American Cinematographer

American Cinematographer is the monthly magazine published by the American Society of Cinematographers. American Cinematographer covers film and video production techniques.

Articles from Vol. 87, No. 4, April

A Modern Take on Dr. Caligari
Words such as "classic" and "groundbreaking" are often bandied about, but few films are more deserving of superlatives than The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Directed by Robert Wiene, this seminal silent film, made in Germany in 1919, reshaped the aesthetics...
An Unmarried Woman
An Unmarried Woman (1978) 1.85:1 (16x9 Enhanced) Digital Dolby 2.0, Digital Monaural 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, $14.98"He was buying a shirt in Bloomingdale's and he fell in love," proclaims newly divorced Erica Benton (Jill clayburgh) when...
Asc Close-Up
Sol Negrin, ASCWhen you were a child, which film made the strongest impression on you?Many films of the late '30s and '40s impressed me. It's hard to pick just one, but some notable black-and-white pictures that come to mind are Citizen Kane, Casablanca,...
ASC's Technology Committee Helps Shape the Future
Cinematographers have formed the cornerstone of the filmmaking process since its inception by persistently using their mastery of evolving motion-picture technologies to create expressive images, while endeavoring to ensure that those images are faithfully...
Cargo
Cinematographer: Sean BobbittDirector: Clive Gordon"Dead men tell no tales," declares the law of the high seas, and in Cargo, the captain and crew of a decrepit bulk freighter go to chilling lengths to enforce this proverb. The tense psychological thriller...
Clubhouse News
New MemberAfter more than 30 years in the business, Anthony R. Palmieri, ASC has been welcomed into the Society's cadre of active members.Born in the Bronx in 1953, Palmieri went to work as a lighting technician for the 13th Street Theatre and Peter...
Cop vs. Robber
Matthew Libatique, ASC creates distinct visual environments for Inside Man, which pits a hardened cop against a resourceful bank robber.The studio synopsis for Spike Lee's latest film, Inside Man, informs us that it is the story of a "tough cop, Detective...
Editor's Note
Our biggest issue of the year so far is also our most diverse. Flipping through it, you'll find articles on projects shot in a wide range of formats: standard 35mm, anamorphic 35mm, Super 35mm, 8- and 15-perf 65mm, high-definition (HD) video, 24p HD...
Global Village
Mexican Charmer Duck Season Earns Its KudosAt a time when multiplexes seem saturated with big-budget bombast, it's refreshing to see Mexico lavish praise on the opposite sort of film: Duck Season, a black-and-white drama whose action occurs almost entirely...
Guava Performs Massive Feat
To drum up support for community-service programs, United Way created the "Lend a Hand" campaign, a series of PSAs starring players in the National Football League (NFL). One of the spots focuses on children's literacy and features Atlanta Falcons offensive...
In Memoriam: Leonard South, ASC
Leonard South, ASC, a former Society president and longtime member of the ASC Board of Governors, died on January 6 in Northridge, California.Although he was a well-respected director of photography, South was perhaps best known for his work as an assistant...
Into the Virtual Woods
Through real-time compositing live on set, director of photography David Stump, ASC puts a virtual spin on Red Riding Hood.When director Randal Kleiser paid a visit to his college roommate, George Lucas, on the set of Star Wars - Episode II, he watched...
Iraq in Fragments
Iraq in FragmentsDirector/Cinematographer: James LongleyIt's been three years since the United States invaded Iraq, and judging from the lineup at Sundance, that's the amount of time it has taken to fund, shoot and finish the first wave of independent...
Marked Man
Peter Sova, ASC lends a stylized look to Lucky Number Slevin, a gangster tale with plenty of plot twists.Lucky Number Slevin is a thriller/comedy hybrid whose unexpected acts of brutality and moments of comic relief keep the audience guessing. The picture...
Mysterious Skin
Mysterious Skin (2005) 1.85:1 (16x9 Enhanced) Digital Dolby 5.1, DTS Tartan/TLA Releasing, $24.99In the summer of 1981, two 8-year-old boys join a baseball team in their small Kansas town. Brian, shy and awkward, joins to satisfy his demanding father,...
New Products & Services
Testing Aerial Exposures' LS Gyro Aerial MountTwo years ago I tested an early prototype of Aerial Exposures' Gyro Stabilized Platform that was poised to alter the economics of shooting aerials. That platform sold for less than 10 percent of the competing...
President's Desk
"Our responsibility is to the visual image of the film as well as the well-being of the crew. The continuing and expanding practice of working extreme hours can compromise both the quality of our work and the health and safety of others."A simple, elegant...
Right at Your Door
Artful images abound in Park City, Utah.by Rachael K. Bosley, Jean Oppenheimer, Stephen Pizzello and Patricia ThomsonRight at Your DoorCinematographer: Tom RichmondDirector: Chris GorakOur coverage of this year's Sundance Film Festival begins with a...
Shooting Lonesome Jim in Rural Indiana
A relatively rural slice of central Indiana definitely rates as the filmmaking hinterlands, with the closest real support in terms of equipment and crew to be found in Chicago. But that doesn't matter too much if you don't need a lot in the way of equipment...
Sony's 4K Digital Projector
It was not a question of what but when, and after eight years of testing and research, Sony has effectively delivered on its digital-cinema promise. Developers negotiated their own twist with silicon and liquid-crystal microdisplays in direct competition...
Thank You for Smoking
Cinematographer: James WhitakerDirector: Jason ReitmanThe equal-opportunity satire Thank You for Smoking throws political correctness out the window. Its hero, Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), is the tobacco industry's chief spokesman, a smooth-talking spin...
The Competitive Edge
The Imax film Wired to Win uses the Tour de France to examine the human brain's response to competition and physical stress.Long considered one of the most grueling professional sporting events in the world, the Tour de France bicycle race spans 20 days...
The Refugee Experience in Hungary
The Hungarian short film Before Dawn, which received an honorable mention at this year's Sundance Film Festival, takes place in what appears to be one continuous shot that lasts for 13 minutes. In the moments just before sunrise, a cargo truck pulls...
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) 2.35:1 (16x9 Enhanced) Dolby Digital 5.1 Warner Home Video, $28.95One of the most underrated releases of last year was The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, an adaptation of the celebrated novel that retains...
The Virtual World of Mezzo
Perfection is difficult to achieve in the commercial world. Brutally short production and postproduction schedules hamper the fine-tuning of shots and visual effects, but the visual nature of the commercial - rapid-fire imagery, smash cuts, small-screen...
The World According to Sesame Street
Cinematographers: Nelson Hume and Christine BurrillDirectors: Linda Goldstein Knowlton and Linda Hawkins CostiganWhen a press and industry screening of a documentary about Sesame Street attracted a capacity crowd at Sundance, it was hard to tell which...
Who Needs Sleep?
Who Needs Sleep?Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler, ASCDirectors: Wexler and Lisa LeemanFeaturing interviews with those who labor behind and in front of the camera and medical experts who specialize in the field of sleep, the documentary Who Needs Sleep?...
Wild in the Streets
A Teen Odyssey and an Expressionist HomageEven by low-budget, guerilla-filmmaking standards, Larry dark's Wassup Hookers struck Steve Gainer, ASC as a daunting challenge. The MiniDV slice-of-life feature, which opened the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival...
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