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2008 / 12 — December Issue of American Cinematographer
2008 / 12 — December Issue of American Cinematographer


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Harris Savides, ASC and director Gus Van Sant continued their collaboration on this biopic about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States. After winning a post as a San Francisco city supervisor, Milk was assassinated in 1978, along with Mayor George Moscone, by another city supervisor. Savides discusses the San Francisco-based shoot and his on-set relationship with Van Sant, for whom he previously photographed the experimental indie features Gerry, Elephant and Last Days.

The Soloist
Seamus McGarvey, BSC and director Joe Wright (Atonement) opted to shoot in anamorphic for this true story of friendship, hope and redemption. Based on a series of columns published in the Los Angeles Times, the film follows Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a musical prodigy and former Julliard student whose schizophrenia led him to Los Angeles skid row, where he made an unlikely friend, journalist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.). McGarvey details his experiences shooting on location in downtown Los Angeles and working with the area's homeless population to bring Lopez's columns to the screen.

Film preservation update
AC senior editor Rachael Bosley recently canvassed key executives at the major movie studios for details about their ongoing efforts to restore and preserve classic films. Her extensive report updates the comprehensive coverage we devoted to this important subject in Nov. 2001.

The December issue's departments offers illuminating insights:

Short Takes offers details on the striking title sequence for the new HBO vampire series True Blood, which employs a unique Polaroid transfer process to enhance the look of footage shot and finessed by the creative agency Digital Kitchen.

Production Slate includes an interview with cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle about Slumdog Millionaire, his latest collaboration with director Danny Boyle, which recently earned the People's Choice Award at the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival. This section also offers a piece on the action-packed feature Punisher: War Zone, shot by ASC member Steve Gainer.

Tomorrow_s Technology details the recent activities of the ASC Technology Committee. Key members outline the biggest challenges facing each of the group's subcommittees and discuss some of the solutions they're pursuing.

Post Focus presents an on-site overview of the new Deluxe New York facility, which houses a motion-picture laboratory and a Deluxe-owned EFilm digital-intermediate operation.

ASC Close-Up offers a profile of cinematographer Donald McAlpine, ASC, ACS, whose long list of feature credits includes the films Patriot Games, Moulin Rouge and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.