The June 2012
issue of American Cinematographer magazine, has a special focus on this year's
first round of summer blockbusters.
The Avengers (Marvel, Disney)
Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC
joined forces with writer/director Joss Whedon to bring Marvel's most famous
heroes together for the first time on the big screen. When the mighty Thor's
nefarious half-brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), employs otherworldly forces in
his quest to rule Earth, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles a team of his
own comprising Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans),
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy
Renner) and the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to fight back. AC visited the production on location in
Cleveland, Ohio, where McGarvey and his collaborators provided an up-close look
at their work on this epic production. The movie was shot primarily with Arri's
Alexa digital camera, but McGarvey's team also employed Canon EOS DSLRs to get
inside the explosive action, as well as 35mm cameras for high-speed sequences.
Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal)
Greig Fraser was behind the camera for director
Rupert Sanders' reimagining of the classic fairy tale. When the evil, jealous
Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) orders the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to lead
the fairest in the land, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), to her slaughter, the
Huntsman instead trains Snow White to fight back. Fraser details his work
on the production's U.K.-based stages and locations, where he and Sanders opted
to shoot in the anamorphic format on 35mm film.
Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.)
Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC joined
director Tim Burton for this big-screen reinterpretation of the cult-favorite
television series from the 1960s. Having been entombed for two centuries,
vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) awakens in 1972, where he discovers his
estate not to mention what remains of the Collins family has
fallen on hard times. Delbonnel casts light on his and Burton's approach to
the material, their decision to shoot on 35mm film and how they handled the
stage and location sets throughout the U.K.
Men in Black III (Sony)
Bill Pope, ASC partnered with
director Barry Sonnenfeld for the long-anticipated third installment in this
popular action-comedy franchise. This time, aliens have hatched a plot to
assassinate Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones); in order to foil the aliens' plans, K's
partner, Agent J (Will Smith), travels back in time to the Sixties and teams
with a younger K (Josh Brolin) for a high-octane adventure in which time is
literally of the essence. Pope sheds light on his approach to the film's
present-day and retro-sci-fi settings, which mixed stage and location work in
New York and Los Angeles, as well as his reasons for employing both digital and
35mm film formats.
The June issue's departments also offers illuminating insights:
- Short Takes spotlights Aaron Phillips' cinematography on director Lucy Walker's Oscar-nominated short documentary The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.
- Production Slate examines Rogier Stoffers, ASC's work behind the lens on Hemingway and Gelhorn, an HBO original film directed by Philip Kaufman, and Robert Yeoman, ASC's most recent collaboration with director Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom.
- ASC Close-Up spotlights Society member and Stargate Studios founder Sam Nicholson, whose lighting-effects and visual-effects credits include Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Ghostbusters II, Moll Flanders, Seed of Chucky, the miniseries Into the West and the series Nip/Tuck.