Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Slam, Bang, Crash, Boom for the Rookie

By Gentry, Ric | American Cinematographer, January 1991 | Go to article overview

Slam, Bang, Crash, Boom for the Rookie

Gentry, Ric, American Cinematographer

Cinematographer Jack N. Green had one question for director (and star) Clint Eastwood prior to undertaking Warner Bros, production of The Rookie. "I just said that I would really enjoy shooting the film in (the 2:35 to 1) anamorphic screen ratio," Green recalls, "rather than spherical (1:85 to 1). After reading the script I felt that because of the dimensions and power of the (live action) special effects and stunts,77ze Rookie really deserved a big screen presentation. And the next day, Clint said, Teah, lef s do it that way.' That was our entire production meeting."

Indeed, many of the special effects action and stunt sequences for The Rookie are, in design and proportion, truly unprecedented, very much lending themselves to the wider format: an auto drives at high speed through fourth story windows just before the entire building explodes; two planes (one a 727) collide on a runway at 100 mph, producing a massive explosion; a truck on the freeway tows a two-tiered car carrier with six stolen vehicles #nd then, with a policeman in pursuit, jettisons half its cargo while speeding along, so that each of the abandoned cars drops to the pavement and careens in every direction, before the policeman drives right onto the carrier, which in turn is detached from the cab, so that the 21 ton carrier flips on its side, banks off the middle retainer wall and goes hurtling some 100 yards. All this is in real time, before the camera, no miniatures, no blue screen - and mostly done at night.

Green needed no further discussion with Eastwood prior to production for the simple reason that he is well apprised of the director's production methods and stylistic penchants. Green has worked with Eastwood and his Malpaso Productions on more than 20 fUms. Starting out in 1971 as an assistant for aerial photography on the original Dirty Harry, Green went on to become camera operator for seven films before moving up to director of photography for Heartbreak Ridge (1986), Bird (1988), The Dead Pool (1988), Pink Cadillac (1989), and White Hunter, Black, Heart (1990). In these films, as well as Like Father, Like Son (1987) and American Built (1988) Green has established himself as a resilient cinematographer, adapting the look of each film to the tenets of the narrative.

Green's preference for the anamorphic format was one aspect of his overall desire to distinguish The Rookie from recent action adventure films. "I didn't want to have the slick, over-produced look that seems to have become typical of this genre," Green says. "I wanted something more realistic, somewhat more coarse and with more mood. I approached that by establishing large areas of darkness and with light that was very directional and coming in at unusual angles. The actors weren't going through a lot of front light. In most cases it would be either a cross light or a sort of back light with only the tiniest bit of fill to the face and the eyes."

Strom's hideaway, the interior of which was situated at Barker Brothers furniture warehouse on 4th and Hewitt in downtown Los Angeles, is an example. Occupying the entire 100' x 150' floor, the room was replete with 16 monitors for Strom to survey strategic points outside. Green first established outside street ambience by directing two 12Ks through the sequence of paneled windows that ran the length of the floor. In the given location fixtures, 100 and 150 watt bare bulbs were positioned overhead to form pools of light throughout the room. Finally, Green placed six 2Ks on dimmers at calculated points out of view in the rafters above. Only one 2K was lit at a time, however.

"There was always a 2K at full power on the actors for that cross angle or back light," Green says. "But to maintain that look as the actors moved through the room, one 2K would dim out and another would come up to full brightness. That way we managed to avoid any front light with select angles coming in rather obliquely to the actors.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Slam, Bang, Crash, Boom for the Rookie


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.