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2009 / 06 — June Issue of American Cinematographer
2009 / 06 — June Issue of American Cinematographer

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Product Code: 200906


Star Trek
(Paramount Pictures)
Following their collaboration on Mission: Impossible III, director J.J. Abrams and cinematographer Dan Mindel enlisted in Starfleet to boldly tell the long-awaited story of how Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) and the rest of the Starship Enterprise crew first met. Mindel will discuss his creative use of the anamorphic format and reveal how he and the crew blended studio and location work to visualize the 23rd century and "reboot" this time-honored franchise.

Terminator Salvation
(Warner Bros.)
In post-Judgment Day 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) struggles to find his place within the human resistance that has risen up to wage worldwide war against a marauding army of Terminators running rampant on Earth. Director of photography Shane Hurlbut, ASC reteamed with director McG (We Are Marshall) to lend ground support to Connor's cause, crafting a high-contrast, low-grain, metallic-looking landscape that breaks with the visual language of the previous Terminator films while remaining true to their spirit.

Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian
(20th Century Fox)
John Schwartzman, ASC was behind the camera on this sequel to the enormously popular 2006 comedy, which starred Ben Stiller as Larry Daley, a newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History who is overwhelmed by his duties when the building's exhibits magically spring to life. In the sequel, Larry must infiltrate the Smithsonian Institute to rescue two miniature friends, Roman general Octavius (Steve Coogan) and feisty cowpoke Jedediah (Owen Wilson), after they are shipped to the big museum by mistake. Schwartzman will discuss the considerable visual trickery involved in the project, and how his work was seamlessly blended with the show's effects work.

ASC Camera Assessment Series
The ASC's Digital Camera Subcommittee, chaired by David Stump, ASC, recently supervised the ASC Camera Assessment Series, during which a group of esteemed cinematographers staged a repeatable series of typical feature-film-style shots to test the performance characteristics of the various digital-cinema cameras. The purpose of the tests is to enable filmmakers and other industry professionals to make more informed choices when they opt to use digital formats for their productions. Our initial coverage of this important event will outline the cinematographers' methodologies and goals and present some of their technical impressions about the cameras.

Special Insert: Previsualization
In this bonus section, members of the ASC, the Art Directors Guild and the Visual Effects Society will discuss the growing importance of previsualization technologies and techniques, as well as their practical application prior to principal photography.

The June issue's departments will also offer illuminating insights:

Short Takes will examine cinematographer Christoph Lanzenberg's work on the technically complex Microsoft ad "Life Without Walls."

Production Slate will offer interviews with Peter Deming, ASC, who shot the stylish Sam Raimi horror film Drag Me to Hell, and the cinematography tandem of Christopher Doyle, HKSC and Rain Li, who were behind the camera on the harrowing indie drama Downloading Nancy.

Post Focus will present an in-depth, one-on-one dialogue between John Bailey, ASC and Company 3 colorist and ASC associate member Stefan Sonnenfeld about the collaboration between cinematographers and colorists in the digital-intermediate suite.

ASC Close-Up will offer a profile of Society member Alan Caso, whose credits as a cinematographer include the television series Six Feet Under (for which he earned two Emmy nominations), Journeyman and Lie to Me. Caso has also been honored for his work on several acclaimed TV miniseries, including George Wallace (which earned him an ASC Award and an Emmy nomination), Into the West (ASC and Emmy nominations) and Frankenstein (ASC nomination).