HE’S SO RIGHT!

            Busy, busy, busy finishing up the pilot I’m shooting in Los Angeles.  So, here’s to ending the week with a short bit of brilliance from the late, great Allen Daviau, ASC:             “The cinematographer’s unique perversity is that in this absolutely chaotic, screwed up, very imperfect work, within the frame everything’s perfect for an … Continue reading “HE’S SO RIGHT!”

9.23.2022

A WORD TO THE UP-AND-COMING

            Mentor-mentee…  A relationship through which knowledge, experience – and hopefully, wisdom – is passed from the seasoned professional to the aspiring person of a new generation.             I have shepherded many students over the years.  In fact, through the good graces of the ASC and AMPAS, I’m carrying two young cinematographers under my wing … Continue reading “A WORD TO THE UP-AND-COMING”

9.20.2022

WORTH REMEMBERING…AGAIN

            From an interview with Oscar-winning director James Cameron in The Toronto Star, April 27, 2018:             “I don’t think you can just impress people with images.  It’s always in a context of the narrative and the characters.  Do you care?  Do you feel physically present and involved?  And then from there, now show me … Continue reading “WORTH REMEMBERING…AGAIN”

9.16.2022

ANOTHER ONE FOR THE MUST-SEE LIST

            Though soft lighting wasn’t used much by cinematographers until the late 1960’s, that doesn’t mean it didn’t occasionally appear in major films prior to then.             Director John Farrow’s The Big Clock (1948; photographed by John Seitz, ASC) is a terrific example of forward-thinking in this department.  It shows frequent and interesting experiments with … Continue reading “ANOTHER ONE FOR THE MUST-SEE LIST”

9.13.2022

ADVICE FROM A HIGHER SOURCE

            St. John Paul II:             “Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.”             Who am I to argue with or criticize a saint?  Let’s just get out there and shoot!

9.9.2022

A MOMENT OF CLARITY

            By no means am I an acolyte of French Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, but occasionally he said something that resonated with me.             “A man’s work is nothing more or less than a slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art, the two or three great and simple images in the presence of … Continue reading “A MOMENT OF CLARITY”

9.6.2022

IT TAKES A THIEF…?

            Today, an observation from celebrated director Jim Jarmusch:             “Nothing is original.  Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.  Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows.  Select only things to steal from … Continue reading “IT TAKES A THIEF…?”

9.2.2022

THE CATALINA CASINO

            Along with my producers, director and dedicated crew, I visited this amazing landmark on Catalina Island yesterday as part of an Avalon-wide location scout.             Entering the 20,000 square-foot Casino Ballroom took my breath away.  It’s one of those rare places, the likes of which will never be constructed again.  We didn’t spend too … Continue reading “THE CATALINA CASINO”

8.30.2022

A PESSIMIST’S VIEW?

            Seth Godin is an author, popular blogster and businessman.  He once posted his assessment of how every medium evolves:             “The technicians who invented it, run it.             Technicians with taste, leverage it.             Artists take over from the technicians.             MBA’s take over from the artists.             Bureaucrats drive the medium to banality. … Continue reading “A PESSIMIST’S VIEW?”

8.26.2022

BOLDNESS CINEMATOGRAFIED

            I caught Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) on TCM last Sunday night and couldn’t help but marvel at the work of cinematographer Bruce Surtees.  As the son of three-time Oscar winner Robert Surtees, ASC (Ben Hur, The Graduate, The Last Picture Show, The Sting) and a longtime collaborator of Eastwood’s, he certainly … Continue reading “BOLDNESS CINEMATOGRAFIED”

8.23.2022