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M E M B E R P O R T R A I T
Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC
W W W . T H E A S C . C O M
TO SUBSCRIBE BY PHONE:
Call (800) 448-0145 (U.S. only)
(323) 969-4333 or visit the ASC Web site
y fascination with moving
images began when I was
4 years old, when my
father took me to see the old
Superman, Flash Gordon and
Rocket Man serials. Years later,
at the beginning of my
professional career, I discovered
American Cinematographer,
which was my first exposure to
the techniques behind the art of
cinematography.
“AC helped open the
door that brought me to this
country 40 years ago, and it
continues to be my window onto
the work of the cinematographers
I admire and respect.”
— Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC
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. t i e s u o h
28 Cat and Mouse
Robert Elswit, ASC gets ample support from collaborators
on Salt
42 Girl Trouble
Bill Pope, ASC creates wild battles for Scott Pilgrim vs.
the World
56 A Magical Manhattan
Bojan Bazelli, ASC conjures wizardly visuals for
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
68 True Colors
David Boyd, ASC shoots Get Low for director and fellow
ASC member Aaron Schneider
DEPARTMENTS
FEATURES
— VISIT WWW.THEASC.COM TO ENJOY THESE WEB EXCLUSIVES —
DVD Playback: A Star Is Born • The Only Son/There Was a Father
On Our Cover: Covert operative Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) must run for her life in Salt, shot
by Robert Elswit, ASC. (Photo by François Duhamel, SMPSP, courtesy of Universal Pictures.)
8 Editor’s Note
10 President’s Desk
12 Short Takes: Quiksilver ad campaign
16 Production Slate: Best-Shot Films of 1998-2008 • The Kids Are All Right
76 Post Focus: True Blood Workflow
80 Filmmakers’ Forum: Steven Fierberg, ASC
82 New Products & Services
90 International Marketplace
91 Classified Ads
92 Ad Index
94 Clubhouse News
96 ASC Close-Up: Charles Minsky
56
68
42
The International Journal of Motion Imaging
A u g u s t 2 0 1 0 V o l . 9 1 , N o . 8
T h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l J o u r n a l o f M o t i o n I m a g i n g
Visit us online at
www.theasc.com
————————————————————————————————————
PUBLISHER Martha Winterhalter
————————————————————————————————————
EDITORIAL
EXECUTIVE EDITOR Stephen Pizzello
SENIOR EDITOR Rachael K. Bosley
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jon D. Witmer
TECHNICAL EDITOR Christopher Probst
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Stephanie Argy, Benjamin B, Douglas Bankston, Robert S. Birchard,
John Calhoun, Bob Fisher, Simon Gray, Jim Hemphill, David Heuring,
Jay Holben, Mark Hope-Jones, Noah Kadner, Jean Oppenheimer,
John Pavlus, Chris Pizzello, Jon Silberg, Iain Stasukevich,
Kenneth Sweeney, Patricia Thomson
————————————————————————————————————
ART DEPARTMENT
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Marion Gore
————————————————————————————————————
ADVERTISING
ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Angie Gollmann
323-936-3769 FAX 323-936-9188
e-mail: gollmann@pacbell.net
ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Sanja Pearce
323-952-2114 FAX 323-876-4973
e-mail: sanja@ascmag.com
ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Scott Burnell
323-936-0672 FAX 323-936-9188
e-mail: sburnell@earthlink.net
CLASSIFIEDS/ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Diella Nepomuceno
323-952-2124 FAX 323-876-4973
e-mail: diella@ascmag.com
————————————————————————————————————
CIRCULATION, BOOKS & PRODUCTS
CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Saul Molina
CIRCULATION MANAGER Alex Lopez
SHIPPING MANAGER Miguel Madrigal
————————————————————————————————————
ASC GENERAL MANAGER Brett Grauman
ASC EVENTS COORDINATOR Patricia Armacost
ASC PRESIDENT’S ASSISTANT Kim Weston
ASC ACCOUNTING MANAGER Mila Basely
ASC ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Corey Clark
————————————————————————————————————
American Cinematographer (ISSN 0002-7928), established 1920 and in its 90th year of publication, is published
monthly in Hollywood by ASC Holding Corp., 1782 N. Orange Dr., Hollywood, CA 90028, U.S.A.,
(800) 448-0145, (323) 969-4333, Fax (323) 876-4973, direct line for subscription inquiries (323) 969-4344.
Subscriptions: U.S. $50; Canada/Mexico $70; all other foreign countries $95 a year (remit international
Money Order or other exchange payable in U.S. $). Advertising: Rate card upon request from Hollywood
office. Article Reprints: Requests for high-quality article reprints (or electronic reprints) should be made to
Sheridan Reprints at (800) 635-7181 ext. 8065 or by e-mail hrobinson@tsp.sheridan.com.
Copyright 2007 ASC Holding Corp. (All rights reserved.) Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, CA
and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA.
POSTMASTER: Send address change to American Cinematographer, P.O. Box 2230, Hollywood, CA 90078.
———————————————————————————————————— 4
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OFFICERS - 2010/2011
Michael Goi
President
Richard Crudo
Vice President
Owen Roizman
Vice President
John C. Flinn III
Vice President
Matthew Leonetti
Treasurer
Rodney Taylor
Secretary
Ron Garcia
Sergeant At Arms
MEMBERS OF THE
BOARD
John Bailey
Stephen Burum
Curtis Clark
George Spiro Dibie
Richard Edlund
John C. Flinn III
Michael Goi
Stephen Lighthill
Isidore Mankofsky
Daryn Okada
Robert Primes
Nancy Schreiber
Kees Van Oostrum
Haskell Wexler
Vilmos Zsigmond
ALTERNATES
Fred Elmes
Rodney Taylor
Michael D. O’Shea
Sol Negrin
Michael B. Negrin
MUSEUM CURATOR
Steve Gainer
American Society of Cine ma tog ra phers
The ASC is not a labor union or a guild, but
an educational, cultural and pro fes sion al
or ga ni za tion. Membership is by invitation
to those who are actively en gaged as
di rec tors of photography and have
dem on strated out stand ing ability. ASC
membership has be come one of the highest
honors that can be bestowed upon a
pro fes sional cin e ma tog ra pher — a mark
of prestige and excellence.
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6
It’s a wise cinematographer who recognizes the contribu-
tions of his crew, and Robert Elswit, ASC was quick to credit his
collaborators on the action film Salt. After agreeing to be inter-
viewed, he asked that we bring other members of his team into
the foreground. “Any large production that involves multiple
units working independently and shooting stunts, effects and
aerials is as big a logistical challenge as it is a creative challenge,”
he tells Iain Stasukevich (“Cat and Mouse,” page 28). “Thank
God I had [1st AC] Baz Idoine to take care of all the camera-
equipment issues, and [gaffer] Andy [Day] and [key grip] Dennis
Gamiello to sort out all the other stuff.” Our coverage also
details some of the contributions made by 2nd-unit director Simon Crane; 2nd-unit director
of photography Igor Meglic, ZFS; visual-effects supervisor Mark Breakspear; and visual-effects
supervisor/3rd-unit director of photography Robert Grasmere.
Comic-book aesthetics played a large part in Bill Pope, ASC’s approach to Scott Pilgrim
vs. the World, in which a jobless hipster (Michael Cera) attempts to win the affections of his
new crush (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) by defeating her seven exes in video-game-style battles.
Pope, director Edgar Wright and their collaborators drew visual cues from the Scott Pilgrim
comic books, created by Bryan Lee O’Malley. “We took our initial inspiration off the books’
full-color covers,” Pope tells Noah Kadner (“Girl Trouble,” page 42). “From there, we imag-
ined what all the black-and-white illustrations [inside] would look like in color. Translating
O’Malley’s aesthetics to live action was more straightforward than adapting other comics
might be, because Bryan doesn’t cheat perspective and use ‘cartoon engineering.’”
Bojan Bazelli, ASC faced equally fantastic plot points on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, in
which a New York-based conjurer (Nicolas Cage) trains a regular guy (Jay Baruchel) to master
real magic. Although the film is filled with sophisticated visual effects, Bazelli preferred to
capture as much of the look as possible on set. “I believe strongly that you cannot create the
look in post,” he tells David Heuring (“A Magical Manhattan,” page 56). “In post, I finish
shaping the sculpture. I do use those tools extensively to take the look further, but I like to
carve the biggest, deepest cut in the wood at the moment of photography.”
Amid all the summer pyrotechnics, ASC members Aaron Schneider and David Boyd
teamed as director and cinematographer, respectively, on the atmospheric period drama Get
Low. The Society chums first met 15 years ago, when Boyd operated camera for Schneider
on the pilot for the TV show Murder One. “We made it our mission to do feature-quality work
on a television schedule,” Schneider informs Michael Goldman (“True Colors,” page 68).
“When it happened that Get Low shaped up as a $7.5-million movie with a 24-day shooting
schedule [on location], David was the first person I thought of. Our history was invaluable.”
Speaking of history, this issue also spotlights the top 10 movies from our recent online
poll regarding the Best-Shot Films of 1998-2008 (Production Slate, page 16). More than
17,000 people cast votes in the poll, which serves as a follow-up to our 1999 survey of films
shot between 1894-1997. Everyone has his favorites, and we’re sure this new list will gener-
ate debate. Complete results from both polls are posted on the ASC’s website
(www.theasc.com).
Stephen Pizzello
Executive Editor
Editor’s Note
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8
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As I begin my second term as president of the ASC, the recent passing of Billy Fraker is very much
on my mind. When I wrote my first column one year ago, I included this statement among the musings
about the things I believe in: “I believe William A. Fraker, ASC, BSC is no mere mortal, but a benevolent
angel sent to earth to remind us that we work in a magical, romantic industry.” As with everything I say,
I said it because I believe it to be true. When that article ran, Billy called to thank me.
When I talked with Billy about his work on Heaven Can Wait, Bullitt or Looking for Mr. Goodbar,
I’m sure his colorful stories were tinted with the nostalgic glow that we all tend to give our memories. But
watching his face and the twinkle in his eyes, it was clear that he loved the business as much as the creative
process. Just the fact that you were making movies was enough to make you feel good about yourself.
With Billy’s passing, another link to a crucial era in cinematography and the industry has faded. His
heyday was a time when the heads of studios met personally with cinematographers and directly hired
them for projects. The challenges of balancing the political agendas of the parties involved in getting a
picture into production existed then, as they do now, but it is far less common today for the person ulti-
mately responsible for the success of his particular studio to feel that the choice of cinematographer is
important enough to warrant a face-to-face meeting.
That way of doing business boils down to the respect that was accorded not only to our craft, but also to all the major artis-
tic contributors to a production. It recalls a time when the pride of “getting it right” in front of the camera was preferable to “fixing
it in post”; when the true skill of a producer was in assembling the right artistic mix of people for a production rather than hiring
whomever was willing to work with equipment the producer had already chosen; when making a big-screen movie meant that you
had to watch your dailies on a big screen to really know the effect of what you’d created. That respect for the talent of a great
craftsperson translated into work of stunning originality. That originality translated into good box office and movies that are now
considered classics. And Bill Fraker was in the middle of it.
I brought my parents to Los Angeles for the ASC Awards in 2004, when I was nominated for my work on the TV movie
Judas. It was the first time my dad had ever worn a tuxedo. I had been an ASC member for only one year. As my family and I
approached the ballroom, we crossed paths with Billy, and I introduced him to my parents. Billy shook my dad’s hand and said, “Mr.
Goi, we love your son. He’s going to be president of the ASC someday.”
I will miss Billy. For me, he represented not only the artistry that was expected of a world-class cinematographer, but also
the dignity, romance and glamour of the craft. I firmly believe that the generations of cinematographers to come will do extraordi-
nary things and create memorable images, but I hope they take to heart one quality that Billy possessed in abundance — something
you cannot learn in film school or with a technical manual, something that is indescribable but understood: Mr. William A. Fraker had
class.
Michael Goi, ASC
President
President’s Desk
10 August 2010 American Cinematographer
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Goi poses for a snapshot with ASC greats Bill Fraker (left)
and Laszlo Kovacs.
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12 August 2010 American Cinematographer
Brain Farm Makes Waves with Quiksilver Campaign
By Noah Kadner
Wyoming production house Brain Farm, which specializes in
high-end action-sports cinematography, recently used the Phantom
HD camera for an ad campaign for surfwear and boardsports manu-
facturer Quiksilver that featured a number of world-famous surfers
catching waves in ultra-slow motion.
Brain Farm came to Quiksilver’s attention through That’s It,
That’s All, a snowboarding feature co-sponsored by Quiksilver and
Red Bull, according to Chad Jackson, Brain Farm’s lead producer.
James Tierney, a producer for Quiksilver, calls That’s It, That’s All “the
best action-sports film ever made.” When Quiksilver was ready to
launch its Cypher line of high-performance board shorts, he contin-
ues, “we wanted to showcase both [the Cypher shorts] and the top
global surfers in a truly groundbreaking way. We wanted to show
surfing like it had never been seen before.”
As discussions began, director and Brain Farm President Curt
Morgan showed the Quiksilver team what the high-speed Phantom
could do. “That sparked a lot of interest on their part into how those
ultra-slow-motion effects might look in water,” says Morgan.
At that time, the Phantom had not yet been used for exten-
sive water work, so no compatible underwater camera housing was
readily available. “Before the project was even a go, we turned to
Erik Hjermstad at Del Mar Housing Projects in San Marcos, Califor-
nia, to inquire about a custom housing for the Phantom,” says
Morgan. “The housing took about six weeks to build and was
completed maybe a week before the shoot.”
With the housing in hand, the Brain Farm team was off to
Oaxaca, Mexico, where they met surfers Dane Reynolds, Kelly Slater,
Julian Wilson and Jeremy Flores. “Because of their crazy schedules,
it had been four years since Dane, Kelly, Julian and Jeremy had all
been on a trip together,” notes Tierney. “Having them all surfing
together was huge, and they really pushed each other. We got a
ridiculous amount of footage in two days of surfing.” Brain Farm
brought in Australian cinematographer Chris Bryan to handle oper-
ating responsibilities with the Phantom rig. Morgan recalls, “We
were set up to take shots from the beach and right in the water with
the surfers. The very first shot we got was even cooler than we
thought possible. The waves, the water droplets — everything was
moving so slowly, and you saw so much detail. We instantly felt like
kids in a candy factory who’d just been cut loose by our parents!”
“Even on a small monitor, we could tell right away we had
something special,” adds Tierney. “You can really see the subtleties
of surfing: the way a board flexes when it lands on the wave after
an aerial, the way riders weight and un-weight during turns, the
way water drops fly off the rail. It was like seeing our sport with new
eyes.”
To maximize shooting time on the beach and avoid having to
frequently re-open the underwater housing to change lenses,
Morgan shot mostly with a single Zeiss Ultra Prime 8R rectilinear
lens. “It gives you a wide-angle shot with no barrel distortion,” he
explains. “It’s a really funky look that added a lot to the image.”
The latest iteration of the Phantom camera, the Gold, can
shoot at speeds exceeding 1,000 fps, depending on the resolution
that’s selected. As Morgan points out, however, the camera’s frame
rate also affects the aperture. “When you’re shooting at 1,000 fps,
as we were, you’re typically at T2.8, even when you’re outdoors in
Short Takes
P
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Kelly Slater
shreds in super-
slow motion for
a Quiksilver spot
captured with
the Vision
Research
Phantom HD
camera.
I
©

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14 August 2010 American Cinematographer
full sunlight,” he explains. “That means you
have a very shallow depth-of-field, and
when you’re out there in those violent
waves, it’s pretty difficult to rack focus. The
8mm lens gives you more depth-of-field to
work with, and when those shots are done
right, they look really cool.”
On average, the Brain Farm team
was able to capture about 19 takes on the
Phantom’s CineMag recorder before the
camera needed to be reloaded. “Jamie Alac
at Abel Cine Tech helped us set up the
camera controls so we could hit record and
the camera would shoot the full buffer and
save an entire take off to the CineMag,”
explains Morgan. “The camera would then
reset and go right back to recording mode
without our having to hit another button.
That enabled us to get our shots with the
camera in the water housing.”
The Phantom’s footage can be trans-
ferred as RAW data files or played out of
the camera’s HD-SDI port. “Dumping the
CineMag’s RAW files takes a while, and we
knew we couldn’t spare any time with the
surfers in the water,” says Morgan. “Having
the RAW footage as DPX files is great, but
I’ve done side-by-side tests with HDCam-SR,
and there’s not that much of a difference to
the eye. We had a Sony SRW-1 HDCam-SR
deck at our base camp on the beach, and
we decided to transfer the footage by play-
ing out from the camera’s HD-SDI connec-
tion directly to HDCam-SR tapes; it took
about 40 minutes to dump the whole
CineMag. This method was critical to maxi-
mizing our time.”
In addition to the surfing footage,
Morgan notes, “we added a bit of a docu-
mentary-style lifestyle element. For exam-
ple, we placed three or four mirrors upright
on the beach and had the surfers run by
them. We tried to keep our approach simple
while still making a stylized piece.” (Some
material was shot with a Panasonic AJ-
HPX3700 VariCam.)
When production in Mexico
wrapped, Brain Farm headed back to the
Wyoming office to handle post. “Depend-
ing on the type of final output a particular
client needs, sometimes we’ll outsource the
final grading and sound,” says Jackson,
“but in this case, we did all the editing,
grading and sound for four complete
commercials. We also composed, recorded
and mixed the full sound score with our in-
house musicians.
“Our post facility is based on Final
Cut Studio,” he continues. “We edit in Final
Cut Pro and grade in Color. We also have a
fully equipped sound studio with 36 chan-
nels of ProTools HD. It’s not a massive studio,
but it’s more than enough to do some cool
sound design.”
“We use a RAID-based Ethernet
array to support seven edit bays,” adds
Morgan. “It’s about 48 terabytes of total
storage running off a Mac shared server. We
generally do all our post work in Apple’s
ProRes HQ codec in 1080p HD, but if our
client requires a specific format deliverable,
we can go back and online to any other
format, such as uncompressed HDCam-SR.”
When final color grading was
complete, Brain Farm delivered the four
spots as HD QuickTime files directly to Quik-
silver via an FTP connection; the spots were
then pushed out to Quiksilver’s website, Fuel
TV in the U.S. and other broadcasters world-
wide. “We’re more than happy with the
final product, and the viewers’ reactions
have been incredibly positive,” says Tierney.
“It’s been really rewarding to partner with
Brain Farm.”
Morgan is thrilled with what the
Brain Farm team accomplished. “Moving
into this project, I was very unsure,” he says.
“I like to show confidence, but we were
planning to do so much that had never been
done before. Plus, surfing is so unplanned to
begin with! You roll in and hope the waves
are good, and if they are, you just shoot. It
was a lot of work and trial-and-error, but
after two days of shooting, we were
convinced we were capturing something
that was really new and exciting, and Quik-
silver was extremely happy with what we
produced. That’s a good feeling, and it
encourages us to keep coming up with new
ways for people to see the world.” ●
Above: Chris
Bryan wields a
custom camera
housing built
for the
Phantom as
Julian Wilson
gets airborne.
Right: Chad
Jackson (left),
Brain Farm’s
lead producer,
and Curt
Morgan (right),
director and
Brain Farm
president, flank
their Phantom
HD.
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16 August 2010 American Cinematographer
AC Poll Names 10 Best-Shot Films of 1998-2008
By Rachael K. Bosley
Bucking the conventional wisdom that says comedies do not
present cinematographers with as many creative opportunities as
dramas do, the French comedy Amélie, shot by Bruno Delbonnel,
ASC, AFC, was voted the best-shot film of 1998-2008 in a recent
American Cinematographer poll. “Cinematography is a desire, the
desire to challenge yourself and the desire to give the audience a
visual experience, and this desire is the same whether you’re shooting
a comedy or a drama,” observed Delbonnel, responding to news of
the poll results via e-mail. “I am very thankful to the readers of AC.
This is a real honor, especially considering the other movies on this list.
These are some of the finest cinematographers, and I’m not sure I
deserve to be among them, but I am very happy to be. All of these
movies are visually stunning, but more importantly, all of these cine-
matographers are consistent. From the first frame to the last, they
stick to the look they’ve chosen. And they are all explorers.”
More than 17,000 people around the world participated in
the online vote, which updates the comprehensive reader poll AC
published in March ’99 in honor of the ASC’s 80th anniversary. (That
vote covered the best-shot films of 1894-1997.) For the new poll,
each voter chose 10 films from a list of 50 nominated by AC
subscribers. Here’s the Top 10:
1) Amélie (2001): Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC. Jean-Pierre
Jeunet’s comedy about a sheltered young woman (Audrey Tatou) with
an overactive imagination is a vivid example of the unusual looks film-
makers could achieve with early digital-intermediate technology.
However, given limited time for preproduction testing, Delbonnel
actually decided to create as much of the film’s unusual gold-green
hue as possible in-camera. In a Sept. ’01 interview with AC, he
explained, “I thought that maybe this [post] process wouldn’t really
work … [and] I always believe in doing as much as possible during
the actual photography, because the result looks better than when
you do all the manipulation in post.” Reflecting on Amélie today, he
says, “It’s difficult to remember how things started, [but] I had this
idea that it would be interesting to depart from the idea of following
what the script said in terms of effects — day, morning, evening and
so on — and work on a mood rather than an effect, a mood that
could reflect not only the story, but also the mood of the character. I
think I’m like most cinematographers: we try something on a specific
movie that is based on our thoughts at a specific time in our life and
career. Today I see Amélie as a starting point in my way of thinking
about light, and since then I’ve kept developing what is more or less
the same theory, pushing it a bit further every time. This was the first
film I shot where I started to think of the script as a music score. In
each movie, there’s a melody I try to find [and] translate into light.
Amélie was probably a very light, not-so-fast melody with this single
note, which is the overall yellow-green color in the film.” Delbonnel
earned ASC and Oscar nominations for the film, his first feature with
Jeunet. Super 35mm.
2) Children of Men (2006): Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC,
AMC. For his fifth film with director Alfonso Cuarón, Lubezki boldly
applied a documentary aesthetic to a science-fiction narrative,
employing a handheld camera and very few movie lights to tell the
story of a Londoner (Clive Owen) who is drawn into an underground
effort to save mankind in the wake of an ecological disaster. “It’s a
future that reminds you of the present,” Lubezki told AC (Dec. ’06).
The filmmakers eschewed traditional coverage, often staging shots
with complex action to play out in single takes. Of his minimalistic
approach to lighting, the cinematographer noted, “It took me a long
time to go back to basics and say, ‘I don’t want this movie to look
Production Slate
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The French
comedy
Amélie, shot
by Bruno
Delbonnel,
ASC, AFC,
landed in the
top spot in a
recent AC poll
to determine
the 10 best-
shot films of
1998-2008.
More than
17,000 people
participated in
the online
vote.
I
www.theasc.com August 2010 17
conventionally beautiful.’ This is a movie I
couldn’t have done when I was younger …
the more I learn, the less lighting I want to
do.” He won the ASC Award and earned an
Oscar nomination for the film. Super 35mm.
3) Saving Private Ryan (1998):
Janusz Kaminski. With a depiction of
America’s D-Day landing on Omaha Beach
that was unprecedented in its detail and
ferocity, Steven Spielberg’s World War II
combat film immediately set the bar for the
genre several notches higher. The goal,
Kaminski told AC in Aug. ’98, was “to make
this look like it was shot in 16mm by a bunch
of combat cameramen,” and to create that
sense of chaos, he used techniques that
included shooting with mismatched lenses,
varying the camera’s shutter angle, and
using an Image Shaker to add vibrations to
shots. To desaturate the palette, he also
flashed the negative and applied Techni-
color’s ENR process, his favorite lab treat-
ment. Kaminski, who was collaborating with
Spielberg for the fourth time, noted, “We’ve
all got the ability to do groundbreaking
work, and nothing is stopping us from using
very experimental techniques in a major
Hollywood movie if the subject matter
allows it and the director is willing to go
there.” He won the Oscar and earned an
ASC nomination for the film. Upon hearing
of its place in AC’s poll, Kaminski said, “I am
thrilled and honored. This is good company
to be in!” 35mm.
4) There Will Be Blood (2007):
Robert Elswit, ASC. Tapping a creative
partnership that both men acknowledge is
often as fractious as it is fruitful, Elswit and
director Paul Thomas Anderson teamed for
the fifth time on this stark frontier drama
about a misanthropic oil prospector (Daniel
Day-Lewis) who makes his fortune in the
early 20th century. “Cinematographers
want to control things as much as we can,
but what I’ve learned from Paul is how much
better it can be to let accidents happen,
rather than try to force everything to be a
certain way,” said Elswit (AC Jan. ’08). The
mostly day-exterior shoot enabled the film-
makers to make the most of slow film
stocks, which Anderson favors, and, in a
notable break from today’s norm, the team
screened 35mm dailies and did a photo-
chemical finish. Elswit won the ASC Award
and the Oscar for the picture. Commenting
on its place in AC’s poll, he noted, “Each of
the other films on this list is a remarkable
testament to the skills and talents of some
very gifted cinematographers, and it’s an
extraordinary and unexpected honor to have
my work included with theirs.” Anamorphic
35mm.
5) No Country for Old Men
(2007): Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC. Deakins
landed on AC’s ballot for four films, more
than any other cinematographer, and he
was voted into the Top 10 for this rigorous
cat-and-mouse tale involving a Vietnam
veteran (Josh Brolin) who absconds with
stolen drug money, the hit man (Javier
Bardem) who pursues him, and the Texas
lawman (Tommy Lee Jones) who is always a
few steps behind them. The film, Deakins’
eighth collaboration with Joel and Ethan
Coen, also serves as a meditation on the
changing of the West, and this theme made
the project especially attractive to the cine-
matographer. “I felt this was the nearest a
contemporary film might come to a Peckin-
pah Western,” he told AC (Oct. ’07). “Pat
Garrett & Billy the Kid, The Wild Bunch and
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia are …
much more than the sum of their stories. C
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s
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The science-fiction drama Children of Men (top), shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC, and
the World War II combat film Saving Private Ryan, shot by Janusz Kaminski, placed second
and third in the poll, respectively.
18 August 2010 American Cinematographer
They address many different themes, and so
does this film.” He earned ASC and Oscar
nominations for the picture. Super 35mm.
6) Fight Club (1999): Jeff Cronen-
weth, ASC. David Fincher’s mostly noctur-
nal drama about urban alienation and male
aggression, which focuses on a city dweller
(Edward Norton) and the charismatic
stranger (Brad Pitt) who changes his life, was
Cronenweth’s first feature as a cinematogra-
pher, but because he had previously worked
on a number of Fincher’s projects as a
camera operator, additional cinematogra-
pher or second-unit cinematographer, he
was undaunted by the challenge. “I couldn’t
think of a better movie to do as my first
film,” Cronenweth told AC (Nov. ’99).
“Although I knew it would be rough, I had
so much trust in David as a filmmaker that I
had the confidence [to do it].” Contributing
to the film’s unique ambience were a desat-
urated palette, a heavy reliance on existing
light at locations, and an unusual approach
to lighting the leads. “We didn’t necessarily
want to be able to see directly into the
actors’ faces,” said Cronenweth. “It was
more interesting and appropriate for the
story to force the audience to pay atten-
tion.” Delighted to hear of the film’s place in
AC’s poll, he noted, “In a way, Fight Club
challenged all notions of a big Hollywood
movie. Many scenes were lit by only one or
two practical sources, creating a tone that
was very unique and rarely seen in the indus-
try at large. I think this was one of those rare
times when all the creative forces were in
sync; every element, from wardrobe to visual
effects, contributed to fulfilling David’s vision
of this most complicated story. The film
pushed some people’s buttons, but I think it
mostly tapped into some common
thoughts, shared journeys and similar frus-
trations. It certainly summed up the
Nineties.” Super 35mm.
7) The Dark Knight (2008): Wally
Pfister, ASC. For their second Batman film,
in which the Caped Crusader (Christian Bale)
is nearly undone by the criminally insane
Joker (Heath Ledger), Pfister and director
Christopher Nolan achieved epic scale by
capturing about 20 percent of the movie in
Imax 15-perf 65mm, a first for a studio
feature. “Many filmmakers are trying out
digital cameras that actually capture less
resolution and information, and we’re going
Top to bottom:
There Will Be
Blood, shot by
Robert Elswit,
ASC, placed
fourth; No
Country for
Old Men, shot
by Roger
Deakins, ASC,
BSC, fifth; and
Fight Club,
shot by Jeff
Cronenweth,
ASC, sixth.
T
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.
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“DigiLab let me store, color time, process footage and create
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Michael Lohmann
Director of photography
20 August 2010 American Cinematographer
8) Road to Perdition (2002):
Conrad L. Hall, ASC. “Soft noir” was how
Hall described the look he was after on this
Depression-era drama, his second collabora-
tion with director Sam Mendes. The film
follows a hit man (Tom Hanks) who takes to
the road with his young son (Tyler Hoechlin)
in an attempt to protect the boy from crimi-
nal elements, including his own boss (Paul
Newman). “I felt a less colorful palette was
best suited to the story,” Hall told AC (Aug.
’02). “It’s a stark story set in the Depression,
and it has a serious message.” He underex-
posed the negative and shot at the bottom
of the aperture, and the team undertook a
particularly grueling winter shoot in Illinois
that also contributed much to the “cold
period look.” This proved to be Hall’s last
film; he died in 2003. He was posthumously
honored with ASC and Academy awards for
the picture. Super 35mm.
9) City of God (2002): César Char-
lone, ABC. Offering a look at life in Rio de
Janeiro’s most notorious slum in the 1960s,
1970s and 1980s, Fernando Meirelles’
drama presented Charlone with a new
challenge: “I’ve shot eight other features,
and this is the first one in which the main
concern was being real, being believable,”
he told AC (Feb. ’03). To tell the story of
an aspiring photographer (Alexandre
Rodrigues) who watches his friends’ lives go
in troubling directions, the filmmakers shot
on location in two favelas that were
deemed safer than the titular one, working
with a cast of non-professionals who actu-
ally lived in the slums. Charlone kept his
lighting to a minimum, in part to facilitate
the cast’s improvisation. “Our entire
approach was dictated by whom we were
dealing with — most of these kids had
never even seen a camera before,” he
noted. He earned an Oscar nomination for
his efforts. Super 35mm and Super 16mm.
10) American Beauty (1999):
Conrad L. Hall, ASC. An affluent but miser-
able suburban family (Kevin Spacey, Annette
Bening and Thora Birch) is the focus of Hall’s
first collaboration with Sam Mendes, and
the cinematographer, who was always most
in the opposite direction, upping the ante by
capturing images with unparalleled resolu-
tion and clarity,” said Pfister (AC July ’08).
The entire crew was new to large-format
filmmaking, but, as Pfister noted, “You face
new technical and creative challenges on
every film, and eventually you find a way to
overcome them. We were so determined to
make this a success that we had to keep
reminding ourselves no one had done this
before on this scale.” He earned ASC and
Oscar nominations for his efforts. Anamor-
phic 35mm and 15-perf 65mm.
The anamorphic
35mm/15-perf
65mm hybrid
The Dark Knight
(top), shot by
Wally Pfister,
ASC, landed in
seventh place,
while the
Depression-era
drama Road to
Perdition, shot
by Conrad L.
Hall, ASC,
placed eighth.
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22 August 2010 American Cinematographer
attracted to character-driven stories, recalled
that he was initially concerned by how
“unlikable” the characters were. “But once
the actors got hold of those wonderful
words and started to react to one another,
that’s where the magic happened,” he told
AC (March ’00). His lighting approach was
“the same sort of strategy I always do: I first
light for what I want to see by painting in
specific areas in values of black-and-white,
and then add room tone, a fill light that
brings up the shadows to where I want
them.” The goal with composition was “a
sort of classicism. [This] allows the viewer to
just watch things happen in a very graphic
frame.” Hall won ASC and Academy awards
for the film. Super 35mm. (Ed. Note: AC also
covered American Beauty in June ’00.)
A full account of the poll results is
posted at www.theasc.com.
Original coverage of these films was
written by Benjamin Bergery, David Heuring,
Jean Oppenheimer, Stephen Pizzello,
Christopher Probst, Jon Silberg and Ray
Zone.
A Contemporary Comedy
By Jean Oppenheimer
The definition of the modern Amer-
ican family has evolved over the past several
decades as non-traditional domestic
arrangements have become increasingly
common. Same-sex couples have gone
mainstream, a reality reflected in movies
and television, where the protagonists’
sexual orientation is incidental to the univer-
sal themes being explored.
One of the latest examples of this is
Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy The Kids Are All
Right, which focuses on a lesbian couple,
Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne
Moore), whose teenaged children, Joni (Mia
Wasikowski) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson),
decide to track down their biological father,
an act that elicits different reactions from
“the Moms,” as the kids refer to them. Nic
feels threatened by Paul (Mark Ruffalo),
whose sudden immersion in the family
brings marital tensions to the surface and
sparks a kind of mid-life crisis for Jules.
“The most important thing was to
tell the story of a conventional suburban
family,” says director of photography Igor
Jadue-Lillo, who recently met with AC in Los
Angeles. “It doesn’t matter if it’s two
women or two men; they go through the
same things that any other family does. Lisa
wanted the film to feel very natural; she
didn’t want the filmmaking to intrude.
Everything was shot on location, and
because the palette and textures needed to
feel ordinary, we never pushed to enhance
the art direction, lighting or camerawork.
We didn’t use cranes or any complicated
moves; everything was shot on a dolly or
handheld, and we usually stuck with focal
lengths between 20mm and 50mm. We
introduced a long lens to shoot Paul’s arrival
at Nic and Jules’ home.”
The camera Jadue-Lillo frequently
shouldered was an Arricam Lite, which he
chose because “it’s small and lightweight,
so you can move fast.” Clairmont Camera
supplied the package, which also included
an Arri BL-4, Zeiss Ultra Primes and no zoom
lenses.
When production began on the 23-
day shoot, the filmmakers intended to do a
traditional photochemical finish, but with
the Sundance Film Festival deadline loom-
Above: The Brazilian film City of God, shot by César Charlone, ABC, placed ninth.
Below: American Beauty, shot by Conrad L. Hall, ASC, rounded out the Top 10.
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24 August 2010 American Cinematographer
ing, they had to rethink their strategy. They
completed a two-day digital intermediate at
Technicolor, and after Sundance, they went
back to the lab for an additional day of
grading, according to Jadue-Lillo.
The story takes place in Los Angeles
over one summer and is set primarily
indoors. Cholodenko had a specific vision of
how Nic and Jules lived and what their
house looked like: a middle-class home in
suburban Sherman Oaks with big windows,
pastel-colored walls, white décor, and
furnishings “straight out of Restoration
Hardware,” recalls Jadue-Lillo. The only
problem was that the perfect location
proved to be in the hip waterfront enclave
of Venice, whose narrow canals gave the
community its name. There was no room to
park crew trucks on the street, and the
houses were close together, which made
positioning lights outside difficult.
The ground floor of the house is an
enormous room that is informally divided
into areas — kitchen, dining room, living
room — that are not separated by walls.
Windows are everywhere and sunlight
pours into the house, which proved both a
blessing and a curse. “We wanted sunlight
but not hard light,” says Jadue-Lillo. “We
didn’t want to blow out the windows.” A
small practical porch out front provided
some natural diffusion, allowing light in the
windows but keeping direct sun out. When-
ever possible, interior day scenes were
scheduled for when the light was good, and
when it wasn’t, a 20'x40' piece of Grid
Cloth was hung over the windows. When
interiors had to be shot day-for-night, the
Grid Cloth was replaced by black material
and side flaps were added, completely seal-
ing out the natural light.
Inside the house, Jadue-Lillo relied
on practicals to create atmosphere and
depth, and production designer Julie
Berghoff created built-in bookshelves that
presented an ample number of small hiding
places. Jadue-Lillo used Dedolights, small
Fresnels, Zip lights and China balls, all
diffused with ½ Grid, ¼ Grid, 216, 250 or
Frost. Multiple NDs were usually on the lens,
and outdoors, Polarizers were often
required.
The décor in the house is almost
exclusively white or pastel. “You have to be
careful when lighting that kind of color
scheme if you want to keep the detail of the
architecture and the furnishings, which we
did,” says Jadue-Lillo. “That’s why the prac-
Right: In a
scene from The
Kids Are All
Right, longtime
partners Nic
(Annette
Bening, center)
and Jules
(Julianne
Moore, second
from left) enjoy
dinner with
their children,
Joni (Mia
Wasikowska,
right) and Laser
(Josh
Hutcherson).
Below: Joni
introduces her
brother to their
biological
father, Paul
(Mark Ruffalo).
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26 August 2010 American Cinematographer
ticals were so important. In addition, you
really need to balance your key lights and
be careful with exposure — I was usually
around f2.2 in the house.”
The kitchen looks out onto the back
yard, which is the site of the first meal the
family shares with Paul. To soften the light
and knock out unwanted shadows, the
grips erected a 20'x40' muslin overhang. A
couple of 18K Alpha lights were placed on
the ground or atop scaffolding. “My
wonderful gaffer, Dayton Nietert, intro-
duced me to the HMI Alphas,” notes Jadue-
Lillo. Strings of small decorative lights criss-
crossing the porch served as both a decora-
tive touch and low-level fill.
Despite the challenges posed by the
Venice location, Jadue-Lillo notes that it
“was actually the good house to shoot —
Paul’s was the real challenge.” A laid-back
restaurateur, Paul lives in a bungalow built
into the side of a hill. The property includes
a large back yard that is overgrown with
native plants, and Paul hires Jules to land-
scape it. Once again, the filmmakers found
the perfect location, this time in Echo Park,
but the road leading to it was winding and
so narrow that some crew trucks couldn’t
make it up the hill.
Like Nic and Jules’ house, Paul’s
place is airy and open. Floor-to-ceiling
windows and a sliding glass door look onto
the back porch. And, as in Venice, the
houses were built close together. “To light
that house, whether night or day, was like
being on the 15th floor of a high-rise,”
declares Jadue-Lillo. “We didn’t have the
budget for Condors or lifts, and there
wasn’t enough room on the sides of the
house or on the back porch to set up lights.
We ended up placing Alpha lights on the
ground behind the house, at least 10 feet
below the porch, and leveled them as best
we could. We aimed the units toward the
ceiling in Paul’s den, just inside the back
door, and bounced the light that way. We
didn’t need bounce cards because the ceil-
ing was white.”
Another key location is the restau-
rant Paul owns, which has mostly outdoor
seating. “We wanted to emphasize the
bohemian feeling of Paul’s character,”
recounts Berghoff, “so we fabricated string
lights out of old mason jars and carnival
lights [and hung them] above the tables.
[We added a few] chandeliers that Paul
might have discovered in some funky thrift
shop.”
The last sequence in the film finds
Nic, Jules and Laser taking Joni up to Berke-
ley, where she is starting college. Jadue-Lillo
describes filming the family in the car as “a
good challenge,” especially given the time
pressure. “We only had three hours to film
four people in a car on a process trailer, and
we shot on a freeway in Los Angeles.
Initially, we were told we couldn’t have the
wings down on the trailer. How in the world
were we were going to shoot this? Fortu-
nately, the police relented and allowed us to
use the wings.”
Jadue-Lillo, who was born in Chile
and raised in Argentina and Mexico, credits
high-school friend and future ASC member
Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki with introduc-
ing him to filmmaking. “Chivo was already
making short films in high school, and
when he started film school, he dragged me
into writing, producing, acting and serving
as a camera assistant,” he says. After catch-
ing the cinematography bug, Jadue-Lillo
moved to England to attend the London
Film School. His credits as director of
photography include The Hitchhiker’s Guide
to the Galaxy, Passengers and Disco Pigs.
TECHNICAL SPECS
1.85:1
35mm
Arricam Lite, Arri BL-4
Zeiss Ultra Prime lenses
Kodak Vision2 Expression 500T 5229
Digital Intermediate

Above: Director
of photography
Igor Jadue-Lillo
(at camera) and
his crew
prepare to film
a scene in
the family’s
backyard. Right:
Paul meets Nic
and Jules for
the first time.
28 August 2010 American Cinematographer
I
n the new film Salt, American covert operative Evelyn Salt
(Angelina Jolie) is accused of spying for the Russians and
must draw upon all her skills to evade capture by her CIA
colleagues. She is also determined to prove her innocence,
something that becomes increasingly difficult to do as her
flight continues. The movie features a variety of ambitious
action sequences, but according to director of photography
Robert Elswit, ASC, director Phillip Noyce “was not inter-
ested in spectacular scale, which runs counter to the way
action films are usually done. Phil pushed [production
designer] Scott Chambliss to design our sets to be small,
claustrophobic and authentic-looking, and he asked me to
provide a naturalistic lighting scheme.”
However, he continues, “Phil was also open to the
Cat
and
Mouse
Multiple units and
an arsenal of
visual effects help
Robert Elswit, ASC
realize Phillip Noyce’s
action thriller Salt.
By Iain Stasukevich
•|•
www.theasc.com August 2010 29
world of Salt taking on a somewhat
stylized theatricality — the story, which
is essentially a character-driven drama
with a somewhat unbelievable premise,
seemed to demand a slightly theatrical
approach. This allowed me to try to
find a lighting style that, though some-
what realistic, could also be shamelessly
flattering to the actors, allowing them
to look as attractive as possible even
when bruised, cut and covered in blood.
What that meant in practical terms is
that very often the character lighting
would dictate the set lighting. Luckily
for me, the actor playing Salt was
Angelina Jolie.
“In modern films, trying to
maintain flattering lighting throughout
a realistic drama can be a tricky road to
go down,” continues Elswit. “At best it
can dictate the entire look of a film and
compromise every lighting setup; at
worst the actor can appear as if he or
she is in a different movie from every-
one else. For all the actors, we tried to
find a way to blend a kind of movie-star
lighting with a theatrical realism that I
hoped would not contradict or call
attention to itself.”
Over the course of the film,
Elswit gradually altered the quality of
light he used on Jolie to underscore her
character’s predicament. “I started with
a bright frontal or ¾-frontal light on
her, and then, as the story progresses,
we begin to see her in half-light or
backlight, or she’s keyed by light
bouncing off the floor, creating stronger
shadows and more contrast,” he says.
“We actually found that putting Angie
in half-light with strong contrast made
her look even more striking. We never
had to compromise the way the scenes
looked or felt when we were lighting
her. As long as I stayed away from
toplight, the harsher and more unusual
the angle, the more expressive the
results.”
Elswit acknowledges that a
stunt-heavy thriller such as Salt looks a
bit anomalous among his recent credits,
which include Duplicity, There Will Be
Blood (AC Jan.’08) and Michael Clayton,
and he defers much of the credit for
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Opposite: When her CIA colleagues accuse her of being a double agent, covert operative Evelyn
Salt (Angelina Jolie) must go on the run. This page, top: Salt examines subway blueprints as she
wends her way through the service tunnels. Bottom: New York’s finest arrest Salt, but the
filmmakers took creative liberty by cuffing her hands in front, a breach of normal police
procedure that enables her to make an escape.
30 August 2010 American Cinematographer
Salt’s visual style to his collaborators,
notably 2nd-unit director Simon
Crane; 2nd-unit director of photogra-
phy Igor Meglic, ZFS (Slovene
Association of Cinematographers); and
visual-effects supervisor/3rd-unit direc-
tor of photography Robert Grasmere,
who coordinated the work of 10 visual-
effects facilities.
Crane, who also worked with
Jolie on Mr. & Mrs. Smith (AC July ’05),
and Meglic, whose second-unit credits
include The Bourne Ultimatum (AC
Sept. ’07), are well known in their
respective fields. “Being a second-unit
cameraman requires a special set of
skills,” Meglic remarks. “You have to
have an understanding of how mass
moves through space, and you have to
be able to feel what’s going to happen as
it does.”
Meglic notes that Salt illustrates
how the second unit’s responsibilities
have evolved on films in which action is
closely fused with character. He and
Crane often found themselves shooting
what might normally be considered
main-unit material, and “that used to
be unheard of,” says Meglic. “Usually
the first unit handles the principals
while the second unit is off shooting all
the cars and other action. It takes the
right kind of director to gain the actors’
trust, and Angelina trusts Simon to
direct her.”
Grasmere’s unit was tasked with
filming all of the background plates,
some aerial shots and the Russia mate-

Cat and Mouse
Right: The
duality of Salt’s
situation is
reflected in
the two-way
mirror of an
interrogation
room. Below:
The spy springs
into action.
www.theasc.com August 2010 31
rial. It was also up to Grasmere to
determine what could be achieved
practically without slowing down the
production, and what could be achieved
in post without compromising the
integrity of the other departments’
work. “There were big fixes and small
fixes [in post] — the work was evenly
distributed,” says Grasmere. “We
finaled around 800 shots, which is a lot
when you consider the whole film has
2,500 shots.”
On the set pieces where the
second or third unit simply had to
match first-unit photography, Elswit,
Meglic and Grasmere, along with
gaffers Andy Day and Greg Addison,
would walk the sets and discuss the best
way to match or re-create the original
lighting setup. At other times, the
secondary units worked autonomously
in other locations; if they shot a critical
dramatic scene featuring principal
actors, the dailies were sent to Noyce
and Elswit for approval. “Any large
production that involves multiple units
working independently and shooting
stunts, effects and aerials is as big a
logistical challenge as it is a creative
challenge,” Elswit observes. “Thank
God I had [1st AC] Baz Idoine to take
care of all the camera-equipment
issues, and Andy [Day] and [key grip]
Dennis Gamiello to sort out all the
other stuff.”
In one sequence that features a
complex combination of stunts and
visual effects, Salt is cornered on a free-
way overpass by two CIA colleagues
(played by Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel
Ejiofor) and throws herself over the
guardrail, landing hard on a container
Top: Reflections are
also used to artful
effect on the other
side of the two-
way mirror during
the interrogation
of a Russian
defector (Daniel
Olbrychski).
Bottom: Inside
the room, director
Phillip Noyce
(leaning on
table) and
cinematographer
Robert Elswit, ASC
(wearing cap) work
through the scene
with Olbrychski.
32 August 2010 American Cinematographer
truck below. For the location work, Jolie
rolled off the overpass of a highway
interchange in Washington, D.C. Then
an amalgam of elements were
photographed on location in Albany,
N.Y., and on a greenscreen stage
erected in the former Northrop
Grumman buildings in Bethpage,
Long Island. Onstage, Jolie was
suspended from a 25' track on a stunt
wire and filmed at high speed as she
was flown laterally into a chroma-key
crash pad; Meglic’s camera was on a
scaffold on precision dolly track.
Visual-effects artists at
Framestore in New York, led by visual-
effects supervisor Ivan Moran and CG
supervisor Theo Jones, used Shake and
Nuke software to alter the truck plate
from Albany to sync the timing of
Jolie’s fall and to match the lighting
between the elements. (The plate was
scanned at 4K by Deluxe’s New York
facility.) Jones’ team created a CG
container for the truck, using geometric
data from a 3-D LIDAR scan made in
Albany, and then fine-tuned the light-
ing for the container and the rest of the
plate. The final composite is a quick,
overhead shot of Jolie spinning through
the air toward the truck.
When Salt hits the container, it’s
a stuntwoman standing on top of the
moving truck who completes the fall,
rolling over as Meglic’s camera
(operated by Jason Ellson) pans with
her. In the same shot, Salt regains her
composure, so a transition between two
handheld shots — one with the stunt-
woman, and one with Jolie — was
hidden in the camera moves done on
location atop the moving semi. “The

Cat and Mouse
Top: Elswit (far
right) and
Steadicam
operator Scott
Sakamoto follow
Jolie while filming
a foot chase.
Bottom left: A
Technocrane is
used to capture a
character being
pushed off a pier
to “sleep with
the fishes.”
Bottom right:
2nd-unit director
Simon Crane (left)
and 2nd-unit
director of
photography
Igor Meglic, ZFS
coordinate
the action.
www.theasc.com August 2010 33
two actresses did their best to match
each other’s movements, and after that
it was just a matter of morphing the two
shots together over a few frames,”
Moran explains.
The rest of the scene sees Salt
jumping from truck to truck before
hijacking a motorcycle and speeding
away. Crane and Meglic, along with
stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood,
used previs animations (by Proof Inc.)
and detailed beat sheets to determine
shots and the kinds of equipment they’d
need. “The Arri 235 is a godsend for
this kind of work,” says Meglic. “It’s
small, lightweight and has a great
viewing system.” His lenses included a
70-210mm (T2.8) zoom lens that
Panavision’s Dan Sasaki custom-built
for him, and a range of Panavision
Primo zooms and primes. Six operators
covered the action and worked hand-
held, employing a Libra-head-
equipped Supertechno 50 crane and a
Mercedes-mounted Russian Arm. To
heighten the sense of excitement,
Meglic employed an in-camera combi-
nation of shutter clipping and speed
ramping. “Depending on the shot, we’d
undercrank film by a couple of frames
to speed up the action just a bit,” he
comments. “If you do it any more than
Soft overhead
lighting is
supplemented by
more direct
sources for a
major sequence
set within St.
Bartholomew’s
Church in New
York.
34 August 2010 American Cinematographer
that, it becomes obvious.”
Jolie enjoys performing many
stunts herself, and it is actually she in
several shots of Salt riding atop the
trucks as they roll down the highway.
She was always wired to the vehicle,
and the artists at Framestore were
tasked with removing all traces of stunt
wire from each shot. “That’s not always
the easiest thing to achieve, especially
when you’ve got a big cable passing in
front of the actor’s face,” notes Moran.
The Framestore team and a team at
Tikibot, which also contributed some
shots, often had to reconstruct Jolie’s
face frame by frame, he adds.
At one point in the film, Salt
is captured and transported to
another location via Manhattan’s
Queensborough Bridge. The New York
Police make the mistake of cuffing her
hands in the front, enabling her to
wreak havoc in the SUV. She head-
butts one of her guards in the backseat
and then disables another guard and
steals his taser. After overpowering the
driver, she uses the SUV to smash her
way through a police escort, only to
find that the bridge off-ramp is blocked
by more police cars. The only way out is
to drive over the edge.
The trick was to place Jolie and a
camera inside the car when it hit the
ground. The crash was split into two
elements, a background plate of the
vehicle cab and Jolie’s foreground
element.
The actual crash was shot on
location at the Queensborough Bridge.
The SUV was rigged to jump the off-

Cat and Mouse
Salt escapes a
tense situation by
clinging to the
exterior wall of an
apartment
building. Special
rigging (top)
allows the camera
to move while
capturing
overhead angles
of Jolie, who
often performs
her own stunts
(bottom).
“It’s important to
keep the camera
rolling after the
impact.”
More details on www.arridigital.com
Format
Format
Format
Format
SxS cards
Tape
On-board recorder
On-board recorder
Direct to Edit workflow
Tape-based workflow
File-based workflow
HD
HD
ARRIRAW workflow
ALEXA gives you a choice of ultra fast workflows.
Whichever of the ALEXA output options you go
for, our Direct to Edit feature will speed up your
workflow. When recording uncompressed HD or
ARRIRAW, the Apple QuickTime proxy that is
simultaneously recorded to onboard SxS cards will
give you instant access to dailies and the freedom
to start an of-line edit immediately. If you choose
an HD workflow, the Apple ProRes codecs will
allow you to begin your on-line edit simply by
removing the memory card from ALEXA and
slotting it into a laptop: nothing could be easier.
A CLEAR PATH THROUGH POST




























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































36 August 2010 American Cinematographer
ramp’s concrete barrier and crash into
the street below. Nine Arri and
Panavision cameras covered the crash;
one was on a Supertechno 50 crane that
extended over the side, flying next to
the car as it went over.
Crane wanted to have a moving
camera inside the car, so 2nd-unit key
grip Peter Chrimes installed a 5' camera
slider in the cab so that when the car hit
bottom, the camera, an Arri 235, would
slam forward with the impact, going
from a medium shot of Jolie to a close-
up. “It’s important to keep the camera
rolling after the impact so you see how
it affects the character,” says Meglic.
“We built a special cage for the camera
with two rods, one on top of the lens
and one on the bottom, to help prevent
the lens from being ripped out. The lens
had to be the lightest we could find,
which turned out to be a 24mm
Panavision Ultra Speed.” The team also
had to make sure the crash didn’t
disable the camera, so Chrimes figured
out a way to slow down the slider in the
last 4" of the move by hooking bungee
cords to the back of the camera plat-
form and layering strips of tape onto the
slider’s rail. The gradual thickening of
the tape slowed the platform enough
that it hit the end of the track with
much less force.
The vehicle-interior plate was
shot on the production’s greenscreen
stages in Bethpage, with Jolie inside a
mockup of the vehicle. As she acted out
the moment of impact, Meglic
photographed her at high speed with
the same lens and camera slider used in
the crash. From there, it was up to
Framestore to marry the elements
together, but it wasn’t a simple compos-
ite — the artists filled the car interior
with all manner of digital debris,
including glass, dust and metal frag-
ments. “Without the proper atmos-
phere, it would have looked too clean,”
says Moran. The final shot takes only a
few seconds of screen time. “It happens
so fast, but it’s not like seeing a push-
in,” Meglic says. “It’s one of those little
things, the imperceptible things, that

Cat and Mouse
Top: A specially
built camera
platform allows
camera operator
Jason Ellson and
stunt coordinator
Wade Eastwood
to capture shots
of Jolie atop a
moving truck.
Bottom: Noyce
blocks out a
subway sequence
with Sakamoto.
38 August 2010 American Cinematographer
enhance the action.”
If an important scene was set in a
location that proved to be unavailable to
the production, CG artists re-created
the environment down to its tiniest
textures. CIS Vancouver visual-effects
supervisor Mark Breakspear oversaw
much of this work. “Some people like
making CG creatures, but I love
making environments,” he says. For
Salt, his team had to create two façades
of the White House, the front and the
back. The front appears in a night scene
that shows characters entering the front
gates and driving up to the building; the
back appears in a dawn scene that
shows Salt being taken away by heli-
copter. “CG shots of famous locations
like the White House are definitely the
hardest to accomplish because if you
don’t get it right, everyone will notice,”
observes Grasmere. Initially, he and

Cat and Mouse
Elswit and Sakamoto capture various angles
for sequences set aboard a dinghy and in
the hold of a larger vessel.
Breakspear attempted to capture back-
ground plates of the White House, but
the Secret Service wouldn’t allow access
to the grounds. Plan B was to photo-
graph the guards driving up to a
mockup of the White House gates in a
parking lot in Long Island, and then
build everything else digitally.
During his research phase,
Breakspear went so far as to dig up the
original White House landscaping
plans in a public archive. “We also did a
lot of HDRI [high-dynamic-range
imaging], which allows us to record the
volume of light in the area, and we took
a lot of digital photos around the White
House which, when cleaned up, could
be used for textures on the CG model
of the buildings,” he says.
When gathering data for CG
lighting references on set, Grasmere
prefers to use a fish-eye lens on a high-
resolution still camera and photograph
the location or set with 360 degrees of
overlapping coverage, shooting at a
depth of 5 to 6 stops (3 stops over and
3 stops under) to capture the full
dynamic range of anything touched by
light. “I might not slavishly adhere to
that, but it’s a starting point,” he says.
“For the night exterior on the White
House back lawn, we lit the foreground
beautifully and backlit the actors, but
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“CG shots of famous
locations like the
White House are
definitely the hardest
to accomplish
because if you don’t
get it right, everyone
will notice.”
when we added the building and the
lawn, we had to add a CG light source
to justify the foreground illumination.”
Artists at CIS had to create a
sizeable section of Washington, D.C.,
for the sequence that shows Salt being
taken away in a helicopter. Grasmere
shot a moving aerial foreground
element of the Blackhawk taking off
from a Long Island park, and CIS was
asked to comp a 2-D skyline into the
background. “But we were trying to sell

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Salt’s cloak-and-dagger adventures are enhanced by Elswit’s eye for intriguing compositions.
this environment, and [using 2-D
instead of 3-D] was a corner we didn’t
want to cut, so we found a simple 3-D
model of D.C. online that was available
for download — the data set was
provided by the U.S. government,”
recalls Breakspear. CIS used the data to
create corresponding 3-D blocks within
their software (Maya and Houdini),
and then skinned them with textures
and twinkling lights. “We went to
Washington and studied 30 or 40
buildings, shot textures, and fed those
elements into a computer,” explains
Breakspear. “We added air-conditioner
units, antennae and water tanks to the
rooftops, and with the camera move-
ment and the parallax, it looks
absolutely stunning.”
Optical performance is a critical
element of all visual-effects work, and
CIS matched a set of CG lenses into its
Maya and Houdini software based on
the lenses Elswit and his collaborators
used for principal photography.
Breakspear explains, “When you’re
tracking a shot, you have to negate the
distortion the lens gives you. Before
production starts, we shoot lens grids,
which are big white boards with a black
grid. The lens we use to shoot the grid
takes the square geometry and distorts
those lines. We scan the test shots,
using the lens grids to show us how to
undistort the original photographic
elements. When we’ve added our [CG]
elements to the shot, we then use a
secondary piece of software to re-
distort the final composite so it
matches the original.”
Principal photography on Salt
wrapped in June 2009, and as the
visual-effects team finalized shots, they
referenced Elswit’s dailies, which had
been timed by Nolan Murdock at
Deluxe’s New York facility. Elswit
supervised the film’s final digital grade
at Sony Colorworks, where he worked
with colorist Steve Bowen. After again
passing most of the credit for the film’s
look to his collaborators, Elswit sums
up his DI work in an equally humble
fashion: “There are many cinematogra-
phers who do wonderfully creative
work in the DI, but I spend most of my
time fixing things I screwed up in prin-
cipal photography.” ●
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42 August 2010 American Cinematographer
A
dapted from an irreverent comic-book series, Scott Pilgrim
vs. the World chronicles the attempts of its titular charac-
ter (Michael Cera) to woo a young woman (Mary
Elizabeth Winstead) by defeating her seven evil ex-
boyfriends in video-game-style fights. The film is directed by
Edgar Wright, who decided to team with Bill Pope, ASC after
the cinematographer, a comic-book aficionado, made a
convincing pitch for the job. “Bill really impressed me because
he wanted to talk about the script rather than the look,” recalls
Wright. “He’d already read the books and was really into them.”
When the pair began discussing the film’s look, says
Pope, “we took our initial inspiration off the books’ full-color
covers. From there, we imagined what all the black-and-white
illustrations [inside] would look like in color. Translating [Scott
Pilgrim creator] Bryan Lee O’Malley’s aesthetics to live action
was more straightforward than adapting other comics might
be, because Bryan doesn’t cheat perspective and use ‘cartoon
engineering.’ Also, he drew a lot of the comic [referencing]
actual photos of Toronto, where the story is set.”
“Edgar wanted to stay true to the linear lines of the
books while taking things a step further,” notes production
designer Marcus Rowland. “The comic pages have no texture
or color, but you get a real sense of geography. Edgar, Bill and
I extrapolated a look that would start with mundane browns
and muted tones and evolve into a progressively more colorful
palette.”
Girl Trouble
An unlikely hero
fights for his woman
in Scott Pilgrim vs.
the World, directed
by Edgar Wright
and shot by
Bill Pope, ASC.
By Noah Kadner
•|•
www.theasc.com August 2010 43
The filmmakers began principal
photography in Toronto in July 2008,
working on location and onstage at
Cinespace Film Studios. A chief
element of the style they envisioned was
extreme changes to aspect ratios and
framing in order to approximate both
the multi-panel graphic manga comic
aesthetics and video-game styles used
throughout the source material. The
movie is structured around the seven
fights Pilgrim must win — each being
more intense than the last — and inter-
mingles naturalistic dialogue and transi-
tional scenes. “We generally shot the
realistic scenes with spherical lenses and
the fight scenes with anamorphic
lenses,” explains Pope. “Anamorphic
established a more heightened reality
with incredible contrast, shortened
depth-of-field and often a wider aspect
ratio. We broke the rules a lot and some-
times had 1.85 shots with anamorphic
lenses [using a custom 1.85 anamorphic
ground glass supplied by Panavision],
and we also framed [2.40:1] shots with
spherical lenses. Often the aspect ratio
changes within a shot in order to
emphasize the action or a particular
detail. The final print is in 1.85, with
the anamorphic footage digitally
unsqueezed and presented both as fill-
ing the frame and with a hard 2.40:1
matte.” (The spherical material was shot
in 4-perf Super 35mm.)
Pope’s principal crew included 1st U
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Opposite: Lovestruck hipster Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) attempts to chat up his dream girl, Ramona V.
Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). This page, top: To win Ramona’s affection, Scott must battle and
defeat her seven evil exes. Middle: Scott is held in the grip of an ornery enemy. Bottom:
Cinematographer Bill Pope, ASC (left) and director Edgar Wright position themselves for the next take.
44 August 2010 American Cinematographer
AC Russel Bowie, camera operator
Angelo Colavecchia, chief lighting
technician Jean Courteau and chief
rigging gaffer Stephen Spurrell. Many
of the crew had worked together before
but were collaborating with Pope for the
first time. Lighting gear was sourced
from William F. White Equipment in
Toronto, and Panavision Toronto
supplied the camera package. Panaflex
XL2s were the main cameras, and an
Arri 435ES was used for additional
coverage and some high-speed work. To
capture higher frame rates, Pope used a
Phantom HD digital camera
customized with a Panavision mount.
To get higher resolution for certain
visual-effects shots, the production
utilized a Beaucam VistaVision camera.
The filmmakers carried a large
array of lenses in order to capture the
film’s varied visuals. Spherical optics
included Panavision Primo primes
ranging from 10mm to 150mm,
complemented by Primo 4:1 and 11:1
zooms. (Pope’s favorite close-up lens
was the Primo 50mm.) The anamorphic
lenses included a set of Panavision’s G-
Series primes and E-series 135mm and
180mm lenses. For anamorphic zooms,
Pope utilized Panavision’s 40-80mm
and 70-200mm lenses, nicknamed the

Girl Trouble
Video-game
graphics, visual
effects and a
good, old-
fashioned wall
of lights enhance
Scott’s epic
battle with
Gideon Graves
(Jason
Schwartzman)
on the Chaos
nightclub set.
www.theasc.com August 2010 45
“Short Bailey Zoom” and “Long Bailey
Zoom,” after John Bailey, ASC, who
actively campaigned for their develop-
ment.
Pope shot most of the picture on
Kodak Vision3 500T 5219, which he
rated at ISO 400. For a handful of
snowy day exteriors, he switched to
Kodak Vision 200T 5217. Dailies were
processed normally at Deluxe Toronto.
Lens filtration was limited to 81EF and
85 filters, with a very occasional use of
1
⁄8 Schneider Classic Soft.
“Our typical stop was a T4 for
most of the film-based work,” says
Bowie. “On anamorphic lenses, the
exposure curve looks much nicer at T4
than wide open. We tried to keep to that
stop on day exteriors as well; for night
exteriors, we’d sometimes go down to
T2.8. For high-speed work of up to 500
fps, we’d drop down to a T2 on location.
When we got back into the studio, Bill
was able to light some high-speed shots
all the way up to a T5.6, depending on
how tight we got and how critical the
focus became. One second out of focus
at 500 fps becomes an eternity!”
Pope and Wright chose to work
with a single camera as much as possi-
ble. “Of the 4,000 or so setups we did
during principal photography, about 800
featured more than one camera,” says
Pope. “I think we used more than two
cameras just two or three times. Edgar
and I favor a tight eyeline for the actors,
and that’s hard to pull off once you go
into multiple cameras.”
The filmmakers set a fast pace for
the production, which comprised 104
principal shoot days. “We went through
more than 200 setups the first week,
which is faster than music videos I’ve
done,” remarks Pope. “The Matrix [AC
April ’99] had a lot of visual-effects
work, but the camera moves were rela-
tively simple, and the same was true of
Spider-Man 2 and 3. But Scott Pilgrim
was a lot more in-camera and complex,
like swish pans on specific lines of
dialogue and intricate choreography.
There were lighting cues and dolly
moves on almost every shot.”
To facilitate the brisk pace, Pope’s
Scott takes evasive action while running down the side of a three-story pyramid in the club. A
Technocrane (bottom photo) was used to capture tricky angles and moves on the set, which
required complex rigging supervised by key grip Rico Emerson.
46 August 2010 American Cinematographer
crew prelit every set and often devised
360-degree-lighting plots to enable
shots to be taken in all directions with-
out a major relight. “Edgar told me he
wanted to avoid cutting back to the
same shot twice,” says Pope. “There
were also lots of split-screen and multi-
ple-panel shots. We brought in the
second unit where we could, but Edgar
wanted the main unit to shoot the key
parts because each fight has a story and
a character arc. It’s not just a guy hitting
another guy; there’s always a line of
dialogue or some bit of action in the
middle.”
The movie opens at a dining-
room table in the apartment of Stephen
Stills (Mark Webber), as Pilgrim and
his bandmates discuss his aimless
lifestyle and flawed romantic aspira-
tions. “We tried to shoot in continuity,
so that first scene was shot on day one,”
reveals Pope. “The set was a stage
version of Stephen’s apartment, which
we cluttered up as much as possible. We
made it look like it was lit arbitrarily by
bare bulbs and whatever else you’d find
in the average bachelor pad. After the
kids are introduced to Knives Chau
[Ellen Wong], they all get up to
rehearse, and when they start to play, we
do our first big shift from realism to
magical realism.”

Girl Trouble
Some 1,200 visual-effects shots were contributed by London’s Double Negative, including comic-book
text, cartoonish weapons and video-game icons. Pope (upper right) strove to create live-action images
that would integrate smoothly with the extensive effects.

The band’s music is visualized
with notes flying out of their guitars as
the camera pulls back far beyond the
apparent physical confines of the room.
“If Edgar can build it in the camera, he
will, so Marcus built the set with a
removable wall and multiplied the
rectangular length of the room by about
4,” says Pope. “We pulled back on the
Technocrane to what seemed like a
football field’s distance from the band,
and then Young Neil [ Johnny
Simmons] and Knives pop up in an
over-the-shoulder shot on the couch, as
if they’re still in the same room — the
couch was on its own track that traveled
under the camera and slid up into the
shot at the end of the pullback. We
pulled out the ceiling to accommodate
the Technocrane, so a CG ceiling was
added later. It was a lot of fun. We go
from that shot directly into the credit
sequence.”
From the credits onward, Scott
Pilgrimalternates between magical real-
ism shot on stages and more conven-
tional-looking location work. “Bill, Jean,
[key grip] Rico [Emerson] and I would
survey each location as early as possible,”
recalls Spurrell. “Some of the sets were
on busy streets at the cusp of rush hour.
We’d literally have an army of people
swoop down a couple of hours before
shooting to set up cables, rig Condors,
and swap out the mercury-vapor street-
48 August 2010 American Cinematographer

Girl Trouble
Lighting and
visual effects
were combined
to turn a concert
sequence into a
rock ’n’ roll
tsunami.

lamp bulbs for 2K tungsten mockups.
We’d place 12-light Maxi-Brutes and
20Ks in the Condors up to 80 feet up for
fill and backlight, and then Bill would
march in big bounces and direct trans-
missions with 12- and Nine-light
Maxis.”
The filmmakers switched from
film cameras to the Phantom HD in
order to capture extreme-slow-motion
shots during fight scenes. “There’s no
blood in this movie, so the only way we
could suggest a blow’s impact on a
person was in their face or the way their
hair reacted,” notes Wright. “The
Phantom was perfect for this ‘hair porn’
effect, and we embellished it with wind
machines and air cannons. We also used
it for the big, power-move sort of shots
styled after Japanese animation. In a lot
of those films, they didn’t have big
budgets, so they’d resort to things like
slow motion and freeze frames for
effect.” Pope adds, “We kept going back
to certain favorite Phantom frame rates,
like 388 fps. The latest iteration of the
camera is great because the memory is
fast, and there’s no waiting for footage to
download. With the older high-speed
film cameras, you’re looking at a video
approximation of each take, and you’re
not sure you’ve got the shot till the
dailies show up. The Phantom gives you
perfect hi-def playback immediately.”
A Beaucam VistaVision camera
was used “for shots where we nested a
close-up inside a wide shot and wanted
to optically zoom in while maintaining
sharp resolution,” continues Pope.
“Edgar wanted perfect continuity
between those shots, and the only way
to make that work was VistaVision.”
Bowie notes, “[Beaucam creator] Greg
Beaumont also supplied a set of Leica
lenses beautifully re-housed with repli-
cated Panavision movie-lens markings.
We shot 8-perf 35mm with 400-foot
mags, which gave us about two minutes
per load. The camera requires a lot of
maintenance — you have to check the
gate every couple of takes and oil it after
every three mags — but the results are
worth it.”
“The only way we
could suggest a
blow’s impact on a
person was in their
face or the way
their hair reacted.
The Phantom was
perfect for this ‘hair
porn’ effect.”
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50 August 2010 American Cinematographer

Girl Trouble
The movie’s climactic battle,
between Pilgrim and Gideon Graves
( Jason Schwartzman), takes place at the
Chaos nightclub, a set that features
three-story decorative pyramids. “We
tried to work in continuity, not only
because these are fight scenes, which
can evolve on the set, but also because
Edgar’s blocking and shot design is so
intricate and specific that shooting out
of continuity is dangerous — every time
we tried to shoot out a direction, we
regretted it later because of continuity,”
says Pope. “On the pyramid set, this
meant shooting on the top deck, the
middle deck, the bottom deck and back
every day as was needed in the story.
Our life became all about scaffold
management, and Rico Emerson
performed this Herculean labor. He
told me the other day he still has night-
mares about it. Each level of the pyra-
mid grew smaller and smaller toward
the top until the whole crew was work-
ing around a 12-by-12-foot area. We
built up side platforms and scaffolding
in order to accommodate dollies, crew
and equipment. The lighting was incor-
porated into the set as much as possible,
but it was a major logistical challenge
for the crew.”
Wright wanted in-camera light-
ing effects whenever an impact
The Phantom HD
camera was used
to capture the
movie’s ultra-
slow-motion
fight sequences.
“There’s no
blood in this
movie, so the
only way we
could suggest a
blow’s impact on
a person was in
their face or the
way their hair
reacted,” notes
Wright.
occurred. “For the long shots, we used
Lightning Strikes 25K and 75K
strobes,” says Spurrell. “In the close-ups,
we’d switch to Paparazzi data flash
units, which are easier on the actors’
eyes. For the rest of the set, we lit 360
degrees with [3'x6'] Midnite Hour
LED panels up to about 16 feet, all
interactively timed with the band and
the fighting. That was augmented with
about 1,600 conventional movie lights
running through a Grand MH dimmer
board. We had 140 bars of six in-the-air
Par can rigs that we could raise and
lower with chain motors and also play as
practical lights. We also set up 48 6K
overhead space lights for the base illu-
mination. For backlight, we used
Dwight Scorpion pan-and-tilt heads
fitted with 36 650-watt DWE bulbs.”
For camera moves, Pope
deployed dollies, tripods and cranes.
“We only did about three handheld
shots in the whole show,” notes Bowie.
“Everything else was in studio mode
with a good number of 15-foot, 30-foot
and 50-foot Technocrane days. Since
you can get that floating sensation with
too much crane action, a lot of our shots
were done on a dolly. Bill likes to do fast
dolly moves with his eye on the
eyepiece.”
Double Negative in London
contributed about 1,200 visual-effects
shots to the movie. “Most of our efforts
were devoted to translating the comic-
book aesthetic,” explains Frazer
Churchill, Double Negative’s visual-
effects supervisor. “It was tricky using
CG to make comic-book text and
graphics occupy space in the frame as
stylized photographic objects. We used
Shake for compositing, Maya for 3-D,
Houdini for effects animation and
RenderMan for rendering. We also
have proprietary tools for fluid simula-
tions, audio-driven animation and crea-
ture effects.”
In one sequence, Pilgrim’s band
squares off against the twin Katayanagi
brothers at a club, and their musical riffs
transform into floating notes and fight-
ing creatures. “We did Maya creature
shots of the bands’ music fighting as
snow dragons versus sound yetis,” says
Churchill. “We used digital stems of the
actual music tracks to drive the anima-
tion, and we added digital snow as a
fluid simulation. We shot the band
sequences with live playback because
Edgar is very specific about choreogra-
phy, down to the millisecond.”
Double Negative also had a hand
in facilitating the movie’s aspect-ratio
shifts. “We did most of our work at 2K,
but we scanned the VistaVision mater-
ial at 6K,” says Churchill. “For the
Phantom footage, we shot the camera’s
raw Cine file format, which we
converted to 16-bit linear DPX files
using Glue Tools. Then we went DPX
to EXR floating-point linear color for
all the compositing and CG work.
Finally, we converted back to 16-bit
DPX log color for the digital intermedi-
ate with a neutral grade to leave Bill
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52 August 2010 American Cinematographer
room to work.
“We developed various methods
of digitally reformatting the anamor-
phic footage to fit within the spherical
frame,” continues Churchill. “For
example, there’s a shot that’s presented
as letterboxed 2.40:1, and then a char-
acter’s fist breaks through the masked-
off area into 1.85. We did a lot of nested
zooms or morph zooms, where we digi-
tally zoom into a plate and then transi-
tion to a different plate [of the same
action] shot with a longer lens or from
a closer camera position to create an
impossibly long zoom in. We did this in
a number of the fight sequences to
create anime-style effects. For a lot of
our work, we generated mattes for the
separate elements in case Bill wanted to
grade, for example, just a face within a
composite.”
The filmmakers were able to
screen their first day’s dailies on 35mm,
but then had to transition to HD dailies
for the rest of the shoot. “On my next
production, I’d like to print more film
dailies,” says Pope. “This was my first
experience doing nearly everything
with HD dailies, and I missed the finer
detail you get with film.”
Pope carried out the final digital
grade at Company 3 in Santa Monica,
working with colorist Stephen

Girl Trouble
A realistic approach was taken to early scenes staged on an apartment set, but when Pilgrim’s band
kicks out the jams, a surreal pullback move extends well past the physical confines of the room, which
production designer Marcus Rowland lengthened to comical proportions. “We pulled back on the
Technocrane to what seemed like a football field’s distance to the band,” notes Pope. “We pulled out the
ceiling to accommodate the Technocrane, so a CG ceiling was added later. It was a lot of fun.”
“This was my first
experience doing
nearly everything
with HD dailies, and
I missed the finer
detail you get
with film.”
Nakamura. “Edgar and I liked what we
saw as we shot, so most of our work in
the DI was about evening things out,”
says the cinematographer. “We didn’t
make any radical shifts.” Pope advocates
getting images right in-camera as much
as possible. “If something’s going to take
an hour to flag off, you may just have to
shoot, but if it’s going to take two
minutes, do it,” he emphasizes. “When
a shot escapes your grasp during
production, it passes through a lot of
hands down the chain and becomes the
bible for additional post work. A good
double net is much better than a power
window, if you can do it.”
Asked about achieving consis-
tency across Scott Pilgrim’s variety of
formats, Pope says, “About the only
grading challenge was the Phantom
footage, which tends to be a little low in
color out of the camera. It’s easily
addressed by pumping in some chroma
during the grade.”
After completing their work,
Wright and Pope expressed great satis-
faction with the results. “It’s a rush to
watch it because the action kicks in and
the magical realism never lets up,” says
Wright. “I see a lot of big-budget films
and occasionally wonder where the
budget went, so my main concern was
putting all our money on the screen. I

Girl Trouble
54
The crew illuminates an elaborate exterior shot.
hope everyone can see how much TLC
went into this movie.”
“Edgar created this warmth in
and around the set that suffuses the
entire movie,” observes Pope. “It started
with simple things, like coming in and
exercising with the cast every morning.
Some film sets are usually divided into
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different tiers that don’t have much real
interaction, but Edgar made sure every
single person in this cast and crew was
included. I love the crew, love the movie,
love the characters and love the actors,
and I think it shows in the final film.”

55
TECHNICAL SPECS
1.85:1
35mm and High-Definition
Video
Panaflex XL2; Arri 435ES;
Phantom HD; Beaucam
Panavision and Leica lenses
Kodak Vision2 500T 5219 and
200T 5217
Digital Intermediate
Printed on Kodak Vision 2383
With each succeeding battle, Scott comes closer to winning Ramona’s heart.
56 August 2010 American Cinematographer
T
he Sorcerer’s Apprentice is the latest retelling of an ancient
tale in which supernatural powers threaten to overwhelm
the young would-be wizard who summons them.
Perhaps the best-known antecedent is the synonymous
segment of Disney’s animated classic Fantasia, in which
Mickey Mouse filled the title role. The new film reimagines
the story as a live-action adventure-comedy set in modern-day
New York, where fresh-faced Dave Stutler ( Jay Baruchel)
finds himself unwittingly cast as the apprentice to sorcerer
Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage).
To bring this vision to the screen, director Jon
Turteltaub teamed with Bojan Bazelli, ASC, whose previous
credits include Hairspray (AC Aug. ’07), Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Bojan Bazelli, ASC conjures up
dueling wizards in the Big Apple
for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
By David Heuring
•|•
A Magical
Manhattan
www.theasc.com August 2010 57
(AC July ’05) and The Ring (AC Nov.
’02). Bazelli was recommended to
Turteltaub by producer Jerry
Bruckheimer, who had recently worked
with the cinematographer on G-Force.
With a story steeped in magic, Sorcerer’s
Apprentice required Bazelli to focus on
“the magical feeling you perceive
subconsciously as an audience,” the
cinematographer offers. “The goal was
to engage viewers through characters
they can identify with and a story that
sweeps them along. If we fail at that,
nothing else matters.”
Along the way, Bazelli adds, the
filmmakers also wanted “to create a
version of New York City that’s never
been seen before.” Perhaps their most
significant decision in this regard was
choosing to shoot most of the picture
with wide-angle lenses, typically a
12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 18mm or 21mm
Cooke S4 prime. “That gives the movie
a certain vibe — the perspective is more
dynamic,” says Bazelli. “We wanted to P
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Opposite: The sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) lends his magical touch to one of the
iconic eagles atop Manhattan’s Chrysler Building — actually a stagebound set lined with a
custom TransLite — in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This page: Blake generates rings of fire while
training his apprentice, Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel).
58 August 2010 American Cinematographer

A Magical Manhattan
capture [production designer] Naomi
Shohan’s sets, the backgrounds and the
city on a grand scale, and if you want to
emphasize the environment and really
situate your actors in it, wide lenses are
the right choice. We shot most of our
close-ups in the 25mm-to-27mm
range, which is fairly unusual, but the
modern rectilinear lenses don’t distort
faces the way older short lenses can. Jon
had never shot a movie in this style, so it
was a new experience for him, but he
really embraced it.”
Equally influential on the film’s
look was Bazelli’s decision to shoot the
entire picture on a daylight-balanced
stock, Kodak Vision3 250D 5207, and
light it with tungsten sources. He had
been one of the new stock’s earliest
testers and had given Kodak feedback
about how it could be fine-tuned, and
Kodak gave the production 250,000' of
the final product before it even hit the
market. “I didn’t treat it like a daylight
stock in terms of lighting,” says Bazelli,
“and that approach was only possible
because we knew we would be finishing
with a digital intermediate. In the DI
suite, we could easily time out the
warmth associated with using a daylight
film stock with tungsten lighting, and
that would have been pretty much
impossible in photochemical timing.
“I wanted the images in this
movie to travel from the mid-tones to
black in as many tones and shades as
possible, and 5207 allowed me to create
blacks that are deep in a three-dimen-
sional way,” he continues. “You’re always
looking for natural ways of softening
the image without heavy diffusion, and
because the 85 filter is incorporated into
5207, the image appears to be softer. It
also holds a great deal of detail in the
highlights, which was crucial for main-
taining information and variegation in
Right: Stutler
tinkers in Blake’s
practice room.
Below and
opposite:
Cinematographer
Bojan Bazelli,
ASC’s lighting for
the practice-room
set included an
array of fixtures
mounted to two
concentric circles
of custom-bent
truss centered
around a cluster
of five space
lights.
www.theasc.com August 2010 59
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60 August 2010 American Cinematographer
our many shots of explosions and fire.
Once fire overexposes, it loses its color,
and that’s very difficult to repair or
restore in post.”
During prep, Bazelli found inspi-
ration in Orpheus Descending, a book of
color stills taken by Clayton Burkhart
that depict modern New York City, and
Fantasy Art Now, a book of contempo-
rary illustrations. “I’m a little obsessed
with what these fantasy illustrators do in
their pictures,” says Bazelli. “They’re
very filmic. The photographs in
Burkhart’s book make use of the city’s
many lights and colors, and often play
off of reflections and wet streets. The
colors are strong, and the blacks are
really pure. That fit with our desire to set
this story in contemporary times.”
Most of Sorcerer’s Apprentice was
shot on stages in the New York area,
including Steiner Studios. The remain-
der was filmed on location throughout
the city. More than 1,200 visual-effects
shots round out the magic with flying
balls of plasma, a fire-breathing dragon,
shape-shifting vehicles and many other
illusions.
The filmmakers chose to frame
the story in 2.40:1, which they achieved
by shooting 4-perf Super 35mm. “In
New York City, you need [a more verti-
cal frame] to capture the tall buildings,
but because a majority of our film would
be done in interior situations, we
decided on 2.40:1, which gives you a
grander scale,” says Bazelli. The film-
makers shot most of the material with
four cameras; Arri CSC provided
Arricam Lites and Studios and Arri
435s, two sets of Cooke S4 primes, and
a complement of Arri Master Primes
for low-light night situations, for which
they were usually kept wide open. As
many as 16 cameras were used on days
when the first and second units both
had extensive scenes to cover.
Shooting on location in New
York posed a number of challenges. The
filmmakers spent 16 nights filming a
climactic battle sequence in lower
Manhattan, where all of their gear had
to be set up at 7 p.m. and torn down
every morning at dawn. Further compli-

A Magical Manhattan
Top: The crew
readies a
flashback scene
in the Arcana
Cabana set.
Middle: Cage
demonstrates
an LED system
used to emulate
the light from a
plasma ball.
Bottom: The
finished visual
effect.
cating matters, the city experienced 43
consecutive nights of rain during the
summertime shoot. The showers
usually lasted no more than an hour,
but it was enough to make the short
nights even shorter, recalls Bazelli.
Nevertheless, the project was finished
on schedule in 96 days.
In the story, a series of evil sorcer-
ers are locked in a Russian-doll-like
series of containers. Each sorcerer must
be unlocked by the right code and
destroyed before the subsequent
sorcerer can emerge. In the final battle,
filmed in Bowling Green Park in lower
Manhattan, the final sorcerer must be
vanquished. The park itself takes the
shape of a circle, symbolizing the circu-
lar code that Dave must crack. The
scene was lit with six 120' Condors
surrounding the center of the park.
Each Condor carried two or three
Nine-light Maxi-Brutes. A fire burned
at the middle of the circle that was
enhanced later using CG techniques. “I
like Maxi-Brutes because they are
controllable, cheap to rent and power-
ful,” says Bazelli. “You can change the
globe or dim them, and with the narrow
globe they throw light over quite a
distance.
“In elaborate scenes like this,
where many important visual elements
will be added later, it’s important to
keep your lighting as simple as possible
so you can get things done,” he adds. “It
doesn’t always work, but it works more
often than not.”
The production also spent six
nights filming in Chinatown, where a
dragon springs to life during a parade
and pursues Dave up a fire escape to a
rooftop. Balthazar intercedes, creating a
curtain of confetti to hide his actions.
Five tons of confetti was blown into the
scenes from rooftop Ritter fans. A 50'
Technocrane on the street, a 30'
Technocrane on the roof, and a 17'
Technocrane on the opposing roof
allowed Bazelli to get any angle in a few
minutes. The scene was lit with 300 red
silk Chinese lanterns; Bazelli chose silk
over paper because he thought the glow
was more interesting, and he was
relieved to find that the silk held up well
in the wet weather.
In one major night scene at the
Chrysler Building, the structure’s
famous Art Deco eagles come to life
and take wing. To film the action, the
production built the relevant section of
the building onstage at Steiner Studios,
surrounding the set with a huge
TransLite that was lit from behind with
200 Skypans. (A few dozen LED lights
were sprinkled across the material and
controlled to suggest warning lights
atop various buildings and shimmering
city lights in the deep background.) No
existing TransLite captured the correct
view from the Chrysler Building, so the
production ordered a new 160'x35'
backdrop, and Bazelli enjoyed the
opportunity to participate in its
creation. In January 2009, on a day
immediately following a blizzard, the
production captured a 270-degree view
around the Chrysler Building with a
62 August 2010 American Cinematographer
digital Hasselblad large-format camera,
with each exposure creating a 60-
megabyte file. The hi-rez photos were
then stitched together into a panorama,
which Bazelli corrected to match the
look of the movie.
“When we used the TransLite,
we put a net in front of it to soften the
view a bit more,” he adds. “It looked
quite realistic.” The crew found the
TransLite’s proper distance from the set
via a decidedly simple technique.
Bazelli explains, “On the Chrysler
Building, I had taken a stick and
marked the apparent size of the Empire
State Building. Onstage, I held up the
stick and asked the grips to move the
TransLite back until the size [of the
Empire State Building] matched.”
Interactive lighting was a major
concern throughout the shoot, particu-
larly in scenes requiring visual effects.
“It’s key to making an effect credible,”
observes Bazelli. “I like to create as
much of the effect as possible in-camera
and then have the visual-effects team
build on that.” This approach came to
the fore in a number of scenes wherein
characters hurl glowing spheres of light
called plasma balls. Bazelli and his chief
lighting technician, Tony Nakonechnyj,
devised a cluster of LED fixtures that
the actors could cradle in their hands.
Rubber bands supported the LEDs and
gave the source a floating appearance.
The light was powered by a battery
pack hidden in the actor’s costume, and
the source could be remotely switched
on and off and dimmed up and down.
“We built them from scratch,”
says Nakonechnyj. “They were basically
tiny, high-output LEDs mounted on
wafers — I think there were 18 LEDs
on each wafer. These circular wafers
were fashioned into a pyramid shape
about the size of a golf ball. In that
configuration, the actors could suspend
them between their palms and spread
their fingers. In another configuration,
they could lay wafers flat in the palms of
their hands, each light illuminating the
opposite hand. And we also had a wafer
sphere on a rod that could be moved
through space to depict a thrown

A Magical Manhattan
On location in Manhattan, 2nd-unit cinematographer Patrick Loungway (top, holding camera) prepares
to shoot part of a visual-effects-heavy scene featuring Blake’s shape-shifting automobile.
64 August 2010 American Cinematographer
plasma ball.” Bazelli adds, “Almost 90
percent of the effect was captured on
set. At its center, the light is overex-
posed, so you don’t really see [the
wafer].”
In one key scene, Balthazar
generates six circles of fire inscribed in
a stone floor and circumscribed by a
larger circle 35' in diameter. Each circle
has its own color of flame, created by
the special-effects department and
captured in-camera. “You really needed
to see the whole circle because of the
story point,” says Bazelli, “so we
decided to use an overhead shot look-
ing straight down.” A 50' Technocrane
was required to get the camera, fitted
with a 12mm Cooke S4, high enough
to fit the circle within the 2.40 frame.
The camera was almost touching the
65'-high ceiling.
This scene plays out in the “prac-
tice room,” an underground lair where a
number of other scenes occur, includ-
ing a romantic interlude in which Dave
impresses his date by creating an
impromptu lighting show that is timed
with the girl’s favorite song. The light
show, which unfolds as the couple
stands inside a protective metal cage,
includes Tesla coils and strobe lights.
Actual Tesla coils and live bolts of elec-
tricity were deemed too dangerous, so
these elements were created later using
CGI. But again, Bazelli sold the illu-
sion with interactive lighting in-
camera.
The underground lair was a set
with a domed ceiling, and the center
piece of the dome was left out so that
Bazelli could light from above. (A CG
center piece was used in wide shots that
showed the section.) The lighting rig
consisted of two concentric rings of
truss custom-bent to fit the hole. Each
circle could be individually raised or
lowered. In the center was a large,
coop-type fixture comprising five 6K
space lights covered with theatrical
canvas rather than muslin. “Theatrical
canvas is much thicker than muslin,
and it gives no shadows,” notes Bazelli.
The concentric circles held roughly 120
fixtures, including Source Four Pars

A Magical Manhattan
Top: Bazelli
employed 300
Chinese lanterns
to illuminate a
nighttime
sequence filmed
on location in
Chinatown.
Middle: In the
sequence, a
dragon comes to
life amidst a
parade. Bottom:
Blake worries
over a magical
container housing
a series of evil
sorcerers.



with scrollers, RGB LED Blazes,
Atomic 3000 strobes and 5K Fresnels.
Bazelli adds that the unusual love
scene was shot with a Zeiss Ultra Prime
8R (T2.8) lens as the camera circled the
couple. “With the rectilinear lens, the
angle of view is that of a fisheye lens but
the lines are straight,” he notes. “The
approach was so unconventional that we
also filmed the scene with a more
‘normal’ lens. But the 8R shot is the one
in the movie, and it allows you to see the
full scale of that great set.”
Footage captured by aerial cine-
matographer Hans Bjerno helps place
the magical story in modern-day New
York. Spacecam provided the gyrostabi-
lized helicopter mounts, and Bazelli
notes that the company “reconfigured its
system to accept an Arri with a PL
mount so we could use Master Prime
lenses and get the extra stop. Hans got
amazing, beautiful shots of New York at
night; these were shot on [Kodak
Vision3 500T] 5219 because we needed
the speed.”
The production’s negative was
processed at Deluxe New York, and the
dailies, timed by Sean Dunckley, were
created nearby at Company 3. Bazelli is
a firm believer in establishing a film’s
look in the dailies. “Sitting with the
dailies timer means getting less sleep
during the shoot, but it takes my
worries away,” he says. “Every morning
before I went to the set, I’d stop by
[Company 3] and sit with Sean for as
long as I could. After a while, the
colorist gets to know you and your style,
and it gets easier. All the editing and all
the test screenings and studio screenings
are based on those dailies, so there’s
good reason for you to make them as
tidy as possible. People become used to
that look.
“I believe strongly that you
cannot create the look in post,” the cine-
matographer continues. “In post, I
finish shaping the sculpture. I do use
those tools extensively to take the look
further, but I like to carve the biggest,
deepest cut in the wood at the moment
of photography.”
For the final grade, Company 3
scanned the negative at 4K and did the
rest of the work at 2K. Bazelli calls
Company 3 colorist and ASC associate
member Stefan Sonnenfeld “the first
eye on the images as they are coming
together. I have great faith in him, and
he deserves great credit, along with the
other people who do this work for me.
The quality of the shot depends on
them as much as it depends on me and
my crew.”
At press time, the team was plan-
ning to film out to Kodak’s new inter-
mediate stock, Vision3 5254, and then
strike release prints on Kodak Vision
2383. “5254 was designed to work with
the latest film recorders, and it’s Estar-
based, which means that each negative
created can be used to make up to 800
prints,” says Bazelli. “We plan to make
about seven digital negatives on this
new stock, and because of that, we
expect the prints to look great every-
where, not just at the premiere and in a
few major cities.” ●
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1
4-perf Super 35mm
Arricam Lite, Studio; Arri 435
Cooke, Arri and Zeiss lenses
Kodak Vision3 250D 5207,
500T 5219
Digital Intermediate
Printed on Kodak Vision 2383

A Magical Manhattan
66 August 2010 American Cinematographer
Above: Bazelli
checks the frame
for a shot in the
subway. Right:
Gaffer Tony
Nakonechnyj
(holding light)
and B-
camera/Steadicam
operator Stephen
Consentino
follow Baruchel
and Teresa Palmer
into the subway.
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5600K Daylight
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+ color tunable LED technology
+ 90-260 vac, 50-60 Hz, 8amps @120v
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+ onboard dimming
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L I G H T
entirely around Duvall’s performance, supported by players of
similar caliber, including Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Lucas
Black.
Schneider notes that Get Low represents the pinnacle of
an unusual “cinematic relationship,” in his words, between two
like-minded cinematographers. He and Boyd met when the
latter began operating for Schneider on the pilot for Murder
One almost 15 years ago. “We hit it off from the start, and
within days, we were speaking the same visual language,”
Schneider recalls. “We made it our mission to do feature-qual-
ity work on a television schedule, so when it happened that Get
Low shaped up as a $7.5-million movie with a 24-day shoot-
ing schedule [on location in Georgia], David was the first
person I thought of. Our history was invaluable.”
By placing his creative bond with Boyd at the film’s
foundation, Schneider was able to pull off a quick but complex
68 August 2010 American Cinematographer
B
y design, strong connective tissue links Get Low’s plot
with the story of how the independent feature got made.
Set in Tennessee in 1934, the tale has a vintage feel that
directly influenced the filmmakers and their methods.
Five-plus years of development went into the character study
of an old, mysterious hermit who decides to reveal a shocking,
long-held secret by inviting everyone in town to his funeral
party — which he plans to stage while he is still alive. The
nature of the story, combined with the project’s resources and
the aesthetic preferences of director and ASC member Aaron
Schneider and his cinematographer, David Boyd, ASC, took
Get Low down a very traditional production path. Schneider,
who made the transition from shooting to directing with the
Academy Award-winning short film Two Soldiers, also shot
by Boyd (AC Feb. ’04), says he is overwhelmingly happy with
the result of his labors: a charmingly quixotic tale built almost
True
Colors
David Boyd, ASC
reteams with director
and fellow ASC
member Aaron
Schneider on the
nuanced period piece
Get Low.
By Michael Goldman
•|•
www.theasc.com August 2010 69
shoot in Georgia, where the produc-
tion’s locations included a Civil War
battlefield deep in a wooded national
park. That approach led them to under-
take some of the most complicated
work of their respective careers, such as
shooting an entire feature entirely on
location, with no sets; burning down a
house at twilight and filming it; and
operating on land that had strict restric-
tions about its use.
To accomplish these objectives,
the filmmakers eschewed most of the
digital luxuries feature films routinely
incorporate these days, relying instead
on in-camera methods and just six
significant visual-effects shots (created
by Furious FX). “Aaron and I really
wanted this to be a classical, tradition-
ally mounted film, as masterful as we
could make it,” Boyd explains. “But at
the same time, we did not want to call
attention to the photography. We
wanted it to have the shades and tones
of old still photos from that era — I
would describe them as dry colors. We
started shooting tests in January 2009 to
figure out how we’d achieve that.”
Through testing, the filmmakers
determined that they would shoot
anamorphic 2.40:1 using Panavision’s
C-Series and E-Series prime lenses,
which Boyd describes as “old, beautiful
lenses, not too technologically advanced
by today’s standards. These lenses were
the workhorses for the great anamor-
phic films of the Sixties and Seventies.
My first assistant, Lee ‘The Blaster’
Blasingame, secured particular serial
numbers of the C and E lenses for us.”
Schneider and Boyd also decided
to shoot with two Kodak Vision2
stocks, 500T 5218 and 50D 5205, and
do a degree of bleach-bypass processing
on the negative at Deluxe Laboratories
in Hollywood to achieve a “weathered,
parched look,” says Boyd. He and
Schneider had applied a full bleach
bypass to Two Soldiers, a period piece
also set in the South, but they decided
they wanted Get Low’s look to be less
extreme. “We dedicated ourselves to the
idea that the color palette in Get Low
would be established mainly by what we
put in front of the camera, and then we
would decide what to do with that color
in the photography,” says Schneider.
“We talked about keeping primary and
satured colors out of the film, and
[costume designer] Julie Weiss and
[production designer] Geoffrey
Kirkland, both world-class artists, made
our jobs so much easier.
“The movie has the feel of a folk
tale, so visually, it needed to be accessi-
ble, but it also needed to feel mythic, like
a fable,” the director continues. “We also
wanted to create a kind of veil between
the audience and the period without
being too heavy-handed.” In consulta-
tion with Beverly Wood, an ASC asso-
ciate member and Deluxe’s executive
vice president of technical services, the
filmmakers decided a partial bleach
bypass would do the trick. “By depriving
the negative of some of the bleach baths, U
n
i
t

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.

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g
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l
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c
s
.
Opposite: Felix
(Robert Duvall)
and Mattie (Sissy
Spacek), friends
with a
complicated
history, take a
stroll on Felix’s
property. This
page: In a scene
set earlier in the
story, Buddy
(Lucas Black), a
funeral-home
employee, stops
in at Felix’s home
to discuss the old
man’s unusual
funeral plans.
“Visually, it needed
to be accessible,
but it also needed
to feel mythic, like
a fable.”
70 August 2010 American Cinematographer
we shortened the latitude slightly, dried
out the colors and added a hint of
grain,” says Boyd. “That gave us the
aged quality we knew the image had to
have without stepping out in front of
the story.” Schneider adds, “We finished
the picture with a digital intermediate at
EFilm, but we knew electronic control
over saturation couldn’t compare to
photochemical desaturation. Bleach
bypass changes the film physically and
randomly; it’s an analog effect that, at
best, can only be simulated with zeroes
and ones. We worked very closely with
EFilm to use the DI as a means to an
analog end.”
The production secured permis-
sion to shoot in the Pickett’s Mill
Battlefield State Park, a location that
included a fully restored Civil War-era
cabin that the filmmakers could trans-
form into Bush’s home. The nature of
the cabin, inside and out, and other
scenes in and around the woods, as well
as other interior locations, posed major
lighting challenges for Boyd and his
team, particularly because some scenes
appear to be lit almost entirely by fire-
light, lamplight and even moonlight. In
fact, one key encounter in the film,
between Bush and onetime girlfriend
Mattie Darrow (Spacek), begins as the
fire dies in Bush’s fireplace. “The char-
acters come back from a long walk
through the woods, and the fire,
set earlier in the day, is dying — only
the embers are glowing,” explains
Schneider. “Then Felix adds a log, and
the fire starts to come back to life over
30 or 40 seconds. It’s romantic and inti-
mate, and it even mirrors [the charac-
ters’] rekindled relationship. David did a
wonderful job capturing the realistic feel
of that on film; he had to cue the light
levels up consistently over multiple
takes. We rehearsed that scene by the
gas-powered flame bar, and from there,
he built exposure with motion-picture
lights, and it all blended seamlessly.”
“Felix lights an oil lantern after he
adds a log to the fire, and over the
course of this very important scene, the
firelight grows slowly in intensity and
the lantern light provides a rustic, toppy

True Colors
Top: Director Aaron
Schneider, ASC frames
up the scene for (from
left) 1st AD Eric
Tignini,
cinematographer
David Boyd, ASC, and
1st AC Lee
Blasingame. Right:
Felix and Buddy visit
one of Felix’s old
friends, Rev. Charlie
Jackson (Bill Cobbs).
Below: Schneider and
Boyd’s reflections are
captured as Boyd films
a scene featuring Bill
Murray, who portrays
funeral-home owner
Frank Quinn.
www.theasc.com August 2010 71
ambience,” says Boyd. “For ‘firelight,’ we
used two units designed and built by
[gaffer] Brian Gunter, each of which
had four individually dimmable globes.
Their shallow design was perfect for our
very small practical location. Handheld
solids and nets extended the range of
these lights to suit the needs of the
scene. I echoed the lantern light with a
Blonde on a dimmer and flickerbox
bounced up into beadboard overhead. It
took nine or 10 hands on switches and
knobs to make it happen each take, but
it works beautifully for the scene. Bobby
and Sissy could easily feel and respond
to the growing light in their own work.
“I mixed colors readily on this
film,” continues the cinematographer.
“In the tungsten realm, I liked Maxi-
Brutes with Firestarter globes, 1,200-
watt narrow globes, to make great
daylight of all kinds. In the HMI world,
I loved 12K and 4K Pars and Joker Pars
for hot, spotty sources. I tended to like
pinny sources for this film more than
softer light for locations, and that’s why
I didn’t use Fresnels very often. I
preferred hot, open-faced lights for the
feel, and then softer units to file off the
edges a little. This movie required a
beautifully rough, unrefined look.”
For certain interiors where
rigging possibilities were limited, Boyd
relied on a lightweight overhead grid
designed and built by key grip Billy
Sherrill. This rig was utilized extensively
in the funeral home owned by Frank
Quinn (Murray), where Bush comes to
arrange his funeral party, and other loca-
tions. “It was gridwork constructed out
of lightweight
5
⁄8-inch copper pipe that
could easily support nine to 12 China
balls and could be safely and easily
installed in a ceiling,” Boyd explains. “It
was designed to install and break down
fast; we usually used it in a 4-by-8-foot
configuration. The China balls were on
dimmers, and we skirted off the source
with black Grid Cloth to control spill.
Billy rigged it to various ceilings, many
times using small pulleys so we could
adjust it quickly.”
Several lighting challenges
cropped up in the woods, including a
scene early in the film that shows Bush
wrapped in a blanket and stumbling into
the night, carrying a lantern in the pour-
ing rain. Although the scene looks fairly
straightforward, Schneider calls it “the
most challenging photography in the
film.” That’s because the team had to
design a way for the lantern to flicker
realistically in a driving rain and also
play off Duvall’s face in a way that would
be both photographically pleasing and
naturalistic. Boyd built a rig using an old
oil lantern, and hidden from view was a
small bulb activated by a battery hidden
in Duvall’s wardrobe. “We wanted to see
the flame in the lantern, which meant
we’d have to augment its light from a
logical place,” says the cinematographer.
“We also wanted to shoot in a down-
pour, which meant a low-voltage DC
globe of some sort. We found what we
needed at an auto-parts store and rigged
it up, hiding a small peanut bulb on the
lantern side that wasn’t facing the
camera and making a small battery pack
that Bobby could carry. We localized the
rain towers, and I let the background fall
off so that there would only be the warm
glow around his cabin, motivated by the
lighting inside. Bobby wore the battery
in a small satchel on his shoulder
covered by wardrobe.”
However, the flickering lamplight
was one of the few practical effects in
the movie that required digital augmen-
tation. “Because of the wind and rain,
Above: The
crew prepares
to film one of
Felix and
Mattie’s
encounters in
town. Left:
During a cozy
scene in Felix’s
cabin, the pair
becomes
reacquainted.
72 August 2010 American Cinematographer
there was a lot of movement in the prac-
tical flame, but the light and exposure on
Bobby’s face were static,” says Schneider.
“So we asked Furious FX to put a trav-
eling matte on his face, similar to what
cinematographers do [in the DI] when
programming power windows to track
brightness on an actor’s face. Instead of
programming a constant color correc-
tion inside the window, we programmed
changes in exposure that were in sync
with the movement of the flame. That
allowed us to simulate the intensity and
flicker of the candlelight digitally. Our
colorist at EFilm, Natasha Leonnet, put
the finishing touches on the composite,
and it turned out great.”
A more outlandish sequence to
film practically and piece together digi-
tally was the burning of an old house, a
scene that opens the film and plays an
important role in the story. The initial
challenge, of course, was finding a real
house the production could burn. “The
scene was in danger of getting cut from
the schedule for weeks, but we sent loca-
tion scouts far and wide looking for a
place that would work,” Boyd recalls.
“We came across a long-abandoned
house halfway through production; it
was out along a two-lane highway that
we could control at night. We put five or
six cameras out there, including a couple
of Eyemos, and one on a dolly track in
the woods that I operated myself.
Basically, we had one crack at it. We
timed it at magic hour, with a small
amount of skylight left when the house
went up, and it was over in about 30
minutes.”
To complete the illusion, the film-
makers had to show a man bursting out
of a second-story window, running
across the roof, leaping to the ground
and running into the woods. That
requirement led the team to film the
burning house in two rapid takes.
Schneider explains, “We first had a
controlled burn around the edges of the
windows for when [the stuntman] bursts
out and jumps off the roof. Then, we
quickly reset before the sky went dark
and hid a stuntman in a little heat shel-
ter where he had left off in the previous

True Colors
Frames from the opening scene show (top to bottom): the controlled-burn plate; the downstairs and
windows tiled in and illumination on the foreground tree comped in; the upstairs raging fire tiled in;
and the final comp. “By the time he runs by the camera, the background is 100-percent live action,”
notes Schneider.
take. We set the house fully ablaze, and
when the fire reached the right level, we
cued the stuntman to run across the field
toward and past the camera. The intent
was to blend the first shot of the
controlled burn and stunt with the
second shot of the man running away
from a raging fire to make it look like
one seamless shot. As a visual effect, the
shot was composited by tiling different
portions of the controlled-burn element
with other tiles from the raging-fire
element to create a mosaic of blended
elements. For example, if a chunk of roof
falls off four minutes into the burn, you
can blend that with another piece of
action from the first minute, such as the
moment when a neighboring tree
catches fire, and create your own custom
inferno. Since the shot was locked off, it
was almost like compositing a live-
action shot with itself.”
Despite the complexity of these
kinds of sequences, however, the biggest
overall challenge was the climactic
funeral-party sequence, where Bush, at
long last, bares his soul to the world.
There is no final confrontation, no big
action sequence, no device to tie it all
together — just a long, impassioned
speech. According to Schneider, Duvall
pulled off his soliloquy on the first take.
But covering the sequence to make it
work correctly in the film required
extensive planning. Because of their
limited time and budget, Schneider,
Boyd and 1st AD Eric Tignini story-
boarded the sequence and broke it down
according to the number of extras that
would be required for each shot. The
funeral party was shot over three days,
beginning with wide shots featuring a
large number of extras. Gradually, the
number of extras was whittled down,
and on the third day, the filmmakers
were able to focus on Bush’s speech and
tighter coverage.
The filmmakers were not allowed
to bring heavy equipment into the area
where they were shooting because the
location was a Civil War memorial. But
Bush and other characters had to stand
on an elevated platform, so Boyd needed
some way to get proper coverage of the
74 August 2010 American Cinematographer
proceedings. He arranged to have a
small Technocrane brought in on a
stake-bed truck that could maneuver
quickly over the dirt roads. “During the
day, time was of the essence, and we
were not permitted to use a Chapman
crane because of its weight,” he recalls.
“We needed a movable and easy-to-
place camera, so we rigged the
Technocrane on the back of the stake-
bed truck.”
Later, the filmmakers had to
cover Spacek reacting to the speech, a
critical scene shot on an extremely busy
day. “We needed to shoot Sissy’s perfor-
mance when the sunlight was over the
trees because of the time of day that the
reverse angle had been shot previously,”
Schneider explains. “Sissy’s big moment
had arrived, and it was already pretty
late in the day. I knew she was about to
give the most emotional performance of
the shoot, and I wanted to make sure
she had the time to do what she wanted
to do. I wanted to shoot with about an
hour to go in the day, but David
resisted. He kept saying, ‘No, let’s wait.’
By the time we lined three cameras up
on her, the sun was starting to tickle the
treetops. But Sissy nailed it and gave us
a beautiful performance, and, like
Bobby, she did it in one take. The tears
rolling down her face caught the low,
warm light, and it was magic. As a cine-
matographer, I always tried to be there
for directors when I knew they needed
convincing, and David was there for me
on this one.”
Both Schneider and Boyd take
great pains to credit their cast and crew
for helping to make Get Low a reality. If
they credit themselves with anything,
it’s with maintaining the authenticity of
the era and the story. “Cinematography
has to be authentic, especially on a
period piece,” says Boyd. “You have to
really control what gets into the frame,
whether those details are large or small,
and we did that ruthlessly. We filmmak-
ers were the ones who saw this story
first, before anyone else, and our mission
from the outset was to tell it correctly.
I’m happy we did.” ●
Top left: With Blasingame assisting, Boyd films Rev. Jackson’s arrival at Felix’s big event.
Top right: A Technocrane comes into play for the “funeral party.” Above: The filmmakers prepare to
capture another angle of the stage as Quinn welcomes the crowd.
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1
Anamorphic 35mm
Panaflex Gold II
Panavision lenses
Kodak Vision2 500T 5218, 50D
5205
Bleach Bypass by Deluxe
Laboratories
Digital Intermediate
Printed on Kodak Vision 2383

True Colors
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76 August 2010 American Cinematographer
True Blood Workflow Becomes File-Based
By Michael Goldman
When the producers of HBO’s True Blood told Technicolor
Hollywood they were interested in transitioning to an all-data-based
online/mastering workflow, the Technicolor team suggested that the
hit series could become, in the words of co-producer Bruce Dunn, “a
major test case” for an all-file-based workflow for an episodic TV
series originating on film. HBO decided to take Technicolor up on the
offer for the current season, the show’s third. The challenge, as Tech-
nicolor colorist Scott Klein puts it, was “how to convert a workflow
and stay creative.”
Well into production when they spoke with AC, those
involved say the conversion went off smoothly and has enabled
greater creativity. They suggest that True Blood’s overall production
methodology seamlessly weaves a traditional film-acquisition
approach with the latest all-data post techniques. Dunn enthuses
that True Blood can now “spread out many fingers from one hand”
in the form of easily accessible data once its imagery enters Techni-
color’s SAN, allowing all post units to simultaneously work off the
same core files safely. “It gives us incredible flexibility to multitask,”
says Dunn. “We can do dirt-fixing while we’re doing assembly, color
correction and visual effects. By going to a tapeless, nonlinear post
workflow, there are huge benefits for picture conforms. Now we can
often make picture changes after we lock the edit.”
Using its data-based infrastructure in partnership with its film
lab, Technicolor handles True Blood’s negative processing, dailies,
assembly, color correction, titling, audio mixing, layback and final
mastering. By entering the file-based universe, the team is now able
to have pieces of as many as nine episodes in various stages of
production at Technicolor simultaneously. Currently, only the dailies
process and the delivery of a final master continue to involve tape or
other physical media.
Cinematographers Matthew Jensen, Romeo Tirone and
Steven St. John typically shoot True Blood on Kodak Vision3 250D
5207 and Vision3 500T 5219. (Most of the show is shot in 3-perf
Super 35mm.) The post pipeline’s engine revs up when the film
comes from stages on the Warner Bros. lot or from locations in
Louisiana; Technicolor develops the film and telecines it on a Spirit 2K
system to HDCam-SR at 4:2:2. Dailies colorist Peter Ritter distributes
two passes of that material: a basic color pass for dailies viewing and
editorial, and a flat pass, which is digitized to Technicolor’s SAN for
final assembly and final color.
As each episode is cut together, a pull list of shots is created,
and those shots are digitized from the flat pass and assembled by
online editor Ray Miller in an Avid HD Symphony (v. 4.05). From that
point on, everything lives on Technicolor’s SAN. After an episode is
conformed, colored and approved, an air master is created from
1080p/23.98 fps files and delivered to HBO at 1080i/59.94 on
HDCam-SR tape.
Of course, the transition to the file-based approach did pose
some challenges. For instance, a new approach to dubbing tapes
Post Focus
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I
The werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello) joins Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, above right)
and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer, right) for True Blood’s third season, which has
transitioned to an all-data-based online/mastering workflow.
and DVDs for executives to view had to be
implemented, but Dunn notes that Techni-
color resolved the issue of exporting files to
lower-resolution physical media by incorpo-
rating the DVC Clipster system into its
pipeline. The production also had to insti-
tute new asset-management procedures
and personnel to ensure strict control.
Miller refers to project manager Ashley
Barrett, who heads True Blood’s project-
management effort, as “a data traffic cop
who ensures each version is right before
we start dubs. She makes sure everyone
understands the [file-naming] nomencla-
ture and the protocols for knowing who is
working on what.”
On Miller’s end, the show is assem-
bled entirely in the Avid world, making the
transfer of assets more straightforward.
From the editorial department at the
production’s headquarters at The Lot in
Hollywood, “we don’t have to go through
any translation process,” says Miller.
“Effects, resizes, time warps, speed
changes — they all come across as we see
them in the offline. The actual Avid bin
with the Avid sequence comes over from
editorial, and once we ingest all of that, the
entire show lives on our SAN from that
point forward, which is a huge plus. We
start in Avid, stay in Avid and use the actual
Avid sequence, so all metadata is built in
and no longer has to be translated.”
In another change, Klein now uses
Autodesk’s Lustre 2010, a software-based
color-correction tool, which initially
required the colorist to “acclimate to the
real-world difference of a slower-speed
non-hardware system,” he says. However,
the learning curve was only temporary, and
Klein insists the new workflow has allowed
him to take full advantage of Lustre’s
strengths. “There are some really great,
easy tools in Lustre for quickly breaking
away sections of the grayscale, isolations,
tracking and shape creation to achieve
great results for the mood of the show,” he
says.
“Because the show’s vampires have
existed for hundreds of years, there are
flashbacks that have extremely customized
looks,” Klein continues. “Lustre allows me
to highlight the grain for flashbacks and
amplify certain parts of the contrast, or
build the signal in such a way as to show
more grain.”
According to Jensen, the new work-
flow is also benefitting the cinematography
team. “In a linear system, you typically deal
with your highlights, mid-tones and shad-
ows and adjust those values to change the
contrast of your image or the saturation
levels,” he explains. “But in this new
system, within the highlights, for example,
we now have access to the complete gray
scale, meaning we can do much subtler
contrast changes and color combinations.
“We have so many effects [about
40-80 shots per episode], and so many of
those shots are delivered long after I am
deep into color correction,” Jensen contin-
ues. “Now, those shots can just be plugged
in, and I don’t have to go back to the lab
to work out the color — the system
Online editor Ray Miller assembles each episode in an Avid HD Symphony, after which point the
files live on Technicolor Hollywood’s SAN.
www.theasc.com 77
The investment is part of an overall
strategy by the company to double in size by
late 2011; the strategy was devised follow-
ing the commission of such projects as Harry
Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, John
Carter of Mars, The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Battle:
Los Angeles. “As a result of the high
demand for our services, we evaluated the
number of licenses for all the software tools
we use,” says Antony Hunt, managing
director of Cinesite. “Nuke is a powerful
compositing tool and we’ve been using it in
our pipeline for over 6 years. By expanding
our seats, we’re able to work faster and
more efficiently turn around our clients’
projects.”
Bill Collis, CEO of The Foundry, adds,
“We’re delighted that Cinesite has invested
in a site license and has chosen Nuke as its
primary compositing tool. The company
works on extremely creative projects and
their talented artists showcase to the fullest
what our tools can do.”
For additional information, visit
www.cinesite.com and www.thefoun
dry.co.uk.
Pro8mm Adds 4:4:4 Workflows
Burbank, Calif.-based Pro8mm has
introduced two popular 4:4:4 workflows,
allowing customers who originate on Super
8mm, 8mm, 16mm or Super 16mm film to
post their projects in 444 RGB 10-bit
uncompressed and 4444 ProRes.
The original film is scanned with
Pro8mm’s 4K Millennium II scanner and
encoded directly to the facility’s 8TB SAN
system; customers can walk out of a
telecine session with the files in hand and
ready for editing. Pro8mm’s SAN also
supports the playback of various data file
formats to tape for clients who need to
migrate from file to tape.
Since implementing the SAN system
and file-based workflow, Pro8mm has expe-
rienced such an increase in efficiency that
the company has lowered the prices of
certain workflows and eliminated docking
charges. For pricing and additional informa-
tion, visit www.pro8mm.com. ●
remembers the color values I set. That’s a
huge advantage.”
Klein suggests that there is a far-
reaching advantage for True Blood in
making the post switch now, at a time
when much of the industry is more directly
focused on switching front ends from film
to digital acquisition. “This is the workflow
of the future,” he says. “As resolution
requirements increase, the way we’re
making this show will allow us to work on
[episodes] in 2K resolution later on. We’ll be
ready for it when the call comes.”
Although the dailies and delivery
processes still involve tape, Dunn believes
they will see an all-data conversion in the
very near future. “I imagine that by next
year, we’ll be fully tapeless, outputting
[dailies] to whatever media is preferred [for
viewing],” he says. “I’d say we are just
months away from saying goodbye to
tape.”
Post News
MTI Film Automates Hollywood
Facility with ContentAgent
MTI Film, a provider of high-quality
image-processing tools to the broadcast
and postproduction markets, is expanding
both its business and its physical footprint.
The company recently moved into a new
facility in Hollywood, through which it now
offers television post services.
MTI selected Root6 Technology’s
ContentAgent software to streamline the
digital-deliverables workflow at the new
facility. MTI CEO Larry Chernoff enthuses,
“ContentAgent not only gives us the work-
flow tools, but thanks to its enhanced meta-
data controls, it allows for an extended level
of automation.” ContentAgent incorporates
expansive metadata organizational tools,
enabling metadata to play a key role in
defining and directing workflows. With
budgets constantly shrinking, MTI views
automation as the only way to manage any
volume of file-based deliverables. John
Stevens, CTO of MTI, notes, “ContentAgent
gives us all the deliverables within one box
with a fantastic user interface.”
Chernoff adds, “MTI Film seeks to
become a unique company that embraces all
sides of the postproduction customer spec-
trum. Through our services facility and
continued research and development for
film restoration and workflows for digital
acquisition, we will be uniquely positioned to
improve industry standards, which we will
share with both our service and technology
customers. … We endeavor to partner with
other technology companies like Root6 who
share similar values of cooperation that result
in improving our industry at a time when
change is rampant and postproduction
requires new standards of workflow.”
For additional information, visit
www.mtifilm.com and www.root6technol
ogy.com.
Cinesite Expands with Nuke
Visual-effects company Cinesite has
heavily expanded its compositing depart-
ment by investing in a site license of The
Foundry’s Nuke compositing software,
allowing the facility to host a significant
number of additional seats for its visual-
effects artists.
78 August 2010 American Cinematographer
As part of the
new True Blood
workflow,
colorist Scott
Klein uses
Autodesk’s
software-based
Lustre 2010 for
color correction.
Never Stop Learning,
Never Stop Networking.
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SF_August2010.indd 1 6/17/10 2:12:10 PM
80 August 2010 American Cinematographer
Consider “Red” Another Paint in Your Palette
By Steven Fierberg, ASC
I recently found myself in a situation that says a lot about
cinematography today. Over the course of a few weeks, I was doing
postproduction on two features at three different facilities, working
with a mix of digital and film technologies. I color-corrected Twelve,
which I captured on the Red One, in Technicolor’s DI suite in New
York, and then flew to Los Angeles to adjust the answer print at
Technicolor Hollywood; then, while in L.A., I went to EFilm to color-
correct the digital P3 preview master of Love and Other Drugs,
which I shot on 35mm. It was a blur of color spaces and formats,
and the collective experience taught me a few things about the Red
that could serve as an interesting postscript to Chris Probst’s excel-
lent recent article (“Working with the Red,”
AC Feb. ’10). Specifically, I learned some
things that might be helpful to you if you’re
shooting with the Red with a goal of cinema
projection.
Twelve was actually my second feature
with the Red. My first, Alex Cox’s Repo Chick,
was shot entirely against greenscreen on a
single soundstage, and I was very happy with
how it turned out. I was able to choose our
camera — a rare opportunity — and I chose
the Red because I’d seen tests and knew it
was exceptionally well suited to greenscreen
work. It did not disappoint; I liked the color,
and the fact that the image felt more film-like
than other digital imagery. But I did encounter
some of the issues that Mr. Probst and other
film-trained people have found frustrating. Minor irritants, or
“teething problems,” included the somewhat naïve placement of
buttons that could be too easily pushed by mistake, and a battery-
attachment system that frequently failed, causing surprise power-
downs that required a two-minute reboot of the camera. (We ulti-
mately worked around this by using traditional batteries and a
cable.)
A more innate issue, which the Red shares with other “full
frame” digital cameras, was the surprising lack of depth of field,
which made focus harder than with 35mm. Subjects popped
sharply in and out of focus, with no smooth transition. Because digi-
tal sensors have a fixed array of uniform pixels, the circle of confu-
sion “jumps” from one row of pixels to the next; film, on the other
hand, has randomly placed, variably sized microscopic grains, result-
ing in a smooth, gradual focus transition. To mitigate the focus diffi-
culty, we increased the light level; if I shot masters at f2.8, I some-
times shot tight close-ups at f4.
We also collaborated with an excellent makeup team to foil
the Red’s proclivity to reveal every blemish and flaw on an actress’
face, even nascent blackheads lurking just below the skin. It’s impor-
tant to use full base makeup with extremely soft light. In order to
avoid a harsh, “crispy” look, we bounced off 12'x12' muslins or
projected through Full Grid Cloth. We used only subtle diffusion
filters (
1
⁄8 or ¼ Schneider Classic Soft) because the Red image is not
that sharp when enlarged to cinema size. (I test this by looking at
an actor in a “cowboy” shot or a head-to-toe to see how much of
their eyes I see; all cameras look sharp in a close-up.) The on-set
monitor can be misleading; it’s only 720p, and although it’s useful
for previewing contrast (using rec 709) and might keep you from
adding that last, unnecessary fill light, using it to make guesses
about ultimate sharpness and filter strength is treacherous. You
have to see tests at full cinema resolution and
scale and remember how they looked.
I kept my light meter set to 200 ISO. As
the astute AC reader may know, shooting
200 ISO at f4 with bounce light or through
Full Grid takes a lot of light. Because we were
on a stage, this was quite doable with Nine-
lights or 20Ks, but it would have been harder
to accomplish with smaller lights on location.
The next film I did with the Red would be
a different challenge altogether. I was very
excited to work with Joel Schumacher on the
dark drama Twelve, which follows ultra-
wealthy youths from Manhattan’s Upper East
Side who are making that uneasy transition
from high school to college or, for some, to
the cold night streets. Joel had directed many
studio films, but this one was on a tight budget and had to be shot
in 23 days. I knew I could save time by using my beloved Angenieux
Optimos, the 15-40mm, the 28-76mm, and the magnificent 24-
280mm. For when we really needed the f-stop, we carried a few
Zeiss Superspeeds, which were not only cheap to rent, but also
tested extremely well with the Red. Like most digital cameras, the
Red craves contrast more than absolute resolution (read about
Nyquist sampling if you want to know why), so Superspeeds are, in
some ways, a better match for the camera than Cooke S4s. (This did
not turn out to be true with the Red’s new chip, the Mysterium-X,
which I used on the romantic comedy The Oranges. More on that
later.)
On Twelve, as with many projects today, the Red was
presented to me as a fait accompli. Why not? It was advertised as
lightweight, small and sensitive to light, so shooting night exteriors
on Manhattan streets should be easier than with film. Of course, I
knew that with the same lenses and accessories, the Red was no
Filmmakers’ Forum
I
“You have to
see tests at full
cinema resolution
and scale and
remember how
they looked.”
www.theasc.com August 2010 81
smaller than an Arricam LT, and at ASA
200, with less dynamic range than film, it
was actually far less suited for street film-
ing. But it was too late now!
How did I know the Red was really
only 200 ISO rather than the “official” 320
ISO? In my careful preproduction testing, I
lit three stand-ins — an Asian, an African-
American and a Caucasian blonde — with
direct frontlight at ASA 160 at f2.8. I then
opened up the lens 2 stops, to f1.4, to see
the result at 2 stops overexposed, and then
stopped down to f5.6 to see how they
looked 2 stops down. I wasn’t planning to
light everyone to key, and wanted to see
how people would look if they walked into
shadow areas or, say, close to a bright
window. (In my mind, the true ISO of a
camera or film stock is in the middle of the
linear part of the gamma curve.) I then set
the camera and lighting to ASA 200 and
repeated the sequence, and so on up to
ASA 500.
Then I reviewed the results. One
thing to be careful of with the Red is that
most experts, including DITs, only see tests
or dailies projected at HD resolution, and
they make conclusions about the camera’s
capabilities based on that limited evidence.
If you are going out to film, it is essential to
do a filmout test or see the tests/dailies in a
tested DI suite, in a DPX file, at 2K resolu-
tion or higher. When I viewed my test
footage projected at 1080p HD, the
camera appeared to have excellent speed,
perhaps even exceeding 320 ISO, and if I
were aiming for an HD finish, I could rate it
at that speed. But when I saw the results at
full film resolution, all kinds of noise
showed up in the shadows where there
had previously been detail. At 400 ISO, the
Asian and African-American stand-ins
virtually disappeared when they were 2
stops underexposed. A professional-look-
ing result at 320 ISO would have required
crushing the shadows, thereby adding
contrast. But Twelve wasn’t the stark world
of District 9 — I wanted our film to have a
smooth, lush look. Thus, I settled on 200 as
the fastest usable speed.
To get a fighting chance for decent
exposure, we took advantage of a feature
that film cameras don’t have, opening the
shutter to 270 or even 360 degrees. I had
to carefully evaluate when the motion in
the shot would allow this without blurring
people’s heads into a creepy zombie effect,
but the technique came in handy again
and again. By using the shutter, working
with Superspeeds (and my excellent 1st
AC, Rob Koch), picking locations with
enough available light, and occasionally
ganging up 4x4 Kino Flos, I achieved very
satisfying results in the answer print, check
print, video master and DCP.
On Julian Farino’s The Oranges, I
used the Red One with the new
Mysterium-X chip, which lived up to its
name — even now, after finishing the film,
I don’t know what the chip’s speed is. I
played it safe by exposing at 320 for day
scenes, 400 for night interiors, and 500 for
night exteriors. It’s possible the chip is much
faster than that, but I couldn’t be sure, and
I didn’t want to come up short six months
down the line when finishing the film.
Why don’t I know? Because in the
post workflow recommended by Red, you
color-correct the native Red files using
either Scratch or Red Cine, and after you’ve
set the look, you convert the file to DPX for
output to an Arrilaser for film printing.
Thus, the entire color space, resolution and
film format are changed after you’ve timed
it. When correcting my tests in a Red DI
suite, it seemed the camera had enormous
latitude and speed — even 2,000 ISO
looked okay — but when we looked at a
filmout at 800 ISO, the print was unusable:
no contrast, milky blacks, and so on. This
problem might have been “teething
issues” in the new DI suite, and it might
not have arisen if we weren’t making film
prints, but we were, and I couldn’t trust
what I was seeing in the digital projection.
I went back to Tim Stipan, my excel-
lent colorist at Technicolor New York, to
use the traditional DI workflow: first
converting the file to DPX and then timing
it, so that the file sent to the Arrilaser was
the same one we’d been color correcting.
This is the workflow we used on Twelve,
and there had been no significant differ-
ence between the digital file and the
answer print. (That’s a tribute to both the
state of the art and the fine workmanship
at Technicolor.) However, The Oranges was
one of the first projects to shoot with the
Mysterium-X, and the software to convert
the Red file to DPX wasn’t even Beta soft-
ware, but Alpha, and it was changing every
week. So I played it safe with the speeds I
chose. However, I’m certain the Mysterium-X
is significantly faster and has more latitude
than the old chip. Its greater sharpness
requires less contrast, and this led me to
choose Cooke S4s for The Oranges,
because we wanted a silky and flattering
look.
I wanted a similar look for the
romantic comedy I shot just prior to The
Oranges, Ed Zwick’s Love and Other Drugs.
Ed and I chose to shoot on film, and having
just finished the DI, I can say that Kodak
Vision3 200T 5217 put a lot of rich color in
Anne Hathaway’s skin that I doubt would
be there in a Red file. The Red, especially
with the original chip, tends toward more
contrast and less differentiated skin tones
that look yellower in tungsten light. (I don’t
believe an in-camera filter changes this, and
besides, who can afford the stop loss?) Of
course, that can be exactly what you want
for certain films.
Is the Red “better” than film? Of
course not. Is acrylic “better” than oil
paint? No, it’s just different. On a film
project, we typically spend time testing
emulsions, filters, processing, contrast ratios
and so on, so how can we say that a digital
camera looks “like film”? Which film stock?
With what lenses? For that matter, why try
to make it look like film? If you want the
taste of an apple, don’t try to make an
orange taste like one. Just eat the apple.
You may find that the Red image has
a lot of what you like about film, and
maybe something of its own, too. And the
Red Epic may well be a leap forward. If you
choose the Red, I hope it’s for the same
reason that Hockney and countless other
painters have chosen acrylic or house paint
rather than oil: because it helps you achieve
the look you want for your particular
project. Think of the Red as another
“paint” in your palette. Just don’t pretend
it looks the same as the one next to it.

82 August 2010 American Cinematographer
Universal Studios Reopens
New York Street
Universal Studios has opened
four acres of newly rebuilt New York
Street backlot locations. A fixture in
Hollywood for decades, New York
Street (which comprises 13 city blocks
of buildings) has been the setting of
countless commercials, television
shows and feature films, including To
Kill A Mockingbird, The Sting, The
Blues Brothers and Back to the Future.
The shooting location burned in an
accidental fire on June 1, 2008; the
rebuilt site offers a wealth of creative
opportunities for film and television
production and an exciting behind-
the-scenes look at Hollywood
moviemaking for Universal Studios
Hollywood theme-park guests.
Immediately following the fire,
Jim Watters, president and general
manager of NBC Universal Operations Group, and Dave Beanes,
senior vice-president of NBC Universal Production Services, began
assembling a creative team to design the new street. Steven Spiel-
berg offered his support, and he contacted production designer Rick
Carter to be a part of the process. Carter collaborated with art direc-
tor Beala Neel on the initial design concepts and scope of the rebuild,
and Neel headed the team of production designers and graphic
artists, which eventually expanded to a staff of 25.
Based on his own production experience and feedback from
filmmakers, Beanes helped guide the core design team. They decided
to keep the original east-west main street and add new locations,
including a modern New York block with a glass-and-steel look, Paris
Square, London Square and Central Park. The overall design concen-
trated on detail work that would cater to modern filmmaking needs.
The façade heights have been increased 10' to 25' for an average
height of 40' to 50', providing a realistic urban downtown feel. The
new façades also feature unobstructed interior shooting spaces that
can be built out, allowing productions to shoot interiors without
returning to a soundstage. The width of the main street was
narrowed so the camera could capture both sides of the street in the
same shot, and long vista shots through archways are now possible,
giving added depth to scenes.
For chase sequences, cameras can be positioned on the rein-
forced façade roofs or mounted on a crane to follow the action. The
fire escapes are practical and built for use with actors and stunt
people. The new Courthouse Square
has a fire station large enough to
hold a full-sized fire truck, and next
door to the fire station is a modular
gas station that can be dismantled
and stored according to a produc-
tion’s needs. As an added touch of
realism, the manhole covers can emit
special-effects steam, and London
Square has chimneys rigged for
special-effects smoke.
Universal Studios partnered
with the Los Angeles County Fire and
Building & Safety departments to
create new guidelines for fire safety
in the innovative façades, which now
incorporate fully automatic sprinkler
systems, a central fire-alarm system,
built-in fire separation areas and a
separate water supply infrastructure
for the hydrants and sprinkler
systems.
“This is a proud day for Universal Studios,” enthuses Ron
Meyer, president and COO of Universal Studios. “The opening of
New York Street shows the company’s commitment to film and
television production in Los Angeles and to supporting filmmakers
worldwide.”
For additional information, visit www.filmmakersdestina
tion.com.
EUE/Screen Gems Unveils Atlanta Studio
Complementing its facilities in New York and North Carolina,
EUE/Screen Gems has opened a studio complex with multiple
stages and support services minutes away from the Atlanta, Ga.,
airport.
EUE/Screen Gems is undertaking a $6 million renovation of
the property, located in the former Lakewood Fairgrounds site. The
city of Atlanta agreed to the lease agreement in May, and one of
four stages was already fully functional and in use by June. At press
time, EUE Screen Gems planned to have four other buildings on the
property completely updated by August. The existing buildings offer
four stages ranging from 10,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet,
plus more than 50,000 square feet for lighting and grip, mill shops
and support services.
In addition to updating the existing structures, EUE/Screen
Gems plans to construct a new 37,500-square-foot soundstage to
be ready in March 2011. Current plans for the stage include a
New Products & Services
• SUBMISSION INFORMATION •
Please e-mail New Products/Services releases to:
newproducts@ascmag.com and include full contact
information and product images. Photos must be
TIFF or JPEG files of at least 300dpi.
mobile, soundproofed wall that can also
split the space into two smaller stages if
necessary.
“Producers, directors and studios
came to us and asked us to go into
Atlanta,” says Chris Cooney, chief operat-
ing officer and co-owner of EUE/Screen
Gems. “We chose this site so that produc-
ers and directors can book with us immedi-
ately. The need is here, and we’re here.
“Through our properties in New
York City, Wilmington and now Atlanta, we
provide coastal, rural and urban settings to
our clients, as well as size and infrastructure
needed to handle intensive special effects
for film, commercial and gaming,” Cooney
continues. “This urban location expands
our portfolio in a powerful way.” The
company was also drawn to Georgia’s 30-
percent tax incentive for qualified produc-
tion and postproduction expenditures. The
credit is available not only to traditional
motion-picture projects such as features,
series, commercials and music videos, but
also to industries such as game develop-
ment and animation.
For additional information, visit
www.euescreengems.com and
www.screengemsstudios.com.
VES Announces Production
Summit 2010
The Visual Effects Society will hold its
second annual Production Summit for the
greater entertainment industry on Oct. 23
at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey,
Calif. “Production Summit 2010: Navigat-
ing Tomorrow’s Business Models” will bring
together professionals from all sectors of
the entertainment community for a day of
conversation and collaboration, with a
focus on how to thrive in a rapidly changing
global economic and technological enter-
tainment environment.
“Our inaugural summit, held last
October, proved to be an amazing success
by offering a great opportunity to bring
together leading creatives for a wide-rang-
ing discussion covering the gamut from
previs to building worldwide pipelines,”
says Eric Roth, executive director of the VES.
“Because industry changes come so rapidly
and will likely continue to do so, we decided
that bringing key industry stakeholders
together annually would be beneficial to
everyone.”
This year’s summit will include direc-
tors, producers, cinematographers, editors,
technologists and visual-effects artists inter-
nationally acknowledged for their innova-
tive thinking and responsibility for moving
the industry into the next decade. Atten-
dees will be encouraged to not only think
outside the box, but also to reinvent the
business models of tomorrow that will
guide the future of the entertainment
industry as its technologies, financial chal-
lenges, shrinking schedules, globalization
and proliferating distribution platforms
continue to evolve.
“It is of the utmost importance that
we focus the entire industry on our collec-
tive future,” says VES Board Chair Jeffrey A.
Okun. “It is time to work together to ensure
that we, as a community, will be here to
inform, create and operate within this new
future. Now is the time to understand
where it is going, to stop thinking of what
84 August 2010 American Cinematographer
we used to do, and to look forward and
explore how to do it now, well and prof-
itably.”
For additional information, visit
www.visualeffectssociety.com/production-
summit-2010.
Sharp Focus from Redrock Micro
Redrock Micro has introduced the
MicroRemote Focus System, an affordable,
high-performance, wireless/wired focus-
control system designed for use with any
camera.
Designed for professionals and
amateurs alike, the system includes a wire-
less/wired controller, a base station/receiver,
motors and a range finder. The controller
features an iPhone/iPod Touch interface for
graphic display of focus information to aid
precise focusing. The system is compatible
with both still photo and cine lenses, and it
can be used with third-party motors or with
Redrock Torque motors. The MicroRemote
also boasts modular functionality, allowing
additional components to extend the
system for multiple motors, multiple
cameras and more.
The handheld controller features
2.4ghz production-quality wireless radio,
with the option for a tethered connection
via an integrated connection port. The
controller also boasts an integrated
rechargeable battery that concurrently
powers an attached iPhone/iPod Touch,
plus a D-tap power connection. The
ergonomic design fits comfortably in the
user’s hand, and the controller accommo-
dates both left- and right-hand orienta-
tions. The system can be used to control
focus, zoom and iris settings, and the
controller also offers users camera
start/stop functionality.
The MicroRemote iPhone/iPod
Touch software, which requires an iPhone
or iPod Touch running OS 3.0 or later, offers
real-time graphic and numeric display of
focus distance and focus scale as well as
real-time display of the MicroTape sonar
range finder distance. The visual display
also shows depth-of-field information
based on the lens and settings, plus an
“auto focus” setting enabling the Micro-
Tape to directly control focus.
The MicroTape real-time range
finder offers accurate distance-to-subject
display with a 25' range. The metric or
imperial distance scale appears on both
sides of the MicroTape in high-contrast
blue. The MicroTape can be used on its own
or in conjunction with the wireless remote,
and it is configurable for use off-camera.
Supporting both wireless and wired
control of the motors, the MicroRemote
base station enables both automatic and
manual lens calibration and incorporates a
universal power port. Additionally, a wired
finger controller offers precision single-
finger focus adjustment with smooth rotary
operation, and it easily attaches to a hand-
grip for ENG-style operation.
For additional information, visit
www.redrockmicro.com.
Kodak Expands Vision3 Line
Kodak has added two films to its
Vision3 family of motion-picture products:
Vision3 200T 5213/7213, a medium-speed
color-negative camera film, and Vision3
Color Digital Intermediate Film 5254/2254.
5213/7213 features extended lati-
tude, enabling cinematographers
to record more details in highlights,
and delivers finer grain for natural-
looking images in the darkest
areas. The emulsion is designed for
shooting in both controlled interi-
ors and challenging high-contrast
exteriors, and is available in all
formats (65mm, 35mm, Super
16mm and Super 8mm).
ASC President Michael Goi,
who had the opportunity to test
5213, notes that the stock “is a
significant improvement over the
already excellent Vision2 5217. Reds in skin
tones have a noticeably more natural
balance, and I felt I could almost touch the
high-resolution results in texture.” M. David
Mullen, ASC, who also tested the stock,
adds, “This new film has an even finer grain
structure with deeper black tones and richer
color saturation, especially in the reds and
flesh tones. The images were slightly sharper
… and more consistent in overexposed
areas. The white tones were cleaner after
the film was scanned and converted to digi-
tal files. There is also a tighter grain structure
… especially when it is used for daylight
exterior scenes.”
5254/2254 is designed for use with
contemporary film recorders. The imaging
characteristics of this new intermediate film
enhance the speed and efficiency of DI post-
production while rendering noticeably
sharper images that more faithfully repre-
sent the intentions of filmmakers. The film
provides an improved bridge
between Kodak negative films and
Kodak print films.
“These new Vision3 films are
the tangible results of our ongoing
commitment to filmmakers,” says
Kim Snyder, vice president of the
Eastman Kodak Company and
president of the Entertainment
Imaging Division. “They were
designed based on our customers’
suggestions and with the goal of
increasing creative freedom and
efficiencies in production and post-
production.”
For additional information, visit
www.kodak.com/go/motion.
New
www.technocrane.com
starting from 78.000 €
longer: 8,26 m / 22 ft
lighter: 79 kg / 174 lbs
faster: 1,5 m/s / 5 ft/s
camera max.: 13 kg / 30lbs
buy at:
Tyler Offers MiniGyro
After three years of design, develop-
ment and testing, Tyler Camera Systems has
unveiled the MiniGyro camera-stabilizing
mount. The handheld MiniGyro supports
and stabilizes cameras weighing up to 30
pounds.
Weighing 21 pounds, the Tyler Mini-
Gyro can be assembled or disassembled in
under a minute. The stabilizer boasts vari-
able-position handles, a quick-release
mounting plate and an adjustable tilt head
for shooting up or down. Additionally, a
uniquely designed progressive shock tube
eliminates vibration while supporting the
MiniGyro and camera.
Designed to work in cramped quar-
ters, the MiniGyro is ideal for shooting in
helicopters, planes, cars, trucks, motorcycles
and boats. A standard 28 to 30 VDC
camera battery powers four brute gyro
wheels and the electronics. The MiniGyro
system fits into one custom 22-pound carry-
ing case measuring 19"x23"x12" with a
total shipping weight of 43 pounds.
For additional information, visit
www.tylerminigyro.com.
AJA Upgrades Ki Pro Firmware
AJA Video Systems has announced
the availability of version 2.0 firmware for
the Ki Pro portable digital-video recording
device. Ki Pro 2.0 includes RS-422 device
control, support for eight-channel embed-
ded audio and support for gang recording
with multiple Ki Pro units via the Web inter-
face.
The Ki Pro is a portable, rugged,
tapeless video-recording device that records
high-quality Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime
86 August 2010 American Cinematographer
files onto computer-friendly media. Featur-
ing SD/HD-SDI, HDMI and analog inputs,
the Ki Pro enables users to interface with
virtually any type of camera or video source
they may own or rent. Intuitive to operate,
the Ki Pro’s familiar VTR-like buttons provide
immediate controls for basic operation, and
from a distance, users can control the Ki Pro
with a laptop or iPhone Web browser via
Ethernet or wireless connection. Addition-
ally, AJA has collaborated with Avid to
ensure that, via Avid Media Access (AMA)
plug-in architecture, the Ki Pro’s ProRes
QuickTime files are directly compatible with
Avid Media Composer and Symphony
systems, allowing users to view, edit and
play back the files with access to all clip
metadata.
“Since Ki Pro delivers pristine 10-bit
4:2:2 image quality, many of our customers
have been turning to it as a practical, cost
effective alternative to a VTR on set, in the
studio and in mobile production environ-
ments,” says Nick Rashby, president of AJA
Video Systems. “Now with RS-422 device
control, Ki Pro can interface to even more
devices and workflows via industry standard
machine control protocols.”
Ki Pro version 2.0 firmware is avail-
able as a free software download to all Ki
Pro customers. For more information, visit
www.aja.com.
Lightcraft, Mo-Sys Forge
Agreement
Lightcraft Technology and Mo-Sys,
who have independently developed afford-
able solutions to simplify the tracking and
visualization of complex visual-effects shots,
have announced they will combine their
product offerings in order to provide a full
range of virtual-production tools for the
entertainment industry. The companies
have entered into a joint distribution agree-
ment to sell each other’s products as well as
their own in their respective regions,
thereby supplying their customers with a
single source for complete optical and
encoded tracking and on-set visualization
systems.
Lightcraft Technology builds the
Previzion virtual studio system, which
combines real-time photorealistic 3-D
rendering, keying, lens tracking, composit-
ing, metadata recording and camera track-
ing; the camera tracking works with either
the inertial/optical combination of Light-
craft’s Airtrack precision gyro and Inter-
sense’s IS1200, or with Mo-Sys encoded
camera supports. Among Mo-Sys’ offerings
is the 3D Inserter, offering fast and flexible
live previsualization and data logging of
camera moves on a virtual set. In addition
to its own products, Mo-Sys will now
distribute Lightcraft’s Previzion system in
Europe, while Lightcraft will distribute Mo-
Sys’ 3D Inserter, Motion Logger and full
range of encoded camera heads and cranes
in the Americas.
Eliot Mack, CEO of Lightcraft Tech-
nology, notes, “It is rare to find a company
to work with that has Mo-Sys’ combination
of technical expertise, vision and innova-
tion. We are excited about the potential
that this relationship will provide us and our
customers as we expand the use of virtual
production tools worldwide.” Michael
Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys, adds, “We are
impressed with the competence and innov-
ative spirit at Lightcraft. The collaboration
brings together a unique and powerful
complimentary chain of tools for next-
Ditto Scanner Evolves
Cintel International has introduced
the Ditto Evolution 2K/4K film scanner and
ImageMill2 image-processing platform.
Building on the successful elements
of the Ditto scanner — including excellent
image performance, an easy-to-use inter-
face and the D/SCOP Dust/Scratch Conceal-
ment Option — the Ditto Evolution offers a
modular and upgradeable solution to film
scanning. The Ditto Evolution provides fast
shuttle capability, a non-pin registration
mode for archive scanning, ImageMill2
processing tools and 3.2D density range.
“Ditto Evolution is the first film scan-
ner to be instantly switchable from pin regis-
tration to non-pin registration and also the
first film scanner to include film grain
management and image stabilization tools,”
says Simon Carter, sales director for Cintel.
“It is the ideal film scanner for all applica-
tions and stock types, from OCN ingest for
digital intermediates to dense print for
restoration projects.” Simon Clark, Cintel’s
business development manager, adds,
“Ditto Evolution offers solutions to all film-
scanning needs. It can evolve from a simple-
to-use calibrated pin-registration scanner for
digital-intermediate use with superb image
quality to a multi-format, non-pin-registra-
tion machine for shrunken and damaged
film incorporating a full set of image-restora-
tion tools.”
The ImageMill2 image-processing
platform adds network capabilities and data
file management to the existing ImageMill
feature set. Carter notes, “ImageMill2 will
address the industry’s need for a fast yet
simple-to-use noise and grain management
tool for both data-centric digital-intermedi-
ate applications and restoration projects
within one product. With speeds in excess of
25 fps for 2K and HD files, the performance
of ImageMill2 is unequalled. We are
currently processing 4K files at 10 fps and
can also deal with SD files at twice real time.
With ImageMill2 you can truly ‘eliminate the
wait.’”
For additional information, visit
www.cintel.co.uk.
generation filmmaking and ensures both stay
at the forefront of developments to come.”
For additional information, visit
www.lightcrafttech.com and www.mo-
sys.com.
3cP Guides Images on Set, in Post
Gamma & Density has announced
that its 3cP on-set color-correction system for
cinematographers has been extended for use
during the pre-post and post phases of a
production. The enhanced 3cP Set + Post
system allows for even more creative freedom
for contemporary image makers while main-
taining the predictable, consistent results 3cP
has become known for.
3cP Set + Post includes a variety of
new and improved tools for data manage-
ment, color correction and previsualization.
When used in conjunction with Blackmagic
Design’s HDLinkPro, the software-based
system allows cinematographers and digital-
imaging technicians to color-correct a live HD-
SDI stream in real time. Furthermore, color-
corrected dailies created by 3cP Set + Post can
be targeted for viewing on such devices as
iPads and iPhones and can be produced in
Apple ProRes and Avid formats.
3cP Set + Post also adds the ability to
work with Red’s Mysterium-X sensor, access-
ing and decoding the data directly from its
raw format to ensure the highest quality
imagery. To further aid this task, Gamma &
Density has added Red Mysterium-X tung-
sten and daylight color charts to its chart
family, which already included Rec 709 and
film charts.
Additional features of 3cP Set + Post
include expanded support for the
DaVinci/Blackmagic Design Resolve color
corrector, an ability to previsualize lighting,
support for generating Nucoda-style 3-D
LUTs, enhanced P2 file handling, support for
anamorphic and 3-D imagery, and more.
For additional information, visit
www.gammadensity.com.
Calibrated Software Decodes
AVC-Intra
Calibrated Software has expanded its
Calibrated{Q} family of QuickTime compo-
nents with the introduction of Calibrated{Q}
AVC-Intra Decode, a QuickTime decode
codec that expands AVC-Intra-based post-
production by providing an easy and high-
quality way to independently work with and
view AVC-Intra files. The software speeds
sharing, distribution and review of AVC-
Intra files by allowing users to skip time-
consuming conversion steps and tailor view-
ing immediately and specifically to their
setup, regardless of platform and without
having an editing application installed.
AVC-Intra is an advanced 10-bit
video compression technology developed
by Panasonic for cameras in the company’s
professional P2 product line. Calibrated{Q}
AVC-Intra Decode streamlines the use of
AVC-Intra material by letting users share,
view and work with AVC-Intra MOV files in
QuickTime Player and other applications
that support QuickTime directly on their
Mac or PC systems with up to full 10-bit
color depth and without requiring addi-
tional software, such as Final Cut Pro. AVC-
Intra Decode also enables cross-platform,
standalone playback and use of P2 AVC-
Intra MXF files in QuickTime Player or
Square Box Systems’ CatDV asset-manage-
ment software when used in tandem with
Calibrated{Q} MXF Import.
“We are excited by the development
of products like Calibrated{Q} AVC-Intra
Decode that extend the quality, flexibility
and efficiency of AVC-Intra media into the
postproduction process and provide
customers with a comprehensive range of
options for working with AVC-Intra files,”
says Michael Bergeron of Media & Produc-
tion Services, Panasonic Solutions Company.
“Calibrated Software is an important
provider of workflow tools for the broadcast
and film industry and we are pleased to be
welcoming the company as an official new
Lens repair, service, evaluation, and sales.
Factory authorized Angenieux service
Optimo specialists
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member in the Panasonic P2 Partner
Alliance.”
Greg Booth, president of Calibrated
Software, adds, “As advancements in
image formats continue to evolve, Cali-
brated Software is committed to delivering
accessible tools that map today’s changing
workflows and can be easily installed onto a
user’s Mac or PC to help them see and work
with their material as directly and immedi-
ately as possible. Many broadcasters and
postproduction facilities are adopting a
Panasonic AVC-Intra workflow, and Cali-
brated{Q} AVC-Intra Decode was created to
facilitate rapid viewing and review of AVC-
Intra material at up to full 10-bit quality and
according to the end user’s specific plat-
forms and needs.”
Version 1.0 of Calibrated{Q} AVC-
Intra Decode for Macintosh OS X 10.5/10.6
(Intel only) and Windows 7/Vista/XP is now
available. For more information, visit
www.calibratedsoftware.com.
Magic Bullet Grinds DSLR Video
Red Giant Software has introduced
Magic Bullet Grinder for converting DSLR
video to edit-friendly formats, enabling
smooth playback and faster rendering.
With Magic Bullet Grinder, Final Cut
Pro users now have a fast way to get DSLR
footage from video-capable Canon DSLR
cameras into their timeline for editing, add
time code and generate proxies all in a
single time-saving pass. Batch processing
and multi-threading make for fast and pain-
less conversion, allowing editing to begin
even on location.
Magic Bullet Grinder supports all
video-capable Canon DSLRs, with additional
format support coming soon. The software
tool converts to ProRes, Standard, ProRes
Proxy and PhotoJPEG formats, complete
with a time-code track. The batch-process-
ing feature supports multi-threaded systems
to ensure fast, glitch-free operation; users
working with eight cores can convert eight
files at once. Magic Bullet Grinder also adds
file-name and time-code information
directly to proxies and converts 30p and
60p media for quick 24p slow-motion
effects.
Magic Bullet Grinder is available for
$49. For additional information, visit
www.redgiantsoftware.com.
LightSpace Manages Color
Light Illusion has released LightSpace
CMS, a fully featured color-management
system. The system is a continued develop-
ment of Light Illusion’s widely adopted LUT
Manager display and calibration software.
LightSpace CMS brings major calibration
enhancements to users, with full display
and film-profiling capabilities, as well as the
automatic generation of calibration LUTs
from the various profiles generated.
Improving on Light Illusion’s 3D LUT
Manager, LightSpace CMS makes it much
easier to implement total color manage-
ment facility wide for DI, visual effects, grad-
ing, animation, games or exhibition using
any direct display or projection-monitoring
system. LightSpace CMS is not only suitable
for visualizing film images on digital
displays, but also for directly matching
different displays, allowing operators,
colorists, supervisors, cinematographers and
directors to see a matched final look at
every point in the digital post chain.
“LightSpace CMS makes accurate
color management available to all industry
operations, and its new tools and capabili-
ties really help to enhance facilities’ calibra-
tion capabilities and accuracy,” says Steve
Shaw, CEO of Light Illusion. “While Light-
Space CMS will be welcome in all facilities
looking for high quality color management,
its affordable price makes it easy for studios,
post and broadcast facilities to establish
company-wide color calibration, regardless
of the specific display or creative hardware
being used.”
LightSpace CMS brings together a
range of tools and capabilities that go far
further than simple LUT building, with
options that provide for full underlying color
management, display profiling, profile
matching (auto-LUT generation), direct
profile and LUT transformation, calibration
visualization and display comparison, color-
space conversion, and even batch image
processing with multiple image parameter
controls. LightSpace CMS enables customers
to accurately measure all displays to fully
manage the color pipeline, regardless of the
technology being used. A wide and growing
range of measuring probes can be used,
including X-Rite Hubble, Klein K-10, i1 Pro,
i1 Display 2, i1 Display 1, i1 Display LT and
ColorMunki.
LightSpace CMS can be purchased as
a fully configured package, or via option
components allowing customers to build
their color-management tools as their
requirements grow. For more information,
visit www.lightillusion.com.
Avid Takes Editing Line to
Next Level
Raising the bar on format flexibility,
openness and speed, Avid has introduced
the Media Composer v5, NewsCutter v9 and
Symphony v5 editing systems. New features
include native support for popular formats
such as Red, QuickTime and Canon XF;
support for Matrox MX02 Mini monitoring
hardware, a low-cost external monitoring
solution enabling field editing and simplified
client screening sessions; HD-RGB finishing
capabilities, allowing customers to keep
high-end finishing in-house; multi-channel
audio support; and an array of interface
enhancements.
Avid Media Access enhances produc-
tivity by supporting the most popular file-
based formats and eliminating the need for
88 August 2010 American Cinematographer
customers to transcode, re-wrap, log and
transfer media. In addition to supporting
Red .R3D, QuickTime and Canon XF files,
the updated editing systems also support
the AVCHD format as well as XDCam prox-
ies, the latter offering access to proxy video
and high-quality audio files, enabling
customers to make more informed creative
decisions in the offline edit and easily link
back to full-resolution XDCam clips to
complete projects.
The enhanced user interface in
Media Composer, NewsCutter and
Symphony offers a new timeline Smart Tool,
featuring drag-and-drop audio and video
elements as well as editing and trimming
features for direct manipulation of clips in
the timeline, providing customers with more
choices in the way they work.
For additional information, visit
www.avid.com.
Media 100 Upgrades Suite
Media 100, a provider of advanced
editing systems for the corporate, broad-
cast, postproduction and new-media indus-
tries, has announced the availability of
Media 100 Suite Version 1.6. Version 1.6
supports Calibrated Software’s Cali-
brated{Q} MXF Import, AVC-Intra Decode
and DVCProHD Decode products, allowing
Media 100 Suite editors to directly open
MXF files, import and play back AVC-Intra
media, and play back media created in the
DVCProHD codec. Version 1.6 also includes
Boris XML Transfer Version 2 for Media 100
Suite, giving users the ability to export
Media 100 Suite timelines to Adobe After
Effects CS5.
Additional features of Version 1.6
include a new intelligent folder import
option, which recognizes certain file and
folder patterns (such as the Panasonic P2
folder pattern that commonly holds AVC-
Intra media) and selectively imports files
from those folders, and faster rendering of
multi-layer Boris Red filters.
Media 100 Suite Version 1.6 is avail-
able through the Media 100 worldwide
reseller channel and direct from the Media
100 website for a recommended price of
$1,295. For more information, including
how to upgrade from a previous version of
Media 100 Suite, visit www.media100.com.

International Marketplace
90 August 2010 American Cinematographer
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Advertiser’s Index
16x9, Inc. 90
Abel Cine Tech 15
AC 1, 4, 93
Aja Video Systems, Inc. 11
Alan Gordon Enterprises 90
Arri 35
ASC 89
AZGrip 90
Backstage Equipment, Inc.
73
Band Pro Film & Digital 91
Burrell Enterprises 90
Camera Essentials 91
Canon USA 5
Cavision Enterprises 25
Chapman/Leonard Studio
Equipment Inc. 23
Cinematography
Electronics 85
Cinekinetic 90
Cinematographer Style 54
Cinerover 90
Cinevate 21
Convergent Design 40
Cooke Optics 6
Creativesphere 75
Dell 9
Deluxe 37
Denecke 91
Duclos Lenses 87
DV Expo 95
Eastman Kodak 13, C4
EFD USA, Inc. 53
Film Gear 6
Filmlight 65
Filmtools 6
Fujji Motion Picture
16a-d, 47
Glidecam Industries C3
International Supplies 83
JMR Electronics, Inc. 19
K5600 7
Kino Flo 55
Laffoux Solutions, Inc. 90
Lensrentals.com 83
Lite Panels C2
Maine Media Workshops 73
Movcam Tech. Co., Ltd. 63
Movie Tech AG 91
MP&E Mayo Productions 91
Nalpak Inc. 91
Nevada Film Office 61
New York Film Academy 27
Oasis Imagery 77
Oppenheimer Camera Prod.
90
Panther Gmbh 41
PED Denz 39, 91
Photon Beard 90
Pille Film Gmbh 91
Postworks 73
Pro8mm 90
Production Resource Group
67
Schneider Optics 2
Shelton Communications 91
Soundscapers 90
Stanton Video Services 85
Super16 Inc. 90
Sylvania 49, 51
Technocrane 85
VF Gadgets, Inc. 90
Visual Products 39
Welch Integrated 79
Willy’s Widgets 90
www.theasc.com 54, 87, 92
Zacuto Films 91
92
2010-2011 Board, Officers
Elected
Michael Goi, ASC has been elected
to a second term as president of the Society.
His fellow officers for 2010-11 are Vice Pres-
idents Richard Crudo, Owen Roizman
and John C. Flinn III; Treasurer Matthew
Leonetti; Secretary Rodney Taylor; and
Sergeant-at-Arms Ron Garcia. Other
members elected to the Board of Governors
are John Bailey, Stephen Burum, Curtis
Clark, George Spiro Dibie, Richard
Edlund, Stephen Lighthill, Isidore
Mankofsky, Daryn Okada, Robert
Primes, Nancy Schreiber, Kees Van Oost-
rum, Haskell Wexler and Vilmos Zsig-
mond. Alternates are Fred Elmes, Rodney
Taylor, Michael D. O’Shea, Sol Negrin
and Michael B. Negrin.
“Being elected to serve a second
term as ASC president is a great honor and
a privilege,” says Goi. “At a time when so
much is going on in the industry, this is a
tremendous vote of confidence that this
body of incredible artists believes in my
vision of where the ASC is going in the
future.”
5 ASC Members Invited to
Join Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences recently invited 135 members
of the film industry to join its ranks, includ-
ing ASC members Shane Hurlbut, Tom
Hurwitz, Dan Mindel, Tobias Schliessler
and Robert Yeoman. Those who accept
the invitation will be the only additions to
the Academy’s roster of voting members
this year.
Papamichael Honored for
Career Achievement
Phedon Papamichael, ASC was
honored with the Orpheus Award for
Career Achievement at this year’s Los Ange-
les Greek Film Festival. The award recog-
nizes Papamichael’s professional achieve-
ments in cinematography and directing, as
well as his continued support of the arts.
Director Alexander Payne, who collabo-
rated with Papamichael on Sideways,
presented the cinematographer with the
award. In a separate event, Arcadia Lost, a
new feature that Papamichael directed and
shot, was screened, and he participated in a
Q&A.
McAlpine Journeys to India
Don McAlpine, ASC, ACS
presented three sessions during the recent
Cinema India Expo in Mumbai, India: a
Kodak-sponsored master class, and two
conversation sessions arranged by Createa-
sphere, Cinema India’s international sales
and programming partner. “The workshops
in Mumbai were truly rewarding for all of
us,” notes McAlpine. “The local film people
seemed to be very interested in what I had
to say, and attendance grew during each
workshop. The questions were searching,
and each session ran overtime. It was time
well spent.”
Prieto Speaks at LAFF
Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMCrecently
participated in a Kodak Focus seminar
during the 16th annual Los Angeles Film
Festival. He showed clips from his work and
discussed his collaborations with an array of
directors.
ASC Participates in
Cine Gear Expo
Cine Gear Expo, an annual show-
case of cutting-edge motion-picture tech-
nology, unfolded over four days in June at
Paramount Studios in Hollywood, and ASC
members were involved in a number of
events. Peter Anderson, ASC delivered
the keynote to kick off a daylong 3-D
symposium, after which began a series of
Premiere Seminars. Seminar participants
included ASC members John Leonetti
(discussing Piranha 3-D); Wally Pfister
(discussing Inception); Richard Edlund
(moderating a panel for the Visual Effects
Society); and John Bailey, Daniel Pearl,
James Chressanthis and Rodney Taylor
(panelists for the Kodak-sponsored “Truth
About Film and Digital Production”).
George Spiro Dibie, ASC moderated an
ASC panel comprising Society members
Russ Alsobrook, Stephen H. Burum,
James L. Carter, Allen Daviau, Michael
Goi, Johnny E. Jensen, M. David
Mullen, Sol Negrin, Nancy Schreiber
and Christian Sebaldt; Joe Dunton, BSC
also joined the panelists, and Donald M.
Morgan, ASC participated from the audi-
ence.
Rounding out the weekend, Society
members Amy Vincent, Bill Bennett,
Gabriel Beristain, Ron Dexter and
Stephen Lighthill participated in master
classes at Mole Richardson, and associate
member Volker Bahnemann received the
Cine Gear Expo Lifetime Achievement
Award. ●
Clubhouse News
Top: Phedon Papamichael, ASC.
Bottom: Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC.
94 August 2010 American Cinematographer
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96 August 2010 American Cinematographer
When you were a child, what film made the strongest impres-
sion on you?
Lawrence of Arabia (1962). At 16, I worked as an usher at the Beverly
Hills theater where it played in 70mm for nine months, and I was
reminded every day of the power and scope of movies. I knew every
image and all the music cues, and I could recite every line. More impor-
tantly, it changed the way I regarded film, because I never tired of
watching it. That had never happened before.
Which cinematographers, past or present,
do you most admire, and why?
Freddie Young, ASC, BSC, who turned me
around and made me see how images could
transport you to a completely different world.
John Alonzo, ASC, for his work on Chinatown
— his handheld work and the polished gloss of
L.A. Conrad Hall, ASC, for his brilliant and inno-
vative vision on Searching for Bobby Fischer; his
use of light, long lenses and color made the
world of chess appear utterly magical.
What sparked your interest in photography?
Blind luck. On my first job in the business, I was told to carry camera
cases and help the camera assistant. I spent three months doing every-
thing that was asked of me, and before I finished, I fell in love with the
camera. I hadn’t taken so much as a Polaroid before, but suddenly I was
fascinated by cinematography. My life changed in a matter of months.
I got a Nikon F2 and took as many pictures as I could afford.
Where did you train and/or study?
All of my film education was on the job. I graduated from the Univer-
sity of California-Los Angeles with a degree in political science but didn’t
pay attention to film until that first job, three years after I graduated. I
took two film classes, but they weren’t very interesting.
Who were your early teachers or mentors?
As a camera assistant, I worked steadily for five years with a commercial
director/cameraman named Melvin Sokolsky. I watched him and
learned how to conceptualize a project. I also watched and learned
about lighting. I also worked for years as an assistant in the camera
departments at Universal and Warner Bros. I worked with [ASC
members] Matt Leonetti, Joe Biroc and John Alonzo, and with Ray
Villalobos.
What are some of your key artistic influences?
I love photojournalism, especially Robert Capa, Sebastiao Salgado, and
Tyler Hicks of the New York Times. I also love paintings and prints by
Charles Sheeler, Ralston Crawford, Georgia O’Keeffe and Paul Strand.
How did you get your first break in the business?
After working as a social worker and a waiter, I went back to school to
study psychology. Out of boredom, I got a job on a low-budget project
in San Diego — my father knew someone who knew someone who
wanted to make a movie. I was hired as a gofer. I never looked back.
What has been your most satisfying moment on a project?
Finding the center of the scene I am shooting and making sense of it.
Cinematographers are storytellers, and we are always searching to
make an idea into an image.
Have you made any memorable blun-
ders?
On the first job I got as a union assistant, I
white-lighted 1000' of film on the first day of
prep. I thought it was the end of the world.
What is the best professional advice
you’ve ever received?
I’m not sure it’s the best advice, but when I first
began working as a camera assistant, Joe
Ruttenberg, ASC lived next door. He took me
into his house one day and showed me his two Academy Awards and
told me to become an editor, because they had more control of his art
than he did. It didn’t deter me, but it made me aware that I wasn’t in
complete control of the finished product. It’s a lesson I’m still learning.
What recent books, films or artworks have inspired you?
I read a lot of mysteries and enjoy Ken Bruen, Robert Crais, Michael
Connelly, Robert Parker and Richard Russo. I just finished reading all of
Ken Haruf’s books, including Plainsong. Movies: I just watched The
Lookout and (500) Days of Summer.
Do you have any favorite genres, or genres you would like to
try?
I love all kinds of detective stories and would love to shoot more of
them. I’m also a huge fan of children’s stories.
If you weren’t a cinematographer, what might you be doing
instead?
Teaching. I love working with students and sharing some of the knowl-
edge I’ve retained over the years.
Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for member-
ship?
John Toll, Robert Primes and Bing Sokolsky.
How has ASC membership impacted your life and career?
I consider myself lucky to be in the ASC. It’s a very inclusive group of
professionals. It’s a safe place to exchange ideas and thoughts, and we
share problems and solutions. People want to be members, and, once
admitted, we are open and trusting of each other. It makes me proud
to be in the ASC. ●
Charles Minsky, ASC Close-up
CHRI S MENGES, ASC, BSC
ONFILM
“I don’t know a cinematographer – certainly not
myself – who has contributed to a meaningful
movie who wasn’t collaborating with a highly
visual director. Part of it is luck, getting to work
with the right director, actors and script, and
then it takes an incredible amount of hard
work. The inspiration comes from the words
and inside the characters. All you have to do
is bring your soul and great energy. But it goes
beyond collaborating with directors. You are
also working with the production and costume
designers, makeup artists, gaffers and everyone
on your crew to get the right composition,
camera movement and focus to capture
magic moments on film. Film is collaboration;
you cannot dream on your own, but more
importantly you have to trust your instincts.”
Chris Menges, ASC, BSC won Academy Awards®
for The Killing Fields and The Mission, and
earned additional nominations for Michael
Collins and The Reader. He is the 2010 recipient
of the American Society of Cinematographers
International Award. His body of work includes
Kes, Angel, Local Hero, The Boxer, A World
Apart, The Pledge, The Good Thief, Dirty
Pretty Things, The Three Burials of Melquiades
Estrada, Notes on a Scandal, and other
memorable documentary and narrative films.
For an extended interview with Chris Menges,
visit www.kodak.com/go/onfilm
To order Kodak motion picture film,
call (800) 621-film.
© Eastman Kodak Company, 2010.
Photography: © 2010 Douglas Kirkland

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Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC

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y fascination with moving images began when I was 4 years old, when my father took me to see the old Superman, Flash Gordon and Rocket Man serials. Years later, at the beginning of my professional career, I discovered American Cinematographer, which was my first exposure to the techniques behind the art of cinematography. “AC helped open the door that brought me to this country 40 years ago, and it continues to be my window onto the work of the cinematographers I admire and respect.” — Affonso Beato, ASC, ABC

TO SUBSCRIBE BY PHONE:

Call (800) 448-0145 (U.S. only) (323) 969-4333 or visit the ASC Web site

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“Despite improved filtration built into RED’s new MX sensor. I never worry about matching because I always have Schneider filters on each lens. They allow me to handle the occasional cross-light shine on complexions without having to deal with lighting.It starts with the glass. Schneider is the Rolls Royce of glass.” oy ..”         “What the Classic Black Soft™ does in maintaining the look in HD is priceless! The subtle pop reminds me of what film does..”         “I love Schneider One-Stop Linear Polarizers for interiors.”         “When shooting a multi-camera series you are consistently cutting back and forth between cameras.. It starts with the glass.. Schneider IR filters are still essential to consistently ensure true blacks when shooting in bright sunlight with heavy ND.

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shot by Robert Elswit. ASC.The International Journal of Motion Imaging On Our Cover: Covert operative Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) must run for her life in Salt. ASC shoots Get Low for director and fellow ASC member Aaron Schneider Editor’s Note 68 President’s Desk Short Takes: Quiksilver ad campaign Production Slate: Best-Shot Films of 1998-2008 • The Kids Are All Right Post Focus: True Blood Workflow Filmmakers’ Forum: Steven Fierberg. ASC conjures wizardly visuals for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice 56 True Colors David Boyd.) FEATURES 28 42 56 68 DEPARTMENTS 8 10 12 16 76 80 82 90 91 92 94 96 Cat and Mouse Robert Elswit. courtesy of Universal Pictures. the World A Magical Manhattan Bojan Bazelli. ASC gets ample support from collaborators on Salt 42 Girl Trouble Bill Pope. (Photo by François Duhamel. SMPSP. ASC New Products & Services International Marketplace Classified Ads Ad Index Clubhouse News ASC Close-Up: Charles Minsky — VISIT WWW. ASC creates wild battles for Scott Pilgrim vs.COM TO ENJOY THESE WEB EXCLUSIVES — DVD Playback: A Star Is Born • The Only Son/There Was a Father .THEASC.

net CLASSIFIEDS/ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Diella Nepomuceno 323-952-2124 FAX 323-876-4973 e-mail: diella@ascmag. $50. Douglas Bankston. (323) 969-4333. N o . Jay Holben. Jon Silberg. all other foreign countries $95 a year (remit international Money Order or other exchange payable in U. 8 The International Journal of Motion Imaging Visit us online at www. (All rights reserved. John Pavlus.S.theasc. 9 1 . Chris Pizzello. CA 90078. established 1920 and in its 90th year of publication. Patricia Thomson ———————————————————————————————————— ART DEPARTMENT CREATIVE DIRECTOR Marion Gore ———————————————————————————————————— ADVERTISING ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Angie Gollmann 323-936-3769 FAX 323-936-9188 e-mail: gollmann@pacbell. BOOKS & PRODUCTS CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Saul Molina CIRCULATION MANAGER Alex Lopez SHIPPING MANAGER Miguel Madrigal ———————————————————————————————————— ASC GENERAL MANAGER Brett Grauman ASC EVENTS COORDINATOR Patricia Armacost ASC PRESIDENT’S ASSISTANT Kim Weston ASC ACCOUNTING MANAGER Mila Basely ASC ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Corey Clark ———————————————————————————————————— American Cinematographer (ISSN 0002-7928). Robert S. Canada/Mexico $70. John Calhoun. Bob Fisher. Mark Hope-Jones. Iain Stasukevich.A.S. P. 1782 N.com ———————————————————————————————————— CIRCULATION.. Kenneth Sweeney. Hollywood. $). Advertising: Rate card upon request from Hollywood office. Simon Gray.S.com ———————————————————————————————————— PUBLISHER Martha Winterhalter ———————————————————————————————————— EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR Stephen Pizzello SENIOR EDITOR Rachael K. Bosley ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jon D. Benjamin B. CA and at additional mailing offices. Fax (323) 876-4973. David Heuring. 8065 or by e-mail hrobinson@tsp.A u g u s t 2 0 1 0 V o l . Subscriptions: U. Article Reprints: Requests for high-quality article reprints (or electronic reprints) should be made to Sheridan Reprints at (800) 635-7181 ext. U.com ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Scott Burnell 323-936-0672 FAX 323-936-9188 e-mail: sburnell@earthlink. POSTMASTER: Send address change to American Cinematographer. Noah Kadner. Box 2230.O. Copyright 2007 ASC Holding Corp. direct line for subscription inquiries (323) 969-4344. CA 90028. Jean Oppenheimer. Orange Dr.. Printed in the USA. Jim Hemphill. Birchard.. (800) 448-0145. Witmer TECHNICAL EDITOR Christopher Probst CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Stephanie Argy.com.sheridan.net ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Sanja Pearce 323-952-2114 FAX 323-876-4973 e-mail: sanja@ascmag. is published monthly in Hollywood by ASC Holding Corp. 4 ———————————————————————————————————— . Hollywood.) Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles.

with a codec that gives you the image quality and streamlined workflow to meet a broad range of production needs. And then there’s the 18x HD L-Series lens (35mm equivalent of 29. All other referenced products and brand names are trademarks of their respective owners and are hereby acknowledged.3–527. in the United States and IMAGEANYWARE is a trademark of Canon. The XF series also employs non-proprietary dual CF card recording.A. usa. Introducing the Canon XF305 and XF300.. Finally. . a feature-laden hand-held that’s ready for any assignment. HD-SDI output. Inc.canon.com/camcorder © 2010 Canon U.S. offer a versatile zoom range and unsurpassed image quality. Canon is a registered trademark of Canon Inc.4mm) and three native 1920x1080 Canon CMOS Image Sensors. Which combined. the MXF File Wrapper facilitates metadata handling throughout the workflow. and SMPTE time code in/out available on XF305 only. Genlock input. and for efficient file management.50Mbps MPEG-2 4:2:2 CF Card Recording MXF File Wrapper 18x HD L-Series Lens 3 Native 1920x1080 CMOS Image Sensors HD-SDI Output Genlock Input SMPTE Time Code In/Out Your production just got more productive. All rights reserved.

com. go to: cookeoptics. Flinn III Vice President Matthew Leonetti Treasurer Rodney Taylor Secretary Ron Garcia Sergeant At Arms MEMBERS OF THE BOARD John Bailey Stephen Burum Curtis Clark George Spiro Dibie Richard Edlund John C. O’Shea Sol Negrin Michael B.54mm Image Circle For details on our NEW Panchro. see “News” American Society of Cinematographers The ASC is not a labor union or a guild. Negrin MUSEUM CURATOR 6 Steve Gainer . 50. but an educational. 32.Place Your Order Today NEW Panchro by Cooke 18.com T: +44 (0)116 264 0700 Canada. Flinn III Michael Goi Stephen Lighthill Isidore Mankofsky Daryn Okada Robert Primes Nancy Schreiber Kees Van Oostrum Haskell Wexler Vilmos Zsigmond ALTERNATES Fred Elmes Rodney Taylor Michael D. South America. 75 and 100mm Covers up to 33. CookeOpticsLimited cookeoptics. cultural and professional organization. To sign up for updates. USA: T: +1-973-335-4460 OFFICERS . 25. ASC membership has become one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a professional cinematographer — a mark of prestige and excellence.4 Primes and our S4/ Prime and zoom lenses. Membership is by invitation to those who are actively engaged as directors of photography and have demonstrated outstanding ability.2010/2011 Michael Goi President Richard Crudo Vice President Owen Roizman Vice President John C. NEW 5/ T1.

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Everyone has his favorites.” he tells David Heuring (“A Magical Manhattan. in which a jobless hipster (Michael Cera) attempts to win the affections of his new crush (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) by defeating her seven exes in video-game-style battles. and [gaffer] Andy [Day] and [key grip] Dennis Gamiello to sort out all the other stuff. David was the first person I thought of. director Edgar Wright and their collaborators drew visual cues from the Scott Pilgrim comic books. 2nd-unit director of photography Igor Meglic. this issue also spotlights the top 10 movies from our recent online poll regarding the Best-Shot Films of 1998-2008 (Production Slate. when Boyd operated camera for Schneider on the pilot for the TV show Murder One.” Speaking of history. “When it happened that Get Low shaped up as a $7.” Pope tells Noah Kadner (“Girl Trouble. because Bryan doesn’t cheat perspective and use ‘cartoon engineering. ASC members Aaron Schneider and David Boyd teamed as director and cinematographer. he asked that we bring other members of his team into the foreground. respectively. ASC. Bazelli preferred to capture as much of the look as possible on set.Editor’s Note It’s a wise cinematographer who recognizes the contributions of his crew. ZFS. effects and aerials is as big a logistical challenge as it is a creative challenge. Complete results from both polls are posted on the ASC’s website (www. in which a New York-based conjurer (Nicolas Cage) trains a regular guy (Jay Baruchel) to master real magic. and we’re sure this new list will generate debate. created by Bryan Lee O’Malley. visual-effects supervisor Mark Breakspear. on the atmospheric period drama Get Low. More than 17. Comic-book aesthetics played a large part in Bill Pope. deepest cut in the wood at the moment of photography.” page 56). the World. Pope. but I like to carve the biggest. and visual-effects supervisor/3rd-unit director of photography Robert Grasmere.’” Bojan Bazelli. ASC’s approach to Scott Pilgrim vs.” page 42).000 people cast votes in the poll.5-million movie with a 24-day shooting schedule [on location]. which serves as a follow-up to our 1999 survey of films shot between 1894-1997. “Any large production that involves multiple units working independently and shooting stunts.” page 28).” Our coverage also details some of the contributions made by 2nd-unit director Simon Crane. I do use those tools extensively to take the look further. Although the film is filled with sophisticated visual effects.” Amid all the summer pyrotechnics. “In post. page 16). Our history was invaluable. 8 Stephen Pizzello Executive Editor Photo by Owen Roizman. The Society chums first met 15 years ago. “I believe strongly that you cannot create the look in post. ASC faced equally fantastic plot points on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. .” Schneider informs Michael Goldman (“True Colors.” he tells Iain Stasukevich (“Cat and Mouse. Translating O’Malley’s aesthetics to live action was more straightforward than adapting other comics might be. “We made it our mission to do feature-quality work on a television schedule. “From there. After agreeing to be interviewed. “We took our initial inspiration off the books’ full-color covers.com). ASC was quick to credit his collaborators on the action film Salt.theasc.” page 68). we imagined what all the black-and-white illustrations [inside] would look like in color. I finish shaping the sculpture. and Robert Elswit. “Thank God I had [1st AC] Baz Idoine to take care of all the cameraequipment issues.

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but I hope they take to heart one quality that Billy possessed in abundance — something you cannot learn in film school or with a technical manual. but also the dignity.” As with everything I say.President’s Desk As I begin my second term as president of the ASC. ASC. When I wrote my first column one year ago. but it is far less common today for the person ultimately responsible for the success of his particular studio to feel that the choice of cinematographer is important enough to warrant a face-to-face meeting. romance and glamour of the craft. I firmly believe that the generations of cinematographers to come will do extraordinary things and create memorable images. As my family and I approached the ballroom. romantic industry. Bullitt or Looking for Mr. when making a big-screen movie meant that you had to watch your dailies on a big screen to really know the effect of what you’d created. That originality translated into good box office and movies that are now considered classics. the recent passing of Billy Fraker is very much on my mind. another link to a crucial era in cinematography and the industry has faded. as they do now. Billy called to thank me. When that article ran. I had been an ASC member for only one year. I said it because I believe it to be true. “Mr. Billy shook my dad’s hand and said. but a benevolent angel sent to earth to remind us that we work in a magical. I brought my parents to Los Angeles for the ASC Awards in 2004. William A. he represented not only the artistry that was expected of a world-class cinematographer. BSC is no mere mortal. something that is indescribable but understood: Mr. and I introduced him to my parents. Goi. That respect for the talent of a great craftsperson translated into work of stunning originality.” I will miss Billy. ASC President Top photo by Owen Roizman. ASC. when I was nominated for my work on the TV movie Judas. With Billy’s passing. But watching his face and the twinkle in his eyes. It recalls a time when the pride of “getting it right” in front of the camera was preferable to “fixing it in post”. Just the fact that you were making movies was enough to make you feel good about yourself. The challenges of balancing the political agendas of the parties involved in getting a picture into production existed then. Goodbar. Michael Goi. we love your son. when the true skill of a producer was in assembling the right artistic mix of people for a production rather than hiring whomever was willing to work with equipment the producer had already chosen. And Bill Fraker was in the middle of it. He’s going to be president of the ASC someday. That way of doing business boils down to the respect that was accorded not only to our craft. Fraker. I included this statement among the musings about the things I believe in: “I believe William A. His heyday was a time when the heads of studios met personally with cinematographers and directly hired them for projects. Goi poses for a snapshot with ASC greats Bill Fraker (left) and Laszlo Kovacs. 10 August 2010 American Cinematographer . For me. but also to all the major artistic contributors to a production. Fraker had class. When I talked with Billy about his work on Heaven Can Wait. I’m sure his colorful stories were tinted with the nostalgic glow that we all tend to give our memories. we crossed paths with Billy. it was clear that he loved the business as much as the creative process. It was the first time my dad had ever worn a tuxedo.

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Kelly. “We were set up to take shots from the beach and right in the water with the surfers. it had been four years since Dane. That’s All. We got a ridiculous amount of footage in two days of surfing.Short Takes Kelly Slater shreds in superslow motion for a Quiksilver spot captured with the Vision Research Phantom HD camera. At that time. however.” says Morgan. as we were. Kelly Slater. “Before the project was even a go. Brain Farm’s lead producer. Julian and Jeremy had all been on a trip together. the way water drops fly off the rail. the way riders weight and un-weight during turns. director and Brain Farm President Curt Morgan showed the Quiksilver team what the high-speed Phantom could do. “That sparked a lot of interest on their part into how those ultra-slow-motion effects might look in water. “It’s a really funky look that added a lot to the image. can shoot at speeds exceeding 1. We wanted to show surfing like it had never been seen before. . which specializes in high-end action-sports cinematography. The very first shot we got was even cooler than we thought possible.” adds Tierney. where they met surfers Dane Reynolds.” As discussions began. to inquire about a custom housing for the Phantom. and they really pushed each other. We instantly felt like kids in a candy factory who’d just been cut loose by our parents!” “Even on a small monitor. Morgan shot mostly with a single Zeiss Ultra Prime 8R rectilinear lens. James Tierney. It was like seeing our sport with new eyes. depending on the resolution that’s selected.” With the housing in hand. “Having them all surfing together was huge. Morgan recalls. “we wanted to showcase both [the Cypher shorts] and the top global surfers in a truly groundbreaking way. calls That’s It. That’s All “the best action-sports film ever made. “The housing took about six weeks to build and was completed maybe a week before the shoot. the Brain Farm team was off to 12 August 2010 Oaxaca. The waves. and you saw so much detail. “Because of their crazy schedules. Julian Wilson and Jeremy Flores. As Morgan points out. the camera’s frame rate also affects the aperture.” Brain Farm brought in Australian cinematographer Chris Bryan to handle operating responsibilities with the Phantom rig. a producer for Quiksilver. Brain Farm came to Quiksilver’s attention through That’s It.” The latest iteration of the Phantom camera. so no compatible underwater camera housing was readily available.” To maximize shooting time on the beach and avoid having to frequently re-open the underwater housing to change lenses. a snowboarding feature co-sponsored by Quiksilver and Red Bull.000 fps. “It gives you a wide-angle shot with no barrel distortion. we could tell right away we had something special. according to Chad Jackson. California.” When Quiksilver was ready to launch its Cypher line of high-performance board shorts.8. “You can really see the subtleties of surfing: the way a board flexes when it lands on the wave after an aerial.” says Morgan. the Phantom had not yet been used for extensive water work. I Brain Farm Makes Waves with Quiksilver Campaign By Noah Kadner Wyoming production house Brain Farm. the Gold. you’re typically at T2. the water droplets — everything was moving so slowly. “When you’re shooting at 1.” he explains. recently used the Phantom HD camera for an ad campaign for surfwear and boardsports manufacturer Quiksilver that featured a number of world-famous surfers catching waves in ultra-slow motion. we turned to Erik Hjermstad at Del Mar Housing Projects in San Marcos. he continues. even when you’re outdoors in American Cinematographer Photos and frame grab courtesy of Brain Farm. Mexico.000 fps.” notes Tierney.

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I was very unsure. That’s a good feeling.” (Some material was shot with a Panasonic AJHPX3700 VariCam. we were convinced we were capturing something that was really new and exciting. “Dumping the 14 August 2010 CineMag’s RAW files takes a while. flank their Phantom HD. This method was critical to maximizing our time. Brain Farm headed back to the Wyoming office to handle post. the Brain Farm team was able to capture about 19 takes on the Phantom’s CineMag recorder before the camera needed to be reloaded. recorded and mixed the full sound score with our inhouse musicians. we can go back and online to any other format. and when those shots are done right. and other broadcasters worldwide. We also composed. “Our post facility is based on Final Cut Studio. “Jamie Alac at Abel Cine Tech helped us set up the camera controls so we could hit record and the camera would shoot the full buffer and save an entire take off to the CineMag.Above: Chris Bryan wields a custom camera housing built for the Phantom as Julian Wilson gets airborne.” explains Morgan. “but in this case. the spots were then pushed out to Quiksilver’s website. grading and sound for four complete commercials. “Having the RAW footage as DPX files is great. Brain Farm delivered the four spots as HD QuickTime files directly to Quiksilver via an FTP connection. “Depending on the type of final output a particular client needs. and Quiksilver was extremely happy with what we produced. Right: Chad Jackson (left). “That means you have a very shallow depth-of-field. we placed three or four mirrors upright on the beach and had the surfers run by them. For example.) American Cinematographer When production in Mexico wrapped. It’s not a massive studio.S. Fuel TV in the U. but after two days of shooting.” he says. “It’s been really rewarding to partner with Brain Farm. but we were planning to do so much that had never been done before. they look really cool. it took about 40 minutes to dump the whole CineMag. “we added a bit of a documentary-style lifestyle element. “We’re more than happy with the final product.” “We use a RAID-based Ethernet array to support seven edit bays. Morgan notes. and Curt Morgan (right). but I’ve done side-by-side tests with HDCam-SR. full sunlight. Brain Farm’s lead producer. We tried to keep our approach simple while still making a stylized piece.” he explains. and the viewers’ reactions have been incredibly positive. sometimes we’ll outsource the final grading and sound.” The Phantom’s footage can be transferred as RAW data files or played out of the camera’s HD-SDI port. and if they are. and when you’re out there in those violent waves.” he continues.” When final color grading was complete. and we decided to transfer the footage by playing out from the camera’s HD-SDI connection directly to HDCam-SR tapes.” Morgan is thrilled with what the Brain Farm team accomplished. It was a lot of work and trial-and-error.” says Morgan.” ● . you just shoot.” says Jackson. Plus. and it encourages us to keep coming up with new ways for people to see the world. That enabled us to get our shots with the camera in the water housing. surfing is so unplanned to begin with! You roll in and hope the waves are good. We also have a fully equipped sound studio with 36 channels of ProTools HD. “It’s about 48 terabytes of total storage running off a Mac shared server. but if our client requires a specific format deliverable. it’s pretty difficult to rack focus. We had a Sony SRW-1 HDCam-SR deck at our base camp on the beach.” In addition to the surfing footage. we did all the editing. but it’s more than enough to do some cool sound design. such as uncompressed HDCam-SR. “I like to show confidence.” adds Morgan. “Moving into this project. “We edit in Final Cut Pro and grade in Color. and there’s not that much of a difference to the eye.” says Tierney. “The camera would then reset and go right back to recording mode without our having to hit another button.” On average. and we knew we couldn’t spare any time with the surfers in the water. The 8mm lens gives you more depth-of-field to work with. director and Brain Farm president. We generally do all our post work in Apple’s ProRes HQ codec in 1080p HD.

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Production Slate
The French comedy Amélie, shot by Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC, landed in the top spot in a recent AC poll to determine the 10 bestshot films of 1998-2008. More than 17,000 people participated in the online vote.

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AC Poll Names 10 Best-Shot Films of 1998-2008 By Rachael K. Bosley

Bucking the conventional wisdom that says comedies do not present cinematographers with as many creative opportunities as dramas do, the French comedy Amélie, shot by Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC, was voted the best-shot film of 1998-2008 in a recent American Cinematographer poll. “Cinematography is a desire, the desire to challenge yourself and the desire to give the audience a visual experience, and this desire is the same whether you’re shooting a comedy or a drama,” observed Delbonnel, responding to news of the poll results via e-mail. “I am very thankful to the readers of AC. This is a real honor, especially considering the other movies on this list. These are some of the finest cinematographers, and I’m not sure I deserve to be among them, but I am very happy to be. All of these movies are visually stunning, but more importantly, all of these cinematographers are consistent. From the first frame to the last, they stick to the look they’ve chosen. And they are all explorers.” More than 17,000 people around the world participated in the online vote, which updates the comprehensive reader poll AC published in March ’99 in honor of the ASC’s 80th anniversary. (That vote covered the best-shot films of 1894-1997.) For the new poll, each voter chose 10 films from a list of 50 nominated by AC subscribers. Here’s the Top 10: 1) Amélie (2001): Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC. Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s comedy about a sheltered young woman (Audrey Tatou) with an overactive imagination is a vivid example of the unusual looks filmmakers could achieve with early digital-intermediate technology. However, given limited time for preproduction testing, Delbonnel actually decided to create as much of the film’s unusual gold-green hue as possible in-camera. In a Sept. ’01 interview with AC, he
16 August 2010

explained, “I thought that maybe this [post] process wouldn’t really work … [and] I always believe in doing as much as possible during the actual photography, because the result looks better than when you do all the manipulation in post.” Reflecting on Amélie today, he says, “It’s difficult to remember how things started, [but] I had this idea that it would be interesting to depart from the idea of following what the script said in terms of effects — day, morning, evening and so on — and work on a mood rather than an effect, a mood that could reflect not only the story, but also the mood of the character. I think I’m like most cinematographers: we try something on a specific movie that is based on our thoughts at a specific time in our life and career. Today I see Amélie as a starting point in my way of thinking about light, and since then I’ve kept developing what is more or less the same theory, pushing it a bit further every time. This was the first film I shot where I started to think of the script as a music score. In each movie, there’s a melody I try to find [and] translate into light. Amélie was probably a very light, not-so-fast melody with this single note, which is the overall yellow-green color in the film.” Delbonnel earned ASC and Oscar nominations for the film, his first feature with Jeunet. Super 35mm. 2) Children of Men (2006): Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC. For his fifth film with director Alfonso Cuarón, Lubezki boldly applied a documentary aesthetic to a science-fiction narrative, employing a handheld camera and very few movie lights to tell the story of a Londoner (Clive Owen) who is drawn into an underground effort to save mankind in the wake of an ecological disaster. “It’s a future that reminds you of the present,” Lubezki told AC (Dec. ’06). The filmmakers eschewed traditional coverage, often staging shots with complex action to play out in single takes. Of his minimalistic approach to lighting, the cinematographer noted, “It took me a long time to go back to basics and say, ‘I don’t want this movie to look

American Cinematographer

Amélie photo ©2001 Miramax Films.

conventionally beautiful.’ This is a movie I couldn’t have done when I was younger … the more I learn, the less lighting I want to do.” He won the ASC Award and earned an Oscar nomination for the film. Super 35mm. 3) Saving Private Ryan (1998): Janusz Kaminski. With a depiction of America’s D-Day landing on Omaha Beach that was unprecedented in its detail and ferocity, Steven Spielberg’s World War II combat film immediately set the bar for the genre several notches higher. The goal, Kaminski told AC in Aug. ’98, was “to make this look like it was shot in 16mm by a bunch of combat cameramen,” and to create that sense of chaos, he used techniques that included shooting with mismatched lenses, varying the camera’s shutter angle, and using an Image Shaker to add vibrations to shots. To desaturate the palette, he also flashed the negative and applied Technicolor’s ENR process, his favorite lab treatment. Kaminski, who was collaborating with Spielberg for the fourth time, noted, “We’ve all got the ability to do groundbreaking work, and nothing is stopping us from using very experimental techniques in a major Hollywood movie if the subject matter allows it and the director is willing to go there.” He won the Oscar and earned an ASC nomination for the film. Upon hearing of its place in AC’s poll, Kaminski said, “I am thrilled and honored. This is good company to be in!” 35mm. 4) There Will Be Blood (2007): Robert Elswit, ASC. Tapping a creative partnership that both men acknowledge is often as fractious as it is fruitful, Elswit and director Paul Thomas Anderson teamed for the fifth time on this stark frontier drama about a misanthropic oil prospector (Daniel Day-Lewis) who makes his fortune in the early 20th century. “Cinematographers want to control things as much as we can, but what I’ve learned from Paul is how much better it can be to let accidents happen, rather than try to force everything to be a certain way,” said Elswit (AC Jan. ’08). The mostly day-exterior shoot enabled the filmmakers to make the most of slow film stocks, which Anderson favors, and, in a notable break from today’s norm, the team screened 35mm dailies and did a photochemical finish. Elswit won the ASC Award and the Oscar for the picture. Commenting

Children of Men photo ©2006 Universal Pictures. Saving Private Ryan photo ©1998 DreamWorks SKG and Paramount Pictures.

The science-fiction drama Children of Men (top), shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC, and the World War II combat film Saving Private Ryan, shot by Janusz Kaminski, placed second and third in the poll, respectively.

on its place in AC’s poll, he noted, “Each of the other films on this list is a remarkable testament to the skills and talents of some very gifted cinematographers, and it’s an extraordinary and unexpected honor to have my work included with theirs.” Anamorphic 35mm. 5) No Country for Old Men (2007): Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC. Deakins landed on AC’s ballot for four films, more than any other cinematographer, and he was voted into the Top 10 for this rigorous cat-and-mouse tale involving a Vietnam veteran (Josh Brolin) who absconds with
www.theasc.com

stolen drug money, the hit man (Javier Bardem) who pursues him, and the Texas lawman (Tommy Lee Jones) who is always a few steps behind them. The film, Deakins’ eighth collaboration with Joel and Ethan Coen, also serves as a meditation on the changing of the West, and this theme made the project especially attractive to the cinematographer. “I felt this was the nearest a contemporary film might come to a Peckinpah Western,” he told AC (Oct. ’07). “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, The Wild Bunch and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia are … much more than the sum of their stories.
August 2010 17

ASC. and so does this film. was Cronenweth’s first feature as a cinematographer. every element. shot by Robert Elswit. creating a tone that was very unique and rarely seen in the industry at large. No Country for Old Men photo ©2007 Miramax Films.” said Cronenweth. ASC. a heavy reliance on existing light at locations. Fight Club photo ©1999 20th Century Fox. 6) Fight Club (1999): Jeff Cronenweth. Many scenes were lit by only one or two practical sources.” Delighted to hear of the film’s place in AC’s poll. “It was more interesting and appropriate for the story to force the audience to pay attention. which focuses on a city dweller (Edward Norton) and the charismatic stranger (Brad Pitt) who changes his life. BSC. ASC. Fight Club challenged all notions of a big Hollywood movie. David Fincher’s mostly nocturnal drama about urban alienation and male aggression. 7) The Dark Knight (2008): Wally Pfister. additional cinematographer or second-unit cinematographer. “Although I knew it would be rough. but because he had previously worked on a number of Fincher’s projects as a camera operator. “In a way. shot by Roger Deakins. ASC. but I think it mostly tapped into some common thoughts. in which the Caped Crusader (Christian Bale) is nearly undone by the criminally insane Joker (Heath Ledger). and Fight Club. he was undaunted by the challenge. and we’re going American Cinematographer 18 August 2010 There Will Be Blood photo ©2007 Paramount Vantage.” Cronenweth told AC (Nov.” Contributing to the film’s unique ambience were a desaturated palette. a first for a studio feature. sixth. ’99). shared journeys and similar frustrations. “I couldn’t think of a better movie to do as my first film. “We didn’t necessarily want to be able to see directly into the actors’ faces. No Country for Old Men. It certainly summed up the Nineties. he noted.Top to bottom: There Will Be Blood. and an unusual approach to lighting the leads. placed fourth. The film pushed some people’s buttons. They address many different themes. ASC. Pfister and director Christopher Nolan achieved epic scale by capturing about 20 percent of the movie in Imax 15-perf 65mm. contributed to fulfilling David’s vision of this most complicated story. For their second Batman film. Super 35mm. fifth. from wardrobe to visual effects. . shot by Jeff Cronenweth.” He earned ASC and Oscar nominations for the picture.” Super 35mm. I think this was one of those rare times when all the creative forces were in sync. “Many filmmakers are trying out digital cameras that actually capture less resolution and information. I had so much trust in David as a filmmaker that I had the confidence [to do it].

com. · Real-time debayering and decoding of RAW files in full 4K resolution · Drag-n-Drop RAW files into timeline and view files in real-time · Color grade with DPX file sequences · Generate digital dailies with comprehensive burn-ins from RAW files · Sophisticated conforming of R3D files with EDL.com .993. allowing you to work and view uncompressed full resolution RAW files in 4K 12 bit RGB mode. XML and Avid ALE support · Generate DPX file sequences in full 4K RGB 16-bit To learn more about DigiLab. color time.jmr. RAW TO DAILIES IN REAL TIME “DigiLab let me store.” Michael Lohmann Director of photography DigiLab Cart easily processes RAW content in real-time. ‘Drag and Drop’ the RAW files into the timeline and press ‘Play’. contact JMR at 818. It’s that simple. DigiLab also lets you apply first pass color correction right on location and even burn a Blu-ray™ disc for dailies with the viewing LUTs (Look Up Tables) applied.JMR Electronics’ new BlueStor™ DigiLab™ Cart solutions will never have you guessing whether or not you ‘got the shot’ before you strike a hot set. www. Just transfer the files from your digital camera into DigiLab. process footage and create dailies right on the set – a huge time and cost savings.4801 or email to sales@jmr.

ASC. 20 August 2010 8) Road to Perdition (2002): Conrad L. ASC. being believable. Hall.in the opposite direction. ASC. Super 35mm and Super 16mm. “Our entire approach was dictated by whom we were dealing with — most of these kids had never even seen a camera before. the filmmakers shot on location in two favelas that were deemed safer than the titular one. including his own boss (Paul Newman). We were so determined to make this a success that we had to keep reminding ourselves no one had done this before on this scale. ABC.” he told AC (Feb. who was always most . ’03). “I felt a less colorful palette was best suited to the story. “You face new technical and creative challenges on every film. The film follows a hit man (Tom Hanks) who takes to the road with his young son (Tyler Hoechlin) in an attempt to protect the boy from criminal elements. as Pfister noted. Anamorphic 35mm and 15-perf 65mm. Road to Perdition photo ©2002 DreamWorks SKG. “Soft noir” was how Hall described the look he was after on this Depression-era drama. Offering a look at life in Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious slum in the 1960s. and eventually you find a way to overcome them. upping the ante by capturing images with unparalleled resolution and clarity.” said Pfister (AC July ’08). placed eighth. working with a cast of non-professionals who actually lived in the slums. and this is the first one in which the main concern was being real. ’02). but. posed the negative and shot at the bottom of the aperture. shot by Conrad L. ASC. Pictures.” He underexAmerican Cinematographer The Dark Knight photo ©2008 Warner Bros. He was posthumously honored with ASC and Academy awards for the picture. Hall. To tell the story of an aspiring photographer (Alexandre Rodrigues) who watches his friends’ lives go in troubling directions. and the team undertook a particularly grueling winter shoot in Illinois that also contributed much to the “cold period look. his second collaboration with director Sam Mendes. and it has a serious message. shot by Wally Pfister. in part to facilitate the cast’s improvisation.” he noted. Annette Bening and Thora Birch) is the focus of Hall’s first collaboration with Sam Mendes. Hall. He earned an Oscar nomination for his efforts. 9) City of God (2002): César Charlone. 10) American Beauty (1999): Conrad L. Super 35mm. 1970s and 1980s. The entire crew was new to large-format filmmaking. The anamorphic 35mm/15-perf 65mm hybrid The Dark Knight (top).” This proved to be Hall’s last film. he died in 2003. Fernando Meirelles’ drama presented Charlone with a new challenge: “I’ve shot eight other features. Charlone kept his lighting to a minimum. landed in seventh place. “It’s a stark story set in the Depression. and the cinematographer.” Hall told AC (Aug.” He earned ASC and Oscar nominations for his efforts. while the Depression-era drama Road to Perdition. An affluent but miserable suburban family (Kevin Spacey.

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ABC.” he told AC (March ’00). attracted to character-driven stories. Stephen Pizzello. who recently met with AC in Los Angeles. which also included an Arri BL-4. Below: American Beauty. Same-sex couples have gone mainstream. recalled that he was initially concerned by how “unlikable” the characters were. we never pushed to enhance the art direction. lighting or camerawork.com.” as the kids refer to them. Super 35mm. We introduced a long lens to shoot Paul’s arrival at Nic and Jules’ home. so you can move fast. [This] allows the viewer to just watch things happen in a very graphic frame.” Clairmont Camera supplied the package. everything was shot on a dolly or handheld. Hall. she didn’t want the filmmaking to intrude.I A Contemporary Comedy By Jean Oppenheimer Above: The Brazilian film City of God. One of the latest examples of this is Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy The Kids Are All Right. that’s where the magic happened. American Beauty photo ©1999 DreamWorks SKG. rounded out the Top 10. We didn’t use cranes or any complicated moves. a reality reflected in movies and television. and because the palette and textures needed to feel ordinary. “But once the actors got hold of those wonderful words and started to react to one another. Original coverage of these films was written by Benjamin Bergery.” The goal with composition was “a 22 August 2010 sort of classicism. whose teenaged children. ASC.” Hall won ASC and Academy awards for the film. The definition of the modern American family has evolved over the past several decades as non-traditional domestic arrangements have become increasingly common. placed ninth. they go through the same things that any other family does. a fill light that brings up the shadows to where I want them. Nic feels threatened by Paul (Mark Ruffalo). which he chose because “it’s small and lightweight. shot by César Charlone. When production began on the 23day shoot.” The camera Jadue-Lillo frequently shouldered was an Arricam Lite. whose sudden immersion in the family brings marital tensions to the surface and sparks a kind of mid-life crisis for Jules. (Ed. where the protagonists’ sexual orientation is incidental to the universal themes being explored. Zeiss Ultra Primes and no zoom lenses. shot by Conrad L. but with the Sundance Film Festival deadline loom- American Cinematographer City of God photo ©2002 Miramax Films.” says director of photography Igor Jadue-Lillo. the filmmakers intended to do a traditional photochemical finish. and we usually stuck with focal lengths between 20mm and 50mm. Christopher Probst.) A full account of the poll results is posted at www. Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore). Jon Silberg and Ray Zone. . His lighting approach was “the same sort of strategy I always do: I first light for what I want to see by painting in specific areas in values of black-and-white. Everything was shot on location. Joni (Mia Wasikowski) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson).theasc. Jean Oppenheimer. “The most important thing was to tell the story of a conventional suburban family. Note: AC also covered American Beauty in June ’00. David Heuring. which focuses on a lesbian couple. Lisa wanted the film to feel very natural. an act that elicits different reactions from “the Moms. decide to track down their biological father. “It doesn’t matter if it’s two women or two men. and then add room tone.

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“We didn’t want to blow out the windows. living room — that are not separated by walls. courtesy of Focus Features. The ground floor of the house is an enormous room that is informally divided into areas — kitchen. the Grid Cloth was replaced by black material and side flaps were added. allowing light in the windows but keeping direct sun out. interior day scenes were scheduled for when the light was good. and when it wasn’t.Right: In a scene from The Kids Are All Right. The décor in the house is almost exclusively white or pastel. . dining room. and after Sundance. Inside the house. they went back to the lab for an additional day of grading.” recalls Jadue-Lillo. ing. There was no room to park crew trucks on the street. all diffused with ½ Grid. The only problem was that the perfect location proved to be in the hip waterfront enclave of Venice. white décor.” A small practical porch out front provided some natural diffusion. The story takes place in Los Angeles over one summer and is set primarily indoors. according to Jadue-Lillo. second from left) enjoy dinner with their children. small Fresnels. which made positioning lights outside difficult. Polarizers were often required. and outdoors. and the houses were close together. Jadue-Lillo relied on practicals to create atmosphere and depth. which we did. “We wanted sunlight but not hard light. Zip lights and China balls. Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Jadue-Lillo used Dedolights. They completed a two-day digital intermediate at Technicolor. When interiors had to be shot day-for-night. whose narrow canals gave the community its name. Joni (Mia Wasikowska. and production designer Julie Berghoff created built-in bookshelves that presented an ample number of small hiding places. Below: Joni introduces her brother to their biological father. and furnishings “straight out of Restoration 24 August 2010 Hardware. a 20'x40' piece of Grid Cloth was hung over the windows. ¼ Grid. completely sealing out the natural light. Windows are everywhere and sunlight American Cinematographer pours into the house. which proved both a blessing and a curse. “You have to be careful when lighting that kind of color scheme if you want to keep the detail of the architecture and the furnishings. Cholodenko had a specific vision of how Nic and Jules lived and what their house looked like: a middle-class home in suburban Sherman Oaks with big windows.” says Jadue-Lillo. 216. 250 or Frost. center) and Jules (Julianne Moore. right) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). longtime partners Nic (Annette Bening. they had to rethink their strategy. Whenever possible. pastel-colored walls. Multiple NDs were usually on the lens. “That’s why the prac- The Kids Are All Right photos by Suzanne Tenner.” says Jadue-Lillo.

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Jadue-Lillo notes that it “was actually the good house to shoot — Paul’s was the real challenge. Despite the challenges posed by the Venice location.Above: Director of photography Igor Jadue-Lillo (at camera) and his crew prepare to film a scene in the family’s backyard. American Cinematographer We ended up placing Alpha lights on the ground behind the house.” The kitchen looks out onto the back yard. as in Venice.” Another key location is the restaurant Paul owns. we were told we couldn’t have the wings down on the trailer. ticals were so important. and leveled them as best we could. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a sliding glass door look onto the back porch. [We added a few] chandeliers that Paul might have discovered in some funky thrift shop. the houses were built close together. just inside the back door. the filmmakers found the perfect location.” A laid-back 26 August 2010 restaurateur. who was born in Chile and raised in Argentina and Mexico. “We wanted to emphasize the bohemian feeling of Paul’s character.” declares Jadue-Lillo. Paul’s place is airy and open. “so we fabricated string lights out of old mason jars and carnival lights [and hung them] above the tables. Like Nic and Jules’ house. How in the world were we were going to shoot this? Fortunately. To soften the light and knock out unwanted shadows. Jadue-Lillo describes filming the family in the car as “a good challenge. Passengers and Disco Pigs. and we shot on a freeway in Los Angeles. Once again. you really need to balance your key lights and be careful with exposure — I was usually around f2. acting and serving as a camera assistant. “To light that house. The property includes a large back yard that is overgrown with native plants.85:1 35mm Arricam Lite. Initially. Jadue-Lillo moved to England to attend the London Film School. Paul lives in a bungalow built into the side of a hill. Arri BL-4 Zeiss Ultra Prime lenses Kodak Vision2 Expression 500T 5229 Digital Intermediate ● . which is the site of the first meal the family shares with Paul. the police relented and allowed us to use the wings. and Paul hires Jules to landscape it.” Jadue-Lillo. whether night or day. In addition. We didn’t need bounce cards because the ceiling was white. which has mostly outdoor seating. “We only had three hours to film four people in a car on a process trailer.2 in the house. “Chivo was already making short films in high school. After catching the cinematography bug. the grips erected a 20'x40' muslin overhang. “We didn’t have the budget for Condors or lifts. introduced me to the HMI Alphas.” notes JadueLillo. “My wonderful gaffer.” he says. TECHNICAL SPECS 1. And. and bounced the light that way. at least 10 feet below the porch. credits high-school friend and future ASC member Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki with introducing him to filmmaking. Right: Paul meets Nic and Jules for the first time. and when he started film school.” especially given the time pressure. this time in Echo Park. was like being on the 15th floor of a high-rise.” recounts Berghoff. Strings of small decorative lights crisscrossing the porch served as both a decorative touch and low-level fill. he dragged me into writing. We aimed the units toward the ceiling in Paul’s den. where she is starting college.” The last sequence in the film finds Nic. producing. Dayton Nietert. Jules and Laser taking Joni up to Berkeley. but the road leading to it was winding and so narrow that some crew trucks couldn’t make it up the hill. A couple of 18K Alpha lights were placed on the ground or atop scaffolding. and there wasn’t enough room on the sides of the house or on the back porch to set up lights. His credits as director of photography include The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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American covert operative Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is accused of spying for the Russians and must draw upon all her skills to evade capture by her CIA colleagues.” However. which runs counter to the way action films are usually done. but according to director of photography Robert Elswit. something that becomes increasingly difficult to do as her flight continues.Multiple units and an arsenal of visual effects help Robert Elswit. he continues. ASC. director Phillip Noyce “was not interested in spectacular scale. claustrophobic and authentic-looking. ASC realize Phillip Noyce’s action thriller Salt. “Phil was also open to the American Cinematographer . By Iain Stasukevich •|• 28 Mouse August 2010 Cat and I n the new film Salt. Phil pushed [production designer] Scott Chambliss to design our sets to be small. and he asked me to provide a naturalistic lighting scheme. The movie features a variety of ambitious action sequences. She is also determined to prove her innocence.

the harsher and more unusual the angle. top: Salt examines subway blueprints as she wends her way through the service tunnels. cut and covered in blood.’08) and Michael Clayton. “I started with a bright frontal or ¾-frontal light on her. a breach of normal police procedure that enables her to make an escape. we tried to find a way to blend a kind of movie-star lighting with a theatrical realism that I hoped would not contradict or call attention to itself. There Will Be Blood (AC Jan. and he defers much of the credit for Opposite: When her CIA colleagues accuse her of being a double agent. but the filmmakers took creative liberty by cuffing her hands in front. www.world of Salt taking on a somewhat stylized theatricality — the story. Luckily for me. allowing them to look as attractive as possible even when bruised.” Elswit acknowledges that a stunt-heavy thriller such as Salt looks a bit anomalous among his recent credits. We never had to compromise the way the scenes looked or felt when we were lighting her. the more expressive the results. trying to maintain flattering lighting throughout a realistic drama can be a tricky road to go down.” he says.” continues Elswit. What that meant in practical terms is that very often the character lighting would dictate the set lighting. creating stronger shadows and more contrast. courtesy of Sony Pictures. As long as I stayed away from toplight. Elswit gradually altered the quality of light he used on Jolie to underscore her character’s predicament.” Over the course of the film. This allowed me to try to find a lighting style that. For all the actors. which is essentially a character-driven drama with a somewhat unbelievable premise. which include Duplicity. at worst the actor can appear as if he or she is in a different movie from everyone else. This page. “At best it can dictate the entire look of a film and compromise every lighting setup. as the story progresses. or she’s keyed by light bouncing off the floor. seemed to demand a slightly theatrical approach. and then. covert operative Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) must go on the run. “We actually found that putting Angie in half-light with strong contrast made her look even more striking.theasc. SMPSP and David Griesbrecht. Bottom: New York’s finest arrest Salt. “In modern films. Unit photography by Andrew Schwartz.com August 2010 29 . could also be shamelessly flattering to the actors. the actor playing Salt was Angelina Jolie. we begin to see her in half-light or backlight. though somewhat realistic.

◗ Cat and Mouse Right: The duality of Salt’s situation is reflected in the two-way mirror of an interrogation room. and “that used to be unheard of. and visual-effects supervisor/3rd-unit direc30 August 2010 tor of photography Robert Grasmere. ’07). “Usually the first unit handles the principals while the second unit is off shooting all the cars and other action.” says Meglic. and Angelina trusts Simon to direct her. Salt’s visual style to his collaborators.” Meglic notes that Salt illustrates how the second unit’s responsibilities have evolved on films in which action is closely fused with character. Crane. and you have to be able to feel what’s going to happen as it does.” Grasmere’s unit was tasked with filming all of the background plates. He and Crane often found themselves shooting what might normally be considered main-unit material. notably 2nd-unit director Simon Crane. who also worked with Jolie on Mr. are well known in their respective fields. ZFS (Slovene Association of Cinematographers).” Meglic remarks. 2nd-unit director of photography Igor Meglic. “You have to have an understanding of how mass moves through space. who coordinated the work of 10 visualeffects facilities. Below: The spy springs into action. & Mrs. It takes the right kind of director to gain the actors’ trust. some aerial shots and the Russia mate- . whose second-unit credits American Cinematographer include The Bourne Ultimatum (AC Sept. “Being a second-unit cameraman requires a special set of skills. and Meglic. Smith (AC July ’05).

“There were big fixes and small fixes [in post] — the work was evenly distributed. if they shot a critical dramatic scene featuring principal actors. would walk the sets and discuss the best way to match or re-create the original lighting setup. Salt is cornered on a freeway overpass by two CIA colleagues (played by Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor) and throws herself over the guardrail. and what could be achieved in post without compromising the integrity of the other departments’ work. the dailies were sent to Noyce and Elswit for approval.Top: Reflections are also used to artful effect on the other side of the twoway mirror during the interrogation of a Russian defector (Daniel Olbrychski).” In one sequence that features a complex combination of stunts and visual effects. “Any large production that involves multiple units working independently and shooting stunts. and Andy [Day] and [key grip] Dennis Gamiello to sort out all the www.theasc. along with gaffers Andy Day and Greg Addison. effects and aerials is as big a logistical challenge as it is a creative challenge.” On the set pieces where the second or third unit simply had to match first-unit photography. landing hard on a container August 2010 31 . It was also up to Grasmere to determine what could be achieved practically without slowing down the production.” says Grasmere. director Phillip Noyce (leaning on table) and cinematographer Robert Elswit. Bottom: Inside the room. “We finaled around 800 shots. ASC (wearing cap) work through the scene with Olbrychski.500 shots.com other stuff. “Thank God I had [1st AC] Baz Idoine to take care of all the camera-equipment issues. rial.” Elswit observes. At other times. which is a lot when you consider the whole film has 2. the secondary units worked autonomously in other locations. Meglic and Grasmere. Elswit.

overhead shot of Jolie spinning through the air toward the truck. used Shake and Nuke software to alter the truck plate from Albany to sync the timing of Jolie’s fall and to match the lighting between the elements. Jolie was suspended from a 25' track on a stunt wire and filmed at high speed as she was flown laterally into a chroma-key crash pad. so a transition between two handheld shots — one with the stuntwoman.” Bottom right: 2nd-unit director Simon Crane (left) and 2nd-unit director of photography Igor Meglic.Y. 32 August 2010 Visual-effects artists at Framestore in New York. N. ZFS coordinate the action.C. When Salt hits the container. In the same shot. “The . Salt regains her composure.◗ Cat and Mouse Top: Elswit (far right) and Steadicam operator Scott Sakamoto follow Jolie while filming a foot chase. and on a greenscreen stage erected in the former Northrop Grumman buildings in Bethpage.) Jones’ team created a CG container for the truck. led by visualeffects supervisor Ivan Moran and CG supervisor Theo Jones. The final composite is a quick. Jolie rolled off the overpass of a highway interchange in Washington. Long Island. it’s a stuntwoman standing on top of the moving truck who completes the fall.. Then an amalgam of elements were photographed on location in Albany. For the location work. and then fine-tuned the lighting for the container and the rest of the American Cinematographer plate. and one with Jolie — was hidden in the camera moves done on location atop the moving semi. rolling over as Meglic’s camera (operated by Jason Ellson) pans with her. Meglic’s camera was on a scaffold on precision dolly track. D. Bottom left: A Technocrane is used to capture a character being pushed off a pier to “sleep with the fishes. using geometric data from a 3-D LIDAR scan made in Albany. truck below. (The plate was scanned at 4K by Deluxe’s New York facility. Onstage.

and a range of Panavision Primo zooms and primes.” he comments. The rest of the scene sees Salt jumping from truck to truck before hijacking a motorcycle and speeding away. used previs animations (by Proof Inc.8) zoom lens that Panavision’s Dan Sasaki custom-built for him.” says Meglic. two actresses did their best to match each other’s movements.” Moran explains. “If you do it any more than www.) and detailed beat sheets to determine shots and the kinds of equipment they’d need. lightweight and has a great viewing system. Crane and Meglic. Six operators covered the action and worked handheld. “Depending on the shot.theasc. To heighten the sense of excitement.com August 2010 33 . Meglic employed an in-camera combination of shutter clipping and speed ramping.” His lenses included a 70-210mm (T2. “The Arri 235 is a godsend for this kind of work. employing a Libra-headequipped Supertechno 50 crane and a Mercedes-mounted Russian Arm. Bartholomew’s Church in New York. along with stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood. and after that it was just a matter of morphing the two shots together over a few frames. “It’s small.Soft overhead lighting is supplemented by more direct sources for a major sequence set within St. we’d undercrank film by a couple of frames to speed up the action just a bit.

often had to reconstruct Jolie’s face frame by frame. “That’s not always the easiest thing to achieve. She headbutts one of her guards in the backseat and then disables another guard and steals his taser. who often performs her own stunts (bottom). Salt is captured and transported to “It’s important to keep the camera rolling after the impact. another location via Manhattan’s Queensborough Bridge. and it is actually she in several shots of Salt riding atop the trucks as they roll down the highway. he adds.” Jolie enjoys performing many stunts herself. The New York Police make the mistake of cuffing her hands in the front. enabling her to wreak havoc in the SUV. only to find that the bridge off-ramp is blocked by more police cars. After overpowering the driver. especially when you’ve got a big cable passing in front of the actor’s face.” notes Moran. she uses the SUV to smash her way through a police escort. The actual crash was shot on location at the Queensborough Bridge. which also contributed some shots.” Salt escapes a tense situation by clinging to the exterior wall of an apartment building. The only way out is to drive over the edge. The Framestore team and a team at Tikibot. At one point in the film. a background plate of the vehicle cab and Jolie’s foreground element. The trick was to place Jolie and a camera inside the car when it hit the ground. Special rigging (top) allows the camera to move while capturing overhead angles of Jolie. She was always wired to the vehicle. it becomes obvious. The SUV was rigged to jump the offAmerican Cinematographer 34 August 2010 . The crash was split into two elements.◗ Cat and Mouse that. and the artists at Framestore were tasked with removing all traces of stunt wire from each shot.

More details on www.com . the Apple QuickTime proxy that is simultaneously recorded to onboard SxS cards will give you instant access to dailies and the freedom to start an off-line edit immediately. If you choose an HD workflow.A CLEAR PATH THROUGH POST Format Format Format Format HD HD SxS cards Tape On-board recorder On-board recorder Direct to Edit workflow Tape-based workflow File-based workflow ARRIRAW workflow ALEXA gives you a choice of ultra fast workflows. When recording uncompressed HD or ARRIRAW. our Direct to Edit feature will speed up your workflow. Whichever of the ALEXA output options you go for.arridigital. the Apple ProRes codecs will allow you to begin your on-line edit simply by removing the memory card from ALEXA and slotting it into a laptop: nothing could be easier.

the imperceptible things. going 36 August 2010 from a medium shot of Jolie to a closeup. “It’s one of those little things.” says Meglic. that . ramp’s concrete barrier and crash into the street below. so Chrimes figured out a way to slow down the slider in the last 4" of the move by hooking bungee cords to the back of the camera platform and layering strips of tape onto the slider’s rail. flying next to the car as it went over. From there. it was up to Framestore to marry the elements together. an Arri 235. including glass. to help prevent the lens from being ripped out. would slam forward with the impact. The lens had to be the lightest we could find. Meglic photographed her at high speed with the same lens and camera slider used in the crash. “It’s important to keep the camera rolling after the impact so you see how it affects the character. dust and metal fragments. so 2nd-unit key grip Peter Chrimes installed a 5' camera slider in the cab so that when the car hit bottom. The vehicle-interior plate was shot on the production’s greenscreen stages in Bethpage. Crane wanted to have a moving camera inside the car. “Without the proper atmosphere. but it’s not like seeing a pushin.◗ Cat and Mouse Top: A specially built camera platform allows camera operator Jason Ellson and stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood to capture shots of Jolie atop a moving truck. The gradual thickening of the tape slowed the platform enough that it hit the end of the track with much less force. one was on a Supertechno 50 crane that extended over the side. one on top of the lens and one on the bottom.” The team also had to make sure the crash didn’t American Cinematographer disable the camera. but it wasn’t a simple composite — the artists filled the car interior with all manner of digital debris. the camera.” says Moran. which turned out to be a 24mm Panavision Ultra Speed. The final shot takes only a few seconds of screen time. with Jolie inside a mockup of the vehicle. “It happens so fast. As she acted out the moment of impact. it would have looked too clean. Bottom: Noyce blocks out a subway sequence with Sakamoto.” Meglic says. Nine Arri and Panavision cameras covered the crash. “We built a special cage for the camera with two rods.

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he and 38 August 2010 American Cinematographer . the front and the back. For Salt. “Some people like making CG creatures. the back appears in a dawn scene that shows Salt being taken away by helicopter. CG artists re-created the environment down to its tiniest textures. Initially. enhance the action. everyone will notice. but I love making environments. his team had to create two façades of the White House. “CG shots of famous locations like the White House are definitely the hardest to accomplish because if you don’t get it right.” If an important scene was set in a location that proved to be unavailable to the production.◗ Cat and Mouse Elswit and Sakamoto capture various angles for sequences set aboard a dinghy and in the hold of a larger vessel.” he says.” observes Grasmere. CIS Vancouver visual-effects supervisor Mark Breakspear oversaw much of this work. The front appears in a night scene that shows characters entering the front gates and driving up to the building.

When gathering data for CG lighting references on set. when cleaned up. shooting at a depth of 5 to 6 stops (3 stops over and 3 stops under) to capture the full dynamic range of anything touched by light. but Representative in U.: camadeus Film Technologies Nor th Hollywood. “We also did a lot of HDRI [high-dynamic-range imaging].S.” House which. but it’s a starting point. During his research phase.denz-deniz. “I might not slavishly adhere to that. which allows us to record the volume of light in the area. Breakspear went so far as to dig up the original White House landscaping plans in a public archive. Plan B was to photograph the guards driving up to a mockup of the White House gates in a parking lot in Long Island. we lit the foreground beautifully and backlit the actors.” he says.com . Grasmere prefers to use a fish-eye lens on a highresolution still camera and photograph the location or set with 360 degrees of overlapping coverage. CA 91605 Tel. could be used for textures on the CG model of the buildings. and we took a lot of digital photos around the White MARK II Available with PL54-mount PANA-mount BNCR-mount “CG shots of famous locations like the White House are definitely the hardest to accomplish because if you don’t get it right. +1-818-764-1234 We accept www. everyone will notice.” he says.Breakspear attempted to capture background plates of the White House. and then build everything else digitally. but the Secret Service wouldn’t allow access to the grounds. “For the night exterior on the White House back lawn.

y compact.◗ Cat and Mouse Salt’s cloak-and-dagger adventures are enhanced by Elswit’s eye for intriguing compositions.convergent-design. Grasmere shot a moving aerial foreground element of the Blackhawk taking off from a Long Island park. using both Side by Side and Line by Line fo ts.” Artists at CIS had to create a sizeable section of Washington. when we added the building and the lawn. The nano3D combines two award winning nanoFlashes to create a very capable. For more information call 719 930 1376 or 720 221 3861 or visit www.the world’s smallest. Ability to combine two streams into a single. proffessional 3D. combined 3D stream. and CIS was asked to comp a 2-D skyline into the background. we had to add a CG light source to justify the foreground illumination.. on-set. 3D Recording and Playback. professional 3D recorder/player that provides....... pixel-synced playback of 3D material. “But we were trying to sell nano3D . D. Instantaneous playback of the recorded streams allows the 3D images to be checked for quality and aesthetic appeal. Records two HD-SDI video/audio streams simultaneously.com . immediate. for the sequence that shows Salt being taken away in a helicopter. 3D Processing/Combining.C. HD/SD Recorder/Player e NEW NEW with Pixel Synced Playback. for orma o both Live and Playback... easy.

Elswit sums up his DI work in an equally humble fashion: “There are many cinematographers who do wonderfully creative work in the DI. We scan the test shots.” recalls Breakspear. which had been timed by Nolan Murdock at Deluxe’s New York facility. Main St. which are big white boards with a black grid.” ● TECHNICAL SPECS 2.S.us .40:1 4-perf Super 35mm Panaflex Millennium XL.panther. shot textures.20th of September 2010 . | Burbank. it looks absolutely stunning. “When you’re tracking a shot. “We added air-conditioner units.14th of September 2010 . Elswit supervised the film’s final digital grade at Sony Colorworks. antennae and water tanks to the rooftops. Arri 435ES. CIS used the data to create corresponding 3-D blocks within their software (Maya and Houdini).see our product movie on www.84 13 220 contact@panther. The lens we use to shoot the grid takes the square geometry and distorts those lines. The High-Low Turnstile offers the following new features: • • • • Integrated Integrated Integrated Integrated High-Low Rig (always mounted on the dolly) Offset Rig Side bowl or Mitchell mount 360 degrees rotatable camera positioning ounting f Less mounting height of the camera The Low Rig tube can be extended either up or down with parts from our existin g accessories pro grame.89. and with the camera movement and the parallax. online that was available for download — the data set was provided by the U. where he worked with colorist Steve Bowen.818.Hall 11 D30 18th . they referenced Elswit’s dailies.panther.84 13 110 | F +1. Before production starts. and [using 2-D instead of 3-D] was a corner we didn’t want to cut.tv | www. we shoot lens grids. and then skinned them with textures and twinkling lights. “We went to Washington and studied 30 or 40 buildings. allows the camera to chan ge positions from the central upper position (standard) to a near ground position (low ri g) without removing the camera within seconds.panther. When we’ve added our [CG] elements to the shot.” Optical performance is a critical element of all visual-effects work.818. High position Standard position Position chan ge Double mount PANTHER GmbH Raiffeisenallee 3 | 82041 Oberhaching–Munich | Germany T +49. 235 Panavision lenses Kodak Vision3 500T 5219. Breakspear explains. but I spend most of my time fixing things I screwed up in principal photography. government.Hall 3 E1 SAVE A SAVE TIME ON LOCATION with the new Panth High-Low Turnstile Panther The new Panther High-Low Turnstile with its patent pendin g construction. and CIS matched a set of CG lenses into its Maya and Houdini software based on the lenses Elswit and his collaborators used for principal photography.C. we then use a secondary piece of software to redistort the final composite so it matches the original.” explains Breakspear. CA 91506 | USA T +1.61 31 00 0 contact@panther.this environment. using the lens grids to show us how to undistort the original photographic elements.613 900–01 | F +49.” Principal photography on Salt wrapped in June 2009. All Panther Dollies can be upgraded . and fed those elements into a computer. Vision2 200T 5217 Digital Intermediate Printed on Kodak Vision 2383 Meet Panther at the IBC in Amsterdam and the CINEC in Munich 10th . so we found a simple 3-D model of D. After again passing most of the credit for the film’s look to his collaborators. and as the visual-effects team finalized shots.us | www.tv and find out more about the new High-Low Turnstile.tv PANTHER Dollies & Cranes 801 S. you have to negate the distortion the lens gives you.89.

who decided to team with Bill Pope. where the story is set. we imagined what all the black-and-white 42 August 2010 Girl T rouble A illustrations [inside] would look like in color. The film is directed by Edgar Wright.’ Also.” “Edgar wanted to stay true to the linear lines of the books while taking things a step further. Scott Pilgrim vs. From there. the World chronicles the attempts of its titular character (Michael Cera) to woo a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) by defeating her seven evil exboyfriends in video-game-style fights.” recalls Wright. “He’d already read the books and was really into them. Edgar.” When the pair began discussing the film’s look.” American Cinematographer . a comic-book aficionado. ASC after the cinematographer. Translating [Scott Pilgrim creator] Bryan Lee O’Malley’s aesthetics to live action was more straightforward than adapting other comics might be. made a convincing pitch for the job. ASC. says Pope. because Bryan doesn’t cheat perspective and use ‘cartoon engineering. the World. “we took our initial inspiration off the books’ full-color covers. he drew a lot of the comic [referencing] actual photos of Toronto. “Bill really impressed me because he wanted to talk about the script rather than the look. directed by Edgar Wright and shot by Bill Pope. By Noah Kadner •|• dapted from an irreverent comic-book series. but you get a real sense of geography.” notes production designer Marcus Rowland. Bill and I extrapolated a look that would start with mundane browns and muted tones and evolve into a progressively more colorful palette. “The comic pages have no texture or color.An unlikely hero fights for his woman in Scott Pilgrim vs.

40:1 matte.85 anamorphic ground glass supplied by Panavision].40:1] shots with spherical lenses. Bottom: Cinematographer Bill Pope. Middle: Scott is held in the grip of an ornery enemy. Photos and frame grabs courtesy of Universal Pictures. We broke the rules a lot and sometimes had 1. with the anamorphic footage digitally unsqueezed and presented both as filling the frame and with a hard 2.” (The spherical material was shot in 4-perf Super 35mm.theasc. www.The filmmakers began principal photography in Toronto in July 2008. Ramona V.” explains Pope. A chief element of the style they envisioned was extreme changes to aspect ratios and framing in order to approximate both the multi-panel graphic manga comic aesthetics and video-game styles used throughout the source material. “Anamorphic established a more heightened reality with incredible contrast. The final print is in 1. top: To win Ramona’s affection. working on location and onstage at Cinespace Film Studios. shortened depth-of-field and often a wider aspect ratio.) Pope’s principal crew included 1st Unit photography by Kerry Hayes. Often the aspect ratio changes within a shot in order to emphasize the action or a particular detail.com August 2010 43 .85. Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).85 shots with anamorphic lenses [using a custom 1. This page. ASC (left) and director Edgar Wright position themselves for the next take. Scott must battle and defeat her seven evil exes. SMPSP. Opposite: Lovestruck hipster Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) attempts to chat up his dream girl. “We generally shot the realistic scenes with spherical lenses and the fight scenes with anamorphic lenses. and we also framed [2. The movie is structured around the seven fights Pilgrim must win — each being more intense than the last — and intermingles naturalistic dialogue and transitional scenes.

) The anamorphic lenses included a set of Panavision’s GSeries primes and E-series 135mm and 180mm lenses. Pope utilized Panavision’s 40-80mm and 70-200mm lenses. and Panavision Toronto supplied the camera package. visual effects and a good. 44 August 2010 American Cinematographer . (Pope’s favorite close-up lens was the Primo 50mm. Spherical optics included Panavision Primo primes ranging from 10mm to 150mm. The filmmakers carried a large array of lenses in order to capture the film’s varied visuals. nicknamed the Video-game graphics. oldfashioned wall of lights enhance Scott’s epic battle with Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman) on the Chaos nightclub set. chief lighting technician Jean Courteau and chief rigging gaffer Stephen Spurrell. Pope used a Phantom HD digital camera customized with a Panavision mount. and an Arri 435ES was used for additional coverage and some high-speed work. To get higher resolution for certain visual-effects shots. White Equipment in Toronto. Panaflex XL2s were the main cameras. camera operator Angelo Colavecchia. Lighting gear was sourced from William F. Many of the crew had worked together before but were collaborating with Pope for the first time. complemented by Primo 4:1 and 11:1 zooms. To capture higher frame rates.◗ Girl Trouble AC Russel Bowie. For anamorphic zooms. the production utilized a Beaucam VistaVision camera.

” To facilitate the brisk pace. A Technocrane (bottom photo) was used to capture tricky angles and moves on the set. Edgar and I favor a tight eyeline for the actors. which he rated at ISO 400. who actively campaigned for their development.theasc. “Our typical stop was a T4 for most of the film-based work.” says Bowie. but the camera moves were relatively simple. about 800 featured more than one camera. we’d drop down to a T2 on location. which comprised 104 principal shoot days. Lens filtration was limited to 81EF and 85 filters. Pope shot most of the picture on Kodak Vision3 500T 5219. and that’s hard to pull off once you go into multiple cameras. we’d sometimes go down to T2. the exposure curve looks much nicer at T4 than wide open.” remarks Pope. www. Bill was able to light some high-speed shots all the way up to a T5.com August 2010 45 . But Scott Pilgrim was a lot more in-camera and complex. “We went through more than 200 setups the first week.” The filmmakers set a fast pace for the production.” says Pope.6. When we got back into the studio. For high-speed work of up to 500 fps. for night exteriors. with a very occasional use of 1⁄8 Schneider Classic Soft.000 or so setups we did during principal photography. depending on how tight we got and how critical the focus became. ASC. For a handful of snowy day exteriors. Dailies were processed normally at Deluxe Toronto. he switched to Kodak Vision 200T 5217. and the same was true of Spider-Man 2 and 3. We tried to keep to that stop on day exteriors as well. which is faster than music videos I’ve done. “I think we used more than two cameras just two or three times. “Of the 4. Pope’s Scott takes evasive action while running down the side of a three-story pyramid in the club. “The Matrix [AC April ’99] had a lot of visual-effects work.8. “On anamorphic lenses. which required complex rigging supervised by key grip Rico Emerson. There were lighting cues and dolly moves on almost every shot. like swish pans on specific lines of dialogue and intricate choreography. One second out of focus at 500 fps becomes an eternity!” Pope and Wright chose to work with a single camera as much as possible.” after John Bailey.“Short Bailey Zoom” and “Long Bailey Zoom.

there’s always a line of dialogue or some bit of action in the middle. they all get up to rehearse. we do our first big shift from realism to magical realism. It’s not just a guy hitting another guy. “We tried to shoot in continuity. crew prelit every set and often devised 360-degree-lighting plots to enable shots to be taken in all directions without a major relight.” The movie opens at a diningroom table in the apartment of Stephen Stills (Mark Webber). After the kids are introduced to Knives Chau [Ellen Wong].” ➣ 46 August 2010 American Cinematographer . “The set was a stage version of Stephen’s apartment. “There were also lots of split-screen and multiple-panel shots. as Pilgrim and his bandmates discuss his aimless lifestyle and flawed romantic aspirations. and when they start to play. Pope (upper right) strove to create live-action images that would integrate smoothly with the extensive effects. “Edgar told me he wanted to avoid cutting back to the same shot twice.◗ Girl Trouble Some 1.” reveals Pope.” says Pope. cartoonish weapons and video-game icons. We brought in the second unit where we could. which we cluttered up as much as possible. so that first scene was shot on day one. but Edgar wanted the main unit to shoot the key parts because each fight has a story and a character arc. We made it look like it was lit arbitrarily by bare bulbs and whatever else you’d find in the average bachelor pad.200 visual-effects shots were contributed by London’s Double Negative. including comic-book text.

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” says Pope. and swap out the mercury-vapor street48 August 2010 American Cinematographer . and then Young Neil [ Johnny Simmons] and Knives pop up in an over-the-shoulder shot on the couch.” From the credits onward. We go from that shot directly into the credit sequence. so a CG ceiling was added later. he will. so Marcus built the set with a removable wall and multiplied the rectangular length of the room by about 4. as if they’re still in the same room — the couch was on its own track that traveled under the camera and slid up into the shot at the end of the pullback. The band’s music is visualized with notes flying out of their guitars as the camera pulls back far beyond the apparent physical confines of the room. “We pulled back on the Technocrane to what seemed like a football field’s distance from the band. We pulled out the ceiling to accommodate the Technocrane. “If Edgar can build it in the camera. rig Condors.” recalls Spurrell. “Some of the sets were on busy streets at the cusp of rush hour. We’d literally have an army of people swoop down a couple of hours before shooting to set up cables.◗ Girl Trouble Lighting and visual effects were combined to turn a concert sequence into a rock ’n’ roll tsunami. It was a lot of fun. “Bill. Jean. [key grip] Rico [Emerson] and I would survey each location as early as possible. Scott Pilgrim alternates between magical realism shot on stages and more conventional-looking location work.

“[Beaucam creator] Greg Beaumont also supplied a set of Leica lenses beautifully re-housed with replicated Panavision movie-lens markings. so they’d resort to things like slow motion and freeze frames for effect.com or call toll-free in the U. 888-677-2627. power-move sort of shots styled after Japanese animation. ® In 1967 we made the first HMI lamp. please go to www. The latest iteration of the camera is great because the memory is fast. and the only way to make that work was VistaVision. and then Bill would march in big bounces and direct transmissions with 12. “The not sure you’ve got the shot till the dailies show up.” Pope adds. © 2010 OSRAM SYLVANIA . you’re looking at a video approximation of each take. “Edgar wanted perfect continuity between those shots.” Bowie notes. it would just be a shot in the dark. We also used it for the big. “There’s no blood in this movie. which gave us about two minutes per load.” ➣ www. and you’re Without OSRAM HMI lamps.sylvania.” notes Wright.” A Beaucam VistaVision camera was used “for shots where we nested a close-up inside a wide shot and wanted to optically zoom in while maintaining sharp resolution. We shot 8-perf 35mm with 400-foot mags.” The filmmakers switched from film cameras to the Phantom HD in order to capture extreme-slow-motion shots during fight scenes. The Phantom gives you perfect hi-def playback immediately. like 388 fps. they didn’t have big budgets.com “The only way we could suggest a blow’s impact on a person was in their face or the way their hair reacted.sylvania. “We kept going back to certain favorite Phantom frame rates.” Phantom was perfect for this ‘hair porn’ effect. With the older high-speed film cameras. The camera requires a lot of maintenance — you have to check the gate every couple of takes and oil it after every three mags — but the results are worth it. and we embellished it with wind machines and air cannons. In a lot of those films. and there’s no waiting for footage to download. For more information.S.” continues Pope.lamp bulbs for 2K tungsten mockups. Today we still make the only HMI lamps. so the only way we could suggest a blow’s impact on a person was in their face or the way their hair reacted. We’d place 12-light Maxi-Brutes and 20Ks in the Condors up to 80 feet up for fill and backlight. The Phantom was perfect for this ‘hair porn’ effect.and Nine-light Maxis.

“There’s no blood in this movie. “On the pyramid set. takes place at the Chaos nightclub. He told me the other day he still has nightmares about it. Each level of the pyramid grew smaller and smaller toward the top until the whole crew was working around a 12-by-12-foot area. We built up side platforms and scaffolding in order to accommodate dollies. but also because Edgar’s blocking and shot design is so intricate and specific that shooting out of continuity is dangerous — every time we tried to shoot out a direction. between Pilgrim and Gideon Graves ( Jason Schwartzman). we regretted it later because of continuity. The lighting was incorporated into the set as much as possible. so the only way we could suggest a blow’s impact on a person was in their face or the way their hair reacted. not only because these are fight scenes.◗ Girl Trouble The Phantom HD camera was used to capture the movie’s ultraslow-motion fight sequences. Our life became all about scaffold management. this meant shooting on the top deck. “We tried to work in continuity. a set that features three-story decorative pyramids. the bottom deck and back every day as was needed in the story. which can evolve on the set. The movie’s climactic battle.” notes Wright. the middle deck. but it was a major logistical challenge for the crew.” says Pope. crew and equipment. and Rico Emerson performed this Herculean labor.” Wright wanted in-camera lighting effects whenever an impact 50 August 2010 American Cinematographer .

Since you can get that floating sensation with too much crane action.” For camera moves. which we converted to 16-bit linear DPX files using Glue Tools.” In one sequence. we converted back to 16-bit DPX log color for the digital intermediate with a neutral grade to leave Bill www. we shot the camera’s raw Cine file format.” Double Negative also had a hand in facilitating the movie’s aspect-ratio shifts. audio-driven animation and creature effects.com or call 1-888-677-2627. Finally. we used Dwight Scorpion pan-and-tilt heads fitted with 36 650-watt DWE bulbs. and we added digital snow as a fluid simulation. We shot the band sequences with live playback because Edgar is very specific about choreography. “Everything else was in studio mode with a good number of 15-foot. “For the long shots.sylvania.com/entertainment © 2010 OSRAM SYLVANIA OSRAM and KREIOS are registered trademarks of OSRAM GmbH Photo Credit: Image Source / Getty Images KREIOS LED lighting shows true color.” Double Negative in London contributed about 1.” says Spurrell. Pilgrim’s band squares off against the twin Katayanagi brothers at a club. Then we went DPX to EXR floating-point linear color for all the compositing and CG work. Houdini for effects animation and RenderMan for rendering. “We used digital stems of the actual music tracks to drive the animation. “We only did about three handheld shots in the whole show. down to the millisecond. Bill likes to do fast dolly moves with his eye on the eyepiece. Maya for 3-D.” explains Frazer Churchill. Pope deployed dollies. We also set up 48 6K overhead space lights for the base illumination. For more information on OSRAM KREIOS LED lighting system solutions.600 conventional movie lights running through a Grand MH dimmer board.” says Churchill. For backlight. OSRAM KREIOS LEDs seamlessly integrate with existing traditional lighting. The fact that you can’t tell them apart is what sets them apart.” notes Bowie. and their musical riffs transform into floating notes and fighting creatures. And with precise color temperature matching. we’d switch to Paparazzi data flash units. “In the close-ups. 30-foot and 50-foot Technocrane days. all interactively timed with the band and the fighting. we lit 360 degrees with [3'x6'] Midnite Hour LED panels up to about 16 feet. please email entertainment@osram.” says Churchill. which are easier on the actors’ eyes. We used Shake for compositing.200 visual-effects shots to the movie. but we scanned the VistaVision material at 6K. Double Negative’s visualeffects supervisor. “We did Maya creature shots of the bands’ music fighting as snow dragons versus sound yetis.occurred. ® OSRAM KREIOS lighting solutions render true color and skin tones on film and video—exactly how the eye sees them. “It was tricky using CG to make comic-book text and graphics occupy space in the frame as stylized photographic objects. “We did most of our work at 2K. We had 140 bars of six in-the-air Par can rigs that we could raise and lower with chain motors and also play as practical lights. we used Lightning Strikes 25K and 75K strobes. tripods and cranes. . “Most of our efforts were devoted to translating the comicbook aesthetic. “For the Phantom footage. For the rest of the set. We also have proprietary tools for fluid simulations. a lot of our shots were done on a dolly. That was augmented with about 1.

and I missed the finer detail you get with film. We did this in a number of the fight sequences to create anime-style effects.” The filmmakers were able to screen their first day’s dailies on 35mm.85.” says Pope. and then a character’s fist breaks through the maskedoff area into 1. “This was my first experience doing nearly everything with HD dailies. “We pulled back on the Technocrane to what seemed like a football field’s distance to the band. “We pulled out the ceiling to accommodate the Technocrane. so a CG ceiling was added later.” impossibly long zoom in. “On my next production. For a lot of our work. a surreal pullback move extends well past the physical confines of the room. there’s a shot that’s presented as letterboxed 2. just a face within a composite.” A realistic approach was taken to early scenes staged on an apartment set.40:1. “We developed various methods of digitally reformatting the anamorphic footage to fit within the spherical frame. we generated mattes for the separate elements in case Bill wanted to grade. We did a lot of nested zooms or morph zooms. and I missed the finer detail you get with film.” Pope carried out the final digital grade at Company 3 in Santa Monica.” notes Pope.◗ Girl Trouble room to work. I’d like to print more film dailies. but then had to transition to HD dailies for the rest of the shoot. which production designer Marcus Rowland lengthened to comical proportions. working with colorist Stephen 52 August 2010 American Cinematographer . It was a lot of fun. for example. “For example. but when Pilgrim’s band kicks out the jams.” continues Churchill. where we digitally zoom into a plate and then transition to a different plate [of the same action] shot with a longer lens or from a closer camera position to create an “This was my first experience doing nearly everything with HD dailies.

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“It’s a rush to watch it because the action kicks in and the magical realism never lets up. which tends to be a little low in color out of the camera. “We didn’t make any radical shifts. Pope says. “When a shot escapes your grasp during production. It’s easily addressed by pumping in some chroma during the grade.” says Wright. “If something’s going to take an hour to flag off. Nakamura. you may just have to 54 . so my main concern was putting all our money on the screen.” says the cinematographer.◗ Girl Trouble shoot. but if it’s going to take two minutes.” Asked about achieving consistency across Scott Pilgrim’s variety of formats. “I see a lot of big-budget films and occasionally wonder where the budget went. A good double net is much better than a power window. do it. I The crew illuminates an elaborate exterior shot. it passes through a lot of hands down the chain and becomes the bible for additional post work. “About the only grading challenge was the Phantom footage. Wright and Pope expressed great satisfaction with the results.” he emphasizes.” After completing their work.” Pope advocates getting images right in-camera as much as possible. so most of our work in the DI was about evening things out. if you can do it. “Edgar and I liked what we saw as we shot.

different tiers that don’t have much real interaction. I love the crew. Beaucam Panavision and Leica lenses With each succeeding battle. love the characters and love the actors. love the movie. Arri 435ES. Phantom HD. and I think it shows in the final film. Scott comes closer to winning Ramona’s heart. “It started with simple things. like coming in and exercising with the cast every morning. hope everyone can see how much TLC went into this movie. but Edgar made sure every single person in this cast and crew was included. Some film sets are usually divided into Kodak Vision2 500T 5219 and 200T 5217 Digital Intermediate Printed on Kodak Vision 2383 ® 55 .” ● TECHNICAL SPECS 1.” “Edgar created this warmth in and around the set that suffuses the entire movie.85:1 35mm and High-Definition Video Panaflex XL2.” observes Pope.

By David Heuring •|• Manhattan T American Cinematographer A Magical he Sorcerer’s Apprentice is the latest retelling of an ancient tale in which supernatural powers threaten to overwhelm the young would-be wizard who summons them. ASC. ASC conjures up dueling wizards in the Big Apple for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. ’07). & Mrs. To bring this vision to the screen. Smith 56 August 2010 . in which Mickey Mouse filled the title role. where fresh-faced Dave Stutler ( Jay Baruchel) finds himself unwittingly cast as the apprentice to sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage). whose previous credits include Hairspray (AC Aug. Mr. director Jon Turteltaub teamed with Bojan Bazelli.Bojan Bazelli. Perhaps the best-known antecedent is the synonymous segment of Disney’s animated classic Fantasia. The new film reimagines the story as a live-action adventure-comedy set in modern-day New York.

the filmmakers also wanted “to create a version of New York City that’s never been seen before. 18mm or 21mm Cooke S4 prime. and Jerry Bruckheimer. “That gives the movie a certain vibe — the perspective is more dynamic. www. 14mm.com August 2010 57 . Sorcerer’s Apprentice required Bazelli to focus on “the magical feeling you perceive subconsciously as an audience. Bazelli adds. With a story steeped in magic.theasc.” the cinematographer offers. “We wanted to Opposite: The sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) lends his magical touch to one of the iconic eagles atop Manhattan’s Chrysler Building — actually a stagebound set lined with a custom TransLite — in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Along the way.Photos by Robert Zuckerman and Abbot Genser. Inc. Inc. “The goal was to engage viewers through characters they can identify with and a story that sweeps them along. Bazelli was recommended to Turteltaub by producer Jerry Bruckheimer.” Perhaps their most significant decision in this regard was choosing to shoot most of the picture with wide-angle lenses.” says Bazelli. ’02). If we fail at that. typically a 12mm. 16mm. Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel). (AC July ’05) and The Ring (AC Nov. nothing else matters. who had recently worked with the cinematographer on G-Force. This page: Blake generates rings of fire while training his apprentice.. Photos and frame grabs courtesy of Disney Enterprises.

ASC’s lighting for the practice-room set included an array of fixtures mounted to two concentric circles of custom-bent truss centered around a cluster of five space lights. and if you want to emphasize the environment and really situate your actors in it. Below and opposite: Cinematographer Bojan Bazelli. and light it with tungsten sources. In the DI suite. We shot most of our close-ups in the 25mm-to-27mm range. but he really embraced it. capture [production designer] Naomi Shohan’s sets. “I didn’t treat it like a daylight stock in terms of lighting. and 5207 allowed me to create blacks that are deep in a three-dimensional way. wide lenses are the right choice. and that would have been pretty much impossible in photochemical timing.” says Bazelli. the image appears to be softer.” he continues. It also holds a great deal of detail in the highlights.000' of the final product before it even hit the market. Kodak Vision3 250D 5207. He had American Cinematographer been one of the new stock’s earliest testers and had given Kodak feedback about how it could be fine-tuned.◗ A Magical Manhattan Right: Stutler tinkers in Blake’s practice room. “I wanted the images in this movie to travel from the mid-tones to black in as many tones and shades as possible.” Equally influential on the film’s look was Bazelli’s decision to shoot the entire picture on a daylight-balanced stock. and because the 85 filter is incorporated into 5207. we could easily time out the warmth associated with using a daylight film stock with tungsten lighting. but the modern rectilinear lenses don’t distort 58 August 2010 faces the way older short lenses can. which is fairly unusual. the backgrounds and the city on a grand scale. which was crucial for maintaining information and variegation in . “and that approach was only possible because we knew we would be finishing with a digital intermediate. “You’re always looking for natural ways of softening the image without heavy diffusion. Jon had never shot a movie in this style. and Kodak gave the production 250. so it was a new experience for him.

www.com August 2010 59 .Lighting photo (opposite) courtesy of Bojan Bazelli.theasc. Diagram courtesy of Bazelli and Tony Nakonechnyj.

which they achieved by shooting 4-perf Super 35mm. 60 August 2010 . More than 1. for which they were usually kept wide open. two sets of Cooke S4 primes. The filmmakers chose to frame the story in 2.” Most of Sorcerer’s Apprentice was shot on stages in the New York area. The filmmakers spent 16 nights filming a climactic battle sequence in lower Manhattan.40:1. “In New York City.” During prep.m. and the blacks are really pure. The remainder was filmed on location throughout the city. The filmmakers shot most of the material with four cameras.◗ A Magical Manhattan our many shots of explosions and fire. “I’m a little obsessed with what these fantasy illustrators do in their pictures. and torn down every morning at dawn. That fit with our desire to set this story in contemporary times.40:1. a book of contemporary illustrations. you need [a more vertical frame] to capture the tall buildings. and often play off of reflections and wet streets.” says Bazelli. Once fire overexposes. and a complement of Arri Master Primes for low-light night situations. where all of their gear had to be set up at 7 p. The colors are strong. Bazelli found inspiration in Orpheus Descending. Middle: Cage demonstrates an LED system used to emulate the light from a plasma ball. The photographs in Burkhart’s book make use of the city’s many lights and colors.200 visual-effects shots round out the magic with flying balls of plasma. As many as 16 cameras were used on days when the first and second units both had extensive scenes to cover. Arri CSC provided Arricam Lites and Studios and Arri 435s. but because a majority of our film would be done in interior situations. “They’re very filmic. Bottom: The finished visual effect. Further compliAmerican Cinematographer Top: The crew readies a flashback scene in the Arcana Cabana set.” says Bazelli. and that’s very difficult to repair or restore in post. which gives you a grander scale. including Steiner Studios. a fire-breathing dragon. it loses its color. shape-shifting vehicles and many other illusions. a book of color stills taken by Clayton Burkhart that depict modern New York City. and Fantasy Art Now. Shooting on location in New York posed a number of challenges. we decided on 2.

the structure’s famous Art Deco eagles come to life and take wing. Nevertheless. but it was enough to make the short nights even shorter. and a 17' Technocrane on the opposing roof allowed Bazelli to get any angle in a few minutes. The showers usually lasted no more than an hour. creating a curtain of confetti to hide his actions. on a day immediately following a blizzard. cheap to rent and powerful. To film the action. and Bazelli enjoyed the opportunity to participate in its creation. the production captured a 270-degree view around the Chrysler Building with a .cating matters. it’s important to keep your lighting as simple as possible so you can get things done.” The production also spent six nights filming in Chinatown. so the production ordered a new 160'x35' backdrop. In one major night scene at the Chrysler Building. where a dragon springs to life during a parade and pursues Dave up a fire escape to a rooftop. (A few dozen LED lights were sprinkled across the material and controlled to suggest warning lights atop various buildings and shimmering city lights in the deep background. In the story. the production built the relevant section of the building onstage at Steiner Studios. a series of evil sorcerers are locked in a Russian-doll-like series of containers. symbolizing the circular code that Dave must crack.” he adds. A 50' Technocrane on the street. “I like Maxi-Brutes because they are controllable. Each Condor carried two or three Nine-light Maxi-Brutes. The scene was lit with six 120' Condors surrounding the center of the park. The park itself takes the shape of a circle. and he was relieved to find that the silk held up well in the wet weather. In January 2009. “You can change the globe or dim them. Balthazar intercedes. where many important visual elements will be added later. but it works more often than not.) No existing TransLite captured the correct view from the Chrysler Building. a 30' Technocrane on the roof. In the final battle. “It doesn’t always work.” says Bazelli. “In elaborate scenes like this. Each sorcerer must be unlocked by the right code and destroyed before the subsequent sorcerer can emerge. surrounding the set with a huge TransLite that was lit from behind with 200 Skypans. the final sorcerer must be vanquished. Five tons of confetti was blown into the scenes from rooftop Ritter fans. The scene was lit with 300 red silk Chinese lanterns. A fire burned at the middle of the circle that was enhanced later using CG techniques. Bazelli chose silk over paper because he thought the glow was more interesting. and with the narrow globe they throw light over quite a distance. recalls Bazelli. the city experienced 43 consecutive nights of rain during the summertime shoot. the project was finished on schedule in 96 days. filmed in Bowling Green Park in lower Manhattan.

high-output LEDs mounted on wafers — I think there were 18 LEDs on each wafer. Rubber bands supported the LEDs and gave the source a floating appearance. which Bazelli corrected to match the look of the movie. they could lay wafers flat in the palms of their hands. particularly in scenes requiring visual effects. “When we used the TransLite.” says Nakonechnyj. Bazelli explains. Tony Nakonechnyj. “On the Chrysler Building. with each exposure creating a 60megabyte file. 2nd-unit cinematographer Patrick Loungway (top. Onstage. Bazelli and his chief lighting technician. and the source could be remotely switched on and off and dimmed up and down. The light was powered by a battery pack hidden in the actor’s costume. we put a net in front of it to soften the view a bit more. The hi-rez photos were then stitched together into a panorama.” Interactive lighting was a major concern throughout the shoot. I had taken a stick and marked the apparent size of the Empire State Building.” he adds. the actors could suspend them between their palms and spread their fingers. In that configuration.” The crew found the TransLite’s proper distance from the set via a decidedly simple technique. And we also had a wafer sphere on a rod that could be moved through space to depict a thrown On location in Manhattan. each light illuminating the opposite hand. I held up the stick and asked the grips to move the TransLite back until the size [of the Empire State Building] matched.” observes Bazelli. “It’s key to making an effect credible. devised a cluster of LED fixtures that the actors could cradle in their hands. In another configuration.” This approach came to the fore in a number of scenes wherein characters hurl glowing spheres of light called plasma balls.◗ A Magical Manhattan digital Hasselblad large-format camera. “I like to create as much of the effect as possible in-camera and then have the visual-effects team build on that. “They were basically tiny. holding camera) prepares to shoot part of a visual-effects-heavy scene featuring Blake’s shape-shifting automobile. 62 August 2010 American Cinematographer . “It looked quite realistic. These circular wafers were fashioned into a pyramid shape about the size of a golf ball. “We built them from scratch.

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The underground lair was a set with a domed ceiling.◗ A Magical Manhattan plasma ball. which unfolds as the couple stands inside a protective metal cage.” notes Bazelli. and it gives no shadows. Actual Tesla coils and live bolts of electricity were deemed too dangerous. Balthazar generates six circles of fire inscribed in a stone floor and circumscribed by a larger circle 35' in diameter. so you don’t really see [the wafer]. “Theatrical canvas is much thicker than muslin. Bottom: Blake worries over a magical container housing a series of evil sorcerers. so these elements were created later using CGI.” In one key scene. 64 August 2010 . “so we decided to use an overhead shot looking straight down. This scene plays out in the “practice room. a dragon comes to life amidst a parade. Middle: In the sequence. includes Tesla coils and strobe lights. At its center. But again. the light is overexposed. The camera was almost touching the 65'-high ceiling.” Bazelli adds. “Almost 90 percent of the effect was captured on set. including Source Four Pars American Cinematographer Top: Bazelli employed 300 Chinese lanterns to illuminate a nighttime sequence filmed on location in Chinatown. (A CG center piece was used in wide shots that showed the section. including a romantic interlude in which Dave impresses his date by creating an impromptu lighting show that is timed with the girl’s favorite song. Each circle has its own color of flame. created by the special-effects department and captured in-camera.” an underground lair where a number of other scenes occur. coop-type fixture comprising five 6K space lights covered with theatrical canvas rather than muslin.” says Bazelli. and the center piece of the dome was left out so that Bazelli could light from above. Each circle could be individually raised or lowered. The light show. high enough to fit the circle within the 2.” A 50' Technocrane was required to get the camera. In the center was a large. The concentric circles held roughly 120 fixtures. “You really needed to see the whole circle because of the story point. fitted with a 12mm Cooke S4.40 frame.) The lighting rig consisted of two concentric rings of truss custom-bent to fit the hole. Bazelli sold the illusion with interactive lighting incamera.

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All the editing and all American Cinematographer TECHNICAL SPECS 2. but it takes my worries away. these were shot on [Kodak Vision3 500T] 5219 because we needed the speed. “We plan to make about seven digital negatives on this new stock. I have great faith in him. were created nearby at Company 3. and Bazelli notes that the company “reconfigured its system to accept an Arri with a PL 66 August 2010 mount so we could use Master Prime lenses and get the extra stop. People become used to that look. “Every morning before I went to the set.” says Bazelli. I’d stop by [Company 3] and sit with Sean for as long as I could.8) lens as the camera circled the couple. “The approach was so unconventional that we also filmed the scene with a more ‘normal’ lens. “In post.” Footage captured by aerial cinematographer Hans Bjerno helps place the magical story in modern-day New York. Hans got amazing.” The production’s negative was processed at Deluxe New York. deepest cut in the wood at the moment of photography. “I believe strongly that you cannot create the look in post. The quality of the shot depends on them as much as it depends on me and my crew. with scrollers. and because of that. Atomic 3000 strobes and 5K Fresnels.” For the final grade. the colorist gets to know you and your style. the angle of view is that of a fisheye lens but the lines are straight.” he says. Bazelli adds that the unusual love scene was shot with a Zeiss Ultra Prime 8R (T2. Spacecam provided the gyrostabilized helicopter mounts. Arri and Zeiss lenses Kodak Vision3 250D 5207. 500T 5219 Digital Intermediate Printed on Kodak Vision 2383 . I do use those tools extensively to take the look further. but I like to carve the biggest. “With the rectilinear lens. Company 3 scanned the negative at 4K and did the rest of the work at 2K.” At press time. timed by Sean Dunckley. Arri 435 Cooke.” the cinematographer continues. which means that each negative created can be used to make up to 800 prints. RGB LED Blazes. we expect the prints to look great everywhere. and then strike release prints on Kodak Vision 2383. Bazelli is a firm believer in establishing a film’s look in the dailies. and it gets easier.◗ A Magical Manhattan the test screenings and studio screenings are based on those dailies. But the 8R shot is the one in the movie. “Sitting with the dailies timer means getting less sleep during the shoot. and it allows you to see the full scale of that great set.40:1 4-perf Super 35mm Arricam Lite. not just at the premiere and in a few major cities. and the dailies. “5254 was designed to work with the latest film recorders. Bazelli calls Company 3 colorist and ASC associate member Stefan Sonnenfeld “the first eye on the images as they are coming together. the team was planning to film out to Kodak’s new intermediate stock. so there’s good reason for you to make them as tidy as possible. and it’s Estarbased. After a while. I finish shaping the sculpture.” he notes. Vision3 5254. and he deserves great credit. Studio. along with the other people who do this work for me. Right: Gaffer Tony Nakonechnyj (holding light) and Bcamera/Steadicam operator Stephen Consentino follow Baruchel and Teresa Palmer into the subway.” ● Above: Bazelli checks the frame for a shot in the subway. beautiful shots of New York at night.

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we were speaking the same visual language. the tale has a vintage feel that directly influenced the filmmakers and their methods. including Bill Murray. ASC.” By placing his creative bond with Boyd at the film’s foundation. strong connective tissue links Get Low’s plot with the story of how the independent feature got made. Schneider. “We made it our mission to do feature-quality work on a television schedule. Schneider was able to pull off a quick but complex American Cinematographer . long-held secret by inviting everyone in town to his funeral party — which he plans to stage while he is still alive.” Schneider recalls. Our history was invaluable. ASC reteams with director and fellow ASC member Aaron Schneider on the nuanced period piece Get Low. says he is overwhelmingly happy with the result of his labors: a charmingly quixotic tale built almost August 2010 68 entirely around Duvall’s performance. He and Boyd met when the latter began operating for Schneider on the pilot for Murder One almost 15 years ago. The nature of the story.David Boyd.5-million movie with a 24-day shooting schedule [on location in Georgia]. who made the transition from shooting to directing with the Academy Award-winning short film Two Soldiers. Set in Tennessee in 1934. David Boyd. so when it happened that Get Low shaped up as a $7. and within days. David was the first person I thought of. mysterious hermit who decides to reveal a shocking. Five-plus years of development went into the character study of an old. combined with the project’s resources and the aesthetic preferences of director and ASC member Aaron Schneider and his cinematographer. “We hit it off from the start. Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black. By Michael Goldman •|• T rue Colors B y design. took Get Low down a very traditional production path. Schneider notes that Get Low represents the pinnacle of an unusual “cinematic relationship.” in his words. ’04). also shot by Boyd (AC Feb. between two like-minded cinematographers. supported by players of similar caliber.

500T 5218 and 50D 5205. Lee ‘The Blaster’ “Visually. Photos and frame grabs courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. the filmmakers determined that they would shoot anamorphic 2. and [costume designer] Julie Weiss and [production designer] Geoffrey Kirkland. so visually. like a fable. it needed to be accessible. August 2010 69 . a period piece also set in the South. We started shooting tests in January 2009 to figure out how we’d achieve that.theasc.” Through testing. stops in at Felix’s home to discuss the old man’s unusual funeral plans. My first assistant. the filmmakers eschewed most of the digital luxuries feature films routinely incorporate these days. Buddy (Lucas Black). That approach led them to undertake some of the most complicated work of their respective careers. To accomplish these objectives.” In consultation with Beverly Wood. but it also needed to feel mythic. secured particular serial numbers of the C and E lenses for us. “The movie has the feel of a folk tale. shoot in Georgia. burning down a house at twilight and filming it. like a fable. and then we would decide what to do with that color in the photography.” Schneider and Boyd also decided to shoot with two Kodak Vision2 stocks. such as shooting an entire feature entirely on location. made our jobs so much easier. C-Series and E-Series prime lenses.” says Schneider. This page: In a scene set earlier in the story. He and Schneider had applied a full bleach bypass to Two Soldiers. relying instead on in-camera methods and just six significant visual-effects shots (created by Furious FX). friends with a complicated history.com in Hollywood to achieve a “weathered. with no sets. parched look. we did not want to call attention to the photography. but they decided they wanted Get Low’s look to be less extreme. take a stroll on Felix’s property. which Boyd describes as “old.40:1 using Panavision’s Unit photography by Sam Emerson. traditionally mounted film. not too technologically advanced by today’s standards. “Aaron and I really wanted this to be a classical. but it also needed to feel mythic. it needed to be accessible. These lenses were the workhorses for the great anamorphic films of the Sixties and Seventies. and do a degree of bleach-bypass processing on the negative at Deluxe Laboratories www. beautiful lenses.” Blasingame. where the production’s locations included a Civil War battlefield deep in a wooded national park.” the director continues. “But at the same time. “We talked about keeping primary and satured colors out of the film. the filmmakers decided a partial bleach bypass would do the trick. “We also wanted to create a kind of veil between the audience and the period without being too heavy-handed. We wanted it to have the shades and tones of old still photos from that era — I would describe them as dry colors. and operating on land that had strict restrictions about its use. as masterful as we could make it. a funeral-home employee. an ASC associate member and Deluxe’s executive vice president of technical services. “We dedicated ourselves to the idea that the color palette in Get Low would be established mainly by what we put in front of the camera.” says Boyd.” Boyd explains. both world-class artists.Opposite: Felix (Robert Duvall) and Mattie (Sissy Spacek). “By depriving the negative of some of the bleach baths.

Bleach bypass changes the film physically and randomly. Below: Schneider and Boyd’s reflections are captured as Boyd films a scene featuring Bill Murray. the firelight grows slowly in intensity and the lantern light provides a rustic. 70 August 2010 . “The characters come back from a long walk through the woods. It’s romantic and intimate. set earlier in the day. “We finished the picture with a digital intermediate at EFilm. he had to cue the light levels up consistently over multiple takes. particularly because some scenes appear to be lit almost entirely by firelight. “Then Felix adds a log. “That gave us the aged quality we knew the image had to have without stepping out in front of the story. and 1st AC Lee Blasingame. David did a wonderful job capturing the realistic feel of that on film. and the fire. but we knew electronic control over saturation couldn’t compare to photochemical desaturation. it’s an analog effect that.” explains Schneider. one key encounter in the film. and over the course of this very important scene. lamplight and even moonlight. dried out the colors and added a hint of grain. at best. and it even mirrors [the characters’] rekindled relationship. toppy American Cinematographer Top: Director Aaron Schneider. We rehearsed that scene by the gas-powered flame bar. and the fire starts to come back to life over 30 or 40 seconds. ASC. is dying — only the embers are glowing. Rev. We worked very closely with EFilm to use the DI as a means to an analog end. inside and out. he built exposure with motion-picture lights. Charlie Jackson (Bill Cobbs). begins as the fire dies in Bush’s fireplace. cinematographer David Boyd.” Schneider adds. as well as other interior locations. The nature of the cabin. between Bush and onetime girlfriend Mattie Darrow (Spacek). and it all blended seamlessly. posed major lighting challenges for Boyd and his team. and from there. Right: Felix and Buddy visit one of Felix’s old friends. a location that included a fully restored Civil War-era cabin that the filmmakers could transform into Bush’s home.” “Felix lights an oil lantern after he adds a log to the fire. can only be simulated with zeroes and ones.” The production secured permission to shoot in the Pickett’s Mill Battlefield State Park. and other scenes in and around the woods. who portrays funeral-home owner Frank Quinn.◗ True Colors we shortened the latitude slightly. In fact. ASC frames up the scene for (from left) 1st AD Eric Tignini.” says Boyd.

Handheld solids and nets extended the range of these lights to suit the needs of the scene.” continues the cinematographer. Their shallow design was perfect for our very small practical location.” For certain interiors where rigging possibilities were limited.” Several lighting challenges cropped up in the woods. I echoed the lantern light with a Blonde on a dimmer and flickerbox bounced up into beadboard overhead. and other locations. In the HMI world. Bobby wore the battery in a small satchel on his shoulder covered by wardrobe. the flickering lamplight was one of the few practical effects in the movie that required digital augmentation. and then softer units to file off the edges a little.” However. the pair becomes reacquainted. and hidden from view was a small bulb activated by a battery hidden in Duvall’s wardrobe. www. and we skirted off the source with black Grid Cloth to control spill. August 2010 71 . “It was designed to install and break down fast. Although the scene looks fairly straightforward. “In the tungsten realm.” says the cinematographer. The China balls were on dimmers. including a Above: The crew prepares to film one of Felix and Mattie’s encounters in town. “We wanted to see the flame in the lantern. Left: During a cozy scene in Felix’s cabin. to make great daylight of all kinds. Boyd built a rig using an old oil lantern.com “We also wanted to shoot in a downpour. spotty sources.” says Boyd. unrefined look. Billy rigged it to various ceilings. open-faced lights for the feel. carrying a lantern in the pouring rain. where Bush comes to arrange his funeral party. “For ‘firelight. each of which had four individually dimmable globes. and that’s why I didn’t use Fresnels very often. we usually used it in a 4-by-8-foot configuration. motivated by the lighting inside. I preferred hot. 1. I loved 12K and 4K Pars and Joker Pars for hot. “Because of the wind and rain. but it works beautifully for the scene.200watt narrow globes. We localized the rain towers. scene early in the film that shows Bush wrapped in a blanket and stumbling into the night. It took nine or 10 hands on switches and knobs to make it happen each take.’ we used two units designed and built by [gaffer] Brian Gunter. Schneider calls it “the most challenging photography in the film. which meant a low-voltage DC globe of some sort.theasc.ambience. I liked MaxiBrutes with Firestarter globes. “It was gridwork constructed out of lightweight 5⁄8-inch copper pipe that could easily support nine to 12 China balls and could be safely and easily installed in a ceiling. hiding a small peanut bulb on the lantern side that wasn’t facing the camera and making a small battery pack that Bobby could carry. I tended to like pinny sources for this film more than softer light for locations. many times using small pulleys so we could adjust it quickly. Boyd relied on a lightweight overhead grid designed and built by key grip Billy Sherrill. Bobby and Sissy could easily feel and respond to the growing light in their own work. which meant we’d have to augment its light from a logical place. This rig was utilized extensively in the funeral home owned by Frank Quinn (Murray). We found what we needed at an auto-parts store and rigged it up. and I let the background fall off so that there would only be the warm glow around his cabin. This movie required a beautifully rough.” Boyd explains. “I mixed colors readily on this film.” That’s because the team had to design a way for the lantern to flicker realistically in a driving rain and also play off Duvall’s face in a way that would be both photographically pleasing and naturalistic.

Then. it was out along a two-lane highway that we could control at night. the background is 100-percent live action. Schneider explains. was finding a real house the production could burn. “So we asked Furious FX to put a traveling matte on his face. running across the roof. but the light and exposure on Bobby’s face were static. Basically.” A more outlandish sequence to film practically and piece together digitally was the burning of an old house. We timed it at magic hour. and one on a dolly track in the woods that I operated myself. and it turned out great.” To complete the illusion. “We first had a controlled burn around the edges of the windows for when [the stuntman] bursts out and jumps off the roof. the filmmakers had to show a man bursting out of a second-story window. leaping to the ground and running into the woods. including a couple of Eyemos. “We came across a long-abandoned house halfway through production. put the finishing touches on the composite. we quickly reset before the sky went dark and hid a stuntman in a little heat shelter where he had left off in the previous Frames from the opening scene show (top to bottom): the controlled-burn plate. Natasha Leonnet. and it was over in about 30 minutes. similar to what cinematographers do [in the DI] when programming power windows to track brightness on an actor’s face. of course. “The scene was in danger of getting cut from the schedule for weeks. the upstairs raging fire tiled in. “By the time he runs by the camera. We put five or six cameras out there. That requirement led the team to film the burning house in two rapid takes. Instead of programming a constant color correction inside the window. Our colorist at EFilm. we had one crack at it. we programmed changes in exposure that were in sync with the movement of the flame. but we sent location scouts far and wide looking for a place that would work.” says Schneider.◗ True Colors there was a lot of movement in the practical flame. The initial challenge.” notes Schneider. 72 August 2010 American Cinematographer .” Boyd recalls. the downstairs and windows tiled in and illumination on the foreground tree comped in. That allowed us to simulate the intensity and flicker of the candlelight digitally. and the final comp. a scene that opens the film and plays an important role in the story. with a small amount of skylight left when the house went up.

” Despite the complexity of these kinds of sequences.take. Because of their limited time and budget. and on the third day. and create your own custom inferno. bares his soul to the world. it was almost like compositing a liveaction shot with itself. As a visual effect. the number of extras was whittled down. and when the fire reached the right level. where Bush. beginning with wide shots featuring a large number of extras. the filmmakers were able to focus on Bush’s speech and tighter coverage. however. The filmmakers were not allowed to bring heavy equipment into the area where they were shooting because the location was a Civil War memorial. we cued the stuntman to run across the field toward and past the camera. But Bush and other characters had to stand on an elevated platform. Duvall pulled off his soliloquy on the first take. For example. Since the shot was locked off. According to Schneider. no big action sequence. We set the house fully ablaze. But covering the sequence to make it work correctly in the film required extensive planning. you can blend that with another piece of action from the first minute. The intent was to blend the first shot of the controlled burn and stunt with the second shot of the man running away from a raging fire to make it look like one seamless shot. if a chunk of roof falls off four minutes into the burn. so Boyd needed some way to get proper coverage of the . at long last. such as the moment when a neighboring tree catches fire. Gradually. Boyd and 1st AD Eric Tignini storyboarded the sequence and broke it down according to the number of extras that would be required for each shot. the shot was composited by tiling different portions of the controlled-burn element with other tiles from the raging-fire element to create a mosaic of blended elements. impassioned speech. The funeral party was shot over three days. Schneider. There is no final confrontation. no device to tie it all together — just a long. the biggest overall challenge was the climactic funeral-party sequence.

and our mission from the outset was to tell it correctly. a critical scene shot on an extremely busy day. and we did that ruthlessly. If they credit themselves with anything. proceedings. “Cinematography has to be authentic. before anyone else. ‘No. and it was magic. “You have to really control what gets into the frame.40:1 Anamorphic 35mm Panaflex Gold II Panavision lenses Kodak Vision2 500T 5218. especially on a period piece. time was of the essence. and we were not permitted to use a Chapman crane because of its weight.” says Boyd. As a cineAmerican Cinematographer TECHNICAL SPECS 2.” Later. “During the day. He kept saying.” Above: The filmmakers prepare to capture another angle of the stage as Quinn welcomes the crowd. I knew she was about to give the most emotional performance of the shoot. and it was already pretty late in the day. “Sissy’s big moment had arrived.’ By the time we lined three cameras up on her.” Schneider explains. “We needed a movable and easy-toplace camera. “We needed to shoot Sissy’s performance when the sunlight was over the trees because of the time of day that the 74 August 2010 reverse angle had been shot previously. and I wanted to make sure she had the time to do what she wanted to do. so we rigged the Technocrane on the back of the stakebed truck. and. she did it in one take. warm light. But Sissy nailed it and gave us a beautiful performance. whether those details are large or small. let’s wait.” he recalls.◗ True Colors matographer. I wanted to shoot with about an hour to go in the day. The tears rolling down her face caught the low. 50D 5205 Bleach Bypass by Deluxe Laboratories Digital Intermediate Printed on Kodak Vision 2383 . and David was there for me on this one. Top right: A Technocrane comes into play for the “funeral party.” ● Top left: With Blasingame assisting. the filmmakers had to cover Spacek reacting to the speech. but David resisted. He arranged to have a small Technocrane brought in on a stake-bed truck that could maneuver quickly over the dirt roads. like Bobby. We filmmakers were the ones who saw this story first. it’s with maintaining the authenticity of the era and the story. I’m happy we did. Boyd films Rev. I always tried to be there for directors when I knew they needed convincing. the sun was starting to tickle the treetops. Jackson’s arrival at Felix’s big event.” Both Schneider and Boyd take great pains to credit their cast and crew for helping to make Get Low a reality.

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From that point on.05).98 fps files and delivered to HBO at 1080i/59. titling. the Technicolor team suggested that the hit series could become. audio mixing.) The post pipeline’s engine revs up when the film comes from stages on the Warner Bros. HBO decided to take Technicolor up on the offer for the current season. color correction and visual effects. lot or from locations in Louisiana. a pull list of shots is created. and those shots are digitized from the flat pass and assembled by online editor Ray Miller in an Avid HD Symphony (v. Johnson.Post Focus The werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello) joins Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin. only the dailies process and the delivery of a final master continue to involve tape or other physical media. there are huge benefits for picture conforms. as Technicolor colorist Scott Klein puts it. courtesy of HBO. a new approach to dubbing tapes American Cinematographer True Blood photos by John P. Currently. Dailies colorist Peter Ritter distributes two passes of that material: a basic color pass for dailies viewing and editorial.” Well into production when they spoke with AC. which is digitized to Technicolor’s SAN for final assembly and final color. courtesy of Technicolor. was “how to convert a workflow and stay creative. and a flat pass. the show’s third. layback and final mastering. John typically shoot True Blood on Kodak Vision3 250D 5207 and Vision3 500T 5219. which has transitioned to an all-data-based online/mastering workflow. colored and approved. dailies. They suggest that True Blood’s overall production methodology seamlessly weaves a traditional film-acquisition approach with the latest all-data post techniques.” says Dunn. color correction. By going to a tapeless. nonlinear post workflow. an air master is created from 1080p/23. “It gives us incredible flexibility to multitask. above right) and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer. Technicolor develops the film and telecines it on a Spirit 2K system to HDCam-SR at 4:2:2. Technicolor photos by Robert Hoffman. the transition to the file-based approach did pose some challenges. Now we can often make picture changes after we lock the edit.94 on HDCam-SR tape. everything lives on Technicolor’s SAN. “a major test case” for an all-file-based workflow for an episodic TV series originating on film.” Using its data-based infrastructure in partnership with its film 76 August 2010 lab. Dunn enthuses that True Blood can now “spread out many fingers from one hand” in the form of easily accessible data once its imagery enters Technicolor’s SAN. allowing all post units to simultaneously work off the same core files safely. For instance. I True Blood Workflow Becomes File-Based By Michael Goldman When the producers of HBO’s True Blood told Technicolor Hollywood they were interested in transitioning to an all-data-based online/mastering workflow. in the words of co-producer Bruce Dunn. The challenge. As each episode is cut together. right) for True Blood’s third season. Romeo Tirone and Steven St. By entering the file-based universe. Of course. . “We can do dirt-fixing while we’re doing assembly. those involved say the conversion went off smoothly and has enabled greater creativity. After an episode is conformed. Technicolor handles True Blood’s negative processing. 4. Cinematographers Matthew Jensen. assembly. (Most of the show is shot in 3-perf Super 35mm. the team is now able to have pieces of as many as nine episodes in various stages of production at Technicolor simultaneously.

as “a data traffic cop who ensures each version is right before we start dubs. you typically deal with your highlights. “But in this new system. and DVDs for executives to view had to be implemented. we now have access to the complete gray scale. tracking and shape creation to achieve great results for the mood of the show. which is a huge plus. Miller refers to project manager Ashley Barrett. stay in Avid and use the actual Avid sequence. who heads True Blood’s projectmanagement effort. “We have so many effects [about 40-80 shots per episode]. “Now.” On Miller’s end. mid-tones and shadows and adjust those values to change the contrast of your image or the saturation levels. From the editorial department at the production’s headquarters at The Lot in Hollywood. “There are some really great. Klein now uses Autodesk’s Lustre 2010. and so many of those shots are delivered long after I am deep into color correction.theasc. within the highlights. time warps.” According to Jensen. so all metadata is built in and no longer has to be translated.” says Miller. after which point the files live on Technicolor Hollywood’s SAN. meaning we can do much subtler contrast changes and color combinations.” Jensen continues.com 77 . “we don’t have to go through any translation process.Online editor Ray Miller assembles each episode in an Avid HD Symphony. She makes sure everyone understands the [file-naming] nomenclature and the protocols for knowing who is working on what. “Because the show’s vampires have existed for hundreds of years. the learning curve was only temporary. or build the signal in such a way as to show more grain. there are flashbacks that have extremely customized looks. We start in Avid. the new workflow is also benefitting the cinematography team. speed changes — they all come across as we see them in the offline. those shots can just be plugged in. The production also had to institute new asset-management procedures and personnel to ensure strict control. and I don’t have to go back to the lab to work out the color — the system www. “Lustre allows me to highlight the grain for flashbacks and amplify certain parts of the contrast. “Effects. but Dunn notes that Technicolor resolved the issue of exporting files to lower-resolution physical media by incorporating the DVC Clipster system into its pipeline.” he says. for example. easy tools in Lustre for quickly breaking away sections of the grayscale. and once we ingest all of that. which initially required the colorist to “acclimate to the real-world difference of a slower-speed non-hardware system. the entire show lives on our SAN from that point forward. isolations.” he says. resizes.” In another change. However. the show is assembled entirely in the Avid world. making the transfer of assets more straightforward. “In a linear system. a software-based color-correction tool.” Klein continues.” he explains. The actual Avid bin with the Avid sequence comes over from editorial. and Klein insists the new workflow has allowed him to take full advantage of Lustre’s strengths.

notes. allowing the facility to host a significant number of additional seats for its visualeffects artists. it allows for an extended level of automation.mtifilm.-based Pro8mm has introduced two popular 4:4:4 workflows.” For additional information.” says Antony Hunt. ● . “This is the workflow of the future. managing director of Cinesite. Dunn believes they will see an all-data conversion in the very near future. remembers the color values I set. American Cinematographer The investment is part of an overall strategy by the company to double in size by late 2011. MTI CEO Larry Chernoff enthuses. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Battle: Los Angeles. through which it now offers television post services.com and www. Through our services facility and continued research and development for film restoration and workflows for digital acquisition. customers can walk out of a telecine session with the files in hand and ready for editing.” For additional information. We’ll be ready for it when the call comes.” ContentAgent incorporates expansive metadata organizational tools. visit www. John Carter of Mars.com. The company works on extremely creative projects and their talented artists showcase to the fullest what our tools can do. adds.root6technol ogy.” he says. we will be uniquely positioned to improve industry standards. “I imagine that by next year. By expanding our seats.thefoun dry. allowing customers who originate on Super 8mm. outputting [dailies] to whatever media is preferred [for viewing]. John Stevens.” Post News MTI Film Automates Hollywood Facility with ContentAgent MTI Film.com and www. Calif. colorist Scott Klein uses Autodesk’s software-based Lustre 2010 for color correction. “ContentAgent gives us all the deliverables within one box with a fantastic user interface. the strategy was devised following the commission of such projects as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Cinesite Expands with Nuke Visual-effects company Cinesite has heavily expanded its compositing department by investing in a site license of The Foundry’s Nuke compositing software. … We endeavor to partner with other technology companies like Root6 who share similar values of cooperation that result in improving our industry at a time when change is rampant and postproduction requires new standards of workflow. “We’re delighted that Cinesite has invested in a site license and has chosen Nuke as its primary compositing tool. Since implementing the SAN system and file-based workflow. Pro8mm’s SAN also supports the playback of various data file formats to tape for clients who need to migrate from file to tape. “As resolution requirements increase. 16mm or Super 16mm film to post their projects in 444 RGB 10-bit uncompressed and 4444 ProRes.pro8mm. “As a result of the high demand for our services. For pricing and additional information.” Although the dailies and delivery processes still involve tape. we evaluated the number of licenses for all the software tools we use. “ContentAgent not only gives us the work78 August 2010 flow tools.com.cinesite. a provider of high-quality image-processing tools to the broadcast and postproduction markets.” Klein suggests that there is a farreaching advantage for True Blood in making the post switch now.” Chernoff adds. enabling metadata to play a key role in defining and directing workflows.” he says.As part of the new True Blood workflow. visit www. “I’d say we are just months away from saying goodbye to tape. “Nuke is a powerful compositing tool and we’ve been using it in our pipeline for over 6 years. The original film is scanned with Pro8mm’s 4K Millennium II scanner and encoded directly to the facility’s 8TB SAN system. at a time when much of the industry is more directly focused on switching front ends from film to digital acquisition.uk.” Bill Collis. but thanks to its enhanced metadata controls. CTO of MTI. That’s a huge advantage. MTI views automation as the only way to manage any volume of file-based deliverables. With budgets constantly shrinking. “MTI Film seeks to become a unique company that embraces all sides of the postproduction customer spectrum. the way we’re making this show will allow us to work on [episodes] in 2K resolution later on. visit www. Pro8mm Adds 4:4:4 Workflows Burbank. CEO of The Foundry. Pro8mm has experienced such an increase in efficiency that the company has lowered the prices of certain workflows and eliminated docking charges. MTI selected Root6 Technology’s ContentAgent software to streamline the digital-deliverables workflow at the new facility. 8mm. we’ll be fully tapeless. is expanding both its business and its physical footprint.co. The company recently moved into a new facility in Hollywood. which we will share with both our service and technology customers. we’re able to work faster and more efficiently turn around our clients’ projects.

com NYC Studio Fall Season Hands-On Workshops 1123 Broadway #307. New York. Never S Never Stop Networking. .com/contact. and screenwriters to submit a syllabus and brief biography for consideration. New York.studentfilmmakers. directors. producers. Reach us at: http://www. cinematographers.New StudentFilmmakers. 10010 INTENSIVE FILMMAKING WORKSHOPS • 3D • Digital Filmmaking • Documentary • HDSLR Cameras • 16mm • 35mm • HD • RED One Filmmaking • Film Production • Screenwriting • Directing • Acting for Film • Digital Editing • Music Video • Broadcast Journalism • Photography • Cinematography • Image Control • Film Business • Producing • Distribution • And More Call for Workshop Instructors We invite filmmakers. editors. sound engineers.shtml Neve Stop Learning.

but this one was on a tight budget and had to be shot in 23 days. Alex Cox’s Repo Chick. if I shot masters at f2.Filmmakers’ Forum I Consider “Red” Another Paint in Your Palette By Steven Fierberg. (We ultimately worked around this by using traditional batteries and a cable. I liked the color. “crispy” look.8.) On Twelve. in some ways. To mitigate the focus difficulty.. I was doing postproduction on two features at three different facilities. Joel had directed many studio films. I kept my light meter set to 200 ISO. Because we were on a stage. (This did not turn out to be true with the Red’s new chip. or “teething problems. Probst and other film-trained people have found frustrating. all cameras look sharp in a close-up. so shooting night exteriors on Manhattan streets should be easier than with film. Specifically. Like most digital cameras. but it would have been harder to accomplish with smaller lights on location. My first. in Technicolor’s DI suite in New York. shooting 200 ISO at f4 with bounce light or through Full Grid takes a lot of light. Because digital sensors have a fixed array of uniform pixels. for some. which I shot on 35mm. I went to EFilm to colorcorrect the digital P3 preview master of Love and Other Drugs.A. Twelve was actually my second feature with the Red. Of course. and the collective experience taught me a few things about the Red that could serve as an interesting postscript to Chris Probst’s excellent recent article (“Working with the Red. and then flew to Los Angeles to adjust the answer print at Technicolor Hollywood.) A more innate issue. We used only subtle diffusion filters (1⁄8 or ¼ Schneider Classic Soft) because the Red image is not that sharp when enlarged to cinema size. gradual focus transition. ’10). You have to see tests at full cinema resolution and scale and remember how they looked. It did not disappoint. and I was very happy with how it turned out. and the fact that the image felt more film-like than other digital imagery. I knew that with the same lenses and accessories. Why not? It was advertised as lightweight. I knew I could save time by using my beloved Angenieux Optimos. on the other hand. we carried a few Zeiss Superspeeds. In order to avoid a harsh. but also tested extremely well with the Red. the Mysterium-X. which were not only cheap to rent. small and sensitive to light. was the surprising lack of depth of field. the Red was no American Cinematographer . the Red craves contrast more than absolute resolution (read about Nyquist sampling if you want to know why). the 28-76mm. as with many projects today. while in L. which the Red shares with other “full frame” digital cameras. I sometimes shot tight close-ups at f4. it’s only 720p. a better match for the camera than Cooke S4s. and although it’s useful for previewing contrast (using rec 709) and might keep you from adding that last. the Red was presented to me as a fait accompli. As the astute AC reader may know. using it to make guesses about ultimate sharpness and filter strength is treacherous. so Superspeeds are. causing surprise powerdowns that required a two-minute reboot of the camera. which follows ultrawealthy youths from Manhattan’s Upper East Side who are making that uneasy transition from high school to college or. and the magnificent 24280mm. even nascent blackheads lurking just below the skin. to the cold night streets.” We also collaborated with an excellent makeup team to foil the Red’s proclivity to reveal every blemish and flaw on an actress’ face. resulting in a smooth. For when we really needed the f-stop. 80 August 2010 “You have to see tests at full cinema resolution and scale and remember how they looked. unnecessary fill light. I was very excited to work with Joel Schumacher on the dark drama Twelve. (I test this by looking at an actor in a “cowboy” shot or a head-to-toe to see how much of their eyes I see. which I captured on the Red One. was shot entirely against greenscreen on a single soundstage. Over the course of a few weeks. It was a blur of color spaces and formats. I learned some things that might be helpful to you if you’re shooting with the Red with a goal of cinema projection. film. has randomly placed. and a batteryattachment system that frequently failed. I was able to choose our camera — a rare opportunity — and I chose the Red because I’d seen tests and knew it was exceptionally well suited to greenscreen work. with no smooth transition. But I did encounter some of the issues that Mr. the 15-40mm. we increased the light level.” included the somewhat naïve placement of buttons that could be too easily pushed by mistake. which made focus harder than with 35mm. we bounced off 12'x12' muslins or projected through Full Grid Cloth.” AC Feb. ASC I recently found myself in a situation that says a lot about cinematography today. More on that later. Minor irritants.) The on-set monitor can be misleading. Subjects popped sharply in and out of focus. this was quite doable with Ninelights or 20Ks. which I used on the romantic comedy The Oranges. variably sized microscopic grains. The next film I did with the Red would be a different challenge altogether. I color-corrected Twelve. It’s important to use full base makeup with extremely soft light. then. the circle of confusion “jumps” from one row of pixels to the next. working with a mix of digital and film technologies.

you convert the file to DPX for output to an Arrilaser for film printing. processing. and wanted to see how people would look if they walked into shadow areas or. Is the Red “better” than film? Of course not. And the Red Epic may well be a leap forward. lush look.4. Thus. However. at 2K resolution or higher. On Julian Farino’s The Oranges. I’m certain the Mysterium-X is significantly faster and has more latitude than the old chip.8. resolution and film format are changed after you’ve timed it. So I played it safe with the speeds I chose. When correcting my tests in a Red DI suite. and if I were aiming for an HD finish. the Asian and African-American stand-ins virtually disappeared when they were 2 stops underexposed. and there had been no significant difference between the digital file and the answer print. because we wanted a silky and flattering look. If you are going out to film. it’s just different. too. so how can we say that a digital camera looks “like film”? Which film stock? With what lenses? For that matter.smaller than an Arricam LT. to use the traditional DI workflow: first converting the file to DPX and then timing it. after finishing the film. picking locations with enough available light. and I couldn’t trust what I was seeing in the digital projection. to see the result at 2 stops overexposed. and 500 for night exteriors. my excellent colorist at Technicolor New York. I lit three stand-ins — an Asian. But Twelve wasn’t the stark world of District 9 — I wanted our film to have a smooth. all kinds of noise showed up in the shadows where there had previously been detail. I can say that Kodak Vision3 200T 5217 put a lot of rich color in Anne Hathaway’s skin that I doubt would be there in a Red file. but the technique came in handy again and again. and then stopped down to f5. and maybe something of its own. It’s possible the chip is much faster than that. and at ASA 200. Think of the Red as another “paint” in your palette. it is essential to do a filmout test or see the tests/dailies in a tested DI suite. The Red.) I then set the camera and lighting to ASA 200 and repeated the sequence. (That’s a tribute to both the state of the art and the fine workmanship at Technicolor. By using the shutter. I used the Red One with the new Mysterium-X chip. I wanted a similar look for the romantic comedy I shot just prior to The Oranges. Why don’t I know? Because in the post workflow recommended by Red. the print was unusable: no contrast. the camera appeared to have excellent speed. When I viewed my test footage projected at 1080p HD. I could rate it at that speed. I played it safe by exposing at 320 for day scenes. don’t try to make an orange taste like one. But it was too late now! How did I know the Red was really only 200 ISO rather than the “official” 320 ISO? In my careful preproduction testing. we took advantage of a feature that film cameras don’t have. which lived up to its name — even now. Just eat the apple. especially with the original chip. the entire color space. A professional-looking result at 320 ISO would have required crushing the shadows. contrast ratios and so on. it seemed the camera had enormous latitude and speed — even 2. and so on up to ASA 500. To get a fighting chance for decent exposure.theasc. why try to make it look like film? If you want the taste of an apple. Its greater sharpness requires less contrast. the true ISO of a camera or film stock is in the middle of the linear part of the gamma curve. you color-correct the native Red files using either Scratch or Red Cine. say.com ware. ● August 2010 81 .) However. I hope it’s for the same reason that Hockney and countless other painters have chosen acrylic or house paint rather than oil: because it helps you achieve the look you want for your particular project. but we were. and they make conclusions about the camera’s capabilities based on that limited evidence. and I didn’t want to come up short six months down the line when finishing the film. and so on. and having just finished the DI. opening the shutter to 270 or even 360 degrees. and it might not have arisen if we weren’t making film prints. Just don’t pretend it looks the same as the one next to it. The Oranges was one of the first projects to shoot with the Mysterium-X. You may find that the Red image has a lot of what you like about film.000 ISO looked okay — but when we looked at a filmout at 800 ISO. At 400 ISO. but I couldn’t be sure. that can be exactly what you want for certain films. and the software to convert the Red file to DPX wasn’t even Beta softwww.6 to see how they looked 2 stops down. I settled on 200 as the fastest usable speed. I had to carefully evaluate when the motion in the shot would allow this without blurring people’s heads into a creepy zombie effect. with less dynamic range than film. I wasn’t planning to light everyone to key. thereby adding contrast. Is acrylic “better” than oil paint? No. 400 for night interiors. it was actually far less suited for street filming. but Alpha. tends toward more contrast and less differentiated skin tones that look yellower in tungsten light. and after you’ve set the look. One thing to be careful of with the Red is that most experts. who can afford the stop loss?) Of course. I achieved very satisfying results in the answer print. I then opened up the lens 2 stops. an AfricanAmerican and a Caucasian blonde — with direct frontlight at ASA 160 at f2. But when I saw the results at full film resolution. (I don’t believe an in-camera filter changes this. Rob Koch). we typically spend time testing emulsions. and besides. I don’t know what the chip’s speed is. and occasionally ganging up 4x4 Kino Flos. This problem might have been “teething issues” in the new DI suite. only see tests or dailies projected at HD resolution. This is the workflow we used on Twelve. filters. and this led me to choose Cooke S4s for The Oranges. in a DPX file. On a film project. so that the file sent to the Arrilaser was the same one we’d been color correcting. If you choose the Red. Ed and I chose to shoot on film. Thus. milky blacks. Ed Zwick’s Love and Other Drugs. working with Superspeeds (and my excellent 1st AC. (In my mind. I went back to Tim Stipan. video master and DCP. Then I reviewed the results. check print. close to a bright window. including DITs. perhaps even exceeding 320 ISO. to f1. and it was changing every week.

com and include full contact information and product images.New Products & Services Universal Studios Reopens New York Street Universal Studios has opened four acres of newly rebuilt New York Street backlot locations. cameras can be positioned on the reinforced façade roofs or mounted on a crane to follow the action. and long vista shots through archways are now possible. A fixture in Hollywood for decades. visit www. The new Courthouse Square has a fire station large enough to hold a full-sized fire truck. began assembling a creative team to design the new street. The shooting location burned in an accidental fire on June 1. mill shops and support services. president and general manager of NBC Universal Operations Group. the manhole covers can emit special-effects steam. EUE/Screen Gems is undertaking a $6 million renovation of the property.. located in the former Lakewood Fairgrounds site. 2008. London Square and Central Park. The façade heights have been increased 10' to 25' for an average height of 40' to 50'. television shows and feature films. and he contacted production designer Rick Carter to be a part of the process. Immediately following the fire. giving added depth to scenes. including To Kill A Mockingbird. Universal Studios partnered with the Los Angeles County Fire and Building & Safety departments to create new guidelines for fire safety in the innovative façades.500-square-foot soundstage to be ready in March 2011. Carter collaborated with art director Beala Neel on the initial design concepts and scope of the rebuild. The overall design concentrated on detail work that would cater to modern filmmaking needs. The Blues Brothers and Back to the Future. “This is a proud day for Universal Studios. EUE/Screen Gems plans to construct a new 37. people. The width of the main street was narrowed so the camera could capture both sides of the street in the same shot. New York Street (which comprises 13 city blocks of buildings) has been the setting of countless commercials. Jim Watters. including a modern New York block with a glass-and-steel look. “The opening of New York Street shows the company’s commitment to film and television production in Los Angeles and to supporting filmmakers worldwide. Paris Square. Steven Spielberg offered his support. airport. Current plans for the stage include a American Cinematographer . a central fire-alarm system. Ga. and Neel headed the team of production designers and graphic artists.” For additional information. senior vice-president of NBC Universal Production Services.filmmakersdestina tion. and next door to the fire station is a modular gas station that can be dismantled and stored according to a production’s needs. the rebuilt site offers a wealth of creative opportunities for film and television production and an exciting behindthe-scenes look at Hollywood moviemaking for Universal Studios Hollywood theme-park guests. EUE/Screen Gems has opened a studio complex with multiple stages and support services minutes away from the Atlanta. Beanes helped guide the core design team. The Sting. They decided to keep the original east-west main street and add new locations. The city of Atlanta agreed to the lease agreement in May. and one of four stages was already fully functional and in use by June. and Dave Beanes. In addition to updating the existing structures. The existing buildings offer four stages ranging from 10.com.000 square feet. built-in fire separation areas and a separate water supply infrastructure for the hydrants and sprinkler systems. As an added touch of realism. president and COO of Universal Studios. The new façades also feature unobstructed interior shooting spaces that can be built out. EUE/Screen Gems Unveils Atlanta Studio Complementing its facilities in New York and North Carolina. which now incorporate fully automatic sprinkler systems. and London Square has chimneys rigged for special-effects smoke.000 square feet to 35.000 square feet for lighting and grip. Photos must be TIFF or JPEG files of at least 300dpi.” enthuses Ron Meyer. The fire escapes are practical and built for use with actors and stunt 82 August 2010 • SUBMISSION INFORMATION • Please e-mail New Products/Services releases to: newproducts@ascmag. For chase sequences. plus more than 50. allowing productions to shoot interiors without returning to a soundstage. At press time. providing a realistic urban downtown feel. EUE Screen Gems planned to have four other buildings on the property completely updated by August. Based on his own production experience and feedback from filmmakers. which eventually expanded to a staff of 25.

soundproofed wall that can also split the space into two smaller stages if necessary.screengemsstudios. will be here to inform. The need is here. as a community. executive director of the VES. held last October. but also to industries such as game development and animation. directors and studios came to us and asked us to go into Atlanta. For additional information. visit www. to stop thinking of what . we decided that bringing key industry stakeholders together annually would be beneficial to everyone. with a focus on how to thrive in a rapidly changing global economic and technological entertainment environment.” This year’s summit will include directors. financial challenges. “Through our properties in New York City. Okun.com and www. as well as size and infrastructure needed to handle intensive special effects for film. series. Now is the time to understand where it is going.com. 23 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey. commercial and gaming.” Cooney continues. proved to be an amazing success by offering a great opportunity to bring together leading creatives for a wide-ranging discussion covering the gamut from previs to building worldwide pipelines. Attendees will be encouraged to not only think outside the box. The credit is available not only to traditional motion-picture projects such as features. VES Announces Production Summit 2010 The Visual Effects Society will hold its second annual Production Summit for the greater entertainment industry on Oct. we provide coastal. shrinking schedules. create and operate within this new future. “It is of the utmost importance that we focus the entire industry on our collective future. globalization and proliferating distribution platforms continue to evolve. commercials and music videos. “Our inaugural summit. “Producers. “Production Summit 2010: Navigating Tomorrow’s Business Models” will bring together professionals from all sectors of the entertainment community for a day of conversation and collaboration.” says Chris Cooney. “We chose this site so that producers and directors can book with us immediately. but also to reinvent the business models of tomorrow that will guide the future of the entertainment industry as its technologies. cinematographers. rural and urban settings to our clients. editors. “Because industry changes come so rapidly and will likely continue to do so. “It is time to work together to ensure that we.” says Eric Roth. Wilmington and now Atlanta.mobile. producers. chief operating officer and co-owner of EUE/Screen Gems. technologists and visual-effects artists internationally acknowledged for their innovative thinking and responsibility for moving the industry into the next decade. Calif. and we’re here.” The company was also drawn to Georgia’s 30percent tax incentive for qualified production and postproduction expenditures. “This urban location expands our portfolio in a powerful way.” says VES Board Chair Jeffrey A.euescreengems.

The visual display Mullen. visit www.4ghz production-quality wireless radio. ASC. The images were slightly sharper … and more consistent in overexposed areas. motors and a range finder. and Vision3 Color Digital Intermediate Film 5254/2254. The white tones were cleaner after also shows depth-of-field information based on the lens and settings. wireless/wired focuscontrol system designed for use with any camera.and right-hand orientations. The MicroTape can be used on its own or in conjunction with the wireless remote. allowing additional components to extend the system for multiple motors. Sharp Focus from Redrock Micro Redrock Micro has introduced the MicroRemote Focus System. and delivers finer grain for naturallooking images in the darkest areas. The MicroRemote iPhone/iPod Touch software. and to look forward and explore how to do it now. 35mm.we used to do. ASC President Michael Goi. especially in the reds and flesh tones. visit www. Designed for professionals and amateurs alike. and the controller accommodates both left. an affordable. multiple cameras and more. the film was scanned and converted to digital files. “They were designed based on our customers’ suggestions and with the goal of increasing creative freedom and efficiencies in production and postproduction. “These new Vision3 films are the tangible results of our ongoing commitment to filmmakers. with the option for a tethered connection via an integrated connection port.com. The film provides an improved bridge between Kodak negative films and Kodak print films. Additionally. The ergonomic design fits comfortably in the user’s hand. well and profitably. The system can be used to control focus. Supporting both wireless and wired control of the motors. a wired finger controller offers precision singlefinger focus adjustment with smooth rotary operation. David can be used with third-party motors or with Redrock Torque motors. the MicroRemote base station enables both automatic and manual lens calibration and incorporates a universal power port. “This new film has an even finer grain structure with deeper black tones and richer color saturation. The controller also boasts an integrated rechargeable battery that concurrently powers an attached iPhone/iPod Touch.kodak. the system includes a wireless/wired controller. The MicroRemote also boasts modular functionality. For additional information. The handheld controller features 2. a medium-speed color-negative camera film. notes that the stock “is a significant improvement over the already excellent Vision2 5217.” 84 August 2010 American Cinematographer . vice president of the Eastman Kodak Company and president of the Entertainment Imaging Division. a base station/receiver. plus a D-tap power connection. The emulsion is designed for shooting in both controlled interiors and challenging high-contrast exteriors. and it easily attaches to a handgrip for ENG-style operation. who also tested the stock. and it is configurable for use off-camera. The system is compatible with both still photo and cine lenses. adds.” For additional information.” M. Super 16mm and Super 8mm). and I felt I could almost touch the high-resolution results in texture.redrockmicro. The MicroTape real-time range finder offers accurate distance-to-subject display with a 25' range. Reds in skin tones have a noticeably more natural balance. There is also a tighter grain structure … especially when it is used for daylight exterior scenes. 5213/7213 features extended latitude. The imaging characteristics of this new intermediate film enhance the speed and efficiency of DI postproduction while rendering noticeably sharper images that more faithfully represent the intentions of filmmakers. The metric or imperial distance scale appears on both sides of the MicroTape in high-contrast blue.” For additional information. zoom and iris settings. offers real-time graphic and numeric display of focus distance and focus scale as well as real-time display of the MicroTape sonar range finder distance.com/go/motion. and it Kodak Expands Vision3 Line Kodak has added two films to its Vision3 family of motion-picture products: Vision3 200T 5213/7213.com/productionsummit-2010. plus an “auto focus” setting enabling the MicroTape to directly control focus. and the controller also offers users camera start/stop functionality. who had the opportunity to test 5213. visit www. The controller features an iPhone/iPod Touch interface for graphic display of focus information to aid precise focusing. which requires an iPhone or iPod Touch running OS 3. and is available in all formats (65mm. enabling cinematographers to record more details in highlights. high-performance.visualeffectssociety.0 or later. 5254/2254 is designed for use with contemporary film recorders.” says Kim Snyder.

Weighing 21 pounds.000 € .com.technocrane. trucks. A standard 28 to 30 VDC camera battery powers four brute gyro wheels and the electronics. The MiniGyro system fits into one custom 22-pound carrying case measuring 19"x23"x12" with a total shipping weight of 43 pounds.0 includes RS-422 device control. rugged. Ki Pro 2. a quick-release mounting plate and an adjustable tilt head for shooting up or down. For additional information. the Tyler MiniGyro can be assembled or disassembled in under a minute. The stabilizer boasts variable-position handles.New Tyler Offers MiniGyro After three years of design. visit www.tylerminigyro. Designed to work in cramped quarters. tapeless video-recording device that records high-quality Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime longer: 8. Tyler Camera Systems has unveiled the MiniGyro camera-stabilizing mount.0 firmware for the Ki Pro portable digital-video recording device. the MiniGyro is ideal for shooting in helicopters.com starting from 78. a uniquely designed progressive shock tube eliminates vibration while supporting the MiniGyro and camera. motorcycles and boats.5 m/s / 5 ft/s camera max. planes. support for eight-channel embedded audio and support for gang recording with multiple Ki Pro units via the Web interface.26 m / 22 ft lighter: 79 kg / 174 lbs faster: 1. Additionally. The handheld MiniGyro supports and stabilizes cameras weighing up to 30 pounds.: 13 kg / 30lbs buy at: www. development and testing. The Ki Pro is a portable. AJA Upgrades Ki Pro Firmware AJA Video Systems has announced the availability of version 2. cars.

Featuring SD/HD-SDI. visit www. Ki Pro can interface to even more devices and workflows via industry standard American Cinematographer 86 August 2010 . CEO of Mo-Sys. or with Mo-Sys encoded camera supports. “Now with RS-422 device control. thereby supplying their customers with a single source for complete optical and encoded tracking and on-set visualization systems. vision and innovation. metadata recording and camera tracking.” Michael Geissler. Lightcraft. “Since Ki Pro delivers pristine 10-bit 4:2:2 image quality.com. Among Mo-Sys’ offerings is the 3D Inserter. “It is the ideal film scanner for all applications and stock types. With speeds in excess of 25 fps for 2K and HD files. from OCN ingest for digital intermediates to dense print for restoration projects. many of our customers have been turning to it as a practical. the performance of ImageMill2 is unequalled. via Avid Media Access (AMA) plug-in architecture. Mo-Sys Forge Agreement Lightcraft Technology and Mo-Sys.uk. We are excited about the potential that this relationship will provide us and our customers as we expand the use of virtual production tools worldwide. and from a distance. compositing. Building on the successful elements of the Ditto scanner — including excellent image performance. cost effective alternative to a VTR on set.” says Nick Rashby. the Ki Pro’s familiar VTR-like buttons provide immediate controls for basic operation. adds. an easy-to-use interface and the D/SCOP Dust/Scratch Concealment Option — the Ditto Evolution offers a modular and upgradeable solution to film scanning. the Ki Pro enables users to interface with virtually any type of camera or video source they may own or rent. CEO of Lightcraft Technology. visit www. Cintel’s business development manager. adds. Additionally.” says Simon Carter. allowing users to view. The companies have entered into a joint distribution agreement to sell each other’s products as well as their own in their respective regions. sales director for Cintel. the camera tracking works with either the inertial/optical combination of Lightcraft’s Airtrack precision gyro and Intersense’s IS1200.aja. notes. “ImageMill2 will machine control protocols. “It is rare to find a company to work with that has Mo-Sys’ combination of technical expertise. “Ditto Evolution is the first film scanner to be instantly switchable from pin registration to non-pin registration and also the first film scanner to include film grain management and image stabilization tools. Intuitive to operate. “We are impressed with the competence and innovative spirit at Lightcraft. Eliot Mack. keying. ImageMill2 processing tools and 3. The Ditto Evolution provides fast shuttle capability. lens tracking. who have independently developed affordable solutions to simplify the tracking and visualization of complex visual-effects shots.Ditto Scanner Evolves Cintel International has introduced the Ditto Evolution 2K/4K film scanner and ImageMill2 image-processing platform. In addition to its own products. Carter notes. We are currently processing 4K files at 10 fps and can also deal with SD files at twice real time. Mo-Sys will now distribute Lightcraft’s Previzion system in Europe. which combines real-time photorealistic 3-D rendering.” Ki Pro version 2.” The ImageMill2 image-processing platform adds network capabilities and data file management to the existing ImageMill feature set. while Lightcraft will distribute MoSys’ 3D Inserter. non-pin-registration machine for shrunken and damaged film incorporating a full set of image-restoration tools. For more information. “Ditto Evolution offers solutions to all filmscanning needs. AJA has collaborated with Avid to ensure that. in the studio and in mobile production environments. a non-pin registration mode for archive scanning. the Ki Pro’s ProRes QuickTime files are directly compatible with Avid Media Composer and Symphony systems. have announced they will combine their product offerings in order to provide a full range of virtual-production tools for the entertainment industry. edit and play back the files with access to all clip metadata. files onto computer-friendly media. users can control the Ki Pro with a laptop or iPhone Web browser via Ethernet or wireless connection.co. The collaboration brings together a unique and powerful complimentary chain of tools for next- address the industry’s need for a fast yet simple-to-use noise and grain management tool for both data-centric digital-intermediate applications and restoration projects within one product. offering fast and flexible live previsualization and data logging of camera moves on a virtual set. HDMI and analog inputs. It can evolve from a simpleto-use calibrated pin-registration scanner for digital-intermediate use with superb image quality to a multi-format.” Simon Clark.2D density range.0 firmware is available as a free software download to all Ki Pro customers. president of AJA Video Systems. With ImageMill2 you can truly ‘eliminate the wait. Motion Logger and full range of encoded camera heads and cranes in the Americas. Lightcraft Technology builds the Previzion virtual studio system.cintel.’” For additional information.

“We are excited by the development of products like Calibrated{Q} AVC-Intra Decode that extend the quality. When used in conjunction with Blackmagic Design’s HDLinkPro. AVCIntra Decode also enables cross-platform.lightcrafttech. Additional features of 3cP Set + Post include expanded support for the DaVinci/Blackmagic Design Resolve color corrector. visit www. the software-based system allows cinematographers and digitalimaging technicians to color-correct a live HDSDI stream in real time. set of 12 primes Nikkor 200 & 300mm PL telephoto Zeiss Primes. Digi Primes & Speeds Primes.com www. 3cP Guides Images on Set. Prime CP.2. evaluation. Panasonic Solutions Company. The software speeds sharing. which already included Rec 709 and film charts. Gamma & Density has added Red Mysterium-X tungsten and daylight color charts to its chart family. rv a Factory authorized Angenieux service Factor y service Optimo specialists NEW LENSES FOR SALE Zeiss ZF. support for anamorphic and 3-D imagery. an ability to previsualize lighting. visit www.com.mosys. Furthermore. and Compact Prime CP.” For additional information. “Calibrated Software is an important provider of workflow tools for the broadcast and film industry and we are pleased to be welcoming the company as an official new USED LENSES FOR SALE Cooke S4.DuclosLenses.gammadensity.2.2 ZF. Primes 7871 Alabama Ave #10 Av ve Canoga Park CA. The enhanced 3cP Set + Post system allows for even more creative freedom for contemporary image makers while maintaining the predictable. distribution and review of AVCIntra files by allowing users to skip timeconsuming conversion steps and tailor viewing immediately and specifically to their setup. Calibrated Software Decodes AVC-Intra Calibrated Software has expanded its Calibrated{Q} family of QuickTime components with the introduction of Calibrated{Q} AVC-Intra Decode. enhanced P2 file handling. service. repair. in Post Gamma & Density has announced that its 3cP on-set color-correction system for cinematographers has been extended for use during the pre-post and post phases of a production. ZE. consistent results 3cP has become known for.” says Michael Bergeron of Media & Production Services. AVC-Intra is an advanced 10-bit video compression technology developed by Panasonic for cameras in the company’s professional P2 product line. 3cP Set + Post also adds the ability to work with Red’s Mysterium-X sensor. colorcorrected dailies created by 3cP Set + Post can be targeted for viewing on such devices as iPads and iPhones and can be produced in Apple ProRes and Avid formats.com. For additional information.2 quality way to independently work with and view AVC-Intra files. 91304 Park tel: (818) 346-9505 fax: (818) 346-9506 www.com . accessing and decoding the data directly from its raw format to ensure the highest quality imagery. color correction and previsualization. support for generating Nucoda-style 3-D LUTs. and more. service. flexibility and efficiency of AVC-Intra media into the postproduction process and provide customers with a comprehensive range of options for working with AVC-Intra files.DuclosLenses. standalone playback and use of P2 AVCIntra MXF files in QuickTime Player or Square Box Systems’ CatDV asset-management software when used in tandem with Calibrated{Q} MXF Import. Calibrated{Q} AVC-Intra Decode streamlines the use of AVC-Intra material by letting users share. a QuickTime decode codec that expands AVC-Intra-based postproduction by providing an easy and high- Lens repair.generation filmmaking and ensures both stay at the forefront of developments to come. and sales. view and work with AVC-Intra MOV files in QuickTime Player and other applications that support QuickTime directly on their Mac or PC systems with up to full 10-bit color depth and without requiring additional software. To further aid this task. 3cP Set + Post includes a variety of new and improved tools for data management. such as Final Cut Pro.com and www. regardless of platform and without having an editing application installed.

Klein K-10. i1 Pro. ProRes Proxy and PhotoJPEG formats. colorists. and an array of interface enhancements. Improving on Light Illusion’s 3D LUT Manager.redgiantsoftware. HD-RGB finishing capabilities.member in the Panasonic P2 Partner Alliance.0 of Calibrated{Q} AVCIntra Decode for Macintosh OS X 10. and its new tools and capabilities really help to enhance facilities’ calibration capabilities and accuracy. Calibrated Software is committed to delivering accessible tools that map today’s changing workflows and can be easily installed onto a user’s Mac or PC to help them see and work with their material as directly and immediately as possible.lightillusion. post and broadcast facilities to establish company-wide color calibration. LightSpace CMS is not only suitable for visualizing film images on digital displays. Standard. add time code and generate proxies all in a single time-saving pass. New features include native support for popular formats such as Red. adds. Batch processing and multi-threading make for fast and painless conversion. regardless of the specific display or creative hardware being used. cinematographers and directors to see a matched final look at every point in the digital post chain. For more information. complete with a time-code track. Magic Bullet Grinder supports all video-capable Canon DSLRs. glitch-free operation. QuickTime and Canon XF. Many broadcasters and postproduction facilities are adopting a Panasonic AVC-Intra workflow. profile matching (auto-LUT generation). with full display and film-profiling capabilities. allowing editing to begin even on location. Final Cut Pro users now have a fast way to get DSLR footage from video-capable Canon DSLR cameras into their timeline for editing. and Calibrated{Q} AVC-Intra Decode was created to facilitate rapid viewing and review of AVCIntra material at up to full 10-bit quality and according to the end user’s specific platforms and needs. With Magic Bullet Grinder. i1 Display LT and ColorMunki. i1 Display 1.” Version 1.6 (Intel only) and Windows 7/Vista/XP is now available.com. Magic Bullet Grinder also adds file-name and time-code information directly to proxies and converts 30p and 60p media for quick 24p slow-motion effects. and even batch image processing with multiple image parameter controls. NewsCutter v9 and Symphony v5 editing systems. multi-channel audio support. LightSpace Manages Color Light Illusion has released LightSpace CMS. as well as the automatic generation of calibration LUTs from the various profiles generated. i1 Display 2. with options that provide for full underlying color management.com. Magic Bullet Grinder is available for $49. display profiling. users working with eight cores can convert eight files at once. grading. visit www.” says Steve Shaw. or via option components allowing customers to build their color-management tools as their requirements grow. animation. allowing operators. visit www. LightSpace CMS can be purchased as a fully configured package.” Greg Booth. CEO of Light Illusion. a low-cost external monitoring solution enabling field editing and simplified client screening sessions.” LightSpace CMS brings together a American Cinematographer range of tools and capabilities that go far further than simple LUT building. support for Matrox MX02 Mini monitoring hardware. Avid Media Access enhances productivity by supporting the most popular filebased formats and eliminating the need for 88 August 2010 . colorspace conversion.com. direct profile and LUT transformation. enabling smooth playback and faster rendering. LightSpace CMS brings major calibration enhancements to users. Avid has introduced the Media Composer v5. its affordable price makes it easy for studios. president of Calibrated Software. a fully featured color-management system. For additional information. The batch-processing feature supports multi-threaded systems to ensure fast. Avid Takes Editing Line to Next Level Raising the bar on format flexibility. LightSpace CMS makes it much easier to implement total color management facility wide for DI. supervisors. visual effects. A wide and growing range of measuring probes can be used.5/10. with additional format support coming soon. The software tool converts to ProRes. The system is a continued development of Light Illusion’s widely adopted LUT Manager display and calibration software. calibration visualization and display comparison. “As advancements in image formats continue to evolve. including X-Rite Hubble. Magic Bullet Grinds DSLR Video Red Giant Software has introduced Magic Bullet Grinder for converting DSLR video to edit-friendly formats. openness and speed. LightSpace CMS enables customers to accurately measure all displays to fully manage the color pipeline. For more information. “While LightSpace CMS will be welcome in all facilities looking for high quality color management.calibratedsoftware. but also for directly matching different displays. regardless of the technology being used. “LightSpace CMS makes accurate color management available to all industry operations. allowing customers to keep high-end finishing in-house. games or exhibition using any direct display or projection-monitoring system. visit www.

avid.295. postproduction and new-media industries. In addition to supporting Red . Version 1. enabling customers to make more informed creative decisions in the offline edit and easily link back to full-resolution XDCam clips to complete projects. Additional features of Version 1.R3D. log and transfer media. and play back media created in the DVCProHD codec. QuickTime and Canon XF files. visit www.customers to transcode.com. which recognizes certain file and folder patterns (such as the Panasonic P2 folder pattern that commonly holds AVCIntra media) and selectively imports files from those folders. has announced the availability of Media 100 Suite Version 1. Version 1. broadcast. the updated editing systems also support the AVCHD format as well as XDCam proxies.com. For additional information.6 supports Calibrated Software’s Calibrated{Q} MXF Import. NewsCutter and Symphony offers a new timeline Smart Tool.media100. AVC-Intra Decode and DVCProHD Decode products. re-wrap.6.6 include a new intelligent folder import option. giving users the ability to export Media 100 Suite timelines to Adobe After Effects CS5. allowing Media 100 Suite editors to directly open MXF files. providing customers with more choices in the way they work. featuring drag-and-drop audio and video elements as well as editing and trimming features for direct manipulation of clips in the timeline. ● . including how to upgrade from a previous version of Media 100 Suite. a provider of advanced editing systems for the corporate. For more information.6 is available through the Media 100 worldwide reseller channel and direct from the Media 100 website for a recommended price of $1. the latter offering access to proxy video and high-quality audio files. The enhanced user interface in Media Composer. import and play back AVC-Intra media. Media 100 Suite Version 1. and faster rendering of multi-layer Boris Red filters.6 also includes Boris XML Transfer Version 2 for Media 100 Suite. Media 100 Upgrades Suite Media 100. visit www.

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“At a time when so much is going on in the industry. and ASC members were involved in a number of events. and associate member Volker Bahnemann received the Cine Gear Expo Lifetime Achievement Award. Papamichael photo courtesy of Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Nancy Schreiber. Daryn Okada. “The local film people seemed to be very interested in what I had to say. Owen Roizman and John C. His fellow officers for 2010-11 are Vice Presidents Richard Crudo. Michael Goi. Director Alexander Payne. Top: Phedon Papamichael. Rounding out the weekend. Kees Van Oostrum. James L. ASC. Officers Elected Michael Goi. and Sergeant-at-Arms Ron Garcia. The award recognizes Papamichael’s professional achievements in cinematography and directing. and Donald M. an annual showcase of cutting-edge motion-picture technology. ASC. Stephen Lighthill. It was time well spent. The questions were searching. He showed clips from his work and discussed his collaborations with an array of directors. after which began a series of Premiere Seminars. who collaborated with Papamichael on Sideways. as well as his continued support of the arts.” Prieto Speaks at LAFF Rodrigo Prieto. George Spiro Dibie. Dan Mindel. ASC delivered the keynote to kick off a daylong 3-D symposium. Flinn III. Tobias Schliessler and Robert Yeoman. AMC recently participated in a Kodak Focus seminar during the 16th annual Los Angeles Film Festival. Morgan.” says Goi. ASC participated from the audience. Treasurer Matthew Leonetti. Wally Pfister (discussing Inception). Stephen Burum. Bill Bennett. India: a Kodak-sponsored master class. and attendance grew during each American Cinematographer workshop. “The workshops in Mumbai were truly rewarding for all of us. Carter. Alternates are Fred Elmes. Rodney Taylor.” 5 ASC Members Invited to Join Academy The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently invited 135 members of the film industry to join its ranks. and each session ran overtime. David Mullen. ASC was honored with the Orpheus Award for Career Achievement at this year’s Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Michael D. ASC. Robert Primes. Tom Hurwitz. was screened. James Chressanthis and Rodney Taylor (panelists for the Kodak-sponsored “Truth About Film and Digital Production”). Daniel Pearl. Richard Edlund. BSC also joined the panelists. ASC has been elected to a second term as president of the Society. presented the cinematographer with the award. Nancy Schreiber and Christian Sebaldt. Seminar participants included ASC members John Leonetti (discussing Piranha 3-D). unfolded over four days in June at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. AMC. a new feature that Papamichael directed and shot. In a separate event. including ASC members Shane Hurlbut. this is a tremendous vote of confidence that this body of incredible artists believes in my vision of where the ASC is going in the future. Isidore Mankofsky. Other members elected to the Board of Governors are John Bailey.” notes McAlpine. Bottom: Rodrigo Prieto. Allen Daviau. Prieto photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage. ● . Jensen. 2010-2011 Board. Cinema India’s international sales and programming partner. George Spiro Dibie. Papamichael Honored for Career Achievement Phedon Papamichael. and John Bailey. ASC. Burum. M. Society members Amy Vincent. Peter Anderson. Secretary Rodney Taylor. Haskell Wexler and Vilmos Zsigmond.Clubhouse News “Being elected to serve a second term as ASC president is a great honor and a privilege. Negrin. 94 August 2010 ASC Participates in Cine Gear Expo Cine Gear Expo. Joe Dunton. Sol Negrin. and two conversation sessions arranged by Createasphere. Richard Edlund (moderating a panel for the Visual Effects Society). ACS presented three sessions during the recent Cinema India Expo in Mumbai. Curtis Clark. Stephen H. Johnny E. Ron Dexter and Stephen Lighthill participated in master classes at Mole Richardson. ASC moderated an ASC panel comprising Society members Russ Alsobrook. Those who accept the invitation will be the only additions to the Academy’s roster of voting members this year. courtesy of Film Independent. McAlpine Journeys to India Don McAlpine. Gabriel Beristain. Sol Negrin and Michael B. Arcadia Lost. and he participated in a Q&A. O’Shea.

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but when I first began working as a camera assistant. do you most admire. especially Robert Capa. but suddenly I was fascinated by cinematography. Robert Parker and Richard Russo. What recent books. but it made me aware that I wasn’t in complete control of the finished product. More importantly. At 16. for his work on Chinatown — his handheld work and the polished gloss of L. Conrad Hall. or genres you would like to try? I love all kinds of detective stories and would love to shoot more of them. it changed the way I regarded film. Charles Minsky. It didn’t deter me. That had never happened before.A. My life changed in a matter of months. Who were your early teachers or mentors? As a camera assistant. How did you get your first break in the business? After working as a social worker and a waiter. ASC. ASC. including Plainsong. It makes me proud to be in the ASC. and before I finished.Close-up Which cinematographers. and we share problems and solutions. I graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles with a degree in political science but didn’t pay attention to film until that first job. I knew every image and all the music cues. Georgia O’Keeffe and Paul Strand. ASC. ASC study psychology. Out of boredom. his use of light. I worked steadily for five years with a commercial director/cameraman named Melvin Sokolsky. I hadn’t taken so much as a Polaroid before. Sebastiao Salgado. because I never tired of watching it. past or present. I also watched and learned about lighting. I was told to carry camera cases and help the camera assistant. three years after I graduated. It’s a safe place to exchange ideas and thoughts. because they had more control of his art than he did. what might you be doing instead? Teaching. I worked as an usher at the Beverly Hills theater where it played in 70mm for nine months. It’s a lesson I’m still learning. and I could recite every line. ● When you were a child. Do you have any favorite genres. I white-lighted 1000' of film on the first day of prep. I got a Nikon F2 and took as many pictures as I could afford. It’s a very inclusive group of professionals. ASC lived next door. On my first job in the business. Ralston Crawford. BSC. and we are always searching to make an idea into an image. Joe Ruttenberg. Michael Connelly. Have you made any memorable blunders? On the first job I got as a union assistant. we are open and trusting of each other. and with Ray Villalobos. Movies: I just watched The Lookout and (500) Days of Summer. Robert Primes and Bing Sokolsky. films or artworks have inspired you? I read a lot of mysteries and enjoy Ken Bruen. John Alonzo. What sparked your interest in photography? Blind luck. I went back to school to 96 August 2010 American Cinematographer . I got a job on a low-budget project in San Diego — my father knew someone who knew someone who wanted to make a movie. and Tyler Hicks of the New York Times. Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for membership? John Toll. once admitted. what film made the strongest impression on you? Lawrence of Arabia (1962). What are some of your key artistic influences? I love photojournalism. and why? Freddie Young. I’m also a huge fan of children’s stories. but they weren’t very interesting. If you weren’t a cinematographer. I spent three months doing everything that was asked of me. He took me into his house one day and showed me his two Academy Awards and told me to become an editor. I thought it was the end of the world. What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received? I’m not sure it’s the best advice. I worked with [ASC members] Matt Leonetti. I fell in love with the camera. Joe Biroc and John Alonzo. long lenses and color made the world of chess appear utterly magical. and. I never looked back. Cinematographers are storytellers. Robert Crais. People want to be members. I was hired as a gofer. Where did you train and/or study? All of my film education was on the job. I just finished reading all of Ken Haruf’s books. What has been your most satisfying moment on a project? Finding the center of the scene I am shooting and making sense of it. I also worked for years as an assistant in the camera departments at Universal and Warner Bros. I watched him and learned how to conceptualize a project. who turned me around and made me see how images could transport you to a completely different world. I took two film classes. for his brilliant and innovative vision on Searching for Bobby Fischer. I also love paintings and prints by Charles Sheeler. and I was reminded every day of the power and scope of movies. How has ASC membership impacted your life and career? I consider myself lucky to be in the ASC. I love working with students and sharing some of the knowledge I’ve retained over the years.

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com/go/onfilm To order Kodak motion picture film. ASC. actors and script. BSC “I don’t know a cinematographer – certainly not myself – who has contributed to a meaningful movie who wasn’t collaborating with a highly visual director. For an extended interview with Chris Menges. and other memorable documentary and narrative films. A World Apart. and earned additional nominations for Michael Collins and The Reader. ASC. His body of work includes Kes. Part of it is luck. The Pledge. Film is collaboration. you cannot dream on your own. Photography: © 2010 Douglas Kirkland .” Chris Menges. The Good Thief. BSC won Academy Awards® for The Killing Fields and The Mission. and then it takes an incredible amount of hard work. 2010.ONFILM CHRIS MENGES. gaffers and everyone on your crew to get the right composition. call (800) 621-film. camera movement and focus to capture magic moments on film. He is the 2010 recipient of the American Society of Cinematographers International Award. The Boxer. The inspiration comes from the words and inside the characters. getting to work with the right director. But it goes beyond collaborating with directors. visit www. Notes on a Scandal. Dirty Pretty Things. Local Hero. You are also working with the production and costume designers.kodak. makeup artists. Angel. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. All you have to do is bring your soul and great energy. © Eastman Kodak Company. but more importantly you have to trust your instincts.

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