/Film’s Valerie Ettenhofer talked to “The Last of Us” cinematographer Eben Bolter about shooting the third episode, revealing that the pressure to deliver was on after reading the script, and not just because it was written by showrunner Craig Mazin, either:
“We all knew it was special, I’d say. And the only real nerves were to do with making sure we did it justice. It would have been such a missed opportunity for a script that good, with that great production design, that great cast, if somehow we’d messed it up. Really, that was the angle of anxiety. It was just, ‘We mustn’t mess this up. We’ve got this golden script, we’ve just got to … ‘ It was an instruction manual for greatness, it really was. It was like, ‘If we can do what this says, this is going to be a really special episode of television.’“
Bolter, who did a phenomenal job capturing Bill and Frank’s emotional journey, had plenty of reason to get it right. The Mazin-written script focuses on an isolated story that is exclusively dependent on human interaction. The emotional weight of Bill and Frank’s relationship had to top any bit of tension a clicker could provide. It’s safe to say Bolter had a tall task on his hands, especially since he had nothing to reference from the original video game.