Here's the June 2010 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which offers coverage of both summer blockbusters and intriguing indie releases.
Robin Hood (Universal)
John Mathieson, ASC, BSC and director Ridley Scott continued their ongoing collaboration with this brawny, full-blooded adventure epic that tracks the rise of the titular hero (played by Russell Crowe), an archer in the service of King Richard the Lionheart who becomes a defiant outlaw. Mathieson discusses the more intense, reality-based visual strategies he and Scott brought to the classic English folktale, and how their approach (which they previously employed with great success on the historical action spectacular Gladiator) brings a new spin to a famous character.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Disney)
John Seale, ASC, ACS was behind the camera for this ambitious, big-screen adaptation of the popular video game, which follows adventurous Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he joins forces with a rival princess (Gemma Arterton) to prevent an angry ruler (Ben Kingsley) from unleashing an apocalyptic sandstorm that could destroy the world. Seale discusses the challenges involved in combining soundstage work at Pinewood Studios with footage shot on location in Morocco and extensive visual-effects.
Micmacs (Sony Pictures Classics)
Tetsuo Nagata (whose credits include La Vie En Rose and the ‘Quartier de la Madeleine’ segment of Paris je t’aime) shot this crime caper for French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who is renowned for the stylish visual approach he has brought to films such as Delicatessen, Alien: Resurrection, The City of Lost Children, A Very Long Engagment and Amélie. Nagata outlines the game plan he employed to visualize the film’s intricate plot, which follows the efforts of a group of friends who develop a clever, complex scheme to destroy two major weapons manufacturers.
The White Stripes Under the Great Northern Lights (IFC Films)
Director of photography Giles Dunning headed a crack camera team on this visually striking concert film and ‘rockumentary’ that focuses its lenses on the White Stripes, the highly influential American indie rock duo (comprising musical mastermind Jack White and drummer Meg White) as they embark upon a spirited summer 2007 tour of Canada, where they play shows in both typical venues and smaller, more unorthodox settings (including a bowling alley, a pool hall and a city bus). Dunning and director Emmett Malloy, who shot primarily on 16mm film stocks, discusses the strategies and philosophies they employed to capture dynamic footage of the band’s performances and scenic shots of the small Canadian towns they passed through.
The June issue’s departments also offers illuminating insights:
- Short Takes features insights from cinematographer Isi Sarfati about his work on the acclaimed short film Land and Bread, which has earned more than a dozen international prizes, including the Golden Lion for Best Short Film at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.
- Production Slate offers offer an interview with Michael McDonough about his cinematography for the dramatic feature Winter’s Bone, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. This section spotlights Martin Ruhe, who details his photographic approach to the British revenge thriller Harry Brown.
- Post Focus explains how Lit Post helped the indie filmmakers behind the Sundance feature Frozen create wintry weather with 130 visual-effects shots, created in real time over just 3 1/2 days as part of the movie’s digital-intermediate workflow.
- ASC Close-Up offers a profile of Society member John Schwartzman, whose credits include The Rock, Conspiracy Theory, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Rookie, Seabiscuit, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.