In Conversation With: Daniel Sackheim

Daniel Sackheim is an American Film & Television director and producer best known for his work on such highly acclaimed series as HBO’s True Detective Season 3, Game of Thrones, and Amazon’s Jack Ryan. He received a 2017 Emmy nomination for Directing the Ozark episode Tonight We Improvise, which is a category he won in ‘94 for an episode of NYPD Blue. Some of Sackheim’s other Directorial credits include M. Night Shymalan’s Apple TV+ series Servant, Better Call Saul, The Leftovers, The Man in the High Castle, as well as multiple episodes of Ozark and The Walking Dead. Sackheim most recently completed multiple episodes of the new, critically acclaimed HBO series Lovecraft Country.

In addition to his television work, Sackheim directed the Sony feature film The Glass House, starring Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane, and Stellan Skarsgard, and produced The X-Files: Fight the Future for 20th Century Fox. On the producing side: Sackheim has partnered with Emmy award-winning producer and fellow HBO alum Tony To (Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, The Pacific) in the recently launched Bedrock Entertainment, which produces premium content programming for a global market. When not behind the motion picture camera, Sackheim applies his passion for visual storytelling to still photography.

Twilight in Chicago.

Initially, when I had the opportunity to speak to Daniel Sackheim, I automatically thought of the ground-breaking episodes he directed of Lovecraft Country that kept me glued to my television every Sunday. However, his photographic work had the same effect on me.

Daniel describes his photographic process as using the space he’s in as a canvas and going back and forth to photograph what will fill that space.

Daniel’s work embodies dark spaces and brings the things that were invisible visible. He recalls being afraid of the dark as a child and his work becoming a way to remedy that fear. During our conversation, he educates me on the beginning of noir and WWII, which became a theme in his work.

Daniel states he’s drawn to the dark spaces and the unknown. His photographic journey began as a child stating his brother was a photographer, and his brother handed down a camera to Daniel, which he calls a biological interest.

However, at the time, he never pursued it due to his studies of engineering but after dropping out and The Writer’s Guild Strike. Daniel purchased a DSLR to keep himself motivated.

Daniel describes the composition, conveying a narrative while creating a strong specific point of view as the intersection of his directorial eye and photographic eye.

In conclusion, Daniel’s work really speaks to the shadows and bringing the invisible visible through light. A multi-faceted artist that have given us so much through his directorial vision and is now giving us the opportunity to experience the unknown and dark spaces through his eyes.

To view more of Daniel Sackheim’s work please visit their website.