The October 2010 issue of American Cinematographer magazine has a special focus on lighting tools and techniques.
The Social Network (Sony Pictures)
Jeff Cronenweth, ASC revisited his collaboration with Fight Club director David Fincher on this intriguing feature that recounts the true story behind the founding of the wildly successful social-networking site Facebook, which sprang from the dorm-room brainstorming of Harvard undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg). Cronenweth and Fincher will discuss their use of Red One cameras updated with the new Mysterium-X 4K sensor and their creative approach to the movie’s lighting, aesthetics and postproduction workflow. Most of the movie’s images were recorded straight to data cards, a methodology that the filmmakers say resulted in a simpler, more mobile, film-style shoot than was possible on Fincher’s previous digital-cinematography projects. The movie also required the production team to collaborate with Red engineers to design ultra-lightweight, carbon-fiber camera bodies for sensitive second-unit shooting, and presented other unique challenges, including a complicated lighting setup in the heart of Boston’s Harvard Square and complex facial-replacement work for two key actors who play identical twin brothers.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (20th Century Fox)
Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC reteamed with Oliver Stone on this hotly anticipated sequel to the director’s 1987 classic Wall Street, which detailed a ruthless corporate raider’s Machiavellian stock-market manipulations and willful corruption of a younger, overly ambitious broker. Michael Douglas reprises his most famous role as scheming broker Gordon Gekko, who emerges from a prison stretch and soon imposes his influence on another impressionable trader (Shia LeBeouf). Prieto explains his strategic use of lighting and color while crafting a look that departs from the style applied on the original film by fellow ASC member Robert Richardson.
Let Me In (Overture Films)
Greig Fraser, who earned raves for the striking cinematography he lent to the 2009 drama Bright Star, was behind the camera on this U.S. remake of the critically acclaimed Swedish vampire drama Let the Right One In, which tells the tale of a bullied schoolboy who befriends a young female vampire after she moves into his apartment building with her older male guardian. Fraser discusses how he put his own stamp on the material, and how the look he designed differs from the style of the original picture, which was stunningly shot by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema.
Tribute to William A. Fraker, ASC
One of the truly great and influential cinematographers of his generation, William A. Fraker, ASC, passed away on May 31, 2010. A five-time Academy Award nominee who also earned the ASC’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Fraker compiled an impressive list of credits that includes such memorable films as Rosemary’s Baby, Bullitt, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Heaven Can Wait, 1941, WarGames, Murphy’s Romance and Tombstone. In this tribute piece, AC will honor Fraker’s legacy by presenting comments from some of his key collaborators, as well as a selection of vintage photographs and bits of lasting wisdom from the man himself.
The October issue’s departments also offer illuminating insights:
- Short Takes details the eye-popping imagery that cinematographer Marc Ritzema contributed to a stylish ad for the skateboard company Lakai.
- Production Slate presents pieces on Enter the Void, a visually trippy French drama shot by Benoît Debie, and Animal Kingdom, a gritty Australian crime thriller shot by Adam Arkapaw.
- Filmmakers’ Forum offers firsthand observations from cinematographer Andrew Shulkind about his work on a modestly budgeted 3-D movie featuring mixed martial arts.
- ASC Close-Up offers a profile of Society member Jim Denault, whose credits include the feature films Boys Don’t Cry, The Believer, City of Ghosts, Maria Full of Grace and Dinner for Schmucks and episodes of the TV series Six Feet Under and Carnivāle.