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2010 / 04 — April Issue of American Cinematographer
2010 / 04 — April Issue of American Cinematographer

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The April 2010 issue of American Cinematographer magazine has a special focus on digital technology. This issue also features our annual roundup of artfully shot indie films from the Sundance Film Festival.

Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney Co.)
Dariusz Wolski, ASC reteamed with director Tim Burton to add a new twist to author Lewis Carroll's classic tale of a curious girl who tumbles down a rabbit hole and enters a strange world filled with strange and eccentric characters. In this version, 19-year-old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to the magical realm she encountered as a child and attempts to help her old friends end the Red Queen's reign of terror. Wolski will discuss the duo's approach to the picture's extremely stylized visuals and digital technology's significant impact on the production.

Green Zone (Universal)
Barry Ackroyd, BSC, who recently earned an ASC Award nomination for his work on The Hurt Locker, paired up once again with his director on United 93, Paul Greengrass, to lend a gritty, realistic feel to this action-packed feature about a U.S. Army officer (Matt Damon) who "goes rogue" while hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Ackroyd will discuss how he and Greengrass applied and modified their signature style — handheld camera and realistic, "you-are-there" perspectives — to suit the needs of the intense political thriller.

Hubble 3D (Imax/Warner Bros.)
James Neihouse, the director of photography and astronaut-training manager on this large-format Imax epic, will provide a technical overview of the ambitious project, a documentary about the life of the Hubble Space Telescope. According to Imax, the film "will enable moviegoers to journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings, and accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult and important tasks in NASA's history." Neihouse explains, "We flew cameras on the initial launch in 1990, on the first service mission in 1993 and on the last service mission in May of 2009. The film includes on-orbit Imax footage of the deploy and repair of the telescope, shot by the astronauts; footage of the astronauts training for the mission; launch-preparation and launch footage; and never-before-seen images from the Hubble Space Telescope converted into Imax 3-D."

Sundance Film Festival
Each January, industry insiders flock to Park City, Utah to attend this key festival, which has launched the careers of many independent filmmakers. AC's team of writers will scout out the most visually compelling entries for our annual roundup, which will spotlight the event's most promising cinematographers.

The April issue's departments also offer illuminating insights:

  • Short Takes will break down the making of the short film The History of Aviation, shot by cinematographer Mátyás Erdély.
  • Production Slate will offer insights from cinematographer Giora Bejach about his work on the dramatic feature Lebanon, which recently earned the Golden Frog Award for Best Cinematography at the 2009 Camerimage Film Festival in Poland. This section will also spotlight cinematographer Patrick Murguia, who will discuss his creative approach to the intense police thriller Brooklyn's Finest, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day).
  • Filmmakers' Forum will features a Q&A discussion between ASC President Michael Goi and Visual Effects Society Chairman Jeff Okun about the interactions between cinematographers and visual-effects supervisors.