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MAY 2013

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The International Journal of Motion Imaging
34 Surviving the Future
Claudio Miranda, ASC envisions the year 2073 for Oblivion
48 A Trailblazers Tale
Don Burgess, ASC captures the struggle of baseball icon
Jackie Robinson in 42
56 Conjuring Hope
Giles Nuttgens, BSC helps mount a screen version of the
epic novel Midnights Children
66 The ABCs of DMX
A primer on Digital Multiplex lighting-control systems
72 Star Tech
The Academy honors cinemas innovators at
the Sci-Tech Awards
77 Hot Shots
ASC Awards weekend in pictures
DEPARTMENTS
FEATURES
VISIT WWW.THEASC.COM
On Our Cover: During a routine work detail on the devastated Earth, Jack Harper (Tom
Cruise) makes some surprising discoveries in the sci-fi thriller Oblivion, shot by Claudio
Miranda, ASC. (Photo by David James, SMPSP, courtesy of Universal Pictures.)
10 Editors Note
12 Presidents Desk
14 Short Takes: Suit & Tie
20 Production Slate: Trance The Reluctant Fundamentalist
90 New Products & Services
94 International Marketplace
95 Classified Ads
96 Ad Index
98 Clubhouse News
100 ASC Close-Up: Paul Maibaum
M A Y 2 0 1 3 V O L . 9 4 N O . 5
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56
77
The International Journal of Motion Imaging
In an exclusive online Q&A, Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMCdiscusses his contributions to the dramatic feature To the Wonder, his
latest collaboration with director Terrence Malick. Supplementing Jim Hemphills article will be clips from the movie that showcase
Lubezkis lyrical cinematography. Time critic Richard Corliss calls the project the most formally radical post-narrative American film
ever to be released, adding that Malicks poetic visual approach pushes cinematic experiment to a degree not previously attempted
by this restless, mysterious auteur or, really, by anyone else working in narrative film.
Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko star in
Terrence Malicks To the Wonder, shot by
Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (shown
on the set of Malicks The Tree of Life).
M A Y 2 0 1 3 V O L . 9 4 N O . 5
Clint Fitzgerald: Christopher Nolan and
Matthew Libatique.
Allen E. Ho: David Fincher and Roger Deakins.
Finchers dark style paired with Deakins mastery
of composition and color. Yes, please!
Sebastin Fernndez Palumbo: Darius
Khondji and Claudia Llosa.
Arthur Cooper, CSC: Paul Thomas Anderson
and Arthur Cooper, CSC. He is an amazing,
visionary director and I would love to work with
him.
Katherine Castro: Nicolas Winding Refn and
Alwin Kchler.
Hernn J. Snow: Nicolas Winding Refn and
Christopher Doyle.
Tom Findlay Sykes: Michael Haneke and
Emmanuel Lubezki.
Jas Maciek Miszewski: P.T. Anderson and Gor-
don Willis.
Blake Larson: I think a Stephen Daldry and
Ellen Kuras collaboration would yield an intimate
film filled with both naturalism and emotion.
Danny Hidalgo: Jon Favreau and Wally Pfister
would be fun.
Clark Mayer: I would love to see Benot Debies
masterful control of experimental color and com-
position meet the edgy films of Nicolas Winding
Refn.
Mariah Shap: Steven Soderbergh and Lance
Acord, or Woody Allen and Robert Yeoman.
Javier Ignacio Munoz: Martin Scorsese and
Janusz Kaminski.
Bubba Matt Schmieding: The Wachowskis
and Guillermo Navarro.
Craig Duffy: Just read that Haskell Wexler was
supposed to shoot Kurosawas never-filmed
American debut The Runaway Train. That would
have been AWESOME.
Brian Rose: Living: Roger Deakins and P.T.
Anderson. Fantasy: Jack Cardiff and Wes Ander-
son, or Gregg Toland and the Coens.
Candice Vancauwelaert: Lol Crawley and
Mike Figgis on a story about love and erotics
nowadays!
Lol Crawley: Nic Roeg and Christopher Doyle!
Doug Nichol: Ed Wood Jr. and Freddie Young.
Matthew A. MacDonald: Vittorio Storaro and
Clint Eastwood. Really.
Gavin Cantrell: Sofia Coppola and Robby
Mller.
Jair Tapia: Werner Herzog and Emmanuel
Lubezki. Terry Gilliam and Bruno Delbonnel.
Aditya Vashisht: Terrence Malick and Santosh
Sivan. [Sivan] is one of the best cinematographers
India has ever produced. He recently became a
member of the ASC.
Mike Hall: J.J. Abrams and Bob Richardson.
James Morgan Wells: David Lynch and Caleb
Deschanel.
Jane F. Kennedy: Ron Fricke and Terrence
Malick!!!!!
Jackson Kimmel: I would like to see either
Peter Jackson or James Cameron work with Mihai
Malaimare Jr.
Brendan Rankin: David Fincher and Matthew
Libatique. [Brendan: See Short Takes, page 14.]
SEE AND HEAR MORE CINEMATOGRAPHY COVERAGE AT WWW.THEASC.COM
THIS MONTHS ONLINE QUESTION: Which cinematographer-director pairing would you most like to see?
ACs online questions and reader responses can be found on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AmericanCinematographer
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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
PHOTO EDITOR Julie Sickel
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Benjamin B, Douglas Bankston, Robert S. Birchard,
John Calhoun, Michael Goldman, Simon Gray,
David Heuring, Jay Holben, Mark Hope-Jones, Noah Kadner,
Jean Oppenheimer, Jon Silberg, Iain Stasukevich,
Patricia Thomson

ART DEPARTMENT
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Marion Kramer

ADVERTISING
ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Angie Gollmann
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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 PRESIDENTS ASSISTANT Delphine Figueras
ASC ACCOUNTING MANAGER Mila Basely
ASC ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Nelson Sandoval

American Cinematographer (ISSN 0002-7928), established 1920 and in its 93rd 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.
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POSTMASTER: Send address change to American Cinematographer, P.O. Box 2230, Hollywood, CA 90078.

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OFFICERS - 2012/2013
Stephen Lighthill
President
Daryn Okada
Vice President
Richard Crudo
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Kees Van Oostrum
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Treasurer
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Secretary
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Sergeant At Arms
MEMBERS OF THE
BOARD
John Bailey
Stephen H. Burum
Curtis Clark
Richard Crudo
Dean Cundey
Fred Elmes
Michael Goi
Victor J. Kemper
Francis Kenny
Matthew Leonetti
Stephen Lighthill
Michael O'Shea
Robert Primes
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Kees Van Oostrum
ALTERNATES
Ron Garcia
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Kenneth Zunder
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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
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to those who are actively en gaged as
di rec tors of photography and have
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James Chressanthis, ASC
Director of Photography,
Client List, Lifetime Television
Fresh off his Oscar win for Life of Pi, ASC member Claudio
Miranda recently completed another effects-intensive
project, the sci-fi thriller Oblivion, which made him one of
the first cinematographers to test out Sonys 4K F65 camera
on a major production. Miranda notes that he and director
Joseph Kosinski felt the new camera would give them a
cooler look that suited the movies futuristic settings,
adding, Joe liked what the [Sony] F35 gave us on Tron, and
he was really a fan of the F65 in our tests for Oblivion. An
abundance of technical insights, including the modern spin
Miranda brought to frontscreen projection for backgrounds
on a key set, can be found in Jay Holbens excellent article
on the production (Surviving the Future, page 34).
Visual effects also helped Giles Nuttgens, BSC craft period looks for Midnights Chil-
dren, director Deepa Mehtas ambitious adaptation of Salman Rushdies sprawling novel.
Spanning the years 1917-1977, the plot weaves the lives of two boys into the grand tapes-
try of Indias history. While shooting in Sri Lanka, Nuttgens, who also served as the shows on-
set visual-effects supervisor, sought to blend 300 effects plates into the saga without losing
sight of the narrative. As he tells Pat Thomson (Conjuring Hope, page 56), the filmmakers
set out to ensure that this wouldnt turn into a visual-effects shoot, that it maintain its focus
on the family, which has always been the focus of Deepas films. The strength of our film-
making has been dealing with intimate relationships between groups of people and effec-
tively making the camera invisible in the process.
On the baseball drama 42, Don Burgess, ASC also turned back the clock to emulate
past eras, crafting a visual arc that slowly evolves from a warm period look to a cooler, more
modern feel. To accomplish this subtle progression while shooting digitally, he carefully
combined old-school image control with deft DI work. In his interview with Michael Gold-
man (A Trailblazers Tale, page 48), Burgess explains, Having shot on film for so long, I still
filter when Im shooting, so I broke down the movies three-year time frame and determined
how to use filters, diffusion and lighting gels to progress the imagery.
DMX technology is the foundation of many lighting-control systems used on sound-
stages today, and anyone who plans to use it should read European correspondent Benjamin
Bs in-depth primer (The ABCs of DMX, page 66). To provide a complete overview, he
contacted some of the industrys most knowledgeable professionals, including gaffer John
Biggles Higgins and cinematographer Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC, to explain how they
creatively employ DMX in their work. The potential with DMX seems limitless, says Higgins.
Some cinematographers are really well versed in it, and others are not that aware of its
potential. I let them know whats available to them, and they can use what they want.
This issue also takes a glance back at Hollywoods recent awards-season festivities. AC
was on the scene as AMPAS saluted the industrys finest technical minds at the Sci-Tech
Awards (Star Tech, page 72) and the ASC hosted another highly successful ASC Awards
weekend, which weve spotlighted in our annual pictorial recap (Hot Shots, page 77).
Stephen Pizzello
Executive Editor
Editors Note
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After last months column about language and set procedure, we are still
thinking about language. It seems to us that language can lead you astray or
lead you to knowledge. We are struck by the current use of the word tech-
nology as a stand-in for anything related to electronic devices. According to
Wikipedia, Recent technological developments, including the printing press,
the telephone and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communi-
cation and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale.
So, technology refers to almost any machine or technical solution to
a problem, from the printing press to the Internet. The original printing press
was not an electronic solution, but still a technology. What is high technol-
ogy, we wonder, and what is it higher than?
We have also tired of the terms transformative technology and
disruptive technology. All technologies are potentially transformative in one
way or another. Take the invention by Bell Labs of the touch-tone keypad in
the 1960s. The father of human-factors engineering, industrial psychologist
John E. Karlin, figured out how to position the keys 1-2-3 across the top a
design alive and well on your iPhone. This also facilitated all-digit dialing. As a
result, the wonderful phone numbers that combined letters and digits disap-
peared: MAin-1-2345 became 621-2345. Soon, area codes were added,
creating 10 numbers per phone. At a party Karlin attended, a guest reportedly
said to him, How does it feel to be the most hated man in America? Thats
transformative technology, big time, if everyone hates you.
Precision with language makes us better communicators, and on set, that makes us more efficient and sometimes
safer. Recently, we heard of a cinematographer who became frightened by a helicopter pilots aggressive maneuvers while
riding next to him and operating a nose-mounted camera. As they came around for another take, the cinematographer
said, Cool it on this take! Of course, he got another hair-raising take, because cool it meant one thing to the pilot and
another to the cinematographer. The cinematographer should have been more specific, or, as he noted in his post on the
Cinematography Mailing List, I needed to not do another take and diplomatically suggest we land for a time out. That
way, more precise words could have been used without the roar of flight noise, and the shot could have been redesigned
to be safe. As we mention this, we are sad to note that weve heard of five pilots and cinematographers who have died
in aerial-filming accidents in the last month.
We have many ways to send words around the world quickly, including e-mail, texting and, yes, even print. Because
words are often traveling so fast, perhaps we should think longer and be more precise with them before we press send.
Stephen Lighthill
ASC President
Presidents Desk
12 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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Retro Style
By Iain Stasukevich
During a break in the 2011 Los Angeles Film Critics Associa-
tions awards ceremony, cinematographer Matthew Libatique, ASC
felt a tap on his shoulder. It was director David Fincher, who compli-
mented him for his work on Black Swan (AC Dec. 10). A little over a
year later, Fincher got in touch again, this time with a project in mind.
His reps were being very secretive, so they wouldnt tell me if it was
a music video or a commercial, recalls Libatique. It wasnt till I
signed on and met David at his office a couple of weeks before the
shoot that he played the song for me.
The song was Justin Timberlake and Jay-Zs Suit & Tie, and
Finchers vision for the video was a classy Rat Pack atmosphere. He
wanted to emulate the lifestyle of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey
Bishop and Sammy Davis Jr. in Vegas, says Libatique.
The camera follows Timberlake and Jay-Z as they get ready for
a big show, perform and then wind down at the after party.
At our meeting, David was very clear about what he wanted
to do, and when we got to the set, he remembered every one of
those details, says Libatique. Fincher offered opinions on which
lights to use, the number of camera carts required and the specific
configuration of the camera for a given shot. Meanwhile, Libatique
hustled to keep 1st AC Matt Stenerson in the loop.
The camera package and workflow were of particular interest
to the director. David wants the most streamlined, mobile camera
system possible he wants it free of cables and free of the DIT, says
Libatique. Fincher wanted to shoot the video with the Red Epic-M
Monochrome, a black-and-white version of the Epics 5K
Mysterium-X sensor. (The Monochromes sensor lacks the RGBG
Bayer color-filter array.)
Fincher and camera assistant Steve Meizler had developed
the Meizler Module, a wireless module that was still in the prototype
phase when Suit & Tie was shot. When attached to the back of
the Epic, it provides a wireless 1080p feed for monitoring and wire-
less focus control. (The remote-focus motor is still cabled.) With the
camera in studio mode, Libatique operated using Reds 9" LCD
touchscreen monitor and judged exposure with 24" Sony OLED
monitors. He used the OLED monitors and histograms at video
village to compare exposures between multiple cameras.
Another feature [of the module] allows the director to play
back while the cinematographer uses the camera to frame up, says
Libatique, who adds that this was not implemented on Suit & Tie.
To achieve this, the unit records a proxy image that can be accessed
via touchscreen monitor at video village, where the director or script
supervisor can play back takes and make notes, similar to Pix, says
Libatique.
Libatique conducted latitude and exposure tests with the
Epic-M Monochrome in an effort to familiarize himself with some of
the cameras unique sensor properties. I would have done the
same thing if wed shot with black-and-white film, he remarks.
Finchers editor, Tyler Nelson, and assistant editor, Nate Gross, logged
and organized the footage in Pix, which Libatique used to screen
and make notes on his shots. I wanted to be able to have a sense
of the cameras dynamic range, he says. After that, I wanted to
try different lenses to see how wide I could go before the sensor
Short Takes
Director David Fincher and cinematographer Matthew Libatique, ASC teamed up to create the Rat Pack-inspired music video
for Justin Timberlake and Jay-Zs Suit & Tie.
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14 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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started to vignette. Whats the best resolu-
tion I can get? Whats the highest frame
rate?
He shot most of Suit & Tie at 4K,
using 5:1 compression at 24 fps and 8:1
compression at 60 fps. Higher frame rates
were achieved with a compromise between
resolution and compression. For the
dancers on the performance stages, we
shot 160 fps at 3K to maintain 8:1 compres-
sion, says Libatique. In post at Light Iron in
Hollywood, the image was downconverted
to 2185x1150 with a 1920x800 center
extraction. Conform, visual effects and
grading were done on a Quantel Pablo.
The filmmakers considered shooting
with Cooke lenses, but ultimately chose
Zeiss Ultra Primes for their wide variety of
focal lengths. [The sharpness of] the Ultra
Primes didnt bother me with the black-and-
white image, though it does with a color
digital image, notes Libatique. He favored
the wider focal lengths. We used 32mm
and 40mm, and occasionally 50mm, for
close-ups. David always wanted to see more
in the frame, to see Justins physicality.
Libatique used ND filters to keep his
T-stop at the lenses sweet spot, a T4/5.6.
We had to ND down almost everywhere
to stay in that range, he reveals. Deeper
stops favored the more improvised aspects
of Timberlakes performance. On the
stage with the mirrored floor and moving
lights, we were at a T8/11, which kept the
lights crisp in the background. If Justin
came close to the lens that wasnt racking
so far forward, wed throw everything in
the background out of focus, even on a
24mm or 28mm lens.
Without a Bayer color-filter array,
the Monochromes sensor utilizes 100
percent of its photosites for capturing lumi-
nance information, effectively yielding a 1:1
relationship between the number of
samples and deliverable resolution. And
with the sensors suggested native ISO
2,000 rating, the filmmakers could push it
to ISO 3,200 without a perceptible loss in
image quality. Having that much sensitiv-
ity was phenomenal, says Libatique.
When we shot at the Capitol Records
building, we didnt even have to light.
When I put a light up, it looked false, like it
didnt belong there. I think we put a 4-by-
4 Kino Flo over the mixing board, and then
there were a couple of bounces into the
space to get more light into the corners,
but Im not sure I even needed that. If Id
shot with nothing extra and turned some
lights off for mood, I still would have been
at a T4 or T5.6.
Shooting in black-and-white also
facilitated the use of hard light, which Liba-
tique and gaffer Jeff Ferrero enjoyed
deploying. Lighting was more a matter of
controlling the contrast ratio with negative
fill while softening or sharpening artificial
light sources. Libatique describes a scene
shot on an empty stage where Timberlake
plays chess with a showgirl: We set up
two cameras wide and tight. Direct sunlight
was coming through the stage door, so we
put Justin and the woman right on the
edge of the light, in the shadows. I laid
some Duvetyn on the ground to the left
side of frame, and we were ready to go.
Thats all that shot is: sunlight bouncing off
the ground and the ambient light from the
open stage door. Theres a practical in the
background to add some interest.
In another shot, three dancers
rehearse a step in the daylight coming
through the same doorway. A 10K keylight
16 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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and topper 20' away augmented the
natural daylight.
Suit & Tie contains a clever conceit
wherein the camera cuts between the stage
and crowd perspectives of Timberlake and
Jay-Zs performance. All the shots from the
performers perspective were shot at the El
Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, and all the shots
looking toward the stage were shot at the
Hollywood Bowl. When there are cuts
between the two locations, the comple-
mentary screen directions create the impres-
sion of a unified space.
At the El Rey, Libatique started by
dimming down the theaters candelabras
and grand chandelier to about 20 percent.
If Id shot 500 ASA, I would have left them
on to create ambience with the smoke, but
at 3,200 ASA, we had them at almost noth-
ing, he says.
Three 1,200-watt Robert Juliat
follow spots were placed on the rear
balcony in positions relative to the left, right
and center of stage. Libatique switched
from one lamp to another to find the opti-
mum light for the camera angle. I used the
same follow spots for the first scene in Black
Swan, he notes. Theyre smaller than
Source Fours, which makes them trickier to
operate because you need to be more deli-
cate.
By contrast, the 2K Xenon Super
Troupers used at the Hollywood Bowl were
bears to move around. Theyre 6 feet long
and 2 feet wide.
The Hollywood Bowl already owned
two 2K Super Troupers, so the production
brought in one to match the setup at the El
Rey, raising it on a scissor lift from one of the
venues middle promenades. You need
[Super Troupers] to cover a distance like
that, but theyre punchy lights, even for 500
ASA, says Libatique. In this case, we
rolled them with at least an ND.3 to get to
T11, and we ended up shooting at a T8 so
we could take in the whole space from front
to back.
The Super Troupers beams were
tight enough to cut Timberlake out of the
background, rendering the band and
backup dancers as silhouettes against the
band shells architectural Color Kinetics LEDs
and 750-watt Strand foot lights.
A matching dance routine is intercut
with the story elements, with the perform-
ers backed by a chorus line of moving lights.
Davids description of the dance space was
moving lights on the mirrored floor at 18-
inch centers. At 18-inch centers, we didnt
want the beams to overlap too much.
For moving lights, Libatique chose
the 190-watt Clay Paky Sharpy. We
needed a light with a tight beam, and [the
Sharpys] have a range of 0 to 3.8 degrees,
he says. Lighting-desk programmer Joshua
Thatcher, who worked with Libatique on
Iron Man (AC May 08) and Iron Man 2 (AC
May 10), choreographed multiple passes
for the filmmakers to consider.
Jay-Z contributes a rap to the second
half of the song, and this is interpreted with
stylized shots of dancers against mono-
chrome backgrounds. Libatique explains,
The trampoline setup was shot with two
cameras, with one pointed at a white cyc
and the other at a black curtain. There were
three 10K Fresnels on each side of the
frame at -back positions, and we created
toplight with four 6K coops. The water
set was lit with a wall of dimmed 5K
Skypans and an overhead row of Par bars.
All of these shots were captured at higher
frame rates, and Libatique achieved expo-
sure compensation by pulling NDs and
widening the T-stop.
By the time the video reached Light
Iron colorist Ian Vertovec, the only work that
remained was an application of blurs, keys
and transfer modes in Pablo to achieve the
kinescope solarization look Fincher
requested. Apart from that, says Libatique,
what you see in the video is pretty much
what we saw on the monitor.
18 May 2013 American Cinematographer
Timberlake
directs musicians
in the recording
studio at Capitol
Records (right)
and sings
onstage with
background
dancers (below).
20 May 2013 American Cinematographer
Rendering Altered States for Trance
By Anthony Dod Mantle, ASC, BSC, DFF
My films with Danny Boyle are always very different. With
each one, he changes planets, and I like that. When he gave me the
script for Trance, he said, as usual, Here you go, Anthony. Its a little
one. He thinks he just does small films, and I suppose he does it
with a clean conscience because our budgets are never very big! But
small Trance was never going to be.
It was initially posed to me as a heist film, and that didnt inter-
est me at all. But when I read John Hodge and Joe Ahearnes script,
I realized it starts as a heist film, but then shifts into a strange jour-
ney that I relate far more to Danny as a director: an exploration of all
these weird aspects of our intelligence, and how we perceive and
deal with reality. Its a brain fuck, one that I knew would be guided
by a very astute mind.
Its also a London film, and that was attractive to us both.
After 28 Days Later (AC July 03), where we covered the city in
toilet paper and intestines, Trance gave us a chance to come back
and find other environments! It also gave us another chance to work
with Mark Tildesley, a phenomenal production designer. So, I never
really hesitated.
Danny and I prefer to be on a real location, and a lot of intu-
itive work goes on as we explore locations with the production
designer. I find this phase of a project really creative and inspiring.
Thats where we really make the film. It took me a while to drill my
way into Trance, and the best way we could do that together was
by standing in the spaces, talking about the characters and looking
at surfaces. As we did that, Id run around with my iPhone, with the
Artemis app set to the correct format and aspect ratio, and take
thousands of stills. Many of these images survived from the first
recce through to being almost perfectly replicated in the final film.
These small experiments during prep sometimes summon
new ideas that, in turn, create artistic themes and rules for the film
at hand. As we walked around, Id find weird, abstract shots that
involved reflections, sometimes two or three layers of them; we felt
this was right for scenes related to the disorientation experienced by
Simon (James McAvoy) after his accident. Eventually, we also
decided to use reflections to ease the audience into trance scenes,
when Simon slips into a hypnotized state.
I am fascinated by these very small cameras that I can play
with in my own way, and Danny loves it if I can slip a second or third
camera in, or capture a little textural detail with something small
while were shooting. We started doing it on 28 Days Later, and
we really explored it with the multiple formats on Slumdog Million-
aire (AC Dec. 08). On Trance I knew wed be working in some very
small locations, and I also knew I would be working with abstract
layers and could get away with a limited rendition of detail; I associ-
ate trance and altered states with something very different from
high resolution and high definition.
Production Slate
T
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.
Top: Simon
(James McAvoy)
collapses in a
Tube station in
a fractured
frame from
Trance. Bottom:
Reference
photos Anthony
Dod Mantle,
ASC, BSC, DFF
shot during
prep using his
iPhone and the
Artemis app.
I

22 May 2013 American Cinematographer


Indiecams 1080p IndiePOV camera
came into the mix because my initial idea
for achieving the slipping-into-trance effect
was to strap two Indiecams together and
create a morph between the two parallel
images. (I suspect this was an idea I had
started developing for a 3-D film that never
materialized. The idea lingered, waiting to
rear its head at an appropriate moment.)
But late in prep, Danny clarified that he did
not want to overstate the slipping-into-
trance moment, and he wanted to make
graphically clear the slipping-out-of-trance
moment. (We decided to use lens flares for
the latter.) So the idea of using the dual-
Indiecam rig faded, but I was still keen to
find a use for them.
Danny always likes a preshoot,
and I always endeavor (at big risk) to add to
what is usually too short a prep time by
extending my technical explorations into the
preshoot. This has sometimes given us
frightening moments, as we are so often on
the edge of breaking camera technology
(and happily so). On all our films, weve had
to troubleshoot a little into the shooting
period, and Danny embraces this as part of
our process.
Our preshoot on Trance was a car
sequence we shot with James in a little 2CV
in the French countryside. We had to travel
light and keep the filming down low, so I
had to find some kind of solution that I
hoped could then develop as part of the
palette of the film. I brought along the
Indiecam, and we clamped it to the car
window, adding double-layer reflective
surfaces between James and the Indiecam
in-camera. From that point on, throughout
the shoot, the Indiecams were always near
at hand for me to use to appropriate effect;
this was often related to a degree of fram-
ing or particularly intense close work.
I used three or four Indiecams as in
situ placed cameras, always in situations
where I knew exactly what the shot was
and where the focus had to be. I could
often very easily camouflage them in shot
while working with other formats simulta-
neously, and to achieve this I worked incred-
ibly tightly with my key grip, Rupert Lloyd-
Parry; my digital-imaging technician, Dan
Carling; and my ever-supportive gaffer,
Thomas Nievelt. I used only Indiecams C-
mount lenses with their cameras, mainly the
8mm, 12mm, 16mm and 25mm, because
the joy for me was keeping it small. But
with C-mounts, you really have to select the
right focal lengths, fully comprehend their
restricted capabilities and then work
creatively within those limitations. (Ed.
Note: Dod Mantle captured in Indiecams
12-bit raw format to SSDs via Blackmagic
Designs HyperDeck Shuttle. See diagram at
left.)
I shot the main body of Trance with
the Arri Alexa Plus and Alexa M, capturing
in ArriRaw to Codex recorders. In fact, Arri
sent us the very first prototype of the M,
and I would say that it and the Indiecam
were equally important on this film. We
used the M a bit in the 2CV car scene, but
it truly came to the fore in the films final car
sequence, where Simon, Elizabeth (Rosario
Dawson) and Franck (Vincent Cassel) drive
to the waterfront at night in the rain. The
scene involved 6-8 pages of dialogue, and
we shot it all onstage at 3 Mills Studios. We
elevated the car and removed its bottom
half, surrounded it with colored LEDs
programmed on a chase pattern, and, in
Top and middle: Dod Mantle used a mix of cameras during a preshoot with McAvoy in a
Citron 2CV in France. The top frame was shot with his Canon DSLR. The middle frame was shot with
Indiecams IndiePOV camera. Bottom: The productions Indiecam workflow.
24 May 2013 American Cinematographer
the background, projected abstract images
Id delegated to second unit. We also had
rain effects and oil on the windows. We
suspended the Alexa M in the middle of the
car, attached three monitors on each side of
the camera body so I could frame and oper-
ate 270 degrees, and shot long takes as well
as safety singles and we got it all in one
day. It was exhausting, and it was difficult
for focus off the monitor with me correcting
and pulling as well.
I always have a handheld rig on
standby so that I can pop in and do some-
thing different, and I find the Alexa Studio
and Plus to be physically inhibiting outside
the conventional on-the-shoulder handheld
technique, so I was keen to get the M. That
said, however, Trance has a great deal of
dialogue, and Danny and I feel weve been
a little more conventional with camera
moves on this one. But its important that
the cinematography supports the editing
rather than restricting it by inconsistent
movement or wrong movement. For me,
the wrong camera move is equivalent to an
actor changing language in the middle of a
take! We found that linear moves and a lot
of lateral tracks suited Trance. We often
used the Alexa on a jib arm in what we
called a dragging manner, kind of track-
ing across and dragging the face slowly
through the scene under the dialogue.
These shots were supplemented by our
excellent Steadicam/B-camera operator,
Alastair Rae.
We used Hawk V-Lite 1.3x anamor-
phic lenses with the Alexas to maximize the
16x9 sensor for a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The
Hawks are beautiful, but close focus in the
32mm-50mm range can be a little frustrat-
ing for handheld and Steadicam work, so I
supplemented with a few spherical lenses:
8mm, 14mm and 20mm Zeiss Ultra Primes;
a 300-600mm Canon zoom; a 24mm Arri
Macro; and a 45-250mm Fuji Alura zoom.
I maintain a permanent creative
dialogue with Canon regarding develop-
ment of their new technology. I always have
my [1D] Mark IV DSLR around, and I used it
on Trance to shoot some bursting for the
Top: Simon
gradually opens
up to his
hypnotherapist
(Rosario
Dawson).
Middle: Simon
threatens Franck
(Vincent Cassel)
in this frame
grab from the
climactic scene.
Bottom: Dod
Mantles
lighting setup
for the scene,
which he shot
onstage with an
Arri Alexa M.
car scene in France. I also shot several
scenes with Canons new 4K C500 on our
pickup shoots. One scene shows Simon
standing on the edge of the roof of Franks
nightclub, threatening to jump off. James
wore the C500 as a body rig as he climbed
up. Another scene shows Simon leaving
Elizabeth alone in a taxi. It had to be shot in
very short time in a real taxi, and I used the
C500 handheld from the front seat.
I find postproduction to be the most
creative part of filmmaking, and Trance
gave me an opportunity to work once again
with colorist Jean-Clement Soret, my collab-
orator on 28 Days Later , Millions, Slum-
dog Millionaire and 127 Hours [AC Dec.
10]. It was a very busy three weeks at Tech-
nicolor London. Danny is a devil at changing
the edit up to the last day of the grade, but
if this makes the film better, then I am
always happier. Danny is a director who
comprehends the immense advantage of
being on hand or close at hand with graded
images and final mixed sound in the edit,
when filmmakers can get those last-minute
creative ideas that lift a film further. The
grade is an incredibly creative space if the
right people are sitting in with the right atti-
tude.
During the course of the grade and
final edit, Danny always comes in with a
few essential points that I keep in the back
of my mind throughout the process. On
Slumdog the key words were speed,
running and young childs eyes and
energy. The goal with that grade was also
about clarification in terms of color and
energy, as we had three major territories
(the slums, the middle story, and the
contemporary plot involving the TV game
show) and wanted to help the audience
follow the plot in any way possible. Danny
always bangs on about this, as he is aware
that some of his films have challenged audi-
ences in that respect.
For Trance, Dannys main concern
was that we be able to read the actors
faces as clearly as possible, because the
narrative is complicated and runs at an
incredible pace. Sometimes one simple
sentence is cut across time into three or
more different locations or spaces. Now, I
generally light for mood. I love to see the
actors eyes, but I often like to bring lights
around to the side, sometimes higher; this
also helps us shoot very fast. But in the
grade, Danny was very emphatic that he
wanted every possible bit of contact with
the actors eyes, regardless of how short the
scene was. So, Jean-Clement and I spent an
enormous amount of time working on the
windows for eyes, trying to enhance access
to the thoughts or moods of the three main
characters. Trance is fundamentally a
humorous but intelligent, demanding exer-
cise in a modern Hitchcock framework.
There is a deliberate ambivalence to some
actions. The audience has to pay attention
in order to separate the lies from the truth,
and the clues are all in the faces of the
actors. It was an enormous task to protect
and enhance this idea in the grade.
Of course, there are some ambi-
tious, inexplicable cuts from the Alexa
straight to the Indiecam, and I get it in the
face, really! But when you work as Danny
and I do, the risks of marrying different
image resolutions and definitions are
always there, and afterwards, you cant
really complain to the editor that he didnt
stay within the format!
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1
Digital Capture
Arri Alexa Plus, Alexa M;
Indiecam IndiePOV; Canon EOS C500,
EOS-1D Mark IV; Phantom Gold
Hawk V-Lite 1.3x, Zeiss Ultra Prime, Canon,
Arri Macro, Fuji Alura, Indiecam
26 May 2013 American Cinematographer
Dod Mantle (left)
and director
Danny Boyle
discuss a setup.
Danny and I
prefer to be on a
real location, and
he usually has
very clear ideas
about the
locations he
wants when
we start prep,
says the
cinematographer.
The city in
Trance could
really be any city
in Europe, but
you sense its
London if you
know London.

28 May 2013 American Cinematographer


Torn Loyalties
By Jean Oppenheimer
Based on the 2007 bestseller by
Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamental-
ist concerns a Pakistani-born, Princeton-
educated, Wall Street financial analyst,
Changez (Riz Ahmed), who moves back to
Pakistan after his hard-won American
dream crumbles in the wake of the 2001
terrorist attacks on the United States.
Overnight, the color of his skin and his
Muslim faith transform him into a perceived
threat. Back in Lahore, he comes under the
influence of militant Islamists and finds
himself torn between love and hate for
America.
The film is the latest collaboration
between director Mira Nair and cinematog-
rapher Declan Quinn, ASC, whose earlier
projects include Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love
(AC Feb. 97), Monsoon Wedding and
Vanity Fair (AC Sept. 04). Because filming in
Pakistan was out of the question, they shot
Reluctant Fundamentalist in the Union Terri-
tory of Delhi, India, which isnt far from the
Pakistani border, so the weather and the
feel of the place are the same, says Quinn.
Even the architecture is similar to what you
would find in Pakistan.
The story opens in Lahore and trav-
els two related paths. At its core, the movie
is a thriller that revolves around an extended
conversation between Changez and a jour-
nalist/covert CIA operative, Bobby (Liev
Schreiber), who suspects Changez was
involved in the recent kidnapping of an
American professor. The flashbacks to
Changezs life in America constitute the
second story track.
Quinn, who does his own operating,
shot most of the picture on an Arri Alexa
Studio (with a 4x3 sensor), using a lens
package that included Cooke S4 primes, a
set of Zeiss Superspeed primes, an Ange-
nieux Optimo 24-290mm T2.8 zoom, and
his own vintage Cooke 20-60mm T3.1
zoom. He notes that he has used his Cooke
zoom on nearly all of his features. I like its
quality and range, as well as its coatings.
Theres a different color coating on each
element, and it [produces] a kind of pris-
matic flare, especially when crossing a
point-light source, like a bare bulb or the
sun. (Arri CSC provided the rented camera
equipment.)
The digital format was chosen
mainly for budget reasons, according to
Quinn, but the production shot film for a
few Pakistan exteriors that couldnt be repli-
cated elsewhere, and for scenes shot in
Istanbul, where Changez meets a publisher
who challenges his worldview. A local
cameraman, Saqib Malik, shot the Pakistan
footage on Kodak Vision2 250D 5205, and
Nair, Quinn and producer Lydia Pilcher hired
a small crew in Turkey for the Istanbul
scenes, which Quinn shot on 5205 using an
Arricam Lite. We didnt do any lighting in
Turkey, he notes. We just found places
that looked good in the existing light.
The filmmakers built the interior of
the rundown teahouse where Changez and
Bobby converse in a 1920s-era hostel in the
old section of New Delhi. It was renting
rooms at hourly rates when we got there,
Quinn notes in a descriptive aside. He used
HMIs to augment the natural light coming
through the locations two doors, and he
also wanted to create a sense of light leak-
ing in from the roof overhead. The hostel
was an open room, three stories high, with
balconies on each level and a peaked roof
at the top. We just removed much of the
corrugated-metal roof, erected a simple
truss grid and hung a 60-by-20-foot frame
of bleached muslin. 6K HMIs were
bounced into the large muslin to create an
ambient-daylight feel. When we wanted
the ambient light darker, we stretched Half
Changez (Riz
Ahmed) grapples
with conflicted
feelings about
America in The
Reluctant
Fundamentalist,
directed by Mira
Nair and shot by
Declan Quinn,
ASC.
I
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30 May 2013 American Cinematographer
or Quarter Grid Cloth or a Half Soft Frost
rag over the whole opening, effectively
double diffusing the source.
To suggest a beam of direct sunlight,
a 12K Par with a narrow lens was aimed
into a custom-built 5'x5' mirror on a stand
atop a concrete catwalk that encircled the
roof. Gels varied the color of the sunlight.
For the actors keylight, says Quinn,
we used a 12-by-8-foot piece of clay-coat
[UltraBounce] or muslin in a frame and
bounced small HMIs or even Kino Flos into
it. I wanted the light around the actors to be
really soft and natural, so we often would
diffuse it again with a loose rag of Half Soft
Frost really close to the actors, smearing the
light just a bit more. Highlights in the eyes
become much punchier on digital than they
do on film. It can look almost vampire-like,
and the layer of Half Soft Frost helps to
create a much softer, more natural-looking
glow in the eyes.
Quinn was especially pleased with
the Alexa Studios internal 1.5ND filter. It
doesnt get in the way of the viewing
system, and when you look through the
optical viewfinder, you still get all the light
thats coming through the lens, he says.
Occasionally we had to also add NDs. We
always tried to shoot close to wide open,
somewhere between an f2.8 and an f4.5.
In prep, Quinn shot tests comparing
ProRes 4:2:2 to ArriRaw. We couldnt
really afford to shoot ArriRaw, but I wanted
to see if I could get away with shooting
4:2:2 for a 2.40:1 aspect ratio without
losing too much image quality. ArriRaw
looked slightly better, but it wasnt a huge
difference. I knew we would feel it on a few
wide landscape shots, though, so we
brought three ArriRaw Codex mags and
used them for those shots.
Quinn shot most of the picture
handheld or on a bungee rig he created. I
like the camera to float and move around
and react, and for years I have been using
this simple rig thats basically a long
bungee. I use long lengths of latex surgical
tubing and hang it from the highest point
possible, using webbing and carabiners to
attach the camera and fine-tune its hang
point. If the camera hovers about 3 feet off
the ground, I can move it 5 or 6 feet in any
direction with almost no effort. If your arms
arent used to it, though, the camera can
Top and middle:
Changez speaks
with Bobby (Liev
Shreiber), a
journalist/covert
CIA operative, in
a teahouse.
Bottom:
Musicians play at
a backyard party
in Pakistan.
wobble a bit! It just takes practice.
The rig was perfect for filming
Changez and Bobby talking at the table.
Bending over a long eyepiece, Quinn could
do an over-the-shoulder, push into a single
or just improvise as the actors played the
scene.
Quinn used dollies for the long open-
ing sequence, which takes place at night
and cuts back-and-forth among various
characters and locations, generating a sense
of foreboding. The montage starts at a
backyard party in Lahore, where guests are
seated on the ground listening to music, and
it ends with kidnappers grabbing the Amer-
ican professor off the street, throwing him
into a car and speeding off.
Mira wanted to capture the musi-
cians performance live, says Quinn. Our
main take was [facing] the singers for the
entire length of their 20-minute song. We
spent the rest of the evening doing cover-
age, using two cameras and shooting wide
open. The A camera, rigged with the
vintage Cooke zoom and operated by
Quinn, was on a bungee rig hanging off a
dolly. The B camera, an Alexa Studio
equipped with the Optimo, was operated by
Indian cinematographer Shanker Raman,
who improvised from a dolly and 40' of
track.
We shot everything from one direc-
tion the first night, and from the opposite
direction the second, says Quinn. Shoot-
ing wide open on longer lenses gave us very
shallow depth-of-field. Your eye falls on one
spot in the frame, and the rest is kind of
smeared, so the image has a slightly myste-
rious quality.
The sequence was shot on location
in an upscale neighborhood of New Delhi.
Quinn kept the key characters wrapped in
soft sidelight by bouncing into clay-coats
placed as far back as possible, or using
direct Arri T12s double diffused through
muslin and/or Grid Cloth. To illuminate the
large yard, his crew placed small Fay bulbs
or nook lights to uplight trees and foliage to
create depth. The minimal fill was created
by small fixtures, candles and torches scat-
tered around the space.
New York exteriors were shot in
Manhattan, while interiors were filmed in
Atlanta, Ga. For these scenes, Mira
wanted crisp daylight, blue skies and cool
light, Quinn recalls. Its a noticeable
contrast to the Pakistan scenes, where the
light has a kind of dusty warmth.
A key set in America is Ericas Brook-
lyn apartment, and most of the scenes there
take place at night. In one scene, Quinn had
to do a tracking shot down the length of
the loft as Erica and Changez enter the
apartment and move through patches of
light and shadow. He recalls, There were
two long walls of windows at a right angle
to one another, and we positioned Arri T12s
on Condors about 250 feet away, out in the
street. It gave a sense of streetlight coming
in and projected the window frames onto
the walls. We used Lee 013 [Straw Tint] gels
in front of the lights as our streetlight color.
In the bedroom, Erica moves
between shadows and crisp light what
Quinn calls that old-Hollywood, hard
beauty light whereas Changez has no
direct light on him. He is lit solely by the
bounce off Ericas face and body. He is in
that kind of murky place, just as their rela-
tionship is, says Quinn.
The cinematographer has high
praise for 1st AC Stanley Fernandez Jr., 2nd
AC Braden Belmonte, Indian gaffer Mulc-
hand Dedhia, Indian key grip Sanjay Sami,
digital-imaging technician Bjorn G. Jackson,
and all of his Atlanta and New York
crewmembers.
Quinn credits colorist Joe Gawler at
Harbor Pictures with pulling the very best
out of the ProRes and ArriRaw data in the
DI. I find that with digital cameras, the color
information from middle gray to black is
weak; the amount of chroma data seems to
correlate directly with luminance data, so in
the darker areas of the image, there is very
little color information to work with. Joe
and I worked to build color contrast in the
shadows to give the image more film-like
depth.
For Quinn, one of the most unex-
pected joys of working with Nair has been
learning yoga. Starting with Monsoon
Wedding, Mira brought serious yoga teach-
ers aboard each production. Every morning
for an hour or so, they lead the crew in
yoga. The benefit is energy, health and flex-
ibility. Filmmaking is hard on people the
long hours can beat you down. Yoga
bolsters your spirit and gives you extra
strength when that 12th or 13th hour
comes along. Thanks to Mira, yoga has
become an important part of my life.
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1
Digital Capture and 35mm
Arri Alexa Studio; Arricam Lite
Cooke, Angenieux, Zeiss
Kodak Vision2 250D 5205
Digital Intermediate

On location in India, Quinn prepares to use the Arri Alexa Studio with his own vintage
Cooke zoom and his homemade bungee rig. Next to him is key grip Sanjay Sami, and at far
left (wearing hat) is gaffer Mulchand Dedhia.
32 May 2013 American Cinematographer
Surviving the
Future
Surviving the
Future
Claudio Miranda, ASC puts
Sonys 4K F65 camera through its
paces on the sci-fi thriller Oblivion.
By Jay Holben
|
34 May 2013 American Cinematographer
www.theasc.com May 2013 35
P
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o
s

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i
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e
s
,

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s
.
Opposite: Jack
Harper (Tom Cruise)
runs for cover in a
scene from
Oblivion, directed
by Joseph Kosinski
and shot by Claudio
Miranda, ASC.
This page, top:
Harper maneuvers
through unknown
territory. Middle:
Julia (Olga
Kurylenko) joins
Harper after she is
found in a downed
spacecraft. Bottom:
Kosinski (left) and
Miranda line up
a shot.
I
n Oblivion, which is set in the year
2073, the Earth lies in ruins from an
alien invasion that happened several
decades earlier. The surviving
humans have long since been evacuated,
and robot drones patrol the planet,
searching for any remaining resources
that can help the human race. Jack
Harper (Tom Cruise) has been tasked
with repairing the drones, and as his
assignment draws to its close, he is
shocked to stumble upon another
human, a woman (Olga Kurylenko), in
a downed spacecraft. Suddenly, he is
attacked by a group of humans, the
Scavs, and taken captive. Upon meeting
the Scavs leader, Malcolm Beech
(Morgan Freeman), Harper discovers
there is an entire city of people inhabit-
ing a secret underworld on the planet.
Written and directed by Joseph
Kosinski, Oblivion is based on the
graphic novel Kosinski co-wrote with
Arvid Nelson. It is the directors second
feature with cinematographer Claudio
Miranda, ASC, a collaborator on Tron:
Legacy (AC Jan. 11).
Production began in March
2012, three months after Sony began
shipping its F65 digital-cinema camera,
and Oblivion became one of the first
features to use it. Every time I do a new
project, I do tests with many cameras to
find the one thats best for that project,
36 May 2013 American Cinematographer
and we tested just about every camera
out there for Oblivion, says Miranda.
Sony cameras definitely have a partic-
ular look, one thats a little cooler than,
say, the Arri Alexa, and Joe really loves
that look. He liked what the [Sony] F35
gave us on Tron, and he was really a fan
of the F65 in our tests for Oblivion.
So, we ended up being some of
the first guinea pigs for the F65 in a
production scenario, he continues. It
gives you a fantastic image, but its a
large camera, and the ergonomics arent
necessarily the most user friendly.
When we wanted to put body mounts
on Tom Cruise or do quick Steadicam
moves, we used Red Epics instead. But
about 98 percent of the movie was shot
with the F65.
Miranda captured in 4K with the
F65 and in 5K (at 3:1 compression)
with the Epic-M and Epic-X, using
Arri Master Primes and Fujinon
Premiere PL zoom lenses. (The picture

Surviving the Future


Top: Harper and Julia look out from Harpers
residence 2,000' above the ground.
Middle: The camera is positioned inside the
set, which was surrounded by a 494'-wide-
by-42'-tall projection screen that enabled
interactive sky effects. Bottom: Projection
programmer Jack Alexander controls
the sky onstage.
www.theasc.com May 2013 37
was finished in 2K and was cropped to
2.40:1 for standard theatrical exhibition
and 1.90:1 for Imax.) We considered
shooting anamorphic, but I wanted to
use faster lenses, he explains. We used
the Master Primes for most of our work,
but the Fujinon [Premier] zooms were
very impressive, and we used them for
crane work and helicopter work, just to
make sure we had a good variety of focal
lengths. When I did side-by-side lens
tests in prep, I found the Fujinons are
actually sharper than the Master
Primes, which was hard to believe! We
had all four of them: 14.5-45mm [T2],
18-85mm [T2], 24-180mm [T2.6] and
75-400 [T2.8]. A couple of shots called
for a telescope point-of-view, and we
put a doubler on the 75-400mm, giving
me an 800mm. I couldnt believe how
sharp it was.
Exteriors were shot in volcanic-
rock terrain in Iceland, but the film-
makers built all their sets on stages in
Baton Rouge, La. One of the main sets
is Harpers residence, a glass structure
2,000' above ground on a tower. It offers
expansive views of the sky, which is
colored by constantly moving clouds,
the suns movement and atmospheric
conditions. Miranda recalls that he and
Top: This frame grab
shows the exterior of
Harpers home in the
clouds. Middle:
Harpers partner,
Victoria (Andrea
Riseborough), studies
an instrument panel.
Bottom: The camera
crew works in front
of the projected
background.
38 May 2013 American Cinematographer
Kosinski began discussing the sky tower
long before their official prep started.
We wanted to stay away from blue-
screen and do as much in-camera as
possible, says the cinematographer.
Neither of us likes the limitations blue-
screen composites put on a set. Harpers
place is supposed to look futuristic and
polished, and we didnt want to make all
the surfaces dull to avoid blue [light]
pollution. We didnt want to end up in a
situation where most of the set was
made of CGI.
Miranda suggested going old
school in a very modern way. Using the
concept of frontscreen projection, he
proposed surrounding the set with
projection screen and utilizing high-end
video projectors to create the sky all
around the set. Production Resources
Group, a company that specializes in
concert tours and other specialized
events, brought in 21 Barco FLM-
HD20 20,000-lumen 1080 HD projec-
tors, along with 11 custom Mbox
Extreme v3 media servers, to create a
270-degree projection around the entire
set. It was 494' wide by 42' tall; more
than 60 layers of video were combined
to create a final blended image resolu-
tion of 18,288 x 1080 pixels.
We sent a crew out to Hawaii to
shoot sky and cloud plates with three
Red Epics, and those were stitched
together to create 15K motion plates for
the projectors, explains Miranda. We
had lots of different looks, including
blue skies, fog and sunsets. All of the
footage played back at about triple
normal speed, so the clouds had a little
extra dynamic energy to them. We
loaded all the footage into the media
servers, and then we could just press
Play.
With all the sequences loaded
on the server, we had the ability to fully
control the sky. If we wanted to change
the sun direction, we simply called up a
different clip, or borrowed one part of
the scene from the other side of the
projection. We could flip and flop cloud
formations around [to achieve] the most
dynamic looks, and we could get it all
in-camera in real time.
This meant our production
designer, Darren Gilford, didnt have to
compromise in his design for the set
we could have all the glass and shiny
surfaces we wanted! continues

Surviving the Future


Top: Harper surveys the landscape from the vantage of his helicopter/spaceship hybrid.
Bottom: Harper accidentally discovers the remnants of the New York Public Library.
www.theasc.com May 2013 39
Miranda. And, if we had to have a blue-
screen, we could just switch one or more
projectors to blue, and that gave us an
instant bluescreen anywhere we needed
it. It was also liberating for Tom and the
other actors because they werent acting
in a blue void; they were experiencing
the environment in a very real way.
With this method, I always
knew what the background would be
and how to compose for it. I actually
used the light from the projections for
much of the lighting in the sky tower. It
gave us a huge source that was very
beautiful natural light. In some cases,
wed use some additional bounce to
bring that light closer [to an actor], but
that was it.
By testing the projection rig
extensively in prep, Miranda deter-
mined that each projector could only
cover a 42'-wide area and still give him
the brightness he needed for exposure.
I was calculating
1
3 under a T2 that
became my base mark, he says. Then,
I knew wed need a 4-to-6-foot overlap
for each of the images to make the tran-
sitions as seamless as possible. We could
deal with some distortion from time to
time because we were projecting clouds,
which are very forgiving, but if there
were any visible seams, we were dead.
Even a production as large as
Oblivion has a finite budget, and the
projection rig was a considerable
expense. I had to find the most
economical yet effective way to cover
the area we needed to cover, says
Miranda. This meant that the projector
was sometimes horizontal and some-
times vertical. I also figured I would
lose about
1
3 of a stop from all the glass,
so I planned to shoot everything at a
T1.4
1
3. That was right on the hairy
edge of where I was getting exposure,
but if I wanted to increase that, we
would have needed twice as many
projectors, and that was out of the ques-
tion.
Miranda considered asking the
Left: Harper is
interrogated by
Malcolm Beech
(Morgan
Freeman), the
leader of an
insurgency group
on Earth. Below:
For Beechs
introduction,
Freeman lit
himself with a
single match.
40 May 2013 American Cinematographer
art department to paint the projection
wall gray, but he went with bright white
instead to maximize the reflection off
the wall. In a typical front-projection
scenario, a gain or retro-reflective screen
might be used where the projection
surface has a very high reflectivity, but
that wouldnt work in this situation
because the wall was curved and would
be seen from many different angles.
The next task was determining
where to place the projectors, and the
filmmakers found that mounting them
directly under the set worked best.
Custom housings were created for each
projector that allowed cool air to be
pumped in and featured a small aper-
ture for the lens to poke out. Individual
mirrors were mounted at each projec-
tion port so the beam could be adjusted
panned and tilted without requir-
ing an adjustment to the position of the
projector or the housing. These hous-
ings were mounted under the sky
towers helipad and in various places
both above and below the set to fill the
projection wall. Miranda recalls that it
took 10 technicians nearly three weeks
to install the projectors and get them all
synced and custom-warped to the shape
of the projection wall to create a seam-
less image.
Another bonus to avoiding blue-
screen composite was that Miranda was
free to incorporate atmosphere in the
set. I like to use smoke quite a bit, and
we were able to put some in the sky
tower, he says. In one scene, the char-
acters are literally fogged in, and we
were able to run the projectors in the
background and put real fog all around
the set. The light interacted with it in a
very real, beautiful way.

Surviving the Future


Top: Harper approaches Julias downed spaceship. Bottom: Miranda operates the wheels
on a remote camera control.

42 May 2013 American Cinematographer


How to work with the projec-
tions occupied my mind for a long time,
and I studied previsualizations and 3-D
models and did a lot of other research to
figure out how this would come
together, he adds. If we did a dolly
move, would the projection look false?
Would it look good if the clouds were
always moving? In the end, the result is
really amazing. It doesnt draw your
attention; it just feels very real. When I
first walked out onto the set with the
projection going, I thought, Wow, this
works way better than I thought it
would! Its definitely a technique Joe and
I will take with us to other productions.
imagined that even if it were a sunny
day, [the shaft] would feel more like
ambient light than direct light.
The space above the set was so
limited that Miranda knew he wouldnt
be able to rig large fixtures and diffuse
them, so instead, he had his crew rig a
12'x20' soft silver reflector to the stage
ceiling and then bounce three 18K
HMIs into it. Each of the 18Ks was
about 30 feet from the hole, shooting
up into the silver to bounce down, says
the cinematographer. The distance
between the hole and the stage ceiling
was about 10 feet, but this solution
created the feeling that the sky was
miles above the hole.
Once Harper drops into the
library, the lighting becomes even
simpler. We basically lit that with the
flashlight Tom was carrying, says
Miranda. We had a couple of small
cheater lights in the library, but they
only did about 5 percent of the lighting.
We hid white cards around the set and
asked Tom to hit them, and we also had
grips moving around with muslin sheets
to reflect light. We were mostly wide
open on the Master Primes, rating the
F65 at 800 ISO.
When the Scavs capture Harper,
they tie him to a chair in the bright
Harper spends much of his time
on Earth exploring, and in one scene, he
discovers the remnants of the New York
Public Library. It lies underground,
buried by rubble and debris from the
war, so Harper descends into it through
a hole in the ceiling. A shaft of daylight
coming through the hole lights the
scene.
I didnt want that shaft of light
to be really hard and defined, says
Miranda. I wanted it to feel softer,
more ambient. Interestingly, we had to
shoot this before we went to Iceland to
shoot the exteriors, so I had to guess
what the light quality would be like. I

Surviving the Future


Top: The crew
employs a crane to
get a shot of
Cruise on location
in Iceland. Bottom:
Kosinski (front)
consults with
Miranda (second
from right)
and other
crewmembers.
spotlight of an interrogation chamber.
The spotlight was a household LED
R40 Par, which had a cold, synthetic
feel that I really liked, says Miranda.
Joe wanted the rest of the room to be
pitch black, so that light was all we used.
Then, when we see Beech for the first
time, he lights himself with a single
match. That reflection of Tom in
Morgans glasses was actually done in-
camera. We just moved Tom a little
closer, kept him lit with the LED lamp
and got that beautiful reflection. I joked
with Tom that he was the worlds most
expensive bounce card!
When the lights in the room
suddenly come on, Beechs army of
survivors is revealed. Hundreds of
people stand in the rafters around the
room. Some architectural lights were
worked into the set for this moment,
but keying the crowd was a large soft
box overhead holding six Kino Flo
Image 80s. Even that was too much
light, so I turned off all but one bulb on
each of the Image 80s, Miranda recalls.
Thats one of the wonderful things
about shooting digitally: you can work
in very low-light situations and get
some beautiful images. I love film, but I
know I couldnt have shot Oblivion on
film.
The filmmakers worked with two
F65s throughout the shoot. Miranda
says he prefers to incorporate the B
camera as additional coverage after the
A camera is set. If we can get B cam in
there for a second shot, thats great.
Sometimes, if the scene is emotional,
well do dueling coverage, but I prefer to
avoid that. We did it for a couple of
scenes between Tom and Olga so we
could capture both performances in the
same shot. Its nice for the director to be
able to optimize that connection
between the actors. Its not always the
best for lighting, but it is sometimes
more important for the performances
and the film as a whole.
Harper uses a helicopter/space-
ship hybrid to get around Earth, and in
one sequence, he ends up in an aerial
dogfight in a canyon. Miranda had his
gaffer, Chris Strong, and key grip,
Michael Coo, build three moveable
walls of light that were each 40'x60' and
lined with 50 Philips iW Blast TR
intelligent LED fixtures. One wall went
on each side of the ships cockpit, and
one was positioned above it. The iW
fixtures have a combination of LED
lamps so that they can color shift from
2,700K to 6,500K on command. This
gave Miranda the ability to create what-
ever hue of interactive lighting he
desired. He recalls, We could move the
walls around as needed, and all the
fixtures were connected to a dimmer
board, so we could program chases and
light changes. I wanted them moveable
so we could adjust them around to the
right angle on the action. Direct
sunlight was created with PRGs Bad
Boy automated lights.
Mirandas team used previz
sequences of the CG canyons that the
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ships would be flying through to
program the lighting patterns. It took a
couple of weeks to program all the
different looks we wanted, says the
cinematographer. If the ships came out
of clouds into the sun, we could mimic
that with the iW fixtures. If they dived
into the canyon, then wed go with just
the toplight. If they were spinning in
the canyon, we could easily shift to
sidelight.
Harpers ship has a pair of
plasma cannons, and the crew rigged
the trigger of Harpers firing control
directly to a bank of iW fixtures in front
of the ship. When Harper fired, the
lights would erupt with interactive
plasma bursts. We made the gunfire a
little warm, mixing in more tungsten
LED than daylight, Miranda adds.
Asked about the image workflow
on set, Miranda states, I dont believe
in on-set color correction. I will switch
back and forth between raw and a
look-up table that has light contrast
and color [modifications] so that it
doesnt look horrible. I might dial in my
monitor a bit to the look I want, but I
dont sit in a trailer or a tent and spend
time coloring the image on set and I
dont want someone doing it for me,
either. I think the set is a confusing
place to do that type of work, but
maybe thats just me.
If I can, I will spend time after
work dialing in a look for the days
footage, and on this project, I spent

Surviving the Future


44
Miranda checks the crane-mounted Sony F65.
time in editorial doing basic correction
on the Avid for our early friends-and-
family screenings so they would have a
good image to look at, but I stay away
from doing it on set. I can understand
doing that if you know youre not going
to be involved in the final color work,
but when I know Im going to spend
several weeks with a colorist on the final
grade, I dont see the benefit of taking
the time to do that on set.
Oblivion was posted at Skywalker
Ranch in Marin County, Calif.
Technicolor colorist Mike Sowa
brought a Discreet Lustre to the site so
Miranda could work side-by-side with
Kosinski as the director moved back-
and-forth between sound mixing and
color sessions. Its very convenient
when the director has everything in one
place like that, and it was great to be able
to get to the grading without driving all
over L.A., says Miranda. I spent two
weeks with Mike on the final grade.
They set us up in housing, and I had my
family up there with me, so it was a very
comfortable and relaxing way of work-
ing. It was a wonderful way to finish off
the great experience I had on this film.

TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1 and 1.90:1 Imax
Digital Capture
Sony F65; Red Epic-M, Epic-X
Arri Master Prime,
Fujinon Premier
The crew
captures a
sunset vista
in Iceland.
www.red.com
2013 Red.com, Inc. All rights reserved.
The smallest camera makes the biggest images.
This still frame was pulled from 5k RED EPIC motion footage from 42 Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. & Legendary Pictures Productions LLC.

Ive been shooting lm all my life. Now I shoot RED.

Don Burgess, ASC


48 May 2013 American Cinematographer
A
t a crucial moment in 42, a drama about the period in
which baseball executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford)
teamed with the legendary Jackie Robinson (Chadwick
Boseman) to racially integrate Major League Baseball,
Robinson has simply had enough. Subjected to racist taunts
by Cleveland Indians manager Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk),
Robinson storms into the tunnel leading from the dugout to
the locker room and vents his rage with a baseball bat on a
concrete wall. In the extensively annotated bible that the films
cinematographer, Don Burgess, ASC, maintained on the
production, Burgess wrote that director/writer Brian
Helgeland described Robinson in the tunnel as the bull in the
slaughter chute, rebelling against what lies ahead. The
sequence, he added, should feel primal and bleak. Helgeland
says he intended that the scene not be pretty no keylight
on faces, just blast light in there.
We wanted to simulate bright sun coming in through
the tunnel opening to represent the harsh white world that, at
that moment, has brought Robinson to a breaking point,
Burgess explains. Then, Branch Rickey steps out of the shad-
ows to help him make the right decision. The lighting was
inspired by the way Brian wrote the scene. I worked with
[production designer] Richard Hoover on the design of the
tunnel because it was important that Chadwick stand in the
sweet spot so the lighting effect would work. Richard built
one solid piece of wall, so that was the only place in the tunnel
where Chadwick could swing his bat and break it. This was a
good example of how a cinematographer works with the
production designer in prep.
Gaffer Jim Tynes recalls, We slammed an 18K
Arrimax into the tunnel from outside and made it as hot as we
could. There were some practicals in the tunnel, but it was the
18K coming through, with bounce cards, that did the trick.
The white light came straight off the floor as a shaft of
sunshine would. Its a pretty iconic shot.
Indeed, one of 42s challenges was that it presents a
recognizable historical figure in a period piece loaded with
sports action that also had to be iconic, given how unique
Robinsons moves were on the field. At the same time,
Helgeland wanted the look of the movie to be relatable for
modern audiences. He explains, We wanted to acknowledge
that it was a period piece, but at the same time, we didnt want
the images to feel old-fashioned. Jackie Robinson is still
Don Burgess, ASC helps
Brian Helgeland visualize
Jackie Robinsons dash past Major
League Baseballs color line.
By Michael Goldman
|
A Trailblazers Tale A Trailblazers Tale
www.theasc.com May 2013 49
germane today, so we didnt want it to
seem like a once upon a time-type
thing. Don suggested evolving the look
into a more modern one as the story
progresses [from 1945 to 1947]. Its a
slightly warm period look at the begin-
ning not quite sepia, but warmer
and then, as the story moves along, it
becomes a cooler, more modern look.
Burgess explains that this idea
was sparked by the moment Robinson
becomes a Brooklyn Dodger and dons
the teams white uniform. I wanted a
true contrast between a black man and
his white uniform that was the start-
ing point. Having shot on film for so
long, I still filter when Im shooting, so
I broke down the movies three-year
time frame and determined how to use
filters, diffusion and lighting gels to
progress the imagery.
The story starts with Robinson in
the Negro Leagues, follows him
through the minors, and then ends with
him being called up with the Dodgers.
For the 1945 scenes, Burgess favored
light Tiffen Warm Pro-Mist filtration
(
1
8 or ) on the lens, unbleached
muslin for lighting diffusion, and or
CTO gels on lights. For 1946 scenes,
he switched to
1
8 or Tiffen Warm
Soft/FX filters on the lens, bleached
muslin, and varying strengths of CTS
(
1
8, and ) on lights. Finally, for
1947, he used Tiffen Bronze
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Opposite: 42 tells the
story of Jackie
Robinson (Chadwick
Boseman), the first
African American to
play in Major League
Baseball. Top: Robinson
looks out at Dodger
Stadium with
teammate Pee Wee
Reese (Lucas Black).
Middle: Robinson joins
his teammates in the
locker room. Bottom:
General manager
Branch Rickey (Harrison
Ford) speaks with
Robinson after his bat-
smashing moment of
rage.
50 May 2013 American Cinematographer
Glimmerglass lens filtration; a mix of
bleached muslin, 1000H and white
diffusion; and
1
8 or CTS on lights.
There are a few scenes we wanted to
play cooler, like the scene in the tunnel,
and for those I used [Schneider]
Hollywood Black Magic on the lens and
kept the lights neutral, he adds.
Burgess has used Red Digital
Cinema cameras on several recent
projects, and he decided almost immedi-
ately to shoot 42 with the Red Epics and
Zeiss Ultra Prime lenses. We have
baseball action and slow motion, and the
Epic is well suited for that kind of
work, he observes. In prep, we shot
tests that we took into the DI bay at
Light Iron, and I was able to work with
[colorist] Corinne Bogdanowicz to get
the palette, feel and texture right, so that
made me comfortable.
Burgess adds that his extensive
testing had the added benefit of involv-
ing Bogdanowicz at the start of the
project, a paradigm shift he heartily
endorses. It helped us get the DI done
a lot faster, he says. Our preproduction
tests gave dailies colorist Carissa Tudor a
template that was quite close to the final
look. It was sort of like the old days,
when you started with the work print
and sat with the timer to go over it. That
gave us a guide. Involving the DI
colorist early on means he or she isnt

A Trailblazers Tale
Top: Robinson
keeps his eyes
on the ball.
Below: This
series of frame
grabs illustrates
the layers that
cinematographer
Don Burgess,
ASC and colorist
Corinne
Bogdanowicz
applied to the
image during
the final grade
at Light Iron.
www.theasc.com May 2013 51
The majority of the handheld
work is what Burgess describes as quiet
handheld. Moriarty suggests a defini-
tion: There is a human being holding
the camera, with a sense of quiet breath-
ing, perhaps, but subtle enough that the
effect is mostly unconscious. The audi-
ence should get a sense of rawness or
uncertainty without being hit over the
head. The look of the movie is other-
wise so elegant that the handheld
moments were all carefully thought out
so as not to stick out visually. Burgess
adds, There are action sequences that
involve pushing and shoving, and we
coming into the grade cold and starting
from scratch.
Burgess captured 42 in 5K 2:1
mode for a final aspect ratio of 2.40:1,
recording R3D files onto Red SSD
cards. (He used a compression rate of
5:1.) Filmmakers viewed images on set
on OLED monitors, and waveform
monitors were used to judge exposure.
Footage was downloaded at an HD
Mobile Labs GoCart manned by Tudor,
who then applied preset look-up tables
to the imagery. She explains, I
performed a check sum on the media
and then applied the looks using Red
Cine X Pro and an Avid Artist Color
panel. Most of the picture was shot
outside in the South, where cloud cover-
age can vary by the minute, so each take
had to be graded separately to create an
even look.
Tudor then transferred her files to
digital-imaging technician Mark
Gilmer, who worked in a dailies trailer,
and he processed the media and
produced dailies using a specially
configured Light Iron Outpost cart.
Typically, each day at lunch, the film-
makers watched dailies on a 4'x6' screen
in the trailer.
Helgeland and Burgess decided
to maintain a mobile camera using a
mix of handheld, Steadicam and dolly
work in order to achieve multiple goals.
They wanted to bring viewers into
Robinsons world; offer wide, layered
views of the people and activities that
characterize a baseball diamond; and
create what A-camera/Steadicam oper-
ator Matthew Moriarty calls a high
level of visual energy.
There was also a loose goal to
evoke the look of certain late-1960s and
1970s feature films, though not particu-
larly baseball movies. Jackie Robinson
was a man of action and few words, sort
of like a 1970s-movie character, notes
Helgeland. We liked the grit and feel of
those movies. One major reference was
Cool Hand Luke (1967), shot by Conrad
L. Hall, ASC. Helgeland raves about
Halls compositions, which fill up the
frame with bodies. There is an ensemble
around Paul Newman in that movie,
and we tried to have an ensemble
around Jackie Robinson.
We often have big masters that
involve eight or 10 different speaking
actors, so you get a sense of layers
foreground, mid-ground and back-
ground, says Moriarty. I loved that
discipline. We were shooting wide
enough to see the sets, letting actors
perform with their whole bodies, and
trusting the audience to look where we
wanted them to look. We shot minimal
coverage. Brian put tremendous faith in
Dons ability to make a shot work in one
[master].
Top: The crew
utilized circular
track for a shot
of Boseman at
the plate.
Bottom:
Daylight is
reflected off
bounce boards
and the camera
is positioned on
the "golf rocket"
an electric
golf cart for
a shot along
the baseline.
52 May 2013 American Cinematographer
wanted the camera in the middle of
that, so those moments have a more
obviously handheld feel.
Moriarity notes there is also
plenty of Steadicam in the picture.
Don and Brian had the camera with
Jackie Robinson whenever possible. If
he is moving, the camera is moving. If
he is running the bases, the camera is
right in his face, leading him around the
bases.
Burgess says he used a little bit of
everything to achieve camera moves.
A lot of the dramatic scenes, such as
the ones in Rickeys office, called for
slow moves, so that took us to dollies or
cranes, he says. These included a small
Felix crane with a Mo-Sys head, which
we could put on track and use to get
literally every shot in a scene with
complete freedom in every axis, recalls
Moriarity. In Rickeys office, it let us
pass the camera over the desk and wrap
it back around into a close-up of Rickey
without the move ever really being
noticeable. You could call that a quiet
crane!
Burgess calls his approach to 42
a mixture of typical and specialty film-
making. I like to use a remote head on
the camera a lot, to keep it moving, and
there is also great Steadicam work. It
was a matter of studying Brians script to

A Trailblazers Tale
Top left: 2nd-unit
cinematographer
Michael Burgess
captures a home-
plate collision.
Top right:
2nd-unit
operator Bob
Scott readies a
cradle rig.
Middle and
bottom: A Red
Epic was
positioned
beneath Plexiglas
for shots of
Boseman sliding
into base.
figure out which technique was best for
a particular scene.
Though the main unit carried an
Angenieux Optimo 15-40mm T2.6
zoom lens, a prime lens was usually on
the camera. I want the audience to feel
the movie as the character would, so I
tend to use primes, says Burgess. For
42, I used Ultra Primes ranging from
20mm to 40mm, but I tended to shoot
with wider lenses. Some of the baseball
action required longer focal lengths, but
I stayed wider as much as I could.
Naturally, a large chunk of the
movie consists of day exteriors to docu-
ment the baseball aspect. But there also
were important interior sets, particularly
Rickeys office. Brightening that dingy
space with streams of light whenever
Rickey opened the blinds was important
thematically, says Helgeland. Rickeys
office was his whole world, he notes.
The first time we see that space, its
fairly gloomy, and when he meets with
Robinson, he opens the blinds and lets
light flood in. Rickey loves baseball, but
segregated baseball makes him feel there
is something unfair about something he
loves, so signing Robinson and address-
ing the issue is like shining a light of
truth on the matter.
Tynes notes that the lighting
effect in Rickeys office, which was built
onstage in Atlanta, was a tungsten
setup, mostly 20Ks through the
windows and lights, usually Blondes,
above muslin ceilings, along with practi-
cals in the set.
Rickeys office and the locker
rooms had the same kind of feel: hot
light through the windows and lit back-
ings outside, continues the gaffer. The
locker rooms mostly had white backings
or blown-out windows. To backlight
TransLites, I used 5K Skypans spaced 8
feet on center that lit up the backings
nicely. And because it was a tungsten
set, we had everything on dimmers.
The baseball sequences incorpo-
rate extensive footage shot by the second
unit, which was led by director Allan
Graf, cinematographer/camera operator
Michael Burgess (Dons son), and
camera operator Bob Scott. The second
units mission was to stage a lot of
running the basepaths and stealing
home, the pitcher-batter duels, and
other classic baseball moments, accord-
ing to the senior Burgess.
Michael Burgess says the team
used every means at its disposal to keep
up with Boseman on the field. We ran
two cameras at all times, using
Angenieux Optimo 24-290mm T2.8
zooms and the Ultra Primes, depending
on the shots. We used cranes, dollies,
handheld, cradle rigs and electric carts.
The Epic was ideal for all this work
because its small and lightweight. We
could handhold it while hanging off a
golf rocket going 20 mph, all while
maintaining a quality image.
Indeed, the golf rocket, an elec-
tric golf cart that facilitated camera
setups from multiple angles, was a
crucial tool. On occasion, Moriarty
even attached his Steadicam to the
vehicle with a Garfield mount to
film Robinson rounding the bases. The
goal was to illustrate Robinsons
speed and grace without requiring
extensive cutting, and at angles that
emphasized fast-moving, low-to-the-
ground running shots to sell the speed,
says Moriarty.
We wanted to sell the fact that
were really watching Jackie Robinson,
explains Michael Burgess. We couldnt
use a crane or dolly for those kinds of
shots because they wouldnt be fast
enough and would get in the way of the
shot. So, it was a matter of hanging the
camera off the front or back of the golf
rocket, or holding a Kleven cradle rig
[named for veteran stunt director Max
Kleven], which gave us a lightweight
handheld unit we could hang just above
the ground. That gave the shot great
energy and allowed us to safely get the
camera really close to the actors feet.
To give viewers an intimate view
of Robinson beating a tag and sliding
into base, the second unit would posi-
tion an Epic in a 3'x3' hole covered with
Plexiglas, and Boseman would slide
over it.
The production had to re-create
ballparks from the era, including
Brooklyns Ebbetts Field. All the base-
ball action was filmed at three Minor
League stadiums: Rickwood Field in
Birmingham, Ala.; Engel Stadium in
Chattanooga, Tenn. (which stood in as
the foundation of Ebbetts Field); and
Luther Williams Field in Macon, Ga.,
which was mainly used for spring-train-
ing and Minor League scenes.
Of course, many backgrounds,
walls, fences, poles, crowds and signage
had to be created digitally by the visual-
effects team, which was supervised by
Jamie Dixon. At all of the parks, green-
screens of varying sizes were employed

A Trailblazers Tale
Don Burgess
on set.
extensively, including a giant one that
ranged from foul pole to foul pole at
Engel Stadium.
Moriarty emphasizes that Dixon
deserves a special tip of the hat for
keeping up with all our units and our
ever-moving cameras. Because exten-
sive tracking precautions on the field
werent feasible, Dixon mounted GoPro
Hero2 HD cameras on the Red
cameras with Israeli arms to do plate-
capture work. The GoPros recorded at
48 fps in 1980x960 to capture the maxi-
mum field-of-view. In the end, the
GoPro frames were used to track about
a dozen shots out of roughly 550,
according to Dixon.
Because Burgess created so much
of the films palette in-camera, he
considered the final grade the icing on
the cake. He recalls, Corinne and I
worked on the colors of dirt and grass
and the stadiums, as well as Chadwicks
skin tone and his uniforms. Though we
got as much of it in-camera as we could,
we always knew wed be going in to
tweak things by painting over the top of
our painting, so to speak. We fine-
tuned color, saturation levels and
contrast to elaborate on the ideas we
put in place during the shoot.
Bogdanowicz notes that the
thickness of Burgess digital negative
enabled her to build primary and
secondary grades to advance elements
and looks Burgess had emphasized.
There were eight to nine layers applied
on top of each take, which means there
were literally thousands of layers in this
movie, she says. That meant the grade
could be sculpted into a very precise and
deliberate look that gives the image a
more polished, golden feel to better
represent the period. I used unique
qualifiers [with Quantel Pablo] to sepa-
rate the skin tones and individual
elements of the frame.
The overall look has a warmth
and desaturation that suggests a vintage
feel, but we selectively saturated certain
ino Flos new Celeb

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welcome addition to Kino Flos line of lighting instruments for
any professional lighting application on location or in the studio.
colors and gave more separation to the
image, and then used vignettes to help
focus attention on the main characters
in the frame, she adds. Dodger blue is
important, so we made that very color-
ful, while the skin tones are very natural.
The result is a very unique blend of
vintage and modern looks.
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1
Digital Capture
Red Epic-M, Epic-X
Zeiss Ultra Prime,
Angenieux Optimo
56 May 2013 American Cinematographer
O
ne night over dinner, Canadian director Deepa Mehta
impulsively asked Salman Rushdie about the rights to
his first novel, Midnights Children. By evenings end, she
had optioned the work for $1 and embarked upon the
largest project of her life, a production as epic as the 533-page
novel itself.
Giles Nuttgens, BSC and
director Deepa Mehta bring
Salman Rushdies Midnights
Children to the screen.
By Patricia Thomson
|
As always, she reached out to cinematographer Giles
Nuttgens, BSC, her creative collaborator since 1993, when
George Lucas paired them on an episode of The Young
Indiana Jones Chronicles that was set in India. Since then,
Nuttgens has shot Mehtas trilogy, Fire, Earth and Water, as
well as the feature Heaven on Earth. I wouldnt trust anybody
Conjuring
Hope
www.theasc.com May 2013 57
P
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s

c
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t
e
s
y

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f

P
a
l
a
d
i
n

F
i
l
m
s
.
else, says Mehta.
Spanning 1917-1977, a period
that saw the creation of modern-day
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh,
Midnights Children tells the story of
Saleem and Shiva, who are born at
midnight on Aug. 15, 1947, just as India
declares independence from Great
Britain. A hospital nurse, inspired by
her boyfriends revolutionary ideas,
switches the two newborns, elevating
Saleem to colonial wealth and sending
Shiva into poverty. Their lives remain
intertwined, however, because both are
among the gifted Midnights Children,
who possess supernatural powers, and
whose development reflects Indias
growing pains.
Though much in the film is
propelled by history, it taps into magic
realism and metaphor as it navigates
four generations, 17 main characters, 64
locations and 60 years of political
turmoil. Despite the storys ambitious
scale, which eventually required 300
plates for visual-effects work, the goal
was that this wouldnt turn into a
visual-effects shoot, that it maintain its
focus on the family, which has always
been the focus of Deepas films, says
Nuttgens, who also served as the on-set
visual-effects supervisor. The strength
of our filmmaking has been dealing
with intimate relationships between
groups of people and effectively making
the camera invisible in the process.
Though set mainly in India, prin-
cipal photography was in Sri Lanka,
primarily in Colombo, where colonial
architecture is still intact. Its difficult to
find that older India in India today,
says Mehta, who was born in Punjab.
In Mumbai, Delhi and elsewhere in
India, there are signs of modern civiliza-
tion everywhere, but Sri Lanka has been
caught in a time warp because of its civil
war. There hasnt been much industrial-
ization. She and Nuttgens had also
used Sri Lanka as a stand-in for India
before, when Hindu fundamentalists in
India blocked production of Water,
Mehtas Oscar-nominated drama about
Opposite: Saleem
Sinai (Satya
Bhabha) charms a
snake in a scene
from Midnights
Children. Left:
Saleems parents,
Amina (Shahana
Goswami) and
Ahmed (Ronit
Roy), speak with
William Methwold
(Charles Dance),
the owner of the
estate where they
will live in
Bombay. Below:
10-year-old Saleem
(Darsheel Safary)
hides under a bed
with his sister,
Jamila (Anshikaa
Shrivastava).
58 May 2013 American Cinematographer

Conjuring Hope
a child widow.
The 15-week shoot involved 70
days of principal photography in Sri
Lanka, which provided practical loca-
tions and a warehouse-cum-stage, and
six days of second-unit photography in
India that took place under the direc-
tion of Mehtas brother, Dilip. The
filmmakers shot 3-perf Super 35mm,
and Nuttgens tapped Take 2 in
London for his camera package:
Arricam Studio and Lite cameras, Arri
Master Primes and an Angenieux
Optimo 28-76mm T2.6 zoom.
At first, Mehta and Nuttgens
thought the epic story called for chore-
ographed camera moves and sophisti-
cated dolly work, and the production
brought in dollies and track from
England. But at the last minute, they
decided to go handheld. Mehta feared
that they might get bogged down with
the laying of track and relighting, and
that it would adversely affect the actors
energy. This was an emotional move,
not a technical move, says the director.
Ive never done a shot list in my life.
For me, the actors dictate where the
camera will be.
Thus, the Lite became the A
camera, which was fine with Nuttgens,
who had already shot four handheld
films with it. I think we ran the Studio
just twice, he says. The decision to go
handheld liberated all the actors, and
Deepa has enough faith in me to allow
me the liberty to gauge where the scene
is going.
To move quickly, we basically
did blanket lighting, so once we started
shooting, wed shoot without stopping
until the scene was finished, he
continues. I work with a fairly simple
package that I feel covers any domestic
interior 18K HMIs, 6Ks, 4Ks and
1.2Ks, plus small tungsten units. Most
of my night work was lit with Chinese
lanterns or Kino Flos, and we built a lot
of that ourselves.
The movies visual scheme has
four distinct parts. For the colonial era,
which focuses on Saleems grandfather,
Nuttgens shot Kodak Vision2 100T
5212. If wed had our original budget
Top: Saleem stands
in his classroom.
Middle: Wee Willie
Winkie (Samrat
Chakrabarti) plays
accordion with his
son, Shiva, at his
side. Right: Parvati
(Shinova Soni)
gathers with
other children.
www.theasc.com May 2013 59
of $17 million, I would have asked
Kodak to make up a batch of [Vision
500T] 5279, notes the cinematogra-
pher, who explains that the budget
shrank to less than $10 million shortly
before the shoot. Once independence
comes in and the story jumps to the
mid-1950s, we switch over to Kodak
[Vision3 200T] 5213, which is much
cleaner and less textured. That takes us
through the period set in Pakistan and
up to the Bangladesh war at the begin-
ning of the 1970s. Night scenes were
generally covered with [Vision3 500T]
5219, which allowed us to work with a
limited amount of light but still get
enough depth-of-field to give the first
AC a chance to keep the image sharp,
despite a handheld camera that varied
its placement on every take.
Magical realism comes into play
for the second look, the secret gather-
ings of Midnights Children in Saleems
attic. Children of various ethnicities
materialize out of thin air, and they
seem lit from within a metaphor for
hope, says Mehta. We wondered how
to show that hope, she says, and its all
about lighting. We knew it couldnt
come entirely from CGI, because that
has a different feel. It was important
that it feel organic.
Nuttgens shot extensive tests for
Top: Saleem, now
an adult in the
Magicians
Ghetto, walks
away from his
friend Picture
Singh
(Kulbhushan
Kharbanda).
Middle: Gen.
Aurora (Navtej
Johar, center)
leads a group of
soldiers with
Saleems uncle,
Gen. Zulfikar
(Rahul Bose,
second from
right). Bottom:
Saleem holds his
grandfathers
silver spittoon
after an air raid
robs him of his
memory.
60 May 2013 American Cinematographer
these sequences in Canada, but they
went out the window when the practi-
cal location for Saleems childhood
home was finally found. The mansion
was almost like a museum, untouched
for 60 years, says the cinematographer.
The tower where the children gather
had four windows on each side, making
it a much brighter space than Nuttgens
had in mind. Our original idea of
shooting the children against green-
screen and partially re-creating the set
as a 3-D CG space became impractical
and costly, so these scenes became roto-
scoping jobs shot in the real space, with
the children individually materializing
and vanishing.
Nuttgens aimed for a hot rim
light. I knew it would help simplify the
process if the kids had a reasonably solid
backlight to help separate them out,
and I knew the intention to blow and
diffuse the highlights in post would
help to cover up any buzzing that might
occur around the hairlines during roto-
scoping, he explains.
The third look is Endless Night,
which encompasses the period of polit-
ical oppression from 1975-1977, when
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
suspended civil liberties and authorized
mass arrests and torture. That was a
ghastly period in Indian history, when
they cleared people off the streets and
shoved them into camps on the
outskirts of cities, says Nuttgens.
There was also enforced sterilization.
These sequences are dominated by a
dark, roiling, CGI sky, but it was
important that they didnt feel like
storm clouds that would pass, he notes.
They needed to have a heaviness, a
weight, an oppression the audience
could feel.
Mehta muses, What would
hopelessness look like? Would it be
black-and-white? Desaturated? Deep
gray and white? It sounds simple, but it
wasnt. Giles did a number of tests, and
we decided the look that felt right was
an almost teal gray. Nuttgens explains,
I shot 5219, push-processed it 1 stop at
Technicolor and then flashed blue-
green into the blacks with a Varicon.

Conjuring Hope
Top: The adult
Shiva (Siddharth,
left) joins a
meeting with
Prime Minister
Indira Gandhi
(Sarita
Choudhury).
Middle and
bottom: Shiva
captures and
tortures Saleem to
learn the names
of all the
Midnights
Children.
www.theasc.com May 2013 61
That combination put a certain amount
of exposure into the blacks. That made
the grain stronger, so you start to see the
texture in the lower mid-tones. Instead
of keeping the mid-tones clean, you
muddy them up a bit.
Using the Varicon proved a bit
cumbersome in tight locations, includ-
ing the prison cell where Saleem is
tortured. The Varicon fits into a 6-inch
matte box, and we were already on a
zoom lens, says Nuttgens, who does his
own operating. I had to use 1,000-foot
mags to balance out the flashing unit.
So, my handheld work became limited,
as I kept banging up against the back
wall. Occasionally I would try to jib up
from a kneeling position, and the
weight of the camera would drag me
down again.
Endless Night also contains
Nuttgens biggest lighting setup: the
destruction of the Magicians Ghetto, a
collection of buildings where the circus
performers live, including Parvati,
Saleems first love. Embodying the
possibility of change, the Midnights
Children are a threat to Gandhi, so they
are hunted down, and their homes are
razed and burned. That was a fake
ghetto attached to a real ghetto, says
Nuttgens. We used the real one for as
much exterior day as we could, and then
the one built by the art department for
Parvatis shack and for the destruction
Top and middle:
Saleem is
imprisoned and
interrogated until
he gives up the
Midnights
Children. Bottom:
Mary Pereira
(Seema Biswas),
Saleems nanny,
mourns her dead
boyfriend.
62 May 2013 American Cinematographer
sequence. By building them side by side,
we could link them visually, increasing
the size of our shooting location signifi-
cantly. The production built and
dressed 30 houses on a soccer field. We
had one night to knock it down and set
it on fire. Once the bulldozers moved in,
that was it. There were no retakes.
Story wise, the lighting needed to
be blinding. Its slightly conceptual,
says Nuttgens. The idea is that after
everyone has become accustomed to the
penumbra of the Endless Night, these
lights just blind people. Nuttgens crew
positioned five Dinos on Condors
encircling the ghetto; the lights were
gelled with Green and Blue,
continuing the teal palette of Endless
Night. They were 2-3 stops overex-
posed. It was such a strong backlight
that no matter where we were looking,
there would be no need for another
light, says Nuttgens. Anybody within
that space was lit by the bounce off the
buildings that were being destroyed.
That was enough to fully expose them.
He got as close to the chaos as
possible using either a 21mm or 27mm
Master Prime. The 27mm doesnt
distort when you get close up, but it
gives a real sense of immediacy, he
observes. To capture another angle, a
second camera (unmanned) was posi-
tioned next to one of the buildings that
were destroyed.
The films fourth distinct look is
the Magicians Ghetto when Saleem
first arrives, before the Endless Night.
At that point in the story, he has
endured family rejection, exile and
amnesia from an air-raid injury. He
spots Parvati among the entertainers at
a military victory parade, and he moves
to the ghetto to live with her. His
burgeoning hope translates into bold,
saturated color, which was achieved
with art direction and costume design

Conjuring Hope
Parvati (Shriya
Saran), pregnant
with Shivas child
and shamed by
society, returns to
the Magicians
Ghetto, where
Saleem agrees to
marry her.
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and later enhanced by Nuttgens in
the DI.
Theres a certain lightness and
promise in Saleems journey, and that
needed to come across, says Nuttgens.
Deepa referenced an Indian photogra-
pher who had done a bit of enhance-
ment of saturation and contrast on his
stills. The trick to that was to make sure
there was a good, solid negative within
that space.
Boosting saturation in the DI
also meant augmenting the color differ-
ences in his lighting. Though white
light would have been easier to match,
Nuttgens often made use of Straw,
Yellow and Amber gels, especially in
night interiors. When you use different
colors in the background and fore-
ground and those colors fall on the
actors, the possibility of discontinuity
from setup to setup increases enor-
mously when you start enhancing all of
that coloration, he says. So, in the
ghetto, I seldom changed the lighting
from setup to setup because of the risk
that something might not cut. And
when I did turnarounds, I made sure
that we didnt hit one of the actors with
a different balance from different-
colored sources. Its tricky even within
the scenes, because somebodys skin
tone might end up with a bit more
magenta than somebody elses.
Reflecting on the films various
palettes, he adds, I could not have
achieved any of those looks without
relying on a DI. He spent eight days at
Technicolor Toronto with colorist Jim

Conjuring Hope
1st AD Reid
Dunlap (right)
looks on as Giles
Nuttgens, BSC
gets the shot.
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64
Fleming, working with a 2K scan of the
negative. I worked with Jim for a
good part of the first week, and then
Deepa would come in for a couple
hours a day, recalls Nuttgens. Mehta
and Fleming completed the final pass
because Nuttgens was already on his
next project.
Although the films varied visuals
were essential to orienting viewers to a
given time and place, nothing was as
important as capturing the actors
performances, says Nuttgens. What
sells the film is the audience making
emotional contact with the characters.
Adds Mehta, For me, the most
important thing a cinematographer can
do is follow the emotional core of the
scene, and Giles has great instincts
about that.
Because I started in documen-
taries, my cinematography has always
been linked to the operating process,
says Nuttgens. Ive always tried to give
the actors as much freedom as I could
and prioritize getting those perfor-
mances without putting too much hard-
ware in the way sometimes to the
detriment of my lighting. One of the
great things on Midnights Children was
having a small camera like the Arricam
Lite, which is easy to manipulate and
feels like an extension of your body.
Once you start shooting, you can really
go for it, and that gives the actors a huge
sense of freedom. They know youre
going to keep up.
TECHNICAL SPECS
2.40:1
3-perf Super 35mm
Arricam Lite, Studio
Arri Master Prime,
Angenieux Optimo
Kodak Vision2 100T 5212;
Vision3 200T 5213,
500T 5219
Digital Intermediate
65
66 May 2013 American Cinematographer
T
his article offers an introduction to DMX technology,
the foundation of many lighting-control systems used
on soundstages today. It is divided into three parts: the
basics, a few sample setups using low-cost tools, and a
discussion of DMX applications on large film sets. To learn
about DMX, I sought out many knowledgeable practitioners
in London and Paris: Yanne Blitte, Marie-Jos Collet, Steve
Howard, Chris Millard and Ian Sherborn at Panalux; gaffers
John Biggles Higgins and Reuben Garrett; lighting-desk
programmer Stephen Mathie; and director of photography
Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC.
DMX Basics
The DMX512 protocol, or DMX for short, was
created in 1986 by lighting professionals who wanted to give
manufacturers and users a simple, universal digital standard
for lighting control. DMX was adopted throughout the
industry, and became formalized in 1990. It became an ANSI
standard in 2004 (officially referred to as DMX512-A).
According to Millard, the rapid adoption of DMX was due in
large part to the rock n roll stadium tours done in the 1980s
by bands such as The Rolling Stones. He notes, The light-
ing crews were working with equipment from different
manufacturers from around the world, and they had to set up
working systems in all these different venues. It was a night-
mare before DMX.
DMX stands for Digital Multiplex. It is a digital signal
protocol; it defines the syntax of a signal that is sent by light-
ing controllers to fixtures and peripherals such as dimmers.
The DMX protocol defines a universe as 512 channels. A
Lighting professionals explain how
DMX technology has transformed
soundstage work.
By Benjamin B
|
single DMX cable transmits only one universe, so sophisti-
cated applications, including big film sets, often require
multiple universes. The DMX signal is simple, consisting of a
header followed by up to 512 channels of data. Each channel
includes 8 bits of data, representing a value between 0 and
255. Each of the 512 channel values is refreshed 44 times a
second. The bandwidth required for DMX is 180 kbits/sec.
Typically, a channel is allocated to an individual light
fixture, and the channel value represents its dimming level.
For example, sending a value of 127 to channel 3 could mean
that fixture 3 is dimmed to 50 percent, while sending a value
of 255 would set fixture 3 at 100 percent. Many LED fixtures
have three channels for individual control of red, green and
blue. As we shall see, some complex units, like automated
lights, actually use multiple channels, with values that can
represent color and position as well as dimming level. Most
DMX units have simple rotary or push buttons that allow
users to set the channel (or the start channel, in the case of
multiple channels) for the unit. The channel number is arbi-
trary, but is usually set according to a mnemonic numbering
scheme.
Howard notes that DMX can be used to control equip-
ment other than lights, including fog machines and video
servers.
DMX requires two conductors for positive and nega-
tive signals, typically about 5 volts, plus ground shielding. The
positive represents a digital 1, and the negative a 0. Although
the norm specifies a 5-pin XLR cable (a.k.a. XLR-5), low-
cost units sometimes use 3-pin XLRs, which are officially
prohibited. (One danger is that an XLR-3 might be plugged
into an audio board with 48 volts of phantom power by
mistake, which could damage DMX circuitry.)
The DMX spec recommends maximum lengths of
about 500 meters, with no more than 32 devices attached;
additional units can be added by using DMX switches or
amplifiers. A simple DMX network is in the form of a daisy
chain: a single cable routes the data signal from unit to unit.
Sophisticated applications send multiple DMX universes
down a single Ethernet cable. Sherwood notes, In the 1980s,
512 channels was all you needed for a Rolling Stones concert,
but today were seeing productions with 30,000 channels!
The ABCs of
DMX
www.theasc.com May 2013 67
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.

DMX requires a controller to
define and send the values to each chan-
nel. A controller can be as simple as a
laptop with software and an adapter.
Professional lighting-control consoles,
or desks, allow for complex program-
ming of lighting setups and create
intricate cue lists to define sequences
of lighting effects and transitions.
(Professional desks common in the
industry include GrandMa from
MA Lighting, Hog 4 from High
End Systems, Insight from ETC, and
Vista from Jands.) Dimming units
are the most common DMX boxes.
Professional dimmer racks control the
light intensity of dozens of fixtures by
changing the voltage to each unit. As
illustrated, dimmer racks will have one
channel allocated for each fixture
output.
Automated lights, or moving
heads, offer advanced functions, notably
motorized control of movement, shut-
tering, color and gobos. Automated
lights use HMI bulbs with high-quality
optics to deliver sharp, powerful beams.
Mechanical shutters allow for dimming
without color-temperature change,
while internal filters enable a rich array
of hues. Custom gobos can also be
added. Automated-light manufacturers
Top: This diagram shows the DMX stream and a sample DMX daisy-chain network.
The DMX stream is a series of values for each of the 512 channels and repeats up to
44 times per second. Middle and bottom: A 30K dimmer with a 20K fixture.
68 May 2013 American Cinematographer

The ABCs of DMX


include Clay Paky (Alphas and
Sharpys), Martin (Macs), Philips (Vari-
Lites) and Robe (Robins and
ColorSpots).
Initially, cinematographers and
gaffers used automated lights for special
sets like nightclubs, or for fantasy
sequences. These days, automated lights
are appearing in many lighting packages
as a general tool, especially when inac-
cessible lights need to be reoriented
quickly. Howard observes, On the set,
the director or cinematographer can
move the camera in a heartbeat, and
with a moving light, you can quickly
spin the light with the console to get the
shadow in the right place.
3 Simple Setups
This page and the next feature
photos of three simple DMX setups
with which I experimented. I have listed
them in order from most to least expen-
sive.
1. Laptop connected via USB to
Vistas M1 controller and to an inexpen-
sive dimmer using Vistas free Byron
software. This is a professional system
that allows a Vista lighting designer to
sketch and refine scenarios at home or
on the road.
2. Setup using Q Light Con-
troller, which is free software for creating
simple lighting scenarios, and a profes-
sional 4x dimming rack.
3. Laptop connected to Enttecs
USB DMX Pro adapter box, which is in
turn connected to an inexpensive 4x
dimmer using Enttecs utility software to
control the lights. This setup is useful for
simple tests of DMX networks.
DMX on the Film Set
DMX networks have become de
rigueur on contemporary soundstages,
especially on big films, and I turned to
Rousselot and Higgins to learn about
some of these applications. Rousselot
has been using dimmer consoles in his
cinematography since 1984, and he
started using DMX while working with
Higgins on Interview with the Vampire
(AC Jan. 95). The duo expanded their
use of DMX on other collaborations,
notably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(AC July 05), which featured extensive
use of automated lights and wireless
DMX courtesy of Chris Gilbertsons
Light by Numbers system. Higgins
recalls that at first, Rousselot operated
the lighting consoles himself, but in
time, they added a desk operator to the
electrical crew.
Higgins believes a lighting
console has become essential to sound-
stage work. I feel very uncomfortable
going to a stage or tungsten set without
having a desk and a desk operator. The
only time I would work without a desk is
on a big day exterior. Even on a small set
with practicals, the director may
suddenly call for a light change for
instance, he might want the actor to
walk into the room and turn on a light.
Cinematographers should be allowed as
much flexibility as we can give them, so
I wouldnt go to a set without a desk.
Rousselot cites the following
Above: A laptop
hooked up to a
Vista M1
controller. Right:
A laptop
running Q Light
Controller
software
connected to a
4x dimmer.
www.theasc.com May 2013 69

benefits to working with lighting


consoles and with DMX: You can
control color temperature, which is
especially useful for imitating candle-
light or other colored sources; you can
switch lights on and off from a single
point; you can balance different lights
from the console; you can change the
lighting while the camera is moving,
including switching off a light at a
certain point during a shot to avoid a
reflection or shadow; you can keep a
record of lighting setups, facilitating
reproduction of it in the future and
providing helpful data to second units
and visual-effects teams; you can dim
lights between takes to minimize heat
and save energy; you can make fast
adjustments between takes without
taking control of the set; you can adjust
lights in accordance with a moving prac-
tical source in the scene; and you can
perform visible light changes, such as
clouds passing in front of the sun, very
quickly and easily.
Higgins notes that on some of his
recent productions, the DMX channel
control was sometimes down to the
individual bulbs in a patchwork of
LEDs. Mathie, Higgins frequent desk
operator, explains that big productions
on soundstages will use many DMX
universes, with thousands of DMX
channels. You need so many channels
in the age of LEDs, moving lights and
media servers, he says.
Mathie details his starting
network with a half-dozen DMX
universes on a soundstage:
1 universe for dimmers
1 for upstairs
1 or 2 on the working floor
1 for the practicals department
1 for wireless DMX (for exam-
ple, for lighting integrated into
costumes)
Mathie uses an Ethernet network
to transport many universes in a single
cable around the set. There are several
ways to do this, but he opts for the Art-
Net protocol with a 1 Gigabit Ethernet
network, which theoretically can hold
more than 1,000 DMX universes. Its
more than we would ever need, but
channels add up quickly. All it takes is
30 LED lights of a certain fixture, with
dozens of individual bulbs, and you
could need three or four extra lines of
DMX. I recently had 15,000 channels
on a set, which would have required 30
DMX cables, but one Ethernet cable
transmitted it all. Thats where the
Ethernet comes in handy: We spread it
around the stage so that were never
more than 30 feet away from it, and it
offers a limitless amount of universes.
Mathie cautions, however, that
setting up an Ethernet network on set,
with its nodes, switches and software,
adds another layer of complexity to the
DMX installation and troubleshooting.
Higgins stresses that todays
complex DMX networks require addi-
tional time to rig and sometimes to
prelight. Unlike theaters, soundstages
dont have DMX prewired, because you
wouldnt know where to route it. DMX
does require planning and careful
scheduling. You have to count back a
couple of days. And you have to stay on
top of it, because things do change
film sets can be quite organic. A lot of it
is down to planning and agreeing with
the director and production about your
preparation days and your prelight days.
Once youve rigged it and prelit, youre
ready to go, and any changes during
shooting can be made very rapidly.
Left: A laptop
connected
to an
inexpensive
4x dimmer via
Enttecs USB
DMX Pro
adapter box.
Below: DMX
5-pin XLRs.
70 May 2013 American Cinematographer
In the planning and rigging
stage, well always over-spec, so DMX
is literally everywhere on the set, notes
Mathie. He adds that some cinematog-
raphers will prelight every set, which
makes for a very fast shooting day.
The desk operator has to keep
track of thousands of channels, and to
be able to quickly identify and adjust a
fixture that the cinematographer or
gaffer indicates on the set. When the
cinematographer or gaffer points at
something, you have to know exactly
what it is. It has to do with the way you
put it into the desk. Its like the
Photoshop concept of a layer: I have a
layer of dimmers, layers of 10Ks, 5Ks
and 2Ks; a layer of LEDs; and a layer of
media. I use simple theater numbering
to map it out. I always assign north on a
stage and then read left to right, top to
bottom. I cross patch to create a sensible
number. For example, I might assign
DMX universe 5 channel 126 to input
11 on the lighting desk. You need the
ability to create number patterns.
Higgins uses automated lights for
a variety of applications, including
lighting effects (such as gun flashes) and
backlight. We keep finding new uses
for them, he says. The only instance
where I probably wouldnt use them a
lot is for a period film.
He notes that the optics of auto-
mated lights enables them to deliver
more illumination than expected. He
cites as examples the tiny Sharpy from
Clay Paky, which outputs a very
narrow, condensed beam that belies its
190-watt bulb, and the 1,600-watt Vari-
Lite 3500 with the Beam Blast option,
which has an amazing output.
Higgins adds that the major drawback
of automated lights is fan and motor
noise, so we keep them far from
camera.
Automated lights can have 30-
odd channels, including vertical and
horizontal positions, color-filter inten-
sities and shutter. Higgins adds that
custom gobos can be easily fitted inside
the units, allowing for lighting effects
unique to the production.
Mathie comments that he has
used dozens of automated lights on
recent films. You wouldnt key anyone
with it, but it gives you endless possibil-
ities for fill and backlighting. He
observes that cinematographers seem
less strict about color variations among
sources since digital cameras were intro-
duced. Were now seeing people mix
tungsten, LED, fluorescent and HMI
moving lights a lot more freely.
Higgins and his team usually set
up a wireless link between an iPad and
the console via a Wi-Fi network on the
soundstage. This allows Mathie to
modify a light in the rafters while stand-
ing next to the cinematographer on the
set. If its an automated light, he can
also change the position or the color,
adds Higgins. Mathie uses a Lumen
Radio Wi-Fi system, which utilizes two
channels for increased reliability. The
desk operator acknowledges that he and
his team are constantly looking for
ways to improve Wi-Fi. Im never
worried about the data or the desk, but
occasionally I worry about the Wi-Fi.
Everyones got iPhones buzzing about,
and if Wi-Fi fails, were in trouble! He
sets up a wireless midi connection as a
backup and runs several other apps on
the iPad to connect to his desktop. He
also has a ping tool to check the
Ethernet. I have various tools to test
my system, because I cant say, Sorry,
this app isnt working today!
The more control you give a
cinematographer and gaffer, the more
theyre going to use it, says Higgins.
There has been a fantastic progression
in the last 10 years, and the potential
with DMX seems limitless. Some cine-
matographers are really well versed in it,
and others are not that aware of its
potential. I let them know whats avail-
able to them, and they can use what
they want.
Rousselot adds, DMX has
certainly changed the way I light, but it
doesnt have to change your lighting if
you dont want it to. Its just a tool.

The ABCs of DMX


Near right:
Yann Blitte
with Robes
Wash 575 XT
moving light.
Far right: Three
3x5K dimmer
racks.
72 May 2013 American Cinematographer
Star Tech
Sci-Tech Award honorees
are feted for their
innovations at the Academys
annual ceremony.
By Jay Holben
|
T
he Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 82nd
annual Scientific and Technical Academy Awards cere-
mony celebrated a variety of accomplishments with a
four-act ceremony this year. Actors Chris Pine and Zoe
Saldana, stars of the new Star Trek franchise, served as
emcees.
The Academys Scientific and Technical Awards
Committee, chaired by Richard Edlund, ASC, recognizes
achievements in three ways: with Technical Achievement
Award certificates, with Scientific and Engineering Award
plaques or tablets, and with Academy Award of Merit Oscar
statuettes.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards were held in February in Beverly Hills.
Front row (left to right): Actor Chris Pine, Academy President Hawk Koch, actress Zoe Saldana and Science and Technology Council Chairman
Richard Edlund, ASC. Second row: Richard Mall; Bill Taylor, ASC; Philip McLauchlan; Les Zellan; John-Paul Smith; Allan Jaenicke and Steve LaVietes.
Third row: Simon Clutterbuck, James Jacobs, Richard Dorling, Markus Gross, Theodore Kim, Ross Shain, Daniel Wexler, Jeremy Selan and Joe
Murtha. Back row: Nickson Fong, Matt Cordner, J.P. Lewis, Drew Olbrich, Lawrence Kesteloot, Doug James, Nils Thuerey, William Frederick,
Jim Markland and Brian Hall.
www.theasc.com May 2013 73
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The evening unfolded as follows:

Act One
A Scientific and Engineering
Plaque was presented to Simon
Clutterbuck, James Jacobs and
Richard Dorling for the development
of the Tissue Physically-Based
Character Simulation Framework,
which faithfully and robustly simulates
the effects of anatomical structures
underlying a characters skin. The
resulting dynamic and secondary
motions provide a new level of realism
to computer-generated creatures.
A Technical Achievement
Certificate was presented to J.P. Lewis,
Matt Cordner and Nickson Fong for
the invention and publication of the
Pose Space Deformation technique,
which introduced the use of novel sparse
data interpolation techniques to the task
of shape interpolation. The technique
has become a cornerstone of the creation
of CG characters.
A Technical Achievement
Certificate was presented to Theodore
Kim, Nils Thuerey, Markus Gross and
Doug James for the invention, publica-
tion and dissemination of Wavelet
Turbulence software, which allows for
the fast, art-directable creation of highly
detailed gas simulation, making it easier
for the artist to control the appearance of
these effects in the final image.
A Technical Achievement
Certificate was presented to Richard
Mall for the design and development of
the Matthews Max Menace Arm, a
safe, adjustable device that allows rapid,
precise positioning of lighting fixtures,
cameras or accessories. On set or on
location, this compact and portable
structure is often used when access is
limited because of restrictions on attach-
ing equipment to existing surfaces.

Act Two
A Technical Achievement
Certificate was presented to Lawrence
Kesteloot, Drew Olbrich and Daniel
Wexler for the creation of the Light
system for CG lighting at
PDI/DreamWorks. Virtually un-
changed from its original incarnation
over 15 years ago, Light is still in contin-
uous use due to its emphasis on inter-
active responsiveness, final-quality
interactive render preview, scalable
architecture and powerful user-config-
urable spreadsheet interface.
A Technical Achievement
Certificate was presented to Steve
LaVietes, Brian Hall andJeremy Selan
Above:
Academy
President Hawk
Koch opens the
ceremony. Left:
Science and
Technology
Council
Chairman
Richard Edlund,
ASC.
74 May 2013 American Cinematographer

Star Tech
for the creation of the Katana
computer-graphics scene-management
and lighting software at Sony Pictures
Imageworks. Katanas design, featuring
a deferred evaluation procedural node
graph, provides a highly efficient light-
ing and rendering workflow. It allows
artists to non-destructively edit scenes
too complex to fit into computer
memory at scales ranging from a single
object up to an entire city.
A Scientific and Engineering
Plaque was presented to Philip
McLauchlan, Allan Jaenicke, John-
Paul Smith and Ross Shain for the
creation of the Mocha planar-tracking
and rotoscoping software at Imagineer
Systems Ltd. Mocha provides robust
planar tracking even when there are no
clearly defined points in the image. Its
effectiveness, ease of use, and ability to
exchange rotoscoping data with other
image-processing tools have resulted in
widespread adoption of the software in
the visual-effects industry.
A Scientific and Engineering
Plaque was presented to Joe Murtha,
William Frederick and Jim Markland
of Anton/Bauer, Inc., for the design and
creation of the Cine VCLX Portable
Power System, which provides
extended run times and flexibility, allow-
ing users to power cameras and other
supplementary equipment required for
production.

Act Three
The John A. Bonner Medal of
Commendation was presented to
visual-effects supervisor/cinematogra-
pher Bill Taylor, ASC, in appreciation
for outstanding service and dedication
in upholding the standards of AMPAS.
Taylor got his start in entertainment
through a love of stage magic, but it
wasnt until he saw Ray Harryhausens
Jason and the Argonauts as a college
student that he began to pursue a career
in film magic.
Taylor started studying special-
effects films, learned the names in the
credits and then reached out to select
individuals. His list included Linwood
G. Dunn, ASC, whom he cold-called
one day. The call sparked a friendship.
Following Dunns advice, Taylor got
any job he could and landed a position
with the Ray Mercer Co., a Hollywood
staple in the optical-printing and title
field. That was a great film school,
Taylor attests. I worked there for 10 or
11 years. I started out doing optical line-
up work and part-time delivery. I got
into the Film Technicians Union and,
eventually, as I moved into shooting
opticals, into the camera local. Later, I
got my first freelance visual-effects gig
on a film shot in Brazil. I left Mercer
with regrets.
During my years of freelancing,
I got to work with so many wonderful
people like Lin Dunn, great guys with
ASC after their names, he continues.
The first optical-composite work I did
for Lin was the famous pea-soup
vomiting scene in The Exorcist. We
superimposed a stream of pea soup
being shot out of a large syringe and
tracked that over Linda Blairs mouth.
Early in his career, Taylor had
also cold-called ASC associate member
Albert Whitlock after spotting his
name in the credits of That Funny
Feeling. We had a great conversation
and became social friends, he recalls.
When Whitlocks cameraman, Ross
Hoffman, ASC, retired in 1974,
Whitlock invited Taylor to fill the
vacancy. His first project with Whitlock
was The Hindenburg, which won the
Oscar for visual effects.
Taylor and Syd Dutton co-
founded Illusion Arts, a visual-effects
company whose credits include Blood
Diamond, Milk and Bruce Almighty. In
1981, Taylor was recognized with an
AMPAS Technical Achievement
Award for the concept and specifica-
tions behind a two-format rotating-
head aerial-image optical printer.
Taylor joined AMPAS in 1972
and has served five terms on its Board of
Governors, representing the Visual-
Effects Branch. He was a founding co-
chair of the Academys Science and
Technology Council. This year, he
received a Visual Effects Society
Fellowship.

Act Four
The final award of the evening,
the Academy Award of Merit statuette,
Bill Taylor, ASC holds his John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation.
was presented to Cooke Optics Ltd.,
for its continuing innovation in the
design, development and manufacture
of advanced camera lenses that have
helped define the look of motion
pictures over the last century. Cooke
first introduced a series of motion-
picture lenses in 1921, and since then, it
has turned out optical innovations year
after year. In 1930, the company intro-
duced the first inverted telephoto lens,
enabling wide-angle photography in
full color. In the 1940s, Cooke intro-
duced the 18mm Speed Panchro; in
1956, the Series 3; and in the 1960s, the
100mm F2.8 Panchro. In 1999, Cooke
was honored with a Technical
Achievement Certificate for its S4
lenses.
The award was accepted by ASC
associate Les Zellan, chairman of
Cooke, who noted, I am indeed fortu-
nate to be here at Cooke at a time when
the Academy is recognizing the contri-
butions we have made over the years.
Our company has literally grown up
with the motion-picture business. This
award truly means a lot. He went on to
acknowledge a few of the great heroes
at Cooke Optics, including brothers
William and Thomas Taylor, who
founded the company in 1886; Dennis
Taylor (no relation), who invented the
Cooke Triplet in 1893; H.W. Lee, who
designed the Speed Panchros; Gordon
Cook, who was the companys chief
optical designer from the 1950s to the
1980s; and Mark Gershwin, chief opti-
cal designer from 1998 to 2010, who
was the principal designer of the S4, S4-
Mini and S5i optics.
www.theasc.com March 2013 75
Clockwise from
top: Cooke Optics
Ltd. was honored
with the Academy
Award of Merit
statuette; ASC
associate Les
Zellan, chairman
of Cooke, accepts
the Oscar; Pine
and Saldana
congratulate the
evenings
honorees.
www.theasc.com May 2013 77
Photography by Evan Cox; Christian Herrara;
Isidore Mankofsky, ASC; Kim McBride; Danny Moloshok;
and Matt Turve.
The best cinematography of 2012 was honored at the
26th annual ASC Awards for Outstanding Achievement in
Cinematography, held on Feb. 10 at the Hollywood &
Highland Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles. The ASC
Clubhouse was the site of a lively afterparty that lasted until
the wee hours. Earlier in the weekend, the ASC also hosted
an Open House, the Nominees Dinner and a sponsors break-
fast. Photos from all of these events are featured in the follow-
ing pages.
Special ASC Awards handed out during the ceremony
included the Presidents Award, presented to Curtis Clark,
ASC; the Bud Stone Award of Distinction, presented to ASC
associate member Milton R. Shefter; the Career Achievement
in Television Award, presented to Rodney Charters, ASC,
CSC; and the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to
Dean Semler, ASC, ACS.
Here are the nominees in all of the competitive cate-
gories, presented in alphabetical order, with winners high-
lighted in boldfaced type:
One-hour Episodic Television Series: Balazs Bolygo, HSC,
Hunted, Mort; Chris Manley, ASC, Mad Men, The
Phantom; Kramer Morgenthau, ASC, Game of Thrones,
The North Remembers; David Moxness, CSC, Fringe,
Letters of Transit; Mike Spragg, Strike Back, Episode 11;
David Stockton, ASC, Alcatraz, Pilot.
Television Movie/Miniseries: Michael Goi, ASC, American
Horror Story: Asylum, I am Anne Frank: Part 2; Florian
Hoffmeister, Great Expectations; Arthur Reinhart, Hatfields &
McCoys; Rogier Stoffers, ASC, Hemingway & Gellhorn.
Half-Hour Television Episode Series/Pilot: Ken Glassing,
Ben and Kate, Guitar Face; Michael Goi, ASC, The New
Normal, Pilot; Peter Levy, ASC, House of Lies, Gods of
Dangerous Financial Instruments; Bradford Lipson, Wilfred,
Truth; Michael Price, Happy Endings, Four Weddings and
a Funeral (Minus Three Weddings and One Funeral).
Theatrical Release: Danny Cohen, BSC, Les Misrables;
Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, Skyfall; Janusz Kaminski,
Lincoln; Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC, Anna Karenina;
Claudio Miranda, ASC, Life of Pi.
Hot Shots

Dean Semler, ASC, ACS accepts the


Lifetime Achievement Award.
78 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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1. Bill Bennett, ASC addresses the crowd;
2. ASC Awards Co-Chairman Lowell Peterson
makes his opening remarks; 3. ASC member
Julio Macat and ASC Presidents Assistant
Delphine Figueras entertain the audience as
the evenings co-hosts; 4. actor Matthew Moy
of Two Broke Girls introduces the nominees in
the Half-Hour Television Episodic Series/Pilot
category; 5. Bradford Lipson hoists his award
after winning for the Truth episode of
Wilfred; 6. Sir Robert Harvey, the former
mayor of Waitakere City in New Zealand,
introduces Rodney Charters, ASC, CSC, who
received the Career Achievement in Television
Award; 7. Harvey greets his longtime friend at
the podium; 8. Charters shares some choice
stories from his career; 9. actress Mary
McDonnell introduces the nominees in the
Television Movie/Miniseries category;
10. Florian Hoffmeister expresses his
gratitude after winning the award for
the PBS Masterpiece presentation of
Great Expectations.
www.theasc.com May 2013 79
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2
3
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5
8
9
10
11
1. Stephen H. Burum, ASC introduces
Presidents Award recipient Curtis Clark,
ASC; 2. Clark graciously accepts the
honor; 3. ASC President Stephen Lighthill
announces the recipient of the ASC Bud
Stone Award of Distinction; 4. the
longtime Voice of the ASC Awards,
show announcer and associate member
Milt Shefter, expresses complete surprise
as he accepts the Award of Distinction
for his contributions to both the ASC and
the motion-picture industry; 5. Dexter
actor David Zayas introduces the
nominees in the One-Hour Television
Episodic Series/Pilot category; 6./7. after
the first tie vote in ASC Awards history,
individual trophies were
accepted by Kramer
Morgenthau, ASC (for the Game
of Thrones episode The North
Remembers) and Balasz Bolygo,
HSC (for the Hunted episode
Mort); 8. Morgenthau and
Bolygo prove theyre gentlemen
with the classic you first
gesture; 9. actress Angelina Jolie
drew gasps from the crowd as
the surprise presenter of the
Lifetime Achievement Award;
10. Jolie hugs the recipient, her
good friend and collaborator
Dean Semler, ASC, ACS;
11. Semler regales the crowd
with a hearty dose of humor.
80 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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1. Director Steve McQueen and actress Nastassja Kinski pay homage to their friend and
collaborator Robby Mller, NSC, BVK, who received the International Award in absentia;
2. Kinski takes her turn at the microphone; 3. weeks later, during a separate ceremony
arranged for him at the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam, Holland, Mller accepts his ASC
Award from his friend and longtime camera assistant, Pim Tjujerman; 4. actor John Slattery of
Mad Men introduces the nominees in the Theatrical Release category; 5. James Deakins accepts
the ASC feature award on behalf of her husband, Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, after his win for
Skyfall; 6. Macat and Figueras sign off by reading text messages supposedly sent from
audience members offering humorous critiques of their onstage antics; 7. film editor Tim
Silano, who cut most of the evenings dynamic tribute reels, enjoys the festivities with Joanne
Baker and her date, Awards Co-Chairman Richard Crudo, ASC; 8. Peterson finally takes a break
from his many co-chair duties to enjoy the dinner with his wife, Carol; 9. Lighthill and Tom
Walsh, a past president of the Art Directors Guild, smile for the camera; 10. Arri exec Glenn
Kennel (left) huddles with ASC members Victor J. Kemper and Sam Nicholson.
www.theasc.com May 2013 81
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8
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6
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11
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1. Figueras and her husband, American Cinematographer executive
editor Stephen Pizzello, pose for a photo with her visiting sister, Ligaya;
2. Haskell Wexler, ASC catches up with Arris Bill Russell; 3. Woody
Omens, ASC makes the scene with his wife, Florence; 4. Rodney
Taylor, ASC enjoys cocktails with Kodaks Aaron Saffa and Vanessa Melo;
5. Judith Doherty of Kodak (left) mingles with Jim Snyder, Robert Elswit,
ASC and Kim Snyder of Panavision; 6. Azita Baffa snuggles her husband,
ASC member Christopher Baffa; 7. Jacqueline Frost poses with ASC
member Robert Primes and his wife, Theo; 8. Victor J. Kemper, ASC with
associate member Douglas Kirkland; Kirklands wife, Franoise; and their
son, Mark, supervising director of the television series The Simpsons;
9. Peter Moss, ASC, ACS and his wife, Kathleen, are all smiles; 10. ASC
member Vilmos Zsigmond squires his wife, Susan; 11. George
Mooradian, ASC is flanked by his wife, Visi, and fellow ASC member
Steven Silver; 12. Jennine Dwyer (far left) and her husband, veteran AC
writer Jay Holben (second from left) share a toast with the magazines
associate editor, Jon Witmer; his wife, Corinne; and senior editor
Rachael Bosley.
82 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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1. Veronica Lighthill and her husband, Stephen, greet Sonys Dan Perry;
2. ASC board member Matthew Leonetti with fellow member Dean Cundey;
3. Donald M. Morgan, ASC with event photographer Matt Turve; 4. ASC
member Christian Sebaldt and his wife, Mary, circulate with agent Frank Balkin;
5. ASC members Bill Roe (far left) and Daryn Okada (far right) squire their
wives, Kathy and Can; 6. McDonnell and Charters are all smiles during the
cocktail hour; 7. George Koblasa, ASC accompanies his wife, Margaret;
8. Kemper and Zsigmond flank the sexiest man alive, George Spiro Dibie, ASC;
9. ASC circulation manager Alex Lopez arrives with his wife, Noemi; 10. Vantage
Film executives Peter Mrtin and Alexander Schwarz share a widescreen frame
with nominee Rogier Stoffers, ASC (Hemingway & Gellhorn), Dawn Leisch and
Rodney Taylor, ASC; 11. Canons Scott Jo, Tim Smith, Amy Kawadler and Eliott
Peck form a quartet.
www.theasc.com May 2013 83
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6
3
1
2
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4
7
9
10 11
12
1. Band Pro CEO Amnon Band is flanked by
cinematographer Cira Felina Bolla and Robert Kulesh of
Matthews Studio Equipment; 2. Sonys Mike Kovacevich
and his wife, Candise (left) catch up with J.L. Fishers
Frank Kay and his wife, Charlene; 3. Technicolors Dana
Ross visits with Marek Zebrowski of Polands Plus
Camerimage Festival; 4. David Frederick, SOC and
Howard Preston circle with cameraman Dan Kneece,
SOC; 5. Tiffens Mark Bender and his wife, Cynthia, pair
up with ICG president Steven Poster, ASC and his wife,
Susan; 6. ASC members and Lost alumni Larry Fong and
Michael Bonvillain stroll in; 7. ASC honorary member
Brian Spruill pals around with associate member
Michael Zakula; 8. Alcatraz nominee David Stockton,
ASC (far right) with his son, Gray, and Andrea
Shawcross; 9. AFI student Andressa Cor was lucky
enough to attend with ASC member Ralph Woolsey,
always the life of the party; 10. Isidore Mankofsky, ASC
snaps some high angles of the schmoozing;
11. nominee Claudio Miranda, ASC (Life of Pi) circulates
with his wife, Kelli; 12. Vantage Films Wolfgang
Bumler and his wife, Sabine, Vantage exec Peter
Mrtin and associate member Denny Clairmont catch up
with ASC members Bill Bennett and Curtis Clark.
84 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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1. Awards guests approach the elegantly illuminated ASC Clubhouse for a lively
afterparty that lasted till the wee hours; 2. James Deakins totes her husbands
trophy; 3. ASC events coordinator Patty Armacost cuddles up to ASC member
Rexford Metz; 4. Jerzy Zielinski, ASC, PSC hangs out with Kees Van Oostrum, ASC;
Van Oostrums daughter, Sarah, and wife, Esther; and David Harp; 5. Donald A.
Morgan, ASC with his wife, Geneva, and Dejan Georgevich, ASC; 6. ASC members
Rodney Taylor and Karl Walter Lindenlaub; 7. Panavisions Bob Harvey huddles
with his wife, Ronda, and Charters.
www.theasc.com May 2013 85
1
2
3
4
5
1. Cinematographer Nicola Pecorini has some
fun with Miranda and Lukasz Bielan;
2. nominee Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln) enjoys
an animated discussion with Stephen H.
Burum, ASC; 3. double nominee Michael Goi,
ASC (American Horror Story: Asylum, I am
Anne Frank: Pt. 2, and The New Normal,
Pilot) makes the rounds with his wife, Gina;
4. cinematographer Damian Horan, winner of
the ASC Andrew Laszlo Student Heritage
Award for his USC graduate short project
Josephine and the Roach, is flanked by the
projects director, Jonathan Langager, and ASC
member Gil Hubbs; 5. a Gods-eye view of the
celebratory throng.
86 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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1. Lighthill welcomes guests at the
Nominees Dinner, which was sponsored
by Kodak; 2. Andrew Evenski, president
and general manager of Kodaks
Entertainment Imaging Division, greets
the nominees and their guests;
3. Peterson takes his turn at the podium;
4. Crudo hits the crowd with some quips;
5. Clark explains his role as head of the
ASC Technology Committee; 6. Charters
greets his peers; 7. nominee Ken
Glassing (Ben and Kate, Guitar Face)
shows off his plaque; 8. Lighthill and
Peterson flank nominee Michael Price
(Happy Endings, Four Weddings and a
Funeral (Minus Three Weddings and One
Funeral)); 9. Morgenthau thanks his
fellow members for his nomination;
10. Stockton shares his good cheer;
11. Goi poses with Peterson; 12. Lighthill
stands alongside Bolygo.
www.theasc.com May 2013 87
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2
3
7
4
6
5
8
9 10
12
11
1. Lighthill with nominee David
Moxness, CSC (Fringe, Letters of
Transit); 2. Hoffmeister thanks
the ASC; 3. Rogier Stoffers, ASC
accepts his honor; 4. Miranda
makes a point; 5. nominee Seamus
McGarvey, ASC, BSC (Anna
Karenina) offers some warm
thoughts; 6. nominee Arthur
Reinhart (Hatfields & McCoys)
stands in the spotlight;
7. Kaminski beams with pride;
8. Deakins steps in for her
husband, Roger, who was out of
town shooting a new project;
9. Lipson lights up for the camera;
10. nominee Peter Levy, ASC, ACS
(House of Lies, Gods of
Dangerous Financial Instruments)
enjoys the applause with
Peterson; 11. Josh Haynie shares a
laugh with his EFilm colleague Bev
Wood; 12. the nominees pose for
a group shot with Peterson and
Lighthill on the Clubhouse steps.
88 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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5
1. At the annual ASC Open House, Morgan and Kay share a moment; 2. Hubbs, Balkin,
Johnny Jensen, ASC and Goi soak up the sun; 3. Arris Simon Broad and ASC member
Daniel Pearl show off their shades; 4. Technicolors Bob Hoffman (far right) and his son,
Alex, say hello to Kemper; 5. Kinga Dobos spends some quality time with Cundey; 6.
Omens offers a pat on the back; 7. Technicolors Charles Hertzfeld knows that fun can
be found with Australian publicist Meredith Emmanuel Bates; 8. Morgenthau oozes
cinematographer style while chatting with some admirers; 9. Taylor, Stoffers and Arri
exec Stephan Ukas-Bradley do some bonding; 10. ASC members Frank Byers, Steven
Fierberg and Tom Houghton form a trio; 11. Kodaks Bruce Berke and Judith Doherty
catch up with Peterson; 12. Erik Schietinger of TCS and Sarah Priestnall of Codex
meet up in the Clubhouse.
www.theasc.com May 2013 89
1
2
4
3
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6 5
1. During a morning panel prior to
the Open House, Morgenthau
answers a question as Moxness
listens; 2. Wally Pfister, ASC shares his
wisdom with student visitors Blake
Gaytan, Brian Lovelace and Erick
Aguilar; 3. Parker and Kay form a
dynamic duo; 4. David Stump, ASC
chats with Fujifilms Michael
Bulbenko; 5. Shelly Johnson, ASC
checks in with Parker; 6. Burum and
Bennett tour the grounds; 7. Fletcher
Cameras Tom Fletcher throws an arm
around Fletcher marketing rep Kelli
Bingham; 8. Kneece soaks up the rays
with BSC icon Joe Dunton, MBE;
9. Theo van de Sande, ASC shares his
knowledge with an attentive student;
10. Peter Deming, ASC and
Technicolors Dana Ross flank Oliver
Bokelberg, ASC, BVK; 11. Open House
guests enjoy balmy weather on the
ASCs front lawn.
Radiant Images, View
Factor Launch Novo
Los Angeles-based rental house
Radiant Images is now renting
View Factor Studios Novo digital
cinema camera. Radiant Images
collaborated with View Factor
Studios on the camera, which is
designed to provide filmmakers
with the power and versatility of a
small form-factor camera, but with fewer cinematic limitations.
Key features of the Novo include a C-mount lens system with
back-focus adjustment to eliminate a fish-eye look or bubble effect, as
well as exposure-control capabilities that enable a wide range of possi-
bilities for camera operators and cinematographers. The camera is
capable of recording at 2K and 4K resolution.
Due to the cost of development and ongoing improvements
that are still being added to the camera, the Novo is only being offered
for rental, exclusively through Radiant Images. The Novo rental pack-
age includes the camera, custom-geared C-Mount lenses and all the
required accessories.
For additional information, visit www.radiantimages.com and
www.viewfactor.net.
Panasonic Unveils PX5000G Camcorder
Panasonic has introduced the AJ-PX5000G, the companys first
P2 HD camcorder with native AVC-Ultra recording and built-in MicroP2
card slots. The
2
3" 3-MOS camera features 720p and 1080p/i record-
ing, and is the first P2 camcorder that will record in full-resolution,
10-bit 1080/60p (in AVC-Intra100). AVC-LongG is standard, and the
camcorder also offers optional AVC-Intra200 recording, which, at
twice the bit rate per frame of AVC-Intra100, is virtually lossless and
delivers a master-quality codec in an affordable, file-based shoulder-
mount camera. High-resolution AVC-Proxy recording is also an option.
The PX5000Gs three 2.2-megapixel MOS sensors deliver a hori-
zontal resolution of 1,000 TV lines and sensitivity of f12 over 60i. The
camcorders
2
3" format accommodates a variety of interchangeable
lenses. Recording formats include AVC-LongG and AVC-Intra100/50,
with optional recording in DVCPro HD, DVCPro50, DVCPro and DV.
The camcorder is also switchable between 50 and 59.94 Hz for world-
wide use.
Panasonics AVC-Ultra offers master-quality and/or low-bit-rate
10-bit, 4:2:2 recording in Full HD to meet a variety of user needs from
mastering to transmission. AVC-LongG offers up to 10-bit 4:2:2
recording in a much smaller file size, saving storage costs and transfer
times while maintaining video quality comparable to MPEG-2. The
PX5000G incorporates a selection of AVC-LongG quality levels, includ-
ing AVC-LongG50 and AVC-LongG25. Additionally, AVC-Proxy
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.
encodes can be made in parallel with higher-bandwidth production
formats to enable fast, efficient offline editing at bit rates from 3.5
megabits down to 800 kilobits per second.
Weighing just over 8 pounds, the PX5000G is equipped with
two MicroP2 slots, two standard P2 slots and an SD-card slot for
proxy/metadata recording. The camera also boasts Chromatic Aber-
ration Compensation to maximize lens performance, Dynamic
Range Stretch to help compensate for wide variations in lighting,
and a highly accurate flash-band detection and compensation algo-
rithm. The camcorder also delivers seven-mode gamma selection
and extensive image settings. The cameras functions can be
accessed through an LCD display on the side of the camera. The
system also incorporates a 16:9, 3.5", 920,000-dot-resolution LCD
color viewfinder that doubles as an LCD monitor when open; a
simplified waveform and vectorscope; and a 10-pin remote terminal
for remote operation.
Other standard features include Scan Reverse for use with a
cinema lens adaptor; Digital Zoom function for 2x and 4x close-ups;
Variable Shutter Speed from
1
12 to
1
2000 plus Synchro Scan; and a
four-position (Clear, ,
1
16 and
1
64) optical neutral-density filter
wheel. Professional interfaces include MON out, HDMI out, HD/SD-
SDI in/out, 3G-SDI out, genlock, time-code in/out,
USB 3.0 and a two-channel UniSlot-
compatible wireless
receiver.
Additional
features of the
PX5000G include
wireless and
wired connection
ability with Wi-Fi,
USB and Gigabit
Ethernet, including
wireless control of key camera functions from a smart phone, and
optional support of operational integration with live video uplink
transmitter devices from Panasonic partners including LiveU,
AVIWest, Streambox and TVU Networks. The PX5000G is scheduled
for availability in the fall with a suggested retail price under $28,000.
Panasonic is also now delivering its 64GB and 32GB MicroP2
memory cards. Boasting an SD-card form factor, the AJ-P2M064A
64GB and AJ-P2M032A 32GB cards are available for a suggested
price of $380 and $250, respectively. The AJ-P2AD1 MicroP2
adapter, which enables use of MicroP2 cards in a standard P2 card
slot, is also available for a suggested price of $199, and the AJ-MPD1
MicroP2 drive is available for $350.
For additional information, visit www.panasonic.com/
broadcast.
90 May 2013 American Cinematographer
JVC Announces GY-HM70
Shoulder-Mount Camcorder
JVC Professional Products Company,
a division of JVC Americas Corp., has intro-
duced the GY-HM70 ProHD shoulder-
supported camcorder. The GY-HM70 deliv-
ers 60p full HD images and, with a
12-megapixel CMOS imager, records
1920x1080 footage in the AVCHD Progres-
sive format at 28 Mbps to dual solid-state
memory cards.
Additional features of the GY-HM70
include manual focus, iris and shutter
controls, as well as manual and automatic
white balance. The GY-HM70 also provides
an optical image stabilizer, auto focus and
focus assist.
JVCs swappable dual-battery system
allows hours of continuous, uninterrupted
shooting. For shoulder-supported shooting,
the GY-HM70 has a .24" LCOS color
viewfinder, but also features a 3" LCD flip-
out touch-screen display for tripod shots and
playback. Audio features include a built-in
zoom microphone, 3.5mm microphone
input and 3.5mm headphone jack.
With the introduction of the GY-
HM70, JVC immediately focuses on the
entry-level professional video market with a
very cost-effective shoulder-mount camera,
says Craig Yanagi, JVCs national marketing
and brand manager. At this price, and
packed with innovative features, the GY-
HM70 will appeal to various market
segments where budget is limited but a full-
sized camcorder is the preferred choice.
Suggested retail price for the GY-
HM70 is $1,995. For additional information,
visit http://pro.jvc.com.
Hitachi Kokusai Introduces
Studio Camera
Hitachi Kokusai Electric America has
introduced the Z-HD6000 CMOS HDTV
studio camera, which features a new
2
3"
CMOS camera processor.
Weve designed the Z-HD6000
camera with integrated features that
enhance the studio production workflow,
while saving our customers money, says
Sean Moran, vice president of Sales, Broad-
cast & Professional Division at Hitachi. By
incorporating useful operational features in
the camera system, weve eliminated the
need for external hardware and extra wiring,
making our system simpler to use, integrate
and deploy.
The Z-HD6000 camera head provides
built-in access points, which decrease or
eliminate the need for external power
sources. The camera also provides two IFB
channels for listen only, two auxiliary feeds
that can send video to the operator, two
video feeds that can go to talent and studio
monitors, a second intercom channel for the
floor manager or spotter, and a tally view-
able in the talent prompter.
Additional features include f12 stan-
dard sensitivity with more than 60dB of
signal-to-noise ratio and an RLAC real-time
lens-aberration-correction function. The
camera also boasts no vertical smear.
For additional information, visit
www.hitachikokusai.com.
Adorama Grows Flashpoint
Accessory Line
Adorama has expanded its line of
Flashpoint accessories with the Flashpoint
Swivi HD DSLR LCD Universal Foldable
Viewfinder Version II and the Flashpoint
ZeroGrav Camera Stabilizer.
The Flashpoint Swivi is designed for
use with DSLR cameras and provides a clear
view of the camera LCD. The viewfinders 3x
magnification mode assists shooters in
ensuring a subject remains in focus, and its
standard mode hoods the view of the LCD
from sunlight. The Flashpoint Swivi also
features a comfortable rubber eyecup,
which can be rotated to suit left- or right-
eye shooting, and its mounting plate makes
it easy to install and remove. This model of
Flashpoint Swivi retails for $150.
The Flashpoint ZeroGrav Camera
Stabilizer is designed to allow shooters to
control camera movement with precision,
ease and comfort while mitigating shakes
and bumps. DSLR cameras can be attached
to the ZeroGrav platform directly or by way
of a quick-release adapter. The ZeroGrav
Camera Stabilizer retails for $300.
Adorama has also introduced the
Flashpoint All-Inclusive DSLR/DV Cinema
Bundle, which ships with Flashpoints DSLR
Shoulder Rig II with Rails and Quick-Release
System, a Matte Box System II, and the
Follow-Focus Pro II with clip-on system. This
solidly constructed, customizable Bundle
allows users to position and accessorize
their DSLR or camcorder for their individual
shooting requirements. All items in the
Cinema Bundle are backed by a two-year
warranty.
For additional details, visit
www.adorama.com.
92
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Digital Art | CG Research | Animation | Technological Innovations
| Post Production | Interactive Applications | Mobile Graphics | Industry Trends
Present your creative achievements, innovations and stellar technical research.
Review program guidelines, plan your schedule and submit your best work.
Technical Papers 14 May
Courses 6 June
Symposium on Mobile Graphics and Interactive Applications 6 June
Art Gallery 13 June
Emerging Technologies 13 June
Computer Animation Festival 2 July
Posters 9 July
Technical Briefs 9 July
For complete details, visit sa2013.siggraph.org/submitters.
CONFERENCE 19 NOV - 22 NOV
EXHIBITION 20 NOV - 22 NOV
HONG KONG CONVENTION
AND EXHIBITION CENTRE
SA2013.SIGGRAPH.ORG
94 May 2013 American Cinematographer
Watch out
for ex-demo and
used equipment!
www.movietech.de

International Marketplace
OppCam Grip Systems
www.theasc.com May 2013 95
CLASSIFIED AD RATES
All classifications are $4.50 per word. Words set in
bold face or all capitals are $5.00 per word. First word
of ad and advertisers name can be set in capitals with-
out extra charge. No agency commission or discounts on
clas si fied advertising.PAYMENT MUST AC COM PA NY ORDER.
VISA, Mastercard, AmEx and Discover card are ac cept -
ed. Send ad to Clas si fied Ad ver tis ing, Amer i can
Cin e ma tog ra pher, P.O. Box 2230, Hol ly wood, CA
90078. Or FAX (323) 876-4973. Dead line for payment
and copy must be in the office by 15th of second month
preceding pub li ca tion. Sub ject mat ter is lim it ed to items
and ser vic es per tain ing to film mak ing and vid eo pro duc -
tion. Words used are sub ject to mag a zine style ab bre vi -
a tion. Min i mum amount per ad: $45
CLASSIFIEDS ON-LINE
Ads may now also be placed in the on-line Classi-
fieds at the ASC web site.
Internet ads are seen around the world at the
same great rate as in print, or for slightly more you
can appear both online and in print.
For more information please visit
www.theasc.com/advertiser, or e-mail: classi-
fieds@theasc.com.
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
4X5 85 Glass Filters, Diffusion, Polas etc. A Good
Box Rental 818-763-8547
14,000+ USED EQUIPMENT ITEMS. PRO VIDEO &
FILM EQUIPMENT COMPANY. 50 YEARS EXPERI-
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CALL BILL 972 869 9990, 888 869 9998.
Worlds SUPERMARKET of USED MOTION
PICTURE EQUIPMENT! Buy, Sell, Trade.
CAMERAS, LENSES, SUPPORT, AKS & MORE!
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Call 440.647.4999
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
Cooke S4/i Lenses For Sale
18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm,75mm
$85,000 OBO wade@4kdp.com
SERVICES AVAILABLE
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Classifieds
Advertisers Index
16x9, Inc. 91
AC 92, 95, 97
Adorama 7, 31
AJA Video Systems, Inc. 21
Anton/Bauer, Inc. 45
Arri 11
ASC 76
AZGrip 94
Backstage Equipment, Inc.
8
Barger-Lite 94
Birns & Sawyer 94
Blackmagic Design, Inc. 17
Canon USA Video 5
Carl Zeiss SBE, LLC 13
Cavision Enterprises 27
Chapman/Leonard Studio
Equipment Inc. 29
Cinebags Inc. 95
Cine Gear Expo 99
Cinematographer Style 96
Cinematography
Electronics 91
Cinekinetic 94
Codex Digital Ltd. 15
Cooke Optics 9
Duclos Lenses 8
DV Expo 33
Eastman Kodak C4
Film Gear 91
Filmotechnic USA 44
Filmtools 92
Glidecam Industries 19
Hertz Corporation C3
Kino Flo 55
Lee Filters 64
Lights! Action! Co. 94
Los Angeles Film Festival 63
Maine Media 8
Manfrotto Distribution 43
Manios Optical 94
M.M. Mukhi & Sons 94
Movie Tech AG 94, 95
NBC Universal 53
Oppenheimer Camera Prod.
94
Panther Gmbh 54
PC&E 65
Pille Film Gmbh 94
Pro8mm 94
Production Resource Group
41
Red Digital Cinema 46-47
Schneider Optics 2,
Siggraph Asia 93
Siggraph 71
Sim Digital 23
Super16 Inc. 94
Thales Angenieux C2-1
VF Gadgets, Inc. 95
Vimeo 25
Willys Widgets 95
www.theasc.com 6, 95, 96
96
Society Welcomes Sarossy
New active member Paul Sarossy,
ASC, BSC, CSC inherited his love of images
from his father, who studied fine art and
worked as a news cameraman. Growing up
in Ontario, Sarossy had no television, but
instead watched the 16mm films his father
brought home from the TV station. He
learned how to shoot, process and edit
video by working at the same station as a
teenager.
Sarossy studied film at York Univer-
sity in Toronto, graduating in 1987. In 1989,
he shot director Atom Egoyans second
feature, Speaking Parts, and the two have
since created 10 more films together,
including Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter,
Ararat, Where the Truth Lies and Chloe.
Sarossy has won five Academy of Canadian
Cinema and Television Awards.
Cinematographers Enjoy
Awards Season
Several ASC members and their
collaborators were feted during awards
season.
At BAFTAs Orange British Academy
Film Awards, the cinematography nominees
were Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC (Anna
Karenina); Claudio Miranda, ASC (Life of
Pi); Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (Skyfall);
Danny Cohen, BSC (Les Misrables); and
Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln). Miranda won the
award.
At the Film Independent Spirit
Awards, Ben Richardson took home the
Best Cinematography honor for Beasts of
the Southern Wild. Also nominated were
Yoni Brook (Valley of Saints); Lol Crawley
(Here); Robert Yeoman, ASC (Moonrise
Kingdom); and Roman Vasyanov (End of
Watch).
At the Academy Awards, Miranda
took home the Oscar for Life of Pi. Also
nominated were McGarvey, Deakins,
Kaminski and Robert Richardson, ASC
(Django Unchained).
Wrapping up this years awards
season, the Society of Camera Operators
honored Andrew Voegeli, SOC for Breaking
Bad (TV Camera Operator of the Year);
Mitch Dubin, SOC for Lincoln (Feature Film
Camera Operator of the Year); and Bruce
MacCallum, SOC (Lifetime Achievement
Award).
Additionally, Seamus McGarvey
presented Peter Robertson, ACO, SOC,
with The Historical Shot Award for the
Dunkirk Beach Steadicam shot in Atone-
ment, a title they worked on together.
The SOC also honored Woody
Omens, ASC with the Distinguished
Service Award and presented Canon with a
Technical Achievement Award for its
Cinema EOS C300 and C500 camera
systems.
Silverman, Smith, Poster
Join HPA Tech Retreat
ASC associates Leon Silverman
and Garrett Smith and Steven Poster,
ASC recently participated in the Hollywood
Post Alliances 19th annual Tech Retreat, a
gathering of technical and creative talent
from across the industry.
Silverman, the president of the HPA,
was on hand throughout the retreat and
participated in the session More, Bigger
but Better? Smith and others joined Silver-
man as a panelist.
Poster led the breakfast roundtable
discussion Talking Data with Camera
with Michael Chambliss and Mark Wein-
gartner.
Clubhouse News
98 May 2013 American Cinematographer
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From top: Paul Sarossy, ASC, BSC, CSC;
Florence and Woody Omens, ASC; Seamus
McGarvey, ASC, BSC.
100 May 2013 American Cinematographer
When you were a child, what film made the strongest impres-
sion on you?
At the age of 14, I accompanied my father to a screening of John
Schlesingers Darling (1965). I dont think my father realized the adult
nature of the film when he invited me. It was risqu, to be sure, but
I was able to process, understand and
thoroughly enjoy it.
Which cinematographers, past or
present, do you most admire?
Gregg Toland, ASC, for his exquisite
black-and-white cinematography in films
such as Citizen Kane and The Grapes of
Wrath, and ASC members Conrad Hall,
Gordon Willis and Vittorio Storaro for
their use of cinematography in not only
conveying mood and emotion but also
actually telling the story.
What sparked your interest in photography?
After shooting my first roll of 16mm with a hand-cranked Bolex, I
knew to my core that I wanted to be a cinematographer.
Where did you train and/or study?
The University of Southern California.
Who were your early teachers or mentors?
Woody Omens, ASC; Michael P. Joyce; and Dean Semler, ASC, ACS.
What are some of your key artistic influences?
The writings of Borges; the paintings of Caravaggio and Dali; the
films of Buuel, Kubrick, Bertolucci and Roeg; and the cinematogra-
phers mentioned in my answer to your second question.
How did you get your first break in the business?
My father, Richard Maibaum, was a screenwriter and producer, and
I constantly pestered him to get me some kind of industry job. He
was adamant that I go to college and get a degree first. True to his
word, upon my graduating with a B.A. in cinema from USC, he
recommended me to a colleague who knew of a director of photog-
raphy, Michael P. Joyce, who owned a small production company,
FilmArt. Mike was expanding his business into renting cameras
(including the then-new Arri 35BL), lighting and grip equipment, and
needed someone to fill an entry-level position. I did everything from
making coffee and delivering equipment to taking his car to be
washed. Over time, I began to help assistants prep cameras, and I
was soon putting together the camera, grip and electric equipment
for productions Mike shot. FilmArt was a signatory to the I.A., so I
was able to get the necessary days to qualify for union membership
as a loader, and I began to work with Mike and other cinematogra-
phers on jobs that were payrolled through the company. I stayed
with Mike for six years until I was able to start freelancing as a first
assistant. I will be forever indebted to Mike for his generosity,
patience and trust.
What has been your most satisfying
moment on a project?
Shooting director Christopher Reeves
final project, The Brooke Ellison Story, a
MOW about a young girl with the same
paralysis as his. Working alongside Chris
gave me a new perspective about lifes
priorities.
Have you made any memorable
blunders?
Yes. As a camera operator, I gave a most
unsatisfactory assessment of a shot to
the lead actor. After being let go upon the actors insistence, I
became available to move up to director of photography.
What is the best professional advice youve ever received?
All one really has in this business is ones reputation as someone
who can be trusted.
What recent books, films or artworks have inspired you?
The Stanley Kubrick exhibition thats currently up at the Los Angeles
County Museum of Art.
Do you have any favorite genres, or genres you would like to
try?
Westerns and hard-boiled detective noirs.
If you werent a cinematographer, what might you be doing
instead?
I would be a puppeteer with Jim Hensons Muppets.
Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for
membership?
Julio Macat, Johnny Jensen and Daryn Okada.
How has ASC membership impacted your life and career?
To be included on the ASC roster is the fulfillment of a career-long
aspiration. The realization that I am considered a peer is humbling,
and it inspires me on a daily basis to do work that the current
members and the legendary cinematographers of the past would be
proud of.
Paul Maibaum, ASC Close-up
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