Camera Operator: Winter 2018

Page 1

SOC.ORG · WINTER 2018 VOL. 27, NO.1

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS . WINTER 2018

SHAPE WATER

THE OF DOWNSIZING THE POST



CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS

FEATURES

4 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 5 NEWS & NOTES

12 THE SHAPE OF WATER

Awards Show, Drone & Aerial Workshop, C/L Enterprises Inc., and more

8 ESTABLISHING SHOT

12

Garrett Brown, SOC

20

35 SMOOTH OPERATOR "The Balance of the Art" Rachael Levine, SOC

38 TECH TALK SOC Technical Achievment Award

"The Art of del Toro" Gilles Corbeil, SOC

20 DOWNSIZING "Little Bit O’ Notes from Set" Michael Heathcote, SOC

28 THE POST "Post Production" with camera operator, Mitch Dubin, SOC and 1st AC, Mark Spath an interview by Derek Stettler ON THE COVER: Gilles Corbell, SOC on the set of THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo by Kerry Hayes © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

40 INSIGHT Meet the Members

41 SOC ROSTER 43 AD INDEX 44 SOCIAL SOC

8 CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

Ian S. Takahashi, SOC

28 1


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

BOARD MEMBERS Bonnie Blake David Emmerichs Eric Fletcher Michael Frediani Chris Haarhoff David Sammons Lisa Stacilauskas Christopher Taylor Dave Thompson

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Awards George Billinger, Mitch Dubin, Dan Gold, Bill McClelland, Dave Thompson, Dan Turrett

2

Charities Alicia Robbins Events Mark August Historical Mike Frediani Membership Dan Gold, Dan Turrett Technical Standards Eric Fletcher

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

CAMERA OPERATOR MAGAZINE Publishing Consultant Kristin Petrovich Managing Editor Kate McCallum Layout & Production Stephanie Cameron Advertising Derek Stettler

CONTRIBUTORS George Billinger, SOC Garrett Brown, SOC Gilles Corbell, SOC

Mitch Dubin, SOC Michael Heathcote, SOC Rachael Levine, SOC Kate McCallum Teddy Smith Dean Smollar, SOC Mark Spath Derek Stettler Ian S. Takahashi, SOC Joseph Urbanczyk, SOC

PHOTOGRAPHY Claudette Barius Garrett Brown, SOC Jonathan Brown, ASC Michael Frediani, SOC Sophia Geraud Kerry Hayes Wynn Hammer Christina Kaufmann George Kraychyk Andrew Mitchell Cameron Riddles Carter Smith Peter Sorel Taylor Stoffers

Joshua Stringer Niko Tavernise Dale Vance, SOC Haskell Wexler

TRIVIA Source imdb.com

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

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION (818) 563- 9110 or socoffice@soc.org For digital editions and back issues: SOC.org

Camera Operator is a quarterly publication, published by the Society of Camera Operators. Is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


THALIA

M O.8

SUMMICRON-C

SUMMILUX-C

CW Sonderoptic GmbH Wetzlar, Germany | Los Angeles, USA

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

www.cw-sonderoptic.com sales@cw-sonderoptic.com

3


Letter from the President Dear SOC Members and Camera Operator Readers: Congratulations to the nominees and honorees of this year’s fantastic Lifetime Achievement Awards that took place on February 3 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Each year I am so deeply impressed by the collective talent amongst our honorees and nominees, and this year is certainly no different. I’d also like to offer a special thank you to everyone who once again helped make the awards such a success. It is with great pleasure that the SOC presented P. Scott Sakamoto, SOC with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Camera Operating. Sakamoto is known for his work on The Revenant (2015), Salt (2010), and Michael Clayton (2007). Scott was awarded the 2016 Camera Operator of the Year – Film for his outstanding work on The Revenant. The 2018 SOC Camera Operator of the Year - Feature Film went to Roberto De Angelis, SOC for his work on Baby Driver and the Camera Operator of the Year - Television went to Bob Gorelick, SOC for his work on Stranger Things. It was also a great honor to present Meryl Streep with this year's President Award, John Bailey with this year’s Governors Award, and the Distinguished Service Lifetime Achievement Award to Denny Clairmont. These awards have the legacy of being presented to individuals who demonstrate dedication, consistent and enlightened service, and leadership in the film and media industries. The SOC Technical Achievement Award was given to DJI for the innovative Ronin 2, and ARRI received the SOC Board of Governors Foundation Award for Cinematic Art & Science. This coming year, the Board of Directors will continue to increase our membership and focus our efforts on elevating the position of the camera operator. We’ve also added several new corporate members to our roster and welcome their support. The SOC believes that through education and working with our fellow industry professionals, we can strengthen and elevate the craft of the camera operator in the entertainment industry. We look forward to the continuous and new opportunities that the SOC has to influence our community and we look to you, our members and supporters, to help our society through your participation and dedication to the camera operator craft. Here’s to a wonderful 2018! Sincerely,

George Billinger, SOC Society of Camera Operators, President

4

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


SOC AWARDS SHOW The SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards took place on February 3, 2018 at Loews Hollywood Hotel. Congratulations to all the award nominees and recipients. A feature article and photos covering the SOC Awards will be featured in the Spring issue.

News & Notes A special thank-you to the panel participants; Luke Cormack, SOC, Dave Chameides, SOC, Eric Fletcher, SOC, Jonathan Goldfisher, and Sal Tortino.

HOLIDAY PARTIES Great fun and food were had by all over the holidays. The SOC hosted several holiday parties this year-an Atlanta Holiday Party at Fado on December 3rd, on December 15th they hosted an Los Angeles-based party in Hollywood at the Loteria Grill, and on December 16th the operators in New York celebrated at The Ginger Man.

LOS ANGELES DRONE FILM FESTIVAL On December 2, the SOC presented a panel at the festival entitled: Cinematic Collaboration which featured the SOC members in the photo below discussing their experiences and showing content.

DJI and SOC Educational Workshop at Radiant Images

FEBRUARY

Calendar

February 25, 11:00am – 2:00pm Canon Burbank Honors the SOC 2017 Lifetime Achievement Awards, Camera Operator of the Year Nominees CANON USA, 3400 W Olive Ave #250, Burbank 91505 Panelists Nick Kolias, George Billinger, SOC President, Eric Fletcher, SOC, photo by Andrew Mitchell

DJI AND SOC EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOP AT RADIANT IMAGES On December 10th, the SOC and DJI presented a workshop, panel and Q&A at Radiant Images. Panelists discussed camera movement, gimbals, and the role of the operator. The discussion was followed by a hands-on demonstration of both the Ronin 2 and Inspire 2 with X7 camera led by Strato Aerial Productions, an LA-based production company specializing in aerial cinematography.

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

MARCH March 9 – 11 Story Summit Panel in Banff, Canada March 24 Chapman-Leonard Products Showcase and Panel in Atlanta

APRIL April 7 - 12 NAB Panel, Party and Tech Tour – Las Vegas, Nevada

MORE EVENTS Please log onto the home page, soc.org and click the navigation button, Events, to see all upcoming happenings.

5


C/L ENTERPRISES, INC. AND SPACECAM SYSTEMS INC. JOIN FORCES

News & Notes by Kate McCallum

Two major innovators in the camera world, C/L Enterprises Inc. and SpaceCam Systems Inc. (“SpaceCam”), have merged to become an unstoppable force in the industry. C/L Enterprises Inc. has been a long-time corporate sponsor and supporter of the SOC. In order to compete with the changing dynamics of the film industry, Charles Leonard Huenergardt, grandson of Leonard Chapman (owner and mastermind behind Chapman-Leonard Studio Equipment, Inc.), sought to broaden the limits of where a camera can go and how it can move. Through the acquisition of SpaceCam, both companies are able to continue innovation on a larger scale for the film industry and bring the visionaries to life in a higher quality and more efficient manner. Started by Ron Goodman in 1989, SpaceCam is the product of Goodman’s commitment to establish the best gyro-stabilized cinematography in the field. Goodman’s work has contributed to the production of leading blockbusters including, Star Wars, Superman, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy. His outstanding endeavors with SpaceCam garnered him an Academy Award for Scientific and Engineering Achievement. The result of this merger will enhance developments on the Maximus 7 and boost the existing C/L technology to new heights. Huenergardt is extremely excited to have Goodman and the SpaceCam team on board at C/L and looks forward to the indefinite possibilities. From here forward, we would like to introduce, “C/L Remotes Powered by SpaceCam: A Division of C/L Enterprises.” www.spacecam.com, @spacecamsystemsinc

Above: The Chapman/Leonard Hybrid Dolly with the Spacecam M7 Remote Head mounted to capture a shot on location. Left: The Chapman/Leonard 73’ Hydrascope paired with the Spacecam M7 remote head on set in Austin. Photos by Taylor Stoffers

6

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


The new Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K is the first digital film camera with easy to use features and the controls of a broadcast camera! The new URSA Mini Pro is a true digital film camera with a 4.6K image sensor, 15 stops of dynamic range and a wide color gamut that delivers amazingly rich skin tones, natural color response and incredible detail. You also get built in ND filters, dual C-Fast and SD card recorders, an interchangeable lens mount and more! URSA Mini Pro works in both film and video modes, so it’s perfect for digital film or broadcast use all while delivering better image quality! Includes DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio for editing and color correction.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro $5,995

Learn more at www.blackmagicdesign.com

Viewfinder, lens and accessories shown, can be purchased separately.


Establishing Shot by Garrett Brown, SOC

The Steadicam Patent, filed in 1974. (Expired 1994!)

That ‘Brown Stabilizer’ shot on Bound for Glory—Haskell Wexler’s gigantic, ballsy, crane step-off—established it all: my long string of movies, the ever-increasing capability of the Steadicam and the worldwide profession of Steadicam operator… In 1974, on the high-speed dailies projector in the bowels of Deluxe General in Hollywood, a score of impossible shots clattered by—former 35mm short ends from commercial shoots around Philly—and my ‘old guy with silver-nitrate eyes’ backed up his machine to see the tail end again. Ellen Shire running down the art museum steps! When I explained what we were up to, he summoned his bosses to the big theater to look at “something amazing,” and lo they were amazed, and did shake my hand at the door and say, “Hey kid, you’ll do alright… but don’t call it the Brown Stabilizer!”

1974 Prototype chases IMPOSSIBLE SHOTS Fiber-optic viewfinding is not auspicious for ‘the look.’ Photo courtesy of Garrett Brown, SOC

8

The reel was then projected twice for Ed Digiulio at Cinema Products, and twice more at Universal, where Darin McGavin jokingly offered to buy it outright—after which Ed immediately offered a deal. Panavision’s Robert Gottschalk had claimed to be interested if it could work in 35mm, but he suddenly went silent. I learned later they spent millions to come up with their own version, but the pesky things either didn’t work, or exactly resembled ours!

Distinctly non-functional Panavision attempt, Photo courtesy of Garrett Brown, SOC

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


My lawyer and Ed’s closet Visigoth battled through eleven drafts of the contract, and at last I flew West to sign the license agreement, and turn over my prototype. As reported in The Steadicam Letter, c. 1989, I earnestly briefed the engineers as to how I thought it worked, spoke of areas I felt needed more attention (many), explained how I felt about fiber-optic viewfinders (queasy), and asked if there were any questions. There were none. I flew home on the red-eye with a big check, and wept over the “Instability of the Brown Existence.” I heard nothing from C.P. for seven months. Meanwhile, the Impossible Shots reel effectively went viral. In 35mm! It was seen by scores of famous moviemakers around the world, and several bold early adopters were eager to give it a spin, including Stanley Kubrick, who sent this astonishing telex:

CP’s Mastodon Trunk arm, photo courtesy of Garrett Brown, SOC

I read them the riot act. We had a real job approaching and needed a functional rig. To C.P.’s credit they stuck with it. John Jurgens was put on the case and he studied the prototype and my notes, took aboard a few new revelations, and quickly turned things around. We tried a variety of arm designs and shot a test on the Rockford Files set with one absurdly elongated version, during which DP, Lamar Boren had the distinction to be the first to ask, “Would that thing be any good underwater?” Haskell had offered to ‘Brown-Stabilize’ a Keds commercial, so I insisted we copy my original arm, but with stronger springs and, notably, a vertical hinge in the middle which improved its range of motion. We mounted the tiny, dim video monitor above the matte box and attached a pair of CP16 batteries to the camera motor down below. I ran flat-out after dozens of Keds-wearing 13-year-olds and mostly winged the framing and all was supernaturally smooth.

Kubrick Telex, photo courtesy of Garrett Brown, SOC

Perhaps the factory viewed me as some kind of savant—like that banjo-playing kid in Deliverance—a non-engineer from the East who couldn’t even speak the lingo or say, ‘number-10-machine-screw!’ When I finally called to demand an update, I got an oddly diffident invitation to come ‘see the thing,’ and once back in LA, contemplating the results of their $700K worth of R&D, I learned that no one had actually worn it! I soon discovered the reason. It was clumsy, awkward, and excruciatingly painful. The arm, sheathed in bellows-material, stuck out like a mastodon trunk. The battery rode on a backpack. The video-assist camera, designed by someone who hadn’t seen the gimbal, hung down and blocked any possibility of panning left. The monitor clung tightly, shakily to the head, and the arm stuck out so far ahead that I pitched forward running up a slope, and couldn’t accelerate enough to recover. With DiGiulio charging anxiously behind, I fell heavily onto my knees to preserve that wretched contraption.

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

Keds Commercial for Haskell Wexler. Photo by Haskell Wexler

Although several shots in the demo foretold the possibility, I was unconfident about slower, dolly-like moves; but early in 1975, along came a defining opportunity—that marvelous ‘walking’ shot on the Woody Guthrie biopic, Bound for Glory. Haskell was the DP and he persuaded director, Hal Ashby to try an extravagant, time-consuming,

9


four-minute tour-de-force, with complete reliance on what would eventually be called the Steadicam.® I had never been on a feature set until I arrived in Stockton, California, and walked onto Ashby’s enormous migrant worker camp—with 900 extras!—nor had I ever been in the presence of a Chapman Titan crane.

Garrett Brown and Haskell Wexker in front of crane on BOUND FOR GLORY set.

We worked out the essential, ‘non-trebuchet’ procedure for that first-ever crane step-off, and I clung to the platform 20 feet in the air along with A-operator, Don Thorin, who said, “That’s funny, you’re shaking and the shot is still!” We got two rehearsals and broke for lunch, where Don administered a beer to calm me down.

Precarious perch, wild ride. Photo by Wynn Hammer

To the irritation of the AD’s, we had only one rear-throated magazine, and so we had to duck into the darkroom for ten minutes between

GARRETT BROWN, SOC Garrett Brown invented the Oscar-winning "Steadicam" and used it to shoot nearly 100 movies beginning with Bound for Glory.  He holds 50 patents for camera devices including; Skycam®, Mobycam,™ and Divecam, and is the co-inventor of the exciting new Steadicam M1-Volt™. Brown joined the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009, and is a 2013 inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. A legend in Hollywood for 40 years, Garrett still lives and works in Philadelphia, venturing out worldwide to teach Steadicam operating and deliver his popular lectures on ‘Inventing’ and 'The Moving Camera.' Photo by Jonathan Brown, ASC

10

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


takes for each convoluted re-load. There would be just three tries. Take one was incomplete. Take two aborted when a talkative extra strolled up to David, unaware that the guy behind him carrying a sewing machine was actually shooting! And finally take three…the crane boomed down and I stepped off, and Haskell and Hal Ashby followed along as I walked behind Carradine and Randy Quaid all the way across the huge camp and most of the way back, dodging kids, and crowds, and tent-ropes, and vehicles. My camera moved like a ghost through the dusty, shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, and their stray looks were miraculously up at my face and not at the lens. In the end, I was numb with fatigue and once again unsure of my framing, and the whole crew flowed away to resume the regular work without a backward glance.

Inventory of donated Steadicam prototypes at Academy Museum offices

Those original prototypes have just been donated to the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles and will be prominently on view when the new campus designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop opens in 2019!

The new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, ©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©A.M.P.A.S./ Images from L’Autre Image”

Stepping-off. Note balancing roll of tape on mag. Photo by Wynn Hammer

All that long next day I hung out with the stunt guys, who called me ‘The Stranger’ after I slaughtered them at table hockey with a lightning power-play from my mis-spent youth. That night in the storefront screening room, after nervously asking the producer if he was the projectionist, ‘The Stranger’ slunk past the uproarious crew to the last row, and hunkered down to watch hours of Haskell’s amazing dailies.

And finally, to my enduring satisfaction, that venerable Steadicam® license is still productive 44 years later. Tiffen has just begun to ship the astonishing M1-V™, which applies gyro smarts to motors on the M1 gimbal to seamlessly upgrade our operating skills. Co-patentee, Steve Wagner and I, and our Tiffen colleagues humbly believe, as do a growing number of enthusiastic operators, that it’s the best Steadicam invention since the 1974 original!

Finally, my slate from atop the crane, and that singular heart-stopping, life-altering shot ran its entire improbable course. Then a stunned silence, and everyone leaped to their feet, clapping and yelling, and calling Haskell’s name! And that was that. It’s a lucky lifetime that contains even one such ‘establishing’ moment! Epilogue. Some news: When CP made a rushed move to smaller quarters, my original Afrika-Corp ARRI, and the negative for that priceless demo, were both tossed into the dumpster; but an engineer plucked out the former and kept it for 20 years, and in 1997, I happened upon an intact print of the latter, which, though shrunken and violently magenta, was transferable to video.

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

The Steadicam M1-Volt™, Photo courtesy of Garrett Brown, SOC

So cheers and a toast to all the many thousands of Steadicam operators around the world who form one of the tightest and most supportive professional communities ever: Here’s to that long-ago establishing shot, and to our long parade of fabulous shots ever since, and to those still to come—in our bright and hopeful future.

11


THE SHAPE OF WATER The Art of del Toro by Gilles Corbeil, SOC

Director and writer, Guillermo del Toro helms this other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. Co-written with Vanessa Taylor, the story unfolds in a hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Christian Slaterand in MR. by OF WATER. Sally Hawkins DougROBOT, Jones on Episode the set of209. THEPhoto SHAPE Michael Parmelee/USA Network Photo by Kerry Hayes. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

12

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

13


Looking back at the process of making The Shape of Water, and then the final result, I have to take stock of my good fortune. I started my collaboration with director, Guillermo del Torro, and DP, Dan Laustsen in 1996 on Mimic. A shoot where taped pant legs to prevent cockroaches from entering, while floating a Steadicam over subway rails, was the norm. I only had four year’s of experience with a Steadicam at that point, and it was a big break. Guillermo impressed me with his creation of a world where it was plausible to have a 6’5”cockroach. The level of detail was everywhere and the world he created was a filmmaker’s playground, and his passion for the subject matter made you want to do good by him. He was patient with the crew. Dan Laustsen would say, “Super cool!“ and was always sympathetic. The set was so dark I would often have no image on my old 3A sled. The sometimes slow-moving camera,

like a cheetah stalking prey, wrapping around actors close and wide in sync. I had to learn how to walk super slow on Steadicam, and match moves. Sixteen years passed and Guillermo came back with Pacific Rim. He did not forget his team. We all had developed as filmmakers and were ready to tackle a $190 million budget. One of my favorite sets was the 80’ trawler in high seas, captured by two 50’ technos dodging heaving hulls and pounding water cannons.

CUSTOM-MADE ELEVATOR Crimson Peak, with intense performances and sets beyond belief, was a visual feast. Guillermo had the set built with an elevator that would adapt, with expansion inserts on three floors to allow me to ride with the Steadicam outside the cage. Both Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak, relied heavily on Steadicam.

TECH ON SET:

3 Alexa XT Bod ies; A dedicated S teadicam bod y; Zeiss Master P rimes; Mo Sys remote head with Aero jib; Libra head wit h 30 ‘ Supertechnocrane On Pacific Rim I think I did two dolly shots, and lost 14 pounds in the first month.

SMALL BUDGETS ARE HARD WORK The Shape of Water was a challenge to do on a $19.5 million budget. The sets were recrafted from The Strain. We started with a 50-day schedule. There were time limits when working with actor, Doug Jones in the

TRIVIA: Octavia Spencer said she "would have walked the Earth to work with" director Guillermo del Toro. She was so taken with the set and the many props that she asked Toro how many she was allowed to keep. (From L-R) Director/Writer/Producer Guillermo del Toro, Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins, on the set of THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo by Sophie Giraud

14

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


fish suit, and we used every inch of the set in almost every shot. About 70 percent of the film was shot on an Aero crane with a Mo-Sys L40 head on dance floor, the rest on Steadicam or telescoping crane.

MOVING THE CAMERA The camera in The Shape of Water floats. The film language is about flow and continuance of camera motion. I would say the roving camera is a principal character in Guillermo films because the viewer is constantly absorbing the evolving environment, and the path of the camera stitches together moments and a story. That environment resonates with the characters and the story, and the camera is always in a very special place, guided by Guillermo with confidence and wisdom. Some directors move the camera on a straight track in often arbitrary and random selection of lenses, or master, medium, and or close-up coverage.

Under the guidance of Guillermo he makes it easy to connect the dots with dialogue specific, or posture specific, cues. The actors and story motivate, and give reason for cradling the moments. The moves are always calculated and remind me of Jacques Cousteau footage but combined with intimate moments or tension-filled standoffs. With Guillermo, the process of plotting out a shot is done in a methodical manner. Two or three rehearsals to set the pace. Dan Laustsen was always adapting placement of lights to suit evolving angles. Guillermo likes a quiet set and adjusts one or two variables per take. He relies on the camera to replicate moves exactly, and he sets up shots like a Swiss watch.

you can imagine him explaining a shot to you, and you get to handle the camera for him, it’s like looking into the movie theatre and seeing the mise-en-scène.

PLOTTING SHOTS

On most scenes, we would use an Aero crane with a Mo-Sys L40 remote head. We'd position the jib arm after laying dance floor, two layers of ¾” birch plywood, good on both sides with offset ¼” hard blue plastic (the kind that gives you a shock), stick the Mosys head on, grab a 21mm or 27mm, and rehearse. We would tweak and sometimes add more floor. If changes were made, Guillermo would elect what adjustments would happen. He would count on our consistency because his world depended on it. We would never just move the camera randomly and change the shot relationships with time and space.

We were blessed with actors that shared the stage with the camera, so we didn’t need to explain what we were doing. Guillermo’s directions are always entertaining, and if

When production started, Guillermo discovered A camera dolly grip, Ron Renzetti. He is someone special. We last worked together on Dawn of the Dead. After a couple of scenes

TRIVIA: Guillermo del Toro has worked on this film for several years, and developed it before he began production on Pacific Rim (2013). Eventually, he chose to direct this film instead of Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018). Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

15


on an Aero crane, I know Guillermo knew we could give him camera moves that would never end. I would say the roving camera is a principal character in Guillermo’s films because the viewer is constantly absorbing the evolving environment, and the path of the camera stitches moments and a story. That environment resonates with the characters and the story, and the camera is always in a very special place, guided by Guillermo with confidence and wisdom. Some directors move the camera on a straight track in often arbitrary and random selection of lenses, or master, medium, and or close-up coverage. With the help of B dolly grip, Mike Yabuta we would thread a jib arm in tough sets like Strickland’s (Michael Shannon) office. Shots that look in both directions without seeing the dance floor, the camera migrating through nail biting performances across a desk, starting from across the room to, in tight on a 27mm two feet away. Our stops

were around T 2 ½, and combined with the wider lenses, the texture of the set is palpable and period accurate. Depth is reinforced when you relate to it, and see it close-up. In the scene when the creature is brought into the lab, the shifting perspective occurs by wrapping the lab set with the Steadicam on a 27mm lens which allows the viewer to ponder, “What will happen next?” Then the attention shifts to hearing noises from inside the creature’s enclosure, moving in to see together with Sally and Octavia, what is making that noise? Bang! A webbed hand slaps a portal. We’re hooked. Moving camera hooks viewers because they’re engaged and invested in a journey. The Steadicam work was obliged to look like jib work with super slow moves (when I had to balance on one foot at a time), or tracking dead straight, center ice, in hallways. Quite a few shots, like the General versus Strickland

pep talk, had to be Steadicam because of space issues and when inserted between jib arm shots, were challenging set pieces.

DRY FOR WET SETS The opening shot in the film starts with an underwater Amazon river, forward-moving perspective that transitions through collapsed stone foundations guarded by waving plants, into a teal-hued hallway. When I first saw the animation transition into the Steadicam shot into Sally Hawkins’ apartment, I thought man! This is so cool! Dan Laustsen’s dry for wet lighting emulated the sun’s rays playing on floating furniture, with Sally sleeping on a sofa, her feet in the air. Shots like this are a gift and help set up the soul of the film. There were several effects people floating furniture using suspended wires on pulleys. The same technique was used for the ending with Doug and Sally.

TRIVIA: After seeing the trailer, director Kevin Smith tweeted: "Seeing something as beautiful as this makes me feel stupid forever calling myself a director." Director/Writer/Producer Guillermo del Toro on the set of THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo by Sophie Giraud

16

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


TRIVIA: Set during a real-life war and featuring magical elements. This was also the premise for Guillermo del Toro's earlier film Pan's Labyrinth (2006). Top: Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER with Guillermo del Toro. Bottom: Gilles Corbeil, SOC on the set of THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photos by Kerry Hayes

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

17


The bathroom underwater senes were made using the same wall segments from the set, segments made for underwater use by using automotive bondo instead of plaster and aluminum, or thin plywood. Thanks to Brent Robinson, SOC who hit the ground running, shooting underwater in a tank built on set. We always hire him for underwater work. Great guy.

RAIN FOR DAYS We had about 12 days of rain, with temperatures dropping in the Fall. 1st AC, John Harper had to deal with the potential of fogging spray deflectors, and the FX dept helped warm the rain water when it was warmer, and not when ambient temps were cooler. The scene at the sand pile with Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg used about nine water trucks worth of water. November in Toronto in the rain, all night-for-days was not easy, and I still get

chills when I see the footage. I have never worked harder on a film, and Guillermo and Dan always appreciated deeply the work of their crew. After sharing more than 300 days of filmmaking with Guillermo, there is a shorthand that has developed in setting up shots, and framing moments he has created. He has become very efficient and powerful visually. By marrying the floating camera to the storytelling I think the viewer becomes more absorbed in the narrative.

MANY THANKS I would like to thank Guillermo for his loyalty and confidence in me; DP, Dan Laustsen for giving me great advice and feedback;Â Robert Johnson, key grip, J.P. Locherer, B camera operator, my 1st AC, John Harper, and producer, J. Miles Dale who worked his butt off.

Top right: Michael Shannon in THE SHAPE OF WATER. Above: John Harper, 1st AC, Guillermo del Toro, and camera operator Gilles Corbeil, SOC. Photos by Kerry Hayes

18

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS ¡ SOC.ORG


SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards Receipients SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2018 Loews Hollywood Hotel, Hollywood Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:

GILLES CORBEIL, SOC Gilles Corbeil, SOC was born in North Bay Ontario, Canada. His first camera assignment was in third grade covering a school trip. He attended Ryerson Film School and shot docs in Europe during summer breaks. Gilles was DP on several low-budget features including The Brain. While working as 2nd AD on Rin Tin Tin: K-9 Cop, his wife, Christina Kaufmann convinced producer, Hebert Leonard to give Gilles a shot as operator. Credits include; Dawn of The Dead, John Rambo, The Corruptor, 16 Blocks, The Recruit, The In-Laws, Hot Tub Time Machine, Spotlight,11.22.63, Umbrella Academy, and for Guillermo del Torro, Mimic, Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak, The Strain, and The Shape of Water. He holds a U.S. Patent No. US5389987A Titled: A motion translation device for positioning cameras and other aimed instruments. Photo by Christina Kaufmann

JOHN BAILEY, ASC • Governors Award MERYL STREEP • Presidents Award DENNY CLAIRMONT • Distinguished Service Award P. SCOTT SAKAMOTO, SOC • Camera Operator JOHN CONNOR • Camera Technician DAN PERSHING • Mobile Camera Platform Operator JOJO WHILDEN • Still Photographer DJI, RONIN II • Technical Achievement Award ARRI • The SOC Board of Governors Foundation Award for Cinematic Art & Science

2018 Camera Operators of the Year: BOB GORELICK, SOC – Stranger Things COY TV recipient ROBERTO DE ANGELIS, SOC – Baby Driver COY Film recipient

SOCAWARDS.COM Richard Jenkins and Sally Hawkins. Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

19


Downsizing Little Bit O’ Notes from Set by Michael Heathcote, SOC

(Main Cast) Kristen Wiig plays Audrey Safranek, Matt Damon plays Paul Safranek, Maribeth Monroe plays Carol Johnson and Jason Sudeikis plays Dave Johnson in DOWNSIZING from Paramount Pictures. Photo by George Kraychyk, Paramount Pictures © 2017 Paramount Pictures.

In this social satire by director and writer, Alexander Payne with writer, Jim Taylor, scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to overpopulation, so Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community—a choice that triggers life-changing adventures. DETROIT. Photo by François Duhamel.

20

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


Left: Director, Alexander Payne and Matt Damon on the set of DOWNSIZING. Right: Udo Kier plays Konrad, Christoph Walts plays Dusan, Hong Chau plays Ngoc Lan Tran and Matt Damon plays Paul in DOWNSIZING. Photo by George Kraychyk

GETTING THE JOB I was recommended to DP, Phedon Papamichael by a mutual friend of ours, Francois Dagenais who was the film’s second unit cinematographer. When Phedon came to Toronto to begin pre-production I was grateful to have the opportunity to interview. Fortunately, I was able to obtain a copy of the script a few days before we met which is always important to me. I will often read it multiple times, discovering new aspects or subtext to the story I may have missed in the first pass. As soon as I read Downsizing, I was hooked. Finally, sitting down with Phedon, what was suppose to be a short interview turned into a wonderful two-hour plus conversation. We discussed the story and central themes of the film, the visual style, approach, and Phedon’s previous experiences with Alexander Payne, the director. I left the meeting already grateful to have met one of my heroes and, I will never forget when Phedon called me back shortly thereafter and welcomed me to the team.

PREPARATION This was going to be Alexander and Phedon’s fourth collaboration together so I was very excited to see where their collaboration into the sci-fi genre was going to take them. As

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

soon as I was brought on, Phedon had all the storyboards forwarded to me. A lot of these were for visually stunning sequences that were going to take place in the downsized world. It gave me a great sense of the scope and scale which we were trying to achieve in the film and allowed us to start discussing what best tools we could use to tackle the film’s needs. I can be obsessive about camera operating and the tools, but have learned it’s best not to let myself become a slave to anything. My priority is to try to have as many conversations about the film as possible. I find the more communication the better as it gives me the best understanding of what the director and cinematographer are going for. so I can offer solutions focused on supporting the filmmaker’s process first and foremost.

THE VISION Alexander doesn’t like to sit at video village. He likes to live right next to the camera and work closely with the actors. Alexander and Phedon will often let the actors drive the scene, allowing them to move around the set, giving them the complete freedom to go wherever it felt right. There were many instances where it did not make sense to lay marks. It was a very fluid approach that gave the actors full creative freedom, which

is reflected in their performances. Based on how the scene was playing out, the coverage would evolve organically, motivated by the performances. We aimed to find simple, well-composed compositions that could tell the story in just a few shots.

COMMUNICATION Phedon is incredibly prepared and always made sure there were clear lines of communication. He set up an HME wireless system which our A camera 1st, Jeff Porter; A camera dolly grip Ron Renzetti; Gaffer, Raffi Sanchez; Key Grip, Ray Garcia, and DIT, Lonny Danler were also on. I loved that it allowed us to all stay in tight communication throughout the day while keeping a low profile, and giving space to the director and actors. It is also invaluable while rolling so Phedon could

TRIVIA: Downsizing premiered at the 74th Venice International Film Festival on August 30, 2017. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2017, while Chau has earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.

21


communicate anything that he sees, or information he would like to pass along allowing us to capture the best shot possible.

SCOPE AND SCALE In the film the downsized people are approximately five inches tall (1/14th scale) so there was a lot of things to be considered, in terms of scale, while filming. Alexander and Phedon broke it down into two simple ideas; “big camera” and “small camera.” Big camera was treated like shooting a film conventionally. People looked normal and the “downsized” people looked tiny, and would have a macro quality to them. Small camera was when we were in the downsized world and things were normal until you saw a big world prop or human which we really wanted to give a ‘wow’ feeling. We worked closely with Jamie Price, our Visual F/X supervisor, to create this effect. For some of the sequences, when we were shooting a downsized person or prop, we shot several focus and iris passes

so Jamie could play with the depth in post. The art department also built a lot of huge practical props that everyone could interact with and appreciate the scale. Even though you’re shooting one piece of coverage on location and then turning around on a mega stage with a giant prop, it’s incredible how grounded and tactile everything always felt.

CAPTURING THE WORLD There were numerous shots that involved a lot of tilting or looking up, showing the scale and size of this world from Paul Safranek’s (Matt Damon) perspective. We did quite a bit of Steadicam work there following Matt. For Steadicam work, I started balancing my rig with a neutral balance about five years ago. When you balance the rig neutral and hold it on a 45-degree angle, the Steadicam will just sit there meaning there is no drop time. When the rig is neutrally balanced, it is more stable to directional changes as you apply equal pressure to the top and bottom

of the rig. It helps with starts and stops, and makes tilting much more liberating, which was very helpful on this movie. Phedon wanted to keep his 17” calibrated monitor on the dolly during the shoot. Before the film, I had mainly used an eye piece when operating on the dolly, but throughout the shoot I found myself looking at the monitor more and more, especially when composing wider shots. I found it gave me a unique perspective from a smaller onboard monitor or eyepiece. I must thank Phedon for this idea and it is something I have continued to do on other shows. Sometimes when there is a complex dolly shot or whip pan, I also find it useful to be able to have your body and monitor fixed in one place, and let the dolly and camera move around you. You’re not fighting for a view of the image or physically affecting the shot by moving around the dolly. You can then use your body as a reference point as well, the shot might start with my arm fully extended and

TRIVIA: Downsizing was filmed at Alexander Payne's high school alma mater, Creighton Prep in Omaha, Nebraska. Udo Kier plays Konrad, Christoph Waltz plays Dusan and Matt Damon plays Paul in DOWNSIZING. Photo by George Kraychyk

22

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


Visit our booths at NAB and Cine Gear Expo!

CINE LENS Revolutionary lenses for the era of high-resolution digital cinematography. Our full product line-up:

sigmaphoto.com

100% retained Sigma optics & 100% new mechanical structure Performance born of SIGMA’s experience in ultra-high megapixel digital photography— now ready to take on every challenge in the world of cinematography. Available for PL-, EF- and E-mounts. SIGMA Corporation of America | 15 Fleetwood Court | Ronkonkoma, NY 11779, U.S.A. | Tel: (631) 585-1144 | www.sigmaphoto.com


end when my elbow touches my hip or some other point of reference. Our main lenses were Panavision PVintage primes. Instead of diffusion filters, we used Panavision "Standard Primes" for close-ups as they are softer than modern lenses. We also often used a vintage Cooke 20-100mm zoom for day exteriors. We shot nearly all of the VFX plates with Panavision Primos because our VFX Supervisor, Jamie Price, requested higher resolution files for the VFX work. On a few occasions we shot with Phedon's Canon K-35 Primes. They matched the Panavision PVintage lenses fairly well so we used them for B-camera and some second unit. Our main lenses were the 21mm Primo, 24mm Ultra Speed, 29mm PVintage, 35mm PVintage and occasionally the 40mm PVintage.

STEADY HANDS There is a scene where you first see a “downsized” couple at the high school reunion.

Dave Johnson (Jason Sudekis) and Carol Johnson (Maribeth Monroe) are carried in a clear box after undergoing the downsized procedure waving to their friends as they are brought in to the reunion and placed on a table. Visual effects required the box to be held steady so Alexander asked me to jump into the scene. It would be my first time stepping in front of the camera.

we shot mostly on a dolly. When we wanted to capture footage of the yacht itself, I transferred over to a 30-foot technocrane on an additional boat which we would use to film the yacht sailing through this incredibly beautiful Fiord. The beauty in the region bordered on surreal at times.

I was very anxious at first but it ended up being a lot of fun. The scene was also featured in the trailer which was a genuine surprise for my family and friends.

I want to thank Phedon Papamichael for choosing me to operate on this film. I am incredibly grateful and learned an incredible amount working with both him and Alexander. I also want to thank the SOC. When I first started out it was an SOC article that inspired me to purchase my first Steadicam. I also have so many operators to thank, who have mentored and helped me along the way (many of them SOC members). Being a camera operator has always been a dream job and I feel it is the best job in the world.

NORWAY We finished the film in Norway. We flew into Oslo and then took a small plane to Svalvoord. The entire cast and crew lived on a large cruise ship. There was a barge that was anchored to the ship, we would walk down to our picture yacht and film all day. At this time of the year the sun never really sets and there is basically a six-hour magic hour. While on the yacht,

DREAM COME TRUE

T E C H O N S E T: CAMERAS: (all ARRIRAW OPEN GATE ); A Camera Alexa XT; B Camera Alexa XT; Steadicam a nd extra camera - Ale xa Mini

Christoph Waltz plays Dušan Mirković, Hong Chau plays Ngoc Lan Tran, Matt Damon plays Paul Safranek and Udo Kier plays Konrad. Photo by George Kraychyk

24

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


CREATING MOMENTS THROUGH MOVEMENT LAND AIR WATER

THE

HYDRASCOPE ACADEMY SCI TECH AWARD WINNER 2018 15’, 20’, 32’, 43’, 73’

www.chapman-leonard.com | @chapman_leonard HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA (888) 883-6559 | UNITED KINGDOM & EUROPE +44 1 727 838424 LOUISIANA, NEW MEXICO, TEXAS, & GEORGIA (888) 758-4826 | FLORIDA (888) 337-8243

MAYOPERATOR 6, 2018 CHAPMAN/LEONARD ANNUAL PRODUCT SHOWCASE HOLLYWOOD, CA25 CAMERA · WINTER–2018


Mike Heathcote on set with Matt Damon in DOWNSIZING. Photo by George Kraychyk

TRIVIA: A memorable scene from the trailer does not appear in the final film: A group of down-sized people are drinking from a life-sized bottle of Vodka, which in the "small" world would hold the comparative volume of hundreds of gallons. MIKE HEATHCOTE, SOC Mike Heathcote is a Camera/Steadicam operator based out of Toronto,  Canada. He has always had a passion for storytelling and camera  operating. He is a member of IATSE 667 and 669 in Canada, and recently  joined IATSE 600 in the US. He is currently working as the A camera/Steadicam operator on The Handmaids Tale Season 2. This year he  worked as the A camera/ Steadicam operator on the feature film I Think  We’re Alone Now for director/ DP, Reed Morano, ASC and on an HBO film  directed by Ramin Bahrani with DP Kramer Morgenthau, ASC called  Fahrenheit 451. Photo by George Kraychyk

26

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


CREATIVITY IS EVERYWHERE BUT STORYTELLING PRODUCTION I POST

THE CREATIVE MASTERS ARE HERE. GET THE EFFECT.

SOUND

THRIVE ON.

NAB Show® is home to the world’s visionaries, influencers and innovators. It is here where they will share their approach to storytelling. Whatever the medium, sound or picture, you will uncover countless ways to elevate television and filmmaking.

THIS IS WHERE THE GLOBAL CONTENT ECONOMY THRIVES.

APRIL 7–12, 2018 I LAS VEGAS, NEVADA USA REGISTER TODAY: NABShow.com Free Exhibits Pass Code: PA94


The Post Post Production with camera operator, Mitch Dubin, SOC and 1st AC, Mark Spath an interview by Derek Stettler

Meryl Streep, director, Steven Spielberg, and Tom Hanks on the set of Twentieth Century Fox’s THE POST. Photo by Niko Tavernise

28

TRIVIA: With this film, his fifth collaboration with Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks broke his tie with Harrison Ford to be the actor that Spielberg has directed the most times. Ford has also been directed by Spielberg five times, but his scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was cut from the final film.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS ¡ SOC.ORG


In director Steven Spielberg’s 30th feature film, the master filmmaker and storyteller brings together an extraordinary ensemble cast to tell an urgent story about a significant era in U.S. history, and a landmark moment in the history of journalism. Playing almost as a prequel to “All the President’s Men,” The Post is a highly relevant history lesson that thrillingly dramatizes the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Starring Meryl Streep as The Washington Post's Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and Tom Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee, the two must work together to rise above opposition and doubt in a race to beat The New York Times and expose a vast and long-standing government cover-up; risking their careers and liberty in the process. The Post is a must-watch film, and one which reunites A camera operator, Mitch Dubin, SOC and 1st assistant camera, Mark Spath on a Spielberg film for the 16th time. Camera Operator met up with the two collaborators for a conversation about working together, working with Spielberg, and the making of this very timely tale. Camera Operator: How and when did you two start working together? Mark Spath: Over 20 years ago, it must’ve started on Tall Tale. I had been working with Janusz [Kaminski] on a couple films as a loader or 2nd AC and this was the first movie where Mitch started working with Janusz. After that, I worked primarily as a 2nd AC for a long time, with plenty of opportunities to pull focus when the second camera was brought out, and shot B camera on Minority Report. But the first film where I was A camera 1st AC with Mitch was on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Mitch Dubin: It was almost 24 years ago exactly when we first met on day one of Tall Tale. And then Janusz brought us together to do a couple films before we did Jurassic Park: The Lost World with Steven [Spielberg]. Since then we’ve grown old together, had kids and families.

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

Spath: And it’s the Steven Spielberg family, too. He likes to keep working with the same people, he builds a certain trust and likes to keep people that know his style at the key positions. CO: So what can you tell us about working with Steven Spielberg? Dubin: After doing so many films together, we’ve all gotten to know each other’s families, but when you work together with a group of people over and over, the great thing is that you become a family yourselves. There’s a shorthand in communication, you understand what everybody wants, it becomes a very fast and efficient set, which is exactly how Steven likes it. It’s a very nice way of working and you don’t see it very often. Working with Steven is great because he’s such a visual director and understands the camera so well, so every shot is really challenging. Even after doing 16 movies with him, you know going into each film that you’re going to work the hardest you’ve ever worked. And that’s what we love after doing this as long as we’ve done it. He pushes you, and you have to use everything you’ve learned though all the years of experience. I mean, look at Mark. He pulls focus on these complex shots without rehearsals, without putting marks down.

Spath: It’s survival sometimes. You’re thrown into it, and like Mitch said, Steven does have high expectations for everyone, which is challenging, but you go work on other sets and it’s almost boring because it’s so easy and slow by comparison. When I work with Steven, it’s so fast paced, you don’t think about time. The first time you look at your watch it’s lunchtime and then it’s time to go home. It’s fun that way. You’re really engaged and all there. You have to be. Dubin: There’s a lot of pressure on the camera department on a Steven Spielberg set, because as much as he trusts us and has professional affection for us, he’s still incredibly demanding. But Mark really has the most pressure. If I make a mistake, it can be rationalized as an aesthetic choice. But if Mark makes a mistake, it’s obvious and it’s definitely a problem. And it’s extra hard because we work very fast. It’s a quick tempo, no downtime. With The Post, for example, we shot the whole film in 55 days. Spath: I thought it was more like 48 days! This whole film just went really fast. It was greenlit in March, then production started in June, then it was released in December. CO: With the exception of 2016’s The BFG, every Spielberg film has been shot on film. Can you talk about the decision to continue shooting film in 2017?

29


Spath: For this film, we did look at the ALEXA 65, but I think Janusz knew full well that Steven was going to stick with film, but he wanted to do a comparison and show it to Steven, because it does give you a beautiful image. But with the texture of film, as soon as the movie starts you’re just dropped into it and you feel the film. For this one, film really fit, given the time period in which it takes place. It enhances the story, and that’s what it’s all about. Dubin: Yes, Steven loves film. I thought that after The BFG, he would make the switch to digital, but the very next movie we were back shooting film. He will shoot film as long as they make it. Unfortunately, film cameras have really deteriorated since the days when everyone was shooting on film, and the viewfinders are terrible now. It’s sad. CO: Where was The Post filmed? Spath: Most of the film was shot in and around White Plains, New York. For a lot of the stuff that takes place at The Washing-

ton Post, we weren’t on a stage, we were in a practical office building in White Plains. So there wasn’t a lot of ceiling space, and Janusz couldn’t light through windows because we were on the tenth floor. It was a challenge. But for our stage, we shot at Steiner Studios. Dubin: This was definitely a New York film. Even the Vietnam sequences were shot there. Believe it or not, State University of New York in Purchase served as our Vietnam location. We shot that just off campus in what I think was a botanical garden. Towards the end of the film, the newspaper printing press sequence was shot at the New York Post, and all of that was authentic, with the actual employees who work there. CO: What was the most memorable shot for you working on this film? Dubin: There’s always one shot that Steven comes up with that requires quite a bit of planning, and there was a specific shot that Steven had in his mind, weeks before we shot it. It was the shot when Katherine

Graham, Meryl Streep’s character, makes the decision to publish the Pentagon Papers. It is a spinning overhead shot in her home office. When Steven described the shot, we didn’t know how we’d do it. Eventually the key grip, Mitch Lillian, figured out a way: we rigged a jib arm upside down, suspended from the ceiling on some complicated rigging. And we mounted the camera on a Libra head with a zoom lens at the end of the jib arm. The camera could then spin around the room precisely and without track, suspended from the ceiling. It was interesting because once we had it all set up, just before we were going to shoot it, Steven decided he wanted to push the camera around the room himself. He wanted to control the speed and the pace of the move. This was the first time in my career where Steven was the dolly grip on the shot! Spath: The way they suspended it, there was a pole rigged to the camera head, so it was very light and Steven could just circle the room walking with it. But it was such

TRIVIA: This is the first major film collaboration of actress Meryl Streep and director Steven Spielberg. Streep previously performed the voice of "The Blue Fairy" in Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). Tom Hanks (Ben Bradlee), David Cross (Howard Simons), John Rue (Gene Patterson), Bob Odenkirk (Ben Bagdikian), Jessie Mueller (Judith Martin), and Philip Casnoff (Chalmers Roberts) in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE POST. Photo by Niko Tavernise

30

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


a tight space, the jib extended out to nearly the walls of the set, so I think I was actually in the shot a couple times, trying to squeeze past Steven. But seeing it, it really is an amazing shot. And beyond that one, I’m proud of all of them, as long as they’re in focus! I do really love the scene in the hotel room where Bob Odenkirk’s character gets the papers, though. Steven did a master where the camera barely moved, it was more about how the actors move in the frame. It was really impressive to watch how Steven blocked that out. He knows when to move the camera and when to keep it still and move the actors to keep it dynamic. He tells the story using the camera. And that’s always fun to watch. Dubin: In general, I think there’s two approaches to camera operating. One is very subjective, as if the camera is part of the scene, like in Saving Private Ryan, and the other approach is a very objective approach where the camera is quiet and you don’t notice it as much, like in The Post. This film,

like Lincoln, was really a performance-driven film, about the acting and the characters. To me, what was interesting about this movie is that there were so many actors speaking in a room at one time. Every scene verged on total chaos with the amount of actors with lines. With any other director, I think there would be that urge to get coverage and close-ups on every actor saying every line. It would’ve easily been a 120day schedule. But the fact that Steven lets things play wide and will block the camera moves in ways that you don’t often notice, while still telling the story clearly and covering all the dialog, that’s what I find so impressive. There’s of course the handheld and the Steadicam shots, but I think the more impressive thing is when you have 15 actors talking in a scene and it’s covered in only a few shots. CO: What was it like working with such an outstanding cast? Dubin: Every actor in this film is great, and they were all really fun to watch and fun to

work with. As an operator, you really have the best seat in the house in terms of watching performances of great actors, especially on a Spielberg film. And it was really amazing to watch Meryl Streep work. This is the first time I have worked with Meryl Streep. One of the things I noticed is that Meryl works very hard. You watch all the work she’s done and it looks so easy and natural, but when we shot The Post, I saw how attentive she was to every detail. Whether it’s wardrobe or hair or props or where she is in the room. It was a very thoughtful intellectual process. It was great watching her work with Steven; they work together really well. Spath: Yes, it was very impressive to watch her. But Mitch, remember the shot where she motivated the camera move, where it was her idea? It’s in the office where they’re listening to the speakerphone. She brought a cup into frame and suggested the camera start there and everyone thought it was a great idea. I recall even Tom Hanks was just blown away by her every day on set.

TRIVIA: In scenes involving the Pentagon Papers, the actual Daniel Ellsberg's original documents were used as genuine props, including the pages that were scattered over the floor of Benjamin C. Bradlee (Tom Hanks) home. Need caption. Photo by Niko Tavernise

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

31


Dubin: And Tom—this is I think the fifth film we’ve done with Tom—he’s wonderful, such a gem. And one of the nice things about Tom is that he keeps Steven in great humor. When you’re working with Tom and Steven, you know it’s going to be fun. He’s generous and kind and patient and hilariously funny, so he keeps everyone in good spirits. It’s always such a pleasure working with him. CO: Was there anything specifically discussed in terms of technique and tone on this film? Dubin: Oftentimes Steven will have a kind of visual dictionary that will be unique for each film, like when we did Amistad, he decided he didn’t want to move the camera at all. There were only two dolly shots in that film! But even though we never dollied the camera, it was a really active film. If you look, almost every shot is a 180 or 270-degree pan, with lots of actors moving around. But for The Post, I don’t recall any specific discussion as far as a unique approach to the camera. It was pretty much figuring it out

on the day, with the intention of keeping it more objective and quiet and respectful of the performances. Spath: And that’s the way Steven likes it. He’s very organic and spontaneous, he doesn’t overthink it. He has a base style, but adapts it to the script. CO: The Post appears to be the first Spielberg film since 2004’s War of the Worlds that has a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Can you tell us anything about that decision? Dubin: The early films that we did with Steven, we always shot 1.85 because at the time, people didn’t have the widescreen TVs that they have now. Steven felt that if he shot wider than 1.85, he would lose too much of the image when it went to home video. But now that’s all changed, so we’ve shot almost everything anamorphic. Spath: Anamorphic or spherical cropped to 2.35. Steven doesn’t necessarily like anamorphic because it can be limiting in terms

of the lenses, at least in the past. He’s more about being wider and closer, and the anamorphic lenses tend to distort in that range. But Bridge of Spies was anamorphic, the last Indian Jones was anamorphic, whereas Lincoln was spherical and cropped to 2.35. Dubin: I think a 1.85 frame is more suited to a face. And knowing that this is a performance-driven period film, the decision was made that 1.85 was the most appropriate choice. Lincoln was as well, but it had other aspects to it that suited a wider frame. CO: What is it like working with each other after more than two decades? Dubin: You know, what we do is not easy, but it isn’t building spaceships. The important aspect of working in film is knowing how to work with each other and to be fundamentally a good person. Mark and I stand next to each other 12-14 hours a day to do jobs where we’re under a lot pressure to do well, and the only way it works is if we can communicate; if we can get along and be

TRIVIA: Tom Hanks has a connection with both of the film's main characters' real-life individuals. Hanks actually personally knew Ben Bradlee (who Hanks portrays in the film), and he met Kay Graham (who Meryl Streep portrays in the film) the day before she died. B.J. McDonnell on the set of THE DISASTER ARITST. Photo by Justina Mintz, courtesy of A24

32

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


respectful of each other. So much of the craft is the way you treat the people you work with. And if you’re not supporting each other, you’re doomed to fail. That’s how we’ve been able to work together for 24 years. It’s a testament to the fact that you’ve got to respect and enjoy the presence of the people you work with. Spath: But that’s not to say there aren’t days we don’t want to strangle each other. We can be like an old married couple. But the respect we have for each other goes above that and allows me to feel free to make suggestions and bring something to the table. I’ve worked with other operators where they’ll look at you like, “You shouldn’t be telling me how to do my job” if I make a suggestion. But it’s really just about looking out for each other. Dubin: Yeah, we all have to look out for each other. But you know, Mark has a great eye and he really understands the camera, so I’m always open and thrilled if he has an idea or response. Because we are a team. I think part of the responsibility of a camera operator is knowing the difficulty of what a focus puller does and that they have an unforgivable job. So you’ve got to work together. Spath: Mitch has what we call the ‘island theory,’ which I love. The dolly is like an island and between the dolly grip, the operator and the focus puller, you’re all linked together and linked to whichever platform you’re shooting from. It’s three people controlling something and making it all work. Definitely a team effort.

CO: On that note, who else on the crew did you work closely with? Spath: I definitely want to mention our dolly grip, Rick Marroquin, he’s one of the best. Dubin: Yes, absolutely. And I’d like to mention John “Buzz” Moyer, who operated Steadicam on this film. He is great and we’ve worked on a few films together now. CO: After all these years, what’s something you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career? Dubin: I think it’s really the same thing I said before: the importance of being a human being in this process. Because it can be very corporate and there are a lot of huge egos involved in the film industry. The trick is to know how to let a lot of stuff roll off your back and keep doing the job that you know you’re great at doing. It’s about being confident, strong, respectful and courteous. That’s everything. I think camera operating is a very intuitive, instinctual process and you have to be confident and you have to go with your gut on a lot of stuff. You make decisions on the fly and you’re not timid. Working with Steven as long as I have, I understand his language and can anticipate what he’s going to want. Often times when you’re in the middle of a shot you haven’t rehearsed before, amazing things are discovered and uncovered by the process of shooting. Intuition and confidence are really the key elements of a good camera operator.

The first movie I did with Steven was Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and it was not a fun shoot. Steven didn’t know me, he didn’t trust me, and he was very curt with me. I would go to my car at lunch and just brood. It was so upsetting. I had never worked like that before. After that film, I told Janusz, “Forget it! I’m not working with this guy anymore”. But he convinced me to come back for Amistad and it got better. It’s crazy to think about that now, but that’s how difficult that first experience working with Steven was. And it wasn’t specifically about Steven, but I think in general, everyone will have an experience in their career where they’re really unhappy and uncomfortable. And the important thing is to not get discouraged and remember that it has nothing to do with you personally. It’s just a phase and you have to keep at it. Now, we’ve done 16 films together and I adore working with Steven. Spath: What Mitch said. CO: What have you been up to since shooting The Post? Dubin: At the moment I’m working on the TV series, Legion, a single camera show here in Los Angeles. And it’s actually the first TV series I’ve ever done, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s like working on a movie. TV is a lot different than it was ten years ago, it’s very cinematic. Spath: I came back here to Los Angeles and did a TV show as well, also doing commercials. Getting ready to do a car commercial with Janusz next week. Those are always fun.

T E C H O N S E T:

Panavision M illennium XL2 camera s; P-Vintage le n se s; Detuned Pa navision Pri mo close focus lenses; Panavision P rimo Zoom le Chapman Pe eWee & Hyb nses; rid dollies; 50’ & 30’ Te chno Libra stabiliz cranes; ed heads; Hot Gears C ontroller; Aerocrane ji b arm STRANGER THINGS, photo courtesy of Netflix Tom Hanks stars as Ben Bradlee in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE POST. Photo by Niko Tavernise

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

33


MITCH DUBIN, SOC

MARK SPATH

DEREK STETTLER

Mitch Dubin, SOC started his career working as a post-production PA on Apocalypse Now at Zoetrope Studios in San Francisco. During the additional photography of The Black Stallion and Apocalypse Now, he realized working on the set behind the camera was where he wanted to be. Thirty years later, he has been the camera operator on over eighty feature films, including sixteen films as the A camera operator for Steven Spielberg. Mitch has been fortunate to have worked on many great films with exceptionally talented crews including such films as; Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, Jerry Maguire, Any Given Sunday, and Heathers.

Mark Thomas Spath was born in 1965 in Rockaway Township, New Jersey and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Having studied film at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Mark moved to Southern California in 1989 to start working in the film industry, joining I.A.T.S.E in 1993, as he worked up to being a 1st AC. Over the course of his long career, Mark has worked on several major feature films including; Jerry Maguire, Training Day, Minority Report, Ray, Munich, Funny People, and Lincoln. In his free time, Mark enjoys skiing, golf, photography, and fast cars.

An Associate Member of the SOC since 2015, Derek Stettler is a filmmaker who also contributes to the ASC's American Cinematographer magazine. Derek discovered filmmaking as his life's passion after graduating high school in 2010, having since made a number of short films and commercials. He currently works as a freelance video editor, camera operator, and writer, as he works toward his dream of directing feature films.

Photo by Claudette Barius

Photo by Niko Tavernise

Photo by Carter Smith

Above and left: Mitch Dubin on set. Photos by Niko Tavernise

34

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS ¡ SOC.ORG


Smooth Operator by Rachael Levine, SOC

THE BALANCE OF THE ART

Long lens out in the field to capture Jessica Chastain, as Antonina Zabinska, fleeing the Zoo with her son and baby buffalo in tow. Photo courtesy of Rachel Levine

“Wow, it is so cool to see a woman behind the camera.” This is said to me on every job from producers to PA’s. It’s so nice to hear this and it makes me feel extremely proud, but I realize it is still highly unusual to see a woman behind the camera. It has taken me longer than most of my male contemporaries to reach this position, but within that length of time I have grown hungry and eager, and can so appreciate my rewards. I feel so ready to be where I stand today. “Slow and steady, patience and stamina wins the race,” I say to myself. In my struggle to work regularly I have asked myself, “How do you get that job?” How does one make the interviewer, usually the DP, believe I can do the job? Credits, reputation, personality? Infinitely, I know I have to be three times better than my counterparts and what I’ve come to learn is listening, watching, observing is what I have to offer. Of course, operating the camera proficiently and with heart is key to that process as well. Understanding the essence of the project and being able

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

to rise to the challenge whether that is using a crane or doing hand-held for 14 hours every day for six months are all parts of this equation. I have this overwhelming desire to constantly move up in this industry, and operate on great movies. The burning question I ask myself is, what makes a great camera operator? What is it that embodies this position? What is the difference between a good operator and a great operator? I love what I do. I love my job. I love framing and composition, complicated dolly shots, or negotiating a complex crane move. I mean we all work in this industry because we love movies, love photography, love the visual medium. But really, what is it that makes one standout from the rest and excel? My thoughts on that are; shooting a scene is like conducting a symphony or choreographing a ballet, because there can be many different elements at play in any given moment. Managing the shot, not just

35


panning and tilting, but coordinating background action and principal actors in relation to marks and timing. Timing I see as symmetry of framing, focus, lighting and performance, and when it works it is spectacular! There can be lucky accidents, but where you place the camera can be crucial to that success. Finding the balance and choreographing all of these elements to capture that moment can have the maximum impact on the viewer. That is our job as operators. The art of diplomacy is also the other main skill I believe is important in the operator position. Balance of when, or when not, to step in and suggest a shot. If you have a director that has a lot of grand sweeping ideas, but these ideas complicate the scene, or it becomes time consuming and makes the scene harder to accomplish, when do you step in and speak up? Not sure when the moment is ever right to do this? This can be very difficult and hard to do without stepping on toes in the set hierarchy, but sometimes necessary if the train is running off the tracks. Operating is about sensitivity and strength. Sensitivity is being able to feel the moment and connect with the actors. Strength is the ability to be decisive yet polite when arranging a shot. Also, physical strength-the ability to hold a camera on your shoulder all day if that’s what is required. Visually, one angle or shot may be better from one particular angle, but does it change or mess up the blocking so much that it becomes unnatural for the actors, and the believability of the story? When do you

have to let go of that perfect flare for the benefit of the performance? Instinct, I suppose. I love discovering something in rehearsal that they didn’t expect. You have to know when you can explore within a shot and follow your gut. This can be when the most rewarding experience happens. There’s no better feeling then when someone has faith in you. The feeling of being respected and appreciated for your talent is a tremendous boost, especially when one is constantly trying to prove oneself. This faith is naturally born out of building relationships. Relationships with producers, directors, DP’s, your A.C.’s, and dolly grips are extremely important for operators. I’ve had a few people in my life that have had faith in me, stood behind me, believed in me, and fought for me to get on jobs. I am indebted to them. Most notably is DP and director, Andrij Parekh, a true gentleman who hired me when I was pregnant to work on HBO’s Show Me a Hero. Andrij also convinced producers to hire me to go to Prague in the Czech Republic to operate on The Zookeeper’s Wife all the while giving up his budget for a Steadicam operator. With the help of Andrij I’m now on one my biggest budgeted productions as the A camera operator, HBO’s Succession, Season 1. I feel I’ve entered a new stratosphere...does this mean I’ve made it? Who knows? In my never-ending quest when Succession wraps, I’ll be on to my next great challenge.

Andrij and I on THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE. Director Niki Caro explains a shot while filming in the ghetto (filmed in Prague) on THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE. Doing a hand-held shot on HBO's SUCCESSION. Photos courtesy of Rachel Levine

36

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


RACHAEL LEVINE, SOC Rachael Levine, SOC was born and raised in the New York Metropolitan area. Introduced to photography in high school, she knew immediately that aspects of photography and later cinematography would always be part of her life. Rachael began her film career as a focus puller and has been a camera operator on many commercials, television, and feature films, in addition to being a cinematographer on multiple independent films. Her operating credits include: HBO’s Succession and Show Me a Hero, The Zookeeper's Wife, Collateral Beauty, Still Alice, Before I Wake, The Other Guys, We Own the Night, Roger Dodger, and Thumbsucker. Rachael has been second unit director of photography for the HBO miniseries, Show Me A Hero and has done additional photography for Succession. Rachael received honors for her cinematography as part of the 2004 and 2008 International Cinematographers Guild Film Showcase. Rachael continues to passionately pursue still photography while bringing her creative insight in cinematography to today's filmmakers.

After shooting all night we stayed up to capture a sunrise scene on the roof of a building for SUCCESSION. Photo courtesy of Rachel Levine


SOC TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

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.

the companies demonstrated their gear to SOC members. A special thank you to the judges, and all the companies that participated. For a full list of the participants see the Tech Talk article in the fall issue of Camera Operator.

The SOC hosted a full day of demonstrations on November 11th at the SOC offices, courtesy of Tiffen. Each participating technology was presented by the manufactures to the blue ribbon panel of SOC judges made up of: Andrew Asnick, SOC, Luke Cormack, SOC, Rich Davis, SOC, David Emmerichs, SOC, Eric Fletcher, SOC - Technical Chair, Dave Frederick, SOC, Dan Gold, SOC, Jaime Hitchcock, SOC, Lawrence “Doc” Karman, SOC, Manolo Rojas Moscopulos, SOC, and David Sammons, SOC. After the presentation to the judges,

Eric Fletcher, SOC and SOC Technical Chair said this, “This year we saw a diverse set of submissions from the manufacturers, and like previous years, the judges’ deliberation was dynamic, with much spirited discussion. It’s fascinating to hear the different points of view from the esteemed operators in the room. In the end, the decision was clear. DJI brought a product that is amazingly versatile. The Ronin 2 will not only allow operators to achieve shots that were nearly impossible 10 years ago, but to do it while advancing the

SOC judges at Demo Days. Photos courtesy of SOC

38

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


SOC judges getting their hands on the equipment. Photos courtesy of SOC

operator’s safety by allowing remote operation via wheels or a joystick.”

THE RONIN 2

“DJI is incredibly honored to be the recipient of this year’s Technical Achievement Award. It means a tremendous amount to us to be recognized by the industry’s top camera operators who are the people we had in mind when we designed the product in an effort to improve every aspect of the camera operating experience,” said Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI. DJI, the world’s leader in creative camera technology, introduced Ronin 2, the three-axis camera stabilizer redesigned to give filmmakers the freedom to capture any scene they can imagine. Based on DJI’s transformative gimbal technology, Ronin 2 has more power and torque to carry larger cameras, is more versatile to be used in every situation, and has more intelligent features to allow for unprecedented camera moves that help realize every creative vision. DJI and the Ronin 2 were presented with their Technical Achievement Award at the SOC Awards show, while joining the industry in celebrating the best of the best in production and camera operating.

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

The Ronin 2 from DJI is a versatile, professional 3-axis stabilization system that was designed to give filmmakers the freedom to capture any scene they can imagine. Upgraded high torque motors allow it to support a wide range of camera packages at weights up to 30 lbs. and resist high winds and G-forces when in motion up to 75 mph. Other improvements include a versatile mount for use as a remote head, faster setup, a redesigned frame with centralized power system, and enhanced intelligent features. www.dji.com/ronin-2

39


Insight TEDDY SMITH, SOC What was one of your most challenging shot or challenging day in the industry? Safely operating a Russian Arm in a ring with a million-dollar race horse and an actress who preferred to ride herself was a challenging experience. What is your most memorable day in the industry? I was the underwater operator on a feature and spent all night diving with Dolph Lundgren as he fought an animatronic shark in freezing water. What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? My dream is to shoot underwater for a Planet Earth episode. I’d love to film the hidden creatures below the Antarctic ice. Photo by Joshua Stringer

Credits:  Urban Country, Race to Win, Shark Lake, Navy Seals vs. Zombies, Ambition

DEAN SMOLLAR, SOC What was one of your most challenging shots in the industry? Sprinting, chasing an actor down seven flights of stairs and through narrow, winding hallways for a single shot in the movie Mischief Night. What is your most memorable day in the industry? It’s a tie between receiving fan mail for a movie I operated on and working with Keanu Reeves for the first time. What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? My goal at the moment is to operate for a feature film with a budget greater than $20 million. Credits:  A Happening of Monumental Proportions, Typical Rick Season 2, Tales of Halloween, Don’t Kill It

Photo by Cameron Riddles

JOSEPH URBANCZYK, SOC The person who helped you most in your career? Vilmos Zsigmond… Above all, I like to think he taught us about that delicate balance of light and shadow, and not just in the creation of film, but also the light and shadows within ourselves, in our lives. In his youth in Hungary, he stood with his camera before the darkest shadows of oppression; later he went on to become one of the greatest cinematographers in the world. And by his extraordinary life and example, he showed us all the very opposite of what he had witnessed in his youth. He revealed to us, both as a filmmaker and as a friend, that magnificent light that lives forever in the human spirit. For that-and much more-I am eternally grateful to this wonderful man who was my mentor and my friend. Photo by Peter Sorel

40

Credits: The Black Dahlia (LA unit), Life as a House, The Ghost and the Darkness (South Africa), Playing By Heart, Out to Sea, and Love and Basketball.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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

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

ACTIVE MEMBERS Peter Abraham Jonathan S. Abrams Grant Lindsay Adams Michael Alba Bret Allen Colin Anderson Kevin W. Andrews Andrew Ansnick Mariana Antunano Francois Archambault Joseph Arena Robert Eugene Arnold Will Arnot Ted Ashton Jr. Kjetil Astrup Mark August * Andrei Austin Grayson Grant Austin Jacob Avignone Daniel Ayers Christopher Baffa Lonn Bailey James Baldanza David Baldwin Jr. Jerry Banales Christopher Banting Jeff Barklage Angel Barroeta John James Beattie Jonathan Beattie Tim Bellen Brian Bernstein Corey Besteder George M. Bianchini George Billinger * Howard H. Bingham Maceo Bishop Michel Bisson Bonnie S. Blake Jason Blount Jeff Bollman John Boyd Katie Boyum Kevin D. Braband Hilaire Brosio Garrett Brown Kenny Brown Pete Brown Scott Browner Neal Bryant Stephen Buckingham Robin Buerki

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

Gary Bush Rod Calarco Stephen S. Campanelli J. Christopher Campbell JR D. Campbell Susan A. Campbell Jose A. Cardenas Robert Carlson Jeffrey Carolan Michael Carstensen Peter Cavaciuti Dave Chameides Lou Chanatry Joe Chess Jr. Anthony Cobbs Steven Cohen Marcis Cole Kris A. Conde Andrew Glenn Conder Brown Cooper Dan Coplan Gilles Daniel Corbeil Luke Cormack Ross Coscia Javier A. Costa Richard J. Cottrell Tom Cox Jeff Cree Rod Crombie Richard Crow Jeff L. Crumbley Grant Culwell Francois Daignault Nicholas Davidoff Markus Davids Rick Davidson Richard W. Davis Andrew A. Dean Michael S. Dean Anthony Deemer Kris Andrew Denton Kevin Descheemaeker Joel Deutsch Don Devine Kenny Dezendorf Twojay Dhillon David E. Diano * Troy Dick Jim van Dijk Matthew I. Doll Rick Drapkin Scott C. Dropkin Mitch Dubin Simon Duggan, ACS Mark Duncan Allen D. Easton William Eichler David Elkins Jason Ellson David Emmerichs Kevin J. Emmons Ramon Engle Alex Escarpanter Steve Essig Brant S. Fagan Diane L. Farrell Dianne Teresa Farrington Jesse Michael Feldman Michael Ferris George Feucht

James Anthony Firios Andrew Fisher Lance Fisher Eric Fletcher Michael Flueck Houman Forough Felix Forrest Ian Forsyth Justin Foster Steve G. Fracol Keith Francis Tom “Frisby” Fraser James Frater David J. Frederick * Michael Frediani * Brian Freesh Steven French Dan Frenkel Mick Froehlich Jeff Fry Paul M. Gardner David Gasperik Rusty Geller Michael Germond William Gierhart Laurie K. Gilbert Mark Goellnicht Daniel Gold James Goldman Allen Gonzales Robert Gorelick Afton M. Grant Chad Griepentrog Ric Griffith James Gucciardo Robert Guernsey Pedro Guimaraes John Gunselman Craig Haagensen Chris C. Haarhoff Jess Haas Kevin Haggerty Geoffrey K. Haley John Hankammer Tim Harland Joshua Harrison Kent Harvey Chris Hayes David Haylock Nikk Hearn-Sutton Mike Heathcote Dawn J. Henry Alan Hereford Steven F. Heuer Kevin Hewitt David Hirschmann Jamie Hitchcock Petr Hlinomaz Abe Holtz Jerry Holway Paul Horn Casey Hotchkiss William Howell II Bradley Hruboska Colin Hudson Christian Hurley Philip Hurn Spencer Hutchins Alexa Ihrt Dave Isern Christopher Ivins Eugene W. Jackson III Jerry Jacob

Alec Jarnagin Gary Jay Simon Jayes Andrew “AJ” Johnson Christopher D. Jones Steven Jones Jacques Jouffret John H. Joyce David Judy Mark Jungjohann David Kanehann Mark Karavite Lawrence Karman Dan Kavanaugh Derek Keener Adam T. Keith David Kimelman Dan Kneece * Rory Robert Knepp David T. Knox Robert Kositchek Bud Kremp Kris Krosskove Per Larsson Jeff Latonero Kristian Dane Lawing Sergio Leandro da Silva Richard Leible Alan Lennox Rachael Levine Ilan Levin Sarah Levy David Liebling Jimmy Lindsey, ASC Abigail Linne Hugh C. Litfin John Lizzio Christopher Lobreglio Patrick Longman George Loomis Jessica L. Lopez Greg Lundsgaard Kenji Luster Guido Lux Rob Macey Vincent C. Mack Paul S. Magee Giuseppe Malpasso Kim Marks Justin Marx Jared G. Marshall Cedric Martin Philip J. Martinez Daniele Massaccesi J. Steven Matzinger Brennan Jakob Maxwell Parris Mayhew Peter McCaffrey Bill McClelland Jim McConkey David B. McGill Ian McGlocklin Michael P. McGowan Christopher T.J. McGuire Ossie McLean Aaron Medick Alan Mehlbrech Hilda Mercado Olivier Merckx Matias Mesa Jack Messitt Mark J. Meyers Mike Mickens

Duane Mieliwocki Marc A. Miller Phillip Miller Andrew Mitchell William Molina Mitch Mommaerts Mark Emery Moore K. Neil Moore Matthew Moriarty Josh Morton Manolo Rojas Moscopulos John “Buzz” Moyer Jeff Muhlstock Michael James Mulvey Scott T. Mumford Sean Murray Saade Mustafa Dale Myrand Leo J. Napolitano Marco Naylor Robert Newcomb Julye Newlin George Niedson Terence Nightingall Kurt Nolen Randy Nolen Austin Nordell William O’Drobinak Mark D. O’Kane Gery O’Malley Michael D. Off Andrew William Oliver John Orland Brian Osmond Georgia Tornai Packard Heather Page Nick Paige Curtis E. Pair Victor J. Pancerev Andrew Parke Patrick J. Pask Al “Tiko” Pavoni Matthew Pebler Paul C. Peddinghaus Douglas Pellegrino John Perry George Peters Matthew A. Petrosky Jonathan F. Phillips Alan Pierce Theo Pingarelli Jens Piotrowski Joseph Piscitelli James Puli Louis Puli Ryan Purcell Yavir Ramawtar Juan M. Ramos James B. Reid John Rhode Alicia Robbins Ari Robbins Peter Robertson Brent Robinson Brooks Robinson Dale Rodkin Eric Roizman Peter Rosenfeld Dave Rutherford Rafael Sahade P. Scott Sakamoto Sanjay Sami David M. Sammons

41


Joel San Juan Juanjo Sanchez Bry Thomas Sanders Milton A. Santiago Daniel Sauvé Gerard Sava Sean Savage Martin Schaer Ron Schlaeger Mark Schmidt Job Scholtze Vadim Schulz David Jean Schweitzer Fabrizio Sciarra Brian Scott Benjamin Semanoff Barry Seybert Barnaby Shapiro David Shawl Osvaldo Silvera Jr. Gregory Smith Needham B. Smith III Teddy Smith Vanessa Smith Dean Robert Smollar John Sosenko Andy Sparaco Mark Sparrough Benjamin Xavier Spek Francis Spieldenner Sandy Spooner Lisa L. Stacilauskas Robert Starling Thomas N Stork Michael R. Stumpf David L. Svenson David Taicher Ian S. Takahashi Yousheng Tang Gregor Tavenner Christopher Taylor Peter Taylor Paige Thomas David James Thompson Henry Tirl John Toll, ASC Remi Tournois Neil C. Toussaint Bryan Trieb Michael Tsimperopoulos Chris Tufty * Dan Turrett Brian Tweedt Joseph Urbanczyk Matt Valentine Dale Vance, Jr. Paul D. Varrieur Ron Veto Adi Visser Stefan von Bjorn Rob Vuona Bill Waldman Michael J. Walker Timothy N. Walker Gareth Ward Gretchen Warthen Mic Waugh Raney “Bo” Webb Aiken Weiss Dale A. West Clay Westervelt Des Whelan Robert Whitaker Mande Whitaker Kit Whitmore Peter Wilke Ken Willinger

42

Chad Wilson David A. Wolf Ian D. Woolston-Smith Peter C. Xiques Santiago Yniguez Brian Young Chad Zellmer Brenda Zuniga

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Christine Adams Brian Aichlmayr Colin Akoon Jamie Alac Ana M. Amortegui Philip Anderson Greg Arch Fernando Arguelles Michael Artsis Joshua Ausley Ryan Vogel Baker Scott Gene Baker Tyson Banks Michael Barron Adam Wayne Beck Adriatik Berdaku Alicia Blair Peter Bonilla Jean-Paul Bonneau David Boyd Warren Brace Mary Brown Rochelle Brown Donald Brownlow Clyde E. Bryan Sasha D. Burdett Leslie McCarty Chip Byrd Yi Cai Anthony Q. Caldwell Ryan Campbell Jordan Cantu Jack Carpenter Marc Casey Quaid Cde Baca Kirsten Celo Libor Cevelik Ian Chilcote Damian Church Gregory Paul Collier Antoine Combelles Gabriel Paul Copeland Gareth Paul Cox Richard P. Crudo, ASC Chad Daring Farhad Ahmed Dehlvi Eric Druker Enrique Xavier Del Rio Galindo James DeMello Johnny Derango Caleb Des Cognets Ronald E. Deveaux Vincent DeVries Lance Dickinson Orlando Duguay Adam Duke Keith Dunkerley Brian James Dzyak Andre Ennis David T. Eubank Allen Farst Nicholas A. Federoff Kristin Fieldhouse Stephanie Fiorante Jessica Fisher Tom Fletcher John Flinn III, ASC Mark Forman

Mike Fortin Chuck France Michael A. Freeman Fred M. Frintrup Hiroyuki Fukuda Dmitrii Fursov Sandra Garcia Benjamin Gaskell Hank Gifford Michael Goi, ASC Wayne Goldwyn Al Gonzalez John M. Goodner John Greenwood Phil Gries Josef “Joe” Gunawan Marco Gutierrez Jason Hafer Bob Hall Tobias Winde Harbo James Hart John Hart Jason Hawkins Adam Heim Andres Hernandez Anthony P. Hettinger John M. Hill, Jr. Andrew Hoehn Scott Hoffman Chris Horvath Nichole Huenergardt Jake Iesu Toshiyuki Imai Andrew A. Irvine Gregory Irwin Michael Izquierdo Neeraj Jain Jennie Jeddry Keith Jefferies Lacey Joy Henry Bourne Joy IV Johnny Juarez Jessica S. Jurges Timothy Kane Brandon Kapelow Ray Karwel Frank Kay April Kelley Alan G. Kelly Mark H. Killian Douglas Kirkland Christian Kitscha Michael Klaric Michael Klimchak Nick Kolias Mark Knudson Brian Kronenberg Robert La Bonge Laurence Langton Jose-Pablo Larrea Alan Levi Mark Levin Ilya Jo Lie-Nielsen Jun Li Niels Lindelien Eamon Long Gordon Lonsdale Jasmine Lord Christopher Lymberis Dominik Mainl Aaron Marquette Jose del Carmen Martinez Nicole Jannai Martinez Jim R. Matlosz Nathan Maulorico Brett Mayfield Ray McCort Mike McEveety Marcel Melanson Mengmeng “Allen” Men Sophia Meneses

John Paul J. Meyer Jonathan Miller Andrew R. Mitchell K. Adriana Modlin-Liebrecht Kenneth R. Montgomery Mark Morris Matthew C. Mosher Jekaterina Most Nick Muller Nicholas Matthew Musco Hassan Nadji Navid John Namazi Zach Nasits Jimmy Negron Michael Nelson Benjamin Kirk Nielsen Dennis Noack Jose Maria Noriega Louis Normandin Casey Burke Norton Crescenzo G.P. Notarile, ASC Jorel O’Dell Adrien Oneiga Pascal Orrego Jarrod Oswald Paul Overacker Justin Painter Larry Mole Parker Steven D. Parker Florencia Perez Cardenal Mark W. Petersen Jon Philion Mark Phillips Tyler Phillips W. S. Pivetta Ted Polmanski Robert Primes, ASC Joe Prudente Delia Quinonez David Rakoczy Jem Rayner Marcia Reed Brice Reid Claudio Rietti Ken Robings Andy Romero Tim Rook Peter J. Rooney Sam Rosenthal Jordi Ruiz Maso Dylan Rush Kish Sadhvani Christian Salas-Martos Danny Salazar Chris Sattlberger Steve Saxon Christian Sebaldt, ASC Christopher Seehase Sathish Shankutty Yael Shulman Stephen Siegel Peter Sikkens Karina Maria Silva Michael Skor Jan Sluchak Robert F. Smith Laurent Soriano David Speck Don Spiro Owen Stephens Derek Stettler Michael Stine Darren Stone Scott Stone Skyler Stone Aymae Sulick Jeremy Sultan Andy Sydney Tiffany Taira

Brian Taylor Fabian Tehrani John Twesten Gary Ushino Daniel Urbain Sandra Valde Thomas Valko Aimee Vasquez Christopher Vasquez Michael Velitis Nick Vera Benjamin Verhulst Marshall Victory Jesse Vielleux Breanna Villani Miguel Angel Vinas Terry Wall W. Thomas Wall William Walsh Alex White Ryan Wood Tim Wu Tim Yoder Scot Zimmerman

Alexander Calzatti Trevor Coop Roger Corman Dean Cundey, ASC Bruce Doering Clint Eastwood Tom Hatten Ron Howard Gale Anne Hurd Sarah Jones Michael Keaton Ron Kelley Kathleen 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

CORPORATE

RETIRED MEMBERS

Abel Cine Adorama Anton Bauer Arri, Inc. B&H Foto & Electronics Corp. Band Pro Film & Video Blackmagic Design Brother International Corporation Canon, USA Inc. Carl Zeiss Microimaging, Inc. Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment Codex Cooke Optics Limited Core SWX CW Sonderoptic Diving Unlimited International, Inc. Freefly Systems Fujifilm/Fujinon Filmtools, Inc. Geo Film Group, Inc. History For Hire Imagecraft Productions, Inc. JL Fisher, Inc. Keslow Camera Litepanels Manios Digital & Film Matthews Studio Equipment Monster Remotes Panavision Preston Cinema Systems RED Digital Cinema Sigma Sony Electronics Spacecam Systems, Inc. That Cat Camera Support Tiffen Transvideo Ver Wooden Camera Zacuto USA

EDUCATORS John Grace Ralph Watkins

HONORARY

John Bailey, ASC Tilman Buettner James Burrows

Aldo Antonelli 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

STUDENTS

Reynaldo Aquino Nathan James Bachmann Melissa Baltierra Zakrey Barisione Daniela Bornstein Ziryab Ben Brahem Emmett Bright Jiayao Chen Petr Cikhart Autumn Collins John Darian William Dauel

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


Annor Doeman Michael A. Garcia Badra Alois Haidra Christian T. Hall Mufeng “Derek” Han Tyler Harmon-Townsend Myles Anthony Holt LaKisha Renee Hughes Carolyn Scott Hunt Crystal Kelley KC Kennicutt John P. Lansdale Eric Liberacki Guilherme Costa Ari Linn Vincent Lomascolo Jose Lora Carl Neuzen Loven Jeff-Steven Arevalo Mojica Fabian Montes Joshua Montiel Rome Imari Mubarak Takuya Nagayabu James Nagel Lucien Night Rui Jiang Ong Weerapat “Art” Parnitudom Ryan Petrolo Connor Pollard Karina Prieto Macias Cheng Qian Ryan Richard Jackson Rife

Marco Rivera Edgar Santamaria Esther Santamaria Emil Schonstrom Alexandria Shepherd Jennifer St. Hilaire-Sanchez Grace Thomas Kendra Tidrick William Torres Anthony Worley Watcharawit “Koon” Ya-inta Linxuan “Stanley” Yu Lucia Zavarcikova Yiyao Zhu

Current as of January 30, 2018.

AD INDEX Blackmagic Design 7 www.blackmagicdesign.com Chapman/Leonard Studio 25 Equipment www.chapmanleonard.com 3 CW Sonderoptic www.cw-sonderoptic.com C2 J. L. Fisher www.jlfisher.com

NAB Show 27 www.nabshow.com Back Cover Schneider Optics www.schneideroptics.com 23 Sigma www.sigmaphoto.com That Cat Camera Support 2, 37 www.cameraslider.com C3 Tiffen www.tiffen.com

Watch the SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards SOCAwards.com Follow the conversation at #SOCAwards

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

SOC.ORG · WINTER 2017 VOL. 26, NO.1

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

Hacksaw GoneRidge Girl

CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2015

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

SOC.org

Browse our online store to see the inventory of water bottles, T-shirts, hats, pins, and more... CAMERA OPERATOR · WINTER 2018

SOC.ORG · FALL 2016 VOL. 25, NO.4

SOC.ORG · FALL 2016 VOL. 25, NO.4

Michael Frediani, SOC

SullySully

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

CAMERA OPERATOR

available for free online View issues on your desktop and mobile devices - issuu.com/cameraoperators 43


Social SOC

Curated by Ian S. Takahashi, SOC society_of_camera_operators

2,450

...

22

society_of_camera_operators @mitchdubin, SOC and #StevenSpeilberg on #ThePost that opens soon! by @nikotavernise !! ---------------------------------------------------#bestJobEver #thesoc #cameraOperator #Photographer #Camera #Lens #DirectorOfPhotography #Cinematography #Cinematographer #Videography #Photography #Videography #PhotographyIsLife #CameraSupport #CameraAccessories #SOC #bts #movies #film #TheSOC ---------------------------------------------------kieranmurphydp These guys have been together forever! #teamworkmakesthedreamwork

society_of_camera_operators

921

...

4

society_of_camera_operators Dale Vance Jr, SOC with 1st AC Don Burghardt and Dolly Grip Andre Sobezak - #sticksNslider on the grass #Atlanta -----------------------------------------------chwmurr2012 My passion my life ------------------------------------------------#bestJobEver #thesoc #cameraOperator #Photographer #Camera #Lens #DirectorOfPhotography #Cinematography #Cinematographer #Videography #Photography #Videography #PhotographyIsLife #CameraSupport #CameraAccessories #SOC #bts #movies #film #scandal #revenge #steadicam

Photo by Jake Koenig

Follow the SOC membership on Instagram. See iconic photos from behind-the-scenes, on-set backstories, and images that inspire. Join in the conversation! @ Society_of_Camera_Operators 44

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS ¡ SOC.ORG



I found their effect subtle and delicate without sacrificing clarity and sharpness. The gradations are very close, so I can really manipulate the amount of diffusion, going from 1/2, up to the 3 easily. Even the heavier grades don’t clog up the shadows or milk it. Cosmetically, they hold contrast, while delicately smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.

Inside, on a bare filament light bulb test, I found it did not glow excessively regardless of filter grades. Outside, pointing at cars in the afternoon sun, there were lots of bright kicks and nasty specular highlights. I expected those to bloom out, as with other filters, but to my surprise Radiant Softs held the highlights really well. It’s a real advantage that I can use them on scenes with a wide variety of contrasts. Their greater range makes them more flexible so I'm adding Radiant Softs to my regular camera package.

James Chressanthis ASC, GSC

The Radiant Soft Versatile Solution Currently cinematographer on episodics Greenleaf (OWN) and GONE (NBC International), Chressanthis’ renowned career has earned 3 Emmy nominations including Life With Judy Garland, Four Minutes and No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos, which he also wrote and directed. He is known for his work on Ghost Whisperer, Cesar’s Last Fast (Sundance), American Horror Story: Freak Show, and dozens more diverse productions.

w w w. s c h n e i d e ro p t i c s . c o m Phone: 818-766-3715 • 631-761-5000 • 800-228-1254 • email: info@schneideroptics.com

Schneider Kreuznach Radiant Soft water white glass filters offer an expanded palette of in-camera effects to the shooter. Choose from ¼, ½, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 strengths, in 4x5.65 & 6.6x6.6 sizes.