William Colby, perhaps the nation’s most legendary CIA spymaster, helped sway elections against the Communists in Italy, oversaw the coup against President Diem in Saigon, and ran the controversial Phoenix Program in Vietnam. He later unveiled before Congress many of these dark secrets of the CIA, except one — himself.
Colby was a mysterious figure even in his own household. In an attempt to uncloak his father, Colby’s son Carl interviews a legion of high-power Washington insiders—from journalists to former cabinet members to former national security advisors—who knew and worked with his father.
I had the pleasure of sitting in on all of these interviews in my role as a camera operator and camera assistant during the production of this film. The interviews are gorgeously lit by NY-based cinematographer Gary Steele. He used (and I hope I’m not giving away a secret of his own here) two 2k fresnels bounced off a large white card through a large white sheet of muslin, which had the effect of producing an extremely soft and intriguing wrap of light around the subjects. See the film and you’ll see what I mean.