LIGHTING DIAGRAM #52 – JUSTIFIED

            A late night meet-up between Tim Olyphant’s Raylan Givens and his boss, Art Mullen (played by Nick Searcy)…             The minimalist approach and color contrast of this scene always appealed to me.  Most of it is achieved with what you see in frame – practicals accented by Christmas lights and a few well-placed LED … Continue reading “LIGHTING DIAGRAM #52 – JUSTIFIED”

7.23.2021

CHANGE OF A DIFFERENT KIND

            In the April 2015 Presidents Desk column for American Cinematographer, I wrote  that we were living in a post-truth, post-common sense world.  A more accurate description today would be a post-reality reality.  Though objective truth never wavers, it’s scary when a willful ignorance of it has hijacked the culture.  The mainstream media is much … Continue reading “CHANGE OF A DIFFERENT KIND”

7.20.2021

FOR THOSE WHO SHOULD KNOW…BUT DON’T

            Cinematographers are artist\scientists, with the emphasis on artist.             Every ASC member is an expert who can create appropriate moods for any type of production.  Though the craft relies on technology, command of the tools is only part of our brilliance.  History shows hundreds of examples in which refined practice has resulted in artful … Continue reading “FOR THOSE WHO SHOULD KNOW…BUT DON’T”

7.13.2021

LIGHTING DIAGRAM #50 – OUT COLD

            Sub-zero night exteriors on a blizzard-swept British Columbian mountainside… What more could a cinematographer ask for?             Well, for one thing I wanted a simple way to illuminate a huge expanse that would give flexibility to multiple cameras covering a free-for-all downhill ski race.  The lamps would have to be mounted high in the … Continue reading “LIGHTING DIAGRAM #50 – OUT COLD”

7.9.2021

11 HARROWHOUSE (1974)

            11 Harrowhouse (Aram Avakian\Arthur Ibbetson, BSC) is an odd, dated film that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be.  Nonetheless, I sat through it one night and noticed a great example of how far you can go to cheat the lighting while still delivering expert-level cinematography.             Film students – listen up!  … Continue reading “11 HARROWHOUSE (1974)”

7.6.2021

LIGHTING DIAGRAM #49 – BROOKLYN RULES

            It doesn’t get simpler than this: two guys (Scott Caan and Freddie Prinze, Jr.) talking it out under a streetlight in static frames.             What might make it notable is this scene’s setting beside the Cyclone Roller Coaster in Coney Island.  It’s a grand, ancient structure that presented countless opportunities to exploit its architecture … Continue reading “LIGHTING DIAGRAM #49 – BROOKLYN RULES”

7.2.2021

INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS

            The founders of the ASC really started a trend when they established the organization in 1919.             AAC, ACK, ACS, ABC, ACF, ADF, AEC, AFC, AIC, AMC, AIP, ASK, BAC, BSC, BVK, CSC, DFF, FNF, FSC, FSF, HFS, HSC, ISC, JSC, KSC, LAC, MSC, NSC, PSC, RGC, SBC, SCS, ZFS …             These are … Continue reading “INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS”

6.29.2021

LIGHTING DIAGRAM #48 – SWAT

            A nighttime chase after a suspect on a rooftop…             This’s a long scene that contains many more cuts than what’s provided in the clip;  what’s included illustrates the contributions of camera and lighting to bolstering the sense of action and suspense.             At the beginning, note the use of the Nightsun unit by … Continue reading “LIGHTING DIAGRAM #48 – SWAT”

6.25.2021

JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG (1961)

            Despite the somber subject (the trial of Nazi war criminals), this film is a something of a forgotten gem.  No major studio would dare mount such an effort today, and that’s sad.  Beside being a loss to our culture, it reflects badly on the taste and intellect of modern audiences.  But Stanley Kramer was … Continue reading “JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG (1961)”

6.22.2021