Daniel Sackheim poses with his photography

Emmy-award film producer Daniel Sackheim launches his first solo photography exhibition

The producer of re-known crime and thriller series such as Game of Thrones, Ozark and True Detective is exhibiting a solo collection of his photography for the first time.

Daniel Sackheim will unveil his work at Iconic Images gallery on Waterloo Place on Friday 8 March as part of the exhibition ‘Bright Lights, Big City’.

Replicating the film noir aesthetic, Sackheim’s photography offers dramatically contrasting snapshots of time, to represent how a photograph can have the same cinematic narrative as a film.

Originally named ‘Vacancy’, he claimed his exhibit will soon be re-branded ‘After Hours’, inspired by his fixation on the expanse of time that follows sunset.

He said: “When I was a child, I was terrified of the dark. When I grew up, that fear turned to fascination. I started to realise you feel a presence, that as a child, existed under your bed.”

Harnessing his fixation on darkness, his work now captures moments of time from “voyeuristic” angles in the shadows using chiaroscuro lighting to unravel the history of urban environments and the “many lives that pass through” the city of Los Angeles.

Image copyright to Daniel Sackheim

“It’s important not to lose the edge that a little bit of anxiety or fear creates. I push myself harder and harder, maybe going into areas that might not be the safest to go into by myself,” he said.

Explaining that he suffers from severe ADHD, he added: “I’m terrible with managing time. The day is comforting to me as you can always mark time, the sun is always moving, shifting its hue – you always feel that certain motion of time through the sun.

“I tend to lose my bearings at night, my sense of time, and I feel out of sync with the world.”

Reclaiming time ‘after hours’, Sackheim highlighted his work is about curating “cinematic landscapes” using the film noir aesthetic to show how the “beauty of photography” is in its “storytelling”.

“In a filmic narrative, you’re putting together a sequence of the beginning, middle and an end to a scene,” he said, “But in a photograph, you have the opportunity to create a question of what happened just before the shutter was pressed, and what’s going to happen just after it’s released.”

Stemming from his passion in film, sparked by thrillers like The Maltese Falcon and
The Asphalt Jungle, he is intrigued by the “sense of precariousness” in contrasts, “of black and white, of joy surrounded by menace”.

As a result, his work leans into feelings of “isolation, alienation and solitude”.

A pinnacle moment that sparked his inspiration was when he was travelling in Tokyo and saw a local man eating a meal at a noodle bar alone.

Image copyright to Daniel Sackheim

Feeling anxious of being in a foreign country, unable to speak the language, he felt “tension” as he took out his camera to quietly snap a shot behind the man, while he ate.

Looking at the image, he said he saw a “mystery, a sense of tension” that teleported him back to the films that initially sparked his passion for film noir as both a film producer and photographer.

From that moment, he knew he wanted his work to be an exploration of the “facets of life in a city”, “to discover secrets that remain hidden just beneath even the most forbidding corners” and “to excavate the past and stare into the faces of ghosts long forgotten”.

As a director, Sackheim is best known for his work on multiple highly acclaimed television series, including: Game of Thrones, True Detective, The Americans, The Walking Dead, Jack Ryan, Servant, Better Call Saul, The Leftovers, The Man in the High Castle, Ozark, and Lovecraft Country.

He has received multiple Emmy nominations won in 1997 for an episode of NYPD Blue.

‘Bright Lights, Big City’ features more than 15 renowned photographers whose work captures the glamour, grime, connection and isolation that defines the metropolitan experience in the 20th and 21st centuries.

It includes Ted Williams’ never-before-seen images of 1950s Chicago, Terry O’Neill, Gered Mankowitz and Douglas Kirkland’s star-studded London and LA of the 60s and 70s, Norman Parkinson’s dizzying fashion in Paris, and the gritty glitz of New York City from the 50s onwards through the lenses of Eve Arnold, Sonia Moskowitz, Allan Tannenbaum and Dafydd Jones.

The exhibition will be running until May 25.

Featured image credit: The Londoners

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