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2016 / 01 — January issue of American Cinematographer
2016 / 01 — January issue of American Cinematographer

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Here's the January 2016 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which features a special focus on awards-season releases.

The Revenant (20th Century Fox)
Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC reteamed with his Birdman director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, to tell the inspired-by-fact story of frontiersman Will Poulter (Leonardo DiCaprio), who undertakes a 200-mile trek in search of revenge after his hunting companions leave him for dead and murder his son. Lubezki details the ambitious 10-month production, for which he embraced natural light while shooting in remote locations in Canada and Argentina.

In the Heart of the Sea (Warner Bros.)
Anthony Dod Mantle, ASC, BSC, DFF and director Ron Howard follow their collaboration on 2013's Rush with the true story that inspired Moby Dick. Dod Mantle discusses his approach to the digital shoot, which took place on location around the Canary Islands and on stages at Leavesden Studios. Our coverage also details the contributions of underwater director of photography Peter Zuccarini.

Macbeth (The Weinstein Co.)
Adam Arkapaw and director Justin Kurzel, who had previously teamed for The Snowtown Murders, shot on location in England and Scotland to break the Bard's classic play out of the confines of the stage. Against these landscapes — which Arkapaw captured in anamorphic widescreen — the eponymous Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) becomes consumed by his overweening ambition after receiving a prophecy that he is destined to become the king of Scotland.

The Danish Girl (Focus Features)
Danny Cohen, BSC partnered again with director Tom Hooper — following their collaborations on The King's Speech and Les Misérables — for the true story of Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne). Born Einar Wegener and later married to the artist Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander), Elbe underwent gender-reassignment surgery in the 1920s after discovering her true self while posing as a woman for Gerda's paintings. Cohen details his approach to the digitally photographed period film, which was shot on locations in the U.K., Denmark, Belgium, Norway and Germany.

The January issue's departments also offer illuminating insights:

  • Short Takes presents Jason Apuzzo's first-person account of the making of UFO Diary, which Apuzzo directed and co-shot with Naveen Chaubal and Govindini Murty.
  • Production Slate takes readers behind the scenes of the holocaust drama Son of Saul, shot by Mátyás Erdély, as well as director Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, photographed by Luca Bigazzi.
  • Post Focus offers a recap of the 10th annual Hollywood Post Alliance Awards.
  • ASC Close-Up spotlights Society member Peter Levy, whose credits include the features Predator 2, Blown Away, Broken Arrow, Lost in Space, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and the upcoming Race, as well as the series House of Lies.