British Cinematographer 044
British Cinematographer Magazine: Covering International Cinematography – Europe’s No.1 cinematography magazine, with a growing worldwide audience – reflects the dynamism of the times. Encompassing the beauty of tradition, as well as the shock of the new, we focus on the art and craft of cinematographers, and the technologies they use during production and post production. This flagship title is endorsed and read by the membership of the British Society of Cinematographers, the Guild of British Camera Technicians, and IMAGO, the Federation of European Cinematographic Societies. It is avidly read, and supported, by individuals working at the grass roots of production through to multi-national blue-chip organizations. For those who really want to know about the world of cinematography today and those who want to influence the world of cinematography, British Cinematographer is the essential resource.
British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk March 2011 ––– £7 – 058 – 057 – 056 – 055 – 054 – 053 – 052 – 051 – 050 – 049 – 048 – 047 – 046 – 045 – 044 – 043 British 044 Cinematographer – 042 – 041 – 040 – 039 – 038 – 037 – 036 – 035 – 034 – 033 – 032 – 031 – 030 Covering International Cinematography K E E W MY RILYN A M H WIT DP BEN SMITHARD TALKS ABOUT HIS INSPIRATIONS ON SHOOTING SIMON CURTIS’S FEATURE-FILM DEBUT 16mm vs HD ––– THE 83rd ACADEMY AWARDS ––– WHO’S SHOOTING WHAT? ANTHONY DOD MANTLE DFF BSC ON 127 HOURS, THE EAGLE & DREDD 3D JEFF CRONENWETH ASC ON THE SOCIAL NETWORK ––– ED WILD ON CHALET GIRL TIM CRAGG ON FLYING MONSTERS 3D ––– BSC, IMAGO, GBCT & PRODUCTION NEWS CARLOS CATALAN ––– STEVEN POSTER ASC ––– CHRISTOPHER CHALLIS British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Section –––Person’s Name BSC Project Line1 Line2 Project 02 03 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Credits –––British Cinematographer Magazine: Issue 44 Contributers. “I must not get lazy, complacent, nor go on autopilot. I have to keep reviving the child in me that asks, ‘How could I do this better, or how could I do this differently.’” Anthony Dod Mantle DFF BSC Contents. 05 President’s Perspective. John de Borman BSC on talent, luck and happy accidents... 07 Production / Post & Techno News. All the latest worldwide cinematography news. 13 To Live & Let DI. Discover who’s dialling-in the DI grades and more... 16 Tools of the Trade. We feature the very latest new kit and services... 18 On the Job. Ben Smithard on My Week With Marilyn. 20 Meet the New Wave. Carlos Catalan... makes a Spanish omlette to die for! 21 The Great Debate. Where is 16mm now, and what does the future hold for this favourite filming format? 25 Camera Creative. Bob Fisher ––– has authored 3,000 magazine articles about cinematographers and filmmakers during the past 35 plus years. He has also moderated many panel discussions for both the American Society of Cinematographers and the International Cinematographers Guild. Anthony Dod Mantle DFF BSC on 127 Hours, The Eagle and Dredd 3D. 28 Who’s Shooting Who? See which DPs are shooting who and where. Carolyn Giardina ––– is a freelance journalist based in the US. She previously served as the technology reporter at Hollywood Reporter, the editor of Film & Video, and as senior editor of post-production at SHOOT. Her work has also appeared in IBC Daily News, Digital Cinema, Post and Below The Line. 30 IMAGO News. Nigel Walters BSC, with the low-down on the recent General Assmbly in Tallinn. 32 The latest from America. Steven Poster ASC, ICG president, IATSE Local 600, on Moore’s Law in motion pictures and our round-up from Los Angeles during Awards season. 35 Close-ups. Jeff Cronenweth ASC on The Social Network, Tim Cragg on Flying Monsters 3D & Ed Wild on Chalet Girl. 38 All Time Greats. The legends continue... Christopher Challis. 40 GBCT News. The chairman’s statement & all the latest new from the Guild. Ron Prince ––– has many years experience working in the film, TV, CGI and visual effects industries. He is the editor of British Cinematographer magazine and runs the international marketing and communications company Prince PR (www.princepr.com). British Cinematographer Issue 044 –––– The BSC John Allcott award sponsored by ARRI. The adjustment bureau Congratulations to Roger Deakins BSC ASC, who picked up two prestigious awards this season - the BAFTA for his cinematography on True Grit, and the ASC’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He actually won both awards on the same day, but even a man of his extraordinary visual talents could not be in two places at once, and so he collected his ASC Award amongst his peers in Los Angeles. The Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland was full of praise and admiration for him, along with the evening’s other winners John Seale ACS ASC, Michael O’Shea ASC and photographer Douglas Kirkland. Congratulations also to Wally Pfister ASC on a remarkable double. Along with the Academy Award for Inception, which he was visibly stunned and thrilled to win, he is also scheduled to become a BSC member very soon. He joins William Fraker ASC as the second ASC member to also become part of the British society, and is a welcome addition to the ranks. Both Roger and Wally are film stalwarts, although Roger did mention that he’d shot his first digital feature during his acceptance speech. For everyone who cares about film, and its longevity as a capture medium, I‘d urge you to read the last sentence of our Great Debate about 16mm vs HD. We went hunting for some good news about one of he cinematographer’s favourite formats, and to paint a realistic picture about its future. With the inexorable rise of HD, DI and file-based workflows, not to mention market forces, film is going to need every champion it can get. And it isn’t just 16mm that will require people to rally round with perhaps a more concerted voice than ever. That said, what Anthony Dod Mantle DFF BSC has to say about the future of cinematography and how cinematographers need to keep both themselves and the art of image making alive, makes for interesting reading in this edition. Adjusting to the times is all-important. Ron Prince British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography. Pinewood Studios Iver Heath Buckinghamshire SL0 0NH United Kingdom t/ +44 (0) 1753 650101 f/ +44 (0) 1753 650111 Publishers. ––– Alan Lowne t/ +44 (0) 1753 650101 e/ firstname.lastname@example.org ––– Stuart Walters t/ +44 (0) 121 608 2300 e/ stuartwalters@ britishcinematographer.co.uk Editor. ––– Ron Prince e/ email@example.com Sales. ––– Alan Lowne t/ +44 (0) 1753 650101 e/ firstname.lastname@example.org ––– Stuart Walters t/ +44 (0) 121 608 2300 e/ stuartwalters@ britishcinematographer.co.uk Design & Creative Direction. Open Box Media & Communications ––– Lee Murphy Senior Designer t/ +44 (0) 121 608 2300 e/ lee.murphy@ openboxpublishing.co.uk The Publication Advisory Committee comprises of Board members from the BSC and GBCT as well as the Publishers. British Cinematographer is part of Laws Publishing. Laws Publishing Ltd Pinewood Studios Iver Heath Buckinghamshire SL0 0NH United Kingdom. The publishers wish to emphasise that the opinions expressed in British Cinematographer are not representative of Laws Publishing Ltd but the responsibility of the individual contributors. David A Ellis ––– started out as a projectionist and then moved on to work for BBC Television in London as a film assistant. He has written numerous articles about the industry including many features about cinematographers. John Keedwell ––– the GBCT News Editor, is a documentary and commercials cameraman who has worked on many productions around the world. He crosses over in both film and tape productions and has great knowledge of the new formats and their methods of production. Kevin Hilton ––– is a freelance journalist who writes about technology and personalities in film and broadcasting, and contributes film reviews and interviews to a variety of publications in the UK and abroad. Valentina I. Valentini ––– focuses on the art and craft of cinematography, and all that includes, as a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. She has contributed to ICG Magazine, Camera Angles, HDVideoPro, and has recently been named West Coast Correspondent to IndieFilm3D.com and DigitalCinemaReport.com British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Section –––Person’s Name BSC Project Line1 Line2 Project 04 05 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Presidents Perspective –––John de Borman BSC BSC President Talent, luck & ac idents I would like to start by congratulating our BSC members who have been acknowledged in the various awards ceremonies this year. Danny Cohen for the wonderfully successful The King’s Speech, Anthony Dod Mantle for 127 Hours and Roger Deakins for True Grit; all three had BAFTA nominations and, of course, well done to Roger for winning the BAFTA for True Grit. It’s very well deserved, as are and Danny and Roger’s Oscar and ASC nominations, and Roger’s ASC lifetime achievement award. I can’t tell you how proud we are of their achievements, and many congratulations from us all at the BSC. I was recently invited by the AFC to their Micro Salon in Paris. It was a wonderful venue, full of energy, spirit and camaraderie. It was lovely to talk to Caroline Champetier, the president of the French society, about how we could cross the channel and have joint events that would reflect and compare our different cinema traditions, styles and history. I saw last weekend a French film called Living On Love Alone by Isabelle Czajka. It was remarkable to see a film whose subject was so small and intimate. I just know that this film would have never been made in this country, and that interests me – the approach and subjects of stories in different countries, their sensibilities and traditions. I am hoping to start investigating this by having Bertrand Tavernier and his cinematographer Bruno de Keyser (who is an AFC and BSC member) host an evening together to show The Princess Of Montpensier in London soon. Being half-French, I so love cross culturalisation. Last month we started our season of BSC Indie films with Eduard Grau, a Spanish cinematographer, presenting his wonderful film Buried to a packed audience. He British Society of Cinematographers Board Members. John de Borman BSC (President) Joe Dunton MBE BSC Chris Seager BSC Sean Bobitt BSC (Vice Presidents) Sue Gibson BSC Gavin Finney BSC Nic Morris BSC Haris Zambarloukos BSC Robin Vidgeon BSC John Daly BSC David Odd BSC Ashley Rowe BSC Nigel Walters BSC Derek Suter BSC Harvey Harrison BSC Phil Meheux BSC David Higgs BSC (Governors) was so funny and charming that it was a delight to interview him. What I didn’t realise at the time is that some of his success was owed to the support of Skillset’s funding. Eduard attended the NFTS, a Skillset Film and Media Academy, and from there was promoted at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. That has to be a great example of money very well spent. Kodak’s sponsorship, and our partnership with the Apollo theatre in The Haymarket, created a very enjoyable evening, so thank you all very much. Our next event was on the 23rd February when John Mathieson spoke about his work on Brighton Rock, remaking a classic. Our Q&A was chaired this time, as I was away working, by Haris Zambarloukos who is so youthful, articulate and such an admirer of John’s work, that it made for a great evening. If you missed it, don’t worry because we are filming all our Q&As, and putting them on our new website as soon as it is up and running. It has been heartening to see the solid and constant response to joining our BSC Club. We are planning many more interesting events like Coriolanus with Barry Ackroyd and hopefully Ralph Fiennes, The Eagle with Anthony Dod Mantle, and for the BSC Grand Masters Shawshank Redemption with Roger Deakins, and hope you will come along. I still want to get you all to send your behind-thescenes photos, or articles, or films that you think our members would enjoy, or be interested in for the website. I don’t know about you lot out there, but one of my favourite things in this magazine is the section, Who’s Shooting Who? I would love to expand on that, and get lots of photos and anecdotes. So please send them. We are trying to be completely inclusive to all our members as we are to the industry and will be introducing a TV drama award. We want any DP out there who thinks that their TV drama should be included in our TV Award selection to contact Frances Russell at the BSC. There are so many stunning and beautifullyshot TV shows these days, that it’s about time the DPs are recognised by us. The speed and page count that they have to achieve in a day makes it very different to moviemaking and yet, at times, they succeed to realise just as good an end product. Bravo! Back to Roger Deakins for a moment. What a wonderful cinematographer. I am so looking forward to him coming over and speaking to us. What a treat that will be. I sometimes ponder on what makes one cinematographer so much more successful than another. First of all, of course, it has to be talent. But, also, undoubtedly there’s a fair amount of luck in being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people and being chosen. Talent, luck, coincidences and accidents, that’s what I put it down to. Dustin Hoffman told me that the original casting for Midnight Cowboy was meant to have been Sammie Davies Jnr and Frank Sinatra, but due to actor availability was changed. What a happy accident for Dustin, and all of us, that was! John de Borman BSC President, British Society of Cinematographers British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Section –––Person’s Name BSC Project Line1 Line2 Project 06 07 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 News –––Production / Post & Technology round-up Deakins gets BAFTA and ASC Awards, whilst Pfister grabs the Oscar. UK film production spend hits £1.5 billion. Roger Deakins BSC ASC won the BAFTA cinematography Award for his work on True Grit, and picked up the ASC’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award 2011. He was, however, denied the Oscar for for True Grit, at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, by Wally Pfister ASC, who won the gong for Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan. During his acceptance speech, Pfister thanked the Academy for the respect it had shown to this year’s nominees, and said, “Good God, what have you done? This is a phenomenal honor for me. None of what I did would have been possible without the incredible vision of my master Christopher Nolan. His work has inspired me for 12 years and continues to. He’s a brilliant filmmaker, as we all know.” Pfister has been invited to become a BSC member, and will join the late Bill Fraker ASC to have dual ASC/BSC membership. Investment in UK film production reached £1.155 billion across 119 films in 2010, a new record for the British film industry, according to independent figures published by the UK Film Council. Films of different genres and budget levels including Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, War Horse, Horrid Henry, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Sherlock Holmes 2 increased spend in the British film production sector by 8% on 2009’s £1.071 billion. Within the overall production spend, international investment also set a new record, with £928.9 million spent in the UK on making 28 films, a 15% increase on 2009. The number of domestic UK films made last year was 72, an 11% drop on 2009. The expenditure on making those films – £174 million – registers as a 22% fall. Globally, there was a drop in feature film production investment, with 2009 down by 4% (the latest figures available). At the same time, the number of UK co-productions with other countries dropped to 19 from 26 in 2009, but, at £52 million, spend on these films is a 45% increase on 2009. Box office figures increased by 2% on 2009, breaking through the £1 billion barrier for the second year running. Toy Story 3, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part One, Alice In Wonderland and Inception topped the charts. British films proved popular with audiences, accounting for 22.6% of all ticket sales, including 5.5% from independent British films. Streetdance 3D, backed by the UK Film Council with £1 million of Lottery funding, was the most successful independent British film at the UK box office, earning in excess of £11.6 million. Tim Cagney, MD of the UK Film Council, said “These figures underline the vital contribution that film makes to Britain’s cultural and economic fabric. After ten years of UK Film Council support, they highlight the importance of a strong film sector and reinforce the UK’s reputation as one of the most competitive and highlyskilled places in the world to make films. “But the figures also show how difficult it is to raise finance for making independent British films and, with four of the top ten grossing UK independent films funded by the UK Film Council, the on-going value of public investment in new British films and talent.” Harry Potter gets a BAFTA. Pinewood Indomina Studios To launch. Indomina Group, a fast-growing US and Dominican Republic based producer and distributor of film, TV and transmedia content, has entered into a partnership agreement with the Pinewood Studios Group, which will see the group operate and market a new state-of-theart film and TV facility in the Dominican Republic. Located in the beach town of Juan Dolio on the Dominican Republic’s southern coast, about 40 miles east of Santo Domingo, the new Pinewood Indomina Studios will offer a full-service, production facility for film, TV, and other related media content, servicing the Caribbean, southern and central American markets as well as Hollywood, and filmmakers worldwide. Facilities will initially comprise 5,000sq/m of sound stage space, along with 15,000sq/m of associated production support facilities. The 35-acre site will include an acre of water effects facilities, including a 75m x 75m exterior water tank with natural ocean horizons, blue screen capabilities and a fully-equipped diving and marine department. When completed it will be the only tank of its type and size in the region. Commencement of initial operations is expected by early 2012. The Indomina Group is an independent studio launched in 2008 by Jasbinder Singh Mann and asset manager Vicini. The company’s global operations include the production and distribution of motion pictures, television, music, interactive games, and the ownership of world-class studio facilities and production services. The National Congress of the Dominican Republic passed into law a new bill that will provide a tax credit of up to 25% for feature films and TV series shot in the Dominican Republic. Pinewood Shepperton plc, VFX house Framestore, Steve Norris, former British Film Commissioner, have established a relationship to provide services and support to filmmakers from around the world on a wide range of issues relating to film production. Apollo Productions will advise on all aspects of film production in the UK, from film qualification and the UK cultural test, to co-production status and tax credits, as well as managing the production process. Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter franchise won BAFTA’s Balcon Award for British contribution to cinema at the Orange British Academy Film Awards. Author J.K. Rowling and producer David Heyman picked up the honour during the ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House. Starting in 2001 with Harry Potter And The Sorceror’s Stone, its six subsequent installments have earned more than $5.4 billion worldwide, making it the top-grossing film series of all time. Roger Deakins BSC ASC collecting his ASC Lifetime Achievement Award. Mock-ups of the new Pinewood Indomina Studios in the Dominican Republic. 08 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Litepanels Sola 6 LED Fresnels light Super Bowl XLV. Litepanels Sola 6 Fresnel LED lighting fixtures made their debut in the main announcers booth at this year’s Super Bowl XLV, broadcast on The Fox Sports Network. The Sola Fresnel series combines the advantages of LED lighting with the properties of a Fresnel lens, including light projection over long distances and precise focusing and control of the light’s output. Fox Sports Network has used Litepanels 1x1 fixtures in its NFL broadcast announce booths throughout the 2010 season. A pair of Sola 6 Fresnels for the show’s opening talent shot, introducing announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, with the field and Cowboy Stadium crowd in the background. Buck McNeely, producer and host of US adventure TV series The Outdoorsman, chose Litepanels as his premiere lighting. Each week McNeely, along with a celebrity guest, bring important conservation issues to their national and international audience. “When you move around as much as we do, you need lighting that is up to the often rugged conditions and variety of atmospheric elements you get on location,” says McNeely. “Litepanels are rugged in design, have a great light intensity and brilliance and a soft light that can function as key or fill lights outdoors or indoors.” McNeely recently journeyed to the Costa Rican jungle for an episode of the series. “Litepanels worked great as fill light under the jungle canopy for a zip line adventure segment.” ACS offers new heads. ACS France, specialist supplier of aerial camera systems, has become the European agent for Nettmann Systems International’s the Super G/Stab C gyro stabilised heads. The Super-G provides five-axis full stabilisation, steerable roll, pan and tilt axes, and can operate at up to 120 knots. For years, an absolute level horizon has been nearly impossible to capture, as the sensor systems on the market were not suited for the dynamics of rotary aircraft. Helicopter crabbing, lateral accelerations and tight cornering confused the sensors, resulting in an unlevel horizon. Nettmann Systems has overcome this aerial dilemma with its Horizon Control Unit. This sensor package, combines special sensors, new software and GPS location tracking to offset all level horizon problems associated with the extreme dynamics of aerial cinematography. The HCU has already been used on such productions as Mission Impossible 4, Fast And Furious 5, and commercials for Heineken, Carlsberg and Mitsubishi. STAB-C provides five-axis stabilisation, is a silent system and can be fitted with an entire range of cameras from HD video to IMAX 15perf/65mm film cameras. What’s shooting on Kodak?. Features opting for Kodak stocks include the South African productions of… Safe House, Moonlighting SA for Universal, dir Daniel Espinosa, DP Oliver Wood; and Strike Back, Out of Africa SA for Left Bank Pictures/Sky TV, dir Daniel Percival, DP Steve Lawes. Other features include… Sherlock Holmes 2, dir Guy Ritchie, DP Philippe Rousselot; The Iron Lady, dir Phyllida Lloyd, DP Elliott Davis; and Winds Of Change, dir Deepa Mehta, DP Giles Nuttgens. Commercials include… Arla Yoghurt (Another Film Company), DP Ben Butler; AA (Outsider), DP Mike George; Vision Express (Partizan), DP Simon Richards; Wickes (Thomas Thomas), DP Mike George; Activia (2AM), DP Jan Richter-Friis; Olay (Home Corp), DP Adrian Wilde; Clearasil (Academy), DP Ross McLennan; Bupa (Bare Films), DP Ben Smithard; Debenhams (Bare Films), DP Haris Zambarloukos BSC; Promise (Channel Four), DP Mark Patten; Tesco (Little Fish), DP Keith Goddard BSC; Fosters (Hungryman), DP Antonio Paladino; Dreams (Why Not Ltd), DP Gary Shaw; DFS (Ink Films), DP Mik Allen; Batchelors (MJZ), DP Magni Agustsson; H&M (H.S.I), DP Crille Forsberg; Gillette (The Fred Film Co), DP Steve Keith Roach; Morrisons (Park Village), DP Mark Emberton; Ariel (Production Int), DP George Steel; McDonalds (HLA), DP Martin Hill; MIU MIU (Independent), DP Steve Keith Roach; 02 (H.S.I), DP Will Bex; Revlon (Independent), DP Oliver Curtis BSC; Dove (Mad Cow), DP Adrian Wild; Olay (Home Corp) DP Adrian Wild; Morrisons (Park Village), DP Oliver Curtis BSC; and Schwarzkopf (Cherry) DP Simon Chaudoir. Television series include… New Tricks VIII, dir. Philip John, DP Sean Van Hales. Now you’re guaranteed a true horizon with the new heads from ACS. Litepanels’ Ben Altopp (r) and David Thrower In Fox Sports Network announce booth at Super Bowl XLV. Rodrigo Gutierrez, ACO President, wants to broaden the understanding of the vital role played by camera operators. The ACO’s new board at a meeting: (l-r) Martin Hume, Peter Taylor, Peter Robertson, Lucy Bristow, Peter Cavaciuti and Chris Plevin. ARRI releases ALEXA Update. ARRI has released a software update for its ALEXA camera system. New features of the Software Update Packet (SUP) 3.0 include, in-camera playback of QuickTime clips from on-board SxS PRO cards enabling an instant image check, in-camera audio recording, a smooth mode for any frame rate up to 30 fps and any shutter angle up to 180 degrees, which eliminates shuttering in the viewfinder image, a single frame grab option, and extended sensitivity to EI 3200 for low light situations. The SUP.0 also offers an improved colour processing engine providing higher colour saturation in highlights, as well as improved skin tones under tungsten light, and a colour exposure check which changes the image to black-andwhite, and uses colour to indicate specific signal levels such as clipping, skin tones and 18% medium grey. All new ALEXAs will have SUP 3.0 installed, and all existing cameras can be upgraded to SUP 3.0. Camera Operators band together. The Association of Camera Operators (ACO) has been formed to promote the technical and creative skills of the camera operator and to emphasise the importance of the role in the filmmaking process. “Staging of action, choreography of camera moves, composition and framing, are all areas of expertise that the camera operator brings to the art of filmmaking, along with the essential organisational and communication skills when dealing with cast and crew,” said ACO president Rodrigo Gutierrez. “Last year over 30 major American and British film productions shot in the UK, with a potential of over a billion dollars worth of box office business. Most productions had an average of three or four operators at anyone time, proving that camera operators are not a thing of the past. “Now, the ACO provides a way for camera operators to come together, and to work as one voice to increase the understanding of our contribution to filmmaking.” The ACO’s inaugural board of directors includes Gutierrez as president, vice president Chris Plevin, secretary Peter Robertson, treasurer Peter Cavaciuti, and board members David Worley, Nick Bees-Sanders, Lucy Bristow, Andre Austin, Peter Taylor, Martin Hume and Paul Edwards. THE ACO has over 50 full members. The ACO is planning a series of workshops and seminars, in the UK and Europe, designed to inform directors, producers and cinematographers about the camera operator’s craft and importance in the storytelling process. 09 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 BVK award for Zydowicz. Plus Camerimage Film Festival director Marek Zydowicz has been honored by the German Society of Cinematographers, BVK. The award was made for his “incredible efforts to organise the most impressive international festival of the art of cinematography. We wanted to give a strong signal to the professional audience and the political decision-makers in Poland that Plus Camerimage, and its founder and director Marek Zydowicz, is the most important person to keep the cinematographers’ family worldwide in touch,” said Falko Ahsendorf, BVK president. Todman rejoins Panavision. Charlie Todman has rejoined Panavision UK after a two-year stint at Take Two Films. Todman is well known by feature cinematographers and their crews, having worked for 20 years previously at Panavision. He worked for over a decade in camera and lens maintenance at the company, often attending shoots, before joining marketing director Hugh Whittaker in the marketing department. He has rejoined in a technical marketing role for features, and will work alongside Whittaker again. Panavision has lured Charlie Todman back to keep up service levels on features. Marek Żydowicz is a champion for cinematographers worldwide. The King’s Speech makes it an Oscar treble for Fujifilm. Gekko restructures distribution. The King’s Speech records a hat-trick for Fujifilm UK. The success of The King’s Speech at the 2011 Academy Awards completes a memorable hat-trick for Fujifilm Motion Picture UK. This is the third year running that the Fujifilm UK office has supplied a feature produced on Fujifilm Motion Picture filmstock which has been awarded best film in both the Oscars and the BAFTAs. The win for The King’s Speech follows similar triumphs in 2010 for The Hurt Locker and for Slumdog Millionaire in 2009. The King’s Speech shot by Danny Cohen BSC, was originated on 35mm Fujicolor ETERNA, Vivid 500T 8547, ETERNA Vivid 160T 8543 and ETERNA 250D 8563. Black Swan, shot by DP Matthew Libatique ASC, a best cinematography nominee this year, was originated on 16mm ETERNA Vivid 500T 8647 and ETERNA Vivid 160T 8643. LED lighting manufacturer Gekko Technology has restructured its distribution in the UK and Northern Europe to enable the next phase in the company’s growth. All resellers within the territory will be managed directly by an enlarged Gekko sales and marketing department. This role, until now, has been undertaken by Cirro Lite (Europe) Ltd, which will remain as a valued reseller. Under the new structure, repairs (including warranty issues) and sales enquiries for UK, Northern Europe, Middle East, Asia and South America should be directed to Gekko Technology, Germany and Eastern Europe to Dedo Weigert, and USA and Canada to PRG in Los Angeles. What’s shooting on Fujifilm?. The following features and TV dramas selected Fuji film stocks… I, Anna, DP Ben Smithard, dir Barnaby Southcombe; Untitled Bosnian War Love Story, DP Dean Semler ACS, ASC, dir Angelina Jolie; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, DP Hoyte van Hoytema FSF NSC, dir Tomas Alfredson; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, DP Ben Davis BSC, dir John Madden; Stolen, DP Rob Hardy BSC, dir Justin Chadwick; Hot Potato, DP Ashley Rowe BSC, dir Tim Lewiston; and Resistance, DP John Pardue, dir Amit Gupta. Commercials & Promos supplied via Island Studios and Panavision include… Brittany Ferries (The Gate), DP Richard Stewart; Yell.com (Gorgeous), DP Patrick Duroux; Heineken (Sonny London), DP Mattias Montero; Rimmel (Annex), DP Robbie Ryan BSC; Nokia (Pulse Films), DP Christopher Ross; BBC Radio4 ‘Film Season’ Ident (Red Bee Media), DP Will Bex; James Blunt Promo (Pulse Films), DP Richard Stewart; Maverick Sabre Promo (Blackdog Films), DP Justin Brown; Barclays (Outsider), DP Tom Townend; Dyson (Rogue Films), DP Simon Richards; Newcastle Brown Ale (Academy Films), DP Rob Hardy BSC; Duffy Promo (Davey Inc), DP Simon Richards; Rice Krispies (Production International), DP Denis Crossan BSC; Plan B Promo (Somesuch & Co), DP Lol Crawley; Barclays (Outsider), DP Tom Townend; Dementia (Smuggler), DP Nanu Segal; Volkeswagen, DP Rennie Rousa; Actimel (Another), DP Nanu Segal; Heston Michelin Impossible Ident (Channel 4), DP Tom Townend; and Sound Girl Promo (Between The Eyes), DP Adam Frisch. 10 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Angenieux 3D lens packages prove popular. Cirro Lite introduces Felloni LED panel . Lighting services company Cirro Lite has introduce the Felloni LED Panel, the latest LED fixture from Dedolight’s Techpro range. It is claimed this fixture offers the best light output and efficiency currently available for this type of LED fixture. The fixture itself is built in a lightweight, toughmoulded casing that is water resistant and will withstand the rigours of life on location. It has Techpro specified LEDs inside, that produce produce twice the light of comparable lights, but achieved at half the current draw of similar units. Also included, built-in, are Sony NP battery and V-Loc battery sockets making for convenient the power options. The Felloni includes a remote cable for 0 – 100% dimming. Lens maker Angenieux has reported record sales of its 3D-Ready Optimo DP Lens Package. Recent customers purchasing the package include Offhollywood Pictures, 21st Century Pictures, Element Technica, Indierentals, E3D Creative, Evergreen Films, TCS, Vision3, Pace HD and Axis Films. The equipment is available in two versions; the 16-42 and 30-80 Optimo DP lens packages. To help ensure equivalent performance, the lenses used are from the same production run, and include specific features for 3D application including factory-matched zoom and focus scales, comparable optical quality and easily adjustable tracking to ensure optimal performance. The lenses feature a T:2.8 aperture and deliver optical performance quality equal to prime lenses. They reckon the new Felloni LED is twice as bright as competing fixtures, at half the price! Not for the queasy, the Quasar rig gets close into the action on The Mortician In 3D. PFL gives Carmen third dimension. Working in conjunction with film director Julian Napier and DP Sean MacLeod Phillips, Principal Large Format (PLF) producer Phil Streather brought a new perspective to Georges Bizet’s much-loved opera, enabling movie-goers and opera fans alike to enjoy Carmen in 3D for the first time. Featuring an all-star cast from London’s Royal Opera House – with Christine Rice singing the title role – and 3D glasses technology from RealD, Carmen 3D gives viewers the best seat in the house, taking them into the heart of the production and immersing them in Bizet’s perennially popular story of love, jealousy and betrayal. Commenting on PLF’s contribution to the project, Streather said, “This production of Carmen is truly dazzling, with a vibrant stage design by Francesca Zambello that features crowds of peasants, gypsies, bullfighters and soldiers – not to mention a magnificent horse, a donkey and even some chickens. “Working hand-in-hand with the film crew from the start, we were able to craft a truly unique event that is as innovative cinematically as it is energetic and engaging musically, dramatically and theatrically. As you would expect with such a cutting-edge project, there were a number of hurdles to overcome along the way, but we, the film crew, the Royal Opera House and RealD are all delighted with the results. We are confident that everyone who sees Carmen 3D will be blown away by the experience.” Opera gets a new dimension thanks to PFL, Royal Opera House and RealD. New Rotolight kit comes with lovely Lee Filters. New PAG battery communicates with the viewfinder display and shows remaining capacity as a percentage. PAG powers Red One. PAG, which makes technologicallyadvanced power solutions for a broad range of professional cameras, has introduced a new, compact version of its L95e battery, specifically for use with the Red One camera. The 95 watt-hour, V-Mount Li-Ion L95eR battery provides a capacity reading, expressed as a percentage, in the viewfinder of the popular digital cinema camera. The PAG L95e has a maximum continuous output current rated at 7 amps, and is suitable for use with a broad range of professional cameras. The PAG L95eR is an adapted version of the L95e, and provides 1.25hrs of continuous runtime for the Red One. Quasar rigs used for The Mortician in 3D. The Mortician, the first American feature to use Element Technica’s Quasar 3D rigs, made its premiere at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival. The rig was supplied to the production by equipment rental company OFFHollywood. The psychological thriller, written and directed by Gareth Maxwell Rogers starring Method Man, was shot on location in New Orleans, Louisiana, by cinematographer Michael McDonough. “An important consideration in 3D is to avoid torquing of the camera bodies once the rig is set up, as this will throw out all of your careful lens alignment. I found Element Technica’s rig to be quite rugged,” said McDonough, who worked with OFFHollywood’s Mark L. Pederson and stereographer Keith Collea. Fully equipped, the ET 3D rig weighed 105 pounds, heavy enough to handle the stress of an active shoot, yet light enough to allow the team to make some tricky moves. “I remember one sequence where we were fighting daylight and we needed the Hydro Techno Crane up and running under the rain towers, with no time to do serious critical alignments,” recalls Collea. “Within minutes the ET rig was up, aligned and shooting. The shot went off without a hitch. The alignment procedures with the ET rig are a snap. And, once the rig is aligned, it stays that way over the course of several setups, including serious jolts from riding on the process trailer.” Element Technica has delivered 160 combined of its Quasar, Pulsar, Neutron and Atom rigs. Rotolight launches Creative Colour Kit. Rotolight has launched Creative Colour Kit a professional, single-light lighting system for DSLR photographers and HD videographers. The Rotolight ringlight produces a natural, warm and shadowless wide light beam, and each kit contains a filter holder plus a custom, Lee Lighting, 6-piece ring-filter Calibration Gel Set for studio calibrated colour at 6900K, 5600K, 4100K and 3200K, plus soft diffusion and ND gels for accurate dimming over a range of up to 1.5 aperture stops. Also included is a Colour FX Gel Filter Kit, comprising 10 of the most popular Lee Lighting colour FX filter gels. 11 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 FLYKA Electric Dolly. ARRI Media appoints new management team. Camera and grip equipment rental company ARRI Media has announced two new managerial appointments. Russell Allen has been promoted to general manager, and Harriet Cannon to business manager. The promotions follow Philip Cooper’s departure to take on a new role in South Africa with Media Film Service, a member of the ARRI Rental Group partner network Reporting to Renos Louka, group managing director of ARRI’s UK business, Allen will be responsible for the day to day operation of the company, whilst still overseeing his previous role of managing ARRI Media’s feature and drama work. Cannon will work alongside Allen and assist in the day-to-day running of the business. As long-term ARRI employees, both are well known amongst ARRI Media’s existing clients and between them bring over 40 years industry experience to their new positions. “Russell and Harriet’s combined wealth of experience, together with their enthusiasm and dedication, make them invaluable to our team at ARRI Media,” states Louka. “They have been critical contributors to the business and will play a fundamental role in ensuring the company continues to deliver for its clients, both now and in the future.” ARRI Rental Berlin has moved to a new 3,000sq/m facility in Berlin Charlottenburg. As well as supplying camera, lighting and dolly grip equipment, ARRI Rental, in close collaboration with ARRI Film & TV Berlin, provides solutions for 2D/3D formats and production-related services for all major digital recording formats. The Flyka Electric Dolly was launched at the recent BVE show at Earl’s Court. The product was developed by stills photographer and cameraman Tony Holker who broke his leg in 2008 and used a disabled buggy for filming. “I decided the smooth ride from a disabled buggy was a great platform to film from,” said Holker. “I researched to see what else was out there, but there seemed to be nothing. Five prototypes later, I have working vehicles for filming and the reaction from the industry has been superb.” The Flyka Electric Dolly saves time on setting up shots as there is no track involved. Users have the ability to record sound during filming, despite using a motorised Dolly. It allows the creation of forward and backward tracking. Long running shots can be replicated without having to tire out a grip. Slow moving Steadicam shots without footstep jerks, can also be created, with variable and constant speed from 0 to 8mph. On Sight purchases second Mistika 4K system. And he drives the fastest Flyka in the west! Russell Allen and Harriet Cannon take on new roles at ARRI Media. Continuing the expansion of its 2D and 3D stereo post-production services London-based On Sight, has invested in a second SGO Mistika, with 64TB SAN, and upgraded both systems to 4K playback. On Sight has recently worked on a number of high-profile stereo 3D projects using Mistika for music, commercial and feature clients, including Flying Monsters 3D With David Attenborough, and a project for The Prince’s Trust Rock Gala In 3D featuring Eric Clapton and Tom Jones. On Sight’s second Mistika system, has been installed at its Berners Street location. 12 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Double Negative wins for Inception. London VFX post house Double Negative made a big impact during awards season with the company’s Paul Franklin collecting the Oscar for best visual effects for Inception, along with three gongs at the 9th Annual VES Awards. The company won VES awards in the following categories: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture. Double Negative created all the visual effects for Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed film, with miniatures being provided by New Deal Studios, which also won a VES award for models and miniatures. Some of the highlights of the work included the surreal Paris folding sequence and Limbo city. London’s Framestore also showed its VFX credentials with BAFTA and multiple VES nominations for best special visual effects for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Framestore’s contribution to Harry Potter included the creation of Dobby and Kreacher, and the magical animated storybook sequence. The company’s work on Salt and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, also received VES nominations. From a VFX perspective, Cinesite contributed significantly to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. The company created Lord Voldemort’s snake-like nose, the ghost of Dumbledore, and a Patronus doe amongst many other VFX. New Telemetrics pan/tilt head . Telemetrics Inc. has introduced a new pan/tilt head for shooting sporting events as well as in traditional studio environments. The PT-RM-1, brushless 360°-capable, pan/tilt head features heavy-duty bearings and a belt drive system to help ensure quiet and smooth operation. When used in manual mode, the pan/tilt head offers fluid movement. The new head allows motion through sequence of position or motion record playback. It has variable operating speeds including a velocity range of 0.005° to 90°/second and an acceleration speed of up to 180°/second. Multiaxis control includes pan, tilt, zoom, focus, track, Televator, dolly, iris and master pedestal. Up to 255 pre-sets can be memorized, and the pre-set recall function features an on-the-fly time parameter to enable all axes to start and stop simultaneously using pre-programmed acceleration parameters. A serial camera control interface for most Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Ikegami and Hitachi cameras is available. Cinesite replaced Ralph Fiennes’ nose area with Lord Voldemort’s CG snake-like snout for the latest Harry Potter film. Visio’s new Paso LED from Ianiro should be good for lighting interviews or any production that needs fast but highly controlled illumination. New mounting accessories for P+S Technik’s 3D rigs allow for steadicam, shoulder, crane and dolly use. Visio’s new Paso LED from Ianiro. Lighting specialist Ianiro UK has launched Paso, a new portable 100W LED light which boasts output equivalent to a 1000w tungsten unit. Like its sister product, the Minima, the Paso is notable for its user-defined colour temperature control. The Paso shares the characteristics of all advanced LED lights, such as full dimming control, instant-on, and the benefit of hot restrike, with a low power requirement. Manufactured by Visio, the Paso’s colour fidelity is high, with a CRI in excess of 90%, and is aimed as a replacement for the Red Head. Offering six preset temperatures, each fully RGB adjustable, the Paso is also designed to save crews the need to buy, carry and fit filters, as well as saving time in post by reducing the need for colour correction. Cine Guilds launches web portal for incoming productions. P+S Technik upgrades 3D rigs. P+S Technik has announced upgrades and enhancements to its Standard and Freestyle 3D rigs. The Freestyle Rig now has an optional Evolution pgrade consisting of two stronger camera plates designed for use with heavy camera setups, such as the Alexa, Red, Weisscam HS-2. A range of ergonomic mounting accessories allow the rig to be used steadycam, shoulder, crane and dolly use. There are also neew brackets and mounts for the Sony PMW-EX3 and Sony V-Mount cameras. Enhancements and new accessories for 3D Standard Rig include a new diagonal support, and 14 new camera kits for cameras including the Sony PMW-EX3, Red One, Alexa, Phantom gold, Sony HDC 1500, Panasonic AK-HC1500 and Canon 5D. P+S Technik 3D stereo rigs have been used on Saw 3D, The Three Musketeers 3D, Battle of Warsaw 1920, The Flying Machine 3D, Carmen 3D, Pina 3D and Distant Thunder 3D. The company is making available a limited number of matched lenses for 3D setups, including 8mm/T1.9, 12mm/T1.9, 16mm and 25mm lenses, both T1.7, and has produced a 3D calibration test chart on matte, non-reflective, weather-resistant laminate. The Cine Guilds of Great Britain has announced the launch of a new web portal providing incoming international productions with access to the services of more than 1,000 of the very best UK film crew – from cinematographers to hair and make-up artists. The website (www.moviecrew.org.uk) was designed and built with support from the Office of the British Film Commissioner. It has direct links to the member directories of all the UK film craft guilds that make up Cine Guilds GB, with details of the various crew grades that can be contacted via each guild. Explaining more about the initiative, Cine Guilds chairman Joe Dunton commented, “Both Cine Guilds and the Film Commissioner felt that it was important to emphasise not only the high level of skills in the UK film crafts, but also the difference in the UK between guilds and trades unions. We are all used to this difference, but in the US particularly the word ‘guild’ is often the same as ‘union’. We needed to remind producers that, in the UK, choosing a guild member guarantees the highest professional standards, and that guild membership is not required to work in the industry but is, in fact, only available to respected and skilled professionals, elected by nomination and peer review of their work. “We hope that this new website will encourage producers new to working in the UK to use British crew when shooting here or in Europe.” British Film Commissioner, Colin Brown said: “We have first class film crews in the UK and I hope this great new resource will encourage international producers to make the best use of them. This portal is a handy one-stop-shop which directs producers to the best UK crew for every job from sound to cinematography, stunt co-ordination to editing – saving them time, effort and money.” Park Road Post plumps for Mistika. Wellington, New Zealand-based facility, Park Road Post Production has purchased another four SGO Mistika 4K systems, including a Mistika Software License Agreement for the Weta Group. This investment follows the purchase of two Mistika 4K systems last September. Mistika now forms the nucleus of Park Road’s stereo 3D production pipeline including producing dailies rushes for editorial, finishing and grading. 13 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Schoonmaker has edited all Scorsese’s films since Raging Bull starring Robert De Niro. Live & Let DI –––Who’s dialling-in the DI grades Masterpiece: Narduzzo Too recently graded and restored Michael Powell’s infamous psycho sexual thriller Peeping Tom. MyTherapy did the DI grade on the new Carmen 3D film. Masters at work: Vince Narduzzo with director Martin Scorsese who is reviving the notorious Peeping Tom. Mytherapy Mytherapy’s Dado Valentic, whose dictum whilst grading is, “to play without passion is inexcusable”, completed the grade on the operatic feature Carmen 3D, a RealD and Royal Opera House presentation, directed by Julian Napier, lensed by Sean MacLeod Phillips and produced by Phil Streather of Principal Large Format. Mytherapy is one of the beta testing sites for the grading application from Iridas. Narduzzo Too Graded Pinewood-based post production facility Narduzzo Too recently graded and restored Michael Powell’s infamous psycho-sexual thriller Peeping Tom, using Digital Vision’s Nucoda Film Master and Phoenix Finish restoration system. The film, shot by cinematographer Otto Heller in 1960, ruined Powell’s career as a director in the UK because of its shocking content and harsh reception by critics. Written by WWII cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks, Peeping Tom starred Karlheinz Böhm and Anna Massey. Böhm plays Mark Lewis, a young man who murders women and films their dying expressions. Thanks to a revival by Martin Scorsese in the 1970s, and again now, it has since received cult status and is regarded by many as a masterpiece. Marking the film’s fiftieth anniversary Scorsese and his editor Thelma Schoonmaker worked with Vince Narduzzo to restore the film for selective screenings and Blu-Ray release. Schoonmaker has worked with Scorsese for more than 35 years and has edited all his films since Raging Bull, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Editing, as well as The Aviator and The Departed. She was married to Michael Powell until his death in 1990 and has been dedicated to preserving his films and honouring his legacy. Narduzzo who restored and graded the piece in the company of Schoonmaker said, “I started the process by grading the open log scans. It’s important for me to see the image graded before I apply any kind of grain reduction or scratch removal. I then ran an auto pass using the Phoenix DVO toolset, which removed around 80 per cent of imperfections. There were a couple of shots that really needed stabilising but the auto pass corrected them very easily. I then used the Fix, Scratch, Grain and Sharpening tools to sort out other affected areas by hand. DVO Scratch is very efficient at removing tramlines, which create a vertical scratch in the film. It wasn’t long ago that tramlines would cause a real problem and could take hours to fix but Scratch removed them without any problem.” Scorsese visited Narduzzo Too to view the final piece, and was delighted wit the result, as was Blu-Ray. com’s review, which commented: “Freshly restored, Peeping Tom looks the best it ever has. Fine object detail is outstanding, clarity very pleasing, and contrast levels consistent throughout the entire film. What impresses the most, however, is the colour-scheme; the variety of reds, greens, blues, yellows, browns, and blacks look sensational. Peeping Tom has also been meticulously cleaned up. To sum it all up, this is indeed an exceptional presentation of an exceptional film.” Nucoda Film Master was used at the NFTS to grade and finish Oscar-nominated Best Live Action Short The Confession, directed by Tanel Toom a graduate of school. Awarded the Student Oscar last year in the Honorary Foreign Film award category, the film was shot on RED at 4K and graded by NFTS graduate Juan Pablo Salazar. 14 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Light Illusion Specialist digital film consultancy, Light Illusion, has been hired by Hyderabad-based film group, Annapurna Studios, to provide technological and creative assistance in building a new, state-of-the- art, DI operation, with real-time Stereo3D capability. It aims to handle highend digital film projects emanating from the Southern Indian film industry, as well as taking on international work through its association with Light Illusion. The realtime Stereo-3D capabilities of the DI operation are the first in India. Every part of the digital film workflow was defined by Light Illusion, from capture and scanning, through to DI workstations, storage and monitoring, visual effects and restoration, the network infrastructure and final deliverables. The equipment installed includes an SGO Mistika 4K+ DI system, interconnected by a SAN shared storage system, comprising some 80TB capacity, with a Cintel Ditto 4K scanner for film acquisition. Display monitoring is via a Penta Studiotechnik professional grade monitor, combined in parallel with a Projectiondesign Cineo32 digital projector. Colour calibration will be via Light Illusion’s own LightSpace Colour Management System and X-Rite Hubble probe. Pictorion Das Werk SGO’s Mistika system was selected by Pictorion Das Werk for the post production on Wim Wenders’ stereoscopic 3D film Pina, which had its world première 61st Berlinale Film Festival in February. It was filmed completely in stereo 3D, mainly using two Sony HDC 1500 cameras. Molinare Molinare’s two most senior executives recently quit as the company’s India-based backers relaunched the facility. MD Mark Foligno and chief executive Richard Hart left Molinare on 30th December. Foligno will consult for the post house until the end of April, while Hart has been placed on gardening leave until June. Part of the relaunch included the unveiling of a plush new grading theatre, in what was Molinare’s TV studio. It is thought to be London’s largest, with an 8m-wide screen, 20 luxury viewing seats and two client breakout areas. There’s also a five-seat private viewing gallery allowing grading to be viewed without interruption. It can also handle screenings and reviews with the ability to butterfly digital and film projection. Kit includes a Baselight 8 for grading film and TV, a Barco DP3000 digital projector, a Kinoton FP30 35mm film projector and JBL theatrical sound system. There is a Dolby server for Digital Cinema deliverables review or QC, and the room incorporates Dolby’s stereoscopic solution. Molinare plans to take on more restoration work, aided by the purchase of a 4K ARRI Scan with ARRI Wet Gates. With The King’s Speech winning just about everything in sight this awards season, Molinare grader Gareth Spensley spoke about his DI work with director Tom Hooper and DP Danny Cohen BSC. The grade done on a Baselight 8 from Northlight scans, and the result recorded back to film on an ARRI Laser. “After initially exploring ideas associated with a 1930’s archive ‘look’ for the film, we quickly dismissed them as they all overwhelmed the subtlety of the film’s themes and performances,” says Spensley. “Something more finely-nuanced was needed to deliver Tom and Danny’s vision of a dirty, grimy and smog-filled London where the pomp and ceremony of the royal household never jarred the visual story. Molinare completed the DI on The King’s Speech, and the looks on the BBC’s snazzy new MasterChef series. Relax in lovely leather at Molinare’s new grading theatre. “To achieve this we used the grading process to harmonise the working class world of Logue’s maisonette life with the glamorous palaces and country manors of Bertie’s world. Our work centred around fine-tuning the palettes of both to help the narrative flow even more effortlessly between them. We changed the contrast of the negative through the story arc using custom curves to allow the gloss and grandeur of the climatic Buckingham Palace speech to really stand out. In many ways the grade was a classic film grade without any heavy stylisation of Danny’s original camera negative - the tones of the production design and shape of the lighting are all there in the final film. The DI process saw the grade sessions step even further into the crossover realms of picture finishing and visual effects. From fogging the London skyline in Regents Park to rearranging the windows of Westminster Abbey, these were all effects done in the DI quickly with the director driving the session.” Molinare’s Graham Holton was responsible for the grade on the BBC’s new look MasterChef: Series 7. The show has now incorporated a move into HD, and for this new series Molinare had to ensure a seamless transition to HD and integrate the new camera formats (XDCam and P2 cards) into its workflow. Deluxe 142 Deluxe 142 has completed DIs on a range of features. These include Rafta Rafta, Left Bank Pictures, shot by DP David Higgs BSC; Working Title Films’ Paul, lensed by Lawrence Sher; West Is West, an Assassin Films/Icon production, lensed by DP Peter Robertson; Decoy Bride from CinemaNX/Ecosse Films; and The Veteran from DMK Productions, lit by DP Phillip Blaubach; Big Talk Productions / Universal Pictures’ Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, shot by DP Bill Pope. You can read about what cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle DFF BSC has to say about his DI work at Deluxe 142 on The Eagle in Camera Creative! Technicolor UK Technicolor UK completed the full 2K DI, film, video and digital cinema deliverables on Attack The Block, the Joe Cornish-directed flick about a South London teen gang defending their block from an alien invasion, starring Nick Frost, Jody Whittaker and Luke Treadaway, lensed by DP Thomas Townend, graded by Asa Shoul; plus Mother’s Milk, directed by Gerry Fox, starring Jack Davenport, Annabel Mullion and Adrian Dunbar, graded by Dan Coles. 15 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Lipsync Lipsync has been busy pumping out the DI grades using IQ Pablo, with the company’s Lee Clappison working on Great Ghost Rescue, United and Flutter, and Stuart Fyvie pulling out the stops on We Need To Talk About Kevin and The Awakening. Next up Lipsync is set to grade My Week With Marilyn, with DP Ben Smithard. Great Ghost Rescue is a tale in which ghosts are good and humans harmful, lensed by Antoine Roch. Extensive work was done in the grade to isolate the skin tones of the ghosts to desaturate and lighten them. This became very tricky when they mixed with the living, and techniques such as keying, rotoscoping and tracking were used to achieve the final result so that they appear different to the living. United, lensed using ARRI Alexa by Christopher Ross BSC, is based on the true story of Manchester United’s legendary “Busby Babes”, the youngest side ever to win the Football League and the 1958 Munich Air Crash that claimed eight of the their number. The film draws on first-hand interviews with the survivors and their families to tell the inspirational story of a team and community overcoming terrible tragedy. Everything was conformed and graded in the iQ Pablo in the native 16-bit files the Alexa produces. Shot using Cooke Speed Panchro lenses to help achieve the look of 1958, in the grade, warm tones were used to accentuate this look as well. Flutter is a 2010 British independent dark comedy film about gambling, also shot by Christopher Ross BSC. The film needed to have a dark, edgy, noir look. Strong contrast was used throughout, as well as exaggerating the blue/green tones to give a slightly uncomfortable feel as the character slips deeper into his gambling addiction. Colorfront Budapest facility Colorfront has revealed details about its production and post production support on locally shot productions. Styria, a 19th Century erotic vampire tale, lensed by Grzegorz Bartoszewicz, shot for 25 days in and around the city on single Alexa, capturing to a Codex Onboard recorder in ARRIRAW and simultaneously to ProRes 4444. Colorfront provided the dailies deliverables in DVCPro HD and H.264 formats for web delivery. Colorfront’s new On-Set Dailies system worked from the ProRes and the ARRIRAW material allowing realtime calibrated playback and theatre colour grading from either media. It’s thought to be the first-ever Alexa ARRIRAW workflow on a feature film. Colorfront will also do the final conform and DI. For The Borgias Season 1, DP Paul Sarossy CFC BSC shot over 200 hours of footage on multiple Sony F35 cameras. Colorfront did the sound sync colour graded transfers to Final Cut editorial, DVDs and web delivery for Showtime. The Raven, lensed by Danny Ruhlmann, moved from Budapest to Belgrade after three weeks of shooting, but Colorfront will continue to provide the dailies for the 35mm 3-perf show starring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe. 16mm Case-study/ ARRI Equipment As part of our ongoing refurbishment, Molinare recently purchased a 4K ARRISCAN with ARRI Wet Gates (Molinare now being the only post production company outside of ARRI in Germany to own such equipment), an ARRILASER II and ARRI Relativity as part of a complete upgrade to our DI department. The purchase of the ARRI Relativity was particularly in response to a client request for their 16mm production. They had heard about the degraining element and so we brought it in to test for them and the results were extremely encouraging, leading to us purchasing one ourselves. Well familiar with 16mm projects, Molinare has scanned a plethora of productions for both film and TV since investing in two pin registered Northlight 6k scanners 6 years ago. But with fewer productions choosing to shoot on the format, and with high demand for film restoration, Molinare is fast becoming one of the leaders in 16mm restoration. Having recently installed the UK’s only 16/35mm ARRI scan wet gate in our Soho facility, the familiar sight of a/b and over length neg cut rolls has re-established itself in Molinare’s film scanning and restoration department. Now able to offer the full complement of restoration work, from film scanning through to Blu-ray delivery, a solid work flow has had to be introduced. After a stringent initial spotting session, the preassessment of all material commences. Transmission masters/offline guides are scrutinized for potential workflow disruptions and flagged to our relevant departments. Scanning commences, with earlier flagged sections being put through the wet gate for neg/pos scratches. The ARRI scan has an inbuilt image correction package, automatically correcting dirt and sparkle using an alpha channel. This media is then conformed and graded in one of our 6 Baselight suites, with manual digital restoration undertaken on MTIs ‘Correct’, digital restoration software. HIGs, scratches dirt and damage are restored and rendered over two passes. To remedy extra grain introduced by 16mm, especially in over exposed material, the ARRI Relativity was brought in. We are able to offer our clients examples of degrained material, either scene by scene or globally, reintroducing finer grain if required. Singling out and degraining any colour channel is simple, and often removing grain from just the blue channel can dramatically reduce the overall noise of a shot without affecting sharpness. Molinare are currently working with ITV Studios Global Entertainment on some tests for 16mm to HD transfer. Andrew Daniel, Molinare’s Colourist, explains the scanning and grade process for the footage: “Initially we will sit down in the grade and compare the original to the scans to get an idea of the original look. However, technology being more advanced now means that we can now create much more of a mood in older dramas and indeed fix things that may have been left before. A good example of this is grain which can be removed using the Relativity and then sharpened back in the Baselight. I don’t think that the kit and options available in restoration work has ever been this high or so many possibilities available to clients.” The advantages 16mm continues to offer are remarkable; Reasonable stock/development costs, high definition images, dynamic colour range and a familiar film aesthetic, it continues to be a wonderful medium for film makers across the board. 16 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Tools of the Trade –––The latest products & services in the industry If you have a product or service that you’d like to highlight to the industry, then this new section is for you! Contact us NOW to let us know about your special ‘tools of the trade’. Silverdraft Mobileviz. With technology blurring the lines between production and post, increasing talk about ‘virtual production’, and more widgets appearing on or near-set, US company Silverdraft has launched Mobileviz, a supercomputer-powered digital visual effects (VFX) and pre-visualisation studio-on-wheels for motion picture production. Silverdraft Mobileviz combines the latest software and hardware, with proprietary computing technology, into an ergonomically-designed juggernaut, that can be driven to where VFX or additional computing resources are needed. Deployed on-set, Silverdraft Mobileviz can be used for 2D and 3D stereo capture for digital motion pictures (2K and 4K data, HD video), in-camera pre-visualisation and realtime, high-resolution visualisation of VFX shots, plus performance and motion capture recording. Its speedy rendering capabilities mean that Mobileviz can also be used when traditional brick and mortar facilities face ‘peak load’, and need extra computer resources for VFX and CGI-laden productions. Software and hardware technology includes: Autodesk MotionBuilder, Maya and 3DS Max; Mental Images’ Mental Ray renderer; Chaos Group’s Vray; Qube! render management from PipelineFX; Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid editing; plus on-set dailies and full colour management capabilities. It also has 20TB solid-state storage, incorporated into a cluster of 1,536 compute cores. The first in the fleet of Mobileviz trailers offers 30 teraflops processing, although higher-end systems can be scaled to process at up to 350 teraflops – 350 trillion floating point operations per second – ranking them amongst the top 50 supercomputers, and on par with the world’s most advanced production facilities. “Studios and filmmakers expect greater speed and efficiency, and want to create more elaborate visual effects than ever. Until now they have relied on complex, expensive and largely immobile solutions to produce live action with on-set, reatime virtual element visualisation,” says Silverdraft founder and CEO Amy Gile. “With the supercomputing power and leading-edge technologies in Mobileviz they can pre-visualise live action and CG elements in-camera on the set. Ultimately our powerful, portable resource puts creative people back in the driving seat.” Molinare – 16mm services. As part of a complete upgrade to its DI department, Molinare recently purchased a 4K ARRISCAN with ARRI Wet Gates (making it the only post production company outside of ARRI in Germany to own such equipment), an ARRILASER II and ARRI Relativity. The purchase of the ARRI Relativity was made particularly in response to a client request to degrain their 16mm production. Tests for them proved so encouraging, Molinare bought one. Well-familiar with 16mm projects, Molinare has scanned a plethora of productions for both film and TV since investing in two pin registered Northlight 6k scanners six years ago. But with fewer productions choosing to shoot on the format, and with high demand for film restoration, Molinare is becoming a leader in 16mm restoration. Having recently installed the UK’s only 16/35mm ARRI scan wet gate, the familiar sight of a/b and over-length neg cut rolls has re-established itself in Molinare’s film scanning and restoration department. Now able to offer the full complement of restoration work, from film scanning through to Blu-ray delivery, a solid work flow has had to be introduced. After a stringent initial spotting session, the pre-assessment of all material commences. Transmission masters/offline guides are scrutinised for potential workflow disruptions and flagged to the relevant departments. Scanning commences, with earlier flagged sections being put through the wet gate for neg/pos scratches. The ARRIscan has an in-built image correction package, automatically correcting dirt and sparkle using an alpha channel. This media is then conformed and graded in one of the company’s six Baselight suites, with manual digital restoration undertaken on MTIs Correct, digital restoration software. HIGs, scratches dirt and damage are restored and rendered over two passes. To remedy extra grain introduced by 16mm, especially in over exposed material, the ARRI Relativity was brought in. Molinare offered its clients examples of degrained material, either scene by scene or globally, reintroducing finer grain if required. Singling out and degraining any colour channel is simple, and often removing grain from just the blue channel can dramatically reduce the overall noise of a shot without affecting sharpness. Molinare is currently working with ITV Studios Global Entertainment on tests for 16mm to HD transfer. Andrew Daniel, Molinare colourist, explains the scanning and grade process for the footage: “Initially we will sit down in the grade and compare the original to the scans to get an idea of the original look. However, technology being more advanced now means that we can create much more of a mood in older dramas and indeed fix things that may have been left before. A good example of this is grain which can be removed using the Relativity and then sharpened back in the Baselight.” Panavision Digital Transfer Station. Getting footage efficiently from the set into post is an area of innovation right now, and Panavision has just announced the Digital Transfer Station (DTS), a new product that enables greater flexibility in the production process. The DTS complements Panavision’s SSR (Solid State Recorder), increasing the SSR’s capability and providing consistency through the production workflow. The DTS takes uncompressed content from the SSR and outputs DPX or QuickTime files, whilst offering the production team the option to simultaneously generate a back-up tape. For the cinematographer, it is an invaluable addition allowing, for example, the application of Look Up Tables (LUTs) so that material can be generated for editorial needs as well as dailies. Cinematographer David Tattersall and his crew were the first to use the system on Gulliver’s Travels. “It was an invisible part of the camera equipment,” said Tattersall, “I was almost unaware it was there.” He subsequently used it on his next project, The Hungry Rabbit Jumps. For the producer, the DTS provides for near-set quality control of the master image, giving almost instant feedback, before the files are sent to post production. It also helps to accelerate the delivery of off-line files for the editorial process. The DTS solution can also enhance the entire production workflow, including VFX and post production. For VFX, this means every frame is available as a DPX file, directly from set. Alan Bell ACE, editor on Gulliver’s Travels, said, “Having all the DPX files in the cutting room is excellent. It allows for very fast turnarounds delivering VFX elements and gives us options when it comes to doing the final conform.” Several other productions have used DTS, including Captain America, Vamps, The Smurfs and Ironclad. Together with Genesis, F35 and F23 digital cameras, the Genesis Display Processor and the SSR, the DTS is another link in Panavision’s digital production solution. British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 P+S Technik 16Digital SR Mag. P+S Technik received a 2010 Cinec Award for its new 16Digital SR Mag, that bridges the gap between the film and digital worlds, giving cinematographers the freedom to shoot and capture High Definition and analogue film. The migration from film to digital is an important challenge for the industry. The new 16Digital SR Magazine transforms an ARRI 16SR film camera into a state-of-the-art digital cinematography camera, capable of shooting up to 60fps, with a sensor resolution of 1920 x 1080, up to HD RAW files. The new magazine combines the intuitive user interface known from film with modern digital workflow advantages. The camera works just as usual – except for there’s no film stock in the magazine, but a digital device allowing the operator to shoot and digitally capture on set. The optical viewfinder remains intact and all 16mm PL mount lenses can be used. It is possible to switch back and forth from film to digital because all changes are non-destructive and completely reversible. External power supplies for the 16Digital SR Magazine are not necessary, as the supply comes via the ARRI SR camera itself. The new magazine should be an interesting option for rental houses, film schools and production facilities, as they can keep using their existing 16SR bodies and accessories such as 16mm lenses, optical viewfinders, standard removable storage (such as SSD) and HD-SDI video assists (flicker-free). The 16Digital SR Magazine includes a wireless operation concept via smart phones (iPhone, BlackBerry etc.), net- and notebooks. Its 2/3” CMOS sensor, with full native HD resolution, makes the lossless CineForm 10bit RAW and CineForm 4:2:2 10bit HD formats available. Post-production workflows are supported by partners such as AJA, Cinegy, Digital Vision, DVS, Iridas, Quantel and Pomfort. The magazine is delivered with PSRushes software that offers digital dailies processing (quality control, media management and transcoding for RAW and HD workflows), jointly developed by P+S Technik and Pomfort. 17 18 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 On the Job –––Ben Smithard My Week With Marilyn Human conditions We’ve been speaking about what draws the young cinematographer to the feature films and TV programmes he shoots, and particularly to My Week With Marilyn, the British feature, financed by The Weinstein Company and BBC Films, with backing from the UK Film Council and equity financing from Lipsync Productions. It is the feature film debut for director by Simon Curtis (Cranford - 7 episodes, A Short Stay in Switzerland) and written by Adrian Hodges (Primeval, Survivors). The upcoming film stars Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier, Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark and Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller. Based on two books by Clark, it depicts the making of the 1957 film The Prince And The Showgirl, starring Monroe and Olivier. The new film focuses on the week in which Monroe spent time being escorted around Britain by Clark, after her husband, playwright and essayist Arthur Miller, left the country, even though the couple were on their honeymoon. Principal photography began on 4 October 2010 at Pinewood Studios and at locations in and around London for a total of seven weeks. These included the actual house near Windsor that Monroe stayed in with Miller. White Waltham Airfield was turned into a 1950s London Heathrow Airport, to recreate the moment when Monroe arrived in Britain for filming. The production also shot at Saltwood Castle, near Folkestone, the childhood home of FW Deedes, purchased in 1955 by art historian Kenneth Clark, whose son Alan Clark subsequently lived there, and where Colin Clark grew up as a young boy. Smithard was the focus of “Meet The New Wave” (Edition 36, November 2009) in which he stated that his favourite films were all about troubled people – talented or otherwise – “people like all of us.” “Human frailty, that’s what interests me,” he confides. “A character not telling you they are troubled, with depression say, handling their troubles by acting them out in another way, but never really saying what the problem is. It’s fascinating to me to see that side of people, to explore what motivates them, and bring that to the screen. To me it’s the opposite of reality TV.” With feature credits like The Damned United, covering Brian Clough’s troubled 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United, the comic-yet touching TV drama The Trip with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, and the BAFTA-winning BBC series Cranford (for which Smithard won an Emmy), you can see what he means. “My DVD collection is not a happy one, in fact it’s pretty morose,” admits Ben Smithard. “I’ve probably got five comedies in a library of about 3,000 films at home.” “I don’t see the point of working on something I wouldn’t watch. The films I want to make are the films I’d want to watch. Just as with The Damned United, when the script for My Week With Marilyn came along, I was desperate to do it; historical story-telling, about serious subjects, and Marilyn fitted that mould.” Smithard first learned of the project whilst shooting Cranford with his friend Curtis directing. Smithard first convinced Curtis of his passion for the production, who in turn convinced producer David Parfitt (Shakespeare In Love, The Madness Of King George) that Smithard should helm the production as cinematographer. This left one final, but not insignificant, hurdle to overcome. “We had to convince Harvey Weinstein I was the man for the job,” he says. Passion and persistence clearly paid off. Of the movie mogul, Smithard says, “I was initially overwhelmed to meet him. But Harvey spent quite a bit of time on set, and his conduct was nothing but supportive, especially to me. He’s a smart, perceptive and highly-experienced man, who knows how to pick good films. He’s an avuncular figure, with a great sense of humour, and he made it nothing but easy for me. Before we started shooting Harvey took me to see a prerelease screening of Blue Valentine, starring Michelle, to show me how she performs and looks on the big screen.” Of course, one might think that The Prince And The Showgirl would have been an obvious creative reference for Smithard, but he says that although he did view the film he didn’t reference it for artistic purposes, rather to see how the film was made. The majority of the new film is about Monroe’s time in the UK, although some of the action takes place on the set of The Prince And The Showgirl, as Monroe rehearses scenes with Olivier. (Interestingly, filming for My Week With Marilyn took place on the same stage as The Prince And the Showgirl. Several other scenes were filmed in the long corridor that runs beside A,B,C and D stages, which Marilyn would have walked along some 55 years ago.) 19 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Playwrite and novelist Arthur Miller pictured with Marilyn Monroe. Operating brings Ben Smithard close to the actors, including Michelle Williams who has the role of Marilyn Monroe. A pensive Ben Smithard and crew in the long corridor beside A,B C & D Stages at Pinewood, where Marilyn would have walked. “Jack Cardiff created an amazing look on the original set,” says Smithard. “As we were shooting a filmwithin-a-film sequence, I didn’t want to replicate that exactly, and did make it look a little film noir, like the great pictures of the 1940’s and ‘50s, with pools of light and the background dropping off. Looking into our set, there were great images to be had, shadowy silhouettes, that look quite different from the rest of the film.” Smithard says that creative and visual references did not come from other films, but rather in the stills of American photographer and painter Saul Leiter, whose early work in the 1940s and ‘50s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as The New York School – abstracted forms and radically innovative compositions with a painterly quality that made his work stand out. “The look of Leiter’s work is fantastic,” says Smithard. “Very beautiful, natural light, on old filmstocks. Although they’re observational shots, and our film is very designed, they have the looks I wanted. You can’t quite achieve this on the shoot, because of the modern lenses, stocks, processes and so on. So I will take time to complete that look in the DI grade.” If there are any similarities to be drawn between The Prince And The Showgirl and this new film, Smithard points to the production itself. “Jack Cardiff became very close to Marilyn on that film. And on this film I got close to Michelle. She knew it would be a tough challenge to pull off being the icon that is Marilyn Monroe.” Smithard ascribes this closeness, not just to Michelle Williams, but to all the actors he works with, to the fact that he operates. “As I operate, and spend most of my time with the actors on set, I’m very lucky to witness great performances as they happen. I try not to intervene, and prefer to give the actors freedom. I see part of my role as encouraging the actors. We don’t spend a lot of time talking, and there’s no idle chatter. It’s more that we’re in the same space and moment together. I like to be prepared and ready so the actors feel at ease, and feel they can keep performing until we get the required take.” He says a significant amount of time was spent in pre-production. “On an historical film like this, you need to as much prep as you can get. It’s like a history lesson, and you can learn about a point in time. I’m quite obsessive about being organised and getting things done on time, something I bring from the TV and commercials I’ve shot. Donal Woods, the production designer, and I spent several weeks discussing the production. Obviously, I had to make Michelle look good, and I spent a lot of time with her and the make up designer, Jenny Shircore, too.” Smithard framed My Week With Marilyn 2.35:1 as, “the letterbox format is very good for personal stories, and really suited this film. It’s a bit hard on architectural features, as you’re not going to get the height of the buildings, but it’s easy to frame for two actors, and you only need to move the camera a little to see what’s in background.” My Week With Marilyn is believed to be the first British film production shot using the new Cooke 5/i lenses, supplied by Movietech, along with a range of S4s and the cameras. “I won’t be able to tell until the grade how they really performed, but they look like great lenses,” he says. The lighting package was provided by ARRI Lighting Rental. Smithard operated an ARRIcam ST as A camera, with Hamish Doyne-Ditmas using and ARRIcam LT as the B. As for film stocks, he says this production had Kodak, 3-perf, 35mm written all over it. In all, he used four different stocks – Kodak 5201 50 Daylight for the day exteriors, for when the weather was good, and Vision 3 250 Daylight when it was bad. In the studio Vison3 200T was the main stock, but he also used the 500T when shooting moodily-lit night interiors. “Shooting with a combination of Vision 2 and Vision 3 stocks is perhaps a little mad, but I’ve shot over 400 commercials on Kodak stocks, and know them insideout, on-set and in the grade. As we are doing a DI you can smooth things out so that the images and colours don’t jump around.” At the time of writing, Smithard was yet to undertake the DI grade on the film at Lipsync, but says, “DI is similar to the telecine process that we’ve been doing for years. There are some technical differences, and we view the grade on a bigger screen, but the processes are essentially the same. “Grading is a big thing for me. I like to manipulate the images in post, and I’ve attended the grade on every big project I’ve ever done. Although the DI is happening several months after the shoot, I am very eager to do it. And, if I miss other projects, because of that, then so be it. I guess I’m like a photographer, who wants to print their own images.” 20 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Meet the New Wave –––Carlos Catalan Cinematographer Patatas bravas Filmography (so far): Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Running With The Bulls) (2011), Expect A Miracle (Documentary) (2010), Third Star (2010), Cherry Tree Lane (2010), Luck By Chance (2009), The Burial (2008) When did you discover you wanted to be a cinematographer? I was a kid when I got interested in film. My biggest influence was my grandmother. She had a 16mm camera and had travelled the world with it. I loved being her projectionist. She had films from New York in the 50’s, Argentina, India and Pakistan pre-partition. These are my first memories of film. Where did you train? Escola Superior de Cinema I Audiovisuals de Catalunya (ESCAC) in Barcelona, and then The National Film & Television School in the UK. What are you favourite films? I grew up loving The Goonies (DP Nick McLean), Back To The Future (DP Dean Cundey), Ghostbusters (DP Laszlo Kovacs), ET (DP Allen Daviau), Gremlins (DP John Hora) and Jaws (DP Bill Butler). I was fascinated by their imagination and the fantastic worlds the filmmakers had created. These films are still very important for me. In recent years I find myself drawn to films like American Beauty (DP Conrad Hall), Pulp Fiction (DP Andrzej Sekula), Amores Perros (DP Rodrigo Prieto), Magnolia (DP Robert Elswit), Being John Malkovich (DP Lance Acord), Requiem For A Dream (DP Matthew Libatique) They’re original, with a very innovative and sometimes risky visual and narrative approach. They have contributed to the medium with their unique style, and therefore become great references What’s the best advice you were ever given? From a very good friend: “Life is not about what you’ve got, it’s about what you feel” Who are your industry heroes? Conrad Hall, Roger Deakins, Sven Nykvist from whom I’ve been strongly inspired. Sean Bobbit for mentoring me, Rob Garvie for his unconditional help, and Alvaro Gutierrez and Bjorn Bratberg for sharing this cinematography journey through film school and innumerable shorts. Have you won any awards? I won the Silver Tadpole at Camerimage in 2001. What’s you proudest moment? That Roger Deakins, who I deeply admire, was the president of the Jury and gave me the Silver Tadpole award. I was so happy that I jumped to hug him. What’s the worst knock-back/rejection you ever had? Haven’t been rejected yet, at least not for a job I really wanted. Tell us your best and worst moments on set: The best was actually on one of the simplest shots you can do: an interview. I was shooting a documentary in India and we were interviewing an activist leader. He is a blind man and he fights for the rights of poor, disabled people. It was very moving to hear him speak, and the impact and depth of his words grabbed all of us, to the extent that we forgot we were shooting. It felt like time had frozen and we had just experienced something very special. The worst was on a film I did recently. We were shooting the climax of the film. It was a very complicated sequence in water. The producer came to me the day before shoot and told me he had counted the available seats in the boat and unfortunately there was no space left for me! It was surreal. I still can’t believe it. Tell us your most hilarious faux pas? It was my first feature. Low-budget. HDV. French actors in an old 70’s hearse shooting on a road with no permissions. The police stopped us, but we still had one shot left which we were determined to shoot. It was really stressful: I had to hide in a different vehicle with the back door open. We only had one chance and the director screamed: “Action!” It was a great shot and, while we were running away proudly, I realised… I hadn’t pressed the REC button! Away from work, what are your greatest passions? Food and travel! What one piece of kit could you not live without? A rubber band to tie my hair. Which films are you most proud of to date? As Christopher Doyle said: “My best film is my next film” What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever shot in? I was in a car shooting a documentary in the south of Senegal. I was interviewing an activist while he was driving. We had to stop because there was a tree in the middle of the road. Suddenly around 50 people came out from the forest with knifes and surrounded us. I hid the camera between my legs. It was scary. Thank God that guy started speaking their language and they only took some money. What’s the hardest shot/thing you’ve had to light/frame? Shooting with a bunch of bulls in Pamplona, reproducing the famous “encierro” with scary bulls and real actors. Tell us your hidden talent/party trick? My Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelette) is to die for… In the entire history of filmmaking, which film would you love to have shot? Blade Runner What are your current top albums? Guillemots (Through The Window Pane), Massive Attack (Heligoland) What’s your greatest extravagance? I just had the chance to fly an acrobatic plane. It was great! What’s the best thing about being a DP? The feeling of being part of a creative group experience, and the chance to travel and get to know places and people in a different way. What’s the worst thing about being a DP? At the moment… being homeless. My life in a suitcase! Give us three adjectives that best describe you and your approach to cinematography? Enthusiastic. Intuitive. Open If you weren’t a DP, what job would you be doing now? Probably a journalist, or a correspondent. What are your aspirations for the future? To never lose the passion for this. 21 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 The Greate Debate –––What the future holds for 16mm Black swan song for sweet 16? The movie business is built on stories of success springing from humble, even poor beginnings. Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock went on to define styles and influence countless others; behind the camera Freddie Francis, Alan Hume and Jack Cardiff shot some of the enduring images in cinema. A medium all would be familiar with is 16mm film, which was originally intended for amateur filmmaking it. But it, and its enhanced relative Super 16, has exceeded expectations and been used on standout feature films, documentaries and television dramas over its 88-year existence, writes Kevin Hilton. Hurt Locker and Black Swan might be just standout examples of what can be done with S16, rather than the start of a revival. It is still successful today. The Oscar and BAFTA winning Black Swan and The Hurt Locker show what the format can do, but in TV, an area it once dominated, 16mm is looking like a dead technology. The decline can be traced to the BBC’s HD Day in September 2006, when Andy Quested, now head of technology for BBC HD & 3D, announced that S16 would not be accepted as source material for the broadcaster’s high definition services. Quested said that although the MPEG4 compression used was “friendlier to pictures” than MPEG2, there could be no artefacts or blocking. The grain in S16 caused problems in this way for the HD codecs, Quested stated, although the format would still be used for the BBC’s standard definition output. TV production companies and manufacturers alike were taken by surprise. S16 has a long association with British TV; it was used for news gathering, before video became technically viable and affordable, and has given a filmic look to long-form and episodic dramas when 35mm was too expensive and electronic formats just didn’t look good enough. Technology has supported S16 with new cameras from ARRI and Aaton, improved film stocks by Kodak and Fuji, new lenses and a full range of hardware and software from the likes of Cintel, Digital Vision and ARRI designed to give greater control over noise, grain and artefacts. These better tools, combined with a continuing, albeit dwindling, demand from film and programme makers convinces leading figures in the business that S16 is not obsolete. “It is not out of the picture,” comments Franz Kraus, managing director of ARRI, which launched the Arriflex 416 S16 camera in 2006. “The 416, the then new Ultra Prime 16 lenses from Zeiss, improved stocks and the power of digital intermediate has meant Super 16 is able to compete with the best digital formats - and even 35mm - for TV work.” Kodak and Fuji have played a major role in sustaining 16mm. Fuji has developed the ETERNA Vivid range to produce higher contrasts and sharper images, while Kodak over the years has worked hard to reduce the potential for grain in stocks, particularly with 16. Kodak promotes S16 as producing exceptional results on a tight budget. Its VISION3 colour negative films for S16 have an additional two stops of dynamic range, with a tighter grain, both of which, it is claimed, give more control and flexibility. 22 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 BBC’s Mistresses was shot on S16, a format that can be very forgiving, especially in the grade. Spooks has continued to be shot on S16 for continuity reasons. Despite all this Kraus concedes that in the wake of the 2006 BBC statement there was a “huge drop” in demand for S16 equipment. “Over the years since we introduced the 416, 250 cameras have been sold, with strong sales in the first two years and a steep decline afterwards,” he says. “In the US especially people like the look of 16mm - it’s very fashionable - although the networks there have been going digital as well.” Being fashionable does not always mean widespread acceptance. US TV networks are increasingly accepting digital formats; although film is still strong there it tends to be 35mm, as with Treme and Boardwalk Empire. The HBO series Mildred Pierce is a notable exception. Directed by Todd Haynes, it was photographed in S16 by cinematographer Edward Lachman ASC and postproduced at Technicolor in New York. In London Technicolor, along with iLab and Soho Film Lab, is working with Fujifilm Motion Picture UK to provide the Complete 16 service. This is based around two packages offering S16 film, negative developing, ultrasonic clean and prep for telecine, best light transfer to any SD tape format, sync sound and ALE and a DVD copy. The aim is to convince producers of feature films, TV dramas, shorts, music promos and artist and student films, that 16mm is viable and affordable. Jerry Deeney, marketing manager for Fujifilm Motion Picture UK, observes that while the BBC directive has “definitely contributed to a decline in sales of 16mm film”, and “knocked producers’ faith in 16mm as a suitable format for broadcast”, other factors play a part. “The main effect on the commercials market has been the introduction of new and cheaper digital cameras,” he says. “Producers feel these allow them a convenient and cheaper method of shooting. In general, the creative hearts are still with film.” The swing away from film, and S16 in particular, has been dramatic in the ad world. “Over the last five years we’ve seen the trend for shooting commercials on S16 virtually die,” comments Andy Cooper, head of marketing at hire company Movietech. “TV drama was a staple for us and that has collapsed completely in the last three years. Both can be linked directly or at least in part to the misconceptions of what the BBC said.” The sharp decline in demand for S16 equipment is confirmed by Jeff Allen, managing director of Panavision Europe. As he sees it, the BBC “dismissed” 16 and today an “infinitesimal” amount of production is being shot on it. “Major shows like Silent Witness are now digital, so we’re almost at the point where film is being put out of TV production completely,” he says. “We’ve been working on Merlin in S16 and there is talk of it going 2-perf 35mm but that’s the exception that proves the rule.” Panavision stocks Arriflex, Aaton, Bolex and Photosonic 16mm camera systems, while Movietech holds the Arriflex 416, Arriflex 16SR and the Super 16 Bolex. Andy Cooper says Movietech had 60 S16 cameras in the UK, which in the past were hired out through the year. “Another reason for the switch, especially in commercials,” he comments, “is the advent of the single sensor digital camera. When the Red One, which we stock, the ARRI ALEXA and Sony F35 arrived they pushed S16 into the background.” Cooper explains that crews and ad agency staff working on commercials shot in 2k digital formats like the “immediacy” of having footage transferred directly to their laptops, so they can view and work on it as the shoot continues. Because of that, he says, S16 “fell of a cliff”. Director of photographer Florian Hoffmeister, whose TV credits include the 2007 BBC mini-series Five Days, shot on S16, says the immediacy of Pro-Res workflow is “pretty much unbeatable”, but he adds that S16 is still good if filmmakers want to jump in a car with a camera, a clapper board and a sound recorder with a three people crew to produce something with a cinematic look. Fellow DP James Welland agrees that the immediacy of digital streams “does make a difference” to a shoot, but says it is also “almost a bad thing”. “It’s like letting the genie out of the bottle,” he explains, “because everyone can see what is being shot as it is happening.” Welland has a great deal of experience in shooting S16 for TV, including past series of Mistresses, the 2008 drama Hancock And Joan and the 2002 version of The Hound Of The Baskervilles (all BBC). A regular TV gig for him has been Spooks, but if the already commissioned series 10 of the MI5 drama does turn out to be the last, that will be another S16 production gone. “Spooks has continued to be shot on S16 for continuity,” explains Welland, “and the producers want to carry on doing that rather than changing for the last series. I’ve got mixed feelings about it. The great thing about S16 is that it is very forgiving, and you can get away with a lot when it comes to the grade. I haven’t used the ALEXA yet but I’ve heard that it is forgiving as well.” Production company Kudos is moving towards digital acquisition for most of its shows, including Hustle and Outcasts, although executives there still want the creative freedom to make Spooks in S16. “We’ve been given dispensation for Spooks, and other productions, to shoot in what the director decides,” says Kim Simon, head of post-production at Kudos. “We still see 16mm as a viable format, especially if a director is going for a specific look. We want to be able to have the artistic choice.” She adds that S16 suits Spooks because the graininess helps create the seedy world in which the spies operate. To underline that the technological situation has changed considerably since the 2006 BBC statement, Kudos has participated in tests of new grain management systems. Among these was the Lowry Digital system installed at London facilities house iLab. Founded by Nigel Horn and Martin McGlone nearly six years ago, iLab started out in film processing and rushes, but moved into film scanning and handling raw data camera files when it was bought in January 2010 by Indian group Reliance Media Works, which also owns Lowry. Horn sees an irony in the BBC deeming S16 not good enough for HD origination due to the fact that slow to medium 16mm stock used with good lenses produces “inherently 2k resolving-originated images”. “The whole UK film and TV industry has found itself in an ironic situation, because of the BBC view that they wouldn’t accept 16mm-originated projects for HD transmission, which is, we understand, because of the amount of compression they need to apply to carry the channels,” he says. “The problem is that grain is not uniform from frame to frame, and the compression engines can mistake grain for other things or parts of the image for grain, leading to mistakes.” Image Forum was set up to argue the case, while manufacturers took and practical - and commercial - decision to introduce software to deal with artefact problems. ARRI’s Relativity software suite, including Texture Control and Clean SP, and Lowry Digital are leading examples of grain reduction tools, although Horn prefers the term grain management. He says that if broadcasters approved the use of 16mm processed in this way the technique would be applied only to a finished, edited programme. “We wouldn’t think that it would be a one button push fix,” Horn says. “The idea is to do this without any artefacts being introduced or programme material being removed.” British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 23 24 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 The wonderful natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. Production company Kudos is now moving towards digital acquisition for most of its shows such as Outcasts. Other grain management systems include Cintel’s imageMill data processor and Digital Vision DVO Clarity. Nigel Hadley, Digital Vision’s director of training, comments that Clarity was designed to deal with 98 percent of cases of grain in automatic mode. “For more troublesome sequences the amount of processing can be increased,” he says. “More important is whether the footage is negative or positive, which the tool can identify.” London post house Deluxe 142 has used Clarity and other systems that Paul Collard, vice president of film and digital services, describes as “finishing tools”. Collard says these remove the blemishes that cause problems for TV systems and wonders that with these available, and the acclaimed S16 films like The Hurt Locker and Black Swan, why broadcasters have taken their current viewpoint. However, Collard acknowledges that the final judgement on what is suitable for broadcast is up to the BBC and other TV companies. He adds that not much more can be said about the position of 16mm, and film in general, for HDTV until the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) document is published. Headed by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, the DPP is intended to “help producers and broadcasters maximise the potential benefits of digital production”. The DPP’s guidelines had not been published at the time this magazine went to press, despite being scheduled for release at the end of February. The document might clear up what facilities, production companies and cinematographers see as inconsistencies in broadcasters’ attitudes to S16. Even though ITV and C4 are said to be following the BBC’s lead, both channels have transmitted S16-sourced material on their HD services. The BBC itself is regarded as breaking its own rules, with Spooks simulcast on both the SD and HD versions of BBC1. ILab has worked with producers of mainstream TV drama, including Kudos, on tests of 16mm footage shot in the last year that has been processed through Lowry to present to the BBC as evidence of the format’s suitability for HD. Nigel Horn stresses there is “no Luddite mentality going on here”, saying while people are embracing new technologies, there is still frustration. “For many projects, although not all, S16 is an optimally ideal originating format, and we feel that there is now technology available that makes the grain issue no longer the problem it was three years ago,” he explains. The BBC, and Andy Quested in particular, has been pressed for a response to these concerns and arguments. Initially the BBC said it would not make any further comment on its 2006 announcement, but eventually made the following statement: “The BBC’s policy follows a joint industry standard that was agreed in February 2011. All broadcasters in the UK agree that Super 16 is not suitable for high definition television productions. There is some variation in usage across Europe and the US but, in actuality, Super 16 is not universally accepted across Europe and those broadcasters who do accept it impose very strict restrictions. In the USA very few broadcasters classify Super 16 as full HD. One other point to note is many of the broadcasters that do allow restricted use of Super 16 use the 720 line rather than 1080 line HD standard.” From in the world of amateur filmmaking, 16mm and its Super relation have played a part in documentaries, news reports, landmark TV drama, experimental shorts, independent films and big box office movies. Artists have embraced the format, among them Tacita Dean, who recently wrote in The Guardian of her shock at being told that post-production giant Deluxe, which owns Soho Film Lab, was no longer printing 16mm film. Dean states analogue technologies like film are still a vital artistically: “Digital is not better than analogue, but different. What we are asking for is co-existence: that analogue film might be allowed to remain an option for those who want it, and for the ascendancy of one not to have to mean the extinguishing of the other.” Florian Hoffmeister feels this says everything but, as a film and TV professional, is veering more towards digital for practical reasons. “From my point of view 16mm as a standard capturing format for TV is pretty much dead,” he says. “I do acknowledge a difference between digital and analogue and do see them as different colours on the palette. Nevertheless for TV I find myself preferring high-end digital to 16mm, due to the bigger size of the sensor. But there is a specific 16mm look - it will become more distinguishable once all TV has gone digital, then it will open a niche again and have a comeback.” James Welland also sees times turning against 16mm, despite the success of Black Swan and The Hurt Locker. “There isn’t a comparison with the situation in TV because of the broadcast processes being used now,” he comments. “There’s a difference between projecting an image on a big screen and putting one through a lot of compression. S16 is something familiar and I like it, but unfortunately I can’t see it being more than a niche product in the future.” If there’s a glimmer of hope for 16mm, then it could be as an archive format, an idea being put forward to the filmstock manufacturers and post houses by Joe Dunton BSC MBE. “Film is proven to last for decades, whereas data storage systems just don’t. A simple digitalto-16mm archiving service, using fine grain negative would be equivalent to HD, and seems like a sensible option to explore,” he says. Franz Kraus at ARRI says that while Black Swan and The Hurt Locker have helped the awareness of S16, they might be just standout examples of what can be done with S16, rather than the start of a revival. “One of the reasons why people are changing to digital is that they want different looking images,” he comments, “but that can also be achieved with modern tools in post-production. Good examples of such S16 productions have been made for both television and theatrical release; unfortunately that won’t compensate for the massive loss of TV drama as a market.” Image Forum and other supporters of S16 have made the case, but now commercial forces appear to have made the final decision. “The market is dictating which way to go,” concludes Jeff Allen at Panavision Europe. “The BBC decision hasn’t helped, but things seem to be going this way now. Digital is having a profound impact on the business and it’s unrealistic to say 35mm won’t be affected.” The wisdom seems to be, however, that any 35mm preservation campaigns should begin now. 25 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 127 Hours is a little biy of chemistry between digital and celluloid. Camera Creative –––Anthony Dod Mantle DFF BSC 127 Hours, The Eagle & Dredd 3D No fear Dod Mantle had to combat the brilliance of modern stocks with all sorts of processing techniques and in the DI. With his bulldog, ‘EddieMonster’, curled up at his feet, and his family retiring to bed, Anthony Dod Mantle DFF BSC spoke to Ron Prince via Skype, about his work on 127 Hours, The Eagle and Dredd 3D. The cinematographer had just come back from collecting a prestigious Award in Marburg, Germany, so we kicked of with that… Q: What were you doing in Marburg? ADM: They presented me with the 2011 Camera Award, and a cheque the size of a surfboard, physically speaking. It’s a noble event and humbling to get this award, with previous winners like Raoul Coutard, Jost Vocano and Robbie Muller. They screened every single film I’ve ever done in Marburg from about December onwards – Dogville, 28 Days Later, Antichrist, Slumdog, the whole lot – and people had written dissertations about the films and my work. They knew me. Marburg is a university town, with intellectuals, professors, writers, journalists, students, theatre people. There were classes around the clock for three days where I discussed my work in detail on stage. People have stored up questions and theories, and you find yourself embedded in discussing work that sometimes can be difficult to revisit after so long. It was exhasuting, but a great honour. Q: Tell us about your work on 127 Hours? ADM: It’s a little bit of chemistry between digital and celluloid. There was no doubt, we would have to use digital. The malicously-tight physics of the canyon defined our approach. Danny (Boyle) was insistent on portraying a feeling of imprisonment, and there was no way I, nor Enrique (Chediak), could film with a camera on our shoulders. So I worked with HD Rentals out of Los Angeles to strip the bodies off some SI2Ks and came up with three different cameras – a Fist Cam with C-mount lenses, that could get intimately close to James Franco’s face, mouth and neck, plus two gyro-based handheld cameras, with PL mounts for Zeiss and Cooke lenses. HD Rentals supplied the gear and rebuilt the equipment to the extent that they could to meet my needs, but I brought in my loyal colleague and HD camera supervisor Stefan Cuipek to finalise and organise the last details. Without Stefan we would have been in trouble. There was so much last-minute prep, with location logistics and other recces, that we had precious little time. Added to this we were developing a workflow that could support the turn around of two camera crews shooting parallel, one with me and one with Enrique. There were several video elements to the story too, as the real life Aron left video messages about his predicament – a visual epitaph – using a digital consumer camera, which we matched pretty closely. I also used several Canon 1D, 5D and 7D DSLRs to shoot generic material where I felt it worked. We shot timelapses, and other relevant images about his route into the canyon that are revisited during the film in the form of a DSLR still-image burst montage executed wonderfully by our VFX supervisor Adam from the Union VFX company. We also built a bridge and a contrast between these scenes and the rest of the film, especially the landcapes which we shot on film with rebuilt Moviecam Compacts from Denny Clairmont in Los Angeles. We shot on mixed daylight and tungsten Kodak stocks, underexposing sometimes for mood and grain. 26 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Q: What creative references did you use for The Eagle? ADM: As a rule I normally look at photographs, paintings and drawings. Rarely at other films. For me it’s about images that invoke a mood. The Eagle has lots of mud, blood, nature and textures. Lots of hardship too. Kevin Macdonald (director) and I looked at Arcimboldo’s paintings for organic textures, and talked about Tarkovsky’s use of desatured, gentle hues of the colours in nature. In search of inspiration and insight for the harsh conditions the Scottish Seal people lived in, we looked at WW2 concentration camp art and graphic images made by anonymous Polish artists portraying the dead. I also pulled out shots from my computer – macro stills of nature on Antichrist, some lens baby images I shot on Wallander, images with weird halations from Brothers Of The Head when I shot the neg back to front. I also found a cross-processed shot from Millions that Nigel Walters and Daf Hobson helped me to shoot. Q: How long did you have to shoot The Eagle? ADM: We lined up for about five weeks, and shot for eight weeks in Budapest and then went immediately to film in Scotland for four weeks. Q: You had to shoot in Hungary and Scotland, so how did you prepare? ADM: It was always going to be shot on celluloid, well apart from the odd dribble of naughty Canon 5D stuff, that I can’t help doing. As a film that take places north and south of Hadrian’s Wall, I went on long recce’s with Kevin to see how we could best bring together the dust and summer sun of Budapest, with the crazy climate of the west coast of Scotland. In Budapest, I wanted especially to see the areas where they were building the forts, as I knew I had to work out every single camera angle to disguise the trees and vegatation utilising, in worst cases, side lighting, and whenever possible, shooting against the light. This was the only way upfront that I could kickstart the desaturation, subdue the colours, so they would match the Scotland shoot. I also spoke to designer Michael Carlin very early on about the height of the walls, not just for shooting 360 degrees, but about the positioning the lighting on set. It’s an historical story, with only fire or candlelight, so it was all about how to get naturalistic lighting, reflecting off the walls and the floor, through windows. I knew that a great deal of top lighting would be necessary on some of the sets. I did plenty of testing with filmstocks using lots of filters, and worked very closely with Adam Glasman the DI colourist at Ascent 142 (now Deluxe 142). I come up with colour palattes on films, which I mark on the slate. The Eagle had eight or nine looks. Before the shoot, I calibrated my computer as closely as possible to the ones in the DI suite, to make sure we were on the same page. Q: I heard you did some unusual things with exposures? ADM: I had to combat the electric brilliance of modern day stocks, to give the film an historic feel. During tests I underexposed, pull-processed and push-processed, did technical bypasses and cross-processes, and then went to Adam in the DI suite to see what I could also achieve there. We really knocked the negative around with diffusion, and even got an ARRI Relativity noise reducer in. On the shoot I push-processed every single stock, Fuji and Kodak, between one or two stops – the 500 ASA went close to 2000 ASA, and the slower 250 ASA I pushed to 800 or 1000 ASA. Along with Adam, I have to thank Darren Rae and his team for their consistent support. Q: Tell us about your camera and lighting packages? ADM: Thomas Neivelt, my gaffer, and I worked with Russell Allen at ARRI in London on the cameras and lenses. We had several ARRICAM LTs and ARRICAM Studios. They found some old Cooke Panchos and new Cooke S4s, and supplied cranes and tracks, good old fashoned stuff. I used a lot of filtration, especially my own filters. We had a mixture of tungstens and HMIs that we got from ARRI’s rental partner Vision Team in Hungary. Q: How do you work with Thomas your gaffer? He worked with me on The Last King Of Scotland, Brothers Of The Head, and all of the films I’ve shot with Danny Boyle. It’s a great advantage to have someone who knows me as a person, my tastes, and can deal with the rental houses whilst I am tied up in other matters. Q: How did you go about creating the dream/nightmare sequences? ADM: They were a bit like the cerebral journeys in 127 Hours. There were nightmares and flashbacks, and you have to separete these for the audience. I shot the nightmares using combinations layers of glass, filters, rags, flares, strange shutter dragging – lots of things to degrade the image. For the flashbacks I used high contrast filters glued to lens babies, and torches shining into the lens. I also used the DI to take the looks a lot further, twisting the overall colour palattes of each, with yellow being a predominant colour for the flashbacks. 27 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Dod Mantle says the DI is one of the most creative parts of filmmaking and really pushed the envelope on The Eagle. The tight physics of the canyon defined the use of digital cameras on 127 Hours. Q: Were there any surprises while you were shooting? ADM: Even though I knew Scotland was a tough call, weatherwise it was cold, dark, and the rain was punishing and incessant. You could see it visibly stinging the actors’ faces. It haemorrages moisture, no wonder there are so many golf courses. The light moves all the time too, which made exposures very tricky. We were shooting in some pretty inaccessible places on the west coast, and there was a lot of lugging to do. What with climbing around canyons on 127 Hours and the rigours of Scotland these films got me fit, as well as nearly killing my camera team. It is always a pleasure to see Alistair Rae come out with his steadicam, but when he appeared wearing football boots, you knew it was going to be a muddy day. Q: What are you thoughts about the DI process? ADM: I adore the DI. It’s a very creative part of filmmaking, with so much potential. But a DI must only be possible with the DP, no matter how brilliant the grader, and I like to contract myself into the grade whenever possible. A director may have been living with their project for months in an edit, whilst the DP has been off shooting elsewhere. In the DI everything comes together, the images, the audio and music, and the DP comes with fresh eyes. The director, producer, designer, costume designer, art department, all get the chance to see the film properly, far more than in the online. I’ve got amazing tools at my disposal, not just for colour, but to adjust the textures, the balance, the framing, so I can make the story tighter and better right to the very end. It’s an unbelievebaly creative place to be. Q: What can you tell us about Dredd? ADM: Kevin’s brother, producer Andrew MacDonald, approached me a while ago. It’s written by Alex Garland, a very astute, creative writer, who I’ve known since 28 Days Later. It was shot in South Africa on 3D – around 13 weeks principal, and seven weeks 2nd unit photography. It’s a dangerous film, in the sense that the story places itself precariously on the floorboards of an action sci-fi genre film whilst underneath there’s a no less entertaining allegorical comment about this kind of cinema and the violence that tends to come with this kind of product. Visually we have gone at it hammer and tongues. We shot entirely digitally, in scope, using RED MX cameras and SI2Ks, Phantom Flex highspeed, and multiple rigs shooting at the same time on first and second unit. I built some new cameras rigs that can take you very close to the action. It’s won’t look so much like the action films we’re accustomed to, and the audience won’t have things thrust in their faces every five minutes. I hope it will be more painterly. If we get it right, it will be a cross between Blade Runner and Clockwork Orange. Q: How do you feel cinematography is changing? ADM: Fast. The palettes have always been there for there for the taking, but they’ve moved on from B&W, colour, 16mm and 35mm into HD. Ever since my graduation film I have never feared new technologies. I’ve always found them interesting to play with. Cinematography today is exciting, as we have far superior and a far more diverse range of image capture systems than ever. But this does make it harder, more complex for cinematographers. It’s a headscrew. If you can get you head around them, new technologies give you an incredible trump card into assisting as a responsible image maker, in trying to keep cinema alive, and to extend the possibilities of what the visual language is all about. It’s entertainment. It’s an art form. It’s our job, first and foremost, to push audiences. I am fascinated by technology, and feel we should be allowed and encouraged use new technologies – so long as you can argue the logic behind using them. It’s about honesty, being openhearted, open-minded. We get employed because of our standards, expertise and knowledge, and our love for the job. But there’s a small percentage of something else that you bring, your potential variation in the cocktail, that will make the production different, and why they choose one from another. I feel I must not get lazy, complacent, nor go on autopilot. I have to keep reviving the child in me that asks, ‘How could I do this better, or how could I do this differently’. 28 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Who’s Shooting Who? –––Which cinematographers are working on what... Break a lens Mike Brewster under the spotlight on Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Si Wagen and his Citroen team. Jallo Faber freezing his Swedish butt off in a chopper. Doug Hartington shooting Bibles and Buried Secrets. New member Mike Eley BSC in Jamaica on the Marley documentary. Picture of Tomas Tomasson and director Gus Olafsson on KFC shooting in Miami. Ben Moulden lensed the BAFTAnominated short film Turning, directed by Karni and Saul, plus images from the production. John Perez and Ray Coates cooking it up in Buenos Aires. Mel Griffith on a shoot in Chile for BBH. Who’s a pretty boy then, Mr Steve Chivers? Carlos De Carvalho, a 1st AC on films including John Carter Of Mars, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Atonement, Hot Fuzz and Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge Of The Sith, and focus puller on The Hours, Vertical Limit and Ghost And The Darkness, is taking the leap into fullon cinematography. He said it had always been his ambition to become a cinematographer, and that time spent working on shoots with DPs such as Vilmos Zsigmond, Seamus McGarvey, David Tattersall and Bruno Delbonnel, had taught him a great deal. Whilst Carlos has DP’d shorts in the past, his new calling card is a short film titled The Waiting Room, a 20-minute ghost story directed, produced and financed by Robert Perkins, and a possible entrant for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. He framed the production using RED cameras and Cooke lenses, last November at locations around Poole in Dorset. It has two distinct looks – WW1 and present day, which Carlos worked on during the grade at Director’s Cut with colourist Gwyn Evans. “Some DPs see the grade as a fix, but I learnt from DPs like Bruno, how you can use the DI to create, deepen and finesse the looks you want,” said Carlos, who is also actively looking for an agent. We asked Seamus McGarvey for a comment about Carlos’ move, and he said, “I am so happy that Carlos has finally made the decision to pack away his tape and stride onto a set with a light meter round his neck. It has been a long time coming and the great promise that he has shown in the shorts he has photographed will now be seen in features. Everyone who has ever worked with Carlos knows how good he is, one of the best 1st ACs in the world. They know also that technical and artistic brilliance is not all you need to succeed in the film industry. Carlos has that extra secret attribute which is that his presence on a film set always makes things better, run smoother and makes it all great fun, even under pressure. Carlos is a great DP already and I look forward to seeing many future films enhanced by his unique eye. Break a lens mate!” 29 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Stephen Murphy has been busy shooting commercials and music videos. Casarotto’s Sean Bobbitt BSC is shooting Steve McQueen’s latest feature Shame, in New York, which stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan in a dark tale of addiction and remorse. Julian Court has been working on various spots with director Barney Cokeliss/ RSA, such as Co-Op & Zweifel. Mike Eley BSC continues to shoot director Kevin Macdonald’s documentary about the life of Reggae legend Bob Marley in Jamaica. Rob Hardy BSC is shooting a BBC Knowledge brand film in Cape Town with Red Bee Media director Matt Losasso, having completed Stolen with dir Justin Chadwick. Chris Menges has just started on Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, with director Stephen Daldry, which is shooting in New York. Tim Palmer is working on the latest Coming Up scheme of shorts for Touchpaper Television and with various directors. Over in LA, Lukas Strebel is shooting Michael Mann’s new series for HBO, Luck, with directors Philip Noyce and Brian Kirk which is set in the murky world of racehorse betting and those characters who fix them. James Welland is due to start on Spooks Series 10 for Kudos with director Alrich Riley. McKinney Macartney Management’s Balazs Bolygo is working with director Steve Hughes on Dr Who. Ben Butler has been busy shooting various commercials. Mick Coulter BSC has been shooting commercials worldwide for Gerard de Thame. Denis Crossan BSC shot commercials for Steve Cope, Michael CatonJones, Ornette Spencerley and Anthea Benton. John de Borman BSC has been shooting commercials for Rankin, Calle Astrand and Declan Lowney. Graham Frake is prepping for The Lost Christmas for director John Hay. John Lynch has been shooting commercials worldwide. Phil Meheux BSC is prepping Here Comes The Boom, located in Boston with director Frank Coraci, for Columbia Pictures. Sebastian Milaszewski has been busy shooting commercials and is currently in South Africa with Shearer through Great Guns. Chris Seager BSC is shooting The Hour for Kudos Film and Television, working with directors Coky Giedroyc, Harry Bradbeer and Jamie Payne. Mike Spragg is about to travel to South Africa to work with director Bill Eagles and producer Trevor Hopkins on Strike Back 2 for Leftbank Pictures. Katie Swain has been shooting commercials for directors Bryony Wright and Matt Carter. David Tattersall BSC has completed filming The Mysterious Island, the sequel to Journey To The Centre Of The Earth for director, Brad Peyton for New Line Cinema. Darran Tiernan is in prep for Outpost II Black Sun, a feature film for director Steve Barker through Black Camel Pictures. Fabian Wagner has wrapped on Scott And Bailey for Red Productions in Manchester, and starting prep on Frankenstein’s Wedding for the BBC with director Colin Teague. Felix Wiedemann has just completed filming Sket, his second film for producers, Nick Taussig and Daniel Tolland at Gunslinger Films for director Nirpal Bhogal. He then starts prep on Magic with director John Williams, part of Coming Up, a series of short films, with various directors. Michael Wood has been shooting commercials, Walk Like A Panther, a pilot for director Dan Cadan. Independent’s Ben Davis BSC is shooting Warner Bros. Wrath of the Titans, starring Liam Neeson, Sam Worthington and Gemma Arterton. Benoit Delhomme AFC is prepping John Hillcoat’s new feature, The Wettest County in the World. Starring Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Gary Oldman, it’s a crime drama centred on a family of Depression-era bootleggers in the American South. Anthony Dod Mantle DFF BSC has finished lensing the new 3D live action feature version of Dredd, due for release at the end of the year. Edu Grau heading off to Dubai and Buenos Aires on two commercials back-toback with RSA’s Jordan Scott. Darius Khondji ASC AFC is shooting Michael Haneke’s new feature, Amour. Seamus McGarvey BSC ASC is prepping Marvel’s The Avengers, starring Robert Downey Jnr and Scarlett Johansson. Chris Ross BSC is set to shoot Ashes for Mat Whitecross, with Ray Winstone and Toby Kebbell lined up to star. Martin Ruhe just finished shooting David Hare’s political thriller Page Eight. Independent’s other clients remain busy shooting campaigns as diverse as Walkers, Guinness, Sky, Lexus, PMU, Heineken, MG, Nokia, Nivea, and Virgin Media. Ulf Brantas lensed Treasure Island for Sky with Parallel Films, director Steve Barron, producer Laurie Borg. Eigil Bryld is shooting Twilight Zones, with David Chase directing. John Mathieson BSC will shoot 47 Ronin, director Carl Rinsch, in London and Budapest. It’s an 18th century story centred on a band of Samurai who set out to avenge the death of their master. David Odd BSC will soon be shooting the first block of Love/Hate with David Caffrey in Dublin. Ben Smithard is shooting I, Anna with director Barnaby Southcombe. Gabriel Burn and Charlotte Rampling confirmed to star. Sara Putt Associates’ Nick Dance is currently lighting Naked Apes for Daybreak Pictures, Oliver Cheesman is doing Rab C Nesbitt for The Comedy Unit, Mike Brewster is lighting additional days for Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Dirk Nel is still on Young Leonardo for Kindle Entertainment in South Africa, and Dave Marsh has just completed Coming Up. Carlin Crew’s Doug Hartington has finished Bibles And Buried Secrets for the BBC, shot on location in Jerusalam, and is now shooting for Impossible pictures until the end of the month on their new project for C4 – D-Day Britain. Will Pugh has finished Taking On Tyson for Touch Productions and lined up to do a shoot in Ghana for Mckinnon films. Gareth Hughes finished shooting The Borgias in Hungary, and James Leigh is operating on Holby City. Vince McGahon has completed on Sherlock II and starting Jack The Giant Killer for Legendary Pictures. Since finishing Woman In Black Julian Morsonhas been doing dailies on Sherlock Holmes II and is soon to start on Clash Of The Titans 2. Peter Wignall has just finished operating on X Men First Class, Rick Woollard is doing a Heineken commercial for Sunny London, and Fabrizio Sciarra has finished on the set of Friday. Digital Garage’s Andrew Kemp just finished a job for Full Moon for the South Korean Olympic Bid team, Andrew Mott worked on a charity job in Uganda for Comic Relief, Chris Openshaw did a short film in Cardiff, Bruno Sorrentino is in Yemen shooting a French Cinema Production called Inside Al Quaida, and Si Wagen just shot a commercial for Citroen. United Agents’ Barry Ackroyd BSC is shooting Contraband in Louisiana with director Baltasar Kormakur. Coriolanus was in competition in Berlin and Barry got a special mention in all the reviews. Paul Sarossy BSC CSC is currently shooting a TV drama in Canada. Tony Slater-Ling is lensing An Appropriate Adult, director Julian Jarrold, for ITV and Mad Dogs has gone out on Sky. Haris Zambarloukos BSC is off to LA again to complete the DI on Thor. Congratulations to Danny Cohen BSC for his BAFTA and Oscar nominations for his work on The King’s Speech. He begins prep shortly on Shane Meadow’s This Is England 1988. David Higgs BSC continues to shoot Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes sequel as 2nd unit DP. John Conroy has completed Stuart Orme’s Jack Taylor, and is now on the first block of the BBC’s Silent Witness. Steve Lawes is in South Africa on the second series of Strike Back for Left Bank and HBO. Alan Almond BSC is prepping Diarmuid Lawrence’s Body Farm for the BBC in Manchester. Dale McCready has wrapped Jeremy Webb’s episode of Dr Who and is prepping the first block of Shine’s new series of Merlin. Carlos Catalan completed Bollywood feature Running With The Bulls for Indian director Zoya Akhtar, and is attached to Paul Andrew Williams’ next feature Song For Marion. Benjamin Kracun is shooting Tom Shkolnik’s first feature Letting Go and David Raedeker has been busy with commercials. Niels Reedtz Johansen is in South Africa, shooting 2nd unit for Anthony Dod Mantle on Dredd, with director Pete Travis. Neus Olle will grade Alistair Siddons’ first feature The Dark Half (i-Features) in March. Charlotte Bruus Christensen is about to grade Hunky Dory for Marc Evans and remains attached to Thomas Vinterberg’s next feature, which will shoot in the autumn. Alex Barber has been away in New Zealand shooting a new Toyota spot for Pleix through Stink. Also in New Zealand, Stephen Oliver Cheeseman is climbing up the ladder on Rab C Nesbitt. Dominic Bartels and his assistant Sam Rawlings shooting in Saudi Arabia on Aramco. Carlos de Carvalho is launching his career as a cinematographer with the impressive-looking short The Waiting Room. Blackman has been lensing a new Carlsberg spot with director Danny Kleinman, at Rattling Stink. Daniel Bronks has been involved with several fashion projects including a shoot for Love Magazine and fashion brands including Burberry. Simon Chaudoir was in Rome shooting a Valentina spot with director Johan Renck for 75 Paris. Brendan Galvin shot a Liberty Mutual spot with Lawrence Dunmore for RSA LA. Stephen Keith-Roach recently shot a new fashion film for Miu Miu with Zoe Cassavetes for Independent. Tim Maurice-Jones was in Bangkok shooting an Orange spot for Jonas & Francois, at 75 Paris. Alex Melman also recently shot in Thailand with Pedro Romhanyi on a Specsavers commercial for Outsider, and finished another job for Outsider with James Rouse on Strongbow in London. Tat Radcliffe is prepping on new Television project Topboy for Yann Demange, at Cowboy Films in London. Simon Richards has been working on a new Travelodge spot for director Ben Gregor at Knucklehead in the UK, a Kenco spot with Dominic Murphy at Partizan in London, before going off to South Africa to shoot a Lipton spot for Emil Moller through Sonny. Alessandra Scherillo recently shot an Armani/Reebok job in London for Spring Studios. Eduardo Serra has just got back from shooting a Telecom Italia spot with Sam Mendes in Rome for RSA. Wizzo FEATURES recently signed Jamie Cairney and Sam Care. Jamie has shot numerous comedy/ sitcom series and sketch shows including the acclaimed political satire The Thick Of It and the feature film In The Loop both directed by Armando Iannucci and starrring Peter Capaldi. He currently shooting comedy tasters for the BBC such as Two Pints, Lady Garden and Two Episodes Of Mash. Following this he goes straight into shooting the next series of the adult puppet comedy: Mongrels produced by Francis Gilson for BBC. Sam Care, a recent NFTS graduate lit the short film Connect, recently nominated for a BAFTA, he also lit the feature In Our Name directed by Brian Welsh and produced by Michelle Eastwood. DP Erik Wilson is shooting the feature doc The Imposter for director Bart Layton and producer Vanessa Tovell with Imposter Films and Film 4. Tyrannosaur the feature he lit last year for director Paddy Considine, opened at Sundance to excellent reviews. Erik also shot Submarine, which also featured at Sundance to critical acclaim; the UK release date is March 18th. David Rom is prepping Jump, shooting on location in Belfast and Derry, directed by Kieron J Walsh and produced by Brendan Byrne. Magni Águstsson Íks, received the Best Cinematography award at the Icelandic FilmAwards, Edda for his outstanding contribution to the film Undercurrent [Brim] which also won five other awards at the Edda’s including Best Picture. The Icelandic Cinematography Association IKS, of which Magni and Karl Oskarsson are now members, has recently been founded; it is the Icelandic equivalent of the BSC. Over at My Management the short film Turning, that Ben Moulden shot with directing duo Karni & Saul at Stink / BBC Film Network, was nominated for Best Short Film at this years BAFTAs, but lost out to Until The River Runs Red by Paul Wright. Robbie Ryan BSC has just been confirmed on Ken Loach new film The Angels’ Share, and filming will begin 17th April in Glasgow til 28th May, shooting 35mm. Will Humphris shot in India for Chevrolet, and Nicolaj Bruel continues with big campaigns for Schwarzkopf, Gliss and Honda Accord. Olivier Cariou is working for Blink Prods on Nikon shooting in Durban, and the long-running campaign with the meerkats. John Perez has shots ads for Galaxy Chocolate, Jacobs Crackers and the 361 sport brand. Anders Flatland FNF has been shooting for American brand Lysol, and Russia’s Telecom. Dominic Bartels is working on Aramco and RBS spots. Roger Bonnici has finished pick-ups on the feature Mercenaires, directed by Paris Leonti, and commercials for Crabbie’s Cider and Betfred. Jo Willems SBC is working with director David Slade on a pilot called REM, to be shot in LA. Ray Coates and Declan Lowney continue to work together on the BT and Aviva ads, and Ray has also been shooting with Stink director Agustin Alberdi on the new super slick Stella Artios Train commercial, and with photographer / director Greg Williams on Jameson Whisky. Jallo Faber FSF, after shooting 2nd Unit on Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, has continued working on a job for the Swedish Arms Forces shooting 35mm & 16mm anamorphic air-to-air in -19C. Manel Ruiz, Steve Chivers, Ekkehart Pollack, Andy Horner, Tim Spence, Richard Stewart and Vincent Warin have also all been occupied shooting commercials and music videos. 30 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 IMAGO –––Nigel Walters BSC President of IMAGO Seven societies join IMAGO in Tallinn IMAGO delegates from 23 societies approved applications from seven societies of cinematographers to join the federation at the Annual IAGA in Tallinn. The 36 delegates present welcomed the societies of Colombia, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Serbia, South Africa and The Philippines, as members under the umbrella of IMAGO. The president of the recently created Irish Society, Ciaran Tanham, board member of the Serbian Society, Predrac Bambic, and board member of the Icelandic Society, Magni Aguststsson, each addressed the assembly, all mentioning their pride in becoming members of IMAGO. The courage, determination and efficiency of the Estonian Society, with seven members, in hosting the IAGA and the hard work of their president Elen Lotman, were praised in a welcoming address by the general secretary Louis-Philippe Capelle SBC, who had himself been assisting the logistical preparations for the conference. The elected moderator was Andreas Fischer-Hansen DFF, immediate past president of IMAGO. A lengthy debate on the financial report which was presented (although finances are in a healthier than for many years) was generally agreed would not satisfy French legal requirements when IMAGO finally severs ties with the city of it’s registration by moving from Paris to Brussels in 2012. Much time was spent debating the accounts, which were eventually agreed. Later, the newly-designed poster, created by the Polish artist Tomasz Opininski, was unveiled to general admiration. A second edition of the IMAGO International Cinematographers Directory is scheduled to be published in time for Camerimage 2011. Alan Lowne, the publisher was a welcome guest throughout the IAGA. All societies received enough copies of the first edition for every cinematographer a few months ago. The next edition will be alphabetically arranged by the last names instead of the confusing, but quaint, Christian-name system. Please send any corrections to Tony Costa with any suggestions for improvement. Some societies could give a more interesting picture of their history. Heading the names for each society must be the best contact details for offices or officials. The committee reports included an explanation by IMAGO’s publicity officer, Tony Costa, on the effect of IMAGO’s entry on Facebook to the growing “hits” on the IMAGO.org website. The president appealed for information and articles to be sent to the web master. Discussions were on-going to develop an IMAGO online magazine in collaboration with several established magazines in Poland, Germany, and Spain and with the British Cinematographer in the UK. On behalf of the Technical Committee, Kommer Kleijn SBC reported continued collaboration with the EDCF (European Digital Cinema Federation) and SMPTE, to influence the quality of cinema projection, especially using the IMAGO frame rate standards. Following up these unfortunately rushed reports, due to time spent earlier on other matters, Rolf Haan FNF related that nearly all cinemas in Norway were now digital projection. The cinemas use mostly the RealD projection system, which uses silver screens to optimize 3D effect. The problem with the silver screen is that the light emission falls dramatically the wider away from the axis of projection the screen is viewed. At 45 degrees away from the 90 degrees the light falls by 50%, thus reducing the quality of the image greatly when compared to the usual pearl white screens previously in common usage. See: www.harkens-screens.com A new member of the Technical Committee was appointed after a recommendation by the Danes, Lars Berger DFF. The Masterclass committee plans to launch another of its successful “Inspirational” series in Copenhagen later this autumn and is organizing a similar event at Camerimage. The IMAGO Board recognizes the need to raise our profile at this important festival in 2011, and intends to organise a Working Conditions Forum. IMAGO has now been officially registered as a lobby organisation in Brussels. To assist in collating information on the working lives of cinematographers, a two-part questionnaire, which can be returned electronically is available on-line at IMAGO.Org. This will be available to all cinematographers to fill in, whether or not a member of an IMAGO Society. Dr Cristina Busch explained that the results from the questionnaires are needed to influence politicians and the EU, which only reacts to concrete research and facts, not unsubstantiated opinion. The Norwegian FNF reported it had undertaken a similar exercise and it was resolved that, after translating its findings, these would be available to Dr Busch. The success of this research is fundamental to improving European working conditions. If you care please take the time to fill out the questionnaire on line. It will be no use complaining later that nothing is ever done. The continued success of IMAGO’s collaboration with the eDIT Festival inspired the Frankfurt event to receive an invitation to Tallinn, where the delegates were given an informative address by Robert Malzhan, director of the Filmmakers Festival. IMAGO and eDIT have co-operated for four years on bringing cinematographic art and techniques to a wider audience. All members of IMAGO can receive 50% reduction of the entrance fee. www.edit-frankfurt.de/en/ It is expected this year to focus on Russian Cinematography. An invitation by the French Society to host the 2012 IAGA in Paris was presented by Robert Alazraki AFC and Richard Andry AFC. The conference will be organized around the dates of the AFC’s successful and enjoyable Micro Salon. Last Summer IMAGO received an invitation to attend a new young festival devoted to cinematography, the Ostrava Film Festival. Andreas Fischer Hansen DFF visited the Czech festival as guest and jury member to report. Jacob Felcman, the young director had made the journey to Tallinn to present his festival to the delegates. It was decided unanimously to assist the Ostrava Festival next September. 31 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Following a day-long informal meeting prior to the IAGA, covering a wide range of subjects, the Italian Adolfo Bartoli AIC proposed establishing a “World Federation” in which “all should be equal societies.” (As the rules stand, only the European members have a vote). All delegates agreed the importance of the European Federation of Cinematographers retaining its independence. The Italians proposed forming two societies, the European Federation and the International Federation with the same president. After debate it was agreed that the board, with the help of Cristina Busch and involvement with the associate societies such as Australia, come up with various solutions to this dilemma of how to best establish an “IMAGO International” and put them on the table at the Paris IAGA. Following a proposal by the general secretary, Louis-Philippe Capelle, it was decided that IMAGO will become a member of Cilect for a trial year. This is the International Federation of Film Schools, which will give IMAGO opportunities to promote the craft of cinematography among the future generation. IMAGO is in discussions with our sponsors such as Transvideo and K5600 to collaborate in spreading awareness and understanding of our craft to young people. The issue of colour graders becoming members of IMAGO Societies was debated. In Holland, Austria and Germany graders can become members, but only associate members. Nic Morris BSC observed that taking colour graders or virtual artists in as full members could be counterproductive in regard to our struggle for authorship rights. The new Serbian delegate, Predrag Bambic SASCm drew general approval when he pinioned that it would be best if these new professionals could form their own societies with whom we could co-operate. Among the somewhat quirky items on the agenda was a Dutch invention of a Minimum Salary Calculator, which was demonstrated by Herman Vershuur NSC. The calculator is based on the Big Mac Index and is apparently popular with producers and used to calculate their crew costs. Unfortunately for too many in Europe, and elsewhere, it could be renamed an “Any Salary Calculator”! Conference was informed of the invitation to the four days ASC International Summit Conference in Los Angeles. This initiative by ASC President Michael Goi ASC and his board was welcomed. The final agenda is being tailored to meet the suggestions of those prospective participants in the ICSC (email@example.com). The four day event runs from May 2 to May 5th and is being supported by the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The board will discuss who to send, apart from Kommer Kleijn SBC, who is an invaluable asset wherever he participates. Despite the costs involved it was encouraging to learn how many of our societies also intended to be represented. The third IMAGO Oslo Digital Cinema Forum takes place May 13, 14,15th. It is generally regarded as the top event of its kind in Europe. Unfortunately pressure of time precluded any discussion at the IAGA, but information can be obtained by visiting the IMAGO.org web site. The forum is organised by the FNF, under Paul Rene-Roestad FNF, in conjunction with the Norwegian Film Institute. It is expected 200 cinematographers will attend. The main topics this year will be 3D, DSLR, and virtual production and attendance has been confirmed by Ted Schilowitz (Red) and Mark L Pederson (OffHollywood Pictures). The curtain has been lowered on the Austrian connection to the IMAGO Book project by the removal for safe storage of the files related to the project. The IAGA gave its appreciation to Herman Vershuur NSC for making the journey from Vienna to Amsterdam. The final payment on the outstanding debt is imminent. Tallinn will be remembered for many records. Apart from being our smallest society with seven members it was certainly the lowest temperatures we have yet experienced for the IAGA. The clear, crisp days we enjoyed towards the end transformed the experience into a magical one and not just for light. Some were skeptical when in Amsterdam Arko Okk ESC invited IMAGO to partake the charm of this hospitable city of European culture for 2011. We leave overwhelmed by your accomplishment. We cannot thank you enough. Tallinn will long remain our favourite city of culture even after the sound of the drums of Kinshasa has faded from our memory. Thank you Elen Lotman ESC, our favourite society president, Elari Lend, Aliine Lotman, Markus Orav, Sander Hiire, Aivo Rannick and others who did so much to make our visit such a memorable one. We wish you all well as we do to the generous sponsors North Star Productions (a recent amalgamation of the Scandinavian Rental Houses of Angel Films, Dagslus and Devil Rentals) for sponsoring our meals and more. Thanks are owed to their MD Ville Penttila and Mark Galerne of K5600 Lighting of Paris. The year between Rome and Tallinn has been a positive one for IMAGO. At the end of Rome we passed a resolution, at the request of the Polish Society, urging their Minister of Culture to help preserve the spiritual home of cinematographers, Camerimage when dark clouds hung around. It went ahead. The year ended by IMAGO writing a plea to the Bulgarian Cultural Minister urging him not to allow the excellent conditions enshrined in law protecting the rights of cinematographers in his country, to be diluted by a bill about to be passed in Sofia. The letter was read out in Parliament and the fight by the Bulgarian Society of Cinematographers was won. The BAC described afterwards IMAGO’s intervention as a decisive factor. IMAGO will never really know if the Polish Resolution or the Bulgarian letter had any influence, but I cannot think of a more positive “raison d’ etre” . Nigel Walters BSC President IMAGO Uniting cinematographers It was an inspiring time to watch the various European societies negotiating their way through the different member countries’ social and economic states in order to reach agreements for fairer working conditions and authorship rights. One thing we have all learned at this conference, is that the unity of the different sections of filmmakers is the only chance we have to effectively put pressure on our own government, in order to save our own industry and to improve our working conditions. We leave this conference with plenty to think about and are strongly motivated to participate in the fight for the future of our industry in Australia. Lazlo Baranyai ASC Louis-Philippe Capelle SBC welcoming delegates to IAGA. IMAGO’s General Assembly in Tallinn 2011. Elen Lotman, president of the ESC in conversation with Adolfo Bartoli AIC. The IAGA is heading for Paris next year - Richard Andry AFC, with (l-r) Birgit Gudjonsdottir BvK , Fritz Maeder SCS and Louis-Philippe Capelle SBC. Images Aline Lotman and P-R Roestad FNF. Imago’s new poster, created by Polish artist Tomasz Opininski, unveiled in Tallinn. 32 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 F-Stop Hollywood –––The latest news from the West Coast John Seale ACS at the ASC Awards collecting the International Achievement Award. Winners Wally Pfister accepts the Oscar for Achievement in Cinematography for work on “Inception” as Tom Hanks looks on. All photographs are Copyright A.M.P.A.S. Wally Pfister, reacts with Tom Hanks backstage. Wally Pfister (left), Christopher Nolan (centre) and Hans Zimmer, during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California. Colin Firth, Oscar winner for Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his role in “The King’s Speech” poses backstage. A very happy Denny Clairmont collecting his John A Bonner Academy Award. Roger Deakins BSC ASC with director Joel Cohen at the ASC Awards. Oscar winner Wally Pfister’s all smiles and so he should be! “As I understand it, the invitations have already gone out,” chuckled Colin Firth, backstage at the Academy Awards, when asked if he might be invited to the royal wedding following his Oscar winning portrayal of His Majesty King George VI. “Mine’s almost definitely lost in the post somewhere,” he repied. The UK was well represented at the 83rd Academy Awards, which saw the coronation of The King’s Speech as best picture. Meanwhile, Wally Pfister ASC’s lensing of Christopher Nolan’s Inception brought the cinematographer his first Oscar win in a category that included Roger Deakins BSC ASC for True Grit, Danny Cohen BSC for The King’s Speech, as well as Matthew Libatique ASC for Black Swan and Jeff Cronenweth ASC for The Social Network, writes Carolyn Giardina. In total, The King’s Speech won four Oscars, including best picture, actor, director and original screenplay. Inception also collected four including cinematographer, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects - the later lead by VFX supervisor Paul Franklin of Double Negative, which produced the digital visual effects in the film. “I’m blown away,” Pfister said backstage. “You know, I walked out there and it’s the most surreal moment in my life. There’s a reason that I’ve been nominated for films with Christopher Nolan, because he’s a brilliant filmmaker and he’s got incredible vision and really, as I said up there, there’s no way I accomplish what I’ve accomplished without the brilliant vision of Chris Nolan,” Pfister emphasised backstage. As the conversation shifted to his art, he proudly said: “We prefer to shoot on film.” As the UK Film Council had helped finance The King’s Speech, Firth was asked about the decision to close the agency. The actor responded: “I don’t really want to get entangled in the political judgment on that. I tend to find that my rather insignificant opinions get more attention than they deserve, but I do think that on the face of it, that that was a shortsighted decision. I do however think that the fact that the BFI seems to have taken up that role is very positive, and I think that it was probably a sign that the government has recognised a need for a body like that, that they need to work closely with to find a way to get films financed with government cooperation. So I’m optimistic at the moment.” Related, King’s Speech producer Gareth Unwin said the success of the movie “leaves a healthy dowry for the BFI to inherit. So the UK will always have to have a position within its industry in filmmaking, and although the guys may have changed recently, we hope the British government will continue to support British filmmakers.” Oscar season in Hollywood saw David Fincher’s The Social Network emerge as an early favourite for best picture, but the momentum shifted to The King’s Speech following wins at the Producers Guild Awards and SAG Awards (ensemble cast). Inception had a strong run at various awards ceremonies, including at the Visual Effects Society Awards, where the VFX team earned four trophies including the top prize, which was accepted by Franklin and his colleagues. (Franklin, along with Pfister, is in Los Angeles in prepro for The Dark Knight Rises, which is slated to begin production in May in London.) Guy Hendrix Dyas meanwhile won his category at the Art Directors Guild Awards for his work on Inception. In a field that was identical to the Academy Awards category for cinematography, Pfister earned his first ASC Award in features at the 25th annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards. Owen Roizman, ASC accepted the award on behalf of Pfister, who was in London. Also that evening, Deakins, a 10 time ASC nominee and three-time winner, was honoured with the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented by his collaborator for two decades, Joel Coen. That same day, Deakins won the BAFTA for his lensing of True Grit, which also earned him his ninth Academy Award nomination this year. Accepting the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award, Deakins admitted that it seemed “a little premature,” adding “I love cinematography as much as I ever have.” During the ceremony, John Seale ASC ACS, who won on Oscar for The English Patient, was presented the ASC International Award by Michael Apted. The Heritage student award is dedicated each year to a different cinematographer. This year, it was named The William A. Fraker ASC BSC Heritage Award, which were handed out to Boyd Hobbs and Dagmar Weaver-Madsen. Denny Clairmont Receives SciTech Honour Denny Clairmont was awarded the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation at AMPAS’ annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation, a cocktail reception, dinner and ceremony held a few weeks before the Oscars. 33 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Oscar-winners Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Gareth Unwin (R) for the category Best Motion Picture of the Year; David Seidler, for the category of Original Screenplay; Tom Hooper, winner for Achievement in Directing for their work on “The King’s Speech” pose onstage after the television broadcast of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. In 1976 brothers Denny and Terry Clairmont cofounded Clairmont Camera. On stage, Denny paid tribute to his late brother Terry. At Denny Clairmont’s dinner table, he was surrounded by co-workers and family, whom he also thanked. During the evening, Scientific and Engineering Awards, or Academy Plaques, were given to Dr. Mark Sagar (for a facial motion retargeting technique); Mark Noel and John Frazier (NAC Servo Winch system); James Rodnunsky, Alex MacDonald and Mark Chapman (Cablecam 3D volumetric suspended cable camera technologies); and Tim Drnec, Ben Britten Smith and Matt Davis (Spydercam 3D volumetric suspended cable camera technologies). The Cablecam and Spydercam previously received Technical Achievement Awards (Academy Certificates), but were “upgraded” with this year’s honours. Also this year, Technical Achievement Awards went to Greg Ercolano (Rush render queue management software); David M. Laur (Alfred render queue management system); Chris Allen, Gautham Krishnamurti, Mark A. Brown and Lance Kimes (Queue render queue management); Florian Kainz (ObaQ render queue management system); Eric Tabellion and Arnauld Lamorlette (CG bounce lighting methodology); and Tony Clark, Alan Rogers, Neil Wilson and Rory McGregor (cineSync). Oscar week was filled with parties and events, including a reception for the British nominees, held by the British Consul-General, Dame Barbara Hay. Deakins’ stops included a DreamWorks Animationhosted brunch. He served as visual consultant on DWA’s How To Train Your Dragon, and is on board for the sequel. “DreamWorks Animation is a lovely company,” Deakins said. “It’s a joy to get involved in a project like that with a group of people who care so much about what they are doing. The technology obviously is different from what I do in live action, but it’s the same kind of process. It’s the same idea of using the frame and camera movement and lighting to tell a story.” “It’s been lovely,” Deakins said of the awards season. “I’m all partied out.” British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Letter from America –––Steven Poster ASC Steven Poster ASC says taking Moore’s Law as a yardstick, hardly anyone can predict what our industry will look like 20 years from now. Every snowflake is different 34 As much as things are changing in the world of motion picture and television image capture and processing, the computing industry is changing at a far greater pace. In late October last year, I attended the Visual Effects Society’s Production Summit, and the opening remarks from futurist Dr Rich Terrile were prescient. Dr Terrile, a NASA scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has the amazing title of “doctor of evolutionary computing.” He spoke about Moore’s Law [a termed coined by Caltech professor Carver Mead] that states that the power of computers doubles roughly every two years. Everybody in that space assumes there will be an end to Moore’s law, but so far it has not been reached, and, in fact, as Dr Terrile explained, technology’s computational power is now faster than the human brain. That’s a scary thought: machines on the verge of waking up? Who can forget Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on the fiction of noted futurist Arthur C. Clarke. The film arrived in theaters in 1968 and featured a computer – HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) – that was conscious and making decisions (not all of them very good). We are nearly 10 years past HAL’s time, but if, or perhaps when, machines do become conscious, will they have an unconscious as well? I put that question to Dr Terrile and his response was a wry smile. Suffice to say, such futuristic queries are now discussed in the present tense. Just look at how Moore’s Law has radically altered our own industry – computational power provides the ability to create images (in small, inexpensive cameras) that 20 years ago were unimaginable. And just as no one, 20 years ago, could predict the technology we’d be using today, hardly anyone can predict, with any certainty, what our industry will look like 20 years from now. What everyone does know has been voiced by Chris de Faria, executive vice president of digital production, Warner Bros., who has said: “If you’re doing business as usual, you’re in trouble.” Staying vigilant about change is a timeless theme for all cinematographers. But even that is a delicate balance because until the machines “wake up,” and there’s a HAL inside of every camera, where the focus in a scene is placed, for example, remains an instinctual, emotional and experiential choice made by the 1st AC. Trends come and go and it can be a slippery slope to throw all your eggs in one basket, or as Dr Terrile describes, “submitting to the curve of inflated expectations.” The process goes something like this: a new technology arrives and the early expectations are that it will transform everything. 3D, which is in a trough right now – some of it is great, some of it is terrible – is a good example of that in our industry. Slowly, over time, the new technology that would change everything is widely adopted and expectations level off to a more realistic level. The attempt to bring colour grading on to the set is a workflow that may expand rapidly, and then, in my opinion, level off, given the added time it takes for us in production. My friend, Leon Silverman, general manager, digital studio, Walt Disney Studios, and president of the Hollywood Post Alliance, describes new workflows as “snowflakes.” Every single one is different and the minute they hit the ground they don’t exist anymore! For the last two decades I’ve been advocating the creation of an end-to-end (device-independent) colour management system, which everyone can understand, that could change those snowflakes into common practice. No matter. Moore’s Law marches on, transforming the world around us; and because this new (or next) generation of cinematographers have grown up with new technology as a way of life, they will be soundly prepared. As for the current generation (you know, all us old film guys!), they, too, are prepared thanks to the training and education our labour union, the International Cinematographers Guild, provides and places such a premium on in America. Still, I am a bit envious of those computer chip engineers. How cool would it be to get twice as smart every two years? Steven Poster ASC National President International Cinematographers Guild IATSE Local 600 35 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Close-up –––Tim Cragg Flying Monsters 3D Around two hundred million years ago there was an extraordinary development in the history of life on earth – an ancient group of reptiles made a giant, evolutionary leap into the skies. Known as pterosaurs, these flying monsters evolved into a multitude of forms, from amazing acrobats to marauding predators, and proved truly remarkable creatures that paved the way for every single species of bird on the planet today. The story of their development has been traced in a new documentary, Flying Monsters 3D With Sir David Attenborough, which sees the renowned naturalist travel back in time to discover how and why these creatures took flight and why, after 150 million years of aerial domination, they vanished. Initially transmitted on Christmas Day 2010 on Sky’s 3D channel, this £8 million Atlantic Productions’ documentary is to be released in IMAX Theatres and giant screens around the world in spring 2011. It was directed by Matt Dyas, with Anthony Geffen the producer, Pete Miller the editor, and Tim Cragg the cinematographer. “You really are in with the gannets and flamingoes, but the 3D is subtle and immersive, like Avatar, rather than an in-your-face experience,” says Cragg. “People won’t be ducking and diving around in their seats.” Cragg is a veteran documentarian, who has photographed over 80 primetime shows for the BBC including multiple episodes of Horizon, James May At The Edge of Space, and Richard Dawkin’s The Enemies of Reason. He won a BAFTA in 2007 for his photography on Simon Schama’s Power of Art: Van Gogh, and was BAFTA-nominated last year for How Earth Made Us. He spent 2009 lensing God In America, a $12 million drama for PBS in the USA. He was approached by Atlantic Productions in early 2010 to photograph Flying Monsters 3D. “I was just as excited about the fact that David Attenborough was going to be presenting the film as I was about it being a 3D Imax feature. If he was attached to it, it was worth being attached to it,” he admits. Speaking about the overall production design Cragg says, “The film was to have CG elements and CG creatures, and I very much wanted to have an input into conceptualising these, so that the final production felt true to one design concept. Fortunately Matt, the director, was open to collaboration and we set about storyboarding every single frame of the film, including all the CG elements,” he says. Storyboards were drawn out by James O’Shea and, when these were agreed, were then passed over to VFX producer James Prosser at Zoom to create digital storyboards. The previs came along with details about lens choice, camera moves and basic lighting moods “You can do so much with the CG camera, and it’s important that the CG animation team were aware of the limitations with the physical cameras, and to make sure the live action and CG matched up in post,” Cragg explains. “Also, David, who is 84, represents classical documentary, and it was his first 3D production. We wanted the film to be representative of him, so we adopted a classical, traditional approach to the framing of the live footage and CG material. We weren’t scared to hold on to shots.” Cragg admits that this show was his first 3D experience too, and although he had no formal 3D training, he did scrutinise many 3D films, including Avatar, and shot test footage using glasses and a 3D monitor. He also says that IMAX was a major consideration in his approach to framing the production. “IMAX films can run in cinemas for many years, and they have to have the big screen appeal. It’s hard to frame for IMAX and IMAX dome, as you need to have lots of headroom – the top of head is in the middle of frame. It took a week to get used to it, but it then became a natural process to frame-up, pop on the 3D glasses and visualise the result.” By its very nature, shooting 3D has to have a larger team of people than a traditional 2D documentary. His crew included stereographer Chris Parks, son of the legendary and Academy Award-winning natural history cinematographer Peter Parks, Sarah Rollason as focus puller, stereography technician Simon de Glanville, Hugh Campbell as camera assistant, Kevin Zemrowsky the DIT, plus gaffer Gary Owen. Shooting was done using an Element Technica Quasar Rig, with two Red One cameras shooting at 4K, a set of Zeiss Ultra Primes and Nikon macro lenses, supplied by On-Sight. “The 3D rig had a huge presence, and weighed 56 kilos. Its size was appealing to me, as it was more akin to large format photography than photo journalism,” he says. “This again steered us firmly in the direction of traditional composition. Simply moving the camera was difficult. So I used a Canon 7D with prime lenses to find the frame. We would then discuss the level of 3D we wanted, and Chris Parks and the camera team would go about setting up the rig in position, and make the necessary alignments and adjustments. We tried where possible to have the camera on a dolly, or crane, but with so many exterior locations this sometimes was not practical.” The production shot around the UK, France, Germany, various locations in the US, and at Bass Rock, a small island off Scotland, tallying 45 days across a 4-month period between March and June 2010. “The biggest challenge for me was the composition, as the film was to be framed for various screens – 120ft IMAX, giant theatre screens, the IMAX dome, regular cinema screens, and Sky 3D television. So we decided to frame for the large screen, accepting that the smaller screens might have to have a pan and scan. Since we were shooting 4K we knew that the quality would still be outstanding on the pan and scan versions.” Cragg says the 3D aspect was exciting to him as a cinematographer. “It felt pioneering, a refreshingly new approach to filming. Again, very similar to large format photography with massive amounts of depth-of-field, and wider lens choices than I would usually put on. Our lens changes and rig alignment generally took between 30 to 45 minutes, so we had to carefully plan how many lens changes we could achieve in a day.” Of course, scrutinising footage as early as possible is a crucial element in 3D stereo production. Cragg says the team didn’t watch dailies in a formal sense, “but we did get continual feedback from Kevin our DIT who was on set the whole time, constantly checking for any differences between the left and right eye footage coming from the mirror rig – T-stop and focal differences, lens flares, and colour shifts. After each block of shooting, we’d would project and review the material in 3D at On Sight.” Visual effects supervisor on the production was Robin Aristorenas. The off-line edit was complete at Atlantic, with the final on-line 3D conform, depth grading and stereo fixes done at On-Sight using SGO’s Mistika system, and the audio post done at Halo. CG elements were provided by Molinare in London, with Fido in Sweden providing CG creature work. Cragg is now lensing three one-hour 3D films with David Attenborough for Sky 3D at Kew Gardens. 36 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Close-up –––Jeff Cronenweth ASC The Social Network This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards. Jeff Cronenweth ASC followed in his father’s footsteps by earning ASC Outstanding Achievement Award and Oscar nominations for The Social Network, as did Jordan Cronenweth ASC for Peggy Sue Got Married in 1986. The other nominees in both competitions this year were Wally Pfister ASC for Inception, Matty Libatique ASC for Black Swan, Danny Cohen BSC for The King’s Speech and Roger Deakins BSC, ASC for True Grit. “I’ve always wanted to be a cinematographer,” Jeff Cronenweth says. “I love the camaraderie and life style. My father didn’t encourage me into it, he let me find my own direction, but I think he got a lot of joy out of me choosing this path.” In addition to working with his father, Cronenweth spent time on crews led by Conrad Hall ASC, Sven Nykvist ASC, John Toll ASC and other cinematographers. This was his post-graduate film school. The Social Network is a David Fincher-directed story about Mark Zuckerberg, the man who founded Facebook while he was a student at Harvard – and the drama which ensued. “I was introduced to David by my father when I was on their music video camera crews,” Cronenweth says. “When an insert was needed for a video they shot with Madonna, David said, ‘I hope you brought your light meter,’ and told me to shoot close-ups of her mouth.” Cronenweth became camera operator on several films directed by Fincher and was the second unit cinematographer on Se7en and The Game. He has also shot numerous commercials with Fincher. In 1999, they collaborated on Fight Club. It was Cronenweth’s first narrative film and has recently been voted one of the Top Ten Best Shot films of 1998-2008 by Cronenweth’s peers at the American Society of Cinematographers. The Social Network is their second collaboration on a narrative film. The pair have also recently begun work on an adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. “I don’t have a Facebook account,” Cronenweth says. “It’s difficult enough for me to find time to answer emails. But my wife does, and I have a 13-year-old girl who is involved with Facebook and other social networking, so it wasn’t a mystery to me. The story around the origins of Facebook is an important part of our culture and our time, and it’s a story I could see had to be told.” The screenplay, authored by Aaron Sorkin, is based on a biographical book by Ben Mezrich, who interviewed Zuckerberg and others who had contributed to bringing Facebook into the public arena. Cronenweth notes that Fincher had to decide whether he wanted interpretive or reality-based cinematography to bring audiences into the places and environments where the contemporary story is unfolding. “I think we came up with a visual quality which is naturalistic, so it won’t wrench you out of the very human drama, but also has a few bold, Expressionistic undertones and some subtle stylization, which acknowledges the hyper-reality of youth – especially within the isolation of the old Ivy League colleges. It’s important to remember the subjects of the story are still just kids finding their way in the world, and when you’re young and the world is still a party, it has a slightly unreal emotional amplification to it. “Preparation was the same as it would be on any movie,” he explains. “David and I discussed the personalities of Mark Zuckerberg (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and the other main characters, and how he wanted to present them to the audience. We also visited locations where we would be shooting in Cambridge, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Dorney Lake, Berkshire, Windsor and Oxfordshire, in England.” Cronenweth and Fincher discussed creating a contemporary period look, while transporting moviegoers to the locations where the story is unfolding. A sense of place became key when the characters moved between the college and San Francisco’s party scenes. Cronenweth had to capture the different feel of these locations, as well as the brighter, more clinical lighting of the deposition rooms, where the nostalgia is dropped in favour of the hard realities of the court case. Sometimes this contrast is easier said than done. Besides not being permitted access to the Harvard campus (they shot the majority of the college scenes around Cambridge), Cronenweth worked hard at having an interesting visual language emerge from the story’s ethical questions. “The moral compass of the story is murky and grey, and the ethics don’t play out with any sense of certainty about the right answers,” says Cronenweth, “so we needed to match this with the visual tones and still have something exciting to look at. We decided to mute the colour pallete quite heavily in the college scenes, and keep a limited depth-of-field to make the place feel claustrophobic in contrast to San Francisco.” Fincher and Cronenweth were also the first to shoot a feature with the new Mysterium X chip for the Red camera. “David and I had explored the virtues of various digital cameras while shooting several commercials,” he says. “We decided to use the Red One MX camera with ARRI master prime lenses for The Social Network, partially because it is relatively compact and lightweight. It was the right tool for this project. We wanted the flexibility of covering scenes at practical locations without drawing attention, while capturing a reality-based look composed in 2.4:1 aspect ratio.” Cronenweth and Fincher were happy with the results from the Red One MX; they are using the camera again for their realization of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. After he blocked scenes and discussed composition with Cronenweth, Fincher was generally in the video village following the action on a video monitor and calling shots. “David is a very visual director,” Cronenweth says. “He did a masterful job of telling an honest and straightforward story about the people who made Facebook, a reality in the lives of hundreds of millions of people. It’s not just about where Facebook came from and how it evolved, it’s a story about friendships which led to betrayal and it raises a significant question about what’s fair and what isn’t fair. I believe The Social Network sheds some light and will provoke thinking about an important event which is still unfolding in our world today – without making judgements.” The Social Network photos by Merrick Morton Close Ups were researched and written by Ron Prince, Valentina I. Valentini & Bob Fisher. 37 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Close-up –––Ed Wild Chalet Girl Ed Wild is a man on the move. He moves side-to-side, from commercial to music video, and up and down from feature to short. Most recently he’s been moving up, way up, both in the British film industry and the mountains. His most recent feature is Chalet Girl, a comedy set in the Alps complete with snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding, snogging and surmounting one’s fears. The cast includes Bill Nighy, Brooke Shields, Ed Westwick and Felicity Jones as the lead. Wild received the script for Chalet Girl whilst on location in South Africa and he’d prepped it overnight on the flight back to London. “I think you need to love the script if you want to do a feature well, and I loved this script,” explains Wild. After that flight he went straight into a meeting with the director, Phil Traill, and came out loving the project even more. “Phil and I really saw eye-to-eye and just really got on well.” Traill and Wild both agreed that the look for Chalet Girl should, in Wild’s words, be “bright and colorful and crunchy - I wanted strong blacks, nice contrast, but with the soft lighting that makes people look beautiful”. Traill was excited with Wild’s vision and felt it meshed perfectly with his. “Ed is a super-talented DP and cameraman,” states Traill, “and to top it off, his reel included comedy, romance and snowboarding. He also had a lot of specific suggestions for camera movement for a few of the scenes, which was very exciting to hear.” They tested many different film stocks, but the pivotal point for Wild was testing the Kodak Vision2 50D 5201/7201. “It just popped, literally popped all the way through the DI,” remembers Wild. “I asked what they’d done and they said nothing.” For the test he’d shot Jones in the snow the wrong way – stuck her in the shadows, backlit her – just to see how bad the 50D could go. But, Wild confesses, it withstood even the harshest conditions and still looked incredible. Wild also used the Vision2 200T 5217/7217 because of its abilities to render tones on the skin. “I wanted everyone to look lovely in this film and the 200T did it for me.” Filming on location in Germany in a small chalet proved difficult in many respects, but Wild had no complaints about the way the stock held up. “We had to shoot the whole thing Tungsten because of the size of the chalet, but it worked out great with the 200T. You can play with it so much; you can splash light in and it will bounce around and it just loves it.” Shooting for Chalet Girl took place entirely on location in southern Germany and western Austria (except for three studio days shot in London). A chalet in the Bavarian Alps in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was the main interiors location and was Wild’s most difficult challenge. “It had the lowest ceilings, the smallest rooms, the tiniest windows,” remembers Wild. “On screen it needed to come across as an enormous holiday chalet, and every scene had cables and lights and equipment, sometimes even crew, precariously about to fall into the shot.” “It was a DP’s nightmare, but Ed made it look gorgeous,” offers Traill. Wild used an ARRI LT with Zeiss Ultra Primes, but had an ARRI 235 on hand for, “tossing in a backpack and climbing up a mountain.” With such a tight shooting schedule – seven weeks – Wild wasn’t able to get all the footage he needed for the film he had in his head, so Jens Hoffmann came on board as a second unit DP. “There just wasn’t enough time for me to get familiarised with these mountains the way I would’ve needed to,” explains Wild. “Jens knows these ranges and knows where to go and how to put the camera in the right spot quickly. He was perfect.” The most obvious challenge Wild foresaw in preproduction was shooting outside in the snow. However, once they’d tested the 50D all Wild’s worries melted away. “You could see so far into the highlights and the stock was just stunning,” he recalls. “You could even see the little crystals in the snow and yet still got loads of detail on the actors faces.” When it came to coverage, Wild admits that if it weren’t for Traill’s explicit clarity about what he wanted, they’d have never finished on schedule. “The only reason we succeeded in our little chalet is because of the type of director that Phil is,” Wild testifies. Moving the camera in the chalet involved unpacking a room, getting all the actors out, getting the camera out, moving the lighting around, getting the camera back in, getting the actors back in, and then shooting. “Phil was just brilliant about it though.” Wild graduated from Imperial College at the University of London with a degree in petroleum engineering and was a full-time rower. A friend who was a focus puller took him on a shoot when he was 23 and he fell instantly in love with cameras. He quit rowing two weeks later and got a job in a camera house in London. “I drove a lot of vans, cleaned a lot of flight cases and learned the gear,” remembers Wild. He began as a loader and then became a focus puller. The first thing he shot was a spot for BBC Radio 4 where he captured people’s eyes reacting to what they were listening to on the radio. Wild cut his teeth at MTV (Europe & Nordic), on Stylissimo, a fashion-based, youth-oriented show. He’d bought an SR2 16mm camera and shot loads of fashion spots and claims that’s where he really started to learn about lighting. Now, Wild dips into every facet of the motion picture industry shooting music videos, documentaries, shorts, commercials and features. Wild began shooting on Kodak film about a decade ago when he was doing a lot of glossy R&B music videos. He loved the 200T claiming that it was a perfect for beauty shoots, even on 16mm. But he has been using Fuji for most of his 35mm projects since, and confesses that it really just depends on what’s right for the job, “It’s horses for courses; I’ve always been open to any stock, and for Chalet Girl, Kodak’s grain structure and the way it sees colour was perfect. There’s an inherent beauty in film that you can’t get in HD.” 38 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 All Time Greats –––Christopher Challis Cinematographer Artful Eyes Chris Challis was born in 1919 and was keen on films from an early age. He was educated privately at King’s College in Wimbledon, London. As a schoolboy he was very interested in stills photography, writes David A Ellis. His father was a motorcar designer, who had an American friend who would come to England each year to watch and film motor racing on 16mm film. One year he gave Challis a 16mm camera and it was used to film events at his school. His father knew the managing director of Gaumont British (GB) News, a man by the name of Castleton-Knight, his first name unknown. Challis’s father mentioned to him that his son was interested in working with films and had shot some film. Challis was invited to meet and show his films to Mr Castleton-Knight. Challis went to Film House in Wardour Street, screened the films and got a job with GB. He said: “It was around 1936, I was eighteen and I had just left school. For the first year I would get tea and rolls for the cameramen from the Sudbury Dairy café, which was next door to Film House. Occasionally, I was allowed to touch a camera.” He spent around eighteen months with GB and then moved on to Technicolor, which were making its first film in England called Wings Of The Morning (1937). Challis said: “I got a job as a loader. My visions of being on the studio floor and mixing with the stars didn’t happen. I ended up working in the dark room loading the three black and white negatives.” Challis worked for Technicolor until the outbreak of war. He then went into the RAF as a cameraman. After the war he went to work on A Matter Of Life And Death (1946) with Jack Cardiff. Cardiff suggested to Michael Powell, the director, that Challis could work on the second unit. “I had to go up and see Mickey, as he was called, rather dauntingly, because I wasn’t really all that experienced. I got the job, and then the job of camera operator on the main unit, Geoff Unsworth was offered a film as a DP. I then took over as the operator on the main unit.” The next film he operated on for Cardiff was Black Narcissus (1947). After that he went off as DP on End Of The River (1947). “After I had finished that film they were preparing to make Red Shoes (1948). I love ballet and wanted to work on the film. Jack Cardiff was the DP and I persuaded them to let me come back as operator on the film. I did Red Shoes and wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” said Challis. After this, Powell, who had directed Red Shoes offered him The Small Back Room (1949). From then on he shot a number of pictures for Powell and Emric Pressburger. Pressburger was a writer and with Powell they ran a company called The Archers. Describing Powell, Challis said: “Mickey was a hard taskmaster, he could be very unkind. He was out to judge people, I think pretty quickly. Once he had made a decision he never altered it. If he didn’t like you for one reason or another it was best to leave. On the other hand the people he liked and respected he was wonderful and was very loyal. He was one of those people that liked to be challenged. He liked people to stand up to him and most ran away.” Asked what it was like working with Vistavision, Challis replied, “It was horrible, I hated it. My first contact with it was on The Battle Of The River Plate (1956). The cameras were awful and badly designed.” When asked about his most difficult film, he said, “It was Saadia (1953), shot in Morocco and directed by Albert Lewin. I think it was the first Technicolor feature made entirely on location. All locations Al had picked were totally unsuitable. They were too small. One of the opening scenes was set in a small room housing eight or nine characters. With the blimp and a couple of lamps you couldn’t get in the room.” 39 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Christopher adjusting the lighting on The Victors. Actor Eli Wallach with Challis on The Deep. Pictured with Lord Brabourne and director Guy Hamilton. Christopher Challis with his producer son Drummond. On the set of The Red Shoes. Standing next to Sydney Samuelson on the set of The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes. Director Billy Wilder with glasses and hat. Talking about 65mm, Challis said, “Shooting on 65mm wasn’t that much different to shooting on 35mm, except you needed more light. I worked on the 65mm Mitchell camera and was DP on two productions. First, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (1965) and then Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). It was fun on both films. Magnificent Men was difficult because of the process work. We didn’t have the sophisticated things they have now. We used a lot of travelling matte, which entailed a lot of problems, including depth of focus. Some of the problems were due to the wire rigging on those old planes, which disappeared in the making of the matte. So we had to increase the diameter of it all, making it much bigger so it worked on the blue backing. We then had depth of focus problems because most of the shots were on a pilot in the cockpit and behind him was the rudder and the tail plane. We couldn’t hold the depth of focus because the light level on the blue screen would only give us the maximum of T4. We needed a lot more, so all the sets had to be re-designed so they would be brought into the depth of field.” Asked about his Rank days he said, “For a short period I was employed by Rank, which I absolutely hated. John Bryan an art director who became producer, whom I liked, did a picture called The Spanish Gardener (1956), which I photographed. John said, ‘Why don’t you sign a contract with Rank? You will only work with me and photograph my pictures.’ I did that, then John had a row with Rank and left. I was then left with this contract.” Giving his thoughts on working for the great director Billy Wilder Challis commented, “I worked with Wilder on The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes (1970). Wilder was very tough with the actors, he didn’t allow any individual interpretation of the script. What was in it was what they had to say. He was a wonderful director, he shot long takes and he didn’t cover. He didn’t shoot anything he didn’t use. “Another one like Wilder was Carol Reed. He was like a watchmaker, he knew exactly what he was going to use and how he was going to use it in the final cut. So you shot very little extra.” Did he have a favourite director? “I liked working with Stanley Donen and Michael Powell. Not because they were the best directors. They were ardent filmmakers and fun to work with. They were very creative and they both had a very good visual sense, which made it very interesting from a cameraman’s point of view.” Asked if he usually kept the same crew, he said: “As much as I possibly could. We were all freelance of course, so sometimes there were periods where you didn’t have work. If your operator had a chance of another film he had to take it so you did lose people. I was very lucky I managed to keep people for quite a long while. Freddie Frances was my operator for quite a while and then the late Austin Dempster, who was a wonderful operator.” Challis’s last film was Steaming (1985). 40 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 GBCT –––Tim Potter Chairman of the GBCT Middle ground When I first joined this industry, no-one knew whether anyone was any good at their job unless they had actually worked with them. Camera folk are naturally cautious when it comes to risking their own reputation on the quality of the crew that they recommend to work for them. For a newcomer to break past this caution was nearly impossible if you were not family or friend. This “Catch-22” produced a natural, if highly unequal, filter to the new entrant up-take of the industry. There are now more ways into this industry than there are people who want to join it. And in the 1980s, to try to bring some order to this chaos as well as try to eliminate some of the nepotism, the Camera Branch of the then ACTT had instigated a system of log-books for trainees which were monitored by the committee, thus giving all who could get traineeships a fairer chance of making it into membership. Those who came into the industry through the camera rental companies were required to give them a minimum of three years service before jumping at the first chance to get on set. When funding from a levy on feature film production came along, the union, in co-operation with the GBCT, helped create the first independent trainee placement scheme (Jobfit). Although it had no formal qualification, Jobfit, and its later television funded incarnation, FT2, did give the trainees a form of ‘stamp of approval’ that was independent of anything other than the trainees’ ability. These schemes were the Rolls-Royce version of training and produced some very highly respected members of our profession but were ultimately too costly to survive our cash strapped times. When, in 1992, the Government implemented the EU instruction to organize qualifications for all industries not already covered, our industry was bounced into setting up a system of qualifications. The industry chose to set its sights on qualifications for the most junior grades first, even though I had stood up at the inaugural conference to say that those who buy the talent should be the first to be trained. You can imagine the howls of derision that provoked! From decisions way above our heads it was decided to use the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) framework as a basis for these new qualifications. It was novel for us to have a completely independent and impartial formal qualification but welcomed in principle by all. Sadly the NVQs that we ended up with were lowest common denominator/entry level qualifications and badly handled by the educationalists who insisted on using the inappropriate technique of Functional Analysis to write the Standards. I had used my union connections to force my way onto the committee that wrote the NVQs, but to no avail. Every criterion I put forward was rejected by the committee on the grounds that staff camera assistants at the broadcast companies would not be up to the standard I was proposing. The NVQs for camera assistants eventually collapsed under their own lack of credibility. This left the way open for a group of focus pullers to try and start from scratch with a new Diploma based on standards that we, as technicians, would have respect for. Based on the criteria that had been rejected in 1992, this group came up with a set of standards which were turned, by Skillset, into the new Diploma qualifications (Level 2 for Clapper Loaders/2ndACs & Level 3 for Focus Pullers/1stACs). Eighteen years after we initially had the opportunity to make a meaningful formal qualification, the Diplomas got their first candidates in April of last year. This launch was helped enormously by Ealing Institute of Media who organize and accredit the Diplomas, and came up with a tranche of government funding (Train2Gain) which provided a 100% subsidy for the first batch of candidates. The take-up of places was rapid and enthusiastic. Before the launch it was a concern that the most experienced technicians would not want to have to go through a great rigmarole to prove what everyone already knew about them, but they recognized the importance of every technician being part of this qualification initiative and backed it to the hilt. To date over thirty candidates have completed their Diplomas and many more are about to finish. We are well on the way to our target of having the bulk of existing practitioners formally qualified. This is a far cry from the anarchy that I walked into all those years ago. We can now look forward to a workforce that can prove it really is as good as it’s cracked up to be. Tim Potter Chairman, Guild of British Camera Technicians Who’s Shooting Who? As can be seen on page 28, GBCT Members are working on a variety of films, commercials and television programmes all over the world. To add to the growing list, Director of Photography Peter Rowe is working on the Manchester-based comedy series Mount Pleasant at the same time as award-winning cinematographer Franz Pagot works under the water in Pondicherry on a Bollywood movie while DoP Mattias Nyberg experiments on a ground-breaking short film with 1AC Steve Janes. In the meantime, Camera Operator Ian Clark has been busy on The Nightwatch and The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, while in Los Angeles grading Doonby, Director of Photography Peter Field met up with fellow Guild members John Gamble and Simon Hume as they prepped for the Hungarian-based 3D shoot 47 Ronin – all at the same time as GBCT Director of Photography Doug Milsome BSC re-shoots various scenes for Jean-Claude van Damme’s Eagle Path! Back in the UK and recently wrapped is the feature film Weighed In with a GBCT crew attached to it headed by Director of Photography Nic Lawson, aided by Camera Operator Jamie Harcourt with Focus Pullers Gabriel Hyman and Erin Stevens. And for Comic Relief, a five camera Genesis shoot took place for Red Nose Day with Director of Photography Chris Ross that involved several Guild Members including Camera Operator Rodrigo Gutierrez, Steadicam Operator Derek Walker, Focus Pullers Tim Battersby and Toby Eedy, aided and abetted by Gabriel Hyman. The next series of “Downton Abbey” started shooting recently with GBCT Members Dean Thompson, Milos Moore, Louise Ben-Nathan, Peter Field and John Harper supporting DoP Gavin Struthers and the rest of the team. But this really does neatly lead to a massive ‘hurrah’ for all GBCT 2AC’s – they are managing to work on an incredible amount of massive projects! For example, Emma Edwards is out in India, working with an otherwise completely Australian camera crew on Roland Joffe’s Singularity while Alice Canty starts work on the next series of Merlin being shot on 35mm out of Cardiff and France. Watch out for the next issue when we’ll be mentioning the other GBCT crews working on a number of different features and large-scale television dramas! 41 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Forging ahead Now that 3D is proliferating, training is going to be important. Following on from Tim’s comments, as the GBCT’s editor for this section, I thought that it might be worth mulling over the various strategies and training possibilities for aspiring camera crews as well as the ongoing training and career development needs of existing technicians – so they can diversify or change altogether – especially now that 3D imaging technology is forging ahead at a remarkable pace. And it’s also worth discovering more about the ongoing work Skillset does for industry professionals as well as the GBCT’s relationship with others and our membership of the Cine Guilds of Great Britain all of which dovetails into this to ensure ongoing success. To do this, you only have to look at the credits of any of the major films that have garnered BAFTAs, EMMYs, Golden Globes and Oscars™ recently to realise the huge contribution that British crews have made to the success of these films. Representing the UK’s film craft guilds as independent groups of professionals is the not-for-profit Cine Guilds of Great Britain (CGGB). They recognise craft excellence and work to maintain the highest professional standards. To ensure that only high quality professionals are admitted, and to maintain standards, potential members of each guild are nominated by existing members or are invited to join the organisation by the Guild’s Governing body. With this in mind, part of the CGGB’s work is to educate, inform and promote to the wider industry and government generally the benefits of CGGB involvement in various industry related projects and the employment of its world-class technicians on films produced in the UK and overseas. In recent times, the CGGB has been active in promoting separate BAFTA awards ceremonies for feature films and television productions, thereby raising the profile of Craft Awards in both media. Through the provision of a grant from the UK Film Council, the Cine Guilds has produced a two page portal website to link its member guilds directly with producers and production companies on a worldwide basis. www.moviecrew.org.uk CGGB Membership includes: The Association of Motion Picture Sound Constituted to raise standards and improve the professionalism of those working in sound acquisition and post, AMPS aims to raise the profile of the use of sound on various productions by encouraging international debate on related sound subjects. AMPS membership includes: Supervising Sound Editors; Sound Designers; Sound Editors; Production Sound Mixers; Re-recording Mixers; Music Editors; Music Mixers; Sound Assistants; Boom Operators; Post Production Supervisors Supervising Sound Editors; Sound Designers; Sound Editors; Production Sound Mixers; Re-recording Mixers; Music Editors; Music Mixers; Sound Assistants; Boom Operators; Post Production Supervisors. British Film Designers Guild The BFDG has been in existence since 1946 and was set up to represent the interests of British Art and Costume departments working across film, television and theatre. Membership includes Production Designers, Art Directors, Assistant Art Directors, Costume Designers, Storyboard Artists & Illustrators, Scenic Artists, Conceptual Artists, Miniature & SFX Designers, Graphic Designers, Art Department Co-ordinators, Draughtpersons, Construction Managers and Co-ordinators as well as Set Decorators. British Society of Cinematographers The British Society of Cinematographers is an educational, social and professional organisation. Formed in 1949, its prime objective has been to promote and encourage the highest standards in the art and craft of cinematography. Membership is by invitation only and includes some of the most talented Directors of Photography in the United Kingdom as well as many distinguished friends and patrons from the film and television industry as well as Associate Membership being awarded to some Camera Operators. Guild of British Camera Technicians The largest organization within the Cine Guilds is the GBCT! Not a union but an Association of professional camera technicians dedicated to upholding quality and standards in the film, television and related media industries. A not-for-profit organization, the GBCT represents top-class award-winning camera technicians who work in many different specialist areas of the industry especially Feature Film, Television Comedy, TV Drama as well as high-end Documentary, Factual and Entertainment programmes. There is a selection process for entry into the GBCT with membership comprising highly experienced and award-winning Directors of Photography, 2nd Unit Director/Cameramen, Camera and Steadicam operators, 1st & 2nd Assistant Camera, Key Grips, Grips, Gaffers, Script Supervisors, 3D Specialists, Video Assist Operators, HD and Digital Technicians, Specialists in Underwater, Aerial, Wildlife, Rostrum and Motion Control, Stills Photographers as well as Crane and Remote Head Operators. Guild of British Film & Television Editors The GBFTE is a top-class organisation of creatively trained Senior Editors specialising in cutting feature films and topend television drama and documentaries. Membership includes Supervising Film Editors; Sound Editors; Assembly Editors; Visual Effects Specialists; Assistant Editors; Student/ Intern Editors and Post-Production Supervisors. Guild of Location Managers The Guild of Location Managers is an organisation for professional location managers and membership of the Guild may be taken as evidence of a level of experience and a responsible, long-term approach to location management. Full members must have been working within the location department in the UK with a minimum of three years credits as a Full Location Manager. Associate Members should have been working in the UK for less than three years as location manager, assistant location manager, unit manager or location scout. Guild of Stunt & Action Co-ordinators The smallest group within the CGGB is GSAC whose Directory lists Stunt Co-ordinators and Second Unit Directors and includes members of the Stuntman’s Hall of Fame. GSAC Members are the winners of several awards including BAFTAs, Academy Awards, Emmy’s, and the World Stunt Association for Best Stunt or Best Stunt Co-ordination. National Association of Screen Make-up Artists & Hairdressers In 1996, six make-up artists got together and decided to start a group to promote and maintain the high standards of hair and make-up artists working across all screen related productions. They invited 50 other make-up and hair artists to join them and the rest is truly history, because since then, NASMAH has gradually developed and grown to encourage and support its growing membership which now also includes those working in theatre and/or specialising in prosthetics. All NASMAH members are experienced in working on film, video and HD and membership includes: Make-up Designers; Make-up Head of Department; Hair Designer; Hairdressing Head of Department; Make-up Artists; Hairdressers; Make-up Assistant; Hairdressing Assistant; Make-up Special FX; Designers and Creators; Wig Makers; Specialized Make-up Suppliers. 42 British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Joined-up thinking It’s all about joined-up thinking really, and to successfully pull all the strands together – as well as to keep information about the industry flowing internationally, Colin Brown, the British Film Commissioner, provided funds for the Cine Guilds portal which in turn linked all its members’ websites in one place so that productions could have quick access to the different crews they would need when setting up to shoot and post produce across the European arena. The recently launched: www.moviecrew.org.uk has met with much interest – especially from the USA – purely because producers have realised that members of the different associations are all very experienced, fully qualified and capable of doing the job required. And joined-up thinking (at the same time as building strong partnerships to ensure success) is the driving force behind many of the latest ongoing initiatives that Skillset through its Film Skills Fund have been financing. In the first few months of 2011 alone, Skillset has subsidized several conferences and training courses to develop the skills of a variety of industry professionals in different jobs. Priorities are continually evolving but for the moment are concentrating on 3D, Visual Effects and what is going on within the HiDef world. To this end, Neil Peplow, the outgoing Director of Film at Skillset has, in the first three months of 2011 supervised a 3D Conference and training course run by Principal Large Format; VFX illustrated lectures and demos aimed at Directors, and a very successful Beyond HD Conference run by Ravensbourne in partnership with the GBCT at Ravensbourne’s fantastic new state-of-the-art premises next door to the O2 in Greenwich. The 2-day BEYOND HD conference explored how industry professionals are pushing the boundaries of the very latest digital technology and some of its workshops included intensely practical information using the latest cameras from Arri (Alexa), Sony (F3), Canon (5D) and Red (EPIC). What was good about the conference was that those attending came from a variety of areas work-wise and had a broad spectrum of knowledge/experience. Speakers and tutors were supported by Ravensbourne’s student faculty and everyone learned something more from the collaborative nature of the whole conference which was also recorded by the student body. And several hundreds watched recordings of the conference live online; videos of some of these sessions will be available free very soon. The website: www.rave.ac.uk/ beyondhd lets you see what the conference covered and what sessions you might like to watch. Training and partnerships are essential life lines to ensure that new talent is equipped with top skills. Traditionally this has been made possible through using the pool of existing working talent. And it’s why British crews have such excellent international reputations for the work they produce. But that existing talent is precisely what is being pushed toward unnecessary fault lines of being ‘done away’ with instead of being looked at, encouraged and building upon its wisdom. The precarious nature of government administrative whims will inevitably effect how the industry fairs and we need to be wary of sweeping changes where the baby is thrown out with the bath water. By way of example, the current raft of sweeping ill-conceived changes are already having a devastating effect on the voluntary sector to the point where charities that fund prominent voluntary organisations are holding meetings to discuss how these vital services can be saved. Partnership working has proved an essential tool in nurturing talent – the Skillset case in point of bringing together existing talent to nurture new talent will hopefully ensure that as little devastation as possible occurs for our industry. John Keedwell, GBCT British Cinematographer Covering International Cinematography www.britishcinematographer.co.uk Issue 044 Classified –––Advertisements and subscription GET YOUR NEW IMAGO WORLD CINEMATOGRAPHERS DIRECTORY TODAY Only: £45 US$67 €49 Post & Packaging Extra Please enquire for rates to your country. Cheques payable to Laws Publishing Ltd. PLEASE RETURN YOUR PAYMENT TO: IMAGO Directory at British Cinematographer c/o Open Box Publishing 32-35 Hall Street Jewellery Quarter Birmingham B18 6BS For further information contact Stuart Walters Telephone: +44 (0)121 608 2300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SuB SCr ibe. 43 Subscribe to the award winning British Cinematographer WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE YOU WILL RECEIVE AN UNRIVALLED INSIGHT INTO INTERNATIONAL FILM PRODUCTION. ––– Each issue will carry HEADLINE INTERVIEWS with key industry players. 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