The July 2011 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, spotlights this year's second wave of summer blockbusters.
Super 8 (Paramount)
Larry Fong served as cinematographer for director J.J. Abrams on this summer thriller about a train crash captured on Super 8 film by a group of boys who soon realize the catastrophic event has unleashed an otherworldly creature that wreaks havoc in their small Ohio town. Fong discusses the various techniques and film stocks he employed on the show, which was shot on locations in Los Angeles and West Virginia.
Green Lantern (Warner Bros.)
Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS makes his first foray into the superhero genre with this eye-popping saga about a test pilot (Ryan Reynolds) gifted with a mystical green ring that endows him with otherworldly powers. Beebe discusses his collaboration with director Martin Campbell offers details on integrating the show's ambitious visual effects into his live-action cinematography.
Larry Crowne (Universal)
Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC teamed with director and star Tom Hanks on this comedy/drama about a middle-aged man who reinvents himself by going back to college, where he develops a crush on an attractive teacher (Julia Roberts). Rousselot discusses how he helped Hanks balance his dual roles on the show, and provides details about his approach to the project's lighting and camerawork.
Bellflower (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Joel Hodge lends a grungy, evocative aesthetic to this experimental indie "bromance" about two friends who spend their free time building a flamethrower-equipped custom car while hoping for a global apocalypse that will allow them to pay homage to the Lord Humungous from Mad Max. Hodge, director Evan Glodell and their cohorts from the production company Coatwolf offer an overview of the hand-built custom camera they kluged together from an SI-2K image center and various accessories that included a deep-cycle battery, an Ethernet bundle, a car inverter and a MacBook Pro laptop computer.
Report on the International Cinematography Summit Conference (ICSC 2011)
From May 2-5, the American Society Cinematographers hosted this important gathering, which ASC president Michael Goi describes as "a board meeting of the 42 organized cinematography societies in the world, as well as many countries without formal societies." He adds, "The objective is to bring everyone up to speed on the major technological changes that universally affect our craft, and establish an ongoing dialogue regarding subjects of continuing importance. There will also be a small number of non-product specific demonstrations to lead off the discussions, which are the heart of this conference."
The July issue's departments also offer illuminating insights:
Short Takes presents a primer on high-speed commercial photography in an inteview with accomplished cinematographer Jim Matlosz.
Production Slate spotlights City of Life and Death, a stunning black-and-white film from China shot by Cao Yu. This section also offers a look at the cinematics involved in the making of the latest Mortal Kombat videogame, with detailed commentary from Cinematic Director Dominic Cianciolo, who shot all of the in-game visuals.
Post Focus looks inside Prime Focus' recently opened New York facility.
New Products & Services offers a look at Autodesk tools for the Mac platform, including versions of Smoke, Maya and Mudbox.
ASC Close-Up offers a profile of Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC, whose feature credits include Amélie, A Very Long Engagement, Infamous, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Across the Universe.