I spoke with Bolter in an interview for /Film, and when the conversation turned to how he came onboard the series, he revealed that the hunt for a cinematographer matched the magnitude of the show itself. “Allegedly there were 200 cinematographers they looked at for the role that I ended up taking,” Bolter said, after explaining that the series had been his dream job for years.
This isn’t the first big number we’ve heard in relation to this epic show. Last month, series writer and co-creator Craig Mazin told SFX Magazine (via The Gamer) that more than 100 actors auditioned for the role of Ellie, which ended up going to “Game of Thrones” star Bella Ramsey.
In Bolter’s case, the journey to becoming the cinematographer who would craft some of the season’s most indelible moments started way back in 2013, when “The Last of Us” hit shelves. “It was a day-one purchase for me,” the filmmaker shares. He recalls that the game moved he and his wife to tears “a couple of times, particularly the ending,” and that he considered any future adaptation of the game a job he’d be eager to land. “I’m a cinematographer, I make films and TV, but I’ve always been a gamer as well, as a hobby,” Bolter shares, “And this was the first time I really felt like they were digging into my world and doing really innovative narrative choices.” The game and its follow-up, “The Last of Us Part II,” would go on to win dozens of awards, many of which emphasized their especially cinematic direction and design.