Death, loss and disappearance were points of departure for many Sundance 2014 stories: coincidence or zeitgeist for indie film? By Valentina I. Valentini.
Whether deliberate or not, independent filmmakers rebooted this year’s Sundance Film Festival, taking more-traditional narratives and breaking away from their usual modes of representation. It’s not necessarily a reinvention of genre but at least a reimagining and therefore a revisualization of the small-town character with universal issues beloved by Sundance audiences and programmers alike. Read more
Andrew Dunn, BSC and his Guild camera team, gives the Atlanta-based romantic drama, Endless Love, a timeless look. By Valentina I. Valentini. All photos by Quantrell D. Colbert/Universal Pictures.
Andrew Dunn, BSC is known for a varied resume, hopping deftly from period dramas like Robert Altman’s Gosford Park and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, to teen dramas (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) to studio rom-coms (Crazy, Stupid, Love). He says his versatility is key to his craft, noting that, “it’s important to work with new directors, or I can get into a rut, or be typecast. As cinematographers that can easily happen.” Read more
IMAX filmmakers take large screen format (and celluloid) to infinity and beyond. By Kevin H. Martin. Photos courtesy of IMAX & MacGillivray-Freeman Films.
If Aristotle was right that nature abhors a vacuum, then the debut of large-format venue IMAX in 1970 seems, in retrospect, inevitable. Three-panel Cinerama had gone the way of the dodo, and that same year, David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter (Oscar-winning cinematography courtesy of Freddie Young, BSC) became the last major studio feature to shoot in Super Panavision 70 (save for Far and Away, shot by Mikael Salomon, ASC, 22 years later). The 1970s also saw the end of the “event” film released on a limited number of screens, and the beginning of the multiplex era, which further helped to “shrink” the cinematic experience. Read more
ECA winners mingle with new indie directors at Technicolor event
By Valentina I. Valentini
Building a career as a cinematographer is no easy task. Great visuals are often overlooked if the project is poorly reviewed or little seen. When a film falls flat with festival audiences, or a new TV show doesn’t make it past a few episodes, the DP may not be remembered, no matter how stunning or surprising the look. That leaves some very talented cameramen and women without the exposure to advance their careers. Read more
by Pauline Rogers
Newcomer Colin Rich has found an interesting niche in time-lapse cinematography. Everyone, from commercial to feature shooters, relies upon time-lapse at some point in their careers. But it’s still mostly unexplored terrain in many ways. Read more
America’s “Best Idea” started in California, and a new PBS documentary wants to make sure it doesn’t end there
by David Geffner photos courtesy of Backcountry Pictures
Writer/director David Vassar has been a self-described “parkie” for most of his adult life, serving as a ranger in Yosemite National Park when he was 20, and working for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. The evocative short film Spirit of Yosemite, made by Vassar in 2001, still plays today in that park’s Visitor Center, educating hundreds of thousands each year about the Golden State’s most prized natural treasure. Read more
A history of film emulsion. By Pauline Rogers.
Have you ever heard the story about the strip of plastic that changed the world? About the development (pun intended) of a physical and chemical process that brought people into theaters built only for live entertainment, and allowed them to experience worlds as far as their imaginations could take them? Read more
Publicists honor their own at the 49th annual awards event. By Pauline Rogers. All photos by Mathew Imaging.
Awards Season is traditionally a time when the entertainment industry loses itself in anticipatory buzz: who among its own – actors/directors/cinematographers/writers, etc. – will take home that career-changing hardware this year? But did you know the reason the entire world knows its “gaga time in Lotusland” (try tweeting that 10 times) is because of the intense marketing efforts of those behind-the-scenes folks known as publicists? These Guild members make Hollywood’s PR machine go, and once a year the spotlight is turned on them in their annual Publicists Guild Awards, presented by Local 600. Read more
FIND/ECA networking event unites emerging filmmakers. By Pauline Rogers.
FIND (Film Independent), the non-profit arts organization producers of the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, also helms a Directing Lab dedicated to the development of independent talent, much the same as Local 600’s Emerging Cinematographers Awards. FIND Lab fellows workshop and shoot key scenes from their feature film projects. This year, thanks to the efforts of Local 600 President Steven Poster and ECA Chairman Jim Matlosz, a group of Lab directors in search of cinematographers came together to explore possible partnerships with ECA winners. Read more
This year’s Shooting Gallery spread is comprised of images we call “lost and found.” They are moments from real life, snatched by the watchful eyes of Local 600 Unit Stills members from film, television sets, and live events, after the cameras stopped turning. They are idiosyncratic, mysterious and poignant, revealing the strange magic of the entertainment industry better than any behind-the-scenes documentary. Some – like a pack of screaming fans at a concert – capture the innocence of a lost era. Others, like a crewmember in silhouette on a scaffold, or a little boy napping on an equipment cart, hint at something deeply human in a process often overshadowed by (and dependent on) technology. If the act of production is wholly artificial, often losing sight of the emotional goals that are sought, then this gallery of lovely, and often surprising, photographs is where those feelings are found. It just requires the right person with a camera. Read more