Charlie Gruet has worked as a Director of Photography 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 EmmyAward winning SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, seasons 42 & 43. While there he was able to work withA-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 Season43 Charlie was able to collaborate with his fellow SNL alum, SNL head writersChris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, on their new Comedy Central show THE OTHER TWO starring Molly Shannon and Ken Marino. This hilarious show sails through the world of a young boy (ChaseDreams) who has become famous very fast. The visual scope of the show grows as Chase’s career skyrockets. The show is Executive Produced by LorneMichaels.
Gruet has continued his role as Director of Photography on HBO’s HIGH MAINTENANCE for the past 4 seasons. 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, Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, 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 was 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, the movie was filmed in the suburbs of New York and stars Rachel Bloom, AdamPally, Vincent Kartheiser, and John Reynolds. The film dances between the genres of humor and tense thriller and has been described as a “Rear Window” for stoners.
On the feature film, BIG BROTHER VOLCANO, shot on location in Nicaragua and starring Aya Cash, George Basil, and Brandon Scott, Charlie teamed up with SNL Alum, Paul Briganti, who wrote and directed the film. The movie is a comedy about relationships and had its premiere at the LA Film Festival.
Gruet was the Director of Photography, 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 film was lauded for its quirky sense of humor while delivering a very personal touch and quickly became a hit at film festivals, including SXSW 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 withDirector, Matt Ogens, to film the feature length documentary, MEET THE HITLERS.This incredibly moving portrait of bloodlines and family ties is currently airing on SHOWTIME. 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 UP2 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 and lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.