This issue of American Cinematographer magazine, has a special focus on integrating CG effects into live-action footage.
Alwin Küchler, BSC reveals the technical tricks he used on this visually stunning sci-fi drama from director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later). Set 50 years in the future, the plot concerns a team of astronauts sent into space to reignite the dying sun. Küchler discussed his use of two widescreen formats (regular anamorphic and Super 35), which he alternated in order to get interesting lens flares for scenes involving the sun.
Mitchell Amundsen was behind the camera on director Michael Bay’s sci-fi extravaganza, in which dueling alien races, the Autobots and the Decepticons, battle for ultimate supremacy on Earth, with mankind’s future hanging in the balance. Amundsen discussed the technical challenges involved in such a logistically ambitious, effects-heavy production.
Benoît Delhomme, AFC set out to scare audiences silly with this tale about a paranormal investigator (John Cusack) who confronts true terror after checking into a hotel’s famously haunted Room 1408. Delhomme’s live-action photography was combined with chilling visual effects for the film, which takes place primarily in one setting.
Bojan Bazelli filmed a series of lavish, lively musical sequences for this film adaptation of the hit Broadway show, in which pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) teaches the people of 1962 Baltimore a lesson in race relations after earning a spot on a local TV dance show. In addition to discussing the show’s technical tricks, Bazelli also discussed his approach to shooting John Travolta, who appears in hilarious drag as Edna Turnblad.
The August issue's departments also offer illuminating insights:
Global Village offers an analysis of the Russian sci-fi/fantasy film Day Watch by cinematographer Sergei Trofimov.
DVD Playback reviews new DVD versions of Matador (1986), shot by Ángel Luis Fernández; The Chocolate War (1988), shot by Tom Richmond; and The Sergio Leone Anthology, which includes the films A Fistful of Dollars (1964, shot by Massimo Dallamano and Federico Larraya); For a Few Dollars More (1965, shot by Massimo Dallamano); The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966, shot by Tonino Delli Colli, AIC); and Duck, You Sucker (1971, shot by Giuseppe Ruzzolini).
Production Slate offer interviews with cinematographers Ben Nott, ACS, about shooting the ambitious TNT miniseries The Company for director Mikael Salomon, ASC, and Javier Aguirresrobe about his work with director Milos Forman on the period drama Goya’s Ghosts.
Points East present a piece on the new HBO comedy series Flight of the Conchords, shot in New York City by cinematographer Patrick Alexander Stewart.
Short Takes analyze the visually inventive “Jubilee” music video, shot by Ross Riege for the band Willowz.
Post Focus present an analysis of eye-popping effects sequences from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, shot by Slawomir Idziak, PSC.