Editor's Note

By Pizzello, Stephen | American Cinematographer, August 2014 | Go to article overview

Editor's Note


Pizzello, Stephen, American Cinematographer


This month's issue spotlights a pair of movie musicals whose makers put some new spin on a familiar genre.

Get on Up, shot by Stephen Goldblatt, ASC, BSC, offers a non-linear look at the turbulent personal history of dynamic performer James Brown. Recounting the shoot for Jean Oppenheimer ("Funk Soul Brother," page 28), the cinematographer notes that the movie's approach is "more a kaleidoscope of the life of James Brawn than an A-to-B biopic. The storyline jumps backand-forth in time, covering some 60 years, and the photography reflects the changing periods."

The production was the first digital feature for Goldblatt, whose imaging arsenal included the Am Alexa, Canon's C500 and an Ikegami EC-35. The latter camera was used to lend a vintage look to a sequence depicting Brown's 1971 concert at Olympia Hail in Paris; for this performance set piece and others, the crew sought to replicate the look of period concert lighting. "We could have done all sorts of rock-and-roll effects," acknowledges Goldblatt, "but we didn't because they didn't exist back then."

On Jersey Boys, director Clint Eastwood also transitioned to the digital realm with the help of Tom Stern, ASC, AFC, The pair detailed their approach for AC contributor and Eastwood biographer Michael Goldman ("Capturing All 4 Seasons," page 42). "Our goal was to go down the list of everything that could screw us up, and make sure it didn't," says Stern, "After all, no one wants to walk up to the Man with No Name and explain things like latency, bandwidth and gigaflops!" The cinematographer reports that Eastwood, who has always favored a fast pace on set, was exceptionally pleased with one aspect of the new workflow: "Instead of flipping mags every eight minutes, we'd flip mags every 26 minutes, which for Clint is like Christmas seven days a week! …

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