PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Cinematographer Andrij Parekh, with 20 years of experience in that role, was nominated for an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series” for directing the HBO series “Succession,” specifically the “Hunting” episode.
He also worked as director on the “Vaulter” and “Which Side Are You On?” episodes, from the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Mr. Parekh also worked on the series as director of photography for three episodes in 2018.
Mr. Parekh’s other recent work as a cinematographer has included the “Watchmen” television mini-series for one episode in 2019, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”; a Nokia commercial, “No Time to Die” (2020); and “Naked Singularity” (2020), which is in post-production.
As a director, Mr. Parekh’s recent works have included “Brave New World” (as executive producer) on the NBC-owned Peacock television-streaming series (2020) for two episodes, titled “Monogamy and Futility” (parts one and two), as well as directing the 2019 mini-series “Watchmen” for the episode “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own.”
The HBO series “Succession,” which chronicles the life of a modern-day dynastic family, has received 18 Emmy nominations. The Emmy Awards, which recognize achievement in television broadcasting, will be held online on September 20 (which happens to be Mr. Parekh’s birthday) on ABC networks.
The Emmy nod came “as quite a shock,” Mr. Parekh explained to shootonline.com, noting that he’s “a little bit new to directing. ‘Succession’ was my first transition into directing. I’m still shooting as a DP [director of photography]. I love both directing and shooting.”
Besides his opportunity to direct, the “Succession” series has brought Mr. Parekh more squarely into the world of television. With numerous feature films to his credit, Mr. Parekh said his work on the HBO series was “an amazing experience” and was a chance for continued personal growth.
“Back in film school, I was terrified of actors. I had no vocabulary to speak to them. So I found it comfortable behind the camera. Directing for me was an opportunity for growth, to come out of my shell, to use other muscles,” he said.
He described his directorial debut as “a great experience, a comfortable transition. I knew the story, the cast and had support from everyone doing it.”
Mr. Parekh’s years as director of photography also helped him to settle into the director’s chair. Most importantly, he strived to “never get in the way of getting a great performance. Don’t take time from the director yet never be too far away. It’s the way I had been shooting for 20 years, spending time with directors, watching great directors.”
Working with cinematographer Christopher Noor for the HBO series, Mr. Parekh noted how he had developed a trusting relationship with Mr. Norr and how, as a director, he became more hands-off. “There’s always that urge to give someone your two cents. But it’s interesting to see a different read and the incredible results – to see what someone else sees as opposed to your own vision…”
Mr. Parekh, who is of Ukrainian descent on his mother’s side and of Indian descent on his father’s side, has been working in the film industry since 1998. He graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (MFA, 2001) and the FAMU film school in Prague (Prague, 1998). He was included among Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Indie Film” in 2004 and was named in 2006 as Variety Magazine’s “Ten Cinematographers to Watch.” In 2010 he received a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award for his cinematography on the film “Cold Souls” and was invited to become a member of the American Society of Cinematographers.
As for the future, Mr. Parekh said he is more comfortable behind the camera than as a director, “But an Emmy nomination doesn’t hurt. It helps one’s confidence, puts a little wind in the sails.”