2019 / 01 — January Issue of American Cinematographer

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The January 2019 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which features a special focus on awards-season releases.

The ASC’s 100th Anniversary

The American Society of Cinematographers turns 100 in 2019, and AC will be honoring the anniversary all throughout the year. To kick off the celebration, we offer a look back at the Society’s origins alongside a look ahead to the centennial “spotlight content” that will follow in each of the year’s subsequent issues.

(Annapurna Pictures)

Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS joined the ticket alongside writer-director Adam McKay for this portrait of Dick Cheney (portrayed by Christian Bale), who rose to the pinnacle of power as vice president to George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell). Fraser welcomed AC to the set for a firsthand look at the production.


Alfonso Cuarón wrote, directed and shot this intimate study of a middle-class family and their live-in housekeeper in Mexico City in the early 1970s. Cuarón and key members of his crew detail their approach to the black-and-white feature, which employed Arri Rental’s Alexa 65 camera and Prime 65 lenses.

Mary Poppins Returns

Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS and director Rob Marshall continued their collaboration with this sequel to the 1964 classic Mary Poppins. Now all grown up, the Banks siblings once again find themselves in need of assistance from the eponymous nanny (played now by Emily Blunt), who happily obliges. Beebe pulls back the curtain on the onscreen magic.

If Beale Street Could Talk
(Annapurna Pictures)

James Laxton and writer-director Barry Jenkins followed their collaboration on Moonlight with this adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel, which follows Clementine “Tish” Rivers (KiKi Layne) as she tries to clear the name of her wrongly convicted fiancé, Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James), before the birth of their child. Laxton offers his insights into the New York-based production.

Cold War
(Amazon Studios)

Lukasz Zal, who received an ASC Spotlight Award for his work on the feature Ida, reteamed with that project’s director, Pawel Pawlikowski, for this love story set against the backdrop of 1950s Europe. Zal discusses his approach to the black-and-white feature, which was framed for the 1.37:1 aspect ratio.

The January issue’s departments also offers illuminating insights:

Shot Craft presents tips for collaborating with the sound department, perspectives on repeatedly shooting the same set in new ways, and tricks for dealing with unwanted reflections.

Short Takes catches up with ASC Sol Negrin Student Heritage Award winners Steven Breckon and Matthew Hayward, about their projects A Place to Stay and The Latent Image, respectively, as well as ASC Haskell Wexler Student Documentary Award winner Alejandro Cortes Sanchez, about the doc Adrift.

ASC Close-Up spotlights Society member Christopher Probst, whose credits include the feature Detention; episodes of the series Mindhunter; commercials for Adidas and Turkish Airlines; and music videos for Taylor Swift, Eminem, Jay-Z and Muse.

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