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2012 / 11 — November Issue of American Cinematographer
2012 / 11 — November Issue of American Cinematographer

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Here's the November 2012 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which has a special focus on low-budget solutions, as well as a salute to this year's Emmy Award nominees for television cinematography. (All articles are tentative and subject to change.)

The Master (The Weinstein Co.)

Mihai Malaimare Jr. joined director Paul Thomas Anderson to tell the story of Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), a troubled World War II veteran and listless wanderer whose life is forever changed when he meets the charismatic Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in 1950. Quell lends his services to the advancement of Dodd's self-established brand of spirituality, which speaks of time travel and hints at an intergalactic conflict, and in turn Dodd promises Quell a path to peace and a cure for his mental anguish. Filming on location around California — with a brief shoot in Hawaii, as well — the filmmakers opted to shoot the majority of the period feature with Panavision 65mm camera systems.

Argo (Warner Bros.)

Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC teamed with actor/director Ben Affleck to tell the gripping true story of a covert CIA operation that was conducted in Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis, after six Americans stole out of the U.S. Embassy during the Iranian takeover and went into hiding at the Canadian ambassador's residence. CIA "ex-filtration" specialist Tony Mendez (Affleck) hatches a novel idea for getting them out of the country safely, but all the participants believe it's a very long shot. Prieto combined 35mm anamorphic, 2-perf and 4-perf Super 35mm, digital capture, Super 16mm and even some Super 8mm to lend the story a varied visual palette. The ambitious shoot involved locations in Los Angeles; Istanbul; Washington, D.C.; and even CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.

Seven Psychopaths (CBS Films)

Ben Davis, BSC was behind the camera for writer/director Martin McDonagh's darkly comic tale about a struggling screenwriter (Colin Farrell) whose world goes topsy-turvy when his friends (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken) steal a gangster's (Woody Harrelson) Shih Tzu. The comedy promises to be the perfect tonal follow-up to McDonagh's award-winning In Bruges, and it marks the director's first collaboration with Davis, who explains his approach to the film's coexisting elements of humor and danger, all of which he shot on 35mm negative.

American Horror Story (FX)

Michael Goi, ASC returned for the second season of this popular horror series, created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. After the first season wrapped up the story of the Harmon family and their haunted domicile, season two turns its gaze toward the goings-on in and around a mental asylum, a ripe setting for all-new tales of terror. Shooting on location in and around Los Angeles, the series showcases a variety of styles captured on Super 35mm film. Goi discusses his methods in chilling detail.

The November issue's departments also offer illuminating insights:

  • Short Takes catches up with Frederic Goodich, ASC and Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, who shared directing and cinematography duties on Kick Start Theft, a short film inspired by Vittorio De Sica's neorealist classic Bicycle Thieves and shot on location around Los Angeles with Sony's F65 CineAlta digital camera.

  • Production Slate details cinematographer Bradford Young's work on director Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere, which won the Directing Award in the Dramatic category at this year's Sundance Film Festival, as well as Benjamin Kantor's work on the Web series Husbands, which recently completed principal photography on its second season.

  • ASC Close-Up spotlights Society member Peter Deming, whose credits include Evil Dead II, My Cousin Vinny, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr., I Heart Huckabees, Drag Me to Hell, The Cabin in the Woods and the upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful.