post Magazine, and Cinefex.
Prior to working as a cinematographer, Kief spent several years working as a gaffer, and he graduated from the Florida State University Film School – where he received the ASC Gregg Toland Heritage Award Honorable Mention for one of his films.
He currently serves as co-chair of 3 committees at the ASC, including Future Practices - which is tasked with assisting cinematographers in deploying the latest technologies and techniques to work in the pandemic world. He was also recently an instructor in an ASC Master Class on Virtual Production, and has been a consultant for ETC Lighting – assisting them with the development of their fos/4 series high end cinema lighting fixtures.