Here's a look at the December 2013 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which focuses on holiday season releases.
The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount)
Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC teamed with director Martin Scorsese to dramatize the true-life story of Jordan Belefort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a New York stockbroker in the 1990s who enjoyed a meteoric rise to wealth, and a hard-partying lifestyle, before his career was derailed by headline-making charges of securities fraud and money laundering. Prieto opted for a multi-format production, shooting much of the movie on film (in the Super 35mm format) and supplementing with digital video (captured with Arri Alexas and a Canon EOS C500).
12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight)
Sean Bobbitt, BSC reteamed with director Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame) on this period drama set in the pre-Civil War United States, where Solomon Northrup (Chiewetel Ejiofor), a free African-American man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Bobbitt discusses his working relationship with McQueen and the techniques he used to balance the story's brutal tone and visual beauty.
Labor Day (Paramount)
Eric Steelberg, ASC was behind the camera on this drama about an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) who bonds with a depressed single mother (Kate Winslet) and her son (Gattlin Griffith) while holding them hostage during a long holiday weekend. Steelberg discusses his ongoing collaboration with director Jason Reitman, for whom he has also shot the features Juno, Up in the Air and Young Adult.
Thor: The Dark World (Walt Disney)
Kramer Morgenthau, ASC welcomed AC onto the London sets of this ambitious Marvel sequel, which also shot on location in Iceland. The new story pits superhero Thor (Chris Hemsworth) against a primeval race, led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), which threatens to destroy the Nine Realms. Morgenthau details his strategies for shooting an effects-heavy production in the studio and on location.
The December issue's departments also offer interesting highlights:
- Short Takes features comments from cinematographer James Watson and director Daniel Jewel about their work on the award-winning short project Drone, which they shot digitally with the Arri Alexa.
- Production Slate offers an interview with Theo van de Sande, ASC about his work on the action thriller Homefront, as well as a piece about the dramatic musical Black Nativity, shot by Anastas Michos, ASC.
- ASC Close-Up profiles Society member Michael Slovis, whose resume includes a 2006 Primetime Emmy Award and a 2007 nomination for his cinematography on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, as well as four additional Emmy nominations for his work on Breaking Bad. Slovis' additional television series credits include the shows New Amsterdam, Fringe, Royal Pains, Running Wilde and 30 Rock.