Magazine article American Cinematographer

1990 Emmy Nominations

Magazine article American Cinematographer

1990 Emmy Nominations

Article excerpt

Nominations in the creative arts categories of the 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards recently announced by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences include those for cinematography. There are two divisions: Outstanding Cinematography for a Series; and Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or a Special.

The common thread among the following accounts, from each of the nominees, is "a little room to move" for the director of photography. Despite strict teleproduction schedules, each nominee was given the necessary cooperation and freedom to create superlative visual imagery. The results speak for themselves.

John C. Flinn IH, ASC

Series: Jake and the Fatman

"If I Didn't Care," CBS

Special: The Operation, CBS

For three years running, John Flinn's cinematography on Jake and the Fatman has been recognized by the Television Academy as a cut above. This is quite an honor, but wait - there's more. This year, Flinn was also nominated in the miniseries or special category for a CBS special titled The Operation.

In both cases, Flinn gives credit to the subjects of his photography - the tastefully decorated sets and locations of The Operation, and the picturesque landscape and culture of Hawaii that form the backdrop for Jake and the Fatman.

Flinn may soon be known as the "Hawaii cameraman." After 3 1/2 years of photographing Magnum PI in the Aloha State, he was offered the episode oijake and the Fatman which moved the show from Hollywood to Hawaii. He accepted, and is now shooting his second season on the popular series. The nominated episode, "If I Didn't Care", was also directed by Flinn. Flinn had previously directed several episodes of Magnum, PI, but this was the first show he was to direct and photograph.

"Having the opportunity to direct was a real treat," says Flinn. "I was so well prepared for that show, and I knew I had no problem as far as doing my job as a director of photography. I wanted to see Hawaii, because I felt that I hadn't seen what I wanted to see in a lot of the shows that I've done. So we did a lot of exteriors at beach hotels, we worked the hula dancers into the story - we got to see a lot of the beauty of Hawaii, which goes a long way towards great cinematography.

"I knew what I could do in the amount of time I had to do it. The only person I had to answer for was myself-if I blew it, I blew it. I was able to do it my way, and I had fun doing it, but a lot of the credit must go to my crew - Pat McGinnis, Dennis Hall, Jim Luske - these guys make the whole thing possible."

The CBS Movie of the Week The Operation brought Flinn and his crew back to the mainland for a hectic 18 day schedule. The Machiavellian plot features a successful doctor plotting with a patient on an insurance scam. The doctor performs an unneccessary operation, the patient sues, and they are to live happily ever after on the proceeds. However, the patient's fiance and the doctor's wife (who is also a doctor) manage to gum up the works, and the results are unpleasant for all concerned.

"My job with the photography," says Flinn, "was to start off beautifully. We had a fantastic house in Malibu to begin with, and then as the doctor's life crumbles, it starts to get darker and less beautiful. Eighteen days was a tough go, but we had a real collective effort, everyone wanting the best. The editor, Tom Pryor, did a fantastic job. The actors were superlative. Leslie Frankenheimer, the set decorator, was just unbelievable. I could walk onto these sets with beautiful windows to bring source through, set the moods - I would walk in and say, 'Boy am I gonna have fun with this.'"

John Elsenbach, ASC

Murder, She Wrote

"Night of the Tarantula," CBS

At Universal and Twentieth Century Fox, John Elsenbach photographed segments of The Paper Chase, Black Sheep Squadron, Kojak; Rich Man, Poor Man Book II and The Alamo - Thirteen Days to Glory. On the latter he received an Emmy nomination in 1988. …

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