Charlie Gruet has worked as a Cinematographer and Director in New York, Los Angeles, and abroad, since the turn of the century. Charlie’s work has brought him to all corners of the globe and his experiences as a Cinematographer in a variety of formats has created a unique, visual style that blends eye-catching imagery with the intimate and emotional content necessary for shaping powerful narratives. These invaluable moments help sculpt Charlie’s perspective and inform his work. This background serves as the foundation for Charlie’s work in comedy and his ability to create grounded, personal stories that resonate with viewers.
Charlie served as the Film Unit Director of Photography on the Emmy Award winning SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE for Seasons 42 & 43. While there he was able to work with A-list talent creating incredibly popular sketches that have since become part of the comedy, pop culture lexicon. His experience on the legendary show has allowed him to explore all types of cinematic techniques and storytelling devices while working with some of the most talented Writers and Directors.
After SNL’s Season 43 Charlie was able to collaborate with his fellow SNL alumni, SNL head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, on the critically acclaimed show, THE OTHER TWO. The show stars Helène Yorke, Drew Tarver, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Case Walker and Wanda Sykes. The show is Executive Produced by Lorne Michaels. Charlie was the DP for Season 1 and 2. Gruet also had the opportunity to Direct the Season 2 finale “Brooke and Cary Go to a Fashion Show.” In the upcoming Season 3, Gruet directed 2 episodes and was the DP for 7 episodes.
Charlie Wrote and Directed 3 short films for FREAKONOMICS RADIO highlighting the absurdity of making the podcast. The films are a hybrid between documentary and fiction utilizing the actual staff interacting with improv masters Tami Sagher and Chris Roberti. The films screened during the Freakonomics Radio Live Tour.
Gruet served as Director of Photography on HBO’s HIGH MAINTENANCE for all 4 seasons of the show. The series has gathered praise from critics for its succinct character portraits. According to Indiewire, "HIGH MAINTENANCE beats out nearly every other series in terms of creativity and quality – acting, set design, cinematography, editing.” His collaboration with the creators of the series, Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, has produced incredibly moving episodes that chronicle a wide tableau of unique New York stories.
In Features, Charlie has been able to work with some of the most exciting and promising performers currently working in Comedy. Gruet weas able to re-team with writers Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, after lensing their pilot, to film the Lionsgate feature film, MOST LIKELY TO MURDER. Directed by Dan Gregor and starring Rachel Bloom, Adam Pally, Vincent Kartheiser, and John Reynolds the film was shot in the suburbs of New York and dances between the genres of humor and tense thriller. The film has been described as a “Rear Window” for stoners.
Charlie teamed up with fellow SNL Alum Paul Briganti to film the feature, BIG BROTHER VOLCANO, shot on location in Nicaragua and starring Aya Cash, George Basil, Brandon Scott, and Echo Kellum. The relationship comedy had its premiere at the LA Film Festival and was picked up by Gravitas Ventures.
Gruet was the Cinematographer, and Producer, of the critically acclaimed feature documentary, CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO; a fascinating exploration of the obsession, and allure, of fame through the eyes of four unique characters struggling to make it in Hollywood. The documentary quickly became a hit at film festivals, including South by Southwest and The AFI Film Festival, before picking up distribution. CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO had its domestic television premiere on the SUNDANCE CHANNEL.
Gruet has continued to collaborate with Oscar-Nominated Director, Matt Ogens, to film the feature length documentary, MEET THE HITLERS. This incredibly moving portrait of bloodlines and family ties. The two were nominated for an EMMY AWARD in the News & Documentary section for Outstanding Promotional Announcement.
Charlie has lensed a number of the short documentary films for both CNN HEROES and STAND UP 2 CANCER highlighting each of the hero’s contributions to their community. Another feature documentary shot by Gruet, THE SELF MADE MAN, explores the highly emotional, and timely, topic of a person’s difficult end-of-life choices. The film was part of the PBS program, P.O.V. and was nominated for two EMMY AWARDS in the journalism category (long format).
Charlie is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600 as well as a member of the Directors Guild of America. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.