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2008 / 10 — October Issue of American Cinematographer
2008 / 10 — October Issue of American Cinematographer

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Body of Lies
Alexander Witt was promoted to director of photography on this show by director Ridley Scott after gaining years of experience as a second-unit director/director of photography on major features such as The Bourne Identity and Casino Royale, as well as Scott's Gladiator, Hannibal and American Gangster. Witt discusses the challenges and responsibilities of his new position on Body of Lies, a political thriller in which a former journalist injured in the Iraq war (Leonardo DiCaprio) is hired by the CIA to track down an Al Qaeda leader in Jordan.

Burn After Reading
Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC shot this quirky comedy for sibling filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen when their longtime cinematographer, Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, was unavailable. Although Deakins undoubtedly resume his collaboration with the Coens in the near future, Lubezki proved an able ally and will share his own insights about the duo's working methods. Presenting a comic contrast to Body of Lies, the Coens' comedy concerns an embittered CIA analyst (John Malkovich) blackmailed by a pair of foolhardy fitness trainers (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand) and cuckolded by a federal marshal (George Clooney) who is sleeping with his wife (Tilda Swinton).

City of Ember
Xavier PĂ©rez Grobet teamed with director Gil Kenan on this adventure fantasy about an amazing world of glittering lights threatened by a power failure that could thrust its inhabitants into perpetual darkness. Grobet details his work on the show's spectacular visuals, which were created on sets and locations in Northern Ireland.

The Express
Kramer Morgenthau, ASC was behind the camera on this drama based on the remarkable life of college football hero Ernie Davis, who overcame incredible hardships to become the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Morgenthau reveals his game plan for the show's football scenes, as well as his approach to the film's early-1960s settings.

The October issue's departments also offer illuminating insights:

Short Takes offers details on a new series of humorous DirecTV ads inspired by famous movies, including Terminator 2, Aliens, Misery and the Star Trek films.

Production Slate presents an interview with Fernando Arguelles about his cinematography for the tense television series Prison Break. This section also offer insights from cinematographer Jeff Seckendorf about his experience shooting live-action elements that helped dictate the look of the new Electronic Arts videogame Need for Speed.

Post Focus offers an in-depth overview of the ASC Color Decision List (CDL), with input from key members of the ASC Technology Committee.

ASC Close-Up offers a profile of cinematographer Ross Berryman, ASC, ACS, whose credits include the TV series Ugly Betty and Angel.