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2011 / 02 — February Issue of American Cinematographer
2011 / 02 — February Issue of American Cinematographer

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The February 2011 issue of American Cinematographer magazine. Our coverage includes a profile of this year's ASC International Award recipient: John Seale, ASC, ACS. (All articles are tentative and subject to change.)

The Green Hornet (Sony)
John Schwartzman, ASC partnered with director Michel Gondry to bring the Green Hornet (Seth Rogen) and his sidekick, Kato (Jay Chou) to the big screen in this high-stakes action comedy. Schwartzman opted to shoot on 35mm film with anamorphic lenses, lending an epic scope to the heroes' war on crime, which then underwent a 2-D to 3-D conversion in postproduction. The cinematographer discusses his approach to filming the heroes' exploits in and around Los Angeles, including practical locations and stage-bound sets on the Sony lot.

Country Strong (Sony)
John Bailey, ASC collaborated with director Shana Feste for this widescreen look at a country singer's (Gwyneth Paltrow) journey to rise above her younger competition and reclaim the spotlight after sliding into an alcohol-fueled depression. Shot on location in Tennessee, the film marks the second collaboration between Bailey and Feste, who first teamed on the Sundance '09 favorite The Greatest.

Sanctum (Universal)
Jules O'Loughlin was behind the camera for this 3-D thriller, which finds a team of cave divers trapped by a vicious tropical storm and forced ever deeper into a system of underground — and often underwater — caves. O'Loughlin details how he and director Alister Gierson maneuvered 3-D camera rigs through difficult sets and locations during the shoot in Australia, and how they used 3-D techniques to underscore the characters' ever-increasing sense of dread as their plight grows ever more desperate.

ASC International Award
John Seale, ASC, ACS received the Society's International Achievement Award at the 25th Annual ASC Awards ceremony, to be held in Los Angeles on February 13, 2011. The International Award is presented annually to a foreign cinematographer in recognition of extraordinary achievements in films produced for the global cinema. Born and raised in Australia, Seale began his career behind the camera shooting news and documentaries. Since transitioning into features, he has shot such memorable films as Children of a Lesser God, The Mosquito Coast, Dead Poets Society, Gorillas in the Mist, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Poseidon. Additionally, he earned Oscar nominations for his work on Witness, Rain Man, Cold Mountain and The English Patient, winning for the latter. AC contributor Jean Oppenheimer charts Seale's storied career and also offers a peek behind the scenes of the cinematographer's latest project, the upcoming feature The Tourist.

The February issue's departments also offers illuminating insights:

  • Short Takes shines a spotlight on the black-and-white comedy God of Love, shot by Bobby Webster and directed by Luke Matheny. The filmmakers worked with the Red One camera to create a look inspired by William Caxton's jazz photography and Raoul Coutard's black-and-white cinematography; their efforts were rewarded with a 2010 Student Academy Award.
  • Production Slate offers insights from Russell Boyd, ASC, ACS about his work on director Peter Weir's The Way Back; the filmmakers shot on location in India, Morocco and Bulgaria to tell the story of a group of Siberian prison escapees whose quest for freedom takes them across 4,000 miles of unforgiving terrain. Additionally, Dereck and Beverly Joubert discusses their collaboration on Saving the Last Lions, a documentary they shot and directed for National Geographic.

  • Post Focus takes a look inside MTI Film's recently opened Hollywood facility, where the company has implemented a proprietary dailies and deliverables workflow.
  • ASC Close-Up offers a profile of Society member Barry Markowitz, whose cinematography credits include Torn Apart, Paper Hearts, Sling Blade, The Apostle, Two Girls and a Guy, All the Pretty Horses, Daddy and Them, Sonny and Crazy Heart.