Magazine article American Cinematographer

Close-Up: Ernie Holzman, ASC

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Close-Up: Ernie Holzman, ASC

Article excerpt

When you were a child, what film made the strongest impression on you?

Lawrence of Arabia.

Which cinematographers, past or present, do you most admire?

Raoul Coutard, Jordan Cronenweth [ASC], Owen Roizman [ASC] and Gordon Willis [ASC].

What sparked your interest in photography?

My father gave me a still camera when I was 15, and I developed and printed in a friend's darkroom.

Where did you train and/or study?

I studied cinematography at the AFI.

Who were your early teachers or mentors?

George Folsey [ASC] and Jordan Cronenweth.

What are some of your key artistic influences?

My wife, Terry, and I have visited many countries and I always enjoy walking the streets of cities - small towns - observing people and watching the light.

How did you get your first break in the business?

After an AFI internship with Jordan Cronenweth on Cutter's Way, Jordan offered me the job of film loader on his next projed - which would be Blade Runner.

What has been your most satisfying moment on a project?

When I shot the pilot for Miracles with Matt Reeves, we decided to continue the concept of shallow depth, which we had used on a previous project. However, in the third act, there was a pivotal scene in which the two main characters gradually realize they have been having the same recurring nightmare. I suggested to Matt that we film the scene as a single setup that would begin with the focus on the boy in close-up-profile and his priest out of focus in the background. As the scene progressed, and as the boy and the priest become aware of their spiritual connection, I proposed that we gradually increase the depth of field by using a Panavision electronic device to change the shutter opening from 12 degrees at f2. …

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