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48 2018 PRODUCT GUIDE LED Nation p. 50 Beauty Shots p. 58 Light Years Ahead p. 76
THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS
Mitchell Amundsen and his Local 600 camera team break new ground with the R-rated “puppet noir” film.
DEPARTMENTS ON THE STREET / 14 REFRACTION / 16 ZOOM-IN / 18 EXPOSURE / 22 PRODUCTION CREDITS / 86 STOP MOTION / 98
38 THE DARKEST MINDS
Kramer Morgenthau, ASC, brings color, light, and beautiful vintage lensing.
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P R E S I D E N T ’ S L E T T E R
HIGH DYNAMIC RANGERS An existential question for all creative storytellers is that if you’re required to do a high-dynamic-range (HDR) finish on a movie or TV show, do you do the standard-dynamic-range (SDR) grade first and then the HDR grade, or the other way around? To me, it would be like doing the airplane release of a project before the wider color gamut release (of HDR). It might be that after doing the SDR release, it would be more fun to go to the HDR pass and see how you tell the story with that much more visual information. But there’s really no good answer to this question, at least at this point. At an HDR Summit earlier this year in Los Angeles, sponsored by the Advanced Imaging Society (AIS), I said that in a very short time period – three, four or perhaps five years – the SDR release will be very much like doing a pan-and-scan for the airlines. I also agreed with many other speakers at the summit that HDR is here to stay. Which means that (once again) we are challenged by a new technology with no agreed-on standards, in any of its myriad versions. For me, using all of that light of the top end of the image is not what’s important about HDR; it’s the revealing of all that information in the shadows that can best expand our storytelling window. Overheard at the HDR Summit were comments that in the near future it’s conceivable a producer of a project would say: “I paid for one thousand nits, and I want to use them all!” This is yet another application of the axiom, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” In fact, there are already examples of filmmakers, after having seen HDR passes of their projects, who say those passes look nothing like what they intended. This is especially applicable to re-mastering. There are several companies telling filmmakers to go ahead and do an SDR release, and with a simple push of a button, they’ll create an HDR grade. I’ve seen examples of that, and it just doesn’t work. This means that directors of photography must really become high-dynamic “rangers” to ensure a project’s release is faithful to the on-set creative vision. A new technology like HDR is certainly important for manufacturers to market more TV sets and for theaters to fill more seats, so that progress can be made creating proper standards and improving on exhibition and viewing of the stories we are telling. The comparison to when movies went from the 1.33:1 aspect ratio to a 1.85:1 wide screen as a way for theatrical exhibitors to compete with television
(since wide screen movies could not be formatted for TV), feels the same. And while I’m appreciative of the engineers, scientists and manufacturers who develop these new technologies, we need to be very careful that they truly serve our storytelling vision, and are not just more marketing tools. Of course, the great irony is that we’ve been shooting HDR for more than 100 years! Film is technically rated as HDR, given a negative’s dynamic range, but we’ve just never been able to see it. When digitizing negative and manipulating the image using a Digital Intermediate was introduced, the tools were so good that we could use the overhead in the negative to selectively put detail in shadows or highlights, or take it away. We could never show both extremes of highlights or shadows at the same time before – until now, with the advent of new on set display technology that can show the entire range from shadow to highlight, alongside the wider color gamut of ACES. The question was asked (a number of times) at the HDR Summit, if it is important to see HDR on the set. I believe that it’s crucial to see a project in its original form in order to make the kind of creative decisions later on down the pipeline. There are other technologies coming forward, like computational photography, which will also have a mitigating effect on storytelling. And they will not only require the director of photography to be a “visual ranger” in preproduction, production and postproduction, but will also require Local 600 camera operators and assistants to help watch over framing and focus. For me the single most important takeaway from the Advanced Imaging Society’s HDR Summit is that the human interface is vital. People will always be the key to how these new technologies can impact and expand visual storytelling. Or as Elon Musk, a promoter of new technology if ever there was one, recently announced: he has misunderstood the capabilities of robots, and underestimated the capabilities of human beings, in the building of his Tesla vehicles. These are words that we, as an industry, need to heed.
Steven Poster, ASC National President International Cinematographers Guild IATSE Local 600
August 2018 vol. 89 no. 06
Publisher Teresa Muñoz Executive Editor David Geffner Art Director Wes Driver EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Tyler Bourdeau STAFF WRITER Pauline Rogers ACCOUNTING Glenn Berger Dominique Ibarra COPY EDITORS Peter Bonilla Maureen Kingsley CONTRIBUTORS Michael Chambliss Myles Mellor Margot Carmichael Lester Lisa Rose
INTERNATIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHERS GUILD Local 600 IATSE NATIONAL PRESIDENT Steven Poster, ASC NATIONAL VICE-PRESIDENT Heather Norton 1ST NATIONAL VICE-PRESIDENT Paul Varrieur 2ND NATIONAL VICE-PRESIDENT John Lindley, ASC NATIONAL SECRETARY-TREASURER Eddie Avila NATIONAL ASSISTANT SECRETARY-TREASURER Douglas C. Hart NATIONAL SERGEANT-AT-ARMS Christy Fiers NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Rebecca Rhine
PUBLICATIONS & PUBLICITY COMMITTEE Henri Bollinger, Chair
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ADVERTISING POLICY: Readers should not assume that any products or services advertised in International Cinematographers Guild Magazine are endorsed by the International Cinematographers Guild. Although the Editorial staff adheres to standard industry practices in requiring advertisers to be “truthful and forthright,” there has been no extensive screening process by either International Cinematographers Guild Magazine or the International Cinematographers Guild. EDITORIAL POLICY: The International Cinematographers Guild neither implicitly nor explicitly endorses opinions or political statements expressed in International Cinematographers Guild Magazine. ICG Magazine considers unsolicited material via email only, provided all submissions are within current Contributor Guideline standards. All published material is subject to editing for length, style and content, with inclusion at the discretion of the Executive Editor and Art Director. Local 600, International Cinematographers Guild, retains all ancillary and expressed rights of content and photos published in ICG Magazine and icgmagazine.com, subject to any negotiated prior arrangement. ICG Magazine regrets that it cannot publish letters to the editor. ICG (ISSN 1527-6007) Published Monthly by The International Cinematographers Guild 7755 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, CA, 90046, U.S.A. Periodical postage paid at Los Angeles, California. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ICG 7755 Sunset Boulevard Hollywood, California 90046 Copyright 2018, by Local 600, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada. Entered as Periodical matter, September 30, 1930, at the Post Office at Los Angeles, California, under the act of March 3, 1879. Subscriptions: $92.00 of each International Cinematographers Guild member’s annual dues is allocated for an annual subscription to International Cinematographers Guild Magazine. Non-members may purchase an annual subscription for $48.00 (U.S.), $82.00 (Foreign and Canada) surface mail and $117.00 air mail per year. Single Copy: $4.95 The International Cinematographers Guild Magazine has been published monthly since 1929. International Cinematographers Guild Magazine is a registered trademark.
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vid readers of this magazine know we never skimp on tech-heavy articles. And they should also know those stories always try to place our industry’s emphasis on technology within the context of visual storytelling; more specifically how fluidly Local 600 members bring their skill, knowledge, and experience to bear in ensuring new complex technological tools are in the service of the project (and not the other way around). Occasionally, though, we hit upon projects that seem to (pleasantly) defy all precedent, technologically or otherwise. Such is the case with this month’s main feature on The Happytime Murders (pg 28), shot by veteran Guild action DP Mitchell Amundsen and his team, in what (safe to say) is the first-ever L.A.-based neo-noir feature to mix foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed puppets with human beings. Directed by Brian Henson (son of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson), the movie takes a fairly surreal concept – puppets from a hit 1980’s family TV show are being murdered one by one – and places it squarely in the gritty L.A. crime genre that has spawned such classic visual pleasures as Chinatown, L.A. Confidential, and Heat…just not with puppets. What’s cool about The Happytime Murders (particularly since August is our annual Product Guide, where ICG writers and photographers report back on tech trends from bellwether industry gatherings like HPA, NAB, and Cine Gear) is that Henson, Amundsen, and company didn’t take the easy way out, technologically speaking. Instead of having the puppet characters, including the hardluck cop-turned-P.I. lead, voiced and puppeteered by Bill Barretta, be fully CG animated, they built specially designed sets to accommodate puppets and people. Then, IATSE Local 80 Key Grip Jimmy Shelton and his team custom-designed dollies, sliders and track that would allow A-camera/ Steadicam operator Henry Tirl, SOC, 1st AC Todd Schlopy, and the rest of Amundsen’s action-rich regulars, to keep the camera whirling through a maze of puppeteers and human cast members, just like any other G.I. Joe or Transformers set. Not that it was in any way easy. Amundsen told ICG writer Kevin Martin that “putting these little guys on the streets of L.A. was really complicated…location work required puppeteers
[to be] down on the ground, which gave us a real tactile connection – not just with the other actors, but with the environment and the play of light.” And after 27 years of puppeteering for the Muppets, Baretta says the choreography of mixing puppets with live actors remains a supreme challenge. “Due to their limited mobility, making the most of the puppet movement can be tough not just for our puppeteers, but for lighting, camera, and grip as well,” he says in the article. One very leading-edge piece of technology – Panavision’s ultra-highresolution Millennium DXL camera – helped Amundsen capture subtle textures beyond that of the recent Muppet reboots. Panavision and Light Iron Senior Vice-President of Innovation Michael Cioni, who worked on those films with Don Burgess, ASC, using RED cameras, says the DXL’s huge (8K) sensor “magnifies the texture of the puppets, as we are capturing even more nuance.” Finding those key nuances is always the goal of ICG writers and photographers who help compile our Product Guide issue. Staff writer Pauline Rogers’ report in Beauty Shots (pg 58) often led to the parsing of variations on existing technology, rather than thunderous breakthroughs in camera, lens or rig designs. Full-frame sensors, like those found in Sony’s new VENICE and Canon’s C700 FF, stood out at NAB 2018, while on the Display side (written by yours truly), LED Nation (pg 50) reigns supreme. The single biggest innovation – Direct View LED Cinema – from the likes of Samsung and Sony – may well sustain the theatrical exhibition market for years to come. Local 600 Technologist Michael Chambliss filed his article on what’s trending in workflows (Light Years Ahead - pg 76), with the most surprising new technology – light-field computational photography – sure to be followed closely in these pages for years to come. I'm not sure I ever imagined writing this about our August issue: but those looking for the latest in gear trends and the state of the art in raunchy puppet crime thrillers have come to the right place! David Geffner Executive Editor
Twitter: @DGeffner Email: email@example.com
Michael Chambliss (Lights Years Ahead)
“The NAB Show floor is a snapshot of evolution in action. While established workflows mature with increasingly refined toolsets, others are born – often with start-up flaws, but still full of promise. This year the perennial ‘faster and better’ was complemented by developments looking toward the inevitability of an HDR future, and, just when many thought it was dying, the next iteration of light field, which upends established image-capturing practices.”
Margot Carmichael Lester (Exposure, Fight The Power)
“With seven teen and pre-teen nieces and nephews, I’m well-versed in the themes and tropes of dystopian YA fiction and film. It was a kick writing two articles on the adaptation of the best-selling literary series, The Darkest Minds. Jennifer Nelson and Kramer Morgenthau bring a fresh approach to the genre that reflects an indie feel and an artistic look. For once, a movie I’ll look forward to seeing with the family!”
In The Camera’s Dance, Page 36, of our May issue, we misidentified the photo of Paul Kenworthy with the Type B Snorkel Cam – it’s from Logan’s Run (1976), six years prior to Blade Runner! We deeply regret not including specified changes provided by Ocean’s 8 B-camera 1st AC Bradley Grant (pages 54-60) in our June/July print issue. Grant’s changes, which addressed safety concerns on the shoot, can be found in their entirety in the June/July digital edition of the article.
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T H E
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VOICES FROM NAB KEITH JEFFERIES OPERATOR
Small things that save time on set while making operating easier are a joy. Wooden Camera’s new Push Button ARRI Rosette simplifies handgrip adjustments. It fits between two rosette mounting points and is a neat way to quickly change the orientation of a part without having to unscrew, move, then re-tighten everything. You hold down the button to unlock, move what you need, then release the button to re-lock. To move a handle, you don’t even have to take a hand off the rig.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY CMotion has created a very smart, streamlined lens-control system. What I like is that all the components are equipped with an RF module and LBUS interface, which allow the units to daisychain together, hence eliminating extra cable and having to rig any control boxes onto the camera. The ergonomically designed hand unit has a lot of smart features, a well-thought-out control including mechanical hard stops, an illuminated marker ring and a simple LED display. I’m looking forward to having this system on my next production.
The standout new product at NAB was INOVATIV’s Apollo carts. Its top shelf features a flip-down side panel, built-in threaded plates, and a Cam Lock system on the upright posts. The new design allows for a wider range of accessory options without creating a larger footprint. The overall versatility of the Apollo will make a big difference in how DIT’s and AC’s can arrange their workstations to best suit each job. The cart is ideal for transport and storage when collapsed. The promise of a new disk brake system that works with removable wheels convinced me to place my order.
AARON MARQUETTE, SOC
MŌVI TECH, AC
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
I fell in love with the romantic and glamorous look of the new Schneider True-Net filters. They take you back to the seductive and vintage look created with old silk stockings. Finally, a recipe to sandwich hosiery made on the same knitting machines from the 1950s between clear water with optical glass. Now there is no need to keep adding the old silk stocking on the back of the lens or create your net filters that are very hard to keep in perfect condition.
As a MōVI tech, I’m always keeping an eye out for lighter or more efficient accessories that interface with industry-standard cameras and cinestyle lenses. The new CForce Mini-RF Motor allows easy FIZ control on any camera system by eliminating the need for an MDR and using the already popular LBUS interface to daisy-chain extra motors. CMotion designs Arribranded motors, too, which is a great indicator of high quality.
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R E F R A C T I O N
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M A N A G E R
The house lights dim, and a dark blue stage wash fades up. The crowd surges as the band walks on stage in shadowy silhouette. The air is electric as the band sits down and straps up. As the first notes begin to echo out, the stage comes alive. In perfect sync, the lighting matches every note, with changes in intensity, hue, texture, and even movement. All of this is accentuated by the band’s smoke machines, which provide the midair canvas for the hundreds of beams of light. As the musicians reach the chorus, the video elements come alive. Two massive screens left and right of the stage deliver 60-foot-high close-ups of various expertly coiffed band members for the audience to swoon over. Simultaneously, the video screens upstage deliver customized eyepopping imagery synced perfectly to the words in the chorus. If all of that wasn’t enough of a visual cornucopia, the band is playing on a state-ofthe-art custom-built stage. Built in are LED and video elements that change color and deliver imagery perfectly synched up with the rest of the lighting, audio, and video. As the band plows through their latest hits, in a stadium full of 50,000 cheering fans, dozens of cameras capture the look and sound, along with the energy of the crowd. The images are edited on the fly for a live global web broadcast and simultaneously recorded for a future web stream. Although I have made this account generic, this is the current reality of production. YouTube has created consumers who want spectacle and to be entertained regardless of where they are physically located or what medium they are watching. What used to be exclusive to live rock concerts is now the norm across multiple mediums. People expect and demand a show. Whether it’s internet-based, theater on Broadway, live TV, a summer blockbuster, or even an independent film, the expectation is entertainment in new and innovative ways. Of course, having a great, compelling story is still the fundamental keystone of any type of production. However, now we have tools that enable us to support the story and deliver a fully integrated experience that comes alive even as we significantly enhance it. Automated lighting, LED lighting, high-
definition LED video panels, media servers, and advanced lighting consoles have all become new arrows in our production quivers. Automated lighting does not only provide lights that pan and tilt remotely but also change color and beam size, and project basic textures onto scenery or in the air. LED lighting has enhanced our productions significantly by reducing our power consumption and our infrastructure requirements, like cable runs and power distributions. Best of all, it has done this without sacrificing major amounts of intensity. It has also enabled new form factors, like LED tape, that can be built into sets. Due to its small form factor and high output, LED tape also allows us to use it in places, like the dashboard of a car, above the keys of a piano, or around the lens of a camera, much more easily than previous alternatives. High-definition LED video panels, coupled with media servers, enable us to deliver almost any type of image at virtually any scale. Video panels are like Lego bricks – we can quickly and efficiently assemble them for rock concerts, Broadway shows, and TV or film sets; and like Legos, we can build almost any size screen or shape. In the film world, with panels and servers, we can now minimize post-production. For example, we can place video panels next to a car on a film set. Then, we can use a media server to deliver imagery, like the countryside going by, and shoot it with a camera and have all the correct highlights, shadows, and imagery, as if the car were driving in the real world, all without leaving the stage or doing any post-production work. The ability to sync up and deliver lighting and video that is fully integrated into the production has never been easier, due to advanced lighting consoles. These consoles enable us not only to quickly build and create scenes but also to store them for consistent playback night after night on a live show or take after take on a film shoot. With these consoles, we can quickly and efficiently program a wide variety of lighting equipment as well as easily connect them to media servers to drive and manipulate video. They can also receive timecode and external triggers to enable tighter cueing and better integration across
all elements of a show. Never in history have we had so many new tools to control intensity, hue, texture, movement, and imagery. If that weren't enough, more than ever is it easier for us to program and control all those elements simultaneously, in perfect synchronicity, consistently, show after show or take after take. All of this equipment and control capability gives producers and production designers the ability to deliver a customized spectacle. Gone are the days where lighting was just illuminating the actors or musicians. Every show can now be as visually rich and compelling as the story is itself, while also improving our daily workflows. Of course, we as designers, cinematographers, and producers must understand that new technology can be a double-edged sword. We have incredibly powerful and creative tools to enhance the story, but that can also mean more time and money spent due to the increases in the amount of equipment that must be rented or purchased. There is innovation associated with many of these new lighting systems that can also help to streamline workflows. But regardless of whether costs increase or decrease, two things are certain: first and foremost, that we are indeed being impacted greatly by all this new technology. Secondly, consumers want spectacle, want to be entertained, and demand a show where the story comes alive. Every show can now be visually rich and compelling through the many varieties of new technologies. After graduating with a BA in Theater from Wittenberg University in Ohio, Chris Conti became a Shop Technician at Vari-Lite in New York City. He eventually went on to join Vari-Lite’s road staff, where he worked as Vari-Lite Tech, System Tech, Crew Chief and Lighting Director. In 2004, he joined PRG, working on multiple concert tours, TV shows, corporate events, trade shows, and special events like the Olympics and Super Bowl Halftime shows. In 2007, he became the Product Manager for PRG’s Proprietary Luminaires and the Series 400 Power and Data Distribution system. As Product Manager, he continues to do shows and support PRG’s clients as well as develop new products for the entertainment industry, like PRG’s GroundControl Followspot System.
S T A H L Her father probably thought she was too young to watch Terminator 2: Judgment Day with him, but his daughter’s enthusiasm couldn’t be denied. “I remember being amazed by the effects and, at such a young age, immediately becoming obsessed with how they made such an imaginary world seem so real,” Guild First AC Jacqueline Stahl recalls. “From then on, I would always make my dad play the ‘behind the scenes’ footage from movies we watched together. To me, that was more interesting than the movie itself; even back then I understood how much work, technique, and artistry were required to make motion pictures possible.” The video camera her father used also taught Stahl about filmmaking. “I learned that you don’t have to tell the story just with
dialog but with the various settings on the camera,” she adds. College and working at the Sundance Director’s Lab cemented her interest in filmmaking. And in 2009, when a friend was working on the feature Trivial Pursuit (renamed Answer This), Stahl inserted herself onto the show as a P.A. “I did lockups where they needed an extra body,” she smiles. “I didn’t ask. I just did it. Then, someone handed me a walkie and added me to the call sheet! It was the best networking decision I have ever made. I still work with that crew.” Stahl’s first paid P.A. gig was on Game of Death, shooting in Michigan in 2009. When she moved to L.A., she hooked up with the camera crew from Answer This, and by the end of 2010, she had joined Local 600 as a PHOTOS COURTESY OF JULIE KIRKWOOD AND JAQUELINE STAHL
Camera Utility. “I really enjoyed pulling focus on my first job,” she recalls. “But there were so many malfunctions with the camera, and pieces kept coming loose, that I had to constantly fix it. That’s when I realized the camera build and pieces that go with it are just as much a part of the job as pulling focus.” Working as a focus puller today, Stahl makes sure her gear is perfect. “I just want one build to work with all camera modes – Steadicam, studio, handheld, specialty rigs and car work,” she describes. “Minus a few unavoidable items, I always want as little rebuilding time as possible. Each job has different requirements, so finding a build that works for all situations takes time.” Stahl’s credits range from Review and
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Baskets to Season 2 of Insecure, Glow and Anything as well as The Intervention. Recently working with film, she found a lot of the principal elements were the same. “But the execution of everything is different,” she observes. [Film] is more involved, and it was tough, at times, not having a monitor to judge things. I trust my eyes more than anyone else’s on set because no one is critiquing the focus more than I am. “Nowadays, working with digital, you almost can’t pull focus without a monitor,” she continues. “You have to hit critical focus all the time, and if you’re even just a millimeter off, you can tell. The monitor has become a necessary tool with the everexpanding sensor sizes. So pulling focus on film – and not knowing for sure by my own eye – was stressful. It can be difficult
working with film and relying on your marks. Judging them by an inch or two from a distance and taking someone else’s word on how sharp or soft something is without seeing. I have so much respect for focus pullers from earlier generations, with no monitors to use!” Stahl cites Season 1 of Glow as having some challenging moments for pulling focus. “We were set up as the swing Studio/ Steadicam B-camera,” she relates. “I was working with operator Eric Schilling, who is one of the best. I remember one Steadicam shot on a Grip Trix that followed the [actresses] while they roller-skated, which was challenging. We also did a slowmotion shot, with a 100mm at T2 that starts close on the lettering of a pizza box. As the pizza delivery kid walks toward camera, the
Steadicam pulls back to reveal his face in a close-up, and then eventually a medium shot. Every buzz is exaggerated in slow motion, and we only had two or three takes to nail it. I remember Eric and I being thrilled afterward that in such a short amount of time, we could work together to give the DP and director exactly what they wanted. There’s something exciting about being able to deliver under high-pressure situations.” Stahl says that such examples pull her out of her “comfort zone,” and she loves it. And the medium doesn’t matter – her intent is to master all formats she encounters. “I’m watching all the operators and DP’s I work with these days really carefully,” she concludes. “The lessons learned from these new ‘teachers’ will hopefully help me master operating the camera as well.”
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JENNIFER BY MARGOT CARMICHAEL LESTER / PHOTO BY DANIEL MCFADDEN
GROWING UP IN LAKEWOOD, CA, JENNIFER YUH NELSON WAS ALWAYS SKETCHING SOMETHING – BIG IDEAS BANGING AROUND IN HER HEAD, MOVIES SHE AND HER SISTERS MADE UP, OR HER OWN VERSIONS OF ELABORATE SCENES INSPIRED BY SO MANY ANIME AND ACTION FILMS SHE WATCHED. IT WAS FUN, BUT IT HARDLY SEEMED LIKE PAGE 24 A CAREER PATH. YUH NELSON WAS ACTUALLY MORE INTERESTED IN BEING A HELICOPTER PILOT.
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When the fly-girl thing didn’t pan out (“My eyes are terrible,” she says), Nelson assumed she’d have a career as some type of artist. She studied illustration at California State Long Beach like her sisters, story artists Gloria Yuh-Jenkins (Emmy-nominated Dragon Tales, My Little Pony) and Catherine Yuh Rader (Shrek and Madagascar franchises). Yuh Nelson’s trajectory was aimed toward drawing for comics or children’s books until live-action storyboard artist David Lowery (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Iron Man) spoke to her class, and boom! – a career path appeared. “I realized that what I’d been doing all my life was something called storyboarding,” she laughs. That led her to a job at the small animation studio where Gloria worked. “I was basically [acting as a PA] and making a lot of copies,” Nelson told ICG writer Margot Carmichael Lester. “My copy station was covered in Post-it notes with drawings all over them – I can’t not draw. A producer walked by and asked who’d done the illustrations.” Next thing she knew, she was working on character development. Nelson followed that producer to Hanna-Barbera and then moved on to HBO and DreamWorks, progressing
from character design to story artist, head of story and eventually director. After successfully shepherding the Kung Fu Panda franchise as head of story (Panda 1) and director (Panda 2 and 3), DreamWorks’ Producer Melissa Cobb urged Nelson to direct live action. When she got the chance to helm The Darkest Minds, a teen dystopian story, she grabbed it. ICG: You basically visualized your career before you even knew it existed. Yuh Nelson: When you spend a lot of time making up stories and visualizing them, your head gets pretty full! Sketching was my way of short-handing the film in my head that I couldn’t figure out how to output. Illustration is about clearly communicating an idea – it’s basically storytelling in art. I thought it’d be nice to work on movies, but didn’t know how. I didn’t even know there was a job called storyboarding. It was such a far-off thing. Were you super into cartoons and animated films as a kid? I did watch a lot of Looney Tunes on TV but wasn’t really that into it. I grew up more on anime, which is more action-based and has more real-life camera work. The camera language was there, and it pushed the scale and addressed adult themes, action and
violence. That was more my preference. Also, I’ve always been into hardcore action movies, especially cheesy bad action movies. [Laughs.] You can see that in the Pandas. When I was a kid I saw The Eliminators – a Terminator knock-off. It had everything: a ninja, a mandroid, some river pirates and a mad scientist. I wouldn’t say it influenced my work – there’s nothing of that in my projects – but it was so bad it was great! How did you go from illustrator to director? Before graduation, I started at a small studio where my sister worked and saw art used in a filmic way. I really loved the design aspects and drawing characters – especially mythological monsters. I learned a lot about the business side of things, but what I was more interested in was storyboarding – using art to show movement and time, and identifying an idea and conveying it quickly and easily. I got the chance to go to Hanna-Barbera to do character cleanup and storyboards. It was like animation school. The show I was on had one-minute cold opens – just one page of script – and one day the producer gave me the chance to see what I could do with it. Two hours later I had thumb-nailed out the page. It was raw around the edges, but they liked my enthusiasm and flung me the script. From there you moved over to HBO? I had heard about an [HBO] animation series called Spawn starting up. The story-artist job had already gone to someone else – a guy who’s now my husband, so I clearly got over it. [Laughs.] So I went back to character design, which wasn’t a step up, necessarily, but [Spawn] had a real live-action sensibility that aligned with my darker personal tastes. Eventually, I had enough work for me to do storyboarding until I left to [storyboard] a live-action movie called Dark City in Australia. HBO invited me back to direct Season 2 of Spawn. After we wrapped, my sister Catherine suggested I try for a movie called Spirit at DreamWorks Animation. They couldn’t find people who could draw horses, and I happen to draw them easily, so that taught me more about the process. From there I went on to be head of story for Sinbad and the first Kung Fu Panda.
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“ PEOPLE LIKE A LITTLE BIT OF THE WEIRD – I KNOW I DO – AND THINGS THAT ARE EMPOWERING AND INTERESTING.”
How did those other experiences help when you began to direct animation? You have to visualize the story and the characters and use writing to tell a story simply and clearly. It’s a pretty easy transition from head of story to directing. Honestly, the biggest challenge moving to directing was dealing with all the eyeballs. As head of story, your job is to make things happen. As director, everybody’s looking at you for bearings and answers. I’m a very private person, so it was a weird thing with everyone expecting me to be the one controlling the room. I had to find my own, quieter way. I put aside stereotypical ideas of what a director was and created my own. Why did you decide to transition into live action? One thing that’s peculiar about me is that I really need a swift kick in the butt to ascend. I’m not a promotion-getter. After 12 years, the producer who’s done all the Pandas with me, Melissa Cobb, knew I’d been trying to infuse live-action sensibilities into the films in terms of action sequences, camera language and even some of the tone. She said, “It’s time. Just do it.” I did the whole talking-to-afriend-of-a-friend thing until I got a fabulous agent, Phil d’Amecourt of WME, who sent me out to studios. Out of that came the offer from Fox to do The Darkest Minds. Why this story? I wasn’t looking for a particular genre but for characters and a good strong emotional core. It has to be in the material, and then every joke, every expression; everything else has to hang from that. This is true for
animated films, as well. Everything comes from knowing where it’s supposed to go emotionally. So many dystopian youngadult stories are set in a world that’s gray and depressing – it’s been done well, but it’s been done. I had a chance to approach that in a different way, to make a movie that’s beautiful, positive and empowering. Not one that makes you want to go home and drown yourself in ice cream! Why do you think the special-powers themes are so compelling right now? People like a little bit of the weird – I know I do – and things that are empowering and interesting. As a young kid walking to school, I was always thinking of all the things I wished I could do but didn’t have the power to. How is directing live action different from directing animation? Directing live action is like camping – you’re dealing with mud up to your knees. In animation, there are no ticks to worry about! Honestly, I’d never physically moved a camera around or stood in the middle of a field with wind machines blowing stuff into my teeth! I’ve been spending the last forever in an office in the dark looking at a computer screen, and I’m not an awesomely physically fit specimen jumping over hills and dales. I’m so quiet that no one can even hear me yell, “Action!” Working with a cinematographer is different, as well? Theoretically, the parts are the same, but in practice, they’re very different. In animation
we use virtual cameras, so you don’t have to worry about cranes, track, and a dolly. It’s a floating camera you can put anywhere. In live action we are dealing with real-world sets with real-world limitations – you have to make a camera do a move and have lighting that responds to the real world. Ultimately, though, you’re all still talking about cameras and lenses and the impact on motion and emotion. You brought Kramer Morgenthau, ASC, in for this project. Why? I’m a very visual person, so I wanted a lush, color-rich film rather than a dark dystopian one. I had heard from a friend who’d worked with Kramer that he “painted with light.” That was exactly what I was looking for – a cinematographer who would consider color in every single shot and treat it as an integral part of his composition. I met him in a cool little coffee shop in Silverlake and we had a similar kind of quiet energy. We could actually talk to one another, which was why I felt we could collaborate properly for the film. I thoroughly believe success is based on your crew. I had a wonderful and blessed career in animation, and here I was wandering off and doing something fundamentally different with this film, so Kramer’s experience really helped us get the looks and moments I wanted with fewer heart attacks. He was chill under pressure and was always looking for ways to give me happy surprises. Any big takeaways from this first liveaction outing? No matter what, the director’s job isn’t to do the work herself; it’s to be a person who helps everyone else do their best work. My role isn’t to micromanage where to lay the camera tracks, or to stand out in a stream wearing waders and looking impressive – it’s to help the crew and cast understand what we’re doing so they can do their best. Once I figured that out, it was much easier. It can be traumatic to learn so much and stretch so far from your own comfort zone, but it’s so worth it.
MITCHELL BREAK “
CAMERA TEAM THE R-RATED
IN THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, SET IN A GRITTY, CLASS-CONSCIOUS CITY OF ANGELS, FORMER CAST MEMBERS OF A POPULAR 1980’S DAYTIME TV SHOW, THE HAPPYTOWN GANG , ARE BEING MURDERED ONE BY ONE.
Cop-turned PI Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta) must reteam with his old partner, Detective Edwards (Melissa McCarthy), to track down the killer. Sounds conventional enough, until we learn that Phil – and many of his fellow second-class citizens – are actually puppets, striving to eke out a living on what appears to be a mean (and raunchy) Chinatown-like version of L.A. Happytime director Brian Henson (son of the legendary puppeteer, Jim Henson) first began exploring this daring new approach to puppet cinema with his live improv comedy show Puppet Up! “I circled back around to a Todd Berger script that had felt too risqué earlier, then spent the next decade trying to get it made for a proper budget,” he reveals. And while Henson says his puppets and human actors could have inhabited a virtual environment, the inherent drawbacks would have undercut the material. “Sin City had Bruce Willis to ground this surreal environment,” he continues. “But the puppets are already surreal, so you benefit by dropping them into real sets and real-world environments.” Henson describes his “minority society” of puppets as living under “terrible prejudice, so putting that out in the real streets of the city brings that home,” he adds. “Even
though it’s all a backdrop for this raunchy comedy – everything we ever wanted to try with puppets but didn’t dare to, gets done in this movie.” Given Henson’s goals, Happytime’s shooting style had to be “more contemporary than a Muppet movie, with an edgier feel and a more dynamic camera,” owing in no small part to the film’s director of photography, Mitchell Amundsen, whose action-rich credits include Transformers, Wanted and Jonah Hex. “The idea of putting these little guys on the real streets of L.A. is a bitchin’ one,” Amundsen admits. “But man, was it complicated! We only rarely went the Ted route with full CG. Most location work required puppeteers down on the ground, which is great because there’s such a tactile connection; not just with the other actors, but with the environment and the play of light.” Amundsen was also excited to work on a puppet film that was planned and executed as a “hard R-rated” feature, i.e., filled with adult material. “Brian grew up visiting the Muppet stages and saw how the puppeteers, after hearing ‘Cut!’ would engage in some rather blue behavior with the puppets,” the DP continues. “That was something he always wanted to see in a film. He already has the best puppeteers on the
planet – each character required a minimum of two puppeteers – so we had great acting talent there alongside our human cast.” Having shot Alpha-tests with Panavision’s DXL camera, which combines elements of Panavision design, optics, and ergonomics with Light Iron color and workflow along with RED sensors and engineering, Amundsen wanted to deploy the production version for Happytime, and and found Panavision Rep Larry Hezzelwood instrumental in helping put all the pieces together for the lens and camera. “Larry thought [the DXL] had features that would lend themselves to the project, and he was right on every count,” Amundsen notes. Light Iron’s Michael Cioni, who had worked with Amundsen at his facility before it was acquired by Panavision, and has since headed up Panavision’s DXL development as Senior VP of Innovation, describes Amundsen as an artist who is not at all risk-averse and had already made great-looking films on RED cameras. “The DXL has a 46mm diagonal sensor, which is almost double what you get with Super35,” Cioni notes. “So Mitch felt the larger sensor would help him shooting these unique sets, since you can get closer to the puppet while retaining a wider field of view.”
“DUE TO THEIR LIMITED MOBILITY, MAKING THE MOST OF THE PUPPET MOVEMENT CAN BE TOUGH NOT JUST FOR OUR PUPPETEERS, BUT FOR LIGHTING, CAMERA AND GRIP AS WELL.” Bill Barretta
Cioni points out that when shooting 8K with the DXL, the image reveals many subtle details. “Audiences respond to physical texture in an emotionally engaging way, and [the DXL] lets us get some genuine sense of the puppet textures,” he adds. “I worked on the Muppet reboot movies with Don Burgess, ASC, using RED MX and EPIC cameras, and that was the first time we got a sense of how puppet textures added a new dimension; 8K magnifies that, as we are capturing even more nuance.” As many DP’s know, Panavision head of optics Dan Sasaki has been actively adapting older lenses from the company’s archives, and those saw duty on Happytime. “These decades-old lenses, without being overly contrasty, still retain a portrait-style feel when used with the DXL,” Cioni states.” Balancing the technical processes of puppet filming with the possibilities inherent in improvisation was a new challenge for Henson. “Modern comedies that are largely improvised tend to have a camera just follow what the performer is doing,” the director reflects. “But that can’t just happen with the puppets because you’ll wind up with a bad angle shooting off the set or destroying the composition. I owe a lot of this movie to Bill Barretta, who is not just a phenomenal puppeteer but also a great actor who can fill the skin of any character.” After 27 years with the Muppets, Baretta says the choreography of mixing puppets with live actors remains a supreme challenge. “Due to their limited mobility, making the most of the puppet movement can be tough not just for our puppeteers, but for lighting, camera and grip as well,” he explains. “The upside on Happytime
was that everyone picked things up very quickly, which is a tribute to them as well as to Brian, who is an amazing director with a unique ability to translate thoughts about inanimate objects in a way that conveys genuine emotion.” Barretta had shot tests for the Phil character years back, basing his portrayal in large part on his own grandfather. “But I also drew on a bit of DeNiro from Midnight Run, thinking about the relationship between his character and Grodin’s, and there’s also some Nicholson from Chinatown. In most films the puppets are played for laughs, but Phil is the straight man, so there’s more emotional weight to his scenes rather than over-the-top exaggeration.” The puppeteer rehearsed with his fellow actors sans puppet. “That way, Melissa would know my intentions before having to deal with the technical aspects,” Baretta says. “It was a process of discovery, so blocking emerged from that, and then we could do a rehearsal with me under the set giving the performance through the puppet.” As for the physical logistics of moving cameras with puppeteers, puppets and actors, Key Grip Jimmy Shelton’s team built custom track, dollies and sliders. Shelton says he dealt with puppeteering aspects first, before camera and lighting. “All the puppet stages were modular, 4-footsquare, 40-inch-high rostrums to accommodate the puppeteers beneath,” he explains, “with wood that was pressure-fit. If they’d gone with steel, it would have been monumentally more difficult to deal with the bolts. The Henson people had explored movements like this in the past, but usually limited to straight runs. I spent time with the puppeteers to find out what they wanted to do, and I spent awhile figuring out
ways to put creeper dollies on angled channels of track that would let us maneuver them through the choreography.” After spending two weeks engineering and building various apparatus, Shelton held a showand-tell with the director and his puppeteers, so they would have an idea of what was possible. One of Barretta’s takeaways from Shelton’s builds was that it was “much easier to achieve good results in delivering a performance when you’re upright. But some of the time you have to be flat on your back while being slid along, so comfort is not always an option. “You can’t make a 180-degree turn on your back,” he adds, “so that puts an additional limitation on your performance. And when you have two puppeteers controlling the same character – which was the case with Phil, a livehand puppet, for which I operated the head and body plus the left hand, while another puppeteer handled the other hand – you need a wider dolly and width of track.” Further logistical complications included the need for monitors for each puppeteer to reference. Barretta says Jim Henson “developed the idea of using monitors. We’re all pretty much useless without them when it comes to relating credibly to other characters.” For scenes employing many puppeteers, up to thirty monitors were required beneath the set. “Some puppeteers needed a very highquality image, but other times they had to rely on the smallest monitor available to fit the limited space,” recounts DIT Kai Borson. “A lot of effort went into running cable to make sure everything worked underneath the set.” Borson says Panavision’s Wi-Fiber system employs a single-fiber connection linking “what I call our lunchboxes, one on set and the other at my cart. Each box had four inputs and outputs, so the box on stage could output my signal to every monitor in use for a given shot. The Wi-Fi
“OFTEN IT WAS DOING MOST OF
let me control DXL – with infinite range – while camera changes could be handled remotely, just by connecting to my lunch box via iPhone.” Happytown was a departure from the many big action shows Amundsen’s crew had done. “Having the gaffer and DP together with me for every shot was great,” Borson says, “because we could set CDLs and live-grades to match and enhance lighting. It was extraimportant here, since everybody was checking the image to see if the comedy played and the puppets looked right.” Dailies colorist Greg Pastore worked from Borson’s CDL’s. “Our colorists had designed the Light Iron Color look in DXL cameras,” Cioni recalls, “which leverages our past work as well as RED’s color efforts. Mitch used that along with an emulation mode called Light Iron Film, liking its film-like curve and palette.” The DXL also captured a simultaneous 2K ProRes proxy file, which was used to expedite dailies. Amundsen found that blocking out scenes with puppets and humans in motion required some finesse with a moving camera. “Often it was about setting up shots so that the live actors were doing most of the moving around, with the puppets more constrained,” he relates. “The camera is always circling around, but often shooting past the puppets in the foreground at the more distant actors. A-camera/ Steadicam operator Henry Tirl [SOC] did a great job of making moves up that really let this come alive, plus he got along great with Melissa.” First AC Todd Schlopy says Tirl talked to operators from past Muppet movies to figure out how best to move the camera on scenes that required him to frame out the puppeteers. “Also,” Schlopy notes, “an operator might chase headroom out of habit during a shot, but if you do that as puppets move, the camera may wind up pointed at the floor – it could get ugly very fast” Schlopy’s collaboration with operators on Happytime was as fruitful as any live-action shoot. “I don’t believe in working from a monitor,” he declares. “My approach is old-school, but I use a Preston rather than a camera knob. When I’m on set, I can offer input in the moment that goes beyond what you get if you’re limited to a monitor image. You can see when someone is about to make an entrance, and with just a look between you and the operator, a new opportunity arises – one that wouldn’t be possible if you were working remotely [from the operator].” Gaffer Justin Holdsworth relied on shadows and negative fill for mood. “I attempted to do the whole movie with ARRI SkyPanels for
ABOUT SETTING UP SHOTS SO THAT THE THE MOVING AROUND, WITH THE PUPPETS Mitchell Amundsen
LIVE ACTORS WERE MORE CONSTRAINED.”
day looks on stage and Lite Gear lite mats for the night looks where we wouldn’t need as much stop,” Holdsworth explains. “I was successful until I needed a more direct sunlight glow through a window – then [I] went to a Fresnel.” Two weeks of production ventured away from the Santa Clarita Studios to various L.A. locations. “There was a lot of driving pursuit stuff, so that was very familiar to us,” Schlopy continues. “It was a matter of shooting action with the kinds of movement and dynamics that Mitch insists upon, because it gave so much of a sense of real life. The difference was that we had rear-drive cars, so the driver was hidden in the back seat while the puppet was at the wheel!” The Happytime team shot from cranes or the Pursuit arm, with multiple cameras with long lenses. “Mitch came up with John Schwartzman and Michael Bay,” Schlopy adds, “so live, incamera stunts is the way he lives. That also lets you avoid falling into the ‘fix it in post’ trap, which causes you to stop thinking creatively or solving the problem in the moment.” Amundsen recalls a shoot beneath Santa Monica pier featuring several puppets and a crane pulling back to reveal a huge stretch of beach. “VFX added dozens more as separatelyshot elements to populate the whole beach, and they augmented a lot of second unit DP Dave Stump’s work too,” he offers. “While we did some motion-control shooting [with a system from General Lift], most of the time we just used poor man’s motion control for the extra camera pass, which is necessary because there are people in green suits all around the puppets. You have to reset and put the floors back in place before the clean-plate pass, which we called ‘doing the dishes.’” Stargate Studio, founded by Sam Nicholson, ASC, handled visual effects. Stargate has provided Emmy-winning visual effects for Henson’s “Battleground” segment of Nightmares & Dreamscapes, about an assassin battling toy soldiers who invade his apartment. “Sam knew how to mix super-modern techniques with older methodologies,” Henson recalls. “On Battleground, there were miniatures, CG-animated figures and helicopters, plus live actors wearing rubberized uniforms and vacuformed facemasks. I was happy for [Stargate] to not just put CG legs on our physical puppets – though that was a pretty neat trick – but also to use a mix of techniques throughout.” Barretta, who first worked with Stargate on Battleground playing a Rambo-like toy soldier, was amazed by the technology wielded to embellish his character work.
“EVEN THOUGH IT’S ALL A BACKDROP FOR THIS RAUNCHY COMEDY – EVERYTHING WE EVER WANTED TO TRY WITH PUPPETS BUT DIDN’T DARE TO, GETS DONE IN THIS MOVIE.” Brian Henson
“They put motion-capture sensors on the puppet and inside of it, and also on my legs, and melded those together in the computer, so that my legs would drive a visualization of the puppet’s legs,” he recounts. “That was challenging because I had to keep in mind how far apart my legs should be when running or walking, to make that scale for Phil’s size. Then they showed us some rough-composite visuals with our characters placed in virtual environments, which helped in situations when monitors wouldn’t show us anything useful.” Amundsen, who is currently on an eight-week prep in Beijing prior to embarking on a 100-day shoot for an allMandarin film, plans to connect with Light Iron for the digital intermediate through that country’s Stargate office. “Light Iron has done most of my movies,” he states, “and colorist Corinne Bogdanowicz knows my timing preferences.” The cinematographer has fond memories of the Happytime shoot and its unique approach to familiar locales. “It was like seeing all the Hollywood people you’ve grown up with, people you never get to see anymore, because you’re usually in Atlanta or someplace further away, where you’re only permitted to bring your keys along.” Shelton’s takeaway was how accurate Henson was in his initial assessment. “Right up front, Brian said to us all that this was going to be one of the hardest projects we ever worked on, but also the most rewarding and fun,” Shelton concludes. “Months later, I cornered him at the wrap party and told him he had been spot-on about both aspects.”
LOCAL 600 CREW Director of Photography Mitchell Amundsen Additional Unit DP David Stump, ASC A-Camera Operator Henry Tirl, SOC A-Camera 1st AC Todd Schlopy A-Camera 2nd AC Milan Janicin B-Camera Operator Casey Hotchkiss, SOC B-Camera 1st AC Mark Santoni B-Camera 2nd AC Matt Fortlage DIT Kai Borson-Paine Utility David Stellhorn Loader John Hoffler Still Photographer Hopper Stone, SMPSP Publicists Claire Raskind Tammy Sandler
FIGHT KR A M E R MORGENTHAU, ASC, BRINGS B E A U T I F U L L E N S I N G T H E D A R K E S T BY
COLOR, L I G H T, AND V I N T A G E T O M I N D S BY
T H E
POWER AUGUST 2018
TEENS WITH MYSTERIOUS POWERS AND SKILLS; A GOVERNMENT THREATENED BY THEM; A DETAINMENT CAMP; FUTURISTIC TECHNOLOGY; A PANDEMIC; DRAMATIC ESCAPES AND PURSUITS: THESE ARE THE REQUIRED PLOT POINTS OF MOST YA DYSTOPIAN FICTION AND FILM.
A Audiences can’t get enough of the genre – kids and adults of all ages crave the books and movies telling these stories. But as with anything that’s tremendously popular, there’s a danger of familiar tropes becoming clichés. It’s easy to rely on the standard approaches when depicting these tales. What’s harder, and far more interesting, is to bring a new perspective to such a well-loved theme. And that’s exactly what director Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Kramer Morgenthau, ASC, were committed to doing with The Darkest Minds, the film adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s award-winning YA series of the same name. “We wanted to be as far away from tech dystopia as possible and instead have a more experiential and grounded quality,” explains Yuh Nelson. “I wanted to get that indie beauty. We pored over movies and stills before we started so Kramer could get in my head to understand what I was going for. He then offered a lot of ideas for lens, lighting and motion style to achieve the effect.”
This was crucial to achieving the look, and it gave the duo a chance to get to know each other better. Each has been working for decades, but never together – and this was Yuh Nelson’s first time at the helm of a live-action feature. She’s got a long track record in animated features and series; her most recent directorial outings were on Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3. [See Exposure, p. 22] “Jen didn’t want to have the monochromatic, de-saturated, cold dystopian feel that a lot of the YA movies have," Morgenthau recalls. "She wanted something more expressive and painterly, which I thought, anamorphic, specifically vintage lenses, could provide. The older glass has a more rounded and dimensional, imperfect quality compared to some of the more perfect, sharper modern lenses." Morgenthau turned to Dan Sasaki, Vice President of Optical Engineering at Panavision, who provided specially tuned C-Series anamorphics. “This enabled us to shoot at a pretty shallow stop, mostly 2.8, and to do close focus,” the DP adds. “Each one’s a little bit different, so we tested a bunch of C-Series options. Some of the lenses were particularly beautiful, like the 40 millimeter, which had an amazing bokeh and background distortion that I loved a lot.” Yuh Nelson says it was a unique approach to making a YA movie look not YA. “And it was a challenge,” she adds, “since it’s a mess to deal with for VFX and is more expensive. But the look is so lush that it had to happen.” Focus puller Alessandro Di Meo says he, too, had challenges because of the anamorphic vintage and the shooting style. “But Kramer and Don Devine, our A-cam operator, always gave me the time to set my marks,” Di Meo recalls. “Vintage lenses are very beautiful, especially wide open, as the background becomes very soft. Of course for the focus puller this is more challenging, and sometimes the best size for the shot is very close to the close focus. Kramer usually sets his shots using a viewfinder, though, and that is a big help to understand roughly the shot and to start working on marks.” The vintage lenses also presented special considerations for DIT Ryan Kunkleman, who observes that “the color and contrast of older lenses didn’t match as well, so I would have to manually match them up on the fly each time we changed lenses.” Morgenthau and Yuh Nelson, a former storyboard artist, developed an easy workflow. “I’d bring in my sketches of what
each shot had to achieve emotionally so that everyone was clear on what we needed to get,” she relates. “That way, each shooting day, Kramer and I just had to focus on subtlety rather than inventing whole ideas.” And Yuh Nelson’s background in fine art and storyboarding enabled her to communicate visually with Morgenthau, a real advantage on set. “If she couldn’t describe a shot, she’d just pull out a napkin and sketch out exactly the frame she saw in seconds. It was amazing to witness such visual prowess,” Morgenthau recalls. The pair would run rehearsals each day to see how the scene played out and then talk about how to cover it. Devine, who’s worked with Morgenthau for 20 years on TV and film projects (Chef, Fracture), says he would listen and “let them talk it through so it made sense to them. After that, I would have a conversation with Kramer about the coverage and share my ideas on what I thought might complement theirs. He treats me and my ideas with genuine respect, which makes my job so much more fun
“INSTEAD OF GOING FOR A FUTURIST LOOK OF A POST-APOCALYPTIC WORLD, WE LOOKED AT A WORLD WHERE TOWNS HAD BEEN ABANDONED AND GREEN HAD TAKEN OVER.” Kramer Morgenthau, ASC
and rewarding,” Devine shares. And with a plot driven by characters and fueled by suspense, “we alternated between close-ups of the young actors whose story we were telling and exteriors with action scenes and visual effects,” he adds. Kunkleman and Morgenthau did quite a few lens and look tests until the DP was happy with the lenses and the base LUT. Ultimately, they settled on a classic livegrading CDL on top of a base LUT. “We’d then pass CDL’s and data on to the dailies tech and go from there. Occasionally we would go in to watch projected dailies and, if it was needed, we would retime [them].” The resulting look is anything but a washed-out dystopia. “Kramer’s photography always stands out as strongly defined by the narrative,” observes B-camera/Steadicam operator Chris McGuire, SOC. “The lighting has a language that befits the storyline, and the camera movement punctuates the tone.” The color green plays an important role and was so important to Yuh Nelson that she convinced the producers to move production to the spring when there would be more foliage and colors in frame. “Instead of going for a futurist look of a post-apocalyptic world, we looked at a world where towns had been abandoned and green had taken over. Growth and foliage and
“I’D BRING IN MY SKETCHES OF WHAT EACH SHOT HAD TO ACHIEVE EMOTIONALLY...THAT WAY, EACH SHOOTING DAY, KRAMER AND I JUST HAD TO FOCUS ON SUBTLETY RATHER THAN INVENTING WHOLE IDEAS.” Jennifer Yuh Nelson
nature were reclaiming the environment from civilization,” Morgenthau notes. In addition to the palette, location further differentiates the film from others of its ilk. Most of the film was shot in practical locations around Atlanta. Devine says the environments they shot in “have a familiar feel which makes the story seem more plausible.” One of the more challenging locations was the tiny bedroom of 10-year-old Ruby (Lidya Jewett), which was used in one of several impressionistic flashback sequences. Yuh Nelson recalls that to get the maximum space in the shot, “we had to cram all the equipment and crew against one wall, and Kramer; the AD, H.H. Cooper; and I were jammed in a tiny shoe closet surrounded by toys. All this while there was a lightning storm bearing down on us. It was a bonding experience,” she laughs. A more expansive interior location – the setting for two key scenes – was an abandoned shopping mall. In the first, a now teen-aged Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) and friend and fellow escapee Liam (Harris Dickinson) talk about their childhoods and experiences after being detained. The scene was shot in its entirety on the Steadicam by McGuire, who says that “the camera kept circling around them in a 360 throughout, and really added to the true realization of their situation.” Devine says the camera work created “an intimate moment,” and
helped the young actors to give stellar performances. “Sometimes the simple scenes are the most rewarding,” he notes. The second sequence was full-on action capturing a moment of levity for the band of runaways who finally have a chance to be regular kids. They run all over a store goofing around with the items that have been left behind. “It was a mixture of Steadicam and Libra Head in continuous rotations chasing the kids around in the go-carts,” McGuire recounts. “I had just bought a Betz Wave to help with stabilization on the Steadicam and decided to utilize it with a Cinemilled Pro-Ring and Klassen Slingshot. With the side-to-side stabilization, we could shoot handheld on longer focal lengths.” Vehicles play a key part in the story as well, and the teenagers’ van becomes a character unto itself. Following a growing trend in action moviemaking, much of the car work was done on a soundstage against giant LED screens using PRG’s Overdrive system. This approach enabled the sequences to be done in-camera, versus green screen or out on the road. Background plates, car stunts, and crashes were all handled by second-unit director Jack Gill and second unit DP Paul Hughen, ASC. “They definitely do not look like they were done with green screen,” Morgenthau shares. “And though it’s not 100 percent the same as doing it out on the road, it does have its own visual quality that I’m really happy with.” Providing contrast to the interiors
MUCH OF THE CAR WORK WAS DONE ON A SOUNDSTAGE AGAINST GIANT LED SCREENS USING PRGâ€™S OVERDRIVE SYSTEM. THIS APPROACH ENABLED THE SEQUENCES TO BE DONE IN-CAMERA.
LOCAL 600 CREW Director of Photography Kramer Morgenthau, ASC A-Camera Operator Don Devine, SOC A-Camera 1st AC Alessandro Di Meo A-Camera 2nd AC Trey Twitty B-Camera Operator/Steadicam Chris McGuire, SOC B-Camera 1st AC Brandon Dauzat B-Camera 2nd AC Michael Fisher DIT Ryan Kunkleman Utility Nicholas Leone Loader John Hoffler Still Photographer Daniel McFadden Publicist Rachael Roth
was the dangerous escape sequence, Yuh Nelson’s favorite. After years in a quarantine facility, Liam and a group of other youngsters decide to escape. Only a handful of kids have ever made it out alive. “It’s just dreamy and impressionistic,” the director explains. “Soldiers appear in and out of focus, and Zu [Miya Cech] was so fantastic that day. When she looks back at us while being carried away by Liam, it just kills me.” To achieve the desired look, Sasaki built and modified special portrait lenses that go soft on the edges while staying sharp in the center. “We did it in-camera at first,” Morgenthau recalls. “But then VFX wanted us to shoot it clean so they could recreate the look, which transformed the world. The lenses had a very POV-ish type quality.” A smooth collaboration between DP and director is vital to any project; for The Darkest Minds, that relationship was strengthened by Yuh Nelson’s wealth of visual arts experience. The director grew up sketching the movies she imagined, as well as action sequences from her favorite anime cartoons.
She also holds a degree in illustration. She says that Morgenthau’s reputation as an “artistic cinematographer who painted with light” made him an obvious choice. “It was such a great partnership between Kramer and me – a lot of trust,” Yuh Nelson asserts. “That allowed us to spend our time doing what each of us did best.” Of assisting Yuh Nelson’s transition into live action, Morgenthau notes: “With Jen, there are no wasted or gratuitous shots. She knew the frames she needed and wanted. We shot it very much the way she approaches animation. She’s an experienced visual storyteller, and her ability to transfer her skills in animation to live action was seamless. She’s also fluent in the language of filmmaking and has a great understanding and appreciation of actors through her many years of working with them as voice actors.” Not only that, he continues, “Jen has a profound sensitivity to human emotion and the human condition. That enabled her to get to a deep level and sense of trust with the actors, which brought out a beautiful story and a beautiful film.”
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Can Samsung, Sony, and other likeminded consumer electronics giants save the theatrical cinema market for generations to come? That may well have been the question for those who visited Sony’s booth at NAB 2018 and were greeted by the company’s spectacular Crystal LED wall – measuring 31.75 feet wide by 17.85 feet tall, with a display area of 566.2 square feet, and ultra-high-resolution imagery that took the breath away. Sony says its proprietary technology is made up of microelements as small as a flake of dust, with RGB emitters that render out at roughly 8K resolution (7620 × 4320), with images for each pixel
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displayed in 10-bit video. Like many LED walls, the system is modular, meaning each module (comprising twelve 80-pixel-wide by 120-pixel-tall tiles) can be scaled up to rival current large-screen theater exhibition. The display is keyed off a .003mm-thick crystal, with a black mask area that accounts for 99 percent of each pixel, yielding a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. The display’s color gamut exceeds sRGB color space by more than 140 percent, mirroring Rec2020, DCI-P3 or any other cinema-worthy color space currently in use. Brightness is obviously a strength of any rear-lit technology (compared to traditional front projection); when the Sony
display went to pure white (topping out at some 1000 nits), everyone had to shield their eyes. The Crystal LED wall also has the advantage of virtually no change in off-angle viewing, making every seat in the theater a good one. Not to be outdone, Samsung unveiled its stunning new Samsung Onyx Cinema LED screen a week after NAB at a Pacific Theater location in suburban Los Angeles. While Sony is still taking baby steps in rolling out cinema-worthy LED technology, Samsung has gone all in with its Onyx system, forging exclusive partnerships that will help drive the technology into cinemas around the world. Those include pairings with HARMAN to ensure each Onyx screen features state-of-the-art JBL Sculpted Surround sound, Hollywood-based postproduction company Roundabout to develop specialized Onyx-ready HDR content, and a research-and-development initiative with ARRI to create Onyx-optimized content. Samsung also is collaborating with GDC Technology, a leading global provider of endto-end digital cinema solutions, to develop Onyx-compatible cinema servers. The Onyx presentation, which culminated in a showing of Ready Player One, was impressive. The 300-nit peak brightness screen (500-nit capable with advanced settings) represents 88-foot lamberts or more than six times the average luminance
Samsung Onyx Cinema LED
of current projection technology. “And unlike a projector, which is trying to recreate blacks through shadows,” announced Nick Conti, Business Development Senior Manager, Cinema, Samsung Electronics America, “LED displays offer true black because the pixel is turned off. Also, because this is an emissive display, ambient light – which is always an issue in movie theaters – will not affect the picture quality.” Demos of Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time trailers, even in SDR, jumped off the screen with beautiful color rendition and full corner-to-corner luminance that had no light fall-off or vignetting. Even more impressive was an HDR presentation of an upcoming feature from Dan Fogelman called Life Itself, a dramatic character-driven story shot by Guild DP Brett Pawlak that is bereft of poppy VFX or brightly saturated action many have used to tout HDR’s strengths. The subtle details in flesh tones and everyday interior-exterior locations in Pawlak’s photography came through clearly in the 4K–sized Onyx display – 34 feet by 18 feet, with a 2.5mm pixel pitch. “Later this year we’re coming out with a 3.3mm pixel pitch,” Conti explained, “which allows us to have a bigger screen – 46 feet by 24 feet – with the same 4K resolution. The screen is made up of 96 cabinets, with 24 modules in each cabinet. One module is roughly 6 by 6-inches, which contains 3,840
LED’s/pixels. The beauty of this system is that if an LED is damaged, the module is removed from the back, repaired by Samsung, and the screen is then recalibrated, all of which takes about two hours!” Production displays, particularly those used by Local 600 DIT’s in tents, have trended toward OLED, given that technology’s superb blacks and color rendition. Bram Desmet, General Manager for Flanders Scientific, was showing off his firm’s newest monitor (XM6550U) at NAB, a UHD OLED display that is SDR/HDR capable, with 900 nits (on an L20 patch) that can provide four HD feeds to free-up space in video village. With a $13,000 list price, the XM6550U is a clear indicator that price is not the barrier to opting for OLED as it once was. “It’s not so much the panels anymore, as all the back-end processing, like our 12-gigabits-per-second (Gbps) interface, which costs money,” Desmet notes. “And the concerns with OLED have become more manageable. For example, this display has a de-noise feature that addresses burn-in. OLED will drift over time, perhaps faster than LCD technology, but it’s only a few hours to recalibrate and be back up and running.” Desmet says new technologies, like
SmallHD 703 Bolt
MicroLED and light-modulating cell-layered tech, the latter being implemented on LCD panels to achieve OLED-type blacks, where there is no burn-in and a wider color gamut, are gaining popularity. “MicroLED has the potential for good long-term stability and brighter light output,” Desmet added. “But, most options become expensive when you try to scale down to smaller sizes. Honestly, many of our customers working in highambient-light environments still prefer LCD’s. And the contrast on LCD panels just keeps getting better and better. We’ve had people come look at our DM240 and say, ‘That’s a great-looking OLED panel!’” SmallHD is another firm pushing traditional LCD panels to new heights. Creative Director Joel Andrews was showing the company’s newest innovation at NAB, the 703-Bolt, which integrates SmallHD’s 7-inch monitor with wireless technology from industry leader Teradek. The 3000-nit 1080P monitor has a built-in Teradek receiver, allowing it to pair with any Teradek Bolt 500-, 1000- or 3,000foot transmitter, and offer up a 500-foot wireless range. “We also made two new versions of our 6-inch, 800-nit touchscreen monitor,” Andrews noted. “The Focus Bolt RX and TX each has daylight visibility and a built-in transmitter and receiver to create a monitorto-monitor, HD, wireless ecosystem. You can
“Unlike a projector, which is trying to recreate blacks through shadows, LED displays offer true black because the pixel is turned off.” Nick Conti Samsung Electronics America
put a 5-inch Focus Bolt on a gimbal rig for the operator, and that same monitor can send the image to an RX or the 703-Bolt, as well as Teradek stand-alone transmitters and receivers. You can even put the Focus TX on a DSLR mirrorless camera and power the whole system with an L-series battery.” Andrews says the Teradek partnership was in response to user demand. “Operators have told us that needing a computer to get transmitters and receivers to communicate is time-consuming and slows things down,” he continues. “So we’re working on getting all of that inside the monitor, along with all the usual profeatures. We also have a lot of users who are in high-ambient situations and know that high-quality, brighter monitors are key to speeding up their workflows.” When it comes to display and projection workflows, Canon has always been a trendsetter, having been the first to introduce a 4K HDR monitor (the venerable DP-V2410) into the post-production market several years back. Speaking with Canon Advisor Joe Bogacz at NAB 2018 revealed new firmware across Canon’s entire line of displays. “We’ve always included an Ethernet jack,” Bogacz described. “But now you can put in an IP address, user name, and password, and through a normal web browser, take full control of any display, as well as have a proxy image come back to your laptop.” Other new firmware Bogacz highlighted featured HDR metering, “which will be great on- set for DP’s and DIT’s to know when an area of the shot is blown out and how to proceed,” he added. “The metering tool provides an on-screen luminance graph, where, for example, a red line would appear when an area went over 1000 nits. Anything that is SDR is rendered in black and white.” Also new for 2018 is a tool called the “pixel sniffer,” which allows Canon display users to identify the exact nits of any single pixel. Any pixel over HDR’s conventional 1000-nit level is rendered in red on the display. “We also have a frame meter that takes a measurement of every pixel inside the active frame that gives you an average of the peak and average pixel level, which is great for diagnostics,” Bogacz said. “With one input we can put two images side by side – HDR and SDR, or clean and HDR metering on the other side. Rather than hitting a button, changing the whole raster, and having to do
“We have a lot of users who are in high-ambient situations and know that high-quality, brighter monitors are key to speeding up their workflows.” Joel Andrews SmallHD
memory color, you can just look back and forth. It’s great for titling work in broadcast.” Canon’s new DPV-1711 and DPV-2421 displays include 12G (4K 60P through one cable) and are able to scale an 8K image down to 4K, which is key to the company’s participation in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where broadcast will be in 8K. Given Canon’s early adoption of HDR in its displays, Bogacz observed that “it’s now very important for on-set [Guild camera teams] to be shooting within the HDR parameters of whatever the production company wants, whether that be 1200, 1000 or 600 nits. That’s hard to achieve in electronic cinematography without tools like the ones we implemented – HDR metering and the pixel sniffer. We never had these problems in film because everyone knew the color and dynamic range characteristics of what a particular emulsion would render. But those are just not predictable with new digital technology.” Kevin Lu, Product Manager with iKan, was also talking up new products that will benefit Local 600 DIT’s in the field. The AX20-FK is self-contained in a durable aluminum case that can be affixed to a light stand or mounted onto a speaker stand. “It offers Waveform, Vectorscope, RGB Parade, and CIE Scope, at HD resolution with False Color, Peaking, and Clip Guides,” Lu explained. “What’s really cool about this display is it offers built-in HDR preview [at 400 nit peak luminance]. And if you don’t like our preview and have your own LUT files, you can download those instead.” Lu also pointed out the smaller DH7-v2 monitor that offers similar HDR previews, but with a wireless interface of 160 feet, and due to market Q3 of this year.
Still, my wanders through NAB 2018 led back to all things LED. Steve Seminario, Vice President of Product Marketing for Leyard and Planar, was showing off that company’s video walls – based on direct view modular LED technology that can be tiled to create very large, seamless screens. “One of our new products is the TBF series that’s designed to exactly hit 1080, 2K, 4K and 8K resolutions,” he said, “because many of our customers think in those terms. Most LED walls require a large rear structure for support, but this product is mounted to a wall and can be installed and serviced from the front, while still only being about four inches from the wall. The finest pitch it supports is 1.5 millimeter, which is a sweet spot for on-camera broadcast backdrops. These walls peak at 600 nits, and can be mapped to any color temperature or gamma.” While the Oregon-based Leyard and Planar is mainly focused on LED walls for broadcast environments, the applications/ benefits of similar technology in cinema exhibition are plain to see. As are variations on existing direct-view LED tech, like MicroLED, which, as Seminario explained, offers even finer control of luminance and black levels. “Instead of the service mount device [SMD] LED’s with the red-blue-green package that are in use today,” he concluded, micro or mini LED technology is made up of even smaller red-blue-green clusters. That allows the pitch – the distance between pixels – to be made up of more black area; hence the overall image can have really deep blacks. New LED technology mostly just refines that ratio between light and black.”
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D I S P L A Y Q & A
Senior Manager, Display Product Marketing, at Samsung Electronics America
Tell us about Samsung’s LED walls and where the company is headed in this market? They start at 1.2mm and go all the way up to 8mm for indoor displays and include products made with [Samsung subsidiary] Prismview, which has a full outdoor capability. I believe Samsung is the only manufacturer that can provide a full line-up (from sub 1mm indoor LED to 25mm outdoor LED) of LED product (some competitors have OEM line-up). When we entered this market, we told potential customers we were more than capable of leveraging our new LED technology, showcasing the image quality we first developed for consumer televisions. The image quality is always priority number one throughout all our products. With this product confidence, we are planning to create new standards under LED display. We introduced the first HDR tech in the LED market and will introduce new additional technologies in the near future. Samsung is also entering the cinema market with large-screen Direct View LED technology. This could be a real game-changer. Yes, the goal is to change the long-standing paradigm in theatrical exhibition from front projection to direct LED technology. The first installation was
Jake Lee is a busy man. Thirty minutes after we spoke in Las Vegas, at NAB this past April, he was headed back to Samsung’s North American base in New York City, before returning one week later to Hollywood for a media rollout of his company’s Onyx Cinema LED system, at a Pacific Theater in Chatsworth, CA screening Ready Player One. The week after that he was headed back to Vegas for CinemaCon, the official gathering of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), where every major studio and distributor makes an appearance. Lee started his career at Samsung with LED product strategy development and provides market insight to develop the LED product line-up in the U.S. market. by David Geffner
with Lotte Cinema in Korea, right after last year’s CinemaCon, where we debuted the technology. Now we have several more locations in Korea with these LED screens, as well as several theaters in China, and the North American debut [April 20] in Los Angeles. At this year’s CinemaCon, we will set up a 2K-sized wall with 3D glass, where the added brightness and consistent color amplification of this LED technology will have great benefits to that format. What about the MicroLED technology Samsung introduced at CES this year? MicroLED (the wall) will offer a new paradigm in the LED market. We are planning to target both high-net wealth and traditional LED display market with new technology and image quality (HDR). The 1.2 you see at our NAB booth is 110-inch diagonal for HD. The wall will be 146-inch diagonal in 4K. Obviously, HDR is huge right now. How integral is the technology to Samsung’s plans to disrupt things with LED cinema displays? Everybody is digging into HDR content, and Samsung’s own solution [HDR10+] is already being used in consumer displays. HDR offers a much larger color gamut/range, which I think audiences really appreciate, along with the deeper black levels and contrast ratio. So it’s very important to our efforts. I still have a six-year-old Samsung plasma display at home. That technology was phased out, in favor of LED solutions. Why? It’s the most stable, cost-effective technology with the biggest potential. Samsung has invested heavily in LED technology – this 1.2-millimeter [pixel pitch] HD wall in our NAB booth is already the fourth generation of Samsung LED products, and that’s just within three years. The difference between the cheaper LED manufacturers and Samsung is the name brand and the video quality we bring from our consumer displays. People know and trust Samsung LED technology, so the transition to the commercial and cinema markets is fairly seamless. The studios all know and trust our products, and they are all gearing up for HDR content in various platforms – for all of these reasons our move into direct LED in cinemas makes sense and is a very exciting development for the industry. portrait by Lisa Rose
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CAPTURE, LIGHTING, SUPPORT? IS THE ROMANCE FINALLY BACK? b y
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It was a little bit of Old Hollywood meets New Technology in the Capture sector at NAB and Cine Gear 2018. As ARRI’s Chase Hagen [see Q&A, p. 72] noted: “Large-format sensors unlock a whole new aspect of creative possibility. There’s more dimensionality to the images, and we can be more selective with focus and depth-offield. You can now tell a story in a new way that is immersive and has a special draw to what was previously reserved for the 65mm format.” Of course, he was speaking about ARRI’s ALEXA LF, which offers beyond 4K with a noise-free base sensitivity of 800 ISO. Hagen’s sentiments apply to other new capture systems as well, i.e., Sony’s VENICE full-frame motion-picture camera that debuted at NAB, which offers increased exposure indexes and a built-in 8-step optical ND filter servo mechanism. Those worried about a steep learning curve can
access VENICE’s camera menu simulator before shooting. After making their full-frame MONSTRO 8K VV sensor available at the end of last year, RED invited a select group of attendees to its suite at NAB (in advance of the full debut at Cine Gear) to see the dual ISO GEMINI 5K S35 sensor, which is flexible for many environments, with standard- or low-light mode. And speaking of MONSTRO, the marriage of this 8K VV sensor and Panavision’s new Millennium DXL2 8K camera is of interest. Panavision kept telling everyone that John Schwartzman, ASC, is planning to use the DXL2 on his next feature. It’s because the camera offers a healthy 16-plus stops of dynamic range with a native ISO setting of 1600 and ProRes 4K up to 60 frames per second. Joining RED and Sony at NAB 2018 was
Canon and a big buzz for the company’s new C700 FF. It’s Canon’s first full-frame cinema camera with the image of the EOS 5D. Got the C700, and you want to give full frame a try? Not a problem. The Super 35mm sensor can be upgraded (for a fee). And, for those not in need of full frame, the new Blackmagic Pocket 4K was smoking hot. Just ask Vance Burberry (ICG June/July, p.94), who got to play with it at both NAB and Cine Gear. “It’s pretty impressive,” Burberry told me. “Dual base ISO of 400 and 3200. Raw recording, a huge 5-inch LCD display, and a full micro 4/3 sensor. The image quality should work great as an additional small camera for car mounts or where you need a small, compact system. And it will cut with any camera, including the ARRI ALEXA." Lenses, too, are contributing to the old-school influence, with anamorphics predominating. Companies like P+S Technik, Cooke, Atlas, Scorpio and Angénieux have all announced their own flavor of anamorphic. There was even a new True-Net filter from Schneider Optics that harkens back to the 1940’s when cinematographers put a silk stocking over the lens. (See On The Street, p. 14) Atlas Lens’ Dan Kanes [see Q&A, p. 68] provided some interesting facts about the resurgence of old-style anamorphics. “They were really a business decision,” he noted. “A group of people at 20th Century Fox said, ‘We need to get people to stop watching TV on their square boxes at home and start going back to the movies.’ This drove the desire for technical innovation – ‘surround vision’ in the dirt-cheapest way possible.” Kanes said engineers originally “despised the stigmatism, breathing, flares, and shallower depth of field,” that are typically attributed to anamorphic lenses. “They thought it made lenses weaker,” he said. Who knew that when super-sharp digital sensors came to be, cinematographers would turn to anamorphics as a way to return beauty and romance to their imagery? Last year’s NAB and Cine Gear (2017) is remembered as the year that ARRI changed the lighting world with its revolutionary SkyPanel unit. So, it only follows that ARRI would raise the bar in 2018 with its introduction of the S360-C. It is powerful and packs a full range of features including full-color control, lighting effects on a huge aperture, built-in wireless DMX, and more. In ARRI’s own words: “It’s a beast of a light." In fact, this year’s trade shows offered
ARRI ALEXA LF
Canon C700 FF
Quasar Science QLED -R- Rainbow LED
Hive Bee 50-C
Kino Flo Freestyle Tubes
ARRI SkyPanel S360-C
FoxFury Nomad P56
many new lights. The problem, as with the Support category, is what is going to last? Hive showed two new “infinite color” lights. The Bee 50-C and the Hornet 200-C have controls that give the user the ability to adjust saturation, hue, output, color temperature, and infinite color combinations, all on set. Portability also came into play. Video and photo shoots can be lit in a matter of seconds with the FoxFury Nomad P56. This cordless, batterypowered, and rechargeable LED extends to eight feet high and delivers 4100 lumens of CRI 5600K daylight balance. It’s also fully submersible and weather resistant. More control of color on the set means more new lighting tubes and panels. Companies like BB&S were offering one-bank wedges, with true 98 TLCI for fitting into small spaces that need high output. Kino Flo introduced its FreeStyle tubes, which offer the same softness as the company’s T12 lamps. These 310-degree tubes boast RGBAW and visualeffects light management controlled by DMX. Quasar Science introduced the Q-LED R-line, with its color-mixing system RGBX that adds RGB diodes to Quasar’s Crossfade 2000K and 6000K broad-spectrum white light diode. The result is a high-quality independent light and bright, ultrasaturated narrow spectrum color for in-camera live color mixing. [Those looking for a different way to place the Quasar tubes should check out Matthews Studio Equipment’s new MQ Mount, designed just for this use]. Of course, there are also times when you have to get your lights in the air, and that’s where Airstar’s Cinestar (introduced at Cine Gear) will prove to be invaluable. The Cinestar provides a wide-angle projection, soft diffusion, full-color temperature and a high CRI, producing 850 watts of flicker-free light. And it’s portable. Airstar also introduced an LED Light Pad at Cine Gear. Built on their helium balloon technology, the pads reduce power consumption and are easy to rig. They are full bicolor, with a dimmable intensity control and flickerfree soft diffusion. Given the resurgence of romance in capture and on set in lighting, the next question is, What’s new for in-support tools for getting around safely and quickly? Similar to 2017, I found a lot of unproven overseas products from the “next best,” especially in gimbals, and especially at NAB. Yet, as Alessandro Di Leo noted [see Q&A, p. 74], and as Ed and Tyler Phillips stressed last year (ICG August 2017, p. 58): “Can they stand up to production, and will manufacturers stand behind their products?” Looking first at the most trusted and experienced vendors, Chapman-Leonard introduced its new 50-foot Hydrascope at Cine Gear 2018. It not only
features the elimination of dangling cables but also the ability to implement wireless remote camera systems. The Hydrascope pairs with the Hollywood-based company’s new Mav 50 Mobile Base, which moves it through most kinds of terrain. The 50-foot hydraulic post has the ability to lean 36 degrees, allowing the vehicle to drive legally on public roads. While there has been very little change in the physical product from Chapman-Leonard, it’s the refinements that keep that venerable support-maker current. This year alone, the company has made more than 50 changes to its hydraulic-control design, to make a dramatic improvement in the way the lift operates. Tiffen has been home to numerous iterations of the Steadicam, and this year it has served up innovation from the likes of Jarred Land (president of RED Digital); Francis Kenny, ASC; Richard Crudo, ASC; and Sallyanne Massimini (DGA) and their company, Master Cinematographers, via the Steadicam Air. It’s the gas lift spring and 360-degree rotation that makes it a new take on the monopod, allowing professional filmmakers to change their direction in moments, without missing a shot. Gimbals, gimbals, everywhere, but do they actually improve on existing tools? Cinemoves’ new MATRIX 4-axis gyro-stabilized gimbal does. It features an open architecture that allows the gimbal to be mounted in any orientation and still maintain polarity of pan, tilt, and roll. And, because it’s 4-axis, you have 360-degree roll without an umbilical cable. And it can be controlled by an app-based system. For heavier cameras, there was the Letus Helix Remote Head, which is a first in the gimbal world because it can spin 360 degrees on all axes and handle camera packages up to 60 pounds. It can also be used independently of a Steadicam rig. When it comes to the under-eight-pounds variety, two proven manufacturers stood out. The new Tiltamax G2X is said to balance longer camera setups and features four operating modes. It can be controlled remotely, perform a time-lapse, and even calibrate each individual motor. There was also the new PIVOT from iKan, which has an angled arm that allows for an unobstructed view of the screen. iKan, like everyone else, has a Gimbal app. It can control speed and optimization for different payloads. So what are my main takeaways from the 2018 gear shows? “New” does not necessarily mean a revolution in the making, and it’s always best to lean on tried-and-true vendors with a history of updating technology (in incremental builds) for service and proof of concept in the field.
JAY LAFAYETTE CINEMATOGRAPHER On Cinematic Multi-Cam
Weaving in and out of the multi-camera
scenario has been great. I love live theatre. I
love music. I love the art of stand-up comedy.
As a cinematographer, I've been able to
combine the technology of broadcast with
the aesthetic of cinema.
Jay Lafayette grew up on MTV, VH1 and a healthy helping of feature films. He cut his cinematic teeth on music videos and short form projects, collaborated on an award-winning kid’s series for Nickelodeon, and shot multi-cam concerts. His stand out multi-cam work led to a new breed of stand-up comedy specials. Instead of traditional broadcast methods, he envisioned a filmic look, and worked with the VER team to create a customized cinema fly pack with large sensor digital cinema cameras, 35mm lenses and assorted specialized lens controls, combining the benefits of a broadcast build with the flair of a film shoot. Now known for his innovative take on live multi-cam work, his busy career includes specials with headliners like Tracy Morgan, Dana Carvey, Amy Schumer, Jim Jefferies, Steve Martin and Martin Short, among others. Lafayette is glad VER always has a multi-cam Fly Pack with his name on it, awaiting his next call. Watch the interview ver.com/jaylafayette
VER Camera Prep facilities:
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L I G H T I N G Q & A What does this new format do for lighting? Creative control. Color correction on a set can now be done via the lights themselves. The possibility for presets, source matching, color tuning, and profiles will mean that much of the language we are accustomed to using for cameras will now be applicable to lights. Lighting board operators will begin to have more and more similarities with DIT’s. And lookup tables will be available for lights, not just cameras. This will give DP’s a whole new set of tools by which to achieve the look of an image.
Co-founder/Owner and Chief Product Officer for Hive Lighting
Jon Edward Miller worked his way up from camera assistant to operator then director of photography, chief lighting technician and lighting designer on everything from major commercials to projects for FX and Universal, before moving into the manufacturing side of the industry. Today, as cofounder/owner and chief product officer for Hive Lighting, his focus is on the design and manufacture of energy-efficient lighting for film and television. by Pauline Rogers
What is the biggest change in lighting today? The wide introduction of LED lighting fixtures that offer full color control, from flat panels to tubes and even point-source LED’s. The controls push past simple single, bi-color or RGB LED sources. They offer a broad, high-quality CCT range as well as full saturated colors and the ability to control and create almost infinite combinations of colored light. How has this control been achieved? Primarily by the introduction of multi-LED chip fixtures. This means the use of multiple saturated color chips (four or more) blended together with powerful digital controls. This can be as simple as a three-primarycolors red, green and blue paired with a fuller spectrum “white” chip, or it can be a combination of primary, secondary and tertiary saturated colors like red, amber, yellow-green, green cyan, blue, violet – constantly mixed to create full-spectrum light or some combination in between. What does this offer? It requires a new way to think about light. There is, of course, no “true white” light; there is only fullspectrum light weighted toward one end or the other of the black body curve. There is also limited-spectrum light, which, when it is limited enough, we describe colloquially as “colored.” But, as any prism will tell us, all light is colored light. Old standards like color temperature or a simple 0–100 scale like CRI no longer effectively describe lights that can be tuned to camera sensors, tuned to other light sources, and to the subject matter itself. Color space and spectrum are the measurements better able to describe these new sources.
Is there a learning curve for these new lights? Unfortunately, the challenge for crews and manufacturers that have plagued the menu systems of cameras will now be an issue with lights. Now, more than ever, the user interface for light fixtures will make a huge difference in workflow. However, this has also resulted in some of the very impressive new control systems being offered via wireless DMX and app controls and modern DMX boards, which, long term, will help speed up the process by which a crew can access the control of the lights. What’s the future look like? There is no reason we can't calibrate light and camera from production to production, scene to scene, and even shot to shot. This calibration can be for fidelity of image as well as for creative effect. Creating the look has always been the subtle balance between lighting, camera and lens choices. Now, these choices will be in constant communication and can be refined subtly for each production scenario. This will not only improve the quality of our increasingly higher resolution images, it will improve the workflow and efficiency of our painfully shrinking timelines.
portrait by Lisa Rose
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L E N S E S Q & A
Co-founder of Atlas Lens Co.
How has the high demand for cinema tools impacted the design of lenses? Collapsing budgets and growing demand have driven a growth in sales and use of traditional photography lenses (anything made with or adapted to a Canon EF mount). Prices have gone astronomically high for vintage lenses, and in particular, anamorphic lenses, because of a very limited supply. While commoditization has played a part in manufacturers like Sigma shifting their lenses into cinema-ready mechanics, there is still a long way to go before all the advancements in materials, process, and manufacturing begin to tangibly affect the aesthetic of how films look. More than ever, manufacturers are willing to listen to what cinematographers want: that’s often revered older designs using modern manufacturing and materials, like Cooke’s New Speed Panchros. What do cinematographers want, and what are engineers designing? Engineers often think, “High contrast and high resolution: capture definition accurately, color comes after.” In the days of film, contrast, color and consistency were key, and engineers focused on getting the best reproduction of reality onto a moving piece of celluloid. They tried to do the most with the least, resulting in shorter glass-type catalogs being used and a lack of complexity in coatings (or no coating at all), helping to establish what we think of as “vintage.” Is there a gap between engineers and cinematographers? The hardest part these days can be convincing engineers that cinematographers are often seeking some imperfection! We want an idealized or
In 2010, Local 600 DP Dan Kanes found himself in need of an HD wireless transmitter to show directors what he was shooting in real time. Shocked to find out there was nothing commonly available, he partnered with Greg Smokler and developed PARALINX to fill that void. When the company was sold to Vitec Group in 2015, Kanes decided to follow his dream of making cinematography lenses and teamed up with Forrest Schultz to found Atlas Lens Co. by Pauline Rogers
veiled reality – not necessarily precise, but with resolute feeling. DP’s rarely say: “We want imperfect” aloud, because it doesn’t sound safe to producers. Thankfully, there are a handful of opticians who understand the importance of tolerancing during the design phase. I’ve heard many stories of people creating “the perfect” lens, only to find out it’s basically un-manufacturable because it requires an impossible level of precision to make it function. Other than that, the big trend is designing lenses that cover larger than the Super 35mm format, or lenses that give a unique and special flavor to the image. Are there design differences between film and digital? Film can be forgiving because every frame and every load has slight differences in how the image forms. As film rolls through the gate, many technical imperfections are lost to the viewer. Motion becomes a limiting factor to definition and fools the eyes. The digital sensor never moves, and if everything went right in the design, the pixels don’t move either, making for a more “sterile” feeling. Are there issues with digital lens longevity? Digital still cameras have lenses with profiles for distortion, vignetting and fringing built into the camera bodies. I think this could be a bad move in lens longevity – trying to paint away the inherent qualities of a lens digitally restricts the freedom of that lens away from its native camera. Philosophically, a lens should be bold enough to have a life of its own. Digital sensors generally prefer a near-telecentric ray angle – the light comes nearly straight into a pixel well – but many vintage lenses we love are not designed to take this into account. It’s now preferable to use mediumor low-contrast lenses, and less sharp lenses to “take the edge off” when shooting digital. Of course, lens design is always a series of compromises, and it’s easy to go off into the weeds on one characteristic that may ultimately detract from another. Fifty to 100 years from now, I’m pretty certain we won’t be using the same camera bodies – but there’s a decent chance lenses from our past and present will survive.
portrait by Lisa Rose
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F I L T E R S Q & A
KIMBERLY HOGUE Lens Product Manager at Schneider Optics
Kimberly Hogue decided that working on a set wasn’t necessarily for her, but she wanted to stay involved in the industry. When a job opened at Burbank, CA-based Filmtools, she found her solution. While dealing with filmmakers as well as the international filmmaking community, Hogue witnessed the shift to digital. She also saw the scramble of filter companies trying to solve the IR issue for overly sensitive camera sensors. Today, she is the Lens Product Manager at Schneider Optics – and is also involved in the company’s MPTV filter sales and marketing. by Pauline Rogers
in post. If the information isn’t there for the post house, they can’t just put it in. And if it’s something they can do, it’s going to be very expensive. Often by that time, a DP has moved onto his or her next project, so in the final edit, there is a chance that others are altering the look. With filters, the DP’s vision is much more likely to make it into the final result.
What is one of the most important reasons to use filters in camera? You always hear, “just do it in post.” But you can’t do everything in post, and postproduction professionals agree some things are better to do organically in camera. Look at the Las Vegas scene in Blade Runner 2049, shot by Roger Deakins [ASC]. He had a custom filter made so they could do as much as possible in camera, and he could control every aspect from set design to lighting and work together with every department to build the exact look he wanted. There’s so much more you can do, from your choice of lens and diffusion to combining diffusions or combining effects filters with diffusions. What else can filters do for your image? Control. You have to remember that the filter is interacting with the background and the contrast. There’s a layering of effects that happens that’s not just cosmetic, so you have more information available for you to control the image that you won’t have later
Are filters for anamorphic lenses different than traditional lenses? No. You can use the same filters for anamorphic lenses as you can with traditional lenses. In fact, filters come into play when you don’t have the budget for anamorphic lenses, like the True Streak filters. Those exist to create that anamorphic look at a more affordable cost. And if you don’t have the budget for lenses you want or the specific lenses aren’t available, a filter might be the answer. I know a DP who wanted to use Panavision Primos, but the ones he wanted weren’t available, so he added a diffusion filter to his S4s and achieved a similar look. A filter rents for around $15 a day, or you buy your own set. And, yes, there is that initial cost, but it’s still more affordable than any lens. What are cinematographers asking for in filter design today? Technology has made images so clean and sharp that DP’s want character to their image and they want a look not like everything else out there. That’s why vintage lenses have become so popular. Diffusion filters are very important to help add character. Certain diffusion filter types help take that digital edge off to give it more of a filmic look. We listen to what DP’s want, and, hopefully, give them a new tool to create the image they’re trying to achieve.
portrait by Lisa Rose
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- Peter Lyons Collister, ASC
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C A M E R A Q & A
Chase Hagen's favorite place has always been behind the camera. After studying film and cinematography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he started shooting videos for ARRI’s PCA (Professional Camera Accessories), representing them at various shows. Today he is part of ARRI’s Technical Camera Sales Team, focusing on the latest technology across the board.
Technical Camera Sales Team at ARRI
Are we seeing a new format at NAB and Cinegear this year? Full-frame cinematography has taken center stage as a way for cinematographers to unleash their creativity in a whole new way. Almost all the major manufacturers had their first chance to show customers their respective new camera systems, each with their own unique approach – just like with the Super 35 format. Some manufacturers went for more “dense” sensors with even more (albeit small) pixels and some with simply a greater number of larger pixels across a bigger canvas. What about existing camera systems? Improvements with smaller sensors are helping to elevate the production standards of the lower-end market, and these cameras are being created due to the demand and feedback of customers. Manufacturers are hearing that their clients want to deliver footage better than that of a camera that one can buy at a consumer electronics store. What most excited you? Seeing manufacturers and creatives embrace HDR (high dynamic range) and WCG (wide color gamut) monitoring and recording workflows. HDR and WCG are here to stay and allow more creative freedom with latitude range and color than ever possible. At this point, it seems silly not to be shooting with a camera that gives you the widest dynamic range and color gamut your budget allows. Displays are only going to get better. And, if OLED TV’s at a consumer electronics store can show close to 14 stops of dynamic range in HDR, you want to be future-proofed today in what you shoot as a cinematographer. by Pauline Rogers
What’s happening with professional codecs? They have been the standard of high-end cinema cameras for years and are now in more affordable cameras. Codecs are so important as they are how all the sensor data is stored. In the past, many cinematographers have had to settle for codecs that were often less than ideal for HDR and WGC image capture, especially in more budget-oriented cameras. These codecs were rather frail when put through the paces of color grading, especially with HDR and WCG becoming the norm in grading. It seems like many manufacturers are taking notes from high-end cinema cameras and feedback from their customers to include higher quality codecs in their cameras. Where do you see cameras going in the next five to 10 years? The cameras will become more aware of their surroundings and will include automated metadata gathering. For example, cameras of the future might have a method of sensing depth to subject frame per frame from the camera and more awareness of positioning data – like the pan axis. Wouldn’t it be great to have frame-per-frame accurate metadata of the exact pan of the camera? Going forward, camera sensors with an even greater dynamic range and sensitivity with a wide color gamut are going to be the norm. There's a more profound visual impact that consumers can actually see with their eyes on an HDR OLED display, even as we hit the wall of diminishing returns with more (and more minute) pixels. portrait by Lisa Rose
The Cooke Look
One Look. All Speeds
Full Frame Plus T2.0 Primes
"I wanted to test the Sony Venice camera and various lenses, including the Cooke S7/i for IMAX and giant screen projects. For Venice: La Serenissima, we used the Cooke S7/i Full Frame lenses extensively. It became not just my favourite, but my first AC and camera operator’s favourite lenses as well. Even in D.I. we all gravitated more to the images that were shot on Cooke. For documentary style shooting, I want a look that can transport you into the realm of the surreal but still be rooted and full of depth and emotion. The S7/i lenses have a grand and immersive feel to them by virtue of the full frame format. We played around with the Cooke’s shallow DOF shooting wide open—something I would not normally do on an IMAX film—but we wanted to get a sense of its character and it’s really beautiful. In our portraits and shots on the canals you can see the texture and quality of the bokeh. The look was seductive.
We saw a really nice balance with the S7/i lenses especially shooting the canals with a lot of white marble and turquoise water. The feel of the Cooke fit my idea of Venice. The look feels vintage without being vintage; elegant and full of dimension; modern yet natural, like the eye sees as opposed to something more stylized and geometric. With the type of filming I do for IMAX and giant screens, like my current project, Cuba, I gravitate to what my eye sees naturally—the Cooke Look.” Peter Chang Director, Cinematographer Venice: La Serenissima and Cuba, documentaries for IMAX and giant screens
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Alessandro Di Leo grew up on various television and movie sets watching his father, cinematographer Mario Di Leo, working long days on them. He eventually followed his father’s footsteps into the camera department. Seven years ago, father and son founded Ready Rig, a company focused on designing and manufacturing production gear that not only relieves stress on the operator’s body but also provides more creative control. S U P P O R T Q & A
ALESSANDRO DI LEO
Co-founder of Ready Rig
How has support changed over the years? I remember watching my dad climb on top of a large crane to operate his Panavision camera with 1000-foot mags. It’s what was available at the time. Remote heads and gimbals started to dominate in the 1990s, some still heavy and awkward. Some of that equipment is still around – ChapmanLeonard and J.L. Fisher gear are still popular and necessary. But like today’s equipment, their design has moved into computerization and, at times, different fabrications to suit current needs. What is driving the new technology? Digital camera technology is lighter, so support equipment must follow. The advancement of computers and sensors drives the innovations. And the innovations need to fit the camera and, most importantly, what they are to be used for. Advanced compositing, new materials like carbon fiber (which make the equipment lighter), 3D printing for faster iterations and design, and other elements that make everything smaller, lighter, and more compact are advancing every day. What’s out there that you find really interesting? [The company] Brushless Gimbals is creating an alternative to traditional gearheads. The advent of wheels gives DP’s the precise control they are used to with larger heads. Before the advent of these wheels, people had to work with unfamiliar joysticks, which turned many off to using the technology. Brushless gimbals are starting to become strong enough to support the bigger camera and lensing systems. They are also light enough to become modular. Now people are able to use the electronic stabilization of a gimbal as the main camera-support platform.
by Pauline Rogers
They can be mounted on cars, cranes, sliders, dollies and even drones with little set-up time between changes. What is the biggest challenge for today’s support technology? The key is that new tools should aid, but not replace, the process. It’s like a painter having different paintbrushes to enhance creativity. It takes a team of highly skilled hands – experienced crewmembers to execute the proper use of these new tools; and to learn not only the potential but the limitations of each tool as it comes on the market. Why is it so important to vet a new tool before use? You have to come at it from a professional’s perspective. Is it more a gadget than a tool? Can it be used safely and dependably in every possible condition? Does the company stand behind its product? Is customer service available when needed? If something goes wrong during a production and this “next best thing” fails, it isn’t just the equipment that has failed – it’s the person who chose to use it. And that is not good for someone’s career. What do younger filmmakers interested in new support tools need to know? Young filmmakers are starting in the lowor no-budget area of production. There is a tendency to go for the cheaper means of support. But it’s so very important to look to growing your kit with tools that further your career. Strategic investments in good gear will save money and enhance your creativity. And, if you decide to upgrade or move in a different direction, you can resell the well-picked gear you have outgrown and help someone else grow their kit and career.
portrait by Lisa Rose
L I G H T
Radiant Images Meridian Light-Field
NEW ON-SET AND POST WORKFLOWS FROM NAB 2018 b y
m i c h a e l
c h a m b l i s s
E A D
Camera workflows are as much about knitting pieces together as they are about specific technical developments. That holds on the macro level within the camera department as well as across the broader continuum from concept to screen. When one part evolves, the others have to as well, changing not only how the work gets done but, as I discovered walking the 2018 NAB Show floor, even when and where camera work gets done.
Pomfort’s software is a long-standing staple on DIT carts for look creation, media asset management and dailies. One of the significant new developments in their look creation/capture management package, Livegrade Pro V4, is a redesigned database that captures all camera metadata (including lens data streams) simultaneously from multiple cameras, and stores it along with creative look information in a shot-by-shot library. This allows DP’s, DIT’s and camera assistants to track a rigorous set of shotrelated information for reference or sharing with remote units, Editorial and VFX. Patrick Renner, Managing Director of Pomfort, says that putting the database together was a complex process that took three years to develop and code. “The concept behind it is to really make use of the dynamic metadata that is already accessible [via the camera’s HD-SDI signal],” Renner told me. “When the information is right there in the image stream, it doesn’t make much sense to get on a walkie-talkie or run from camera to camera to make sure the settings are right. Plus, you have the benefit of something like a fully detailed camera report with none of the hassle.” Other refinements include a separate library for storing look presets and the capability to start entering metadata prior to recording the shot. A redesign of the Slot Bar feature provides a live image and metadata overview of all attached cameras. They’ve also added native video scopes as well as ARRI CAP (camera access protocol) support for the ALEXA LF cameras via WiFi. Following the same thread of CAP support development, Pomfort was also showing their new PocketControl for ARRI cameras. It’s the first iOS app that enables remote monitoring of ALEXA MINI and AMIRA cameras through WiFi on iPhones and iPads, providing access to the camera’s menus and settings without having to touch the camera or be physically near it. FilmLight est ablished early benchmarks for digital intermediates with their Northlake film scanner in 2002 and built upon that with products garnering AMPAS Sci-Tech Awards and Technology and Engineering Emmys. Now two years into its V5 build of its flagship color-grading software Baselight, a 5.1 version shows evolution driven by the demands of HDR and the integration of image geometry manipulation, digital filters, paint, and keying into the color-grading suite. V5.1’s
“No one thought light-fields could be calculated from compressed images, but we did it.” Michael Mansouri Radiant Images
tool set additions include upgrades to Baselight Looks for scene-referenced artistic adjustments to parallel SDR and HDR outputs, Boost Range, a local tone mapping approach for SDR-to-HDR conversion, and Relight, a tool for subtle relighting. It’s clear that DI is moving beyond color to encompass finely tuned image manipulation. Prelight On-Set is a look management toolbox for DIT’s and DP’s built around the subset of Baselight’s primary and secondary color-grading tools, which integrate into most dailies and DI workflows. It is shaped for on-set use, generating LUT’s for the majority of professional LUT boxes as well as ARRI ALEXA SXT/ALEXA MINI, Panasonic Varicam 35 and Sony’s F65, FSS and FS cameras. One of the 2018 NAB Show demonstrations showed a closed-loop workflow between the set, dailies, the DI suite and the ALEXA MINI utilizing ARRI’s Camera Access Protocol via WiFi. On HDR productions, Prelight simultaneously provides the correct signal for multiple different displays and can previsualize an SDR image within an HDR container on an HDR display. This allows the DP and gaffer to evaluate lighting for combined SDR/HDR production without guesswork on a variety of monitor configurations. MTI Film is a software and post-production services company that cut its teeth developing innovative techniques and specialized code for the restoration of classic films such as the 4K remastering of Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge Over the River Kwai and Easy Rider. Their CORTEX line of software forms a set-to-screen workflow for look management and file handling on-set to dailies,
Radiant Images Meridian Light-Field
and enterprise-level IMF and Dolby Vision finishing. CORTEX V5 introduces simultaneous HDR and SDR SDI outputs, rigorous deadpixel detection, a new implementation of the MTI-Samsung up-res algorithm, waveform and vector scope scaling for HDR and SDR, as well as Dolby Vision metadata editing and new QC analysis functions for facilities. CORTEX DIT is free, with playback for all camera formats, ASC/CDL, and ACES color management, very capable audio sync and essential file-handling tools. Moving to a rental or purchase model for DIT+ adds ProRes, DNxHD and H.264 transcodes. Also new is the implementation of the complete CORTEX line in the cloud via StratusCoreâ€™s Virtual Studio. This means that full software functionality, including up-res, dailies, and transcoding is accessible on demand from anywhere via a standard laptop in a collaborative secure private cloud environment. Moving the heavy processing chores off the cart and into the cloud with reliable 24-7 uptime is a new way for DITâ€™s to approach the issues of scheduling heavy workloads. Speaking of workflow, AJA Video Systems, the iconic go-to company
for workflow gear, is gearing up for the industry’s shift into HDR. The field-proven Ki Pro Ultra and Ki Pro Ultra Plus recording and playback devices added support for Avid DNxHR codecs for Ultra HD and 4K workflows at 23.98, 24, 25 and 29.97p with up to a 12-bit resolution. This capability is free to Ki Pro Ultra and Ki Pro Ultra Plus owners via a v3.0 firmware upgrade. To support the larger files sizes that come with HDR workflows, AJA also introduced the 2TB Pak 2000 SSD recording media for the Ki Pro Ultra and Ki Pro Ultra Plus. The new drive has options for HFS+ and exFAT, and will handle four hours of 4K/UltraHD ProRes HQ at 30p. Addressing some of the monitoring challenges that come with HDR, AJA unveiled a tech preview of their upcoming HDR Image Analyzer. The compact 1RU unit is the result of a second collaboration between AJA and Colorfront, combining that company’s deep UHD HDR software toolset with AJA video and audio I/O technology for an allin-one take on HDR waveform, histogram, vectorscope and nit level monitoring. The
impressive list of features included falsecolor-out-of-gamut and out-of-brightness detection, a still store, nit level and phase metering, and support for color spaces from ARRI, Canon, Panasonic, RED and Sony. Moving closer to the front of the data pipeline, advancements in solid-statedrive (SSD) technology, CPU speed, and hardware interfaces are helping to make the ever-growing data flow from camera departments faster to handle. Other World Computing (OWC) is a name well known to Mac computer buffs since the late 1980’s. Building on their experience with production crews, OWC has developed a line of high-performance gear hardened for onset work. ThunderBlade is the result of OWC’s efforts to design the fastest and most rugged working media drive. Utilizing Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe SSD’s, the ThunderBlade delivers transfer speeds of 2,800 MB/sec and can reach 3,800 MB/sec in a SoftRAID configuration. Outside of being fast, SSD’s
have no moving parts. When encased in a ballistic case, a random knock during wrap or bouncing in the back of a Gator up the trail presents no mechanical risk. ThunderBay 4 is a 4-disk RAID specifically designed for on-set use, with a hardened case and a fan quiet enough to keep the sound department happy. It can be configured with up to 48 TB of storage, and the Thunderbolt 2 interface delivers sustained read/write operations at 827 MB/ sec. Larry O’Connor, founder and CEO of OWC, considers the company’s SoftRAID software a revolutionary development and the most powerful RAID engine for a Mac. “With modern CPU’s, there’s really no advantage to hardware RAID’s anymore,” O’Connor said. OWC’s SoftRAID can configure multiple simultaneous RAID volumes across the same drive set and offers fast automatic rebuilds, predictive failure analysis, and remote management via the Internet. One exciting announcement was Apple’s ProRes RAW (about a week before the 2018 NAB Show), which offers
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the prospect of being able to cut in half the massive amount of data in RAW workflows via a widely adopted standardized compressed RAW file format. This could help everything from the broad adoption of HDR to the increased use of DSLR’s for highend capture. As the new codec gains traction across the ecosystem, ProRes RAW promises to be a game-changer. Atomos coordinated closely with Apple and was the only monitor/recorder manufacturer to announce ProRes RAW support at this year’s NAB. ProRes RAW capability is available via a firmware update to the firm’s Shogun Inferno and Sumo 19 devices and part of the feature set in its new Ninja V HDMI monitor/recorder. Atomos also announced that it worked with Sony to make the FS5 II fully ProRes compatible, including FS-RAW output over SDI. The Ninja V is the newest addition to Atomos’ lineup of monitor/recorders. It carries the same feature set as the Shogun Inferno but opts for HDMI inputs and a 5-inch screen to trim the weight down to around 11 ounces. It has full 1920 × 1080
HDR display rated at 1,000 nits and supports recording up to 4K 60p ProRes HQ. Key to the design is the new AtomX SSDmini data card, which is one-quarter-inch tall and 20 percent shorter than previous SSD’s. Light-field cinematography seems to blow up all current pipelines with an entirely new way of thinking about cinematography. Tucked in a corner of Sony’s expansive NAB Show space, Radiant Images was showing its innovative light-field capture array, Meridian. Instead of being a massive rig surrounded by computer gear, Radiant’s iteration of the technology uses 3-foot by 4-foot arrays of 24 Sony RX0’s, connected to an equipment case the size of a file box. “We considered traditional filmmaking when creating a light-field system,” observed Michael Mansouri, co-founder of Radiant Images. “That meant being camera agnostic, light enough to put on a dolly, and fast to set up with data processing off the set. Camera systems have to work on location, and having a VFX team standing right behind you is usually impractical.” Light-field cinematography uses the
matrix of images from an aligned camera array to calculate the angular relationship of the rays of light on a sub-pixel level. This enables a range of camera motion, focus, framing, lens focal-length changes (without resolution loss) and lighting decisions to be made after image capture and away from the set. The data set also enables backgrounds to be precisely eliminated without a green screen and provides true 3D. “Our approach faced challenges, but the results have been very good,” Mansouri added. “No one thought light-fields could be calculated from compressed images, but we did it. All of the cameras are controlled though a network switch connected to one laptop. The image data is downloaded from the individual cameras to an Amazon Snowball (a rental RAID from Amazon Web Services) that’s delivered via FedEx to Amazon for uploading into the cloud for ‘the solve’ [the heavy computational work]. It takes one technician to operate the rig. Set-up time is less than an hour.”
SCH_Baum_ICG_Final.qxp_Layout 1 6/25/18 1:30 PM Page 1
Baum Takes the Edge Off with Radiant Soft® Filters
When Gary Baum, ASC filmed the finale of Will & Grace in 2005, he went on to DP 450 episodes of other popular multi-camera shows including: Man with a Plan, Mike & Molly, Hot in Cleveland, The Millers and Gary Unmarried. A primetime Emmy and 7 other nominations later, Will & Grace was back, with the original cast and much of the crew, including Baum.
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“STUBER” Operators: William O’Drobinak, Tim Fabrizio Assistants: Max Junquera, Ryan Weisen, Sterling Wiggins, Paul Saunders Steadicam Operator: Tim Fabrizio Digital Imaging Tech: Joe Elrom Loader: Trey Volpe Still Photographer: Hopper Stone “THE GIFTED” SEASON 2 Directors of Photography: Bart Tau, Peter Kowalski Operators: Matt Doll, Andrew Fisher, Christian Satrazemis Assistants: Justin Deguire, Christian Trova, Joe Waiwstell, Taylor Case, Lauren Gentry, Justin Cooley Steadicam Operator: Matt Doll Steadicam Assistant: Justin Deguire Digital Imaging Tech: Joe Dare Loader: Peter Johnston Digital Utility: Becca Bennett Still Photographers: Eliza Morse, Guy D’Alema ABC STUDIOS “ALL ABOUT THE WASHINGTONS” SEASON 1 Director of Photography: Christian La Fountaine Operators: Bruce Reutlinger, George La Fountaine, Chris Wilcox, Kris Conde
Assistants: Brian Lynch, Jeff Roth, Craig La Fountaine, Shaun Wheeler Loaders: Chris Todd, Vicki Beck Remote Head Tech/Operator: Andy Dickerman “JESSICA JONES” SEASON 3 Director of Photography: Manuel Billeter Operators: Michael F. O’Shea, Kate Larose Assistants: Marc Hillygus, Jason Rihaly, Vincent Tuths, Ryan Toussieng Loaders: Kelsey Middleton, Jonathan Peralta “JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!” SEASON 16 Lighting Director: Christian Hibbard Operators: Greg Grouwinkel, Parker Bartlett, Garrett Hurt, Mark Gonzales Steadicam Operator: Kris Wilson Jib Operators: Marc Hunter, Randy Gomez, Jr., Nick Gomez Camera Utilities: Charles Fernandez, Scott Spiegel, Travis Wilson, David Fernandez, Adam Barker Video Controller: Guy Jones Still Photographers: Karen Neal, Michael Desmond 2ND UNIT Directors of Photography: Steve Garrett, Bernd Reinhardt “THE PUNISHER (AKA CRIME)” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Petr Hlinomaz Operators: Dana Altomare, Todd Armitage Assistants: Robert Becchio, John Oliveri, Alisa Colley, Niknaz Tavakolian Loaders: AJ Strauman, Toni Sheppard AFN PRODUCTIONS-TELEPICTURES “THE REAL” SEASON 4 Lighting Director/Director of Photography: Earl
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20th CENTURY FOX “911” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Joaquín Sedillo, ASC Operators: Duane Mieliwocki, Phil Miller Assistants: Ken Little, Noah Thomson, Eric Guerin, Roger Spain, Naomi Villanueva, Jihane Mrad Loader: Pauline Gomez Utility: Joshua Smith
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BEACHWOOD SERVICES “DAYS OF OUR LIVES” SEASON 53 Directors of Photography: Mark Levin, Ted Polmanski Operators: John Sizemore, Mark Warshaw, Vickie Walker, Michael J. Denton, Steve Clark Utilities: Steve Bagdadi, Gary Cypher Video Controller: Alexis Dellar Hanson
BIG BEACH TV “SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS” SEASON 1 Director of Photography: Xavier Grobet, ASC Operators: Bud Kremp, Eduardo Fierro Assistants: Dennis Seawright, Dale White, Mike Alvarez, Rich Kent Digital Imaging Tech: James Notari Loader: Dustin Keller Digital Utility: Nico Rich Still Photographer: Beth Dubber
BIG INDIE TROUPE ZERO “TROUPE ZERO” Director of Photography: James Whitaker Operators: George Bianchini, SOC, Michael Applebaum, Michael Stumpf Assistants: Bryan DeLorenzo, Chris Fisher, Dan McKee, Zander White Steadicam Operator: George Bianchini, SOC Steadicam Assistant: Zander White Digital Imaging Tech: Adrian Jebef Digital Utilities: Michael Reynolds Still Photographer: Curtis Baker BLUE BLUES “BIG LITTLE LIES” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Jim Frohna Operators: Shelly Gurzi, DJ Harder Assistants: Faith Brewer, Laura Goldberg, Daisy Smith, Eric Matos, Michael Ashe Loader: Dagmara Krecioch Camera Utility: Amanda Hamaday Still Photographer: Jennifer Clasen CBS “ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT” SEASON 37 Lighting Designer: Darren Langer Director of Photography: Kurt Braun Operators: Jaimie Cantrell, James B. Patrick, Allen Voss, Ed Sartori, Henry Zinman, Bob Campi, Rodney McMahon, Anthony Salerno Camera Utility: Terry Ahern Video Controllers: Mike Doyle, Peter Stendal
“FIVE FEET APART” Director of Photography: Frank DeMarco Operator: Remi Tournoi Assistants: Peter Roome, Hai Le, Allen Keffer Still Photographer: Alfonso Bresciani Publicist: Diane Slattery
“MAN WITH A PLAN” SEASON 3 Director of Photography: Gary Baum, ASC Operators: Glenn Shimada, Travers Hill, Lance Billitzer, Ed Fine Assistants: Adrian Licciardi, Jeff Goldenberg, Alec Elizondo, Clint Palmer, Jason Herring Utilities: Danny Lorenze, Sean Askins Digital Imaging Tech: Derek Lantz Video Controller: John O’Brien “NCIS” SEASON 16 Director of Photography: William Webb, ASC Operators: Gregory Paul Collier, George Loomis Assistants: Chad Erickson, James Troost, Nathan Lopez, Helen Tadesse, Anna Ferrarie “NCIS: LOS ANGELES” SEASON 10 Director of Photography: Victor Hammer Operators: Terence Nightingall, Tim Beavers Assistants: Keith Banks, Richie Hughes, Peter Caronia, Jacqueline Nivens Steadicam Operators: Terence Nightingall, Tim Beavers Steadicam Assistants: Keith Banks, Richie Hughes Digital Imaging Tech: John Mills Digital Utility: Trevor Beeler Still Photographer: Ron Jaffe Publicist: Kathleen Tanji “NCIS: NEW ORLEANS” SEASON 5 Director of Photography: Gordon Lonsdale, ASC Operators: Jerry Jacob, Tony Politis, Vincent Bearden Assistants: Peter Roome, Brouke Franklin, Jeff Taylor, Toni Weick, Dave Edwards, Sienna Pinderhughes Steadicam Operator: Vincent Bearden Digital Loader: Christian Wells Digital Utility: Kolby Heid Still Photographer: Sam Lothridge “NO ACTIVITY” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Judd Overton Operators: Damian Church, Paul Horn,
Robert Draper Assistants: Symon Mink, Jefferson Jones, Brian Udoff, Kirsten Laube, Brendan Devanie, Matthew Freedman Steadicam Operator: Damian Church Digital Imaging Tech: Dane Brehm Digital Utility: Tim Balcomb “STRANGE ANGEL” SEASON 1 Director of Photography: Andrew Droz Palermo Operators: Michael Wilson, Dean Morin, Drew Dawson Assistants: Stephen Taylor-Wehr, Auston Call, Danny Brown, Kevin Miles, Chris Burket, Matthew Taylor Digital Imaging Tech: Scott Resnick Loader: Nick Gilbert Camera Utility: Emma Masalone “THE TALK” SEASON 8 Lighting Director: Marisa Davis Ped Operators: Art Taylor, Mark Gonzales, Ed Staebler Hand-Held Operators: Ron Barnes, Kevin Michel, Jeff Johnson Jib Operator: Randy Gomez Head Utility: Charlie Fernandez Utilities: Mike Bushner, Doug Bain, Dean Frizzel, Bill Greiner, Jon Zuccaro Video Controller: Richard Strock Still Photographer: Ron Jaffe CHRISTMAS CAMP, LLC “CHRISTMAS CAMP” Director of Photography: John Garrett Operator: Todd Somodevilla Assistants: Zack Schultz, Mark Ferguson, John McCarthy COLUMBIA “TOSH.0” SEASON 10 STAGE CREW Operator: Jason Cochard Camera Utilities: Benjamin Steeples, Kyle Kimbriel, Roger Cohen FIELD CREW Director of Photography: Andrew Huebscher Operator: Jason Cochard Assistants: Benjamin Steeples, Kyle Kimbriel, Roger Cohen, Delfina Garfias CONACO “CONAN” SEASON 8
CRANETOWN, LLC “GOATFACE” Director of Photography: Tyler Ribble Operators: Benjamin Dailey, Chris Aran Assistants: Samantha Panger, Cody Schrock, Casey Johnson “OTHERHOOD” Director of Photography: Declan Quinn Operators: Denny Kortze, Scott Tinsley Assistants: James Daly, Joseph Metzger, Courtney Bridgers, Samantha Silver Digital Imaging Tech: Tiffany Armour-Tejada Loader: Yves Wilson Still Photographer: Linda Kallerus Publicist: Amy Johnson “SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Daniel Patterson Operators: Richard Sarmiento, Kerwin DeVonish Assistants: Michael Garofalo, Jamie Marlowe, Patrick Bracey, Marc Charbonneau Loader: Zakiya Lucas Still Photographer: David Lee “THE OTHER TWO” SEASON 1 Director of Photography: Charlie Gruet Operators: Zach Schamberg, Devin Ladd Assistants: Michelle Sun, Olga Abramson, Mike Swearingen, Benedict Baldauff Loader: Anjela Coviaux Still Photographer: Jon Pack
CRASH FOR GOLD PRODUCTIONS, LLC “CRASHING” SEASON 3 Director of Photography: Rodney Taylor Operators: Rod Calarco, Frank Godwin Assistants: Jerome Williams, Christopher Silano, Chris Cafaro, Cameron Sizemore Loader: Billy Holman Still Photographer: Craig Blankenhorn CROWN CITY PICTURES, INC. “WONDER WOMAN 2” DC UNIT Director of Photography: Matthew Jensen Operator: Simon Jayes Assistants: Raymond Milazzo, Eric Guerin, Blake Collins Digital Imaging Tech: Eduardo Eguia Loader: Kalli Kouf Still Photographer: Clay Enos
EYE PRODUCTIONS, INC. “$1” SEASON 1 Director of Photography: Darran Tiernan Operators: Chris Cuevas, Rich Schutte Assistants: Norris Fox, Colin Sheehy, Jonathan Clark, Jason Cianella Digital Imaging Tech: Jamie Metzger Loader: Brian Bresnehan Digital Utility: Samar Kauss Still Photographer: Patrick Harbron “THE TICK” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: William Rexer Operators: Jeff Muhlstock, Matthew Pebler Assistants: Michael Burke, Michael Guthrie, Stephen McBride, Rachael Doughty Loaders: Brittany Jelinski, Cory Maffucci Still Photographers: Giovanni Rufino, Myles Aronowitz
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FILM TEXT INC. “CONRAD AND MICHELLE” Director of Photography: Petr Cikhart Operator: Shawn Lewallen Assistants: Nicholas Gowin, William Hand, Nick Cocuzza, Cassandra Tuten Digital Imaging Tech: Nick Hiltgen
EL OJO DE DIOS, LLC “THE JOURNEY AHEAD” Director of Photography: Ralphy MolinaryMachado Operator: Edgar Colon Assistants: Zoraida Luna Luna, Lizz Diaz Digital Imaging Tech:Omar Rivera Abreu Still Photographer: Francisco Roman Sanchez
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Operators: Ted Ashton, Nick Kober, Kosta Krstic, James Palczewski, Bart Ping, Seth Saint Vincent Head Utility: Chris Savage Utilities: Baron Johnson, Josh Gwilt
Andrew Kwon, Michael Dean, Alex Garcia, Dana Pustetta, Brandon Haberman, Art Peña, Dax Rhorer, Sherri Kauk, Mo Frahm, Vince Acosta, Sharra Romany, Andrei Cranach, Andy Waruszewski Assistants: Joe Prudente, Ian Mosley, Danaya Wattanapan, Mike Warfel, Armando Muñoz, Cameron Kahanghi, Chad Nagel, Dave Hawes, Orlin Ivanov, Corey Bringas, Rickie Gustilo, Matt Hackbarth, Will Im, Keith Wilson, Josh Collinsworth, Bernie Smith, Tony Perez LUNAR MINING, LLC “THE OA” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Magnus Jonck Operators: Mando Rojas Assistants: R. Todd Schlopy, Hollie Metrick, Coby Garfield, Danielle Eddington Steadicam Operator: Mando Rojas Digital Imaging Tech: Kai Borson-Paine Digital Utility: Jasmine Karcey Still Photographer: Scott Green MPATW, LLC “AFTER THE WEDDING” Director of Photography: Julio Macat, ASC Assistants: Glenn Kaplan, Anthony DeFrancesco Loader: Ross Citrin Still Photographers: Elizabeth Fisher, David Giesbrecht MRC: MEDIA RIGHT CAPITAL/STARZ “COUNTERPART” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Tobias Datum Operators: Karsten Jacobsen, Collin Davis Assistants: Kevin Akers, Kathryn Moss, Brian Weinkselbaum, Alexandra Weiss Steadicam Operator: Karsten Jacobsen Loader: Charles Alexander
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Operator: Charlie Libin Assistant: Ian Bracone Steadicam Operator: Paul Bode Digital Imaging Tech: Anthony Hechanova JOURNAL PRODUCTIONS, INC. “JOHN WICK 3” Director of Photography: Dan Laustsen Operators: Henry Tirl, Oliver Cary Assistants: Craig Pressgrove, Marc Loforte, Suren Karapetyan Digital Imaging Tech: Patrick Cecilian Loader: Josh Pressgrove Still Photographer: Niko Tavernise KINGO GONDO COMPANY, LLC “NOW APOCALYPSE” SEASON 1 Director of Photography: Sandra Valde Operators: Yvonne Chu, Jesse Bactat Assistants: Derek Plough, Michaela Angelique, Paul Auerbach, Brittany Meadows Digital Loader: Isaac Guy Still Photographer: Katrina Marcinowski LATE SEVENTIES “MINDHUNTER” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Eric Messerschmidt Operators: Brian Osmond, William Dearborn Assistants: Alex Scott, David Edsall, Gary Beavans Loader: Liam Doyle Still Photographer: Merrick Morton LONG TERM 2, LLC “THE CONTENDER” SEASON 5 Director of Photography: Jason Hafer Operators: John Lovell, Alex Wentworth, Dan Kavanaugh, Tayler Knight, Gene Bradford, Chris Lobreglio, MacGregor Barron,
M STAR INTERNATIONAL “THINK LIKE A DOG” Director of Photography: Giles Nuttgens Operator: Tim Bellen Assistants: Michael Charbonnet, Jonathan Robinson, Ry Kawanaka Loader: Melanie Gates Utility: Sydney Viard Still Photographer: Sam Lothridge Pubicist: Diane Slattery NBC “CHICAGO FIRE” SEASON 7 Director of Photography: Jayson Crothers Operators: Rob Stenger, William R. Nielsen Assistants: Melvina Rapozo, Zach Gannaway, Brian Romano, Gary Malouf Digital Loader: J’mme Love Digital Utility: Nathan D. Sullivan Still Photographer: Elizabeth Morris 2ND UNIT Director of Photography: William R. Nielsen “CHICAGO ME” SEASON 4 Director of Photography: Lex duPont, ASC Operators: Faires Anderson Sekiya, Chris Hood, Joe Tolitano Assistants: George Olson, Keith Hueffmeier, Jason Bonner, Laura Difiglio, Sam Knapp, Patrick Dooley Steadicam Operator: Faires Anderson Sekiya Loader: Joey Richardson Digital Utility: Matt Brown “CHICAGO PD” SEASON 6 Director of Photography: Rohn Schmidt Operators: James Zucal, Will Eichler, Seth Thomas
2ND UNIT Director of Photography: James Zucal “MIDNIGHT, TEXAS” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Mike Spragg, BSC Operators: Matthew Pierce, Josh Turner Assistants: David Leb, Matt Cabinum, Betty Chow, John Hamilton Steadicam Operator: Matthew Pearce Steadicam Assistant: David Leb Digital Imaging Tech: Tim Gregoire Loader: Taylor Hilburn Digital Utility: Katy Jones “WILL & GRACE” SEASON 10 Director of Photography: Gary Baum, ASC Operators: Glenn Shimada, Travers Hill, Lance Billitzer, Ed Fine Assistants: Adrian Licciardi, Jeff Goldenberg, Alec Elizondo, Clint Palmer, Jason Herring Utilities: Danny Lorenze, Sean Askins Digital Imaging Tech: Derek Lantz Video Controller: Stuart Wesolik Still Photographer: Chris Haston NETFLIX “SANTA CLARITA DIET” SEASON 3 Director of Photography: Paul Maibaum, ASC Operators: Gary Camp, Heather Brown Assistants: Jon Sharpe, Jim Thibo, Kyle Sauer, Mike Cahoon Steadicam Operator: Gary Camp Steadicam Assistant: Jon Sharpe Loader: Sarah Lankford Camera Utility: John Mentzer “THE GOOD COP” Director of Photography: Eric Moynier Operators: Jim McConkey, Pierre Colonna Assistants: A. Anthony Cappello, Stephen Kozloski, Marc Loforte, Rob Wrase, Charlie Anderson Steadicam Operator: Jim McConkey Steadicam Assistant: A. Anthony Cappello Loader: Amber Mathes Still Photographer: Michele Short NEW LINE CINEMA “THE KITCHEN” Director of Photography: Maryse Alberti Operators: Stephen Consentino, Derek Walker Assistants: Timothy Metivier, Rebecca Arndt, Sarah Guenther, Eric Schwager Digital Imaging Tech: Douglas Horton Loader: Keith Anderson Still Photographers: Alison Rosa, Myles Aronowitz ORB, LLC “FOURSOME” SEASON 4 Director of Photography: Ellie Ann Fenton Operators: Daniel Fritz, David Baldwin, Jr. SOC Assistants: Matthew T. Borek, Loren Azlein, Mike Skor, Michaela Angelique Digital Imaging Tech: Parisa Rezvani Digital Utility: Tim Unger PACIFIC BAY ENTERTAINMENT “RIPTYDE” Director of Photography: Keith Dunkerley Operators: Ian Takahashi, Michael “Otis” Ropert Assistants: Laurent Soriano, Whitney Jones, Blair Rogers, Peter DePhilippis Digital Imaging Tech: Dan Moses
Loader: Michaela Angelique PARAMOUNT “SHOOTER” SEASON 3 Director of Photography: Yaron Levy Operators: Andy Steinman, Dale Vance Assistants: Toby White, JP Rodriguez, Ken Little, Noah Thomson Loader: Ben Shurtleff Camera Utility: Spencer Robins PENNY LANE PRODUCTIONS, LLC “THE DEUCE” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Yaron Orbach Operators: Phil Martinez, Luke Owen Assistants: Waris Supanpong, Becki Heller, Randy Schwartz, Nathalie Rodriguez Loaders: Joshua Waterman, Brian Lynch Still Photographer: Paul Schiraldi PICROW STREAMING, INC. “THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL” SEASON 2 Directors of Photography: Eric Moynier, M.David Mullen, ASC Operators: Jim McConkey, Greg Principato Assistants: Anthony Cappello, Rossana Rizzo, Kellon Innocent, Andrea Bias Digital Imaging Tech: Charlie Anderson Loader: James Dan Drummond Still Photographer: Nicole Rivelli POMS PICTURES, LLC “POMS” Director of Photography: Tim Orr Operator: J. Christopher Campbell Assistants: Tim Risch, Jackson McDonald, Kate Roberson, Aaron Willis, Mark Gilmer Steadicam Operator: J. Christopher Campbell Steadicam Assistant: Tim Risch Digital Imaging Tech: Caroline Oelkers POSSIBLE PRODUCTIONS “RAY DONOVAN” SEASON 6 Directors of Photography: Robert McLachlan, ASC, David Franco Operators: Eric Schilling, Patrick Quinn Assistants: Michael Endler, Yvonne Vairma, Justin Whitacre, Martin Peterson Digital Imaging Tech: Tim Nagasawa Loaders: Kyle Gorjanc, Brian Grant Still Photographers: Jeff Neumann, Mark Schafer, Christopher Saunders SAME TEAM, LLC “WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS” Director of Photography: Michael Goi, ASC Operators: Rick Davidson, Mike Repeta Assistants: Patrick Borowiak, Roy Knauf, Sean Yaple, Darwin Brandis Digital Imaging Tech: Andy Bader Digital Utility: Zach Smart Still Photographer: Jacob Yakob
Assistants: John Young, Don Carlson, David “YT” Wightman, Jamison Acker, Phillip Walter, Kyle Belousek Steadicam Operator: William Eichler Digital Loader: Nicholas Wilson Digital Utilities: Michael Gleeson, Marion Tucker
2ND UNIT Director of Photography: Derek Tindall SEND IT NOW, LTD “SEND IT” Director of Photography: Nathaniel Wilson Operator: Rick Lamb, Josh Pickering Assistants: Steven Search, Colin Sheehy, Monica Barrios Steadicam Operator: Josh Pickering SHAOLIN PRODUCTIONS, IN.C “THE NIGHT III OPENED AKA ONCE UPON A TIME IN STATEN ISLAND” Director of Photography: Anastas Michos, ASC Operator: Mariana Antuñano, Gregor Tavenner, SOC Assistants: Cory Stambler, Hamilton Longyear, Cornelia Klapper, Kevin Howard Steadicam Operator: Gregor Tavenner, SOC
Digital Imaging Tech: Lewis Rothenberg Still Photographer: K.C. Bailey
SNOOT ENTERTAINMENT “CORPORATE ANIMALS” Director of Photography: Tarin Anderson Operator: Juergen Heinemann Assistants: Kingsleah Bueltel, Lane Luper, Dan Baas, Daniel Maestas Digital Imaging Tech: Luke Mullen
SONY “CAPTAIN MARVEL AKA OPEN WORLD” Director of Photography: Ben Davis Operators: Geoff Haley, Sarah Levy Assistants: Bill Coe, Robert McMahan, Steve Wong, Trevor Carroll-Coe, Ryan Creasy Digital Imaging Tech: Daniel Hernandez Digital Loader: Colleen Mleziva Digital Utility: Luis Hernandez Maxima Rig: Brice Reid Still Photographer: Chuck Zlotnick Publicist: John Pisani EPK: Sean Ricigliano “JEOPARDY!” SEASON 35 Director of Photography: Jeff Engel Operators: Diane L. Farrell, SOC, Mike Tribble, Jeff Schuster, L. David Irete Jib Arm Operator: Marc Hunter Head Utility: Tino Marquez Camera Utility: Ray Thompson Video Controller: Gary Taillon Still Photographer: Carol Kaelson “THE GOLDBERGS” SEASON 6 Director of Photography: Jason Blount
Operators: Scott Browner, Kris Denton Assistants: Tracy Davey, Nate Havens, Gary Webster, Jen Bell-Price Digital Imaging Tech: Kevin Mills Digital Utility: Dilshan Herath Still Photographers: Nicole Wilder, Adam Taylor “WHEEL OF FORTUNE” SEASON 36 Director of Photography: Jeff Engel Operators: Diane L. Farrell, SOC, Jeff Schuster, Ray Gonzales, Steve Simmons, L. David Irete, Mike Corwin Camera Utility: Ray Thompson Head Utility: Tino Marquez Video Controller: Gary Taillon Jib Arm Operator: Randy Gomez, Sr. Still Photographer: Carol Kaelson THE FILM COMPANY “KING OF KNIVES” Director of Photography: Saade Mustafa Operators: Aileen Taylor, Michael Grantland Assistants: Andrew Peck, Jacob Stahlman, Sebatian Iervolino, Joseph Robinson Digital Imaging Tech: Zachary Sainz Loader: Josh Pressgrove Still Photographer: Thomas Concordia EPK: Sean Ricigliano THE NOMADS, LLC “THE NOMADS” Director of Photography: Jonathan B. Nicholas Operator: Ian Duffy Assistants: Anthony DeFrancesco, Todd Rawiszer, George McCarlin Still Photographer: Jessica Kourkounis
TOPANGA PRODUCTIONS, INC. “SWAT” SEASON 2 Director sof Photography: Francis Kenny, ASC, Craig Fikse Operators: Tim Dolan, Brian Pitts, Michael Otis Ropert Assistants: Ryan Parks, Logan Turner, Thane Characky, Riley Padelford, Esther Woodworth, Mike Fauntleroy Camera Utility: Carl Lammi Loader: Jonathan Taylor Still Photographer: Ron Jaffe TVM PRODUCTIONS, INC. “QUEEN OF THE SOUTH” SEASON 3 Director of Photography: Abe Martinez Operators: Garrett Benson, Todd Barron, Janine Sides Assistants: Kris Hardy, Brandon Margulies, Paul Armstrong, John Metcalfe, William Dicenso, Noe Medrano, Scott Reese Steadicam Operator: Garrett Benson Steadicam Assistant: Kris Hardy Loader: Matt Aines Utility: Kyle Novak 2ND UNIT Director of Photography: Todd Barron UNIVERSAL “GOOD GIRLS” SEASON 1 Directors of Photography: Jerzy Zielinski, ASC, PSC, Robert Reed Altman Operators: George Bianchini, SOC, Keith Peterman Assistants: Bret Lanius, Louis Smith, Agnes Rodriguez-Sebek, Marc Casey Steadicam Operator: George Bianchini, SOC
“THE SINNER” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Radium Cheung, HKSC Operators: Justin Foster, David Kimelman Assistants: Gus Limberis, Glen Chin, Nicholas Koda, Ian Carmody Digital Imaging Tech: Anthony Hechanova Loaders: Sean McNamara, Chris Charmel VIRGINIA CHRISTMAS, LLC “LAST VIRGINIA CHRISTMAS” Director of Photography: Brian Shanley Operator: Todd Somodevilla Assistants: Graham Burt, Adam Gonzalez Still Photographer: Richard Hutchings WARNER BROS. “BLINDSPOT” SEASON 4 Directors of Photography: Andrew Priestley, Jon Delgado Operators: Pyare Fortunato, Peter Ramos, John Romer Assistants: Andrew Smith, Aleksandr Allen, Liz Singer, Christian Bright, Kyle Clark, Deborah Fastuca Steadicam Operator: Pyare Fortunato Digital Imaging Techs: Chloe Walker, Jeff Cirbes Loaders: Kjerstin Rossi, Brian Grant Still Photographers: Phil Caruso, Elizabeth Fisher, Zach Dilgard, David Giesbrecht, Linda Kallerus, Eric Liebowitz, Jeff Neuman, Barbara Nitke, Christopher Saunders, Peter Zimmern “LETHAL WEAPON” SEASON 3 Directors of Photography: David “Mox” Moxness, ASC, Andy Strahorn Operators: Victor Macias, Robert Givens Assistants: James Rydings, Kaoru “Q” Ishizuka, Troy Blischok, Kelsey Castellitto Digital Imaging Tech: Mike DeGrazzio Digital Utility: Spencer Shwetz Technocrane Operators: Colin Michael West, Chad Eshbaugh Remote Head Tech/Operator: Jay Sheveck Still Photographer: Ron Jaffe “NANCY DREW AND THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE” Director of Photography: Edd Lukas Operator: Aaron King Assistants: Tom Funk, Mary Margaret Porter, Angela Perez-Castro, Leland Haushalter Digital Imaging Tech: Nick Hiltgen Camera Utility: Anna-Marie Aloia Still Photographer: Jace Downs “YOUNG SHELDON” SEASON 2 Director of Photography: Buzz Feitshans, IV Operators: Neil Toussaint, SOC, Aaron Schuh Assistants: Matt Del Ruth, Tom Vandermillen, Grant Yellen, Brad Gilson, Jr., Mary Boundy Digital Loader: James Cobb Digital Utility: Joe Sutera Still Photographers: Bill Inoshita, Michael Desmond
COMMERCIALS A JUMPING GIRL PRODUCTION “SL” Director of Photography: Ross Richardson Assistants: Nina Chien, Mitch Malpica Digital Imaging Tech: Loic de Lame ANONYMOUS CONTENT “UBER” Director of Photography: Sam Levy Operator: Tim Spencer Assistants: David Parson, Patrick LaValley, John Parson, Pete Parson, Hollie Metrick Steadicam Operator: Tim Spencer Digital Imaging Tech: John Spellman ART & SCIENCES “CLINIQUE” Director of Photography: Colin Watkinson Assistants: Peter Morello, Rick Gioia, Jordan Levie Digital Imaging Tech: Bjorn Jackson “CRICKET WIRELESS” Director of Photography: Samuel Levy Operator: Robert Ragozzine Assistants: Kyle Repka, Dan Keck, Sachi Bahra Digital Imaging Tech: Bjorn Jackson BISCUIT “CAMPBELL’S” Director of Photography: Jeff Kim Assistants: Robert Ragozzine, Sam Elliot, Dan Keck Digital Imaging Tech: Paul Schilens BTS Operator: Dan Hersey “CHICK-FIL-A” Director of Photography: Corey Walter Assistants: Ethan McDoanld, Miles Custer Digital Imaging Tech: Adrian Jebef BULLITT “TRUMENBA” Director of Photography: Ed David Assistants: Chris Ungco, Julia Leach Digital Imaging Tech: Michael Parmelee CHELSEA PICTURES “STATE STREET” Director of Photography: Paul Daley Operator: Saade Mustafa Assistants: Justin Simpson, Pat Kelly, Julia Liu, John McCarthy Digital Imaging Tech: Kyo Moon
Steadicam Assistant: Bret Lanius Digital Imaging Tech: Paul Schilens Loader: George Zelasko Digital Utility: Tyler Latham
CMS PRODUCTIONS “HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS” Director of Photography: Eric Schmidt Assistants: Daniel Hanych, Seth Peschansky Digital Imaging Tech: John Spellman COMMUNITY FILMS “AMICA” Director of Photography: Tami Reiker, ASC Operator: Brad Richard Assistants: Sarah Brandes, Rochelle Brown, Tulio Duenas Digital Imaging Tech: Bret Suding “SIMON OUTLETS” Director of Photography: Peter Donahue Assistants: Dan Hersey, Robert Ragozzine, Dan Keck Digital Imaging Tech: Joe Belack COMPULSIVE PICTURES “OCEAN RESORT CASINO” Director of Photography: Andy Lilien Assistants: Adam Miller, Jeff Taylor Digital Imaging Tech: Bjorn Jackson
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CONDUCTOR “FANATICS” Director of Photography: Nathan Swingle Assistant: Jill Tufts Digital Imaging Tech: Kyo Moon
DUMMY “CBS SPORTS HD” Director of Photography: Jay Feather Assistants: Daniel Ferrell, Nate Cummings Digital Imaging Tech: Michael Borenstein
“GEICO” Director of Photography: Jay Feather Assistants: Daniel Ferrell, Noah Glazer Digital Imaging Tech: Michael Borenstein EPOCH “CHASE SAPPHIRE” Director of Photography: Minka Farthing-Kohl Assistants: Chevy Anderson, Brent Weichsel Digital Imaging Tech: Michael Maiatico FROOMER PICTURES “E&G” Director of Photography: Brett Froomer Assistant: Ambar B. Capoor “TACO BELL” Director of Photography: Brett Froomer Assistants: Ambar B. Capoor, Nathan Cummings Digital Imaging Tech: Peter Brunet FURLINED
“FARMERS INSURANCE” Director of Photography: Jeff Cutter Operator: Eric Leach Assistants: Daniel Hanych, John Takenaka, Jordan Martin Digital Imaging Techs: John Spellman, Casey Sherrier “NY LOTTERY” Director of Photography: Ed Grau Operator: Parris Mayhew Assistants: Peter Morello, Nate McGarigal Digital Imaging Tech: Mariusz Cichon GARAGE FILMS “TOYOTA” Director of Photography: Khalid Mohtaseb Operator: Lucas Deans Assistant: Channing Brenholtz Digital Imaging Tech: Nathan Borck GRAVY “HARLEY-DAVIDSON” Director of Photography: Eric Schmidt Assistants: Daniel Hanych, Chris Nightingale, Rob Mant Digital Imaging Tech: John Spellman Technocrane Operator: Rob Rubin Remote Head Tech/Operators: Corey Koniniec, Yuriy Fuks GREENFIELD PRODUCTION SERVICES “APEX” Director of Photography: Ralph Linhardt Operators: Joe Lavallee, Carlos Bermudez, Walter Argo
Assistants: Darryl Byrne, Christian Hollyer, Joe Christofori, Leonard Mazzone Digital Imaging Tech: Dave Kudrowitz “NINJA” Director of Photography: Ralph Linhardt Operator: Joe Lavallee Assistants: Darryl Byrne, Patrick Kelly Digital Imaging Tech: Dave Kudrowitz
HAY ROAD PRODUCTIONS “W.B. MASON” Director of Photography: Patrick Ruth Assistant: Mary Anne Janke Digital Imaging Tech: Michael Rodriguez Torrent HONOR SOCIETY “VISA” Director of Photography: Kip Bogdahn Assistants: Ethan McDonald, Marcus Del Negro Digital Imaging Tech: Lee de Arakal HUNGRY MAN “TOYOTA” Director of Photography: Stoeps Langensteiner Assistants: Ethan McDonald, Ryan Monelli Digital Imaging Tech: Stan Paik IDENTITY “KOHL’S BTS” Director of Photography: Michael Berg Operator: Aaron Medick Assistants: Al Rodgers, Sam Elliot Digital Imaging Tech: Mariusz Cichon
MISSING PIECES “JC PENNY” Director of Photography: Theo Stanley Assistants: Jay Eckardt, Mark Weston Digital Imaging Tech: Mariusz Cichon “JIF-POWER UP” Director of Photography: Santiago Gonzalez Assistants: Carolyn Pender, Eric Lichtenstein Digital Imaging Tech: Joe Belack “SIGGI’S” Director of Photography: Jay Feather Assistants: Adam Miller Digital Imaging Tech: Nate McGarigal “TRUTH” Director of Photography: Tristan Nyby Operator: Soren Nielsen Assistants: Doug Durant, Cole Koehler, Andy Hensler Digital Imaging Tech: Jessica T. Ta MOXIE PICTURES “IBM” Director of Photography: Jeff Kim Assistants: Robert Ragozzine, Dan Keck Digital Imaging Tech: Joe Belack NATIVE CONTENT “MARLBORO” Director of Photography: Giles Dunning Operator: John Veleta Assistants: Nito Serna, Wayne Goring, Jason Alegre, Pat Romero Digital Imaging Tech: Scott Beckley NFL FILMS “GATORADE” Director of Photography: Brad Smith Assistants: Mark Santoni, Baird Steptoe, Kyler Jae, David Ross Digital Imaging Tech: Kevin Ivey NONFICTION UNLIMITED “BOAR’S HEAD” Director of Photography: Adam Bricker Assistants: Charlie Panian, Tash Gamper Digital Imaging Tech: Michael Borenstein O POSITIVE “FRUIT OF THE LOOM” Director of Photography: Darren Lew Operator: Peter Agliata Assistants: John Clemens, Dan Hersey, Scott Miller Digital Imaging Tech: Joe Belack PRETTYBIRD “AUDI” Director of Photography: Michael Svitak Operator: Jim Orr POV Tech: James Martinez Jib Operator: Scott Carrithers Jib Tech: Steve Winslow Utilities: Pete Quijano, Jesse Martinez, Ruben Sandoval Digital Utility: Chris Antes Video Controller: Tyler Mydock
“IGNITE” Director of Photography: Sal Totino, ASC Assistants: Lucas Deans, Olivia Montano Digital Imaging Tech: Francesco Sauta RADICAL MEDIA, LLC “BLACK ROCK” Director of Photography: Jody Lee Lipes Assistants: Rick Gioia, Jordan Levie Digital Imaging Tech’s: Anthony Hechanova, Tiffany Armour-Tejada Libra Head Tech: Sean Folkl “HONDA” Director of Photography: Eric Schmidt Operators: Ian Clampett, Ross Coscia, Robert Arnold, Gilbert Salas, Jaime Mejia, Ivan Acero Assistants: Daniel Hanych, JD Murray, Scott Kassenoff, John Takenaka Digital Imaging Tech: John Spellman Digital Utility: Holden Miller SEEKER PRODUCTIONS, INC. “TODS” Director of Photography: Benoit Delhomme Assistants: Peter Morello, Nate McGarigal Digital Imaging Tech: Jeff Flohr SIBLING RIVALRY FILMS “LEXUS” Director of Photography: Paul Meyers Assistants: Lucas Deans, Seth Peschansky, Jordan Pellegrini Digital Imaging Tech: Jesse Tyler Edge Arm Operator: Kyle Padelford Edge Arm Tech: John Carone “MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE ROSS” Director of Photography: Paul Meyers Assistants: Lucas Deans, Noah Glazer Digital Imaging Tech: Rohan Chitrakar SLIM PICTURES “AT&T” Director of Photography: Danny Hiele Assistants: Keith Jones, Todd SanSone, Tim Balcomb Digital Imaging Tech: Michael Borenstein SMUGGLER “BANK OF AMERICA” Director of Photography: Justin Gurnari Operator: Chris Moseley Assistants: Jared Wennberg, David McDonald, Julia Pasternak Digital Imaging Tech: Casey Sherrier
MJZ “INTEL” Director of Photography: Gyula Pados Assistants: Peter Morello, John Clemens, Nate McGarigal Digital Imaging Tech: Jeff Flohr
“GAP” Director of Photography: Philippe Le Sourd Assistants: Rick Gioia, Jordan Levie Digital Imaging Tech: Jeff Flohr Motion Control Tech: Drew Cerria “MCDONALD’S” Director of Photography: Justin Gurnari Assistants: Tiffany Aug, Vanessa Ward Digital Imaging Tech: Raffe Vesco SOMOROFF STUDIOS “RED LOBSTER” Director of Photography: Michael Somoroff Assistant: Tom Bracone Digital Imaging Tech: David Berman Phantom Tech: Steven Roman
“DIETZ AND WATSON” Director of Photography: Giles Dunning Assistant: Nito Serna, Robin Pabello Digital Imaging Tech: Scott Beckley
SOS “ELAINE LURIA FOR CONGRESS VA” Director of Photography: Jim Simeone SPARE PARTS “TOYOTA” Director of Photography: Paul Sanchez Assistants: Ethan McDonald, Jordan Pellegrini, Miles Custer Digital Imaging Tech: Benjamin Molyneux SPEARS AND ARROWS “TOYOTA” Director of Photography: John Houtman Assistants: Niranjan Martin, Bradley Rochlitzer, Tyler Anthony Emmet Digital Imaging Tech: Scott Beckley STATION “HONDA” Director of Photography: Kris Kachikis Assistants: Richard Carlson, Mike Gratzmiller Digital Imaging Tech: Casey Sherrier Phantom Operator: Tom Heigl STINK FILMS USA “INTIMISSIMI” Director of Photography: Max Goldman Assistants: Walter Rodriguez, Vince Tuths Steadicam Operator: Maceo Bishop Digital Imaging Tech: David Berman SUPERLOUNGE “CHRYSLER KH” Director of Photography: Michael Svitak Operator: John Skotchdopole Assistants: Brad Rochlitzer, Jordan Jones Oglesby Camera Utility: Jorge Cortez Digital Imaging Tech: Pasquale Paolo SUPERPRIME “WALMART” Director of Photography: Sal Totino, ASC Assistants: Andrae Crawford, Sarah Galley, Seth Peschansky Digital Imaging Tech: Francesco Sauta
2ND UNIT Operator: Ian Congdon Assistants: Lucas Deans, Jordan Pellegrini
SUPPLY & DEMAND “OLAY INNOVATION” Director of Photography: Tristan Sheridan Assistants: Walter Rodriguez, Kyle Repka Digital Imaging Tech: Othmar Dickbauer U.S. ARMY “JC PENNY” Director of Photography: Edward David Assistants: Chris Ungco, Julia Leach Digital Imaging Tech: Joe Belack THE DIRECTORS BUREAU “KFC” Director of Photography: John McCabe Assistant: Mike Blauvelt Digital Imaging Tech: Michael Borenstein THINKFILM, INC. “PBS KIDS ACTIVITY CHALLENGE” Director of Photography: Mike O’Leary Operator: Janice Min Assistants: Chris Horne, Aidan Gray, Jose Sarmiento
TOOL “NEST” Director of Photography: Will Pena Operator: Jonathan Goldfisher Assistants: Sherri Miranda, Michael Chomieniec, Kymm Swank, Cindy Kurland Digital Imaging Tech: Scott Beckley TOOL OF NORTH AMERICA “CADILLAC” Director of Photography: Adam Richards Assistants: Rick Gioia, Jordan Levie Digital Imaging Tech: Luke Taylor
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S T O P
M O T I O N
1 They created Onyx Cinema LED 5 Sony's ____ LED, new tech for movie theatre projection 9 Series of color motion picture processes, dating back to 1916 10 Their Monstro now has full frame sensors 12 "The Longest Day" subject 14 Company pushing cloud production 17 It's omnipresent in TVs in Best Buy, but when will it be fully impemented by the film/TV industry? 18 Allow 21 High Resolution Camera ____- now going up to 8K and beyond 22 Sony's full frame camera 26 1 of 100 in D.C. 27 Dorothy's auntie 30 It's now in used for almost everything - handheld monitors, cameras, lighting, etc 32 Apple's Pro Res ___ , new file format for on-set 34 ___ Wells of sci fi fame 36 Caesar was one in film 37 In vogue vintage lenses 42 Top grades 43 Carrier to Ben Gurion Airport, 2 words 44 1982 Disney sci-fi film 46 Sci-fi type of cinematography 50 They were "in black," in film 51 Shaft of light 53 They're popular for stabilizing cameras in wild places 54 Innovative 55 "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" science officer
PUZZLE BY MYLES MELLOR 100 AUGUST 2018
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ICG Magazine has been the world’s premier cinematography publication since 1929. Published 10x a year by the International Cinematographers...
Published on Aug 1, 2018
ICG Magazine has been the world’s premier cinematography publication since 1929. Published 10x a year by the International Cinematographers...