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Manifest

Interview with Manifest Cinematographer Sarah Cawley Reveals ‘Stylized’ Callings

MANIFEST -- "Estimated Time of Departure" Episode 116 -- Pictured: (l-r) Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela Stone, Josh Dallas as Ben Stone -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/Warner Brothers)

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The mystery of Flight 828 continues on Manifest Season 2 as the Callings intensify, the death date looms over the passengers, and the Stone family scrambles to figure out what the Major wants.

However, the world of Manifest with its mystery, intrigue, and mythology, wouldn’t be anything without the cast and crew that bring it to life.

At the helm sits Sarah Cawley, the Director of Photography on the show’s second season, whose impressive resume includes pilots of Ugly Betty, Salem, and Ringer, in addition to plenty of TV movies and documentaries.

What Do We Have Here? - Manifest

TV Fanatic had a chance to catch up with Sarah and talk to her about how she approaches the visuals for the show, how she styled the Callings, her creative process, what her background brings to the season, and so much more.

She also gives fans a tease into her favorite episodes of the season, which includes something “big” in the season finale!

Tell me a little bit about the work that goes into cinematography for an episodic series filled with mystery and mythology.

So, I came out for season two, I was not on for season one, and I really wanted a stylized show a bit more for season two, like the Callings feeling a little bit more subjective and a little more dreamlike, so we did a lot of testing before Manifest Season 2 Episode 1.

Making the Call - Manifest Season 2 Episode 3

Joe Chapelle directed that episode, so we had to we had to figure out our look for the Callings, which ended up being the lens’ baby.

And we had to figure out the nose dive sequence in the airplane. And some of the key props like in 201 the calling is a form of shaking, so we tried out a couple of different ways to get the image to shake, and we landed on the Keslow camera image shaker.

There was a lot of a lot of testing, which I actually think is really fun and creative. When you say you’re going to do a day of camera tests, it doesn’t sound that exciting, but really it’s a great thing to get done before you show up on set to shoot.

And there’s a whole mythology aspect to season two which actually was present in season one as well. A lot of key props that give clues on, and a lot of times for us that would be like a macro shot if it’s a small prop some of which you’ll see coming up in upcoming episodes.

Standing Up For What's Right - Manifest Season 2 Episode 2

How is that different from feature films and episodic television? Does it require a different approach?

Yes, it does. Features are different than TV, and it takes a different approach from the D.P

One big reason that a feature is different is that I’m working with one director and we spend so much time together and prep.

Gathering visual references and visiting our sets, so that by the time we’re shooting the film we have a very developed idea of what we’re striving for. And we’re both totally on the same page.

On TV, there’s a rotating slate of directors, so sometimes I’ve worked with the director before, but if it’s somebody who’s new to me we have to get through that prep process really fast during our prep time, so the fact that there are different directors coming in all the time on TV makes a difference.

Doing The Right Thing - Manifest Season 2 Episode 3

And then there’s the aspect where, as this season’s DP, I alternated with somebody else, John Inwoods, so the two of us were the stewards of the visuals on the show, so we definitely welcome new ideas from the directors.

And then, if it turns out that some of those things don’t seem like they’re gonna mesh especially well with the visual look we can talk about that and see how much of it we want to hold onto and how much of it we want to modify, so it fits in well with what we’ve established.

I’ve done a lot of indie features and on those there’s some room for flexibility like if you get to a location and there’s beautiful light happening over this way, you know sometimes you can be flexible and change your blocking so that you get that.

You get that beautiful light, or you change which way you’re going to look, and I would say on television, that’s less the case.

Like once you’ve tech scouted, especially in New York City, you’re kind of locked into the way that you’re looking, you got permits, you got trucks, you got locations and you’ve got TV show time pressure, so you don’t have as much maneuverability once you’re tech scouted.

When you show up you’re executing what you planned as fast as you can and then you’re moving on to the next set.

Also, one challenge of TV is just that frequently even though it’s single camera, you do have two cameras rolling at the same time. And if you’re looking at more than one direction that just adds a lighting challenge that in feature you don’t usually get into quite as much.

Baby on Board - Manifest Season 2 Episode 2

What’s the typical time between when you start filming an episode to when your done and you’re onto the next one?

On Manifest, we had about nine days to prep and nine days to shoot. Sometimes it would be eight days of prep in nine days of shooting, and for the season finale I think we had a couple extra days, but there was roughly nine days as a prep and nine days of shooting.

That’s tight. 

Yeah, it’s a tight schedule. They really stacked it up very efficiently, and it was scheduled to get maximum screen time.

See the full post at TV Fanatic! 


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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‘Manifest’ Season 3 Poster Teases the Tailfin Mystery: “The Truth Will Surface”

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If you’ve spent the past year wondering what happened to Flight 828, you’re not alone.

But it looks like Manifest Season 3 will begin to divulge some answers and unravel the mystery. (At least we hope so.)

NBC released the first poster for the upcoming third season – which premieres on April 1, 2021 (no, not an April Fools joke) – and it focuses heavily on the tailfin fished out of the water in the final moments of Manifest Season 2. 

MANIFEST — Pictured: “Manifest” Key Art — (Photo by: NBC)

For those that need a little refresher, a tailfin from a Montego Air flight was found by the fishermen in a massive body of water indicating that the flight that we saw land at the kickstart of season 1 did, in fact, crash five years ago.

Understandably, this raised so many questions… on top of the questions we already had. How did the plane return if it crashed? How are the passengers alive? Are the passengers even the passengers?

The season 3 poster focuses heavily on the tailfin and features the tagline: “the truth will surface.”

With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that the season will seemingly address the mystery of the tailfin and how it ended up underwater as it connects to Flight 828.

Show creator Jeff Rake seemed to confirm this by explaining: “From literally the opening shot of Season Three, we’ll see the Tailfin lure our heroes even deeper into the mystery of Flight 828.”

Of course, the first episode of season 3 is aptly titled “Tailspin.” Is that a hint that the plane dived into the ocean?

Or will the episode and the mystery take us on a whirlwind of a descent?

And while no synopsis is provided for now, there is this photo of Josh Dallas who plays Ben Stone.

MANIFEST — “Tailfin” Episode 301 — Pictured: Josh Dallas as Ben Stone — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/WBTV/NBC)

That’s a very tropical outfit for Ben, wouldn’t you say?

The mystery of the tailfin thickens because since Flight 828 landed five years after it took off from Jamaica, there’s no reason for it to be underwater.

Plus, we saw the plane explode in front of all the passengers when they received a collective “calling.”

There have been several theories about the existence of the tailfin, however. 

There’s a chance that the tailfin could belong to a decoy plane used by the government since we know they’re involved. Could this be what exposes them?

Maybe they wanted people to think that the plane sunk and took the real thing to inspect? But the government wouldn’t be reckless enough to dump the real thing in the ocean, would they?

‘Manifest’ Season 3 Teaser Focuses on Tail Fin in the Water – What Happened to Flight 828?

Users pointed out that when the plane exploded, it didn’t actually show the tailfin getting destroyed, so it’s possible it was dumped into the ocean to destroy evidence.

However, another interesting point is that the tailfin being pulled out of the water and the one from the exploding plane look different. It could be another side of the fin, it could be a filming continuity error, or it might not be the same tailfin at all. 

Personally, I think it looks like it would be from an older model aircraft, so maybe it’s from a plane that crashed prior?

I’m into the theory that it’s from an alternate reality, but the fishermen are fully aware that Flight 828 returned, so we know that this timeline exists alongside the passengers and in the same dimension.  

Rake had this to say about the tailfin if it offers you any insight: “We saw that plane land in New York. We saw that plane blow up on the tarmac at the end of the pilot. So how can a plane have landed and been exploded and then also be found at the bottom of the ocean? Once the entire world finds out about this tailfin, that’s going to re-trigger the global scrutiny and paranoia about Flight 828 and its passengers.” 

Could it be that the passengers aren’t even real? Rake has considered it: “Does this mean that the passengers are not the passengers? And if they’re not the passengers, who are they? That’s going to be a season-long, science-based, science meets mythology investigation. For those who have been feeling that the episodes have become a little science-light or investigation-light, they have a lot of good material coming down the pike.”

Clearly, there’s plenty of avenues for the series to take here. 

Hopefully, the season gives us some answers to the central mystery at the core of NBC’s most thrilling series.

We’ll see you back here on April 1!

In the meantime, follow us on socials: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!


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NBC Announces Spring Premiere Dates for ‘Manifest,’ ‘Good Girls,’ and ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’

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NBC Announces Spring Premiere Dates for 'Manifest,' 'Good Girls,' and 'Law & Order: Organized Crime'

Manifest and Good Girls fans, we have the news you’ve been waiting for! 

After months of anticipation, NBC is unveiling its spring schedule. 

Good Girls is set to return for season 4 on Sunday, March 7 at 10/9c. We’ll reunite with Beth, Ruby, and Annie as “the stakes for everyone get higher and higher,” the brand new logline teases. 

Will Good Girls Be Renewed for Season 4? Here’s What Would Have Happened With #Brio in Season 3

Ellen’s Game of Games will make its official move from Mondays to Sunday on March 7.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist will also return to its former time-slot on Sundays on March 28.

Then, we’ll be welcoming April with Manifest, which returns for season 3 on Thursday, April 1 at 8/7c.

Per the network, Manifest picks up more than a year since the mysterious and puzzling return of Flight 828.

“While the Stone family endeavors to keep their friends safe and make their enemies believe the unbelievable, new challenges will test their trust of the callings and each other. But sticking together is more important than ever, because no matter what happens, it’s all connected,” the description reads. 

‘Manifest’ Season 3 Teaser Focuses on Tail Fin in the Water – What Happened to Flight 828?

The series will be followed by a two-hour Law & Order, which will include the series premiere of the Elliot Stabler-focused spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime

Interview: Jack Messina Talks All Things ‘Manifest’ Including Bromance with Zeke and Season 3


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Manifest

‘Manifest’ Season 3 Teaser Focuses on Tail Fin in the Water – What Happened to Flight 828?

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Manifest Flight 828 Tail Fin Theories

When NBC renewed Manifest for a third season, Manifesters jumped for joy. Celebrations only intensified when it was revealed the season would return as part of NBC’s fall 2020 lineup in September (or late October given COVID delays). 

The trailer released by Manifest hones in on the question we’ve all been asking ourselves for way too long: what happened to the passengers aboard Flight 828?

Pieces of the second season are spliced together to amp up fans, but there’s a huge focus on the specific and major cliffhanger of the fishermen finding the tailfin of the plane in the water. My guess is that tailfin finding is going to propel the series into new and unexpected directions.

Here’s what we know to be certain – Flight 828 landed five years after it took off from Jamaica. Upon landing, it exploded in front of all the passengers. Therefore, it’s very unlikely that there would be a tailfin floating around in the water. 

There’s a chance that the tailfin could belong to a decoy plane used by the government since we know they’re involved. Maybe they wanted people to think that the plane sunk and took the real thing to inspect? But the government wouldn’t be reckless enough to dump the real thing in the ocean, would they?

Users pointed out that when the plane exploded, it didn’t actually show the tailfin getting destroyed, so it could be the real thing. 

However, another interesting point is that the tailfin being pulled out of the water and the one from the exploding plane look different. It could be another side of the fin, it could be a filming continuity error, or it might not be the same tailfin at all. 

Manifest Season 3 Tail Fin Conspiracy

Credit: Manifest/ NBC

There’s a chance it’s from a different plane. Personally, it looks like it would be from an older model aircraft, so maybe it’s from a plane that crashed prior?

Or maybe it’s a plane that the survivors will board to try to defy the death date? 

Interview: Jack Messina Talks All Things ‘Manifest’ Including Bromance with Zeke and Season 3

The fishermen are fully aware that Flight 828 returned, so we know that this timeline exists alongside the passengers and in the same dimension.  

There’s also the possibility that this is the “silver dragon” from the storm episode, which pointed to the possibility of this mystery happening once before in a “lightning always strikes the same place twice.” Maybe that Calling was showing them that this is where the plane went down — an “X” marks the spot kind of moment. 

Series creator Jeff Rake had this to say about the tail fin, if it offers you any insight: “We saw that plane land in New York. We saw that plane blow up on the tarmac at the end of the pilot. So how can a plane have landed and been exploded and then also be found at the bottom of the ocean? Once the entire world finds out about this tail fin, that’s going to re-trigger the global scrutiny and paranoia about Flight 828 and its passengers.” 

Could it be that the passengers aren’t even real? Rake has considered it: “Does this mean that the passengers are not the passengers? And if they’re not the passengers, who are they? That’s going to be a season-long, science-based, science meets mythology investigation. For those who have been feeling that the episodes have become a little science-light or investigation-light, they have a lot of good material coming down the pike.”

We’ll have to wait a few more months to get to the bottom of this mystery. 

Until then — share your best theories in the comments below! 


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