Alone at Night (2022): Interview with cinematographer Peter Buntaine

Alone at Night - Courtesy Projection PR
Alone at Night - Courtesy Projection PR /

Jimmy Giannopoulos’s Alone at Night is about a camgirl named Vicki (Ashley Benson) who heads to an isolated cabin for peace of mind. While still performing her craft online, she ends up drawing some unwanted attention of the slasher kind. The film also features Jon Foster, Sky Ferreira, Winnie Harlow, G-Eazy, Pamela Anderson, and Paris Hilton.

Interview with “Alone at Night” Cinematographer Peter Buntaine

1428 ELM: Many of the scenes do occur at night. What are the trickiest parts of keeping a scene dark, while still having visibility?

PETER BUNTAINE: That really is the trick for shooting nighttime cinematography. Striking that balance. In this case, though, we were aiming for a look that would be really elevated and artificial – a very saturated neon blue moonlight. So we weren’t concerned about darkness at all. That was one of our first aesthetic ideas when approaching the script. It is pretty hard to light up the woods at night though, so the darkness happens on its own.

1428 ELM: As someone who rarely consumes “reality TV,” what can you tell me about those aspects of this Alone at Night?

PETER BUNTAINE: At this point, I think reality TV is ingrained enough in the culture that whether you watch it or not, you instantly recognize it and know the hallmarks: the host, the personality types, the editing style where they are practically narrating live events from the confessional interview setup, etc.


1428 ELM: To state the obvious, Alone At Night is a horror movie. What would you say sets this story apart from other horror projects?

PETER BUNTAINE: I think it’s a little more tongue-in-cheek than some other horror projects. It might have more laughs than scares. The fake reality show segments are a decent chunk of the movie.

1428 ELM: Jason stalks camp counselors, and Freddy operates based on fear in a dream. What would you say the villain of Alone at Night does?

PETER BUNTAINE: Hang out on Only Fans and dream of making these cam girls his wife. Haha.

Favorite horror movies and TV shows

Alone At Night
Alone At Night – Courtesy Projection PR /

1428 ELM: What can you tell us about the role of blocking in cinematography?

PETER BUNTAINE: Blocking is pretty much everything. You don’t know what to shoot or where to shoot it from until you see the blocking.

1428 ELM: Any advice on how to take those ideas from a sheet of paper and transfer them to the screen?

PETER BUNTAINE: I guess just go do it… Especially in horror. There are examples of films with modest budgets that break through.

1428 ELM: What are some of your favorite horror films and TV shows?

PETER BUNTAINE: I really like the Sleepaway Camp movies. I like the old Tales from the Crypt TV show. A lot. Anything Argento, even some of his awful ones, is pretty good.

1428 ELM: What are the benefits of shooting outside, and also for shooting inside?

PETER BUNTAINE: To me, the main benefit of shooting outside is the natural light of the sun. It’s beautiful and there is nothing as good as it in the world. If you shoot outside at night as we did, we pretty much negate that factor. Shooting inside is nice because, if you control the windows, you can keep working night and day and you don’t need to worry about what the sun is doing.

1428 ELM: How does one get into cinematography?

PETER BUNTAINE: I feel like the way I’ve gone about my career has been very slow and circuitous and I’m probably a bad person to ask about that. It does seem to me that cinematographers are still made through climbing the ladder on a film set from PA to AC to Operator. Or coming up from the gaffing side. This is somewhat speculation though because I didn’t really do that, and I think I am worse off because of it.

1428 ELM: Are there any new projects you are working on?

PETER BUNTAINE: Yes, but it’s in the early stages, so nothing I can talk about quite yet.

We’d like to thank Peter Buntaine for taking the time to answer these questions. Also, feel free to give Alone at Night a chance!

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