The November 2009 issue of American Cinematographer magazine has a special focus on holiday releases and a salute to cinematographers nominated for Emmy Awards. (All articles are tentative and subject to change.)
Where the Wild Things Are (Warner Bros.)
Lance Acord, ASC and director Spike Jonze followed their successful collaborations on Being John Malkovich and Adaptation with this epic interpretation of Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book. When young Max (Max Records) runs away from home, he sets out on an adventure to a land populated by incredible creatures brilliantly realized by a seamless mix of live-action puppetry (courtesy of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop) and CG effects. Acord will discuss his naturalistic approach to the film’s magical settings, which were shot on location in Australia.
The Box (Warner Bros.)
Steven Poster, ASC will discuss his work with third collaboration with director Richard Kelly (following Donnie Darko and Southland Tales) on this thriller about morality and its consequences. Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive the gift of a simple wooden box containing a strange device topped with a large button. A mysterious stranger informs them that by pressing the button, they will receive $1 million; however, this choice will simultaneously cause the death of a complete stranger somewhere in the world. With just 24 hours to decide, the Lewises find themselves struggling with a desperate dilemma.
The Damned United (Sony Pictures Classics)
Ben Smithard collaborated with director Tom Hooper to tell the true story of Brian Clough’s brief, disastrous tenure as manager of Leeds United, the reigning champions of English football, in 1974. The arrogant and ambitious Clough (Michael Sheen) disparages his predecessor, Don Revie (Colm Meaney); alienates longtime friend and assistant coach Peter Taylor (Timothy Spall); and inspires only anger and disgust in his new team. AC’s London correspondent, Mark Hope-Jones, went behind the scenes on the English production.
The November issue’s departments will also offer illuminating insights:
- Short Takes will detail the making of the experimental short film Synesthesia.
- Production Slate will pieces on recent features from cinematographers Declan Quinn, ASC (The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) and Luc Montpellier, CSC (Cairo Time).
- Post Focus will offer details about Lowry Digital’s recent digital restoration of footage from the Apollo 11 space mission and moon landing. The images entrusted to Lowry were processed by television scan converters located at NASA’s tracking sites, and the materials were gathered from a wide variety of sources. Part of the challenge for the company involved untangling the knot of formats, frame rates and resolutions.
- Filmmakers’ Forum will explore the controversy surrounding the recent Blu-ray DVD of The French Connection, with input from director William Friedkin and cinematographer Owen Roizman, ASC.
- ASC Close-Up will offer a profile of Society member Anastas Michos, whose cinematography credits include the features Man on the Moon, Death to Smoochy, Mona Lisa Smile,