FORGOTTEN HEROES

            Despite an occasional populist nod in that direction, the motion picture industry has never given much respect to its past.  During the frantic transition from film to video in the early 2000’s, long-established ways of doing things were often chucked out the window with no regard for the decades of experience held by so … Continue reading “FORGOTTEN HEROES”

11.22.2022

HOLD THIS…

            Has the use of the handheld camera lost its meaning?             I think it has.  Instead of being reserved as a Sunday punch – for moments that contrast with the established visual structure – it seems to have become an all-purpose go-to for filmmakers who don’t understand its aesthetic.             Most productions today display … Continue reading “HOLD THIS…”

11.18.2022

DON’T YOU AGREE?

            Every time I finish a DI session, I’m torn between feelings of ecstatic satisfaction and utter dejection over what I’ve done.  Is anyone ever completely happy with their work on a given project?             The vast majority of my colleagues agree: There’s always something – or a number of somethings – that we’d like … Continue reading “DON’T YOU AGREE?”

11.15.2022

THE ASC AT WAR!

            In honor of Veteran’s Day, it’s appropriate to recognize ASC members who served our country.             Though I’ve done my best, this list is limited and incomplete.  It’s made up of people with whom I’ve personally spoken; other names and information have been gleaned from various sources over the years.  I intend no disrespect … Continue reading “THE ASC AT WAR!”

11.11.2022

WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT…?

            During a recent prep, the best executive producer I’ve ever worked with made the simplest, most telling of statements:             “Always look for the problems that’re avoiding you.”             Anyone can get a grip on the obvious challenges of the job.  What separates the players from the pretenders is their ability to anticipate the … Continue reading “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT…?”

11.8.2022

GUY GREEN, OBE, BSC

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have gotten to know many of the world’s greatest cinematographers.  Guy Green, OBE, BSC stands out as one of my favorites.  During his fifty-three-year career, he collaborated several times with director David Lean, picked up an Oscar for Great Expectations (1946) and shot one of my all-time favorite … Continue reading “GUY GREEN, OBE, BSC”

11.4.2022

SIMPLICITY AS A WAY OF LIFE…NOT!

The following excerpt is taken from an article titled, All the Rage.  It concerned the feature 28 Days Later (directed by Danny Boyle; photographed by Anthony Dod-Mantle, ASC, BSC) and appeared in the June 2003 issue of American Cinematographer.             During the subsequent time, the application of technology has only gotten more complex.             But … Continue reading “SIMPLICITY AS A WAY OF LIFE…NOT!”

11.1.2022

BUDGET BIG AND BUDGET LITTLE

            I recently completed shooting an extremely well-funded, hour-long pilot for one of the major networks.  Now, after a short rest, I’m about to shoot a small, labor-of-love independent feature for a talented young director.             The feature has a fifteen-day schedule, which ironically, is one more than what the pilot had.  However, the challenges … Continue reading “BUDGET BIG AND BUDGET LITTLE”

10.28.2022

A WAY OF SEEING

            If you’ve missed Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1960; photographed by Aldo Scavarda), shame on you!  It’s one of the essentials…put it at the top of your list!  If you haven’t seen it in awhile, see it again soon.  A wealth of background information is available on the web, so I won’t waste time with the … Continue reading “A WAY OF SEEING”

10.25.2022

GUS

            In early 1980 I was struggling for entry to any pack-mule slot in the camera department.  Making the most of too much free time, I enrolled in film classes at Columbia University and was handed a wind-up Bell & Howell camera and a Sekonic light meter with a sticky needle.  The Filmo 70-DR is … Continue reading “GUS”

10.21.2022