Allentown’s Morning Call profiles their hometown hero Chris Manley who is responsible for creating the beautifully retro look of AMC’s hit show, “Mad Men”.
Allentown native Chris Manley dates his love of photography to a cross-country road trip he took with his family about 30 years ago. He was 11 years old at the time and at the beginning of the excursion, his father gave him a manual 35mm camera and a light meter.
“My dad taught me how to expose [the shots] and figure it all out myself,” Manley says. “I’ll never forget being at Old Faithful in Yosemite and waiting for the geyser to go off. I got so excited I kept shooting. When we got the pictures back, I had 30 photos that all looked exactly alike. It was only years later that I thought, ‘I should have been shooting motion, not stills.’”
These days, Manley is one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed cinematographers. Since 2008, Manley has helped define the look of the Emmy-winning AMC series “Mad Men,” a drama about Fifth Avenue ad men in the 1960s. After joining the series at the beginning of its second season as director of photography, he gradually darkened the palette as the plot has pushed the characters into lonelier and darker places. Manley earned an Emmy nomination for his work in 2009.