The January 2016 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which features a special focus on awards-season releases.
Silence and Passengers
(Paramount; Columbia Pictures)
Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC was behind the camera for both of these productions. For Silence, he reteamed with director Martin Scorsese to tell the story of two Jesuit priests (played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) in the 17th century who travel to Japan to locate their mentor (Liam Neeson) and spread their faith. Passengers paired Prieto with director Morten Tyldum for the story of two travelers (Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt) on a long-distance spacecraft who awaken 90 years ahead of schedule. In a Q&A, Prieto details his approach to each project.
La La Land
Linus Sandgren joined director Damien Chazelle for this modern-day musical, which met with rave reviews and early awards buzz upon its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Set against the backdrop of Los Angeles, the story follows aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as they fall in love and chase their dreams. Sandgren discusses shooting the project with anamorphic lenses on 35mm film.
(20th Century Fox)
Mandy Walker, ASC, ACS partnered with director Theodore Melfi to help bring to the screen the real-life story of mathematician Katherine Johnson (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson) and her colleagues Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), whose calculations helped propel NASA’s early forays into space. Walker and her collaborators detail how they shot the period story in and around Atlanta, Ga.
Charlotte Bruus Christensen served as director of photography for this 1950s-set drama based on August Wilson’s play of the same name. The feature was directed by Denzel Washington, who also stars as Troy, a husband, father and former baseball player who now struggles to provide for his family as a trash collector. Bruus Christensen shares her approach to the period production, which shot in and around Pittsburgh, Pa.
Stéphane Fontaine, AFC partnered with director Pablo Larraín to capture this intimate portrait of Jackie Kennedy (played by Natalie Portman) in the days following the death of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. Fontaine discusses shooting on Super 16mm film for this period piece.
The January issue’s departments also offers illuminating insights:
Short Takes spotlights the winners of the 2016 ASC Haskell Wexler Student Documentary Award and ASC Vilmos Zsigmond Student Heritage Awards.
Production Slate goes behind the scenes of director Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, shot by Fred Elmes, ASC. This section also showcases cinematographer Hossein Jafarian’s work on the Iranian feature The Salesman, directed by Asghar Farhadi.
Post Focus offers a recap of the 2016 Hollywood Professional Association Awards, which honor artistic excellence and creative achievement in the greater postproduction industry.