An HYH Exclusive Interview with Dominic Mainl
[Over the last six seasons, Dominic Mainl has worked in the camera department on Homeland, working to get the shots you see in each episode onto your screens. For our “On the Record with…” series, Dom graciously answered our questions about what the Homeland experience has been like, including how he got started, what it’s like to work with cast and crew, and his most vivid memories. Thank you Dom for answering our questions! –the HYH team]
Hell Yeah Homeland: Your first Homeland episode was “Tin Man Is Down” in season three. How did the German guy become a part of the production?
Dom Mainl: Haha, pure luck? In 1998 I moved from tiny Bad Dürrheim, Germany, to Los Angeles because I wanted to work in Hollywood. I was already in the film industry in Germany and wanted to work with the best of the best and that meant moving to Los Angeles. It took a few years and a lot of hard work to “break into Hollywood” and yet another few years and even harder work to become established, but in the end it all worked out. I worked on the HBO show True Blood and met David Klein, ASC there. I really enjoy working with him and over the years we have become a good team, business partners and most importantly, very good friends. One day my phone rings and Dave said, “Hey man, I’m taking over as the Director of Photography on Homeland. Are you interested? I would love to have you on the crew” …. and I had no idea what Homeland even was! I had never heard of it! I said yes anyway because I love working with Dave and looked up the show online. So on my way out to Charlotte (where we shot season three) I started watching the first season and really, really liked it. So I was hyped about being part of the project after becoming part of the project.
HYH: What do you remember from your first day at set?
DM: Every project, whether it’s film, tv or commercials, I have butterflies in my stomach the night before day one. David Klein says, “if you’re not nervous before day one you are phoning it in,” and he’s right. We love what we do and there are so many things that can go wrong, so even after 20+ years I still get nervous. The first day on Homeland was really easy though because all the actors are sooo unbelievably nice. As a focus puller I am quite immersed in all technical things to make sure nothing goes wrong (especially on day one!), so Homeland was no different from other shows in that respect.