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2011 / 08 — August Issue of American Cinematographer
2011 / 08 — August Issue of American Cinematographer

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The August 2011 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which features a special focus on postproduction.

The Tree of Life (Fox Searchlight)
Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC re-teamed with enigmatic director Terrence Malick for this impressionistic study of an American family across two generations. As an adult, the eldest son (Sean Penn) wrestles with the conflicting lessons imparted by his cold father (Brad Pitt) and tender mother (Jessica Chastain), leading to an existential questioning of the very existence of life, love and faith. Lubezki details the unique production, which shot primarily on location in Texas.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2 (Warner Bros.)
Eduardo Serra, ASC, AFC joined director David Yates for the two-part finale to the wildly popular Harry Potter saga, based on the beloved series of books written by J.K. Rowling. In these final chapters, the eponymous wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends must face down, once and for all, the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his followers. Serra discusses filming both parts back-to-back, an epic undertaking that required a year-and-a-half-long shooting schedule.

Captain America: The First Avenger (Paramount)
Shelly Johnson, ASC enlisted alongside director Joe Johnston to bring Marvel Comics' star-spangled super soldier to the big screen. At the height of the Second World War, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers for an experimental treatment that turns him into Captain America and pits him against the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) and the evil forces of Hydra. Johnson breaks down his experiences at the front lines of the production, which marked the cinematographer's fourth collaboration with Johnston, following Jurassic Park 3, Hidalgo and The Wolfman.

Cowboys & Aliens (Universal)
Matthew Libatique, ASC and director Jon Favreau welcomed AC to the set of this high-concept Western, which pits ne'er-do-well amnesiac Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig), Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and a ragtag group of settlers against an alien invasion circa 1870. Libatique explains his approach to the film's location work in New Mexico and stage-bound sequences at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, as well as to the particular challenges posed by blending the Western and thriller genres.

The June issue's departments also offers illuminating insights:

Short Takes looks at cinematographer Max Goldman's work on director Jakob Daschek's short film Duck, which recently screened as part of the "Character Project" collection of shorts put together by the USA Network, RSA Films, and Ridley and Tony Scott.

Production Slate spotlights Andrew Lesnie, ASC, ACS's work on Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the prequel to the long-running Planet of the Apes series. This section also looks at cinematographer Roger Chingirian's work on the pulp-infused and noir-influenced Cinemax series Femme Fatales.

Post Focus looks inside Silverdraft Mobileviz's recently unveiled 53' production trailer, which addresses the increasingly blurred line between production and post by housing a proprietary supercomputer for storage and workstations for on-location editorial, color-correction and visual effects.

New Products and Services looks at some of Autodesk's latest software releases, and examine ways in which independent filmmakers and boutique companies are integrating the tools into broader workflows.

ASC Close-Up offers a profile of Tom Houghton, ASC, whose credits include the features Fire Down Below, The Cookout and Finding Amanda, and the series 30 Rock, Canterbury's Law and Rescue Me.