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SOC.ORG · SPRING 2017 VOL. 26, NO.2

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS . SPRING 2017

Westworld O.J. SIMPSON THE NIGHT OF VEEP


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CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS 4 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 6 NEWS & NOTES Awards Show, Drone & Aerial Workshop, and more

8 ESTABLISHING SHOT

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Casey Hotchkiss, SOC

36 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS Derek Stettler

40 SMOOTH OPERATOR Phillip V. Caruso, SMPSP

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43 THE VISION CENTER An Idea From the Tech Community to Fight Childhood Blindness Lisa Stacilausakas, SOC

44 INSIGHT

48 SOCIAL SOC Ian S. Takahashi, SOC

FEATURES 12 WESTWORLD "Welcome to Westworld…” Steven Matzinger, SOC & Greg Smith, SOC an interview with Kate McCallum

18 THE PEOPLE VS. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "Behind the Scenes of the Trial of the Century” Andrew Mitchell, SOC

26 VEEP "Making History Whether You Like It or Not” Bo Webb, SOC

30 THE NIGHT OF "A Hard Day’s Night” Bruce MacCallum, SOC & Ben Semanoff, SOC an interview with Derek Stettler

Meet the Members

30 CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

45 SOC ROSTER 47 AD INDEX ON THE COVER: WESTWORLD, Simon Quarterman and Sidse Babett Knudsen overlook the edge of Westworld Park. Filmed in Utah,. Photo by John P. Johnson/HBO

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Society of Camera Operators Board of Governors OFFICERS President George Billinger 1st Vice President Mitch Dubin 2nd Vice President Dan Turrett Secretary: Susan Campbell Treasurer Bill McClelland Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Frediani

BOARD MEMBERS Mark August Rochelle Brown Dan Coplan Eric Fletcher David Frederick David Allen Grove Frank Kay Hugh Litfin Alicia Robbins Eric Roizman David Sammons Chris Taylor

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Awards George Billinger, Bruce MacCallum, Dave Thompson, Dan Gold, Bill McClelland, Mitch

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Dubin, Dan Turrett Charities: Lisa Stacilauskas Events Mark August Historical Mike Frediani Membership Dan Turrett, Eric Roizman Technical Standards: Eric Fletcher

STAFF AND CONSULTANTS Membership Services & Operations Coordinator Madison Burgess Bookkeeper Angela Delgado Calligrapher Carrie Imai Business Consultant Kristin Petrovich Kennedy and Createasphere

CAMERA OPERATOR MAGAZINE Publishing Consultant Kristin Petrovich Kennedy Managing Editor Kate McCallum Layout & Production Stephanie Cameron VP of Advertising Matt Price

CONTRIBUTORS George Billinger, SOC Phillip V. Caruso, SMPSP Mitch Dubin, SOC Casey Hotchkiss, SOC

Steve Matzinger, SOC Bruce MacCallum, SOC Kate McCallum Andrew Mitchell, SOC Ari Robbins, SOC Ben Semanoff, SOC Greg Smith, SOC Derek Stettler Ian S. Takahashi, SOC Aiken Weiss, SOC Bo Webb, SOC Clay Westervelt, SOC Brenda Zuniga, SOC

PHOTOGRAPHY Saeed Adyani Claudette Barius Craig Blankenhorn Phillip V. Caruso, SMPSP Mary Funsten John P. Johnson Noah Hamilton Colleen Hayes Laura Layera Justin M. Lubin Mark Mann Ray Mickshawl Nick Mitchell Albert L. Ortega

Ari Robbins, SOC Hopper Stone Erica Weiner Malachi Weir

TRIVIA Source imdb.com

TO SUBSCRIBE or for subscription information questions: SOC.org or 818-563-9110

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION Matt Price, Director of Advertising mattprice@soc.org or 310-428-8071 For digital editions and back issues: SOC.org Camera Operator is a quarterly publication, published by the Society of Camera Operators.

Is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


Russell Carpenter, ASC

COMPROMISE IS OVERRATED. After putting it to the test in his latest project, cinematographer Russell Carpenter, ASC was impressed by the flexibility and color output of the new Canon EOS C700. It’s a Super35 format camera combining 4K onboard recording, a 15-stop dynamic range, and 4.5K resolution. Designed to match industry standards, operating the EOS C700 is instantly intuitive. Your story deserves no less.

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CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017 3 © 2017 Canon U.S.A., Inc. All rights reserved. Canon and EOS are registered trademarks of Canon Inc. in the United States and may also be registered trademarks or trademarks in other countries.


Letter from the President Dear SOC Members and Camera Operator Readers: Spring is definitely here. The time for plans and projects. We are looking forward to a full schedule of events, trade shows and workshops. I’d like to take a moment to celebrate and acknowledge the Lifetime Achievement Awards that were held on February 11, 2016. I want to extend congratulations to all who were nominated and honored, as well as a sincere thanks to all who presented, participated and volunteered. The Awards Show is a cornerstone of our Society; it celebrates the operator, crew and our industry peers, and we were proud to be able to celebrate this year’s esteemed recipients: Michael Keaton, Garrett Brown, SOC, Ari Robbins, SOC, Andrew Mitchell, SOC, Phil Caruso, Bobby Mancuso, Mike Moad, Shotover and That Cat. For additional details from the night, find this issue’s article, 2017 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards, by Derek Stettler. We are proud to be able to congratulate the operator and the incredible crews that craft such inspiring bodies of work each year. The Awards Show also honors and raises awareness for our charity, The Vision Center at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. This year, our Charity Committee led by Chair, Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC, collaborated with Clay Westervelt, SOC, and Dr. Thomas C. Lee of the Vision Center, to produce another outstanding video for The Vision Center to communicate and increase recognition for their mission and new initiatives. The SOC stands strongly behind our commitment to the Vision Center at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and looks forward to a long future working together! Please mark your calendar for the upcoming SOC Events across the country this Spring and Summer:

• April 22 – 27: NAB in Las Vegas, featuring the SOC Panel How I Got the Shot and the Annual SOC NAB Party, both on Monday, April 24

• May 6: SOC Drone and Aerial Camera Operating Workshop, Los Angeles For a complete list of all events, see the SOC website: soc.org/events. Sincerely,

George Billinger, SOC Society of Camera Operators, President

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


NEW LENSES October 2016

15 18 21 25 29 35

June 2016

40 50 75 100 135

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THE SOC TRAVELS NORTH: STORY SUMMIT 2017 Stephen Campanelli, SOC and Sean Savage, Assoc BSC, ACO & SOC traveled to the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity in Banff, Canada to present at Story Summit 2017. They taught a half-day workshop, Script to Set, to a packed house of engaged attendees. The workshop addressed how they approach the creative process of transforming words into images, working with the DP, and where they find inspiration.  Stephen Campanelli gave a keynote address, and Sean Savage and Fabian Wagner discussed their creative relationship on the set of Game of Thrones.  All three hosted lunch table discussions throughout the three days allowing the participants to ask one-on-one questions.  The event was a great showing for the SOC and helped to continue to advance the craft of operating in Canada.

News & Notes NAB SOC PANEL SOC will present two events on April 24th at NAB in Las Vegas, April 22-27th. From 5:00–6:15pm the SOC will present a panel discussion called How I Got the Shot in the South Hall Theater of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

JOIN US FOR THE ANNUAL NAB PARTY On Monday, April 24, 7:30-9:30 pm at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace Casino, Las Vegas.

SOC DRONE AND AERIAL CAMERA OPERATING WORKSHOP Saturday May 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. This one-day workshop produced in association with the SAC: Society Of Aerial Cinematography will focus on the role of camera operating and drones.  This new tool, used by many productions to enhance storytelling, opens up opportunities for camera operators, but also liability.  This intensive one-day workshop will give operators the basics and hands on experience, taught by credited drone operators and pilots. More details and registration information For more information see www.soc.org Left: Sean Savage and Stephen Campanelli present at Story Summit. Photo courtesy of Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

APRIL •

April 22-27 NAB Show 2017 @ Las Vegas Convention Center April 24 SOC Panel How I Got That Shot @ NAB Show, Las Vegas Convention Center, 5:00-6:15pm April 24 SOC NAB Party @ Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Caesars Palace Casino 7:30–9:30pm

• • 6

May 6 SOC Drone and Aerial Camera Operating Workshop May 7 Chapman Leonard Product Showcase @ Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment Inc. May 20 JL Fisher BBQ @ JL Fisher, 9:00am–4:00pm

May 21 Board of Governors’ Meeting @ 10:00am–1:00pm

JUNE

MAY

Calendar

June 1-4th Cine Gear Expo 2017 @ The Studios at Paramount June 1-4 SOC Booth #60A @ Cine Gear Expo at The Studios at Paramount June 2 SOC Panel @ Cine Gear Expo at The Studios at Paramount 5:15–6:15pm, Screening Room 5 June 18 SOC General Breakfast Meeting

JULY

July 16 July Board of Governors’ Meeting @ 10:00am–1:00pm

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


Great Cinematography Starts with Great Glass.

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by Casey Hotchkiss, SOC

Establishing Shot

Shooting THE BOSS. Photo courtesy of Casey Hotchkiss

Ever since I was in high school, I have been interested in filmmaking. I bought an 8mm film camera and started making short movies. I also started a film club in high school and went on to Iowa State University to study film. My uncle, Milas Hinshaw, was a producer, director, and cameraman doing low-budget Disney films, Bill Burrud travel adventures, and he gave me my first job at age 19 as an assistant cameraman. In 1976, after college, I was coming back from Bora Bora after doing a Bill Burrud film called Devil’s Mountain, starring me as an amateur archeologist (of which I was not), and I was the assistant cameraman. It was a summer job, and on the way back home to Philadelphia, I stopped in LA and found a job with Gene McCabe Productions doing industrial Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge films for the dealerships. After 2 years I moved up to director of photography, making $350.00 a week. Russ Alsobrook had been the DP before me and he moved up to directing. Russ is now a member of the ASC, and to this day we still work together!

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I left Gene McCabe Productions in 1978 because when we weren’t shooting, Gene McCabe had me painting his house and planting trees on his property, because I was on payroll. I told myself that I would be working at The Burbank Studios (now Warner Bros.) by August 1, 1978. Local 600 opened up enrollment that year if you could prove you had 30 days experience. Contract Services tried to keep me out, and asked for a plane ticket from Bora Bora to prove I had worked on Devil’s Mountain. It was two years later, but I still had that ticket so they had to let me in. On August 1, 1978, I got my first union job as a 2nd AC on Kaz, a TV show starring Ron Leibman, with DP, Ken Lamkin, ASC, and Allen Easton, SOC as my 1st AC. I worked on my first feature in 1979 with Ken and Allen called, Scavenger Hunt. After a year of working as a 2nd AC, I moved up to 1st AC on Ten Speed and Brown Shoe, a TV show with Ben Vereen, and Jeff Goldblum. Bill Gereghty was the DP. I worked with Bill for 10 years as an assistant, and did Magnum PI in Hawaii for 4 years. He

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moved me up to camera operator on MacGyver in 1987, where I had previously worked as the A camera 1st AC. They shot the show in Vancouver, and didn’t want to bring anyone so after two weeks they fired the operator in Vancouver, and said they wanted to bring in an experienced operator from Hollywood. It was my first day!

sneakers and he said to John, “Who is this guy? He’s the operator?” He ended up liking my work and we became good friends and did many movies together including; Beautiful, Red Eye, Get Him to the Greek, Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, Love and Mercy, and Ghostbusters. I don’t wear shorts anymore!

I was nervous because I had to pretend I was an experienced Hollywood operator. Luckily, I had the support of the director, Cliff Boles, the DP, and the producers. I managed to pull it off. Operating on a TV show is the best way to move up, because you are thrown into every kind of situation, and you have to get it on the first or second take.

Between doing movies I have been working on the TV show New Girl, with Russ Alsobrook, ASC of which I have been lucky to have shot eight episodes as DP when Russ has directed. Lucky me! It all goes full circle. Here I am back with Russ again.

I first met Dean Cundey, ASC in 1980 after meeting Ray Stella, and Clyde Bryan who I worked with on the TV show Walking Tall. They did a lot of the B camera work on the show where I was the A camera 1st AC. They helped me get a job doing B camera on Halloween 2 and I subsequently worked on many more movies with Dean, Ray, and Clyde including; Halloween 3, DC Cab, The Thing, and Project X. I first operated with Dean on Roadhouse on B camera. I operated on many shows with Dean as the B camera operator and was given a chance to do A camera on Apollo 13. Ray Stella moved up to DP shooting 2nd units so I took his place. Lucky me! I learned so much from Dean and am proud to call him my friend. I’ve done 18 movies with Dean, including; The Flintstones, Garfield, The Holiday, Casper, Jack and Jill, Looney Tunes, and The Spy Next Door. I have been very fortunate to have worked with so many great DPs. I worked with Isidore Mankofsky, ASC for four years doing probably 20 TV movies. I got the job because when I was hired on C camera for the TV movie, Polly One More Time, I was the only operator that got the shot on one of the dance numbers and he remembered that. Lucky me!

I have always believed in having the camera tell the story, but now days, especially on TV comedies and movie comedies, they want the editing to tell the story. Shoot everything possible and don’t do oners! Oh well! Unlucky me! I moved up to camera operator in 1987 on MacGyver, a TV series with director of photography, William F. Gereghty. In those days there was no video assist and we shot on film. As a camera operator, 90% of your job was gaining the confidence of the director. You had to make quick decisions while communicating to the director after the shot as to whether there were any problems or not. They didn’t want to hear a lot of dialogue about it. Was it good? Or bad? As an operator you had to understand editing too. If you knew that a particular shot would probably not be used at a certain point, then you might not bring it up to the director (such as a quick out of focus shot, or an over the shoulder shot that was blocked for a second). A lot has changed in the new digital age! We used to be the ones who “Saw It First,” but now with video village, we all see it at the same time, and usually on a small lessor quality monitor, Oh well!

I worked with James Glennon, ASC for a few years, too, on ten TV movies, and on the feature Election. He was a great mentor. He taught me to get the audience involved in the movie by letting them finish the picture in your framing. For instance, if you are shooting a building with, let’s say a flag on it, it would be okay to cut into the flag (not show the whole flag), so the viewers can subconsciously finish the picture. Interesting? I met Robert McLachlan, ASC on Final Destination. I interviewed with the director, James Wong, and producer, Glen Morgan, and they hired me to go to Vancouver. I didn’t meet Rob McLachlan until the first day of shooting. I felt like a political hire, but we ended up getting along, and did many more movies together including; Final Destination 3, The One, Willard, Cursed, and Dragonball Evolution. Lucky me! I first worked with Robert Yeoman ASC on an HBO movie called, The Pentagon Wars. John Boccaccio recommended me, mainly because Bob was used to operating the camera himself and had to hire an operator. Our first day I was wearing shorts and tall white socks and

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Photo by Hopper Stone Casey Hotchkiss, SOC started in TV and then began operating on features in the 90’s. He has worked with such cinematographers as; Dean Cundey, ASC, Robert Yeoman, ASC, Russ Alsobrook, ASC, Robert McLachlan ASC, Julio Macat, ASC, James Glennon, ASC, and Daryn Okada, ASC. His credits include; Apollo 13, Election, The Holiday, Ghostbusters, Bridesmaids, and Final Destination to name a few.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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Westworld Welcome to Westworld…

by Steven Matzinger, SOC & Greg Smith, SOC an interview with Kate McCallum

Ed Harris and crew on location. Photo by John P. Johnson/HBO

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TRIVIA: Jonathan Nolan describes Westworld as "The next chapter of the human story, in which we stop being protagonists."

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


Westworld is an American science fiction, western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy for HBO. It is based on the 1973 film of the same name, which was written and directed by American novelist Michael Crichton. Nolan and Joy serve as executive producers along with J. J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, and Bryan Burk. The story takes place in the fictional Westworld, a technologically advanced Wild Westthemed amusement park populated by androids dubbed "hosts." Westworld caters to high-paying visitors called "guests,” who may indulge in whatever they wish within the park, supposedly without the fear of retaliation from the hosts. The series' debut on HBO garnered the network's highest viewership ratings for a premiere since the first episode of True Detective in 2014, and Westworld ranks as the mostwatched first season of an HBO original series ever. Westworld has received positive reviews by critics, with particular praise for the visuals, story, and acting.

Anderson, and dolly grip, Audie Aragon.

Steven Matzinger, SOC and Greg Smith, SOC were both nominated for the 2017 SOC Camera Operator of the Year Television Award for their outstanding work on Westworld. Here they share some of their experiences shooting this challenging and exciting series.

Smith: Most of my work has been in featured films. The last TV series I’ve worked on was The X-Files.

CO: How did you get hired to work on Westworld? Matzinger: I think because Westworld was going to be shot on film and was going to be such a technically challenging project, two of the first people hired on the job were first A.C.s; Mike Weldon and Bob Hall. I've known Mike and Bob for over 20 years, and I've done several movies with Bob both as an assistant and as an operator. The DPs, Brendan Galvin and Rob McLachlan were looking for operators and Bob and Mike put my name in. Smith: I was hired by the DP, Brendan Galvin, with whom I’ve worked on many feature films. I’ve also had a very close relationship with few other people on the crew, such as first assistant, Mike Weldon, key grip, Mike

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

CO: Have both of you worked in TV for a while? What is your background in TV? Matzinger: It's been maybe the last five or six years that TV seems to be where most of my jobs are coming from. Before that it was a mix of features, TV, and commercial work.

CO: How does it work to have multiple operators? How do you all work together? Matzinger: On Westworld there were two A camera operators named for the nomination because partway into shooting Greg Smith got sick and left the show. I took over as the A camera operator. The SOC nominates the operator or operators who did the majority of the A camera work. In the case of Westworld it was really fitting that there were two names on the nomination, and really there should have been a dozen more names on the ballot because the project became so large, it was like an ensemble cast of operators. Don Devine and Tommy Lohmann each came in and did an episode, and David Frederick headed up a huge second unit in Utah. And of course, Chris Haarhoff was the A operator on the pilot. We also had several great Steadicam operators, and B camera operators come onto the show. I think what

it does say is how high the caliber of crews working on the show were that everyone's work came together so seamlessly. Smith: It has become an industry standard to work with multiple operators. Working with a fellow operator like Steve Matzinger is a complete pleasure. The ability to work as a team and collaborate together with Steve is immeasurable when working on a complicated show like Westworld. CO: Where is the series shot? Matzinger: Production was based at Melody Ranch in Santa Clarita. The high-tech interior sets were shot on their stages. Melody Ranch also served as the location for the main street set of the town of Sweetwater. For the show’s vast exteriors we were all over the various surrounding ranches like; Big Sky, Blue Cloud, Disney Ranch, Paramount Ranch, and Vasquez Rocks. It was a lot of fun to frame up Ed Harris and James Marsden riding up on horseback against these iconic California western backdrops that I had grown up watching in films and TV too. CO: What type of challenges did you have working on the series? Matzinger: Westworld has a large scope. It's a period piece set both in the future and the past, and in a mix of time somewhere in between, with a very complex story line, and complex locations and sets. Every department

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was challenged. As an operator I try to keep an eye out for everyone, especially on a detail-oriented show like this, and it sure helps knowing I have great guys around watching my back. Fortunately, not only did we have one of the best camera, grip, and lighting crews, but every department was really on their game. Smith: Westworld wanted a featured film look. With this desire and the television schedule, we were always faced with the balance between compromise and perfection. CO: Who makes up the team? Matzinger: As I said before the grip, lighting and camera crew responsible for the making of the first season was quite an ensemble. But also there were six directors of photography responsible for the first season. Paul Cameron and his crew shot the pilot episode. Then Brandon Galvin and Rob McLachlan, and our crew came in and shot the next seven ep-

isodes. After the seventh episode, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy put the show on a hiatus so they so they could fine tune some of the scripts.

of great experiences I've had working in this business.

When we came back from hiatus, Brendan and Rob were no longer available so Jeff Jur and David Franco came in and shot episodes nine and ten. Michael Bonvillain shot the Utah unit and David Mullen came in and did some additional photography.

Matzinger: I think most everyone on our set had worked with film as recently as a year or two earlier. So it wasn't that it was nostalgic to them, but still everyone kept it in the back of their heads that this was special. The care of a light meter, the pause for a reload, the checking of the gate all have a special place in most filmmaker’s hearts.

I was fortunate to work both halves of Season 1 with all of Season 1’s directors of photography (except for the pilot with Paul Cameron). Wow, what a firsthand lighting seminar for me! I got to have my eye to the camera and see six different, really brilliant cameramen, individually approach a same set of challenges; the same sets, the same actors, and the same themes, using their own techniques, tastes and instincts to tell this complex story. It really ranks high in the list

CO: Can you speak about the tech used to shoot the series?

Furthermore, we shot almost exclusively on a set of Leica Summilux Prime lenses. So the fact that we were reloading the Arri cams after every thousand feet, had no handheld shots, and had prime lens changes for each set up, made us that much more mindful and in the present as we set and executed each shot. I think that mindfulness can sometimes get lost in the haste of modern day TV making.

TRIVIA: Some scenes are filmed at Paramount Ranch. It's been used by Paramount Pictures since 1923, but not just for westerns. CSI, Weeds, and The X-Files are among the shows that have also filmed scenes there. Ed Harris, tips his hat to host Dolores played by Evan Rachel Wood. Filmed at Melody Ranch in Santa Clarita. Photo by John P. Johnson/HBO

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


CO: How was it working with actors playing androids?

and Kirk Douglas, or playing piano while we were lighting.

Matzinger: The work was pretty dark and intense, and the sets were quiet and focused out of respect to allow for the actors like Evan (Evan Rachel Wood), to do her work. Which was pretty amazing—her transitions had to snap back and forth from emotionally disarrayed host to a staid computer interface in diagnostic mode. Sets with big name actors doing intense work can get very uptight, but Evan, Tony (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and Ed (Ed Harris), and Jonah and Lisa, the show creators, all really kept a relaxed mood on set so the cast and crew all could enjoy their work and meet their full potential. Especially Tony, who if anyone called him Sir Anthony Hopkins he'd immediately correct them with a humility and grace, and ask them to please call him Tony. He was a lot of fun and kept things light by doing impressions of Burt Lancaster

Smith: All of the actors were professionals in their craft and had the innate ability to transition in and out of their characters as needed. This made working with them seamless. CO: What’s in the future for each of you? Matzinger: I consider the nomination and recognition by the members of the SOC to be a great honor, very much one of the highlights of my career. To be recognized alongside Greg Smith, SOC, Bob Gorelick, SOC, and Stephen Campanelli, SOC all of whom were operators I had worked with, and looked up to back when I was still a second assistant. It is quite an honor, it's a lot of fun. Right now? I am working on a TV show, Ray Donovan with Rob McLachlan. He was just nominated by the CSC for Westworld, and also for Ray Donovan. So he is competing against himself, I hope one of him wins.

T E C H O N S E T:

Three Arrica

m LTs 3 perf Steadicam Lenses were Leica & Sum milux Prime s Shot on 35 mm film 35mm Koda k vision 3 2 50D (5207) 35mm Kod ak vision 3 500T (5219 ) 35mm Eastm an EXR 50D (5245) 16x9 aspec t ratio

Smith: Being nominated by the SOC for the 2017 Operator of the Year for Television was one of the highlights of my career. I’m going to continue to work in the industry, as well as, take my years of operating experience to instruct camera operators of all levels.

TRIVIA: Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy wanted to give the series a "Blade Runner (1982) feel" and wanted to make the series much darker than the 1973 film. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jeffery Wright in the Diagnostic set. Photo by John P. Johnson/HBO

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

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Steven Matzinger, SOC, Award Nominee 2017 SOC Camera Operator of the Year – Television

Greg Smith, SOC, Award Nominee 2017 SOC Camera Operator of the Year – Television

Shortly after Steve earned his BFA in Illustration, he had an opportunity to load film on a movie. He enjoyed the collaboration it took to make pictures and was hooked. He worked up through the ranks from loader, on many different kinds of projects. From big Photo by Mary Funsten action movies with Jan De Bont and Ridley Scott, intense thrillers with David Fincher and Harris Savides, to being in the Galapagos with Peter Weir and Russell Boyd. To working weeks at a time under water and doing complex visual effects units with Mark Vargo, to documenting big surf and off-road racing with Dana Brown, to shooting tiny labor of love art films. Every day he still feels excited to continue to get to learn from great directors, DPs, operators and assistants, share ideas and do what he started out wanting to do, build images.

Greg Smith has lived in Los Angeles all his life and began his career at 23, as a trainee in Local 600. He worked as an assistant before beginning his career as an operator. He has always wanted to be an operator who is involved in the whole process, which is Photo by Saeed Adyani why he operates handheld, conventional, Steadicam, remote head and Ultimate Arm. These are all tools that he can use very well to help the director and DP’s make their films and tell their stories, depending on the mood and style required. He has worked with very well respected DP’s and directors such as, Don Peterman and Ron Howard, John Seale and Wolfgang Peterman, and John Toll with Ang Lee, as well as, Jonathan Sela, Brendan Galvin, Shelly Johnson, Steven Poster, and David Tattersall. He has also been very lucky to have worked with some of the best crews around, including a ‘dream crew’ on Westworld.

Thandie Newton as Maeve takes a good hard look at Clementine, played by Angela Sarafyan. Photo by John P. Johnson/HBO

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TRIVIA: The saloon is one of the sets at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Newhall, California. The replica frontier town was once owned by western star Gene Autry.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

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The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Behind the Scenes of the Trial of the Century Andrew Mitchell, SOC

THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "Conspiracy Theories" Episode 107. Pictured: (L to R) Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O.J. Simpson. Photo by Ray Mickshaw/FX

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TRIVIA: A lot of the series was filmed at Los Angeles Center Studios. For instance, the police station and anything related to the detective scenes. The courtroom was built at FOX.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is the first season of the FX true crime anthology television series American Crime Story. The limited run series debuted on February 2, 2016, and is based on Jeffrey Toobin's book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson (1997). This provocative series investigates the infamous O.J. Simpson murder case, and the legal teams battling to convict or acquit the football legend of double homicide. The People v. O.J. Simpson was acclaimed, receiving praise for most of the performances, directing and writing. For the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, the season received 22 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, in 13 categories, winning nine, more than any other show including Outstanding Limited Series. It also won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for Sarah Paulson.

huge amount of skill and talent to the storytelling. I like to let all operators bring ideas and with O.J., we needed every idea we could get. I wanted the style of the show to be loose, and feel like a window into a world that was really happening. Andrew Mitchell, Brice Reid, and Jesse Feldman all were masterful at interpreting and then capturing these moments. They each brought a unique perspective and could adjust to capture things we could never plan for.” —DP, Nelson Cragg

The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was a creative collaboration. Even though I tend to get the spotlight as the A-camera/Steadicam operator, many other talented crew members deserve much of the credit for the show’s great work. At the helm was DP, Nelson Cragg. On A-camera was my usual team: 1st assistant camera, Penny Sprague, and 2nd assistant camera, Ben Perry. Brice Reid operated B-camera.

RECOLLECTIONS FROM THE SET

THE BACKGROUND We all came from other director/producer/ writer Ryan Murphy shows, myself from Glee and Brice from American Horror Story. Jesse Feldman rounded out the crew on C-camera, and was also our 2nd unit DP. Jesse was familiar from Sons of Anarchy and Nelson had attended USC with him. Nelson was great at using our individual styles as operators to benefit the show. “As the cinematographer on THE PEOPLE VS. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY, I was incredibly fortunate to have a team of operators as skilled as this team. I have always believed that great operators bring a

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

I have been working on Ryan Murphy projects since 2008. We were finishing the pilot for his new comedy Scream Queens with Michael Goi, ASC, when he asked us to join Nelson on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. At first, I thought hasn't this story been overly covered? O.J. was on TV for hundreds of hours. But I soon realized this was the story behind the story, which is worthy of a binge-watch. Of all the shows I’ve done, this one got the most feedback from other industry members who usually don't have time to watch TV, right?

WORKING WITH THE TEAM My approach with working with DP’s and directors is that of a chameleon. Some DP’s will like to collaborate more than others, some want you to jump in and set things up while others like to assign specific shots. So, as operators, we change to suit whoever we work with. It's similar with a director—you get feedback and adapt. Some will like it when you tag actions such as picking up a prop, and others prefer to stay with "the money.” O.J.

was a mix of styles all under the loose “docu-style” look Nelson designed for the show. I would work on the main shot discussed with Nelson and the director, then Brice and Nelson would set up something more off-angle with compositional interest, and Jesse would get a special tasks. We regularly ran three cameras at a time, so staying out of each other’s shots was a challenge that often spurred some very creative and graphic frames. “Often when I was operating, Andrew and Brice would start setting up their shots, and Nelson would just tell me, “Jesse, find something cool. Shoot whatever you want.” It became quite a fun challenge for me to find a shot at times when the other cameras were seeing everywhere. During the courtroom scene when Cochran plants the idea to have O.J. try on the gloves, he and Darden approached the bench for a sidebar. While the other cameras were shooting coverage, the only place I could think of to hide was in the middle of the actors, on the floor looking straight up at the three of them, just below the other cameras’ frames. It ended up being a great shot with the wonderful fluorescents of that courtroom ceiling as a background. On another job, someone might think I was crazy to put a camera there, but on this job, that shot got me an excited ‘Attaboy’ from the director after we cut.” —C-camera, Jesse Feldman

TO MATCH OR NOT TO MATCH About three weeks in, I expressed my concern to Nelson about the variety of operating styles between the three cameras. Should we match? Should I adapt? He assured me that the array of styles was all part of the desired

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docu-style look. And, seeing the show put together, it worked very well. On O.J., we did a lot of hand-held. Between operators, we each had our preferences. I did most on my shoulder, or underslung with a strap, and occasionally I used a boat seat on the dolly. “I used two different kinds of handheld rigs on ACS. I used my Gore Link setup and my Suspender Rig which is an advanced EZ rig.“ —Brice Reid Jesse has a shoulder support device that’s really inventive and works well. The Steadicam was used often, as well as studio mode on dollies and sliders. We also employed the Pursuit Porsche Camera Car, Grip Trix Tracker XL, and techno cranes from CraneShot. We used lots of motion: circular motion with the Steadicam, camera whip-pans, fast and slow push-ins, searching hand-held, to name a few. We did some shutter angle changes on occasion. One fun tool is the Lensbaby,

T E C H O N S E T:

Sim Digital, which we used for the conspiracy flashback Arri Alexa Angenieux 2 sequences. It is essentially a lens hanging 5-250, Ang enieux Optimo ligh tweight zoo from a bellows. There are locking tabs ms, Zeiss Ult primes, GPI ra PRO (Stead for the lens, but we mostly used them icam rig) w Transvideo it h monitor an loose, one hand on the camera and d Anton Ba batteries, G uer rip Trix - Tra cker XL cam the other on the Lensbaby. We crePursuit Syst era vehicle, e m sP o rs c he Cayenne ated these ultra-stylized frames using Car, Techno Camera cranes from the shift focus to draw the audience’s CraneShot, Chapman H D ollies: ustler, Chap attention to specific objects and to give man PeeWe 4s, Fisher 1 e 0 Boat seat, a surreal look to these conspiracy theory Bob-Seat, Gore-Link, and Easy-Rig scenes. For example, objects popped in and out of focus similar to when you take a lens on and off the camera.

PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES In Episode 6, when shooting a confrontational scene in the courtroom, Brice Reid recalls a particular challenge, “There were these intense whip-pans and push-ins that director/ producer, Ryan Murphy wanted. We would rapidly dolly in to a close-up then whip 180 degrees to the person they were addressing and reverse dolly in on them. Andrew and I decided we would ping pong back and forth

on these shots. We laid this intense dance floor to accommodate rapid push-ins, booming and whip-pans. It really took some good timing between operator, dolly grip, focus puller and actors. When we finished the background audience gave a standing ovation. I will never forget that scene, it was a lot of fun and challenging.” This series of shots was even featured as a sketch on the James Corden's Late Late Show.

TRIVIA: A portion of California's I-710 (doubling for I-405) was closed off over two weekend periods just to shoot the LAPD's low-speed pursuit of Simpson in friend A.C. Cowlings's white Ford Bronco. THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "The Run of His Life" Episode 102. Pictured: Bronco chase. Photo by Ray Mickshaw/FX

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

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I received emails about another maneuver which involved a crane shot from the clock in the back of the courtroom to Judge Ito's stand. Originally, we tilted down from the clock, did a 180 spin on the remote head, tilted back up, and proceeded toward the judge. The spin was distracting and took too much time. So Anthony Hemingway, the director, and I decided to hang the clock upside-down which would look upright to an up-side down camera and just tilt 180 towards the front of the courtroom and then arm in on the crane. It was much less distracting than the pivot but it does make your mind pause for a moment.

GETTING THE SHOT

and clerk’s booth. We pulled Ito’s bench away from the back wall, unscrewed and separated the judge’s bench from the witness stand and clerk’s booth, then built ramps and runways around the entire setup. Using the Steadicam, I did revolutions around the attorneys up the ramp, and behind Ito’s chair then back down another ramp to behind the attorneys again. Using low and high angles we could hide the “cheated” set pieces. The shot turned out really great. “Ryan Murphy and Nelson were both always pushing to do Steadicam oners whenever possible, and every time I got the chance to work

For a scene where Judge Ito has the two lawyers, Cochran and Clark, approach the bench for a side-bar discussion, Ryan wanted to circle around the three of them. It was challenging because the judge’s bench is connected to the witness stand

with Andrew on one of these as the double-up or 2nd-unit DP, I felt like a kid in a sandbox, just playing around and sculpting a shot that tells the story. It really was a great experience that I will remember for a long, long time!” —Jesse Feldman

ILLUSIONS OF MOVING THE CAMERA For many scenes, we would shoot a Steadi-style oner first, and afterward cover as needed. 1st AC, Penny Sprague did a phenomenal job pulling focus on these often improvisational Steadicam scenes. She has an incredible feel for timing and ability to flow with change. In order to give these oners even more visual interest, 2nd AC, Ben Perry would operate the wireless zoom via a Preston single channel unit. This way we could go from a very wide shot to a tight lens close-up, and back out again. It sometimes gave the illusion of moving the camera into a place that wasn’t physically possible.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE We used a variety of equipment on set that helped us achieve our shots. Our camera package was rented from SIM Digital. We used Arri Alexa's with Angenieux 25-250, Angenieux Optimo lightweight

This page and opposite: Behind the scenes of THE PEOPLE v. OJ SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY. Photos by Ray Mickshaw/FX

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


zooms, and Zeiss Ultra primes. My rig is GPI-PRO and I use a Transvideo monitor and Anton Bauer batteries. I like to use a Fisher 10 boat seat, bob-seat which dolly grip, Corey Corona introduced to me to when doing low to high hand-held and tracking moves that want to be smoother than traditional hand-held. It's an actual pivoting fishing boat seat mounted on to the Mitchell plate of a dolly. For dollies we carried Fisher and Chapmans to suit the dolly grips. I do believe in giving people their preferred tool. I like the Chapman Hustler. Although I'm known for saying that the Chapman Super PeeWee® IV is the greatest dolly ever made. One thing about working with multiple cameras that I find very important, is to communicate with each other and follow through. Nelson would often allow us to shoot any direction without equipment in the shot. There was a learning curve so

we didn’t step on each other’s toes, both figuratively and physically. By the end, we were a smooth team of operators backing each other up, and covering the needs of the show. Everyone on the team did their part. We learned not to be greedy, to respect each other, to recognize if there is a hero shot, to communicate and keep things upbeat.

KEEP IT SIMPLE My motto is to get the shot you want in the simplest, most efficient way. We do a lot of work and we don't need to burden our grip brothers with excess. You don't make allies in the grip department by laying way too much track or dance floor. I tend to be a thinker before we set up a shot. I believe by taking a minute to think through the shot’s needs and coordinate with other cameras, you save time later. That's not to say, I never have to re-lay track or add dance floor, but if we don't need the board

that goes under the china cabinet, that will save moving the dishes, then the cabinet out and back. I don’t mean cutting corners, but working efficiently.

WORKING WITH THE CAST One of the great things about working on O.J. was the stellar cast. They won a lot of well-deserved awards. So many are true actors, they can give an outstanding performance and also be technical, hit a mark, stand smoothly, raise a prop for camera, and wait to deliver a line at just the right moment. The cast of O.J. were great onscreen and off. An operator has a special relationship with the cast. We watch out for and support each other. There were several moments when right after a tremendous take on both sides of the camera there was a meaningful connection between actor and operator. It could be a smile, nod, wink, thumbs up, all meaning that the scene had just hit its harmony.

TRIVIA: The exterior scenes of the front of Nicole Simpson's condo was an outdoor set constructed in a driveway, several houses down on the same street, from the original house. It was built in a long driveway, and heavy use of CGI was utilized in post-production to best match how it would have looked from across the street in 1994. This included digitally adding foliage, a second story to the condo and altering the curb side area.

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

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SHOOTING THE CHASE SCENE Working on the freeway for the Bronco chase was a great experience. We closed a section of the 710 freeway and chased the Bronco around with a Pursuit Systems Porsche Cayenne camera car, a Grip Trix Tracker XL vehicle, several passes handheld in the picture vehicles, some insert car work, and Jesse had some incredible long lens work. The day started with 2nd unit (DP, Spencer Combs) doing car tracking shots while 1st unit shot coverage of dia-

logue surrounding the Bronco chase, then we ended with first unit doing Pursuit vehicle with first team. The camera car drivers were superb. Working on O.J. was a huge collaboration between operators. Every camera’s work was showcased in the series. In early February, this same group finished Feud, another Ryan Murphy series, about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. It has a more classic feel matching the 1960's period with beautiful wide shots and very deliberate planned camera movement.

Andrew Mitchell, SOC, Awardee 2017 SOC Camera Operator of the Year – Television Andrew Mitchell, SOC has operated on 344 television episodes, including Touched by an Angel, Everwood, Glee, Scream Queens, People vs. OJ Simpson, Feud: Bette and Joan, and the upcoming American Crime Story: Versace. “I love being an operator because it mixes artistic expression, technical knowledge, physicality and social interaction. Photography by Nick Mitchell

The view from inside the pursuit vehicle as the crew prepares to shoot the LAPD slow-speed chase down the 405.. Photo by Penny Sprague

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


WEAPON 8K S35 DELIVERS MORE THAN JUST 35 MILLION PIXELS

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

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Veep Making History Whether You Like It or Not by Bo Webb, SOC

TRIVIA: The actors are often given a take called “One For Fun” where they are free to improvise or expand on existing material. Those improvs are often added to the final cut. Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer. Photo credit: Justin M. Lubin/HBO

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


TRIVIA: No real-life contemporary politician appears or is mentioned on the show.

Veep is an award-winning American political satire comedy television series starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus that premiered on HBO on April 22, 2012. The series was created by Armando Iannucci as an adaptation of the British sitcom The Thick of It. Veep is set in the office of Selina Meyer, a fictional Vice President, and subsequent President, of the United States. The series follows Meyer and her team as they attempt to make their mark and leave a lasting legacy without getting tripped up in the day-to-day political games that define Washington, D.C. I was brought on to Veep during their third season by my friend and most excellent camera operator, Spencer Combs. We had worked together on Eastbound & Down, another HBO show. Spencer took over as DP on Veep for the fourth season and I became the A operator, with B operator, Sean Maxwell at my side. At the time the show was filmed in Baltimore with two cameras and the show runner, Armando Iannucci, and his writers were mostly English. Veep was a kind of American version of The Thick of It, a show about English politics that I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it. As with The Thick of It and other BBC comedies, early Veep wasn’t too concerned with aesthetic beauty—it looked messy and “unlit” on purpose. The real star of the show was the acting and writing. The operating was meant to feel amateurish and haphazard, with little or no regard for elegance or the 180 degree rule. The operators weren't amateurs, of course, so the trick then was to make it look that way while still catching all the beats necessary to tell the story. That still holds true, but the look of show has evolved over the years. Part of my job is to maintain that visual continuity season to season while allowing room for different DPs to work their magic, make the show look better and keep our schedule sane. For the fifth, and now sixth season of Veep, the show is filmed in Los Angeles with a new show runner, David Mandel, and a host of new talented writers. To their credit the show is as funny and sharp as ever, as evidenced by

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

their ever expanding collection of Emmys and other awards. Luckily I was one of the crew members asked to stay on the show as it moved west. Tim Bellen was the DP Season 5, and now for Season 6 it’s David Miller. It’s a really gratifying show for an operator. It’s all hand-held, which is a thing these days to be sure, but the joy of it comes from being a part of the comedy of the show. Timing is everything, as they say, and it’s very true here. My job is to “find the funny,” which can sometimes mean getting to a joke at an unexpected time, lingering on a reaction, or choosing a rhythm that feels unrehearsed. When it works it can make really strong material just a bit funnier and that’s why I love my job. A part of the process, as it were. This show has always had a particular visual vocabulary. It’s a hand-held docu-style show, but not as evident as say The Office, where the conceit of having cameras in the room is written in. Our cameras are “hiding” in the halls of power, tucked around corners or behind lamps using longer lenses, swish panning from character to character and jumping across the line on occasion to confirm that improvised feeling. We also lay off the zooms during shots and instead use longer lenses on different setups. If you watch the show, however, there are scenes that play in a more traditional space, close to the actors. We’re not so strict about it, especially when we need to be in a character’s head (or if we’re shooting in a small room). It’s important that the cameras don’t anticipate the

dialogue or the joke, which makes the show feel much more improvised than it actually is. Armando described it to me once in this way—his ideal process would be to have the camera operators kept off the set while the actors block and rehearse scenes, then they’d be placed in the room right before rolling, and left to their own devices to capture the scene as best they could. I love that idea and keep it in mind as I shoot. We now use three cameras, also becoming de rigueur these days, and operators Josh Williamson, Johnny Martin, and I often shoot “around the horn,” or perhaps in the “Yamaha” (look up the logo), or “Bermuda Triangle” formation, divvying the room into threes, and avoiding one another. This is a good place to mention the focus puller who I’m working with, Mark Figueroa, who has an uncanny ability to find focus even as I whip from actor to actor, often on the move and usually without marks (marking the actors is something we rarely do on Veep, a practice that began Season 1). We try to discuss and anticipate the shape of each shot but sometimes things change and Fig is a master of improvisation. It’s quite a skill and I’m in awe of it. Steve Bellen and Jeff Graham both achieved similar technical miracles in seasons past. Veep’s success is built largely on great writing and smart funny performers. We often halt production to rewrite scenes if the actors or writers aren’t feeling it, and those tweaks al-

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ways make the material funnier. One thing our camera department does to support them, which is not so common on TV, is to shoot so the actors can run entire scenes in one go, without having to break things up for coverage. It helps them refine the rhythm and the pace so it all seems more natural and real. Even if a scene is five pages long, has six actors, and winds from room to room, the operators figure out a way to shoot it start to finish without any turnarounds—our only coverage will be a tighter lens version of the same setup. This often means one camera has to duck through a doorway and run down a hall to catch actors entering a new room, or it means one camera starts shooting a 50/50 but then shifts into an over-the-shoulder coverage piece on the fly. There’s lots of coordination involved and when it works well it’s like a ballet behind camera. Also, we wear tutus when we work, which might help explain the simile.

Another technique we’re fond of is the walk and talk, made famous by The West Wing, but surprisingly useful in the halls of DC power. I love these, and welcome the challenge of climbing stairs backwards or whip panning on a tight lens while walking backwards hand-held. Practice is key to my success with these, timing my steps, using my other eye (I’m a lefty) and relying on cues from my second AC, Greg Kurtz. We recently did a show opener scene in one long walk and talk shot, starting outside of a limo, going through a building and then outside to a huge rally, then around the back of the building and back into the same limo. They probably won’t use the whole thing without cutting—there was other useful coverage—but how much fun was that? I could’ve done those all day. The other thing I’ll say about hand-held: the key for me, is ergonomics. I spend a lot of time dialing in my camera to get it on me in the

TECH ON SET:

Arri Amira Angenieux Op timo 28-76m m Angenieux Opt imo 45-120m m Canon 30-10 5mm Canon 15.5-4 7mm Paralinx Wirel ess Transmitte rs

most natural way and that’s really saved me from pain and injury. That and Thai massage. We use Arri Amiras, which are lighter than Alexas, and I find them more adjustable too. It’s easier for me to get the eyepiece out to my left eye and forward far enough that I’m not pushing my chin back (or forward) to see comfortably, not looking up

TRIVIA: The President of the United States is never seen onscreen or ever even mentioned by name until the third season finale, when his name (Stuart Hughes) is revealed. He still remains unseen. (L to R): Sam Richardson as Richard Splett; Matt Walsh as Mike McLintock; Tony Hale as Gary Walsh; Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer. Photo credit Justin M. Lubin/HBO

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


or down to see a clear image in my finder. I’ve also got the weight balanced well on my shoulder so I’m not supporting the weight of the lens with my arms (unless I need to for a shot). I use grips and extensions that allow me to brace my elbows against my body if I need to while holding the camera level, and I tinker all day with the angle of the grips so my wrists are in line with my hands and forearms. I built myself a wedge shoulder pad after trying out many versions that failed me for one reason or another, and I’m not fond of having a pad strapped to my shoulder all day so mine is attached to the bottom of the camera. My goal is to be able to put the camera on and take it off without moving my head, neck or shoulders, and to let the camera sit there on my shoulder perfectly balanced without touching it or hunching. This stuff may seem obvious but I mention it in detail because I used to be less exact and it was causing me pain over time. I see guys shooting hand-held with

their chins tucked back or their shoulder unconsciously hunched up and I know it’ll catch up with them. If you’re about to do a bunch of hand-held I recommend spending time really dialing it all in. Worth it. Also find a good masseuse. When I was coming up through camera in the North Carolina film industry it was generally true that our department would be entirely local except for an operator who would be brought in from LA or New York. Nothing against the local operators, mind you, —but the DP was usually allowed to have a “plus one.” Now, strangely, I find myself in the exact opposite situation. I am the one distant hire in an entirely local (LA-based) camera crew. Not many of those in LA these days! I’m doing my best to represent all of the incredibly talented North Carolina camera folks and make them proud.

lia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Sam Richardson, et al—and working with some of the funniest writers in the business today has been a real honor and a treat for me. Veep typically shoots about an hours worth of script material for every half-hour show, so the old adage about me seeing the show first is doubly true, and I smile to myself about it while I work. Actually, one of the hardest parts of my job is not laughing during a take, and if that’s true then I’ve got a pretty good job. The camera crew, and the other departments for that matter, are all top notch and I think we all know we’re working on something special, even amid the chaos and frustration of any production. It’s a tight group of actors and crew and we spend a lot of time laughing. Not bad for a day’s work.

Working with really talented, fast, smart actors who are at the top of their game—Ju-

TRIVIA: Every scene is rehearsed with the actors improvising things to make it funnier if possible. This whole process is observed by the writers, who take notes of the improvisations they feel work and incorporate them into the shooting scripts.

downs of the business, and the frustrating politics of state film incentives. He trained with New York and North Carolina assistants and moved his way through the camera Photo by Colleen Hayes Bo Webb, SOC

between New York and Los Angeles for his

Bo Webb is a Local 600 SOC camera op-

film career, a friend suggested he explore

erator and indie director based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He’s been making

Wilmington, North Carolina, which at the time was quietly the third largest produc-

department while also shooting and directing smaller indie projects on the side, for fun but not for money. He also helped start the Cucalorus Film Festival, now in its 22nd year. He’s worked with DPs including Rogier Stoffers, James Laxton, David Miller, Tim Orr, Alex Lehmann, David Geddes, Chris

movies since his parents, in their infinite

tion hub in the country!

wisdom, got a VHS video camera when he

The combination of small town living, and

credits include: Veep, Tusk, Eastbound &

was a teenager. When he graduated college

the film business was exactly what he wanted,

Down, Under the Dome, Banshee, and The

in the early 90's and was trying to decide

and he’s still there now despite the ups and

Secret Life of Bees.

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

Faloona and Eric Steelberg. His operating

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The Night Of A Hard Day’s Night

by Bruce MacCallum, SOC & Ben Semanoff, SOC an interview with Derek Stettler

TRIVIA: HBO originally passed on the pilot. HBO later picked up the series after James Gandolfini and Steven Zaillian agreed to make a mini-series instead of an open-ended series. Gandolfini died suddenly a month later. (L to R): Steve Zaillian and Riz Ahmed. Photo courtesy of HBO

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


From creators Steven Zaillian and Richard Price, HBO’s The Night Of is a richly-detailed and slow-burning police procedural that digs into the intricate story of a brutal Manhatten murder and its aftermath. With engaging and meticulous storytelling, the series aims for absolute authenticity as it explores the reality of the criminal justice system, the dark world of Rikers Island, and their ability to irrevocably transform the lead suspect in the case, played by Riz Ahmed. Filmed in and around New York City, the series provides a palpable sense of place, utterly immersing viewers into The Night Of and the days after. With a period of four years from the initial shooting of the pilot to the airing of the series, three different cinematographers and camera operators came on board at various times to work on the eight-part limited series. And yet, the show has a remarkable consistency in style and tone, and feels as seamless and cohesive as anything else on television. To shed some light on The Night Of, Camera Operator spoke with two operators who each shot four episodes of the series: 2017 SOC Television Camera Operator of the Year Award nominees, Bruce MacCallum, SOC and Ben Semanoff, SOC.

four episodes after the pilot, before I had to leave and do a movie. I had worked with DP Igor Martinovic a bit on House of Cards previously and when Craig Pressgrove had gotten hired as first assistant camera, since we had just worked together on a film, I think he mentioned me to Igor. Then we met and talked about what he was looking for as far as the stylistic approach to the show and it seemed like we were a good fit. During a bit of a hiatus a few months into the shoot, Igor got injured and I got the offer to shoot Creed. That’s when the DP, Fred Elmes and Bruce came in and took over.

CO: How and when were you hired to operate on this series and at what point in the shooting of the series did you come in?

MacCallum: I’ve known Steven for a couple decades now and we worked together on All the King’s Men, and production manager, Scott Ferguson had called very early on, but since I didn’t know Igor, they went with Ben. When Ben and Igor both had to leave around Christmas break, Fred Elmes took over. Since Fred and I had worked together in the past, Scott gave me another call and I said, “Yeah, I’m good to go.”

MacCallum: It’s a bit complicated. Writer-director, Steven Zaillian and director of photography, Robert Elswit shot the pilot with the late James Gandolfini about two years before Ben or I got involved. And when Gandolfini unfortunately passed away, there was a lull before it started up again with John Turturro taking his place. Semanoff: Yeah, it was a very interesting project, being that it took two years from the time they shot the pilot to the time they greenlit the series and then almost two years from the time we shot it until the time it aired. Once the series got greenlit again, I started the show and was there for the first few months, covering essentially the first

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

CO: You’re right, Bruce, a complicated shoot! So, having worked across a range of both films and television over the years, what was it like on the set of The Night Of ? Any particular challenges? Semanoff: I can say for sure that the biggest challenge was that it really wanted to be shot like a movie, but it was a TV show. Expectations were to move at a certain pace, but

creatively we wanted to move at a different pace. I’m happy to say that creativity won that battle, and we did take our time. We were averaging about two pages a day, not the six or more pages I’m used to in television. MacCallum: I would also add that, with Steven’s background, he really approached this series like a feature film and that was the pace. I’ve done a couple HBO series where it’s a split between the two, but for me, it was a total feature pace. It was Steven’s pace. CO: How would you describe the approach to shooting the series? How did director Steven Zaillian describe and communicate his vision for the series in terms of techniques, methods and tone? Semanoff: It was very deliberate, but there weren’t rules and there was no way to know for sure how Steven would approach each scene. Instead, he was very open to ideas, and so we would take our time to discuss how we would approach the scene. We would not shoot excessive coverage, we only shot what we felt was needed. And we did as many takes as we needed until we felt it was right. We really took our time, with a focus on making the right decisions and not just cranking it out. There was a huge attention to detail, Steven had his eye on everything that would impact the viewer. MacCallum: Including extras in the background that were out of focus. It definitely comes from the top. Quality all the way.

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Steven really ran it and went at his own pace, but we got to talk about things before we did them, it was very open and I felt I included in the process. Semanoff: And that included some bold compositional choices. We could propose pretty much anything to Steven and he was willing to try it, or at least considered it. But outside of those bold choices, the key for Igor in terms of style was to take an approach of zero inclination for the camera, setting the head to zero degrees inclination so no tilt up and no tilt down, completely square to the world. We tried to find shots and make them work like that first so that all lines were very clean and straight, with no keystoning, adjusting headroom with height and not tilt. And in general, only tilting to follow action. MacCallum: Interesting, I would say Fred was almost the opposite. It was just about finding the shot and looking through the

camera until it felt right to him. Never as structured as Ben is describing. It was definitely a shift from the way Ben and Igor approached it. And I think, watching it recently again, it’s seamless. You couldn’t tell there were three DPs. And that’s a testament to Steven. And—add in a great crew, a total feature crew. CO: Speaking of which, who were some of the other members of the crew that you worked closely with? MacCallum: 1st AC, Craig Pressgrove who was there for the whole thing, along with dolly grip, John Gatland. Key grip, Kevin Lowry, gaffer, Andy Day and his guys— they were all there from the beginning and were beyond great, A-list crew. Not to mention script supervisor, Sharon Watt, and first AD, Peter Thorell, whose hair got more grey as the job went on! He never gave up and was amazing, never got flustered no matter the situation.

Semanoff: And I will say, the ADs really had their hands full. But I really have to say that Craig Pressgrove is one of the best focus pullers I’ve ever worked with. Craig was often given a stop of f1.4 to work with. This show is dark, in more ways than one. And his attitude spoke volumes about who he is as a focus puller. It was sometimes so dark he couldn’t even see the actor, and his attitude was, “Okay, well, I’ll get it.” He had the most calm, yet confident demeanor, and he had some really, really hard work. Every day. And in this show, focus was such a storytelling element. He made it work. CO: Where were you shooting? Were any locations particularly challenging? MacCallum: The way it worked out, I seemed to spend a lot of time on sets, like the courtroom, whereas Ben was more running around on location in New York. Semanoff: We shot in some very disgusting places sometimes. We went for authentic, and

TRIVIA: The Night Of is based on a British TV series that ran from 2008-09 called Criminal Justice. This can be confirmed by credit that is displayed after each episode. (L to R): Amara Karan and John Turturro. Photo courtesy of HBO

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CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

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in this show, authentic often meant disgusting, like the Queens Center for Corrections, and the tombs. But in terms of challenges, I have to say: jail bars. Balancing the dance of actors going to their marks along with the movement of the camera, or in many cases, the desire for the camera to be completely still, with Steven’s desire to have the actors’ eyes visible the whole time. That was a challenge. And you can’t move the bars! It took some patience.

CO: So what have you been up to since The Night Of finished shooting ? Semanoff: Well, it’s been about two years now! But the most recent project was Netflix’s Ozark, a Jason Bateman show shot in Atlanta. And now I’m on a film called Untouchable, filming in Philadelphia, directed by Neil Burger, and shot by Stuart Dryburgh, ASC.

MacCallum: I’ve been doing a lot of TV, but my most recent film was The Book of Henry, with Naomi Watts, shot by John Schwartzman, ASC, and directed by Colin Trevorrow, who’s doing Star Wars: Episode IX. Mostly I’m a day player waiting for his next movie! Below, left: Ben Semanoff on camera. Right: Bruce MacCallum and crew on set. Photos below courtesy of HBO

TRIVIA: Peyman Moaadi and Poorna Jagannathan, who play Riz Ahmed's parents in the show, in real life are only 10 years older than Riz Ahmed. Ben Semanoff, SOC , Award Nominee 2017 SOC Camera Operator of the Year – Television Ben Semanoff, SOC graduated from Temple University then started a small production company outside Philadelphia. Fascinated by Steadicam, Semanoff purchased a used rig, but shocked by its complexity, he then enrolled in a workshop that ignited his passion for the art of Steadicam operating. He later began working for Garrett Brown, deploying SuperFlyCam, a lightweight cable camera system. Semanoff eventually took over the operation, using the system on such films as Glory Road, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Paddington Bear. His love of operating continued, and he began looking for opportunities beyond specialty camera. Since then he has operated A-camera/Steadicam on such films as Creed, Collateral Beauty, and Family Fang, along with such TV shows as The Leftovers, The Night Of, and Netflix’s Ozark. Based out of New York City, he lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children. Photo by Erica Wiener

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Bruce MacCallum, SOC, Award Nominee 2017 SOC Camera Operator of the Year – Television After attending University of Miami, I was lucky to get a job on the movie Lenny with Dustin Hoffman. I spent the next year working for Dustin and his production company. His generosity helped me to establish myself in NYC. My operating career began one cold night on a platform, using a Lomma Crane on a remote head with a very bad B&W monitor, trying to follow a police car coming at us, then going directly under us. All I could see were the flashing lights on the roof of the car. With help from friends, we got the shot. My operating favorites include: The Paper, Ransom, Adjustment Bureau, I Am Legend, Julie & Julia, and most recently, filming the Broadway play Hamilton. For me, operating is the best job on set. I’m still living in New York City and still happy the phone keeps ringing. Photo by Craig Blankenhorn

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2017 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards by Derek Stettler • photos by Albert L. Ortega

Michael Keaton accepts the 2017 SOC Governors Lifetime Achievement Award on stage in the Loews Hollywood Ballroom

The 2017 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards marked a return to the sit-down dinner format, the first time since 2004. Held on Saturday February 11, 2017, the cavernous ballroom of the Loews Hollywood Hotel came to life with over 400 people attending the only awards show which honors and celebrates the below-the-line crew. Our annual black-tie affair also honored technological advances in the industry with two Technical Achievement Awards, the first time in the SOC’s history, and supported our charity, The Vision Center at The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. This year’s 24th SOC Awards kicked off the night before the main event, with a VIP party in the beautiful Panorama Suite of the Loews Hollywood Hotel, overlooking the heart of Hollywood. There, presenters, honorees, nominees and the Board of Governors celebrated the art and craft of the camera operator in a more intimate and casual setting. The invitation-only event included a hosted bar, full spread of hors d'oeuvres, live music and the company of friends old and new. It was a lively and celebratory atmosphere, and a chance to reflect on the achievements of the past year while looking forward to the big night ahead.

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With nearly twice the number of attendees as the previous year, including a strong East Coast member turnout, SOC Awards guests were met with a hosted pre-reception bar and a vibrant red carpet leading them toward the Loews Hollywood Ballroom. Attendees enjoyed a three-course dinner with wine service. This year, several tables were hosted by studios, including Walt Disney Studios, Lionsgate Films and Netflix. Every guest was given a beautifully-compiled tribute book to peruse and a rousing tribute video played which recognized and celebrated the journey and contributions of the camera operator throughout the history of cinema. With the audience now inspired, SOC President and Awards Committee Chair, George Billinger, SOC took the stage to officially welcome the audience.

SOC MOBILE CAMERA PLATFORM OPERATOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Emcee, Andrea Fasano greeted everyone with her characteristic playfulness and humor. To kick off the awards, Fasano introduced the first presenter, a man who needed little introduction: Academy

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


Garrett Brown, SOC accepts the Camera Operator Lifetime Achievement Award

Left: Ari Robbins, SOC Awardee Camera Operator of the Year - Features, right: Andrew Mitchell, SOC Awardee Camera Operator of the Year - Television Award-winning cinematographer, John Toll, ASC. Toll presented the first award of the night, the Mobile Camera Platform Award, to Mike Moad. Reflecting on the trust a cinematographer places in dolly grips to help achieve a film’s defining moments, Toll observed that “Thanks to people like Mike Moad, we don’t worry too much about what it will take to actually set the cameras in motion... Whether it’s in rain, on a spaceship, or in desert heat, Mike has literally pushed through it all to help tell the story. And he’s always done so with skill, great spirit—and with one of the most valuable assets on any movie set— good humor.” Humbled and emotional, Moad came to the stage and accepted the award by thanking his family, the SOC, and the many members of the crew that support his work.

SOC TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS The SOC’s Technical Achievement Award is given in recognition of innovative work that has significantly impacted the art and craft of camera operating. This year, the SOC had 15 technologies submitted from over a dozen different companies. In the deliberation process, the jury panel decided that this year there were two worthy recipients of the award: Shotover for their K1 Six Axis Stabilized Aerial Mount and That Cat Camera Support for the Silent Cat Slider. Presenting the award was Eric Fletcher, SOC, Technical Standards Committee. Fletcher noted that, “Gear generally falls into two categories: that which we use daily, and that which is reserved for specialty shots.” The first award he presented went to Shotover, for their widely-used K1 stabilized aerial mount. Accepting the award was Shotover CEO, Brad Hurndell. Fletcher then presented the second Technical Achievement Award to Philip Saad of That Cat Camera Support for the Silent Cat Slider.

SOC STILL PHOTOGRAPHER LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Renowned still photographer, Phil Caruso was next to be honored. To present the Still Photographer Lifetime Achievement Award was longtime friend, actor Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do, La La Land). Having been the trusted set still photographer for directors such as Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, and Robert Zemeckis over the course of an impressive 30-year career, Scott and Caruso first met on Tom Hanks’ directorial debut, That Thing You Do, and they became

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

fast friends. Scott notes that Caruso “makes actors feel comfortable around him and he gets great moments that reveal the people behind the characters just as much as the people behind the cameras.”

SOC GOVERNORS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD SOC first Vice President, Mitch Dubin, SOC (winner of the 2008 Camera Operator Lifetime Achievement Award and winner of 2013 Camera Operator of the Year in Film) presented the next award to beloved actor, Michael Keaton. The Governors Award is given by the SOC Board of Governors in recognition of an outstanding career and contributions to the film industry, and Michael Keaton certainly fits the description. Dubin spoke of the inimitable bond between operators and actors on the set, and introduced Keaton with a story of how they first met and the 25-plus-year family friendship that resulted, leading to Keaton presenting Mitch Dubin with his Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. In an impassioned acceptance speech, Keaton spoke from the heart about his continually reignited excitement about the process of making movies. He spoke about the “unbelievable team sport that moviemaking is” and his lifelong “respect for, appreciation of, special relationship with and admiration of the operators” with several anecdotes of memorable moments on sets where he witnessed how the camera operator is “as much a storyteller as anyone else on the team.” But he made sure to point out that, “I’m not just saying this because I’m here!” Keaton continued, “Time and time again, I’ve watched the operator just make that little move to the right, or that subtle little push. And that’s the thing that I love. That feel. That instinct… And often times that’s the difference between just a shot, and being an artist. I just think you’re all about as artistic as it gets.” He ended with a sincere thank you to all the camera operators he’s ever worked alongside.

THE VISION CENTER AT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES With the show now in full swing, SOC President, George Billinger was once again welcomed to the stage to recognize the extraordinary work of Dr. Thomas Lee, and The Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Billinger remarked that, “The Society has faithfully maintained its commitment to the vision and sight of children and

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Michael Keaton shares a story of how 'we're all just trying to tell stories

L to R: Ari Robbins, SOC, George Billinger, SOC President, Phillip Caruso, SMPSP, Garrett Brown, SOC tonight’s event serves as a fundraiser for the Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. I am also proud to say that the SOC took a greater commitment this year, in agreeing to support the Vision Center annually through funding, and producing the annual fundraising video. In 2016 alone the fundraising video garnered over four million dollars in funding and to date the SOC has given just over $200,000 in cash donations.” Dr. Thomas Lee then took the stage, thanked the SOC mentioning “the almost 40-year partnership between the Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the SOC to eradicate childhood blindness,” and the 1,500 sight-saving procedures performed by the Vision Center annually.

SOC CAMERA TECHNICIAN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Next up to the stage to present the Camera Technician Lifetime Achievement Award was director and cinematographer, Don Thorin, Jr., a longtime camera technician himself. Thorin presented the Camera Technician Lifetime Achievement Award to Bobby Mancuso, a man he says has “this unique depth of understanding the process of what we do.” Mancuso thanked Don Thorin, Jr. and his late father, Don Thorin, Sr. as well as the SOC and all the camera operators he’s worked with over the years. “You’re really only as good as the people you’re working with,” he said, before giving special mention to several of the 2nd AC’s he’s worked with throughout his career.

SOC TELEVISION CAMERA OPERATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD Presenting the award for Television Camera Operator of the Year were two people from the HBO series, The Night Of: creator, producer, writer and director Steven Zaillian, and actress Poorna Jagannathan. After a thrilling glimpse of the work of the nominees—Andrew Mitchell, SOC for The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story; Ben Semanoff, SOC & Bruce MacCallum, SOC for The Night Of; Steven Matzinger & Greg Smith for Westworld; Bob Gorelick, SOC for Stranger Things; Aaron Medick, SOC for Mr. Robot; and Sean Savage, SOC & Associate BSC, for Game of Thrones—it was time to open the envelope. And the winner was… Andrew Mitchell, SOC for The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story!

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Mitchell expressed his heartfelt thanks to the SOC as well as his crew, with a special shout out to American Crime Story DP, Nelson Cragg, “C” camera operator and 2nd unit DP, Jesse Feldman, and 1st AC, Penny Sprague. He spoke of the need for finding balance in the industry, echoing beliefs shared by several other winners and presenters, ending with appreciation for his family, who helps him do just that.

SOC FEATURE FILM CAMERA OPERATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD With the night nearly over, it was time to unveil the coveted Feature Film Camera Operator of the Year Award. Actor, Bruce Greenwood (I, Robot, Star Trek, The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story) and Bill Mechanic, producer of Academy Award-winning Hacksaw Ridge, took the stage to do the honors. After their introduction, an impressive video played which featured some of the most notable sequences of camera operating on display from each of the nominees—Stephen Campanelli, SOC for Sully; David Emmerichs, SOC for Nocturnal Animals; Mark Goellnicht, SOC for Hacksaw Ridge; Petr Hlinomaz, SOC for Manchester by the Sea; Jacques Jouffret, SOC for Deep Water Horizon; and Ari Robbins, SOC for La La Land. Bruce Greenwood announced the winner of the 2017 Feature Film Camera Operator of the Year Award… Ari Robbins, SOC for La La Land! The admittedly “speechless” Robbins thanked his friends and family for making him the man he is, and spoke about a time when, “Many years ago I was asked to describe what the perfect vision of my dream for success would be. And that moment was walking up here, surrounded by my peers, achieving something I care so deeply about… So to those who dream! Thank you.”

SOC CAMERA OPERATOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD It was then time for the SOC’s highest honor, the Camera Operator Lifetime Achievement Award, given to none other than the great Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam. To present the award was lifelong friend and ASC Lifetime Achievement Award-winner, Caleb Deschanel, ASC. Deschanel opened with the remarkable story of how he and Garrett Brown first met in the early 1980’s, only to learn that they had both gone to the same elementary school, and mentioned how over two decades later, they also discovered that their mothers had both gone to the

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


same university, where they were best friends. To share the monumental impact Garrett Brown has had on filmmaking, Deschanel spoke of the inventers of cinema—the Lumiere brothers—and noted how they “became bored and were convinced there was no future in it. They didn’t wait around to see cinema evolve into the greatest art form of the 20th century.” He noted that Garrett Brown was different, however, “Garrett Brown not only invented one of the greatest technological tools since the invention of cinema, the Steadicam, but he stuck around to became one of its greatest artists; creating some of the most memorable and affecting images in the history of cinema.” Deschanel continued, “It is hard today to imagine the joy of seeing these images for the first time, because we are now so used to them. But the Steadicam made shots possible that seemed impossible at the time. Garrett revolutionized the making of movies.” Beyond the Steadicam, Deschanel mentioned how Garrett Brown has also revolutionized sports broadcasting with inventions such as the Skycam, used in every NFL football game, as well as the swimming Mobicam and the Dive Cam, which is used in the Olympics to follow divers into the water. Deschanel closed with a clear expression of why Garrett Brown was being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, “Unlike Thomas Edison and Louis Lumiere, Garrett Brown knew what it was that he was inventing… He invented with a desire to see what had never been seen before. Then he showed us how to use it.” Next, the audience watched a moving tribute to Garrett Brown and the “impossible shots” that the Steadicam has made commonplace. In his acceptance speech, Brown observed how being on stage at that moment was much like the moment he first used the Steadicam on a feature film. He expressed his immense admiration for camera operators and spoke of operating as “a performance art, in real time. We are writing and designing the film as we are seeing it.” To close, he shared a sense of gratitude and wonder at how his life has turned out, “I must say to you that I love my life. The fact that I can go on inventing… and still work on new gear for this profession. But I particularly love the fact that, you my peers, have given me this honor. Actually, I have to confess, I’m absurdly pleased with myself for being recognized for operating!” Brown ended by thanking everyone at the SOC for the award and for “representing all the crafts and all the arts in the movies that I love.” After Garrett Brown’s acceptance speech, the main event may have been over, but the audience was invited to continue the celebration at Preston’s in the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Congrats were shared to all the nominees and winners, and plenty of photos taken during the evening were shared on social media, many viewable by searching with the show’s official hashtag: #SOCAwards.

Derek Stettler Derek Stettler is a filmmaker and freelance writer who also writes for American Cinematographer. He has been an Associate Member of the SOC since 2015. A lifelong lover and student of cinema, Derek discovered filmmaking as his life's passion after graduating high school in 2010, having since made a number of short films and commercials. Derek currently works as a freelance editor and camera operator, and recently worked on his first feature film as key grip and 2nd AC. Photo by Carter Smith

As the SOC Awards are the only awards show focused on the crew’s skill and craft, it is important to the SOC to be able to share the event with all who work in the industry. So to those who were unable join the affair, the main event was live-streamed around the world on socawards.com. Additional photographs from the red carpet and the show are available to view there as well.

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

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Smooth Operator by Phillip V. Caruso, SMPSP

CAMERA OPERATOR AND STILL PHOTOGRAPHER: THE UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP

TV Pilot, HOT PURSUIT. Photo by Phillip Caruso

The evening of accepting the SOC Lifetime Achievement Award in Still Photography for 2017 was, and continues to be a major highlight of my career. Special thanks to the SOC for recognizing my position as a contributor to the motion picture and television part of our business. In watching the SOC video retrospect of how I arrived at this honor, the moment the image of my dad standing behind a camera flashed on the screen overwhelmed me with emotion. He had been an entrepreneur of varying businesses in tandem with his still photography and motion picture work. I had memories of him taking stills with a Leica, and shooting movies with an AURICON 16mm optical sound on film camera. I didn’t know what either of those devices were until after he passed and at age eight, my mom had asked to look at some movies. A Bell and Howell projector and speakers were brought out but no one could thread the machine. I jumped in, threaded the projector, connected sound and started the movie. I was then established as a professional motion picture machine operator, at least in that house.

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THAT FIRST JOB Cut to years later working as a still photographer on union set. The first union job was a TV pilot that filmed for 22 days. Unheard of in today’s TV production, the crew had mentioned it was shortened from 30 days which was the norm. The first person within the camera department to introduce himself and establish a solid friendship with me was the camera operator, Neil Roach. At that time and from my earlier experiences, the DP was not someone to talk to much less ask questions. It helped me feel grounded when that operator took “the kid” under his wing, and mentioned he would watch out for me.

THE OPERATOR The operator is indeed the first line of sight and defense to sign off that a shot is good, allowing creative egos to make their decision to go again or move on. The operator can make or break not only an actor, but any crew member that has stumbled in performing their job before or during the

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shot. I have always known the parameters of a shot grounded move to not enter the frame. Either by personally asking the operator or observing a rehearsal to give more room for the frame to allow for movement. A time to use skills at diplomacy is best aided when I can use a bonded relationship with an operator. One situation was with Craig Haagensen on a movie location in Pittsburgh. I had worked numerous times with Craig, and he has an astute eye not only for his camera, but an affinity to know the tasks of a still photographer as he collects and shoots multiple still formats. One setup for a night shoot was for a key scene laying out the premise of a murder tying the principal actor, and subsequent incarceration for the plot of the movie. As I watched the layout of multiple cameras for coverage, I noticed they were not including a great backdrop to the scene. A skyline of the city, lit for the night, and revealing great production value. I shot a couple of digital frames in composition during the rehearsal revealing that skyline with action in the foreground. I went to Craig showing him the frames. In discussion I said this is the skyline in the back-

ground which gave the moment scope and depth. He said let’s go talk to the DP, Stephane Fontaine and the director, Paul Haggis. The nerves were building again for me as this was in the first week, and I thought—well, if this doesn’t go well I'm out. Craig did one of the best pitch sales jobs to show the view he felt would be a better composition to the scene. He said, “Sometimes a movie crew can have a stills person who will report and do just his job. We are lucky that we have Phil as he is always looking, and we can rely on another set of eyes.” The director immediately was shown my imagery and he agreed to set the cameras more in line with that composition. None of this would have happened had the operator and still relationship not existed in a confident, professional manner. There is mutual respect among all camera department positions to conduct ourselves professionally in harmony on set. I have always been a person to jump in to help, but never step over to aid a brother in the department, helping an assistant hump mag cases, or batteries is not beyond my offered assistance. Phillip V. Caruso, SMPSP, Awardee 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Still Photography In 1983, Phillip V. Caruso was accepted into IATSE local 666 in Chicago as a still photographer and began to work for Ron Howard at the time he formed Imagine Entertainment for the movie Parenthood. While working Backdraft he was asked to become the on-call photographer to Robert DeNiro. Bob introduced Phillip to Martin Scorsese on the filming of Cape Fear and continued to work on over 20 movies total for both Bob and Marty.

Photo by Mark Mann

Above: On the set of CAPE FEAR. Below: On the set of THE BIG EASY. Photos by Phillip Caruso

Philip also has won several awards such as; the Professional Photographers of America Merit Awards, Francis Coppola's Crew Member of the Week, serves as an Executive Board member of IATSE Local 600, East Coast Region, and is a founding/honorary member of Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers.

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


The Vision Center An Idea From the Tech Community to

by Lisa Stacilausakas, SOC

Fight Childhood Blindness

Left: Clay Westervelt (Director), Joel Deutsch (DP) and Joe Gunawan (1st AC) discuss the shot. Right: Dr. Mark Borchert and Joshua Corbaley try out new technology on camera. Dr. Thomas C. Lee, Director of the Vision Center at Children Hospital Los Angeles is visionary (no pun intended) and progressive. His list of achievements and innovations in treating children with complex eye diseases are astounding (look him up at CHLA.org). Equally great is his talent for getting the best out of the people working with him, and that includes us—the Society of Camera Operators. In the summer of 2016, Dr. Lee made a presentation to the SOC Board of Governors, who attended both in person and remotely from filming locations, reporting that recent videos produced by the SOC for The Vision Center helped procure over $4M in funding. With this new knowledge, SOC president, George Billinger and the SOC Board of Governors agreed to boost the SOC’s commitment to The Vision Center by increasing the budget for the video, and make it a part of the annual operating budget of the organization. Thus ensuring the funds to produce a professional quality video annually. After three years, director Clay Westervelt and I had learned the best way to discover the topic for the current year’s video is to meet with Dr.Lee and ask, “What interesting things is The Vision Center doing right now?” Inevitably, numerous ideas emerge, but this year the idea of a Research Incubator/Accelerator stood out. It’s an idea that Dr. Lee gleaned from the tech community in Silicon Valley. This kind of out-ofthe-box thinking is what makes Dr. Lee a visionary. He looks to technologies and ideas outside the medical community for inspiration (see past videos on The Vision Center’s innovations at SOC.org website).  As a counterpoint to all the tech talk and medical jargon, and to present an inspiring, optimistic tone, Clay proposed infusing the piece with a little humor, mostly poking fun at Silicon Valley stereotypes. It turned out to be a tough sell to the hospital due to its closely guarded image as a serious institution, but in the end, and with the amazing

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

voiceover talent of actor/comedian, T.J. Miller, I think we found the right balance. Dr. Lee plans to use the video to target donors in the tech community so speaking their language and poking a little fun should help break the ice. In fact, within days of completing the video, Dr. Lee had it in front of a donor who then made a $5 million estate commitment to The Vision Center. Woohoo! As always, a slew of volunteers and donations made the video possible: T.J. Miller, Clay Westervelt, SOC, Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC, Joel Duetsch, SOC, Amanda Thurman, Alicia Robbins, SOC, Louis Normandin, SOC, Keith Jefferies, SOC, Jae Shim, Joe Gunawan, Somlit Inthalangsy, Brooke Damato, Joshua Corbaley, Gary Hebert, Lee Sanders, Adam Parrish King, Kyle Hardy, Allison Jensen, Charles Smith II, David Yee, Imaginaut Entertainment, Evidence Cameras, Evidence Film Studios, Matthews Studio Equipment, G&L Entertainment Inc., Soundworks, Shapeshifter, and all the staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Thank you to you all!

Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC has been an Active member of the SOC since 2008. She has served on the Board of Governors as third Vice-President, and Chairman of the Charity Committee which oversees the SOC's charitable activities, especially related to The Vision Center at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She's currently working on the new ABC comedy, American Housewife. Photo by Matthew Meindl

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Insight AIKEN WEISS, SOC What was one of your most challenging days in the industry? A seemingly simply shot can turn out to be a technically a real tough one. Also, if for some reason people are in a bad mood, start yelling, stop communicating, and caring. On those days every shot and every day is challenging.  What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? Every job should give you something…Be part of a great story, good money, new and old friends/colleagues, awesome locations, travel, credit, excitement, fun all day, great shots. Still waiting for the job that has it ALL!

Photo by Malachi Weir

What is your most memorable day in the industry? A special day or memorable moment is for me when the team works together and conquers the challenge at hand. Team work rocks! I consider myself fortunate to have a lots of those. Credits: Billions, Burn Notice, Graceland, Ballers, Harsh Times

BRENDA ZUNIGA, SOC What was one of your most challenging shots in the industry? While shooting an underwater scene for Are You The One? in Hawaii, my lens disengages, and the camera becomes inoperable. I tow back to shore to fix the problem, gripping onto the edge of a kayak while trying to avoid the sharp edges of the reef. I was able to quickly return to shoot the scene with the special guest appearance of two sea turtles and an octopus. What is your most memorable day in the industry? I became really close with the cast of Born This Way (a docuseries about young adults with down syndrome). When it came time for Rachel to conquer her fear of loud noises at a concert, I was documenting the summation of her struggle with tears in my eyes. Photo by Noah Hamilton

Credits: Born This Way, Hunted,The Biggest Loser, Master Chef, Are You The One?

CLAY WESTERVELT, SOC What was one of your most challenging shot or challenging day in the industry? I shot a documentary called Popatopolis which followed B-movie director Jim Wynorski as he attempted to make a feature film in three days! It was a comedic doc, but you can imagine how unwelcomed the doc camera was on set at times, and the challenge was to present the situations with humor and love, but with undeniable objectivity so that every performer got a fair shake.  Every one of those three days was a massive challenge – and enormously rewarding.

Photo by Laura Layera

What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? I’d love to direct a quirky, character-based thriller about an individual with dissociative identity disorder – an accurate portrayal, rather than they typically sensationalized version often on display…been working on the screenplay as we speak! Credits: Harry and Snowman, Miss You Can Do It, Angeleno, The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


SOC ROSTER CHARTER MEMBER Lou Barlia Parker Bartlett Paul Basta Michael Benson Stephanie Benson Rupert Benson Jr. Bob Bergdahl Howard Block Donald Burch Jerry Callaway David Calloway Philip Caplan Mike Chevalier Bill Clark Dick Colean Steve Conant Jim Connell Rick Cosko Jack Courtland Elliot Davis Sam Drummy Joe Epperson Michael Ferra Ron Francis William Gahret Jim Glennon Ray Gonzales Jerry Good Jack Green, ASC Gil Haimson Peter Hapke Lutz Hapke Bill Hines Jim Hoover Bill Howard John Huneck Wayne Kennan, ASC Bob Keys Gary Kibbe David Kurland Norm Langley Thomas Laughridge Steve Lydecker Brice Mack III Joe Marquette Jr. Owen Marsh Bob Marta Bob McBride Ed Morey Tom Munshower Fred Murphy Al Myers Lee Nakahara Jay Nefcy Rik Nervik Leigh Nicholson King Nicholson John Nogle Dan Norris Skip Norton David Nowell, ASC Wayne Orr Richard Price Ernie Reed Arnold Rich Randall Robinson Parker Roe Sam Rosen Peter Salim

Lou Schwartz Chris Schwiebert Michael Scott Bob Seaman Hal Shiffman Roger Smith Fred Smith Michael St. Hilaire Ray Stella Joe Steuben John Stevens Carol Sunflower Bill Swearingen Joseph Valentine Ron Vidor Sven Walnum

ACTIVE MEMBER

Peter Abraham Jonathan Abrams Michael Alba Bret Allen Colin Anderson Kevin Andrews Francois Archambault Joseph Arena Will Arnot Ted Ashton Jr. Mark August Andrei Austin Grayson Austin Jacob Avignone Daniel Ayers Christopher Baffa Lonn Bailey James Baldanza David Baldwin Jr. Jerry Banales Christopher Banting Jeff Barklage Angel Barroeta John Beattie Jonathan Beattie Tim Bellen Nils Benson Peter Berglund Corey Besteder George Bianchini George Billinger Howard Bingham Maceo Bishop Michel Bisson Bonnie Blake Jason Blount John Boyd Katie Boyum Kevin Braband Hilaire Brosio Pete Brown Garrett Brown Kenny Brown Scott Browner Neal Bryant Stephen Buckingham Robin Buerki Gary Bush Rod Calarco Stephen Campanelli J. Christopher Campbell Susan Campbell

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

Jose Cardenas Robert Carlson Jeffrey Carolan Peter Cavaciuti Dave Chameides Lou Chanatry Joe Chess Jr. Jeffrey Clark Anthony Cobbs Steven Cohen Marcis Cole Kris Conde Andrew Conder Michael Condon Brown Cooper Dan Coplan Luke Cormack Javier Costa Richard Cottrell Tom Cox Jeff Cree Rod Crombie Richard Crow Jeff Crumbley Grant Culwell Francois Daignault Nicholas Davidoff Markus Davids Rick Davidson Richard Davis Mark Dawson Andrew Dean Michael Dean Anthony Deemer Kris Denton Kevin Descheemaeker Joel Deutsch Don Devine Kenny Dezendorf Twojay Dhillon David Diano Troy Dick Matthew Doll Rick Drapkin Scott Dropkin Mitch Dubin Simon Duggan, ACS Mark Duncan Allen Easton William Eichler David Elkins Jason Ellson David Emmerichs Kevin Emmons Ramon Engle Alex Escarpanter Steve Essig Brant Fagan Diane Farrell Dianne Farrington Jesse Feldman Michael Ferris George Feucht James Firios Lance Fisher Eric Fletcher Michael Flueck Houman Forough Felix Forrest Ian Forsyth

Steve Fracol Keith Francis Nick Franco Tom Fraser James Frater David Frederick Michael Frediani Brian Freesh Steven French Dan Frenkel Mick Froehlich Jeff Fry Paul Gardner David Gasperik Rusty Geller Michael Germond William Gierhart Laurie Gilbert Harvey Glen Mark Goellnicht Daniel Gold James Goldman Allen Gonzales Robert Gorelick Afton Grant Chad Griepentrog George Griffith David Grove Robert Guernsey Pedro Guimaraes John Gunselman Chris Haarhoff Jess Haas Kevin Haggerty Geoffrey Haley John Hankammer Tim Harland Joshua Harrison Kent Harvey Chris Hayes David Haylock Nikk Hearn-Sutton Mike Heathcote Dawn Henry Alan Hereford Steven Heuer Kevin Hewitt David Hirschmann Jamie Hitchcock Petr Hlinomaz Abe Holtz Jerry Holway Paul Horn Casey Hotchkiss William Howell II Bradley Hruboska Colin Hudson Christian Hurley Philip Hurn Frederick Iannone Alexa Ihrt Dave Isern Christophe Ivins Eugene Jackson III Alec Jarnagin Gary Jay Simon Jayes Christopher Jones Steven Jones Jacques Jouffret John Joyce David Judy Mark Jungjohann

David Kanehann Mark Karavite Lawrence Karman Dan Kavanaugh Adam Keith Brian Kelly David Kimelman Dan Kneece Rory Knepp David Knox Robert Kositchek Bud Kremp Kris Krosskove Per Larsson Kristian Lawing Jeff Latonero Eric Leach Sergio Leandro da Silva Richard Leible Rachael Levine Sarah Levy David Liebling Jimmy Lindsey Hugh Litfin John Lizzio Patrick Longman George Loomis Jessica Lopez Greg Lundsgaard Kenji Luster Bruce MacCallum Rob Macey Vincent Mack Paul Magee David Mahlmann Giuseppe Malpasso Kim Marks Jared Marshall Cedric Martin Philip Martinez J. Steven Matzinger Daniele Massaccesi Parris Mayhew Bill McClelland Jim McConkey David McGill Ian McGlocklin Michael McGowan Christopher McGuire Ossie McLean Aaron Medick Alan Mehlbrech Hilda Mercado Olivier Merckx Jack Messitt Mike Mickens Duane Mieliwocki Marc Miller Phillip Miller Andrew Mitchell William Molina Raphy Molinary Machado Michel "Mitch" Mommaerts K. Neil Moore Mark Moore Matthew Moriarty Josh Morton Manolo Moscopulos Jeff Muhlstock Michael Mulvey Scott Mumford Sean Murray

Saade Mustafa Dale Myrand Leo Napolitano Marco Naylor Robert Newcomb Julye Newlin William Nielsen, Jr. Kurt Nolen Randy Nolen Austin Nordell William O'Drobinak Mark O'Kane Michael Off Andrew Oliver John Orland Brian Osmond Georgia Packard Heather Page Nick Paige Curtis Pair Victor Pancerev Andrew Parke Patrick Pask Christopher Paul Al “Tiko” Pavoni Paul Peddinghaus Douglas Pellegrino John Perry George Peters Matthew Petrosky Jonathan Phillips Alan Pierce Theo Pingarelli Jens Piotrowski Joseph Piscitelli Louis Puli Ryan Purcell Yavir Ramawtar Juan Ramos James Reid John Rhode Ari Robbins Alicia Robbins Peter Robertson Brent Robinson Brooks Robinson Eric Roizman Peter Rosenfeld Dave Rutherford P. Scott Sakamoto Sanjay Sami David Sammons Joel San Juan Juanjo Sánchez Bry Sanders Milton Santiago Gerard Sava Sean Savage Martin Schaer Ron Schlaeger Mark Schlicher Mark Schmidt Vadim Schulz David Schweitzer Fabrizio Sciarra Brian Scott Brian Scott Benjamin Semanoff Barnaby Shapiro David Shawl Osvaldo Silvera Jr. Gregory Smith Teddy Smith

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Needham Smith III Vanessa Smith Dean Smollar John Sosenko Andy (Andrew) Sparaco Mark Sparrough Benjamin Spek Francis Spieldenner Sandy Spooner Lisa Stacilauskas Robert Starling Thomas Stork Michael Stumpf David Svenson Ian Takahashi Yousheng Tang Gregor Tavenner Christopher Taylor Peter Taylor Paige Thomas David Thompson Henry Tirl John Toll, ASC David Tondeur Remi Tournois Neil Toussaint Jamie Trent Bryan Trieb Michael Tsimperopoulos Chris Tufty Dan Turrett Brian Tweedt Joseph Urbanczyk Matt Valentine Dale Vance, Jr. Paul Varrieur Ron Veto Andrew Voegeli Stefan von Bjorn Rob Vuona Bill Waldman Michael Walker Timothy Walker Gareth Ward Gretchen Warthen Raney "Bo" Webb Aiken Weiss Dale West Clay Westervelt Robert Whitaker Mande Whitaker Kit Whitmore Peter Wilke Ken Willinger Chad Wilson David Wolf Ian Woolston-Smith Peter Xiques Santiago Yniguez Brian Young Chad Zellmer Brenda Zuniga

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Christine Adams Brian Aichlmayr Jamie Alac Ana Amortegui Philip Anderson Andrew Ansnick Michael Artsis Scott Auerbach Ryan Baker Tyson Banks Michael Barron Matt Bell

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Jeffrey Bollman Peter Bonilla Jean-Paul Bonneau Massimo Bordonaro David Boyd Mary Brown Rochelle Brown Donald Brownlow Warren Brace Clyde Bryan Sasha Burdett Anthony Caldwell Jordan Cantu Jack Carpenter Marc Casey Quaid Cde Baca Kirsten Celo Libor Cevelik Ian Chilcote Damian Church Ricco Ricardo Clement Gregory Collier Mack Collins Antoine Combelles Gabriel Copeland Gareth Cox Richard Crudo, ASC Farhad Dehlvi Enrique Del Rio Galindo James DeMello Johnny Derango Ronald Deveaux Jorge Devotto Vincent DeVries Adam Dorris Orlando Duguay Adam Duke Keith Dunkerley Brian Dzyak David Eubank Allen Farst Nicholas Federoff Kristin Fieldhouse Jessica Fisher Tom Fletcher John Flinn III, ASC Mark Forman Mike Fortin Chuck France Jerry Franck Michael Freeman Fred Frintrup Hiroyuki Fukuda Dmitrii Fursov Benjamin Gaskell Hank Gifford Michael Goi, ASC Wayne Goldwyn Al Gonzalez Erik Goodman John Goodner Brad Greenspan Phil Gries Josef "Joe" Gunawan Marco Gutierrez Bob Hall Jason Hafer Tobias Harbo James Hart John Hart Jason Hawkins Andres Hernandez Anthony Hettinger John Hill, Jr. Tammy Hineline Andrew Hoehn Scott Hoffman Chris Horvath Nichole Huenergardt Toshiyuki Imai Andrew Irvine

Gregory Irwin Neeraj Jain Keith Jefferies Lacey Joy Henry Joy IV Jessica Jurges David Kane Timothy Kane Brandon Kapelow Ray Karwel Frank Kay April Kelley Alan Kelly Kevin Kemp Jeremiah Kent Mark Killian Douglas Kirkland Christian Kitscha Michael Klaric Michael Klimchak Brian Kronenberg Robert La Bonge Laurence Langton Jose-Pablo Larrea Dr. Thomas Lee Gerardo Leon Alan Levi Mark Levin Adrian Licciardi Ilya Jo Lie-Nielsen Eamon Long Gordon Lonsdale Jasmine Lord Christopher Lymberis Dominik Mainl Aaron Marquette Chris Martin Nicole Martinez Jose Martinez Jim Matlosz Nathan Maulorico Brett Mayfield Ray McCort Marcus McDougald Mike McEveety Mengmeng “Allen” Men Sophia Meneses Jonathan Miller K. Adriana Modlin-Liebrecht Kenneth Montgomery Mark Morris Matthew Mosher Jekaterina Most Nick Müller Hassan Nadji Navid Namazi Zach Nasits Jimmy Negron Michael Nelson Michael Nelson Benjamin Nielsen Dennis Noack Russell Nordstedt Ing. Jose Noriega C.A.S. Louis Normandin Casey Norton Crescenzo Notarile, ASC Jorel O'Dell Jarrod Oswald Paul Overacker Justin Painter Larry Parker Steven Parker Florencia Perez Cardenal Mark Petersen Jon Philion Tyler Phillips Mark Phillips W. S. Pivetta Ted Polmanski

Delia Quinonez Robert Primes, ASC Joe Prudente Marcia Reed Claudio Rietti Ken Robings Andy Romero Tim Rook Peter Rooney Sam Rosenthal Jordi Ruiz Maso Dylan Rush Jake Russell Kish Sadhvani Danny Salazar Steve Saxon Joshua "JC" Schroder Christian Sebaldt, ASC Christopher Seehase Stephen Siegel Peter Sikkens Michael Skor Jan Sluchak Robert Smith Laurent Soriano David Speck Don Spiro Owen Stephens Derek Stettler Darren Stone Aymae Sulick Jeremy Sultan Andy Sydney Tiffany Taira Brian Taylor Andres Turcios John Twesten Daniel Urbain Sandra Valde Thomas Valko Ioana Vasile Benjamin Verhulst Marshall Victory Breanna Villani Jesse Vielleux Miguel Angel Viñas Terry Wall W. Thomas Wall Justin Watson Thomas Weimer Alex White Tim Wu Tim Yoder Scot Zimmerman

CORPORATE

Abel Cine Adorama Rental Co. Arri, Inc. Band Pro Film & Video Brother International Corporation Canon, USA Inc. CarL Zeiss Microimaging, Inc. Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment Cineverse CW Sonderoptic Filmtools Inc. Fujifilm/Fujinon Geo Film Group, Inc. History For Hire Imagecraft Productions, Inc. JL Fisher Inc. Keslow Camera Manios Digital & Film Matthews Studio Equipment Panasonic Corporation

Panavision Preston Cinema Systems Red Digital Cinema Sigma Sony Electronics Spacecam Systems, Inc. The Vitec Group Tiffen Wooden Camera

EDUCATOR

John Grace Ralph Watkins

HONORARY

John Bailey, ASC Tilman Buettner James Burrows Alexander Calzatti Trevor Coop Roger Corman Dean Cundey, ASC Bruce Doering Clint Eastwood Tom Hatten Ron Howard Gale Anne Hurd Sarah Jones Michael Keaton Ron Kelley Kathleen Kennedy-Marshall Jerry Lewis Gary Lucchesi Larry McConkey A. Linn Murphree M.D. Diana Penilla Steven Spielberg Robert Torres George Toscas Roy Wagner, ASC Alfre Woodard

RETIRED MEMBER

Aldo Antonelli Gary Armstrong Paul Babin Tom Barron Al Bettcher James Blanford Bruce Catlin Ivan Craig Richard Cullis George Dibie, ASC Robert Feller Dick Fisher Jerry Fuller Anthony Gaudioz Wynn Hammer Ken Hilmer Gary Holt Robert Horne Douglas Knapp Michael Little Heather MacKenzie James Mann Stan McClain Michael McClary Ron McManus Mike Meinardus Emmanuel Metaxas Robert Moore Sol Negrin, ASC David Parrish Aaron Pazanti Richard Rawlings Jr., ASC Andy Romanoff Frank Ruttencutter Carl Schumacher, Sr. Chuck Schuman Philip Schwartz

Guy Skinner George Stephenson Gene Talvin Joseph Tawil Adam Ward

STUDENT

Veronica Aberham Michael Acosta Reynaldo Aquino Nathan Bachmann Melissa Baltierra Zakrey Barisione Daniela Bornstein Ziryab Brahem Emmett Bright Petr Cikhart Jiayao Chen Autumn Collins Meghan Cullen Sabrina Cullen William Dauel Annor Doeman Michael Garcia Sean Garry Christian Hall Mufeng "Derek" Han Rita Hansen Tyler Harmon-Townsend Kendra Hillman Myles Holt Carolyn Hunt Crystal Kelley KC Kennicutt John Lansdale Jun Li Eric Liberacki Guilherme Lima Ari Linn Deidre Locklear Jose Lora Carl Loven Aedan McHugh Jeff-Steven Mojica Fabian Montes James Nagel Lucien Night Lorenzo Pace Weerapat “Art” Parnitudom Ryan Petrolo Connor Pollard Karina Prieto Macias Matthew Psyllos Cheng Qian Ryan Richard Jackson Rife Tiye Rose-Hood Edgar Santamaria Esther Santamaria Emil Schonstrom Brittany Shank Jennifer St. Hilaire-Sanchez Davin Stanley Kezia Supit Grace Thomas William Torres Ivan Velazquez Tianyi “Christopher” Wang Anthony Worley Watcharawit "Koon" Ya-inta Linxuan "Stanley" Yu Lucia Zavarcikova Qiaoyu "Joy" Zhang Current as of April 1, 2017.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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Matthews Studio Equipment  www.msegrip.com NAB Show  www.nabshow.com Paralinx  www.paralinx.net Produced By Conference  www.producedbyconference.com RED Digital Cinema  www.red.com Samys  www.samys.com Schneider Optics  www.schneideroptics.com Teradek  www.teradek.com

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7 Back Cover

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS . WINTER 2017 SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS WINTER 2015 VOL. 24, NO. 1

SOC.ORG · WINTER 2017 VOL. 26, NO.1

SOCIETY OF OF CAMERA . FALL 20162016 SOCIETY CAMERAOPERATORS OPERATORS . FALL

Hacksaw GoneRidge Girl

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2015

Hidden American Horror Story: FreakFigures Show Live by Night Birdman 1

SOC.org Browse our online store to see the inventory of T-shirts, hats, pins, and more... CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2017

SOC.ORG · FALL 2016 VOL. 25, NO.4

SOC.ORG · FALL 2016 VOL. 25, NO.4

Michael Frediani, SOC

SullySully

La LaLaLandLa Land Nocturnal AnimalsAnimals Nocturnal Manchester by thebySeathe Sea Manchester Technical Achievement AwardsAwards Technical Achievement

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Social SOC

Curated by Ian S. Takahashi, SOC society_of_camera_operators

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(society_of_camera_operators) Day exterior on Congratulations to Ari Robbins, SOC, La La Land, nominee for SOC Camera Operator of the Year Award Film. Ari Robbins was first introduced to Steadicam at the age of 18 after returning home from high school. Knowing his future lay within the cinematic industry, he was immediately entranced by the notion of operator and equipment working together so intimately. It was a culmination of all things he was looking for -- a career, a hobby, a profession, but most importantly -- a passion. Ari moved to Los Angeles and immediately began working in the lighting departments. In the fall of 2004 he signed up for a Steadicam Operators Association workshop. He searched and found his ideal rig, and on his 21st birthday, purchased his Steadicam‌Photo courtesy of Ari Robbins. #SOCAwards Photo by Jake Koenig

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(society_of_camera_operators) We are thrilled to welcome presenters like Mitch Dubin, SOC to the awards tonight! Tune in to view the entire show at 5PM today by signing up here: bit.ly/StreamSOC. Our full list of incredible presenters is as follows: George Billinger, SOC, Caleb Deschanel, ASC Mitch Dubin, SOC Eric Fletcher, SOC Bruce Greenwood Poorna Jagannathan Dr. Thomas Lee Bill Mechanic Tom Everett Scott Donald Thorin Jr. John Toll, ASC Steven Zaillian Photo by Claudette Barius #SOCAwards

Join the SOC membership on Instagram.com. See iconic photos from behind-the-scenes, on-set backstories, and images that inspire. Join in the conversation! @ Society_of_Camera_Operators 48

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS ¡ SOC.ORG


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Camera Operator Spring 2017  

West Word, O.J. Simpson, The Night Of, Veep

Camera Operator Spring 2017  

West Word, O.J. Simpson, The Night Of, Veep