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SOC.ORG · WINTER 2017 VOL. 26, NO.1


Hacksaw Ridge Hidden Figures Live by Night















Susan Campbell, SOC

34 SMOOTH OPERATOR Gretchen Warthen, SOC

44 TECH TALK SOC Technology Lifetime Achievement Award 2017


47 SPOTLIGHT "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk" Kim Marks, SOC

51 AD INDEX 52 SOCIAL SOC Ian S. Takahashi, SOC

FEATURES 14 HACKSAW RIDGE "Shooting Inside a Battle” Mark Goellnicht, SOC an interview with Derek Stettler

22 HIDDEN FIGURES "Unveiling the Remarkable” Jason Ellson, SOC

28 LIVE BY NIGHT "Live Dangerously” Colin Anderson, SOC an interview with Derek Stettler

48 INSIGHT Meet the Members



ON THE COVER: HACKSAW RIDGE - Desmond Doss carried out on stretcher in final battle scene, Steadicam overhead shot , Mark Goellnicht , SOC. Photo by Mark Rogers

34 1

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

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

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Awards George Billinger, Bruce MacCallum, Dave Thompson,


Dan Gold, Bill McClelland, Mitch Dubin, Dan Turrett Charities: Lisa Stacilauskas Events Mark August Historical Mike Frediani Membership Dan Turrett, Eric Roizman Publications/Communications: Mike Frediani Technical Standards: Eric Fletcher

Susan Campbell, SOC Jason Ellson, SOC Mark Goellnicht, SCO Kim Marks, SOC Derek Stettler Ian S. Takahashi, SOC Brian Tweedt, SOC Ron Veto, SOC Gretchen Warthen, SOC Chad Wilson, SOC



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


Paul Babin, SOC Robin Bliley Claire Fogler Dave Frederick, SOC Anne Marie Fox Michael Frediani, SOC Hiro Fukuda Dmitry Fursov Andrew Garfield Tyler Golden Anna Marks Hogan Jake Koenig Michael Makins Ed Nessen Paul Newman Albert L. Ortega Mark Rogers

Julian Ruthven Carter Smith Hopper Stone Carlos de Varon Chris Walker Natalie Watts



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

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

Is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.







Letter from the President Dear SOC Members and Camera Operator Readers: Much excitement is building within the SOC as we quickly approach our Lifetime Achievement Awards on February 11, at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Every year I am deeply impressed by the collective talent amongst our honorees and nominees, and this year is certainly no different. It is with great pleasure that we will present Garrett Brown, SOC with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Camera Operating. He has undoubtedly changed the landscape of camera operating through creativity and innovation, and affected how our community approaches our art. It will also be an honor to present Michael Keaton with this year’s Governor’s Award. The Governor’s Award has a valued legacy of being presented to individuals who demonstrate dedication, consistent and enlightened service, and leadership in the film and media industry. Mr. Keaton’s breadth of work has touched countless viewers, and he will be welcomed warmly into this esteemed category. Congratulations to all of our honorees and nominees; we hope that this year’s new sit-down format will provide an elegant backdrop to celebrate your talent and accomplishments! In preparation for 2017, the Board of Governor’s has collectively determined our own objectives and resolutions for the New Year at the SOC. This year, we seek to focus our efforts to elevate the position of the camera operator. We believe that through education and working with our fellow industry professionals, we can strengthen the craft of the camera operator, and insure its place within the entertainment industry. We are coming into 2017 excited for the opportunity that the SOC has to influence our community and look to you, our members and supporters, to help us through your participation, and dedication to your own projects and craft. Here’s to a wonderful 2017, and we hope to see you at the Lifetime Achievement Awards! Sincerely,

George Billinger, SOC Society of Camera Operators, President



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SOC AWARDS SHOW The SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards will take place on February 11, 2016 at Loews Hollywood Hotel. Congratulations to all our nominees and winners!

News & Notes DRONE WORKSHOP Save the date of March 11, 2017 for the SOC Drone Workshop, produced in partnership with the SOAC. More details to come.



Actor Michael Keaton, star of the upcoming Roy Kroc biopic, The Founder, will be honored by the Society of Camera Operators with the Governor’s Award.

In the Manchester by the Sea article featured in the Fall issue of Camera Operator, the incorrect photo was used for Petr Hlinomaz's bio shot. Our great apologies!


Camera operator Petr Hlinomaz on the set of MAN ON A LEDGE. Photo by Ed Nessen

The SOC hosted a full day of demonstrations on November 12, with 15 different technology nominees presented to the blue ribbon panel of judges made up of; Dave Emmerichs, SOC, Steve Fracol, SOC, Eric Fletcher, SOC, Geoff Haley, SOC, and David Sammons, SOC.

Opposite: Eric Fletcher, SOC, and David Sammons, SOC introduce themselves to SHOTOVER’s Allison Rakun. Photo by Dmitry Fursov


February 10 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards VIP Party Loews Hollywood Hotel February 11 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards Lowes Hollywood Hotel February 19 Board of Governors’ Meeting, details TDB



March 11 SOC Drone Workshop, details TBD March 19 Board of Governors’ Meeting, details TBD

APRIL • • • •

Calendar April 8 Chapman/Leonard Atlanta event, details TBD April 9 Board of Governors Meeting, details TBD April 22-27 NAB 2017, Las Vegas Convention Center, details TBD April 24 Camera Operator magazine, Spring edition mailed

SOC.ORG CALENDAR Please log onto the home page, and click the navigation button, Events.


Russell Carpenter, ASC

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by Susan Campbell, SOC

Establishing Shot

Left: Rolling Stones Crew, Goats Head Soup 1973 European Tour. Photo by Julian Ruthven Right: Ozzie Osbourne, The Ultimate Oz 1986 Tour Laminate Photo from Susan Campbell's collection, Nocturne Video

I've come to realize that I've always been a bit of a pioneer and an adrenaline junkie, so I decided in the late-1960s that television was the future, and I wanted to be part of it. Never mind that women didn't work in TV back then. There were only three channels, but cable TV was starting to get big, and color TV was capturing the nation and driving television sales. Everyone thought I wanted to be a weather girl or “on camera,” but I had, and still have stage fright, plus I was more interested in how things worked. I did my first two years of radio and TV broadcasting at Grossmont College in El Cajon, then moved to the Bay Area for my last two years of college at Sonoma State as they were still building their Broadcast Telecommunications Department. And all of the course work was taught at the local cable TV station with on-air experience. My first mentor was educated in television at the Air Force Academy, so he taught me very exacting military protocol. Over the years at various TV stations I learned a lot from former WWII vets that were radio and TV operators during the war. I am eternally grateful to them for their kind and generous knowledge, training, and acceptance.


While at Sonoma State, my roommates were either in bands (drummer for the Doobie Brothers) or roadies for bands (It's a Beautiful Day), and the Bay Area music scene was on fire. Through friends I got a job working part-time as receptionist at Winterland for Bill Graham, the concert promoter and band manager. There was an all-female video crew of three (a director and two camera operators) that shot all of the concerts for Bill, and projected the images above the stage on a huge screen, and in the bar on an old Madman Muntz projector TV. When one of the camera ops left to live with Jackson Browne in Los Angeles, I was asked if I wanted to take her job. I mentioned that I was a television major in college so they were sold. For my last year of college, I was planning on finishing my degree at Aix on Provence in the South of France. I went to visit friends at the Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup concert in 1973 in Munich. That day I got hired by production to paint the weather balloons that Mick tossed out to the audience, help push Tycobrae sound cases, and decorate the dressing rooms. Needless to say, I never made it back to school… At the end of the tour, the production manager, Brian "Crofty" Croft, recommended me for a job with the band, specifically for Keith Richards





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Left: Working as a D.I.T. Photo by Carlos de Varona. Middle: Operating on The Police Synchronicity 1983 Tour. Photo from Campbell's collection, Nocturne Video. Right: Shooting Boy George and Culture Club, A Kiss Across the Ocean Tour 1985. Photo by Paul Newman, Tasco Video.

as his family's live-in assistant. When the Stones' office manager, Anna Menzies, asked me if I would like to work for Keith, I asked, "Keith who?" She said, "You'll be perfect, and you come highly recommended." So began my year in 1973/74 with the London rock 'n' roll scene, which was also on fire! I saw more great bands, as working for the Stones was a free pass to any concert I wanted to see, and I got backstage passes without even asking. First, I was taking care of Keith's 16th century home in Chelsea, on the wealthiest street-Cheyne Walk, then managing a very hectic and star-studded constant party in the home for the family. Before they came back from living in Switzerland to avoid British taxes, I was alone in the home for a few weeks and had a burglar break-in. He sprayed me with a fire extinguisher, and threatened to kill me. The night before I had a premonition, put all of the guitars in a closet, and hid the key along with a note that the key was on the fireplace mantle. I managed to escape and avoid him swinging a walking stick at me as I ran down the stairs, and out the front door. My life flashed before me and I thought I had died. Soon I suffered from what we today call PTSD. I quit and flew home the day the burglar was released from jail after getting a threat from a friend of his. Keith understood, and knew I really wanted to operate camera. Mick Jagger totally sympathized with me, and told me he had bars


put on his basement kitchen windows when he encountered a fan in the dark kitchen one midnight asking, "Is it really you?" I guess that was a hazard of working for rich and famous rock stars, but that life wasn't for me. I was so homesick, cold, missed California, concerts in San Francisco, and operating camera. When I came home, I continued to shoot three bands a night, three nights a week at Winterland, and other Bay Area venues. I shot seven New Year's Eves with the Grateful Dead, and pride myself on not getting dosed on acid like another camera op unfortunately did (it was in the coffee onstage). Over the years I’ve shot over 2,000 acts. To support myself, I started working as an editorial assistant on a medical journal, then as an administrative assistant for cardiology research, then I worked in dermatology research. I tried to get into the AV department at the hospital, but women weren't considered for the department without a first class FCC license. So-I went back to school, studied electronics for a semester, and got my second and first class licenses. With these I could work at TV stations in master control. I left medicine and soon started working vacation relief at KRON-TV Channel 4, and KPIX-TV Channel 5 for several years. As vacation relief, I did every job at the station, from ENG van tech doing live shots,


Top left: At my DIT cart on a commercial. Photo by Carlos de Varona. Middle right: Shooting David Bowie, Sound & Vision 1990 World Tour. Photo by Rob Cowlyn. Bottom left: Shooting Grammys After Party. Photo from Campbell's collection.

master control, tape op, all of the studio jobs including; video control, audio board, technical director, camera, and lighting. In the late-1970s, I was also working for the band Journey's newly formed Nocturne Video Productions here and there. Journey was the first band that used cameras and video projection at stadium concerts in the Bay Area. The Who contacted Journey for information on taking video on the road full time after their concert tragedy in 1979, when a stampede of concert-goers outside the Riverfront Coliseum in Ohio resulted in the deaths of 11 people.

one-offs for HBO, MTV, etc. I also started assisting the engineer, learning as much as I could about the gear, and how to keep everything working in challenging circumstances. I once saved the Police concert at Shay Stadium when a local carpenter went to cut the lumber over the cables to the house mix position, not knowing there was anything under them. He visibly shook after I ran towards him screaming to stop as explained what was under the lumber.

I remember being told by a director that rock and roll would one day take video on the road like sound and lights, but women would never tour because we lacked the stamina and strength. I was outraged! I remember thinking, "I'll show him!" Years later, two fellow video crew members blew their backs out on the David Bowie Sound and Vision tour I was on, and I covered for them calling the truck pack for the local pushers, and doing their cabling while they nursed their bad backs.

Touring got to be grueling, and the only respite was when I was operating camera. I remember on AC/DC Razor's Edge we got to our 100th show and we weren't even halfway through the tour. A PA stack fell in Oakland and nearly crushed me to death. The straps failed, and I was hit with splinters and bruised when I dove out of the way. In Russia, an old soldier guarding my camera on stage wouldn't let me get to my camera to work. They had to delay the concert start until we convinced him women operate camera in Western countries. I finally had to just head-butt him and push past him to get up to my camera.

I started touring with The Police at the height of their Synchronicity fame and toured for over ten years with such bands as; David Bowie, AC/DC, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Ozzy Osbourne (Ultimate Oz and Bark at the Moon tours), Aerosmith, Culture Club, and many

I have been all over the world touring including; Russia, Japan, Australia, and Europe many times over. The best part of touring was the camaraderie I had with my "brothers." If a good-looking guy ever tried to talk to me I suddenly had many brothers quizzing him! One



Shooting Boy George and Culture Club, A Kiss Across the Ocean Tour 1985. Photo by Paul Newman, Tasco Video. Right: Headshot, photo by Paul Babin.

summer on a stadium leg, I was the only woman on a 92-man crew. Today, women are in all the departments, which I feel makes for a much more enriching experience for everyone. By now I was living in Los Angeles, and I wanted to join the union and work locally. It was 1994, and I had to wait to apply during their open enrollment for women and minorities for that one week out of the year. I was denied, as I didn't have enough hours operating camera because they wouldn't accept my touring camera work in Russia, Canada, Europe, Japan, etc., even though it was for an American company doing the exact same job (and shots) as in the U.S. Fortunately, I kept all of my paystubs so I just went back into my work history, and they had to let me in. I started out working on shows like Mad-TV, soap operas, and live award shows. In 2,000 the Society of Operating Cameramen (now the Society of Operating Camera) awarded me their Lifetime Achievement Award for 25 years of camera operating, and my body of work. It was quite an honor, and I try to give back by serving on the SOC Board, and mentor up-and-coming young women operators. As I had a video engineering background, in 2002, I was approached by the ICG to train in their first class of a new category forming called High-Def Techs. Later it would become Digital Image Technicians


or D.I.T.s. I took the Sante Fe workshop and started volunteering on A.F.I. summer productions for the Women's Directing Workshop. There I worked for Ellen DeGeneres, Moon Zappa and many wonderful and gifted women directors. Later, I was hired to work on films such as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Lately, as I wind my career down, although I don't ever plan on retiring as I love what I do, I have concentrated on just operating camera on opera (the hardest camera work I've ever done), filling in on live singing contest shows like Lip Sync Battle, and everything from industrials, or what we call “corporate theater,” to horse jumping, and sitcoms… I often found myself on sets remembering The Talking Heads who I shot many times, asking, "How did I get here?" It's all been a very Zelig-like experience and still is. Susan A. Campbell, SOC Susan A. Campbell has been a member of the SOC since 1997 and in 2000 received the SOC Lifetime Achievement Award for camera operating. She also currently serves on the Board of Governors. Her recent credits include; ped operator on Veep, Lip Sync Battle, Blunt Talk, the sit-com Family Time, Eagle's Memorial for Glenn Frey, and various one-off corporate events.


NEW LENSES October 2016

15 18 21 25 29 35

June 2016

40 50 75 100 135

CW Sonderoptic GmbH Wetzlar, Germany | Los Angeles, USA CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2017 13

Hacksaw Ridge Shooting Inside a Battle Mark Goellnicht, SOC an interview with Derek Stettler

Andrew Garfield stars as ‘Desmond Doss’ in HACKSAW RIDGE. Photo by Andrew Garfield


TRIVIA: When asked how many lives he saved, Desmond T. Doss said approximately 50. However, witnesses said it was closer to 100. A mutual agreement was reached at approximately 75.


In Mel Gibson’s much-anticipated return to the director’s chair after 2006’s Apocalypto, Hacksaw Ridge tells the remarkable true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a conscientious objector who nevertheless wanted to serve his country as a medic during World War II. Through his conviction and courage, Doss saved 75 men during the bloodiest battle of the second world war, all without carrying a gun or firing a bullet. And to capture this extraordinary story, the man right there alongside Andrew Garfield was camera operator, Mark Goellnicht, SOC. TRIVIA: The film had a 14-year path from idea to production, according to an article in Variety.

In a brief window between his holiday vacation in Australia and his return to the set of next year’s sci-fi blockbuster, Alita: Battle Angel, Camera Operator had the opportunity to chat with Goellnicht about his experience shooting this singular war film. CO: How and when were you hired to operate on this film? I was chosen by the cinematographer, Simon Duggan, ACS, who I worked with on The Great Gatsby as A-camera operator. He was basically forming the same crew again for this film—with the same gaffer, the same key grip, dolly grip, and mostly all the same camera assistants. It was nice getting the team back together. At the time I was asked to operate on Hacksaw Ridge, I was in Germany finishing up Captain America: Civil War, and I pretty much jumped right from one film to the other. Since Mel knew that I had that connection with George Miller from Mad Max: Fury Road, he had the confidence that, “If George liked him, he must be alright.” I’d also just like to say that I really had a close connection with the story, and to the main character, Desmond Doss. I absolutely relate to him in the sense of being a conscientious objector, and was, like many others, inspired by his conviction and bravery. This film was definitely an honor to be a part of. CO: What was it like working with Mel


Gibson? Can you speak a bit about your creative/collaborative process together? When I first met Mel, which was in pre-production for this film, we just talked about movies. Movies he liked, movies I liked, and it had nothing to do with Hacksaw Ridge; just about getting a sense of each other’s sensibilities. I learned quickly that Mel is a very honest and direct person, and if he doesn’t like something, he’ll tell you. For me, it made it really easy to work with him. He’s very authentic and absolutely clear and concise about how he feels and what he wants. There’s no second-guessing him because there’s nothing wishy-washy about him. We very quickly understood what he likes and wants, and were able to anticipate those things once we got into the rhythm of shooting. Mel wanted the camera to be very honest as well, avoiding elaborate, flowery shots. The more you could simplify a shot, the happier he was. I really enjoyed working with him, he was a great collaborator, and very approachable. As an operator, I’m really most excited by performance. And with Mel, one thing I really appreciated was how, as an actor himself, he’s all about performance and has that talent to be able to act things out on set and nail it. Of course, with due respect to the actor that’s performing, but it was amazing to witness him giving that kind of valuable hands-on example of what he wanted, often in very

physical scenes too. He was very excited and passionate, constantly. He didn’t care if he got mud all over him, he’d get in the trenches and embrace it. CO: How would you describe your approach to shooting the film? What did director, Mel Gibson, cinematographer, Simon Duggan, ACS, and you discuss in terms of techniques, methods, and tone? Mel wanted the camera to feel like one of the soldiers. He wanted to feel the bravery and the passion of the soldiers, and the immediacy of each moment. As a camera operator, your job is to serve the film as best you can. One thing that George Miller and John Seale, ACS, ACS, really ingrained in me during the shooting of Mad Max: Fury Road, and which Mel and Simon emphasized as well, is to treat every film and every shot with a whole new approach. What I try to do is to think about what’s actually happening in every setup, to really pay attention to what’s happening in the scene, and I ask myself what the meaning of each shot is, and what the director is trying to achieve. Then consider what the camera needs to see to best get that across. And that automatically tells you the answer to all those decisions you have to make; what lens you need to be on, how you need to move the camera, where the camera needs to be positioned, the framing, etc. Because all those questions are answered by just examining the meaning of each shot, it’s


a very top-down approach. Mel and Simon wanted the camera to be motivated by what’s going on. Not motivated by making fancy, cool shots for the sake of making cool shots. Mel never intended to have highly choreographed long shots, because he never wanted the film to feel like a Hollywood production. So the aim was to make it feel visceral and very much in the moment, largely avoiding storyboards. Mel would block through the action and work out how he wanted it covered. By doing that, by shooting it bite size and using the talent of the editor to pace it all, I think it worked out great. Naturally, we used a lot of handheld. But we were conscious of not overusing it so we wouldn’t draw attention to the camera. We used longer lenses when we needed to in order to compress the background and used wide lenses very close to the actors in the trenches. There was a point where we were racing with Andrew after he got hit and was being carried on a stretcher. For this shot, we

tried to extend the moment and make the audience feel really connected to Desmond and what he was going through. I followed above him on Steadicam to give it that sense of a spiritual feeling. In every single shot, Mel wanted the audience to see the bravery and the passion and feel connected to how Desmond and the other soldiers were feeling. With each take, Mel kept telling everyone to do everything

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faster, to capture that sense of urgency and panic in the moment. CO: Who were some of the other members of the crew that you worked closely with? I was lucky enough to be able to work with 1st AC, David Elmes, who I’ve worked with on about five other films now. He’s a fantastically brilliant focus puller, and just having that comfort and trust between us was great. As I mentioned, I’d worked with most of the rest of the camera department before on The Great Gatsby, and shooting in the difficult

conditions of those battle sequences and during one of the rainiest October/Novembers in Sydney’s history was made much easier by having that trust, familiarity, and comradery between us. And my dolly grip, Brett McDowell, was amazing as usual, I basically didn’t have to tell him anything because we’ve worked together on so many films now. He has a great understanding and feel for performance, too, and makes my job about ten times easier.

Scene of wounded soldiers at the base of HACKSAW RIDGE after the first battle. Mark Goellnicht operating Steadicam. Photo by Mark Rogers



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CO: Where was the film shot? We shot in and around Sydney, Australia, and just outside of Goulburn in New South Wales, Australia. The ridge itself was a real cliff face at a quarry location and the battlefield, along with the uppermost portion of the ridge, was created on a property about an hour outside of Sydney. CO: What was it like filming in those intense battle sequences? Mel was adamant with everyone that he wanted the camera to feel what Desmond Doss was feeling and that it was part of the company. That the camera was in there as one of the soldiers, and feeling and responding to the same things as a soldier would. He wanted the audience to be immersed in that

experience. What that meant for me was that I needed to be inside the battle. To make a realistic battle where it was safe to shoot in, what the special effects did was first, was to use a lot of smoke. This created low visibility, which helped to disguise things, is also just a reality during war, and caused the soldiers to really struggle to see more than 20 or 30 feet in front of them. This created a sense of claustrophobia. Mel wanted the explosions going off to feel right in front of the soldiers and to have Desmond barely escape being hit himself so many times. So the special effects team created a new technology called ‘box bombs’, which can be detonated right next to an actor without risking them being hurt. They were incredibly effective in camera. Of course, the hardest thing for me as on operator was the sheer amount of dust and

smoke in the air, along with the mud. At one point, I ended up tracking with the wrong person. In order to get some of the fast tracking shots, we used a rickshaw dolly to pull me along with Steadicam. This helped take away that factor of me having to find a path through the battlefield. We also had moments where we used vehicles and cranes for really fast tracking. But one thing Mel emphasized avoiding was high wide shots or massive swooping crane shots, because he really wanted the audience to, again, feel completely immersed in that battle and not removed from it by looking down on it. CO: What shot are you most proud of? One shot that really stands out to me is when Desmond first sees Dorothy in the hospital; she’s the love interest played by

TRIVIA: Mel Gibson stated that if Desmond T. Doss were alive today, he would want him to be President of the United States. Andrew Garfield stars as ‘Desmond Doss’ in HACKSAW RIDGE. Photo by Mark Rogers



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Teresa Palmer. It’s that moment, and I think we’ve all been through it, where you’re just taken by someone. I love how we covered that. We shot it both from his point of view with longer lenses, but also really up close and in his face when we were looking at how he was feeling. We used a real mixture of different focal lengths to create a unique feeling. We used Steadicam for that sequence. Simon Duggan’s lighting there, and with all the scenes with her, is brighter and more

colorful to make it feel happy and safe and to contrast with the gritty, more monochromatic harshness of the battle.

CO: What have you been up to since Hacksaw Ridge finished shooting and what's next? 

Another shot that I’m fond of is when Desmond has just come down off the ridge, after the second battle, and he’s just completely disoriented and exhausted. At the bottom, he walks down through this trail as he passes by all the soldiers and I both followed him and showed his POV with handheld. It really made you feel the moment.

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity of working with Joon-ho Bong on a movie called Okja, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton. And last September, I started the sci-fi film Alita: Battle Angel, which wraps in February 2017. It’s directed by Robert Rodriquez, with cinematography by Bill Pope, ASC. I’m having a great time!

TRIVIA: The film was shot in 59 days.

Above: Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) being helped onto the stretcher in the final battle scene, High Line suspension handheld rig used by Mark Goellnicht. Bottom, from left to right: Sam Worthington, Director Mel Gibson, and Vince Vaughn on the set of HACKSAW RIDGE. Photos by Mark Rogers


Mark Goellnicht, SOC Mark Goellnicht began his career at a film production company based in his hometown of Perth, Australia. He trained as a camera assistant and cut his teeth as a camera operator in television for nearly a decade, which gave Goellnicht the confidence and competence to transition into working on feature films as a camera/Steadicam operator in Sydney. Twelve years later, Goellnicht moved to Hollywood and has since worked with directors such as George Miller, Baz Luhrmann, Mel Gibson, JoonHo Bong, Robert Rodriguez and cinematographers including Dean Semler, John Seale, Vilmos Zsigmond, Darius Khondji, and Bill Pope. Goellnicht’s most notable film credits are: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Great Gatsby, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers, In the Land of Blood and Honey, Secretariat, and San Andreas.

Photo by Mark Rogers


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HIDDEN FIGURES Unveiling the Remarkable by Jason Ellson, SOC

TRIVIA: As well as producing the film, Pharrell Williams also oversaw all its musical elements and its soundtrack. Photo by Hopper Stone. TM & © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.



Hidden Figures is an American biographical period film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. This film recounts the true story of three brilliant African-American women who, while working in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center, helped NASA with one of its earliest successes – the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the moon. Mathematician, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world. THE BACKSTORY You've heard the names John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and Neil Armstrong. What about Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith, or Barbara Holley? Most Americans have no idea that from the 1940s through the 1960s, a cadre of African-American women formed part of the country’s space workforce, or that this group—mathematical ground troops in the Cold War—helped provide NASA with the raw computing power it needed to dominate the heavens.  Hidden Figures recovers the history of these pioneering women and situates it in the intersection of the defining movements of the American century: the Cold War, the Space Race, the Civil Rights movement, and the quest for gender equality. After the start of World War II, Federal agencies and defense contractors across the country coped with a shortage of male number crunchers by hiring women with math skills. America’s aeronautical think tank, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (the “NACA”), headquartered at Langley Research Labora-


tory in Hampton, Virginia, created a pool of female mathematicians who analyzed endless arrays of data from wind tunnel tests of airplane prototypes. Women were thought to be more detail-oriented, their smaller hands better suited for repetitive tasks on the Friden manual adding machines. A “girl” could be paid significantly less than a man for doing the same job. And male engineers, once freed from laborious math work, could focus on more “serious” conceptual and analytical projects.

GETTING THE JOB When cinematographer, Mandy Walker, ASC, ACS, called me to ask if I was interested in working on a film she had just been offered, Hidden Figures, without question or knowing much about the project, I was in! Mandy and I had done two quite grueling movies prior to this project, Tracks and Jane Got a Gun, and I had no doubt in my mind that this was going to be no exception. We have an unspoken dialogue on set, and Mandy is someone who really gives the operator freedom to create, to be involved in the whole filmmaking process. There are some

people in this business that you would drop everything for-she is one of them. Before reading the script, I knew we would be embarking on an exciting journey.

STYLE REFERENCES Mandy is big on giving her operators reference material. Our stylistic references were Parallax View, and the French film, Revenge. We also had a lot of period specific stills as reference. Upon reading the script I had a feeling that this was going to be a very special project. Like our two previous movies, we shot this one on 35mm anamorphic. We used the Panavision E series lenses, which provided such a great look to this period piece.

THE TEAM I had been working with camera operator, Mick Froelich prior to this project and thought that he would be a great addition on the B-camera. Our focus pullers, Larry Neilsen and Tony Rivetti, had their work cut out for them as Mindy shoots everything wide open. Larry and Tony did an amazing job on this picture. I cannot credit these guys highly enough. One of my first phone calls


went out to dolly grip, Jeff ‘Moose’ Howery who fortunately, was available. Jeff is one of those guys who is so talented, and so in tune with moving the camera he just puts you in the right spot at the right time with such grace and finesse. Even if we do look like ‘David and Goliath’ standing together.

EVERYONE IS EQUAL Ted Melfi directed the movie, and it was such a pleasure to work with him. Ted carried a very large binder which was named ‘The Bible.’ It contained his extensive pre-production notes as references for how each scene in the movie should look. It also had reference stills attached to each scene. This provided a great backbone for how we would approach this ambitious 43-day shoot. Once we began shooting we discussed an idea that early on in the movie’s storyline we should shoot our three main African-American women characters slightly below eye level when they were interacting with Caucasians. The idea was to subtly create the feeling that Cauca-

sians were above them, and looking down on these ladies. As the movie progresses and the women become more empowered, we raised the camera higher to subconsciously create the visual for the viewer that everyone is equal. This was a theme that I think we stuck to pretty well. I hope it portrays a feeling onscreen of how these three incredible women overcame extraordinary hardships to make significant contributions to race equality, womens' equality, aeronautics, astronautics, and America's victory over the Soviet Union in the Space Race. We also worked to keep camera movement at a minimum, unless we were traveling with the actors on Steadicam or on the dolly.

VISUAL APPROACH Our visual approach to each setup was to set a stylized, balanced frame, maximizing the anamorphic format, and then let the action play within that frame. We tried to keep the camera movement to a minimum unless we were moving with the actors. We had a lot of


E T:

2 x Pa navisio Panavis n XL c ameras ion E-s eries an amorph ic lense Steadi s cam Aurora non-st abilized 2 axis r emoteLibra a head nd 50’ techno crane

scenes with actors running up and down corridors, and many moving dialogue scenes in corridors, which for the most part, we relied on Steadicam shots.

ON LOCATION We shot the whole movie in practical locations in and around Atlanta. In one location, a suburban house, Kathryn (Taraji Henson)

On the set of Twentieth Century Fox’s HIDDEN FIGURES. Photo by Hopper Stone



comes home late at night from working at NASA, and goes to tuck her three children into bed who are meant to be asleep. The children’s bedroom was the size of a shoebox! My initial thought was, "This would be soooo much easier on stage," however, as we started blocking and shooting the scene there was something very intimate and personal about shooting in this very small space, something I don’t know we could have replicated on stage. I must mention Wynn Thomas, our production designer, who did an amazing job of transforming these sets under some pretty crazy time restraints. Often we would come in to shoot on a set or location and the paint was still drying. Kudos to our gaffer, Chris Culliton and his team who faced their fair share of challenges lighting these locations. Overall, we shot on relatively wide lenses for dialogue scenes. To preserve the eye lines we would swing a lens on the A-camera rather than try and force two cameras together at the same time which would compromise one of the angles. Ted was onboard with this, and

really wanted to maintain the stylistic integrity of the film. Mick would get in there on the B-camera whenever he could, and got some fantastic complimentary shots and angles. We had a crane and a remote head for a few of our big days, otherwise we relied on a jib with an Aurora Remote Head which we carried full-time. There are a few scenes where I wish we had had the budget for some more remote head days, however, you do the best with what you have.

THE TALENT We had such an incredible cast, our three women leads, Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae could not have been more fun and accommodating to work with. Our male lead was Kevin Costner who brings so much to the table. He is a real pro, and someone who is extremely engaging to watch behind the lens. Taraji had just completed a season of Empire and joined us immediately thereafter. I really take my hat off to her for such an amazing performance

playing Kathryn. She must have been exhausted, but it never showed. There's a scene in the movie, a pivotal turning point in her role, where Taraji confronts Kevin. Social issues have reached a boiling point and she just explodes. When we cut there was absolute silence on the set. It was such a special emotional performance on so many levels. People were either mesmerized or crying. It is such a privilege as a camera operator when you get to witness scenes that put a lump in your throat and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It really reminds you what an awesome job we have as storytellers being at the forefront of this process. Hidden Figures was such a memorable experience and definitely a project I was extremely proud to be a part of.

TRIVIA: Several of the control console props in the Mercury Mission Control set were previously used in the District 13 control room set in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015). They were originally built for the Mission Control Room set for Apollo 13 (1995) and modified for use in the later films.

On the set of Twentieth Century Fox’s HIDDEN FIGURES. Photo by Hopper Stone



Jason Ellson, SOC Jason Ellson has been the camera and Steadicam operator on movies such as; 21 & 22 Jump Street, Tracks, Jane Got a Gun, Central Intelligence, and the upcoming Amy Schumer Untitled Project. He has worked with Larry Fong, Bill Pope, Barry Peterson, Greig Fraser, Florian Ballhaus, and Bruno Delbonnel amongst others. Jason began his career shooting news and current affairs in Australia and South East Asia before moving to Los Angeles in 2000. When he is not working, he is keeping fit, grilling with friends and most importantly spending time with his wife and three children. Photo by Hopper Stone

TRIVIA: When Taraji P. Henson signed on for the lead role, she met with then 98-yearold real-life Katherine Johnson in order to discuss the character she was about to portray. In the course of their conversation, Taraji learned that the mathematical genius had graduated from high school at age 14 and from college at age 18, and was still as lucid as anyone years her junior. After the film was pre-screened for Johnson, she expressed her genuine approval of Taraji's portrayal of her but was forever confused as to why anybody would wish to make a film about her life in the first place. Top: On the set of Twentieth Century Fox’s HIDDEN FIGURES. Middle: Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae, left), Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer). Bottom: Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) offers some help to NASA mission specialist Karl Zielinski (Olek Krupa). Photos by Hopper Stone





Live by Night Live Dangerously by Colin Anderson, SOC

an interview with Derek Stettler

(L-R) Zoe Saldana as Graciela and Ben Affleck as Joe Coughlin in Warner Bros. Pictures' dramatic crime thriller LIVE BY NIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Claire Folger



In Live by Night, the Roaring Twenties sets the stage for a classic tale of revenge, romance, greed, and glamour as a young gangster named Joe Coughlin (Affleck) chases money and power amidst the violent Boston underworld. When Joe’s ambition and nerve take him too far, he’s driven out of Boston and down a dark path that sees him rising to power in Tampa’s sweltering gangland. Colin Anderson, SOC has a reputation as being one of the top camera operators working today. Having worked with director Ben Affleck on both The Town and Argo, when it came time to find a camera operator for Affleck’s latest, the prohibition-era gangster film Live by Night, Anderson was naturally brought onboard from the very start—nearly two years before production began. In Live by Night, the Roaring Twenties sets the stage for a classic tale of revenge, romance, greed and glamour as a young gangster named Joe Coughlin (Affleck) chases money and power amidst the violent Boston underworld. When Joe’s ambition and nerve take him too far, he’s driven out of Boston and down a dark path that sees him rising to power in Tampa’s sweltering gangland. Like Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, Live by Night is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, and stars Ben Affleck, Brendan Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, and Chris Cooper. Camera Operator was able to catch Colin during a momentary break between films and asked him about his experience shooting Live by Night, and operating with the new Alexa 65 camera system. CO: How and when did you get hired to operate on Live by Night? I was asked to do Live by Night almost two years before the film’s shooting start date of October 2015. I think it was pushed back three times due to projects that came up for Ben, Gone Girl being one of them. But I was prepared to wait as long as necessary, I relish working with Ben and feel that he has immense talent as a director.


CO: You have worked with Ben Affleck several times before, both on films he starred in and films he has directed. What was it like working with him again on this film, and who were some of the other members of the crew that you worked closely with? Yes, I have had a fairly long working relationship with Ben, and I find him to be extremely collaborative. When describing or setting up a shot, he will not go into great detail but outline the broad strokes. Once we have done a take or two he will comment about any tweaks or changes he would like and then we’ll progress from there. Ben doesn’t like to do a lot of takes, so there is that little voice in the back of your mind saying, “I’d better get this.” As a general rule of thumb, he will describe the setup to the DP, and I will eavesdrop and comment as necessary. Because of those previous collaborations with Ben, he asked Bob Richardson, ASC to use me as his camera operator. I’d only ever worked with Bob many years ago on Martin Scorsese’s Casino, and back then just a couple of shots as a Steadicam assistant. So it was with great trepidation that I accepted, Bob being one of the giants in the industry! I didn’t have to worry, though, as Bob was incredibly supportive and generous, and I felt right at home with him and his longstanding team of key grip, Chris Centrella, and gaffer, Ian Kincade. They make probably one of the most impressive teams I have ever seen in action. Ben and I were looped into this tight-knit team and it felt easy and productive. Ben is very confident and assured in what he wants, so with quick descriptions to

Bob, he would set the wheels in motion for efficient and seamless filmmaking. You know things are working well when you’re getting stunning images and powerful scenes in under 12 hours a day. Trevor Loumis was my 1st AC, and to have someone of his skill level was absolutely essential. Shooting a drama with a fair amount of action in low light in the 65mm format presents a unique set of challenges for focus, and we were lucky to have Trevor handle the many challenges that came his way. CO: What was it like working with Robert Richardson, ASC? Can you discuss what the set working relationship was like? Bob will often look at a setup with a finder, whether it is Steadicam or B-camera, and then describe to me what he is looking for. Bob uses the headsets, and when I’m doing a Steadicam shot, he will be back at the monitor and sometimes talk to me on the fly as the shot progresses. Some might find that distracting, but I don’t mind it as it’s comforting to know that you are giving them what they want without having to repeat the shot multiple times, wearing out the actors and yourself in the process. CO: Live by Night was shot with the Arri Alexa 65 camera. What were the discussions that led to the choice of that camera system for this film? Initially, Live by Night was going to be shot on film, as Ben’s previous movies were anamorphic film and he was eager to repeat that. But in prep, Bob did a comparison of anamorphic film and the Alexa 65, using an old Sphero lens that Dan Sasaki [Panav-


ision’s VP of Optical Engineering] resurrected from, I believe, Ben Hur. After comparing the images, it became clear that the Alexa 65 was the right choice for the film. Once that choice was made, Dan made two sets of Panavision Sphero lenses specifically for the movie (there are now 10 sets). CO: Having worked with traditional IMAX film cameras in the past, as well as Arri's standard Alexa, can you speak a bit about your experience shooting with the Alexa 65 and how it compares? Were there any surprises or challenges? The camera itself was an absolute pleasure to work with. Having done quite a bit of work with IMAX cameras in the past, it was good to have a decent viewfinder, and also a camera that was light enough to mount on a Steadicam. When I say light enough, it’s

obviously heavier than a film camera, or the regular Alexa, but it’s substantially lighter than the traditional IMAX bodies. Trevor also had my back, so to speak, and he used the lighter Heden motors for focus. The lighter load was much appreciated! CO: Where was the film shot? The film started shooting in Brunswick, Georgia, where a large part of the town was converted into a bustling 1920s Tampa area town. Other filming took place on Jekyll Island, Georgia, in Savannah, South Carolina, and in various small towns in Massachusetts, and in Boston itself. Filming ended in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. CO: What was your most memorable moment or shot from the film?

One of the most gratifying things for a Steadicam operator is when your shot is used in its entirety, and not chopped up in the edit. Live by Night is one of those shows in which we did an extraordinary amount of “one’ers,” but two of these shots, in particular, stand out for me. The first one is the opening shot of the movie, a Steadicam on a crane pointing straight down. A car with Ben and his cronies in it enters frame, we crane down and I step off as Ben gets out of the car into a close-up. We track with Ben and his guys to a door where there is a brief pause before they burst through, and break into a run down a corridor and up to a closed curtain. The camera then overtakes the guys going into a room where there is a card game taking place at a table. I rotate 360 degrees around the table and pick up Sienna Miller approaching the table from behind. I rotate back around

TRIVIA: Ben Affleck delayed his own directorial production of this project to take the lead role in David Fincher's adaption of Gone Girl (2014). According to Affleck, he always wanted to get a chance to work with David Fincher on a film. (L-R) Ben Affleck as Joe Coughlin and Chris Messina as Dion Bartolo in Warner Bros. Pictures' dramatic crime thriller LIVE BY NIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Claire Folger



the table in the opposite direction as they sweep the money into bags, and land in a tight two shot on Ben and Sienna as he gags her. The shot ends with the camera panning the boys out of the room. Because there were so many moving parts and variables to the shot, it took a while to get right—seventeen takes in total, but we were pleased with the final take. Another memorable shot started with the wife of Ben’s character sitting on a couch. Slow pan through their child playing on the floor to Ben sitting in a chair. Ben reaches down to pick up his child, and then stands up in front of the lounge windows. We see Chris Cooper approaching the house through the window behind Ben. He starts firing at Ben, Ben takes cover, whip pan to Ben’s wife, whip pan back to Ben scrambling

on the floor to a dresser where he grabs a gun. Stand him up and follow him outside, over the shoulder, as he fires back at Chris Cooper. We see Chris go down, Ben turns into a close-up, and we lead him back into the lounge where Ben’s wife is on the ground with the crying child. Ben crouches down and cradles his wife while the kid wanders off crying. I decided to keep only the kid’s legs in the shot as I found it more dramatic and disturbing to see his legs moving through the frame, and hear his crying but not see his face. Take two worked really well so we decided to go with it, and that’s the one in the movie. CO: What have you been up to since Live by Night finished shooting?  Since Live by Night, I worked on the upcoming film The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise,

T E C H O N S E T:

Arri Alexa 6 5 Cameras Panavision Sphero 65 Lenses Steadicam GF-8 and G F-16 Crane Oculus Stab ilized Head Pursuit Arm

which was shot in London and some beautiful locations in Namibia. And I just finished shooting Suburbicon with Matt Damon. It’s directed by George Clooney, and happily shot right here in Los Angeles.

TRIVIA: Cinematographer Robert Richardson wanted to shoot the film with the set of Ultra Panavision 70 anamorphic lenses he had recently used on The Hateful Eight (2015), but Panavision had already rented them for use on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Elle Fanning as Loretta Figgis in Warner Bros. Pictures' dramatic crime thriller LIVE BY NIGHT, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Pictures release. Photo by Claire Folger



Colin Anderson, SOC Born and raised in South Africa, Colin had 10 years of experience in the industry before moving to Los Angeles in 1992. He has worked mainly on feature films, notably with directors J.J. Abrams, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Ben Affleck. His collaboration with J.J. Abrams includes all five films that he has directed; Mission Impossible III, both Star Trek films, Super 8, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Other films he has worked on are; There Will Be Blood, Good Night and Good Luck, The Town, Argo,The Master, and the Martin Scorsese film Silence. Colin also worked on The Mummy and has just completed the George Clooney helmed picture Suburbicon. Photo by Claire Folger

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

TRIVIA: Ben Affleck's fourth time directing a movie and his second time directing an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel. His first being Gone Baby Gone (2007). Top: (L-R) Writer/director/producer Ben Affleck and Sienna Miller on the set. Middle: (L-R) Ben Affleck and Sienna Miller. Bottom: (L-R) Zoe Saldana and writer/director/producer Ben Affleck on the set. Photos by Claire Folger



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Smooth Operator Gretchen Warthen, SOC

Shooting B-Roll in Madagascar where we were filming a documentary about local environmentalists. Photo by Director, Natalee Watts

It was one of our last days deep in the mountains of Papua, New Guinea. We were immersed with a tribe who shared their story of being decimated by tribal warfare. This was a world that relied solely on what their land provided. Their currency was coffee beans, their communication by word-of-mouth only. There was no Facebook or internet. The reaction to the notion of the Western world spending money to sip their coffee in a “coffee shop” made them laugh. Why would a person travel for miles to pay someone to make coffee for them? For most of the tribe, it was the first time they saw white people. For the entire tribe, it was the first time they had ever seen a camera.  This particular morning it was raining and two of the women in the tribe were spending time with our young female subject. As our time in this village was coming to an end, our subject felt compelled to share a deeply personal story with these women. A story she had kept locked up inside her during the entire eight-month run of our docuseries. 


As with most documentary scenes, I knew I would be shooting single camera. I also knew I had one chance to get it right. Because of rain, the women had retreated under a thatched roof to wait out the shower. While I usually choose three main positions to cover a scene, I decided to position myself in one spot where I would remain the entire scene. I knew I didn’t want to call attention to myself because I suspected it was going to be an emotional moment, plus these tribal women were still easily distracted by the camera. Relying completely on existing lighting, I chose a spot where light from outside of the hut would wrap around them from behind. I was 15 feet away. Far enough away that I could hear their words only through the earpiece connected to my camera. I needed to quiet my mind and tune out everything except the words and emotion flowing between these women. Not being able to change angles, I knew I would be completely driven by the dialogue and non-verbal gestures within the scene to get the coverage.


SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2017 Loews Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees: • Governors Award, MICHAEL KEATON

Photos by Albert Ortega

• • • • •



Camera Operator, GARRETT BROWN, SOC Mobile Camera Platform Operator, MIKE MOAD Camera Technician, BOBBY MANCUSO Still Photographer, PHIL CARUSO Technical Achievement Award, SHOTOVER: K1 6 AXIS STABILIZER • Technical Achievement Award, THAT CAT:  THE PATENTED SILENT CAT CAMERA SLIDER

2017 Camera Operators of the Year: NOMINEES for FEATURE FILMS:


The Awards will be streamed live. Please log on to for times, location, and all broadcast details.




I started on a wide shot of the three and waited for the geography and mood of the scene to establish before moving into a single of who was talking. As soon as they settled and the rhythm of the conversation began to unfold, I began to rely on the women's nonverbal body language and gestures to self-direct my shooting. As our subject (who was speaking) looked up with tears in her eyes, I used the motion of the tilt of her head to motivate my camera to pan to the reaction of the women beside her. The women listened as our subject continued her story. The woman who was listening looked down, and I followed her gaze with my camera. At this moment she took the hand of our subject. The frame filled with the image of a light-skinned hand with bright yellow fingernail polish tightly grasping the dark-skinned hand of the female villager. From this frame, I tilted up to the reaction of our subject who was physically moved by this kind gesture. Pulling out to a three shot, I reestablished the geography of the scene and the womens' physical relationship to each other. The scene continued like this for a good half-hour. Shooting this scene involved the critical skill of quieting my own internal dialogue and listening (thank-you to audio mixers everywhere). Listening is essential to shooting a dialogue driven scene properly. There is a subconscious rhythm which develops between people during conversations, gestures which cue the give-and-take of the in-

teraction. Paying attention not only to what is being said, but also to the nonverbal gestures of the scene, and allowing those gestures to motivate my camera movement, helps my coverage. The first cut of this scene had only two edits. The majority of this scene in the final cut was one fluid movement, and the edits were simply to cut time, not to cover unusable footage.

SHOOTING A MULTI-CAMERA SHOOT BY YOURSELF We are spending the day with Rosalina, a local South African villager. She turns to my producer and says, “Do you want to go with us to get water?” “Absolutely,” she replies. In this culture women are responsible for getting water. In this particular village there are no wells for the women to access water, so every day they set out on a journey to gather life’s main necessity. It is a journey that can last most of the day, and it is a journey we need to shoot to complete our story. Although I am shooting single camera, I know I have to cover this like a multi-camera shoot in order to truly capture the experience. As the two women prepare for the journey, my shot list begins to write itself. I focus my coverage on the intent looks on their faces, the impossibly large mass of buckets and containers roped together in the wheelbarrow. (There had to be 30 gallons worth). The worn shoes which will








San Francisco unit of MURDER IN THE FIRST with poducer and director Caroline James. Photo by Stefan Tarzan

This photo is from a Papua New Guinea. I had flown by helicopter to shoot a local political rally. While I waited I heard singing coming from the trees. I went to explore and walked into an amazing world. Unfortunately I don’t have photos from that world but these people eventually danced out into a clearing, where this photo was taken by my AC who wasn’t sure where I had disappeared to.

























7-28V DC VO










carry them on the journey. The sweat already obvious on their bodies. The sun is beating down as they start walking. I soon realize this will be a scene with very minimal dialogue. The women have shared less than a dozen words preparing, and are now walking in silence. This is going to be a story I have to tell primarily with images, because there is almost no dialogue to motive the coverage. While I generally try to not let my personal experience imprint itself on my coverage of other people’s experiences, I decide to listen to my internal dialogue, instead of quieting it, to help myself key into the scene, and the shots which will convey the story. About 30 minutes later (not as long as I thought it would take), we arrive at the waterhole and Rosalina finally speaks,  “No water.  We have to go to the next one.” My producer steps in and asks what she means, and is told that they don’t know which holes have water ahead of time. They just hope it’s the closest hole. But today, it’s not the closest hole and we must keep searching.  At this point, my shot list gets longer as the story takes on a new layer. I run ahead to get compressed long shots to show struggle and to get expansive wide shots for the women to walk through to show the distance they have to travel. I shoot POV’s up and down steep paths, over rocks, thru fences, and other difficult areas to navigate. I shoot low angle shots up towards the sun, waiting for the women to cross frame to convey how hot it is with the sun beating down. I incorporate foreground of sage bush, rocks, cows, and anything else relevant to show we are in the middle of the bush.  

Much later, unable to find clean water at three potential waterholes, we arrive at a pond. Cows are drinking, as well as peeing and pooping in the water. There’s trash floating in it too, and a terrible odor emanates from the pond. Rosalina begins scooping murky water into her buckets while her friend silently stands looking off into the distance.  After shooting Rosalina gathering water, I move over to her friend who explains she is not gathering water but rather standing lookout because women get attacked at this waterhole.  She tells us a woman was raped, with a baby on her back, the week before. My internal dialogue tells me the arduous journey to find water has a new aspect—danger. The threat of physical harm after making such a physically demanding search tells me my shot list needs to include much tighter shots on the return home. Close-ups of faces. POVs looking for danger. I want to capture the dread that they feel. I readjust my shot list once again, and find angles and frames to convey new information that will add another layer to the story.

CAPTURING THE WILD WORLD OF SCRIPTED COMEDY AND UNEXPECTED IMPROVISATION There’s a certain assuredness one has on a sound stage with a script, AD’s, the glam squad, and craft service. It’s a much different realm than the documentary world of far off travels where life is vastly foreign to ours here in the States. Like the twists and turns of capturing stories of villagers in remote areas, working as a handheld camera

This photo was taken in Sodo Ethiopia where we were shooting a documentary about micro loans. This woman is our translator and as usual, ready for a camera lesson! Photo courtesy of Gretchen Warthen.




To me a successful project is based on

trust. Trust in my colleagues from the producers

and director to the actors, the crew and the

equipment house to the editors and post house—

all collaborating to bring something meaningful

to the screen. And trust that following my instincts

is the best path to telling an honest story.

James Laxton has been universally lauded for his uniquely stunning imagery in Moonlight. He sensitively brings the viewer into the psyche of the characters, immersed within the lush Monet greens and salty blues of the Florida landscape. VER applauds cinematographer James Laxton on his many Moonlight honors, and more to come:

Nominee Academy Award® Best Cinematography Nominee ASC Theatrical Release Award Winner LAFCA Award Winner NYFCC Award Nominee Critics’ Choice Award Nominee Film Independent Spirit Award Nominee Golden Frog Nominee Satellite Award Nominee WAFCA Award

VER Camera Prep facilities:





operator on a scripted comedy series that integrates improv can be wildly unpredictable. Years of camera operating on documentaries and reality TV taught me to roll with the punches,  and was the  perfect training for the chameleon and hilarious world of soft, scripted comedies with that tangy twist of improv. When the script calls for one ending, but the actors go way off script, off their marks, and create their own surprise ending-getting from A to B without breaking the shot, keeping steady is a must. The key to covering this type of series is knowing the script so you can recognize it when the actors go off script. Self-directing is crucial during these moments when not even the directors or producers know what’s happening. They rely on the operators to capture the chaos. When a simple office scene turns into a scene with one character having his pants around his ankles while another character sticks a pencil up his behind, as an operator you have to have the skills to cover this as if it's been rehearsed multiple times. Tight shots and all!

SOMETIMES ‘YA JUST GOTTA KEEP SHOOTING… The smell of a barnyard floated to our nostrils. An odor that often lingered in the air when I was a kid in an Idaho farm town of 200 peo-

ple. Twenty years later, in the African outback I'm picking up that nostalgic smell from childhood. Smiling at the memory, I mention this to the Swahili driver next to me. We share the front seat of our topless Jeep with my audio mixer, AC, director, and two producers in the back. Not returning my smile, the driver tells me it's the smell that occurs when a bull elephant's testosterone levels are high and he is in "musth"-ready to mate. A period prone to high aggression. “We need to get out of here now,” the driver says, tension clear in his voice.  A few minutes later the smell is gone and the we are all relieved. We crest a short rise to see a herd of baby elephants and their mothers crossing in front of us. Myself, and the six crew members behind me oooh and ahh at the  adorable  sight. But the driver explains it  is not good.  “We can't continue to drive forward because the herd is crossing the road, and we can’t turn back because this is the only road out and the bull in musth is behind us. We don’t want to cross paths with him.” The driver stops the Jeep and we begin to wait. I take the opportunity to shoulder my camera and shoot B-roll of the dozens of elephants crossing the road.  They seem disinterested in us until a large female appears from the trees and begins to come our way. The driver turns off the motor and asked us all to be very quiet. “We don’t want to call any more attention to ourselves.  If this is a mother, she may be protective over her baby.” I ask if I can keep shooting and he says that as long as I don’t make large movements, shooting is fine. At this moment, the biggest animal

This is a photo of me shooting from camel back. I was following people who were also on camels in India. What you don’t see is the boarder of Pakistan with a lot of military vehicles. This is all taking place behind the person taking the photo. Photo courtesy of Gretchen Warthen.





I have ever seen in my life comes crashing through the trees. He is literally dripping with hormones, and  apparently the source of the barnyard smell.  He eyes the female then turns his malevolent gaze on us. The driver then begins talking under his breath to the female elephant, “Please move on. Do not come closer. Please, please, please turn away and move on.” He repeats this mantra in Swahili and then again in English. It seems to work, because the female turns away and rejoins the herd. The male, however, does not lose interest. He begins to slowly walk towards us, flapping his massive ears and swinging his trunk. The driver quietly tells me the bull planned to mate with this female. He figures the smelly gray mountain was jealous of the female’s attention to our Jeep and might think we were challenging his dominance of the herd. He tells us all to be very quiet and still. He cannot fire up the Jeep because it could be taken as a sign of aggression by the bull. And we cannot back up fast enough to outrun the bull. The driver begins to mumble pleas for mercy again. I keep shooting. The elephant comes closer and closer, the driver continues to plead in Swahili-the tension grows.  A crew member behind me, who was familiar with the bush, begins to cry and mutter, “The elephant will charge. We’re all going to die. We're all going to die." I keep shooting so I can stay calm and keep my eye in the eyepiece. The elephant is soon within a few feet of my camera. I could reach out and touch him, if I wanted. My viewfinder is filled with nothing but one giant eye bearing down on all of us as the bull decides if he will charge. The smell is overwhelming, the sound of soft crying behind me unnerving-I find my eyepiece is the only comfort that everything will be alright. The moment seems eternal. Then suddenly, with a huge shake of his head, ears flapping and trunk swinging, the elephant makes his choice. He walks away. He lets us live, knowing we are fully warned not to come messing around his ladies again, or he will crush us. The moral of this story of the adventure in handheld operating, is that sometimes you need to keep shooting just to keep from freaking out. Putting down the camera would not have helped this situation at all. Continuing to roll helped keep me stay quiet and calm, and maybe saved me from screaming, and getting us all killed. And most importantly, I shot some amazing footage.

Gretchen Warthen, SOC The shot must capture a fleeting moment in time which moves the story forward. Always my goal is a transcendent connection to the moments I am capturing. My internal dialogue quiets, and my camera falls away, leaving me a witness to the unfolding of human stories, no longer conscious of my role in recording the moment. Gretchen Warthen, SOC, is known for bringing a cinematic and lyrical vision to the unpredictable dialogue-driven world of documentary filmmaking. From her first self-funded, award-winning documentary film she made 20 years ago, to MTV's groundbreaking reality television series Real World and Road Rules, to the big multi-cam projects of today, she has traveled the world to over 40 countries with her camera, witnessing and capturing the stories of people's lives. Gretchen is equally at home shooting on a Hollywood sound stage, or from the back of a camel in India, an elephant in Thailand, the bow of a boat off Venezuela, or hovering over Alaskan glaciers and the deserts of the Sahara in a helicopter -any shooting location and mode imaginable. In her career she has aimed her lens for the epic international documentary series Operation Change, the national multi-Emmy award-winning NBC series Starting Over, and the Showtime documentary series The Real L Word. She has been a camera operator on popular Emmy Award-winning and nominated prime time reality programming, including Project Runway, The Apprentice, and America’s Next Top Model, as well as the completely scripted Kevin Hart reality spoof series, Real Husbands of Hollywood, and the completely insane improv series, Bajillion Dollar Properties. Gretchen's work has been seen on major broadcast and cable networks including; ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Bravo, A&E, The History Channel, OWN, MTV, VH-1, Oxygen, and Discovery. Gretchen’s handheld cameras of choice: Arri Amira (amazingly well designed for 35mm handheld), Sony F800 (there is a reason this design has been around for 35 years), Sony F5/55 with the ENG Doc (why can’t Sony put the F55 sensor in an F800 style body?), and the low profile, but handheld friendly Sony FS7. Gretchen’s handheld zoom lenses of choice: Fuji Cabrio 35mm lenses, Canon 17-120 35mm lens, and Canon ENG 14x and 22x lenses.

This photo was taken while I was shooting at the Great Wall in China. Photo by Chris Walker


Photo by Tyler Golden




SOC Technical Achievement Awards

Tech Talk

The SOC Technical Achievement Award is given to a manufacturer or technology that has demonstrated superior engineering, advancement of camera operation, and substantial facilitation of the craft.

SHOTOVER and That Cat will be presented with their Technical Achievement Awards at the SOC Awards show, while joining the industry in celebrating the best of the best in production and camera operating.

The SOC hosted a full day of demonstrations on November 12th, with 15 different technology nominees presented to the blue ribbon panel of judges made up of; Dave Emmerichs, SOC, Steve Fracol, SOC, Eric Fletcher, SOC, Geoff Haley, SOC, and David Sammons, SOC. A special thank you to the judges, and all the companies that participated. For a full list of participants see the Fall issue of the magazine.

“SHOTOVER is truly honored and grateful to have been selected by the SOC for a Technical Achievement Award. This award is the result of years of innovation and hard work from an amazing team that I am proud to be a part of. The late Alan Purwin had a vision for SHOTOVER to unlock the creative potential of its users, and this award signifies that we achieved that,” said Brad Hurndell, CEO.

“It was an extremely difficult choice so we decided to award two technologies this year. We are proud to award SHOTOVER and That Cat for their superb engineering and leadership within the production community,” said Eric Fletcher, SOC, Technical Committee Chair and Board of Governors. “We are also looking forward to continuing to build on this award year after year, and we see the critical importance of building a closer relationship with the manufacturers and engineers of the gear we use day in and day out,” said Fletcher.

“It is especially gratifying to be recognized by the top professionals in our industry who use camera sliders on every shot. The Silent Cat Slider was designed with the camera operator’s needs in mind and it was an exciting privilege to be assessed by the SOC’s Technical Committee members. Their work history and contributions to the motion picture industry are a testament to the high standards of the SOC which makes this award so meaningful to us,” said Philip Saad, Founder, That Cat Camera Support.

David Emmerichs, SOC watches Ron Goodman and his SpaceCam team’s demonstration. Photo courtesy of SOC





The SHOTOVER K1 is a 6-axis gyro stabilized gimbal platform that delivers unshakable stability and next generation Ultra HD image quality in 2D or 3D, with straight look down capability. Its open architecture allows the most comprehensive range of camera and lens interchanges which makes it the prefect tool for on any film set. The K1’s perfectly level horizon and rock solid performance, under the most challenging conditions, set it apart from its competition. Due to the highly engineered lightweight carbon structure, it is the only cinema system in its class that can be checked baggage.

The Silent Cat™ Camera Slider’s patented design was introduced in 2006, and it unlocked the motion picture industry's imagination for spontaneous camera movement. Silent Cat™ was the first camera slider to exhibit at the NYDCE Expo in 2006, the Cine Gear Expo in 2007, and it continues to improve its standard of excellence for being the smoothest, quietest, and most versatile camera slider on set. It provides the operator resistance, soft dampening and versatility for rigging. Its Top Mount/Underslung Mitchell Mount is unsurpassed. The Silent Cat™ Camera Slider has 8 models, 2’ to 10.5’, and accessories to enable optimum use.

Eric Fletcher, SOC, Steven Fracol, SOC, DJI’s Stuart Cram, Geoff Haley, SOC, David Sammons, SOC and David Emmerichs, SOC. Photo courtesy of SOC



SOC Technical Achievement Awards

Michael Frediani, SOC

David Emmerichs, SOC, Steven Fracol, SOC, Eric Fletcher, SOC, David Sammons, SOC watch Phil Saad of That Cat’s demonstration. Photo courtesy of SOC

David Emmerichs, SOC during SHOTOVER’s demonstration. Photo by Dmitry Fursov

Browse our online store to see the inventory of T-shirts, hats, pins, and more... Ron Goodman and his SpaceCam team’s demonstration. Photo courtesy of SOC



Spotlight Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Kim Marks, SOC

Based on the novel by Ben Fountain, BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK is a story about 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn), along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Director, Ang Lee used groundbreaking 120fps technology to adapt the story through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game. What really happened to the squad is revealed through the story, contrasting the realities of the war with America's perceptions.

Mike Moad, Mobil camera platform life time achievement award winner this year helps to line up a shot with the Moviebird. Photo courtesy of Kim Marks

After starting his career in Utah making low-budget films, Kim Marks, SOC got a break in 1982 when he was given the opportunity to work at Industrial Light and Magic on the feature film Poltergeist. This began a 25-year career that jumped between live action and visual effects. He worked with amazing mentors such as; Dennis Muren, Richard Edlund, Ken Ralston, Eric Brevig, Phil Tippett, and many more in the effects world who taught him to analyze what you see in a frame and how the image could be manipulated to trick the audience into seeing something that isn’t really happening. Before computer graphics made “anything possible,” Marks had to use the old stick and string methods, and it was on film.

Photo by Anna Marks Hogan

Kim Marks, John Toll, and Chris Toll appreciating what Al Laverde's grip team put together for plate shots in Morocco. Photo courtesy of Kim Marks

He was also lucky enough to work with great cameramen such as; Robert Elswit, Caleb Deshanel, John Toll, Peter Demming who taught him about storytelling, camera placement, lighting and so much more that has helped round out his career. His credits include operating on such films as; The Rocketeer, Bicentennial Man, My Sisters' Keeper, Zodiac, Benjamin Button, and The Finest Hours.


When I received a call from director of photography, John Toll asking if I could work on his next project with director, Ang Lee I couldn’t have been more honored. John and I had worked on several projects together in the past but this was going to be a very different project than either of us had ever attempted. It proved to be different than anyone had ever attempted. Ang was as usual, pushing the limits of new technology, and craftsmanship to deliver a film in native 3D, filmed in 4k at 120fps. How challenging to start a project that currently has no venue available to project the film in its conceived format, and has yet to develop the print down version to show on conventional 24fps screens in both standard and 3D versions. To read the rest of the story visit the SOC website at


Insight BRIAN TWEEDT, SOC What was one of your most challenging days in the industry? The first time I used a RED One hand-held all day-I went out and bought an EasyRig the next morning!   What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? As I love scuba diving, I’d love to shoot an underwater show! What would be the most important improvement you would like to see in our industry? I’d like to see more recognition for the craft of the camera operator in documentary and unscripted television, and how they help tell stories. Photo by Michel Makins

Credits: UFC Countdown, Flip or Flop, America’s Supernanny, Full Throttle Saloon, EliminDate

RON VETO, SOC My most challenging shot: In 1986, I was working as an 2nd AC for Rex Metz, ASC doing aerial shots for a feature. After the first mission, the doors of the DC-3 (an old jump plane) flung open, and the aerial camera operator ran out to throw up on the tarmac. Like a football coach, Rex yelled, “Ron, you’re up.” My first operating day I put on the parachute. I did five missions hand-held, standing suspended in the cockpit doing power dives from 14,000 feet with a mid-dive Arri 200 reload. Landed and threw up. I was hooked. Great day. What was one of your most memorable day in the industry? My most memorable day was after 24 years in the grip department. I finally got into the camera union. It was a life milestone for me. My friend and I opened a 46 year-old bottle of scotch.

Photo by Hiro Fukuda

Credits: John Rambo, The Grinder, Sarah Silverman Show, 24, I Spy

CHAD WILSON, SOC What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? I've spent 15 busy years in commercials, promos, corporate, and documentaries—but hope to get back into fiction cinematography with the right people and project. What is your most memorable day in the industry? There are many—but photographing Paul McCartney in a live recording session with my wife Robyn line producing remains a career high.

Photo by Robyn Bliley


What was one of your most challenging shot or challenging day in the industry? Working as director of photography, and Steadicam operator on four union commercials scheduled for a single production day. Major pressure, yet they all turned out great. Credits: The CW Network, Hyundai, Lowes, Samsung, Kubota, DGA, AMPAS


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


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 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 Allen Gonzales Robert Gorelick Afton Grant Chad Griepentrog 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 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 Adam Keith Brian Kelly David Kimelman Dan Kneece Rory Knepp David Knox Robert Kositchek Bud Kremp Kris Krosskove Per Larsson Jeff Latonero Eric Leach Sergio Leandro da Silva Richard Leible Rachael Levine Sarah Levy Jimmy Lindsey Hugh Litfin 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 Daniele Massaccesi Parris Mayhew Bill McClelland Jim McConkey David McGill Ian McGlocklin Michael McGowan Christopher McGuire 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 Lawrence Moody K. Neil Moore Mark Moore 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 Brooks Robinson Eric Roizman Peter Rosenfeld Dave Rutherford P. Scott Sakamoto Sanjay Sami David Sammons Joel San Juan Bry Sanders Milton Santiago Gerard Sava 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. Teddy Smith 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 Gregor Tavenner Christopher Taylor Peter Taylor Paige Thomas David Thompson 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 Ken Willinger Chad Wilson David Wolf Ian Woolston-Smith Peter Xiques Santiago Yniguez Brian Young Chad Zellmer Brenda Zuniga


Christine Adams Brian Aichlmayr Jamie Alac Ana Amortegui Philip Anderson Andrew Ansnick Michael Artsis Scott Auerbach Ryan Baker Tyson Banks Michael Barron Matt Bell Jeffrey Bollman Peter Bonilla Jean-Paul Bonneau Massimo Bordonaro David Boyd Mary Brown Rochelle Brown


Donald Brownlow 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 Gabriel Copeland Gareth Cox Richard Crudo, ASC Farhad Dehlvi Enrique Del Rio Galindo James DeMello Johnny Derango Ronald Deveaux Jorge Devotto 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 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 George Griffith 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 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 Sophia Meneses Jonathan Miller K. Adriana ModlinLiebrecht Kenneth Montgomery Mark Morris Matthew Mosher Jekaterina Most 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 Prieto 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


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 Codex CW Sonderoptic Filmtools Inc. Fujifilm/Fujinon Geo Film Group, Inc. Glidecam Industries 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. Teradek, LLC The Vitec Group Tiffen Wooden Camera


John Grace Ralph Watkins


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 Ron Kelley Kathleen KennedyMarshall Jerry Lewis Gary Lucchesi Larry McConkey A. Linn Murphree M.D. Diana Penilla Steven Spielberg Robert Torres George Toscas Roy Wagner, ASC Alfre Woodard


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

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 Mengmeng “Allen” Men Jeff-Steven Mojica Fabian Montes James Nagel Lucien Night Lorenzo Pace Weerapat “Art” Parnitudom Connor Pollard Karina Prieto Macias Matthew Psyllos Cheng Qian Ryan Richard Tiye Rose-Hood Edgar Santamaria Esther Santamaria Emil Schonstrom Brittany Shank Jennifer St. HilaireSanchez 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 January 21, 2017.


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Paralinx  37 C2 Paramount - Arrival 3 Paramount - Silence 19 Schneider Optics Back Cover Teradek 37 That Cat Camera Support Tiffen 17 43 That Cat Camera Support 33 UCLA MPTF 39 VER

AD INDEX AJA 21 Blackmagic Design 5 Canon - 360i 7 Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  9 Clairmont Camera  C3 Cinematography Electronics  2 CW Sonderoptic  13 Glidecam  27 J. L. Fisher  41 Matthews Studio Equipment  46

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SOC.ORG · WINTER 2017 VOL. 26, NO.1


Hacksaw Ridge Gone Girl Hidden Figures


American Horror Story: Freak Show Live by Night Birdman 1

SOC.ORG · FALL 2016 VOL. 25, NO.4

SOC.ORG · FALL 2016 VOL. 25, NO.4


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

Each issue offers editorial told first person from members perspective on set. Stories cover high profile productions such as Hacksaw Ridge, LaLa Land, Nocturnal Animals, Warcraft, Sully, and more... CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2017


Social SOC

Curated by Ian S. Takahashi, SOC society_of_camera_operators






(@bonniesblake) Day exterior on HBO’s “Insecure” now airing on Sundays at 10:30pm. With company grip Mark Wojciechowski and B dolly grip Matt Horchowski. Photo by unit still photographer. ------------------#bestjobever #insecure #doubt #cameraOperator #Photographer #Camera #Lens #DirectorOfPhotography #Cinematography #Cinematographer #Videography #Photography #Videography #PhotographyIsLife #CameraSupport #CameraAccessories #SOC #bts #movies #film Bonnie Blake, SOC Photo by: Ann Marie Fox



(@djfrederick) HBO's "Westworld" - Moab Unit production team camera operators Wally Sweeterman and Dave Frederick SOC on sliders filming in breathtakingly beautiful Moab Utah. Shot on film using Arriflex 35mm cameras, show runner #JonathanNolan, like his producer brother #ChristopherNolan, feels that film is best suited to capture the epic beauty of these locations and serve the narrative best. ---------------#westworld #hbo #film #35mm #moab #bestJobEver #cameraOperator #Photographer #Camera #Lens #DirectorOfPhotography #Cinematography #Cinema Dave Frederick, SOC

Ian S. Takahashi, SOC was born and raised in the Napa Valley of California where he worked under director, Francis Ford Coppola before moving to Los Angeles, and he interned under John Toll, ASC.

Photo by Jake Koenig

Ian concentrates on underwater work, and benefited from a long mentor relationship with Mike Thomas, and a later introduction to Pete Romano, ASC. His underwater credits include; The Last Ship, True Detective, Scandal, Pretty Little Liars, Masters of Sex, Beyonce’s Lemonade, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Kate Upton, Nike, Corona, and features: Swiss Army Man, Neon Demon, All I See is You, and The Layover. Ian just completed projects for directors, Marc Forster and Joe Wright. Follow Ian @iantakahashi

Join the SOC membership on See iconic photos from behind-the-scenes, on-set backstories, and images that inspire. Join in the conversation! @ Society_of_Camera_Operators 52


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Camera Operator Winter 2017  

Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, and Live by Night

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