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2011 / 10 — October Issue of American Cinematographer
2011 / 10 — October Issue of American Cinematographer

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Here's the October 2011 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which features a special focus on lighting tools and techniques.

Drive (Film District)
Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC and director Nicolas Winding Refn welcomed AC to the set of this big-screen adaptation of James Sallis' high-octane crime novel. Ryan Gosling plays an unnamed Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver and is forced to hew his own bloody road to freedom when a heist goes horribly wrong. Sigel and Refn offer a detailed look under the production's hood, discussing everything from how they sought to differentiate the film's multiple car chases to their thoughts on working with Arri's Alexa digital camera on location around the streets of Los Angeles.

Straw Dogs (Sony)
Alik Sakharov, ASC joined director Rod Lurie for this remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1971 classic. In this update, James Marsden and Kate Bosworth play David and Amy Sumner, whose marriage is already on tenuous footing when their home is besieged by attackers. Pushed to the limit, David returns violence with violence, and no one is left unscathed. Sakharov details his work on the production, which was shot on location in Louisiana and marks the cinematographer's second collaboration with Lurie.

Machine Gun Preacher (Relativity)
Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC and director Marc Forster continue their long-running collaboration with the story of Sam Childers (Gerard Butler), a former drug dealer who, following a religious conversion, travels to Sudan and begins rescuing and protecting children from the region's war zone. Working on location in Michigan and South Africa, Schaefer elected to shoot most of the film in anamorphic 16mm to complement the story's gritty subject matter and epic scope. The cinematographer details the film's format, minimal lighting package and extensive grip work .

General Camera
AC offers an historical look at General Camera, the legendary camera-rental house and a focal point of talent and innovation in the New York motion-picture industry from the 1960s to the 1990s. The article features interviews with General Camera founder Richard DiBona and ASC members including Owen Roizman, Gordon Willis and Gerald Hirschfeld.

The October issue's departments also offer illuminating insights:

  • Short Takes looks at cinematographer Brandon Trost's spine-tingling work on a recent Woolite commercial directed by Rob Zombie.
  • Production Slate spotlights cinematographer Frank DeMarco's work on Margin Call, a standout from this year's Sundance Film Festival. This section also looks at cinematographer José Luis Alcaine's most recent collaboration with director Pedro Almodóvar on the thriller The Skin I Live In.
  • Post Focus examines Technicolor's restoration of director Georges Méliès' silent classic A Trip to the Moon, whose in-camera wizardry first stunned audiences in 1902.
  • Filmmakers' Forum offers a behind-the-scenes look at shooting Dolphin Tale courtesy of Karl Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK.
  • ASC Close-Up offers a profile of Xavier Grobet, ASC, whose credits include the features Before Night Falls, Tortilla Soup, The Woodsman, Nacho Libre and I Love You Phillip Morris, as well as episodes from the series Deadwood, In Treatment and Scoundrels.