Through the Lens with Sebastian Thaler
Play • 14 min

Polyglots are great at communication, and it would seem that this talent also translates to the big screen! Sebastian Thaler is an Austrian cinematographer who shoots with a lucid immediacy that makes him a talent to watch, showcased when he lensed the feature film 7500 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Thaler is based in Vienna, Austria, where he completed his Master in Cinematography at the Film Academy of Vienna in 2017 under the guidance of Walter Kindler and Michael Haneke. Thaler’s post-academy work includes the documentary Glory To the Queen, a tribute to the Georgian queens of chess set against the backdrop of the Cold War. It tells the story of four legendary female chess players from Georgia who revolutionized women's chess across the globe and became Soviet icons of female emancipation. Thaler is next set to commence production on director Juri Rechinsky’s latest arthouse feature, Utopia, in Ukraine, in fall 2021.


  • Sebastian says he grew up with filmmaker parents who sparked his interest in movies from a young age.
  • European films usually have lower budgets, but they try to reach big-budget movie results through creativity.
  • The main goal of a cinematographer is to be a good observer and get into the inner circle of the characters, making them feel comfortable.
  • Sebastian says he likes stories whose characters face problems that ordinary people face.
  • How in 7500 he could move freely and create the images he wanted.
  • Cinematography in 7500; long scenes without interruptions that created a realistic feel.
  • Sebastian loves Tarkovsky movies because he was a director who used to build the film very slowly to get you into the characters.

To learn more about Sebastian, visit his website, and follow him on Instagram.

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