Magazine article American Cinematographer

Chicago Hope: "Time to Kill"

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Chicago Hope: "Time to Kill"

Article excerpt

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James R. Bagdonas, ASC

Chicago Hope

"Time to Kill"

The Emmy-nominated Chicago Hope episode, 'Time to Kill," also earned James R. Bagdonas, ASC an ASC Award nomination earlier this year (see AC May '97). The cameraman remarks, "We use a lot of camera movement on Chicago Hope. We often follow action from room to room and from one person to another, and we take dramatic license with the lighting. We put bright slashes across someone's chest without worrying whether there is a window in the room. In other places, we let things go dark where there wouldn't normally be dark places in a hospital. We also use really warm lights in the hallways, which are normally lit by fluorescents."

Bagdonas, who is in his second season with Chicago Hope, fell into cinematography by accident. While working as a rock band roadie in Chicago, he was introduced to Roy Wagner, ASC, who offered him a job as a camera assistant on a film. After the movie wrapped, Bagdonas moved to Los Angeles and landed a spot in the camera department at Warner Bros. He assisted such ASC greats as Haskell Wexler, Conrad Hall and John Alonzo before moving up to operator and collaborating with cinematographers Chuck Minsky and Ray Villalobos, who became his mentors. …

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