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2011 / 12 - December Issue of American Cinematographer

The December 2011 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, features a special focus on holiday-season releases.

J. Edgar (Warner Bros.)
Tom Stern, ASC, AFC and director Clint Eastwood continued their long-running collaboration with this incisive look at the controversial J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio), who served as the first and only director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from the organization’s founding in 1935 until his death in 1972. Stern and his collaborators details their approach to the production, which filmed in the anamorphic 2.40:1 format on location in Los Angeles and in and around Washington, D.C.

Hugo (Paramount)
Robert Richardson, ASC and director Martin Scorsese reteamed for this adaptation of Brian Selznick’s popular illustrated novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. When Hugo’s (Asa Butterfield) father goes missing, the young boy finds himself with a great mystery to unravel, with two friends to help him along the way: Isabelle (Chloe Moretz) and a small, mechanical man. Scorsese took the whimsical tale as an opportunity to shoot in native 3-D, and Richardson elected to employ Arri Alexa digital cameras for the production. The cinematographer pulls back the curtain on the film’s technical wizardry, and discuss the production’s stage-bound and practical locations in France and the U.K.

The Artist (The Weinstein Company)
Guillaume Schiffman, AFC was behind the camera for this silent feature directed by Michel Hazanavicius. The filmmakers shot on location in Los Angeles, where they re-created the look of 1927 Hollywood to tell the story of a silent-film star, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), who strikes up a relationship with young dancer Peppy Miller (Brnice Bejo) as the filmmaking community braces itself for the transition to sound. Schiffman details the techniques he employed to evoke the period look and feel, including classical lighting techniques and desaturating his color film stock in post for a black-and-white release.

The Muppets (Disney)
Don Burgess, ASC answered the call when director James Bobin said it was time once again for the Muppets to play the music and light the lights. In their latest big-screen adventure, Kermit the Frog and co. are joined by Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) in a quest to save the old Muppet Show theater from the greedy clutches of Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). Burgess details his approach to shooting the Muppets’ hijinks with Red Epic and Red One MX camera systems. This story also features a sidebar that examines cinematographer Isidore Mankofsky, ASC’s work on The Muppet Movie, directed by James Frawley and released in 1979.

The December issue’s departments also offers illuminating insights:

  • Short Takes keeps the spotlight on the Muppets, offering a behind-the-scenes look at cinematographer Craig Kief’s work on the music video for the band OK Go’s take on the famous theme from The Muppet Show.
  • Production Slate details cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, NSC, FSF’s most recent collaboration with director Tomas Alfredson, on the much-anticipated adaptation of John le Carr’s novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. This section also looks at cinematographer Manuel Alberto Claro’s work on Lars von Trier’s Melancholia.
  • ASC Close-Up profiles Luciano Tovoli, ASC, AIC, whose credits include the features The Passenger, Suspiria, Reversal of Fortune, Single White Female, Desperate Measures, The Dinner Game, Titus and Murder by Numbers.

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2011 / 12 - December Issue of American Cinematographer


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