The September 2011 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which features a special focus on international production.
Anonymous (Sony Pictures)
Anna Foerster became the first cinematographer to shoot a feature with Arri's digital Alexa camera when she signed onto this production directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla, 2012) and shot at Studio Babelsberg in Germany. A major departure from Emmerich's predominantly action-oriented oeuvre, Anonymous is set in Elizabethan England and tells the tale of nobleman Edward De Vere, the Earl of Oxford, who secretly pens the plays of William Shakespeare during a period of political upheaval. Foerster provides a detailed assessment of the Alexa's performance during production and its effect on the show's workflow.
Pina (Sundance Selects)
Hélène Louvart and J��rg Widmer were behind the camera on this visually sumptuous, 3-D dance documentary directed by Wim Wenders, who pays homage to the work of renowned modern-dance choreographer Pina Bausch, founder of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, who passed away in 2009. Combining archival footage with the new 3-D scenes shot by Louvart and Widmer, the picture offers an overview of Bausch's influence by presenting performances of her most stunning dance numbers. The cinematographers discuss Wenders' idiosyncratic use of the 3-D format to immerse viewers in Bausch's artistry.
The Help (Walt Disney)
Stephen Goldblatt, ASC, BSC stayed in the U.S., shooting on location in Mississippi, for this big-screen adaptation of author Kathryn Stockett's bestselling novel about a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer and turns her hometown upside-down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent families. Goldblatt offers insights into his collaboration with director Tate Taylor and colorist Steve Scott, who helped the cinematographer finesse the picture's look in the digital-intermediate suite at EFilm.
A Cinematographer's Guide to Location Scouting
Finding the right locations is a crucial part of the production process that has a major impact on the cinematographer's job. This piece, penned by industry veteran Ira Tiffen, offers an overview of the complex issues created by location scouting, covering everything from practical matters — such as scheduling and equipment logistics — to aesthetic considerations. Prominent location-scouting professionals and world-class cinematographers (including ASC members Gordon Willis and Stephen H. Burum) weigh in on this important topic.
The June issue's departments also offers illuminating insights:
Short Takes examines the music video "Sleep Forever," shot and directed by Mike Ragen for the band Portugal.
Production Slate gives John Mathieson, BSC (Gladiator, X-Men: First Class) a chance to discuss his strategies for a lower-budget indie production, the stylish British period noir Brighton Rock. This section also spotlights Brian Rigney Hubbard and his work on Circumstance, an indie drama shot in Lebanon that won the Audience Award in the Dramatic category at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Filmmakers' Forum offers technical tips from postproduction engineer Monte Swann, the supervising engineer at Cygnet Video, on getting the best results when shooting TV monitors that will appear onscreen.
Post Focus offers an overview of the services available at the film-friendly Hollywood post facility Cinelicious, which offers clients access to Digital Film Technology's Scanity, a new 2K/4K electronically pin-registered scanner.
ASC Close-Up offers a profile of Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC, whose credits include the features Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, L.A. Confidential, The Insider, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand and Public Enemies.