‘The Alienist’: DP P.J. Dillon on Creating a ‘Visceral Connection’ to 19th Century Murder Mystery

The cinematographer took inspiration from paintings and photography from the period to create the look of the series.

Though set in nineteenth century New York, and steeped in the heady, sprawling, excessive atmosphere of that time, the images at the heart of the TNT limited series The Alienist have a piercing, shocking clarity to them that transcends period. One of the very first of these is an eyeless child's corpse, a crucial element of the procedural to follow. As the camera moves in, we stare more deeply at the haunting, blank face, and everything around it, teeming and surging as the backdrop might be, falls away.

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