President’s Letter – June 2013

June 7, 2013 by  
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Passing Ships

Indulge me some very personal ruminations this month about two people who recently passed away, both of whom helped to define the cinematographer I was to become and the man (and artist) I am today. Read more

President’s Letter – May 2013

May 2, 2013 by  
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Into the Abbey

Last month I had the good fortune to attend the annual exposition sponsored by the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC), which took place on a stage at the venerable Pinewood Studios, located roughly 20 miles outside the heart of London’s Soho District. Pinewood is, of course, famous for scores of incredible movies, including the James Bond franchise and the classic cinema of Stanley Kubrick. It is always a thrill for me to walk into a workplace like Pinewood and feel such awesome movie history. Read more

President’s Letter – April 2013

April 3, 2013 by  
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The Miracle Within

One of America’s greatest poet laureates, Ralph Waldo Emerson, famously said: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Since I first picked up a camera I’ve let these words be my guide as if my professional (and artistic) soul depended on them. Read more

President’s Letter – March 2013

February 28, 2013 by  
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BEST OF FRIENDS

Who’s one of the cinematographer’s very best partners on the set? The visual effects supervisor, and I say that with some degree of authority having discovered, literally at the dawn of my career, just how symbiotic the relationship is between the camera department and those charged with overseeing visual effects. Read more

President’s Letter – February 2013

January 31, 2013 by  
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Seeing is Disbelieving

It is interesting to note that nearly all of the awards for scientific and technical achievement the Motion Picture Academy will hand out this year are for developments in digital software. One notable exception is an Academy Award® of Merit to Cooke Optics 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.” Read more

President’s Letter – January 2013

January 2, 2013 by  
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Magic Hour

Do we really have to continue the discussion debating the relative merits of film and digital? In my opinion, that argument has not only left the starting gate, it’s crossed the finish line.

After a recent screening of Side by Side, a feature documentary that probes why digital has supplanted film, directed by Christopher Kenneally and produced and narrated by actor Keanu Reeves, an interesting discussion ensued. Read more

President’s Letter – December 2012

December 3, 2012 by  
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Torches Burning

In the language of this Twitter generation: OMG! The plethora of imaging platforms that exist today breaks with more than 100 years of filmmaking history. When I was part of the “next generation,” the big excitement was being able to record sync sound with a camera mounted on your shoulder (the converted Auricon). That was followed closely by the thrilling debut of the Éclair NPR, which, fully outfitted, weighed about 50 pounds, considered a small camera in its day. Read more

President’s Letter – November 2012

November 5, 2012 by  
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Heart Strings

I’d say the majority of cinematographers that I know began their careers, indeed cut their teeth, shooting some form of non-fiction – news, vérité, documentary features – and I’ve been no exception. This is no small praise, given that the non-fiction format provides a solid base for visual storytelling; it demands brevity and economy of information, and a photographic approach that is always in the service of the narrative. Read more

President’s Letter – October 2012

October 2, 2012 by  
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Message in a Bottle

I’d like to begin and end this column with a pair of clichés, which, after all, only ripple so deeply through popular culture because they contain an element of truth. In the case of the most popular topic in our industry right now – workflow – I have seen the future, and the future is now. Read more

President’s Letter – September 2012

September 7, 2012 by  
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Gravitas

Lately we’ve been hearing about the standard model in physics, which claims that finding one more subatomic particle will yield the so-called “God” particle, thus explaining all we need to know about our physical world. There is, however, one wildcard that doesn’t fit this standard model, and for which science has no answer – gravity – and it’s an apt metaphor for this moment in our industry’s evolution. Read more

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