American cinematographer201110

3,408 views

Published on

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
3,408
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
32
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

American cinematographer201110

  1. 1. OCTOBER 2011 $5.95Canada $6.95
  2. 2. M E M B E R P O R T R A I T Thomas Ackerman, ASC “M y dad worked at the Times Theater in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I saw every movie that came to town from the projection booth. The smell of machine oil and a carbon arc was part of it, but what really got me was the magic on the screen. “Then I landed a summer job at the Collins Radio photo lab. When things were slow, I plowed through stacks of American Cinematographer. It changed my life. “Technical methods are evolving much faster than they did in the past, but the aesthetics of making pictures remain much the same. AC is far more than a trade journal; it’s the voice of artists around the world. No matter how busy I am, it’s my way of keeping in touch.” — Thomas Ackerman, ASC ©photo by Owen Roizman, ASCTO SUBSCRIBE BY PHONE:Call (800) 448-0145 (U.S. only)(323) 969-4333 or visit the ASC Web siteW W W . T H E A S C . C O M
  3. 3. Photographer: John Hayden Busch “I spend most of my working hours onlocation so I need to know that I’m carryingthe most reliable equipment. That’s whyI always travel with Schneider 4x5 and6x6 filters. They give me the highestquality look across all formats. Recently, I did a shoot at 9000’ in thePoudre River Valley of Colorado. I foundthat the ND Soft Grads, combined with theCircular True Pols worked particularlywell. The Grads helped blend the dynamicrange in the sky, allowing our camera’ssensor to see what it needed. The Schneiderfilters helped me create the crisp, contrasty,artsy images that we were going for.”Cinematographer Eric Schmidt was videos for everyone from Bruce Springsteen tonominated for an ASC Award for his work Foo Fighters and shot over 500 commercialson Cold Case and has shot several features, including the distinctive The World’s Mostincluding The Mechanic and I Melt With You. Interesting Man spots for Dos Equis.He has created striking imagery for music B+W • Century Century • Schneider Schneiderwww.schneideroptics.comwww.schneideroptics.com ww •
  4. 4. It Starts with the Glass tm
  5. 5. O C T O B E R 2 0 1 1 V O L . 9 2 N O . 1 0 The International Journal of Motion Imaging On Our Cover: Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a stunt man by day and criminal accomplice by night in Drive, shot by Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC. (Photo by Richard Foreman Jr., SMPSP, courtesy of Film District.) FEATURES 28 Road Warriors Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC envisions a modern noir for Drive 44 Man of Action 44 Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC taps Super 16mm anamorphic for Machine Gun Preacher 52 Home Invasion Alik Sakharov, ASC re-imagines a 1970s classic with Straw Dogs 62 King of New York 52 Filmmakers recall the heyday of General Camera Corp. DEPARTMENTS 8 Editor’s Note 10 President’s Desk 12 Short Takes: Woolite “Torture” 62 16 Production Slate: The Skin I Live In • Margin Call 68 Post Focus: Restoring A Trip to the Moon 74 Filmmakers’ Forum: Karl Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK 78 New Products Services 82 International Marketplace 83 Classified Ads 84 Ad Index 86 In Memoriam: Takuo “Tak” Miyagishima 87 Clubhouse News 88 ASC Close-Up: Xavier Grobet — VISIT WWW.THEASC.COM TO ENJOY THESE WEB EXCLUSIVES — DVD Playback: Party Girl • Cul-de-Sac • Insignificance
  6. 6. O c t o b e r 2 0 1 1 V o l . 9 2 , N o . 1 0 The International Journal ofMotion Imaging Visit us online at www.theasc.com ———————————————————————————————————— PUBLISHER Martha Winterhalter ———————————————————————————————————— EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR Stephen Pizzello SENIOR EDITOR Rachael K. Bosley ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jon D. Witmer TECHNICAL EDITOR Christopher Probst CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Stephanie Argy, Benjamin B, Douglas Bankston, Robert S. Birchard, John Calhoun, Michael Goldman, Simon Gray, Jim Hemphill, David Heuring, Jay Holben, Mark Hope-Jones, Noah Kadner, Jean Oppenheimer, John Pavlus, Chris Pizzello, Jon Silberg, Iain Stasukevich, Kenneth Sweeney, Patricia Thomson ———————————————————————————————————— ART DEPARTMENT CREATIVE DIRECTOR Marion Gore ———————————————————————————————————— ADVERTISING ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Angie Gollmann 323-936-3769 FAX 323-936-9188 e-mail: gollmann@pacbell.net ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Sanja Pearce 323-952-2114 FAX 323-876-4973 e-mail: sanja@ascmag.com ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Scott Burnell 323-936-0672 FAX 323-936-9188 e-mail: sburnell@earthlink.net CLASSIFIEDS/ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Diella Nepomuceno 323-952-2124 FAX 323-876-4973 e-mail: diella@ascmag.com ———————————————————————————————————— CIRCULATION, BOOKS PRODUCTS CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Saul Molina CIRCULATION MANAGER Alex Lopez SHIPPING MANAGER Miguel Madrigal ———————————————————————————————————— ASC GENERAL MANAGER Brett Grauman ASC EVENTS COORDINATOR Patricia Armacost ASC PRESIDENT’S ASSISTANT Kim Weston ASC ACCOUNTING MANAGER Mila Basely ASC ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Corey Clark ———————————————————————————————————— American Cinematographer (ISSN 0002-7928), established 1920 and in its 91st year of publication, is published monthly in Hollywood by ASC Holding Corp., 1782 N. Orange Dr., Hollywood, CA 90028, U.S.A., (800) 448-0145, (323) 969-4333, Fax (323) 876-4973, direct line for subscription inquiries (323) 969-4344. Subscriptions: U.S. $50; Canada/Mexico $70; all other foreign countries $95 a year (remit international Money Order or other exchange payable in U.S. $). Advertising: Rate card upon request from Hollywood office. Article Reprints: Requests for high-quality article reprints (or electronic reprints) should be made to Sheridan Reprints at (800) 635-7181 ext. 8065 or by e-mail hrobinson@tsp.sheridan.com. Copyright 2011 ASC Holding Corp. (All rights reserved.) Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, CA and at additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA. POSTMASTER: Send address change to American Cinematographer, P.O. Box 2230, Hollywood, CA 90078.4 ————————————————————————————————————
  7. 7. © Bill FrakesINTRODUCING THE CHIMERA LED LIGHTBANK.(No wonder lighting professionals are celebrating from coast to coast.)The innovators at Chimera have done it again! We’re introducing our new line of ChimeraLED Lightbanks—the perfect way to get the most out of your LED technology, and still createbeautiful, diffused light. It also turns a harsh LED light environment into a talent-friendlylight source. And the more comfortable your talent is, the more you’ll get out of them!Chimera LED Lightbanks include: • LED Lightbank body • LED Speed Ring • LED standard front screen, made with a unique and revolutionary material that enhances the light source • LED screens also available in a variety of beam angles!The Chimera LED Lightbank is lightweight, collapsible, easy to use and long lasting. And sinceit’s made by Chimera, you know you’re getting the kind of high quality that will last year afteryear, scene after beautiful scene.www.chimeralighting.com / 888.444.1812 / Made in the USAlightbanks / birdcages / lanterns / systems / speed rings / essentials / accessories
  8. 8. American Society of Cinematographers The ASC is not a labor union or a guild, but an educational, cultural and pro fes sion al orga ni za tion. Membership is by invitation to those who are actively en gaged as di rec tors of photography and have demon strated out stand ing ability. ASC membership has be come one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a profes sional cin e ma tog ra pher — a mark of prestige and excellence. OFFICERS - 2011/2012 Michael Goi President Richard Crudo Vice President Owen Roizman Vice President John C. Flinn III Vice President Victor J. Kemper Treasurer Frederic Goodich Secretary Stephen Lighthill Sergeant At Arms MEMBERS OF THE BOARD John Bailey Stephen H. Burum Richard Crudo George Spiro Dibie Richard Edlund Fred Elmes Michael Goi Victor J. Kemper Francis Kenny Isidore Mankofsky Robert Primes Owen Roizman Kees Van Oostrum Haskell Wexler Vilmos Zsigmond ALTERNATES Michael D. O’Shea Rodney Taylor Ron Garcia Sol Negrin Kenneth Zunder MUSEUM CURATOR Steve Gainer6
  9. 9. Editor’s Note A few years ago, I drifted into a screening of Bronson at the Sundance Film Festival and was blown away by its audacious style. Caught off guard by the director’s chops, I did my homework and discovered that I had somehow overlooked the early works of Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, known in Europe for his gritty Pusher tril- ogy, which brings viewers face to face with a rogue’s gallery of Copenhagen drug peddlers. During an interview about Bronson, Refn and I bonded over our fetish for avant-garde cinema, engaging in a truly monastic discussion of filmmakers like Kenneth Anger and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Echoes of their inspira- tion are evident in Refn’s latest film, Drive, for which he won the Cannes Film Festival’s Best Director prize this year. Riding shotgun on Drive was Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, whose early work on Anger’s Lucifer Rising gave him extra cred with Refn. In a fully loaded piece by associate editor Jon Witmer (“Road Warriors,” page 28), Sigel says Refn used his intellect and creativity to create exciting car chases on an indie budget: “[He] wanted the film’s three main driving sequences to each have its own charac- ter and not be a traditional car chase. It wasn’t so much about being loud and noisy as it was about having a defined tonality.” Life-or-death confrontations also amp up the drama in Machine Gun Preacher, shot by Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC, and a remake of Straw Dogs, which Rod Lurie modernized with the help of Alik Sakharov, ASC. Schaefer and director Marc Forster had to balance scenes shot in the States with sequences staged in and around Johannesburg, South Africa (standing in for Sudan and Uganda). Schaefer tells David Heuring (“Man of Action,” page 44) that the project “seemed to want an epic feel, but without gloss. We were after an immediate, down-and-dirty feel that people could relate to, but we also wanted to do justice to the sequences in Africa, which have landscapes and a lot of big action sequences.” As a cinematographer on the HBO series The Sopranos, Rome and Game of Thrones, Sakharov has shot his share of memorable showdowns, but on Straw Dogs he and Lurie were tangling with the ghost of the ultimate tough-guy auteur: Sam Peckinpah. As Michael Goldman reveals (“Home Invasion,” page 52), the filmmakers opted for visual restraint while staging the story’s brutal violence. “We didn’t want the photography to feel like it was call- ing attention to itself,” says Sakharov. “We wanted it to feel like a camera just happened to be there, quiet and subdued, while these events were taking place.” The glory days of Manhattan’s General Camera Corp. are recalled in a piece by New York correspondent Iain Stasukevich (“King of New York,” page 62). The company thrived in the 1960s and ’70s, when it was a second home for current and future ASC members, Photo by Owen Roizman, ASC. including Gordon Willis, Owen Roizman, Victor J. Kemper and Fred Schuler. “General Camera was like a home,” says camera assistant Gary Muller. “There was truly no other place where you could get that kind of knowledge and honesty.” Stephen Pizzello Executive Editor8
  10. 10. ACQUIRE www.aja.comAcquire with AJA.From Lens to Post, capture edit-readyApple ProRes 422 footage direct from your camera. Ki Pro Mini. Lens to Post...in a Flash. Ki Pro. Unify Cameras and Formats. Portable 10-bit 4:2:2 Flash Disk Recorder 10-bit Recorder with Conversion Designed as a miniature field recorder for Designed to unify the creating ‘ready-to-edit’ professional digital different formats employed video, Ki Pro Mini records Apple ProRes 422 by broadcast cameras, Ki Pro (including HQ, LT and Proxy) direct from any features AJA’s powerful SDI or HDMI camera. Mounted and hardware up/down/cross- connected to your camera, Ki Pro Mini conversion and captures ProRes records the ProRes footage to affordable direct to removable Storage Module media. Compact Flash media, instantly ready to Extensive I/O ensures integration with all edit when connected to a Mac. your other production gear is seamless. Find out about our latest Acquire products at www.aja.com B e c a u s e i t m a t t e r s .
  11. 11. President’s Desk Within the ASC there are two basic forms of membership: active and associate. Active members are cinematographers, and everyone knows what we represent to the ASC, but there is some mystery about the role of the associate member. According to the ASC’s constitution, an associate member is a person who is not a direc- tor of photography, but is engaged in work that contributes to cinematography through either technical expertise or the rendering of services or products directly related to cinematography. That captures the gist of it, but in practice associates do much more. They come from all corners of the industry; they include camera manufacturers, post supervisors, color timers, company exec- utives, lighting-equipment designers and many others. The contributions of one legendary East Coast associate, General Camera co-founder Dick DiBona, are detailed in this issue. Regardless of their business affiliations, ASC associates leave those agendas at the door when they enter the Clubhouse. They participate selflessly on committees and contribute a life- time of knowledge and expertise toward the common goal of making our craft the best it can be. They are a vital part of the Society. Associate members understand what motivates us to do what we do, and they support that vision in ways that go beyond mere tech advice or equipment discounts. They are collabo- rators for the ASC the way our crews are on set. They are an integral part of our major functions, such as the ASC Awards, and major contributors to publications such as the American Cine- matographer Manual. They challenge the Technology Committee to forge the way toward new frontiers, and join in the preserva- tion push to guarantee that our work will be seen for generations to come. Three associates, Bob Fisher, Larry Parker and Brian Spruill, have proven so valuable and committed to the ASC that we made them honorary members, a distinction we bestow upon a very select few. The ASC is a small family, so the loss of any member, active or associate, is felt by us all. We recently lost Tak Miyagishima, who epitomized the character and importance of an associate member. The innovations he brought to motion-picture camera tech- nology became an indelible part of our craft. He was present at our events and contributed ideas toward our goals. He used his considerable influence to open doors for our members when it mattered most. And he did all this with the grace and easy famil- iarity of a friend. The ASC would not exist were it not for the dedication and commitment of our associates. You know the names of our active Goi photo by Owen Roizman, ASC. Miyagishima photo by Larry Hezzelwood. members — they’ve shot some of your favorite films. The next time you glance at the membership roster in this magazine or on our website, take note of the names of our associates. They are our unsung heroes. If we are able to reach for the stars, it’s beca use they build the platform that enables us to get there. Michael Goi, ASC President10 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  12. 12. Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is proud to announce that Johnny E. Jensen, ASC (Lost in Yonkers, Rambling Rose), has joined our world-class faculty in our distinguished cinematography department which includes Jürg Walther (Carol King and James Taylor: Live at the Troubador), headed by Bill Dill, ASC (Sidewalk Stories). Jensen, Dill and Walther lead the cinematographers of tomorrow through a curriculum that emphasizes hands-on practical application in our state of the art facilities with industry-standard equipment.L-R: Walther, Jensen, DillJensen’s photograph courtesy of Owen Roizman, ASC Robert Bassett, Dean ftv.chapman.edu
  13. 13. Short Takes shot it like we would a movie,” says Trost. Zombie says the style he and Trost have worked out is predicated on speed and variety. “When we’re doing coverage of a scene, unless there’s a problem, I don’t like to do multiple takes with the same lenses because then you get into editing, and you have the same setup and the same lens over and over,” says Zombie. The duo managed about 75 setups a day on Halloween II. “Brandon gets the way I like to shoot,” says Zombie. “And we usually don’t have the time to do it any other way.” One way to achieve that kind of quantity and still craft a high-quality image is to shoot with two cameras and minimal lighting. “On ‘Torture,’” Trost explains, “we shot all the spooky stuff in broad A burly sadist puts clothing through its paces in “Torture,” a Woolite commercial shot by daylight. I didn’t use anything except for some Brandon Trost and directed by Rob Zombie. negative fill.” The “fade” sequence in the commercial I On-the-Rack Fashion By Iain Stasukevich employs some practical tungsten fixtures provided by the art depart- ment, and Trost punched them up with a couple of 1K Par cans. “Rob and I tend to use practicals or nothing at all,” he says. Rob Zombie might seem an unlikely choice to direct a Woolite “Torture” was not only Zombie’s first commercial, but also his commercial, but ad agency Euro RSCG Worldwide actually tailored a first experience with a digital-cinema camera; Trost convinced him to spot to him. It’s called “Torture.” experiment with a Red One (upgraded with the Mysterium-X “The concept is that there’s a mysterious figure out in the sensor). “Rob and I both like the texture of film because we can woods called The Torturer, and he’s torturing clothes,” says Zombie. degrade it,” notes Trost. “But you can do that with digital, too, and At first Zombie had to turn the project down because of tour- I wanted to show him those possibilities.” ing commitments, but the agency kept changing the dates and loca- Based on some tests he’d done with the Red for the feature tions to fit his schedule. When they finally locked a date in Vancou- Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance , Trost decided to shoot all scenes ver, Zombie called in cinematographer Brandon Trost. involving The Torturer at 3,200 ASA — even though they’re all day The Woolite gig marks the third collaboration between Trost exteriors. “It brings out noise in the image, so it starts to feel like and Zombie, after Halloween II (2009) and music videos for the grain and starts to look a little more analog,” he says. “When you Zombie tracks “Sick Bubblegum” and “Mars Needs Women.” add a little contrast, the digital grain starts to stand out. When Rob “I really like working with Rob, and we work really well saw that, he got really interested.” together,” says Trost. “The key is that we both know what we want, “Cinematography matters to me, but I don’t share this new but we’re not so committed [to those ideas] that it’s at the expense obsession with higher resolution,” notes Zombie. “I think things are of doing what’s best for the project.” becoming so high resolution that they look like shit. People look “Brandon is open-minded,” Zombie remarks. “I’m never at a weird. You can see the makeup in the actors’ pores. I’ve always shied loss for what I want on set, but I’m always hoping that he’ll have an away from that.” In fact, he tends to lean in the opposite direction: idea of how to take things a step further. Sometimes he’ll make for Halloween II, he and Trost chose to originate on Super 16mm, suggestions and I’ll stick to the original plan, but that’s okay because and they pushed the stock so hard that shots sometimes came out there’s no ego between us.” too dark or out of focus. Filming took place over two days in and around Vancouver, Being able to see the image immediately on set is what finally with the first day set on a derelict farmland just south of the city. The convinced Zombie to take the digital plunge. “That’s something that Torturer does his worst — stretching out a cardigan on a medieval I like about it as well,” says Trost. “It makes us a little more comfort- rack, shrinking a pretty top before using it to strangle a mannequin, able and allows us to work a little more quickly. It’s especially good and fading a pair of jeans under the brutal heat of electric lamps. for focus, because we do a lot of handheld work with no marks. If The agency only produced six panels of storyboards, but “we we can see right away that we’re sharp, it makes a big difference in12 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  14. 14. We are Super 35mm.A camera for every price and production.What do film school students, masters of videography, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer and honored membersof the ASC all have in common? 35mm cameras from Sony®. From motion pictures to stills, nobody has more ways toshoot 35mm. Award-winning breakthroughs in color palette, exposure latitude, low-light sensitivity and sharpness willupgrade your imagery. While Sony affordability, ergonomics and workflow help make you more productive than ever.So the choice is no longer which 35mm camera. It’s which Sony camera.Top row, left to right: Curtis Clark, ASC; Richard Crudo, ASC; Daryn Okada, ASC; Dennis Dillon, DP; Francis Kenny, ASCBottom row, left to right: Cassie Brooksbank, Senior, USC School of Cinematic Arts; Cameron Combe, Student Filmmaker, Cal State Long Beach;Brian Smith, Award-winning Photographer; Brooke Mailhiot, CinematographerVisit sony.com/35mm© 2011 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony, make.believe and their respective logos are trademarks of Sony.
  15. 15. how quickly we can work.” With Zombie, Trost prefers to shoot wide open, narrowing his depth-of-field as much as possible. At 3,200 ASA, even stack- ing multiple filters and narrowing the camera’s shutter down to 45 degrees only afforded him a stop of T2.8. (He used Zeiss Ultra Prime T1.9 lenses.) If the first half of the spot is classic Zombie, the second half is a complete shift. “We also did the ‘Look how bright and clean and glossy and gorgeous the world is when you use Woolite’ part of the commercial,” says Trost. This segment features pretty girls walking down a peaceful street, trying on new clothes in a sunny bedroom, and relax- ing in a yoga studio by a lake. The shots in these scenes — captured at 800 ASA in single-camera setups on loca- tion around Vancouver — are smooth and stabilized. Strong, high-key illumination is provided by 6K and 18K HMIs. “It looks like standard commercial fare, which is awesome because it’s Rob Zombie behind the camera,” says Trost. “I was really happy to see him do something totally outside his wheelhouse.” For his part, Zombie shrugs off the suggestion that dabbling in conventionality might pose a challenge. “How hard can it be to light two 20-year-old girls nicely and ask them to pretend that they’re shopping?” The challenge, if there was one, was in the commercial medium itself. There was little time for preparation leading into the production, and once the shoot wrapped, all of the footage was turned over to the post team. (Technicolor Vancouver handled the color correction.) “I don’t know if this is normal, but I’ve never been involved with color correc- tion on a commercial,” says Trost. “But I’ve always been happy with the way they’ve turned out. That’s no surprise, because the agencies usually pump a lot of money into the grade.” On “Torture,” Trost did his best to bake in a look that couldn’t be undone. “I knew my involvement [in post] would be little to zero, and I figured that if I made it look the way we wanted it to on the day we shot it, then everybody would be happy with Top: A woman admires her freshly laundered blouse. Middle: The hooded fiend hunts for unsuspecting it later.” ● apparel in a Gothic landscape. Bottom: Zombie (left) and Trost take a break from the mayhem.14 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  16. 16. Production Slate Plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard, M.D. (Antonio Banderas)proceeds with an unorthodox experiment in a scene from The Skin I Live In,shot by José Luis Alcaine, AEC. The Skin I Live In photos by Lucìa Faraig and José Haro, courtesy of El Deseo and Sony Pictures Classics. I Bad Medicine By Jean Oppenheimer The film was shot entirely at practical locations. Most of the action takes place indoors, with day interiors relying almost exclu- sively on simulated sunshine. Working with a single camera (an The Skin I Live In (La Piel Que Habito), the latest collaboration Arricam Studio), the filmmakers made decisions about blocking, between iconoclastic Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar and cine- camera placement and camera moves on set. The only calculations matographer José Luis Alcaine, AEC, resists easy classification. Alcaine worked out beforehand concerned the hue and angle of “From one moment to the next it is a melodrama, a thriller, a horror the simulated sunlight. He recalls, “I asked our script supervisor to film and a love story,” observes Alcaine. In contemplating a visual draw up a shooting schedule for me with the actual times of each design for such a hybrid, Almodóvar initially considered an expres- sequence. Instead of ‘daytime,’ it would say ‘18:00 [6 p.m.].’ That sionistic approach, but he eventually opted for a style that assidu- allowed me to plan the color and angle of the HMIs coming ously avoids any visual clues that might influence viewers’ percep- through the windows.” tion of the characters or hint at where the story is going. Essentially, To light Vera’s room, which was located on the second floor the look “doesn’t emphasize anything,” says Alcaine, who and had trees and a swimming pool directly outside the windows, answered AC’s questions via e-mail with the aid of translator Deidre Alcaine’s crew positioned three 12K HMIs and a mix of Osram fluo- MacCloskey. rescents on scaffolding outside. The cinematographer has relied Based on Thierry Jonquet’s novel Mygale, the film concerns almost exclusively on Osram tubes for the past 25 years. “They are a brilliant plastic surgeon, Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), who inexpensive and they don’t take up a lot of space,” he told AC in becomes obsessed with creating an artificial human skin after his 2006 while discussing Volver (Dec. ’06). “They have dimmers that wife is horribly disfigured in a fire and takes her own life. Robert can be interconnected, they cause practically no variation in the lives and works in a secluded mansion, where he has two compan- color of the light emission anywhere in the dimming range, and ions: the housekeeper, Marilia (Marisa Paredes), and a beautiful you can shoot at any shutter setting.” patient named Vera (Elena Anaya), who wears a skin-tight body Alcaine’s lighting package, which came from Iluminaciones stocking that covers her from head to toe. Vera has been a captive Cinetel, where owner Rafael Martos helps him design many of the for six years, and cameras in her room allow Robert and Marilia to housings for the Osram tubes, included 10-banks with 20 55-watt track her every move via monitors positioned around the house. Dulux tubes, 20-banks with eight 36-watt Dulux tubes, 15-banks16 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  17. 17. Top: Ledgard’s daughter (Blanca Suárez) escapes his watchful eye at a party to take a fatefulwalk with Vicente (Jan Cornet). Bottom: Director Pedro Almodóvar(right) looks on as Banderas and Elena Anaya run through a sceneinvolving Ledgard and his captive patient, Vera. This largefluorescent source was typical ofAlcaine’s approach to Vera’s room. had to be precisely synchronized. At one point, the video camera (a Panasonic AG- HVX200) pushes in on Vera until her face fills the frame while the Arri pushes in from behind Robert, who is standing in front of the screen. In another scene, Robert watches as Vera sits with her back against the arm of her divan, her legs stretched out in front of her; Robert also has a divan in his room, and the camera remains behind him as he sits down in a position that mirrors hers, except that he is on the opposite side of the frame. The two characters appear to be facing one another. Vera is almost always lit with fluo- rescents placed at the edge of the frame and usually aligned with her eyes. Lighting Robert’s bedroom required ingenuity because of the blue cast emitted by the massive monitor. “To make it work, I had to of four 36-watt Lumilux tubes, 8-banks of knows Robert watches her, and she often make all of the lighting [in the room] that two 36-watt Lumilux tubes, and a variety stares straight into the camera, as if meet- same color,” reports Alcaine. “[I did this] by of 18-watt Lumilux tubes. “We had ing his gaze. “We shot Vera in her room lighting with 5,500°K [tubes] placed behind 3,200°K tubes and 5,500°K tubes, and if and Robert looking at her on the monitor Antonio and at his sides. That way we we needed to get an in-between color at the same time, and the actors were, of didn’t have light all over the room, which temperature, we mixed them on the course, in two separate spaces, so Pedro also helped [eliminate] reflections. The crew banks,” says Alcaine. had to coordinate their performances dressed in black for the filming of these Among the film’s most inspired perfectly,” says Alcaine. For the smaller scenes.” sequences, from both a conceptual and monitors in the kitchen, he adds, “we shot Alcaine notes that The Skin I Live In technical standpoint, are scenes of Robert the video footage first and then played it marks his first digital intermediate with in his bedroom at night, watching Vera on when we were filming the kitchen scenes.” Almodóvar. Their four previous collabora- a giant monitor that covers one wall. Vera The camerawork in each space also tions — Volver, Bad Education, Tie Me Up!18 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  18. 18. A half-century of service, mentorship,friendship, innovation, brilliance and passion. Your legacy will live on. Takuo “Tak” Miyagishima 1928-2011
  19. 19. crimson drapes in a couple of settings, a red dress in a shop window, or fresh blood on the floor.” Alcaine remembers a mildly trouble- some night exterior at a location in Galicia, where Robert and his teenaged daughter, Norma (Blanca Suárez), attend a wedding. Norma wanders into the garden with Vicente (Jan Cornet), a young man she has just met. When Robert can’t find his daugh- ter, he goes outside to look for her. “The vegetation was very thick, and light could barely penetrate it,” recalls Alcaine. “My source of inspiration was the great French artist Henri Rousseau, in particular his 1910 painting The Dream. Even though it was night, I tried to make the greens very strong and bright, just as in the painting.” The film’s biggest lighting setup was a nighttime car chase along an isolated, winding road deep in a forest. Robert pursues Vicente, who is on a motorcycle, because he believes Vicente has raped his daughter. The filmmakers had to light almost a full mile of road to capture the action. “We had two 18K HMIs, three 12K HMIs and a crane truck with six 12K HMIs,” says Alcaine. Alcaine praises his crew for their “enormous contributions.” He notes, “My gaffer, Fernando Beltran, works with me a lot, and on this film, as always, he did a superb job. Our camera operator was the excellent Joaquin Manchado, who, though a fine cinematographer himself, offered to serve as operator in order to be part of the production.” Top: Ledgard admires his handiwork after Vera returns from a trip to town. Contemplating the five films he has Bottom: Alcaine (left) and gaffer Fernando Beltran confer on location. made with Almodóvar, Alcaine observes, “It’s strange. Pedro and I understand each other very well, but we hardly ever talk. Our Tie Me Down! and Women on the Verge of anamorphic, but Pedro decided this one intuitions about the images are almost a Nervous Breakdown — were timed should be 1.85:1,” says Alcaine. “I was always the same, and only occasionally do photochemically. “The DI allowed us to grateful because that meant I could use my they need any clarification. This shoot was a suppress the tiny imperfections in Elena’s favorite lenses, [Arri/Zeiss] Master Primes.” real delight for me, and I think for him, too.” skin, befitting Ledgard’s ‘perfect creation,’” The camera package came from EPC in notes the cinematographer. All of the Madrid. TECHNICAL SPECS negative processing, scanning, color correc- Another distinct difference was the tion and filmout was handled by Fotofilm color scheme. Almodóvar’s films are 1.85:1 Deluxe in Madrid. “I found the work of the renowned for their rich, bold colors, with a 35mm and Digital Capture entire laboratory to be of a very high stan- special emphasis on red. “By Pedro’s own Arricam Studio; Panasonic AG-HVX200 dard,” says Alcaine. design, however, this movie looks very Arri/Zeiss Master Prime The Skin I Live In marked a few other neutral,” says Alcaine. “The tones are Kodak Vision3 500T 5219; firsts for the Almodóvar/Alcaine team. beige, white, gray, black and metallic. Only Fujifilm Eterna Vivid 160 “Our previous four films were shot occasionally is there an explosion of red: Digital Intermediate ➣20 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  20. 20. Why am I having so much fun?Bob Primes,ASC reveals his inner child playing with the cooltoys and other kids at Clairmont Camera; a fun place to play.Ive played in some great camera rental houses.The best constantly innovate and create awesomenew tools,toys and widgets to make our work morebeautiful,faster,easier and more fun.Denny Terry Clairmont,Alan Albert,Tom Boelensand crew set fanatically high standards of quality,service,innovation and integrity.But thats old news. Everyone in the biz knows that!I want to talk about how much fun I have at Clairmont.The sign of a well managed team is the morale andhappiness of the players.Clairmont is a busy place,yet somehow,miraculously,everyone seems relaxed,delighted to see you,help youcreate solutions and are just as crazy about the latesttoys and widgets as you are.It is this uncanny ability of everyone you encounter toshare the joy and enthusiasm of our art form that kicksthe Clairmont experience into another dimension. Thoseold-fashioned virtues of integrity,involvement,caring,warmth and joy are really what its all about.Robert Primes,ASC www.clairmont.com Hollywood Vancouver Toronto Albuquerque Montreal 818-761-4440 604-984-4563 416-467-1700 505-227-2525 514-525-6556
  21. 21. Will (Paul Bettany, right) consults with Sam (Kevin Spacey) as a crisis looms at their firm in Margin Call. I Capturing a Financial Freefall By Patricia Thomson phy wrapped, the producers approved an 18th day to shoot real trading floors downtown and some nighttime heli- ment of Bloomberg Trading Systems, which not only loaned and wired up 150 trading stations, but also created a loop “The longer I work in films, the copter shots of the hero high-rise. of screen shots showing financial graphs more I find I need less lighting,” says The story, which takes place over that any Wall Street trader would recog- New York-based cinematographer Frank 36 hours, is a pressure-cooker workplace nize as authentic. “That really helped DeMarco. A pianist since age 6, he offers drama. When one analyst, Eric (Stanley bring things to life,” says Chandor. a musical analogy: “I remember listening Tucci), gets sacked, he passes a jump Those monitors were both motifs to jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter when drive to an entry-level colleague, Peter and practical sources. “From the minute I he was in Weather Report. He was a (Zachary Quinto), warning him to “be wrote the first couple of scenes, I decided virtuoso; he’d be playing a thousand careful” as the elevator door closes. Peter those screens should be a recurring visual notes a second. I saw him again about 15 extrapolates the drive’s financial formula theme,” says the director. Always loom- years later at the Blue Note, and he was to its logical conclusion and sees immi- ing over analysts’ heads and active even an older, mellow guy, and everyone in his nent disaster for the firm. He alerts his during the dead of night, “they’re repre- young, hot group was playing a million boss, who in turn calls his boss, and so on sentative of the outside market pressure Margin Call photos courtesy of Roadside Attractions and the filmmakers. notes a minute. Wayne was just playing up the chain. The movie examines the and the paranoia in these crisis situa- one note, but everybody was listening to response of each character to the firm’s tions,” he says. “The screens let you him, because he was doing something likely meltdown as they race to resolve know that the market never sleeps.” interesting with that note. It’s similar with the situation before “The Street” finds Another motif is Manhattan, a lighting: once you find the one light or out. “It’s not panic if you’re the first one living, pulsating presence outside the the minimum number of lights that work, out the door,” says CEO John Tuld office windows. “We had beautiful floor- you make it work, really bend it. That’s (Jeremy Irons), as he greenlights a fire sale to-ceiling windows, and the breathtaking what people are going to see and feel.” of worthless stocks. view of Manhattan is definitely one of the DeMarco had ample occasion to Most of the movie was shot on the characters,” says DeMarco. “It’s always bend a few notes on Margin Call, an 42nd floor of 1 Penn Plaza. As luck would there, looming and glowing in the back- ensemble drama written and directed by have it, the floor’s previous occupant was ground.” J.C. Chandor, whose characters — a a hedge fund. “That was a gift,” says To ensure that the windows group of Wall Street analysts — are the Chandor. “Everything we might need wouldn’t blow out during day scenes, first to foresee the 2008 financial melt- was there: boardrooms, a 200-person DeMarco had his crew cover the windows down. The cinematographer had 10 days trading floor, corner offices, hallways.” with 4x8 sheets of ND.3, ND.6 and of prep for the 17-day shoot, which took Even the trading-room desks had been ND.9. Upon doing so, they discovered a place mainly in a high-rise office building left in place. problem: though the windows looked in Manhattan. After principal photogra- Another boon was the involve- identical, each had a slightly different22 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  22. 22. (upgraded with Mysterium-X sensors) as his main cameras. However, he found the Top: This shot of daylight-balanced sensor to be closer to cast and crew preparing a scene 400 ASA. “Maybe it’s 800 ASA in HMI in Sam’s office light,” he allows, “but I was shooting shows the mostly in tungsten or mixed light, and I neutral-density panels used for found the sensor wasn’t as sensitive as its day interiors at specs claimed.” the location. Nevertheless, the camera’s sensitiv- Bottom: Seth (Penn Badgley) ity was sufficient to allow DeMarco to receives a make the onscreen monitors work for worrisome call at him. “I balanced the overall lighting on a nightclub. the set so the monitors were always legi- ble,” he says. “Even with overhead light- ing, you could still very much see the width ranging from 50-52. The 48 ND panels cost a little money up front, they content on the monitors. In really dark panels therefore left a gap. DeMarco’s saved a ton of time and aggravation, scenes, the monitors often become the solution was to ask production designer because we didn’t have to add big HMIs light source.” John Paino to make removable pilasters to inside to balance with the outside light,” DeMarco’s minimalist lighting is on act as vertical window dividers. “Once we adds the cinematographer. display in a shot that tracks through the installed the ND panels, we could take Because most of Margin Call takes empty office after the firm’s bigwigs have these pilasters and Velcro them against place at night, DeMarco knew he needed set the wheels of fate in motion. The the window,” says DeMarco. “They not to shoot at around 800 ASA. He explains, camera dollies past trading stations with only hid the gaps, but they also looked “Shooting film wasn’t possible on our glowing monitors, and then continues great. As exterior lighting changed, partic- budget because J.C. wanted to capture into an office belonging to Sam (Kevin ularly at the end of the day, it was a the dialogue-heavy drama with two Spacey). “That was a dead-of-night breeze for [key grip] Caswell Cooke and cameras, so we decided to go digital.” scene,” says DeMarco. “We kept the his crew to quickly change the panels. (Footage of the real trading floors and the other rooms dark, so the monitors are “Our limited budget made it a nighttime aerial work was shot on film, doing a lot of the lighting. We left on tough choice for the producers, but they Kodak Vision3 500T 5219.) some of the small tungsten practicals on recognized that even though the ND DeMarco chose two Red Ones the desks, enhancing them with stronger24 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  23. 23. augmented that with small Rosco LED LitePads that were balanced to match the monitors’ cool hue. Although the movie’s subject is grim, Chandor’s goal was a handsome film. “I didn’t ever want this to have a Cinematographer gritty, down-in-the-pits feel,” he says. Frankie DeMarco “The audience has to spend an hour and takes a break on the roof of the a half in this room, so I wanted it [to look] production’s as beautiful as possible.” DeMarco strove primary location. for smooth dolly moves and used older Zeiss T2.1 Standard Speed primes as his main lenses. (He also used Angenieux Optimo 17-80mm zooms.) “The older lenses have a wonderful way of maintain- ing a handsome image while smoothing out the harsh look of these new large- chip digital cameras without requiring bulbs on dimmers, and we hid some Kino was pretty simple. We used Kino Flo filters,” he observes. Flos on the floor to enhance particular Image 80s on rolling stands for big wide At times, however, the drama pieces of architecture. shots to give everybody a little edge or called for lighting that was intentionally “We changed out the bulbs in the open up an area, and we used Arri brutal. DeMarco notes, “The night exteri- ceiling lights to work with our color Pocket Par 200-watt and 800-watt Jokers ors of Peter wandering the city streets in temperatures,” he continues. “Once to put hot hits here and there for day a pensive daze were lit with a mix of gaffer Radium Cheung and I figured out scenes.” For close-ups, he cranked up the ambient city light and a little fill; the mix our night and day lighting schemes, it computers’ brightness levels and reflects the character’s moral ambiguity.”26
  24. 24. In another example, Sam and an assistant Rosco LED LitePad so you could simulta- TECHNICAL SPECSwait to conduct colleagues to a bigwig neously see the actors in the car andmeeting. “They’re standing right under a Manhattan reflected in the curve of the 1.85:1recessed ceiling light, and it gives them limo window,” says DeMarco. Digital Capture and 35mmboth hideous raccoon eyes. It’s a severe Fortunately, the technical needs Red One, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Arri 435moment, but the look is appropriate for and the emotional dynamics of Margin Zeiss Standard Speed, Angenieux Optimothe story and the emotion of the scene.” Call neatly converged. “Using minimal Kodak Vision3 500T 5219 For the toplit conference-room lighting allowed us to move quickly, Digital Intermediate ●scenes, DeMarco’s crew hung skirted which was extremely important on aChina balls on a “suicide arm,” which he movie with such a short shooting sched-describes as “a hefty stand with a long ule,” says DeMarco. “Using minimalpole. Then, to brighten someone’s face or lighting also means you’re not going toput a little glint in his or her eyes, I used have a lot of f-stop; a 40mm lens at a T2an altered-snoot Mole Baby Soft. It’s gives you about 8 inches of depth-of-called a Néstor, after Néstor Almendros field, so you essentially hold the face.[ASC]. You can shoot soft, concentrated Thus, while Manhattan shimmers out-of-light 6 to 8 feet out without it spilling all focus in the background, the charactersover everything. Apart from that, we just are visually isolated in their own respec-had a few practicals in the background.” tive spaces, which perfectly reflects their DeMarco used a Canon EOS 5D mental and emotional states.”Mark II in tandem with the Red cameras “People like this pride themselves ERRATUMfor a couple of driving scenes. In one, two on being able to stay calm on their worstjunior analysts scour the city for Eric, their day, so at key moments in the drama, In last month’s print edition, Dantefired boss. The Canon was suction- these characters just pull back,” says Spinotti’s first name was misspelled in thecupped to the limo’s untinted windows. Chandor. “Frankie’s cinematography ASC Close-Up (page 104).“Inside the vehicle, we positioned a does a beautiful job of [conveying] that.” ® The Cooke Look One Look. All Speedscookeoptics.com CookeOpticsLimited T: +44 (0)116 264 0700 British Optical Innovation and Canada, South America, USA: Quality Since 1893. T: +1-973-335-4460 27
  25. 25. Road Warriors Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC and director Nicolas Winding Refn revolves around the unnamed Driver (Ryan Gosling), who spends his days as a Hollywood stunt driver and his nights behind the wheel of getaway cars for members of the Los craft a violent fairytale on the Angeles underworld. In order to protect his neighbor, Irene streets of Los Angeles. (Carey Mulligan), he agrees to help her ex-con husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac), pull off an easy heist. But when the job goes horribly wrong, Driver has to cut a bloody swath to By Jon D. Witmer guide Irene to safety. “It’s almost a mythological story, not a story about •|• today or yesterday or tomorrow, so it was important that the movie have an almost indefinable time period,” says director of photography Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC. After Drive I t’sday 11 on the shooting schedule for Drive, the first was in the can, Sigel spoke with AC by phone from the U.K., Hollywood movie from Danish director Nicolas Winding where he was shooting Jack the Giant Killer for Bryan Singer. Refn, who made his name on the international stage with Drive marks Sigel’s first collaboration with Refn, and such projects as the Pusher trilogy, Bronson (AC Oct. ’09) the cinematographer recalls that when he was approached and Valhalla Rising. Refn has invited AC to the set, built on about the project, “I took a look at Bronson and was really the fourth floor of Los Angeles’ Park Plaza Hotel. With a impressed. It was clearly a film with a limited budget and blanket wrapped snugly around his waist, the director leads limited resources, but it had a very strong vision from the the way down a faux-brick hallway that opens into a room director.” featuring four mirrored walls outlined with vanity bulbs — “I met with a lot of wonderful cinematographers — the dressing room of a strip club. It’s time, Refn says, “to that’s the good thing about Hollywood, they’re all out here,” place the girls.” says Refn. “But when I met Tom, I really dug his energy, and Based on the crime novel by James Sallis, Drive his background as a documentary filmmaker made me confi-28 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  26. 26. dent we could make our seven-weekUnit photography by Richard Foreman Jr., SMPSP. Photos and frame grabs courtesy of Film District. shooting schedule work. Plus, his first film as a cameraman was Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising!” Refn often cites avant-garde filmmaker Anger as an influence. “The first visual reference I showed Ryan in regards to Drive was [Anger’s] Scorpio Rising,” he says. “Ryan asked, ‘Why are you showing me a movie with a lot of guys working on motorcycles?’ And I said, ‘It’s how it’s shot — the sensual, sexual nature of it, the fetish, the objec- tification. That’s what we should try to go for.’” In addition to Anger’s oeuvre, Refn and Sigel were inspired by the look of location-scout photos Sigel snapped using the Hipstamatic app on his iPhone. “There are some color palettes in that program that reference retro photographic looks, like Koda- chrome or Ektrachrome,” says Sigel. “I showed Nicolas some of the photos, Opposite: The unnamed Driver (Ryan Gosling) takes the wheel in Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and photographed by Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC. This page, top: Driver and he wasn’t certain of the strange becomes a thorn in the side of mob boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks). Bottom: Sigel plans a tonalities, but he really responded to shot of Driver and Irene (Carey Mulligan). the vibrancy of the colors. We designed ww.theasc.com w October 2011 29
  27. 27. ◗ Road Warriors a lot of sets and costumes to make use of that kind of vibrant palette.” Early in his month-long prep, Sigel decided to shoot with Arri’s Alexa digital camera. “We had a tight budget and very little time, and I was intrigued by the look I could get shooting available light downtown,” he explains. “I did some driving tests with the Alexa, and it blew me away in terms of what it could do with existing light. “I rated the camera at 800 [ASA],” he continues. “I think the myth of digital is that you underexpose because it can’t hold the highlights like film. I find that when you underexpose digital more than a little bit, very often you increase your noise level signifi- cantly. What’s extraordinary about the Alexa is that even if I pushed the sensor to 1,600 [ASA] there was very little noise, and I could actually under- expose quite a bit without introducing noise in the blacks. The dynamic range was mind-boggling.” Top: Driver and The cinematographer adds that Shannon (Bryan he typically shot nights and interiors Cranston) talk inside Shannon’s around T2.8, and day exteriors around garage. The T8. location is Clairmont Camera in North actually a Hollywood Hollywood provided the camera pack- picture-car age. Sigel shot most of the picture garage; the warm using the 15-40mm Angenieux backlight was provided by a 5K Optimo zoom lens. “I also used Cooke gelled with Rosco S4 primes for the daytime car interiors, Urban Color. and Zeiss Master Primes for the night- Middle: Refn (left) talks time car interiors.” Gosling and He kept filtration to a mini- Cranston through mum, although he occasionally a scene that shows Driver in employed a Tiffen Soft/FX filter (in his day job as a either 1⁄2 or 1 density) for diffusion. Hollywood stunt “Nicolas really loves wide lenses, driver. Bottom: Driver flips a like the 18mm and 21mm,” says Sigel. police car for the “That’s a challenge when you’re trying movie within the to get a lot of work done in a short movie. period of time. You tend to want to set up multiple cameras and have the tele- photo lens pick off close-ups while you’re getting a two-shot, but we limited that approach as much as we could. “Whenever there was a fight or an act of violence, we’d get two30 October 2011 American Cinematographer
  28. 28. cameras on it so we didn’t have torepeat that action over and over,” adds Irene and Driver’sthe cinematographer. apartments were Sigel operated the A camera, built inside theand Greg Lundsgaard served as B- Park Plaza Hotel, and they werecamera/Steadicam operator. “I’d designed toworked with Greg before,” says Sigel. function like a“He’s got a good eye, and I’m very practical location. Theconfident in what he does.” common corridor By the time Sigel joined the (top andproduction, it was a given that the bottom) was lit with 250-wattentire shoot would happen in and Photofloodsaround L.A. The Park Plaza Hotel fitted inside wallbecame one of the production’s hubs. sconces.The location provided ample space tobuild the strip club’s dressing room, thedesign of which grew out of Sigel’spreproduction discussions with Refnand production designer Beth Mickle.Sigel recalls, “I mentioned that onFrankie Alice,we created a dressingroom that had tables at differentangles, so when we shot we got layersand layers of detail in the mirrors.Nicolas took that idea one step furtherand said, ‘Let’s make it all mirrors.’ Sowe basically made a mirror box — itreminded me of a Lucas Samarassculpture — and it was just lit withpractical light. “We had one shot where we hadto do a 360-degree camera move,” ww.theasc.com w October 2011 31
  29. 29. •|• “Pretty in Pink With a Head Smash” •|• I ’d come down with the flu and had taken some anti-flu drugs before meeting with Ryan Gosling about Drive, and I was high as a kite through dinner. Halfway through the meal, I asked if he could take me home, because I needed to lie down. It was like a blind date gone bad. In the car, Ryan turned on the radio, and REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” started to play. I was so out of it I started crying, turned the radio up and began singing. Then I turned to Ryan and screamed, “I know what Drive is! It’s about a man who drives around at night listening to pop music because that’s his emotional release!” Ryan said, “Okay,” and that’s how the film was born. explained to him that I don’t do a lot of but as another canvas. I loved James Sallis’ book. It’s an coverage, and I like wide-angle lenses I stipulated in my contract that existential story about a stuntman who’s because I want depth. I wanted to go my editor, Matt Newman, would edit also a getaway driver. He lives in with a classical style, which I felt would the film with me. When we make the Hollywood, he can’t quite deal with give the film its own identity. Also, I’m first cut, we make the movie incoherent reality, and he goes a bit psychotic at the colorblind, so I told Tom and Beth just to see what it is not. By doing that, end. Driver is two people: by day he Mickle, the production designer, “I you can see if there might be other ways works in Hollywood, and at night he need contrasting colors, and I like a lot of putting the movie together. Then we drives in an almost armored suit. I of red.” It was a wonderful collabora- start cutting it more as planned. It’s a wanted him to be like a superhero in tion. constant discovery process, which I like. the making. There are so many movies where Showing Drive at Cannes was I wanted to make Drive an L.A. you see cars spin and fly. With our very joyful because I’d been able to make fairytale, which is what Sallis’ book is. budget, we couldn’t even get close to the movie I wanted to make, which in To make the violence feel extreme, I that kind of action, so I wanted to see if itself is always a battle. I’d been nervous had to make the first half of the movie I could define each driving scene specif- that working in Hollywood would very pure and sentimental, almost like a ically. I did something similar on mean I might not have the control I John Hughes movie. Then it goes really Bronson, in which each of the three usually have. But Ryan had director violent. It’s like Pretty in Pink with a fight scenes had a different feel. I don’t approval, and he protected me — it was head smash. have a driver’s license, but I’ve always a similar situation to when Lee Marvin I spent a lot of time redesigning been fascinated by speed, and I also insisted on John Boorman directing the script with Hoss Amini, who have a fetish for curves, so I wanted to Point Blank — and producers Adam adapted the book, and Ryan. We had shoot the cars how I would see them Siegel and Marc Platt were also very the whole movie on index cards, and sexually. I’m very much a fetish film- respectful. There are a lot of smart we’d move things around on the living- maker; I make films out of what I people in Hollywood. I was in good room table. Then, at night, Ryan drove would like to see. hands. me around and showed me Los Visually and technically, I try to Coming from Europe to make Angeles. We were almost living the make every film different. We shot a lot films in Hollywood, it’s almost like movie as we were writing it. of Drive in slow motion because I love you’re living the dreams of all the I felt I would benefit from work- that language. European filmmakers who came to ing with a Hollywood cinematogra- Shooting with the Alexa was a Hollywood from the very beginning. pher. While talking with Tom Sigel blessing. I don’t see it as a replacement You can make your film within the [ASC], it quickly became clear that we for 35mm negative, which is a unique system. There’s still hope. had similar tastes and understandings. I thing we’ll never find a substitute for, — Nicolas Winding Refn32 October 2011 American Cinematographer

×