The Aviator (2004) Robert Richardson, ASC

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

November 9th 2013

“extensive effects sequences and a digital re-creation of two extinct cinema color processes: two-color and three-strip Technicolor. The patented processes utilized a combination of filtration and dyeing to create colored release prints from a matrix of two or three strips of black-and-white negative. Tech-nicolor’s handiwork graced many of the pictures Hollywood released during Hughes’s mercurial career, and Scorsese wanted these unique color signatures to be part of The Aviator’s design.” - Robert Richardson in American Cinematographer Magazine Jan 2005

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Frida (2002) Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

September 15th 2013

"Many photos of Frida that show her in and out of shadows, depending on whether she wanted to hide something." Explains Prieto, The ASC adds that Prieto typically rates film stocks at the recommended EI. "[The Exposure] varies so much depending on the way you measure light. I usually end up overexposing by about a third of a stop just by aiming the ball a little more to the shadows, so I don’t need to change the rating to get a rich negative." - Rodrigo Prieto in American Cinematographer Magazine Oct 2002 

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The Tree of Life (2011) Emmanuel Morgenstern, ASC, AMC

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

September 14th 2013

“In all the movies I’ve done, I always worked with a set of rules — they help me to find the tone and the style of the film,” he says. “Art is made of constraints. When you don’t have any, you go crazy, because everything is possible.”
He says his previous movies were dictated by rules such as using only one lens, or shooting the entire film at T2.8. Although there is no written version of the Malick-Lubezki dogma on Tree, interviews with the cinematographer and some key collaborators suggest some parameters:

•    Shoot in available natural light
•    Do not underexpose the negative Keep true blacks
•    Preserve the latitude in the image
•    Seek maximum resolution and fine grain
•    Seek depth with deep focus and stop: “Compose in depth”
•    Shoot in backlight for continuity and depth
•    Use negative fill to avoid “light sandwiches” (even sources on both sides)
•    Shoot in crosslight only after dawn or before dusk; never front light 
•    Avoid lens flares
•    Avoid white and primary colors in frame
•    Shoot with short-focal-length, hard lenses
•    No filters except Polarizer
•    Shoot with steady handheld or Steadicam “in the eye of the hurricane”
•    Z-axis moves instead of pans or tilts
•    No zooming
•    Do some static tripod shots “in midst of our haste”
•    Accept the exception to the dogma (“Article E”)

With a laugh, Lubezki notes, “Our dogma is full of contradictions! For example, if you use backlight, you will get flares, or if you go for a deep stop, you will have more grain because you need a faster stock. So you have to make these decisions on the spot: what is better in this case, grain or depth?
“The most important rule for me is to not underexpose,” he continues. “We want the blacks; we don’t like milky images. Article E does not apply to underexposure!” - American Cinematographer Magazine Aug 2011

O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000) Roger Deakins, CBE, ASC, BSC

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

September 13th 2013

"The first time I read the script I’m seeing if I can relate to the characters, and if has something to say. Does that sound pretentious? I don’t read it thinking this is going to be visually interesting. I think if I can relate to the people or the situation, or if it moves me-and that’s a personal thing—then I’ll read the script again and think about it visually. It’s the story first and foremost that draws me to a film, though obviously I love working with Joel and Ethan. I’d shoot the phone directory for them." - Roger Deakins in a ICG Interview

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The Mission (1986) Chris Menges BSC, ASC,

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

September 12 2013

"There is a connection between music and cinematography. They are both arts that require mastering tone and then technique - but tone comes first. I learned to trust my instincts, and above all, I learned that tone is more important than perfect technique." - Chris Menges in ONFILM

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011) Chris Menges BSC, ASC,

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

September 11th 2013

Menges says he didn’t try to create a forced style for the film, other than a wee sense of heightened realism. “This is a story that’s set against a horrific event in recent history,” he explains. “And we needed to find a way that worked for Thomas Horn, who is a brilliant child, perfect for the role, but who had never acted before. We needed a sympathetic and simple way to capture his performance. That led us to lighting sets with practicals and using windows as main sources, and doing our best to keep lighting equipment off the set. Our focus pullers, Gregor Tavenner and Andy Harris, had an extraordinarily difficult task, as they worked successfully without marks to give young Thomas as much freedom as possible. The sharpness of the Alexa’s images meant that focus was even more unforgiving and critical.” - ICG Magazine

The Fountain (2006) Matthew Libatique, ASC

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

September 6st 2013

Libatique discussing his collaborations with Darren Aronofsky “Early on we had similar influences. Whether it be in music or films. As we’ve aged, it’s just been an ongoing learning thing. Ya know, he’ll introduce new things to me, I introduce things to him and we just share these things that help us grow as filmmakers. But really it’s just developed as a friendship so at this point it’s more of a familiarity and a friendship than it is just a working collaboration. It’s much more different than any other relationship I have with any other director and probably because we started together. We just have similar tastes and beliefs. We believe that every aspect of filmmaking needs to contribute to the film. Whatever it is, everyone has to do their part. We share that philosophy and that goes a long way.” Matthew Libatique in an interview for

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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) Janusz Kamiński, ASC

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

September 5th 2013

“Both the Oscar and ASC Award nominations are very meaningful to me. It reassures me that what I do is working, not just in terms of my visual storytelling, but also how I conduct my business, the career management side of being a cinematographer. That allows me to pick and choose. Without working on War of the Worlds, I would never have been able to shoot, or had the opportunity to shoot, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It takes a lot to be able to maintain a career. My first Academy Award was in 1993 for Schindler’s List, so I’ve been in a position to make a significant contribution for 15 years, and that’s great.” - Janusz Kamiński in Movie Maker

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Sorry work the lack of post, I’ve had a busy summer full of shoots. I’m still looking for contributors, if anybody would like to help me keep up this page let me know, I’m going to try and get back into posting daily!!

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) Nicola Pecorini

Cinematography Picture Of The Day

September 4th 2013

"Lens wise it was quite funny, because at the beginning Terry was adamant about restraining ourselves in the use of wide angle lenses on this side of the mirror, to then stay as wide as possible once in the Imaginarium. We lasted 2 set-ups. On the 3rd one, the 14mm went back on, and it rarely left the camera! (The camera crew refered to the 14mm as The Gilliam.) It is true though that in London we always shot with at least 2 cameras. Given the tight schedule we needed to grab as much footage as possible. Generally we had a Steadicam or dolly master, and a B camera fishing whatever possible, using 32mm or 40mm lenses. And those are very long lenses in our language — I believe that on a couple of occasions we even used a 65mm" Nicola Pecorini in