Moon Knight Cinematographer Was Surprised By Marvel's Hands-Off Approach [Exclusive]

As "Moon Knight" enters its home stretch, it's become clear that it's one of Marvel's most unique properties. The thrilling adventure series about a man (Oscar Isaac) with dissociative identity disorder who's also channeling the moon god Khonshu is creative and strange, especially when compared to the rest of the MCU. As the team behind the series opens up about the process of making it, it's increasingly clear that this, too, was a unique experience.

Cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo spoke with /Film about his time spent filming episodes 2 and 4 alongside directors Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson. Over the course of the conversation, the filmmaker shares plenty of insights into "Moon Knight," but one of the most surprising admissions involves the amount of input Marvel gave — or didn't give — the production.

Do your thing, DPs!

"Myself and the other cinematographer, Greg Middleton, I think we had a lot of freedom and that wasn't honestly something I was expecting," Palermo explained, citing the cinematographer who worked on the show's first and third episodes. He added:

"I thought there would be a lot more restrictions or things that we could and couldn't do. Honestly, at some point during shooting [laughs], I was like, 'I haven't been getting any feedback.'"

Palermo says he approached Benson and Moorhead to ask if they'd heard anything "from up top," expecting some criticism from the Marvel powers-that-be, but was met with nothing but support. When Palermo got feedback from execs, as told to him by the directors, it was positive: "They're like, 'Yeah, they love it. They're just like, 'Keep doing your thing,'" the filmmaker explained.

The director of photographer isn't the first person to hint that Marvel allowed a more free reign approach to "Moon Knight": In press for the series, director Mohammed Diab revealed that the team wasn't required to shoot nearly as much additional photography as most Marvel projects, likely because they had a good foundation for filming thanks to extensive rehearsal opportunities. Overall, the "Moon Knight" shoot sounds more organic than most anyone expected, with Isaac also saying he appreciated it as a "creative adventure" with "real, incredible collaborators."

Despite the hands-off approach, Marvel apparently did have some basic technical specifications for the series' cinematographers. "They want to shoot in 4K HDR, finish in HDR, and I'm happy to do that," Palermo says, before adding that he's a huge fan of the 4K HDR viewing experience. "I think it's beautiful, and it's so immersive and I'm lucky to have a really nice TV myself and great sound at home. If I can't be in a theater, it's a really nice experience aside from being in a theater." So far, it looks great from where we're sitting, too.

"Moon Knight" airs Wednesdays on Disney+.