Here’s the February 2012 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which includes a profile of this year’s ASC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient: Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC
Big Miracle (Universal)
In a detailed Q&A, John Bailey, ASC gives AC a full rundown of his excursion to various locations in Alaska, where he shot this romantic drama about a news reporter (John Krasinski) who recruits his ex-girlfriend (Drew Barrymore), a Greenpeace volunteer, to mount a campaign to save a family of whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. Bailey explains how the shoot’s frigid environments affected his work and the movie’s resulting aesthetic.
Rampart (Millennium Entertainment)
Bobby Bukowski was behind the camera on this feature film directed by Oren Moverman, with whom the cinematographer had previously collaborated on The Messenger. In 1999 Los Angeles, Rampart Division cop Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) has long fended off allegations concerning his rogue brand of justice. But when he’s caught on tape beating a suspect, Brown drags the department into an imbroglio that’s only made worse by each subsequent move he makes. Bukowski breaks down his approach to this dramatic character study, which was shot on location in Los Angeles with Arri’s Alexa digital camera.
A stable of fine cinematographers (Russell Fine, Lukas Strebel, John Grillo and Stuart Dryburgh, ASC) contributes evocative imagery to episodes of this new weekly series, produced by Michael Mann, which tracks the movements of various characters involved with horse racing at California’s Santa Anita racetrack. The cinematographers discuss how the Arri Alexa is deployed within the show’s multi-camera strategies, how they exploit California’s natural light at the track, and the clever but low-tech strategies they use to capture dynamic racing footage.
ASC Lifetime Achievement Award
Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC received the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 26th Annual ASC Awards ceremony, to be held in Los Angeles on February 12, 2012. The Lifetime Award is the Society’s highest honor, presented annually to a cinematographer who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence over an entire career. Spinotti certainly meets this criterium. His work has earned scores of prestigious honors over the years. For The Last of the Mohicans, he collected a BAFTA Award and an ASC Award nomination; for L.A. Confidential, he was feted with a BSC Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Award and Academy, BAFTA and ASC nominations; and for The Insider, he earned a Los Angeles Film Critics Award and both Academy and ASC Award nominations. Spinotti’s other credits include Manhunter, Beaches, The Comfort of Strangers, True Colors, Hudson Hawk, Blink, Nell, The Quick and the Dead, The Star Maker, Heat, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Wonder Boys, Red Dragon, Pinocchio, After the Sunset, X-Men: The Last Stand, Public Enemies and Tower Heist. AC contributor Jean Oppenheimer pens a comprehensive overview of Spinotti’s life and work.
The November issue’s departments also offer illuminating insights:
- Short Takes examines time-lapse views of the Earth created from photographs shot by Ron Garan, Satoshi Furukawa and the crews of NASA expeditions 28 and 29 while they were aboard the International Space Station from August-October 2011.
- Production Slate details how Shane Hurlbut, ASC used Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II digital camera to capture adrenalized action footage for the Marine combat drama Act of Valor.
- Filmmakers’ Forum offers insights from cinematographer Vincent De Paula on the negotiating strategies he uses to shoot projects in preferred formats.
- ASC Close-Up offers a profile of Society member Roberto Schaefer, whose credits include the features Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, For Your Consideration, The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace and Machine Gun Preacher.