Braving the challenging weather and Kodiak brown bears of Alaska, cinematographer Tom Trainor served as director of photography on the new Animal Planet documentary series, Into Alaska. Season one of the series, which showcases the wildlife inhabiting Alaska's national refuges and the men and women who protect them, is currently in rotation on the cable channel.
Arri has signed Art Adams to the newly created position of cinema lens specialist. In that role he will further develop and support sales of Arri lenses for North America, while collecting user feedback from imagemakers.
The makers of the Screen Gems feature film The Possession of Hannah Grace are claiming an interesting cinema technology first: the project was shot in Boston using Sony A7S II mirrorless digital cameras combined with large format Hawk 65 anamorphic lenses from Vantage, an unlikely combination featuring lenses designed for large digital sensors combined with a full-frame camera with a DSLR form factor and a price tag under $3,000. Nevertheless, the filmmakers say it made for a high-quality, cost-effective production workflow.
Director of photography Joe Callahan recently completed principal photography on a feature-length documentary about wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in India. The documentary, aiming for premium festival berths, profiles the pioneering work of Wildlife SOS, a worldwide organization dedicated to protecting and conserving India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth. The majority of location work on the documentary (working title, Where the Wild Things Aren’t) took place last June all across India—jungles, deserts and the teeming cities of Jodhpur, Delhi and Agra.
Newton Thomas ‘Tom’ Sigel, ASC chose a full range of original Cooke Speed Panchros, with a slightly new housing and updated mechanics from Arri Rental UK, to shoot the early years documented in the 20th Century Fox/Regency production of Bohemian Rhapsody. Sigel needed to capture the idealistic energy of Freddie Mercury and his future bandmates when he first came to London in 1970. To accomplish this, he made use of a full vintage set of Cooke Speed Panchros, with a very light net at the back of the lens and a special LUT for the Alexa SXT that was specifically designed for the period. This set-up was used for the entire first act of the film, with Sigel relying mostly on the 40mm lens, with the 25, 32 and 50 as secondary lenses.
Contenders for the American Society of Cinematographers 2018 Student Heritage Awards have been named by the organization. Designed to inspire the next generation, the awards recognize graduate, undergraduate and documentary cinematography students for their exceptional work. The 13 nominees this year hail from 10 universities nationwide; the winners will be announced October 13.
Crazy Rich Asians is one of the summer’s biggest success stories. Shot by cinematographer Vanja Černjul, ASC, HFC (The Perfection, The Deuce, Marco Polo) with VariCam Pure cinema cameras, the film is based on the best-selling novel by Kevin Kwan, and tells the story of an Asian American woman who meets her boyfriend's family, only to find out they are one of the richest families in Singapore. The Warner Bros film was directed by Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and features an all-Asian cast, including Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, and many others. It is the first Hollywood studio film to feature Asians in leading roles since director Wayne Wang’s 1993 film, The Joy Luck Club.
The American Society of Cinematographers has broken ground on the construction of the new ASC Arri Educational Center. The contemporary building, located behind the historic ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood, will serve as a hub for the organization’s ongoing efforts to educate the next generation of filmmakers on the art and craft of cinematography. The structure also will be home to all print and digital publications staff. The ASC Arri Educational Center offers a modern, inspired space with offices and meeting rooms, and is slated for completion by 2019.
For William Wages, ASC, filmmaking is first and foremost about storytelling. He says his role, as a premier cinematographer is to capture the best performances with the least intrusion. “It’s less about the technology, and more about the story,” he says in a new video produced by Fujifilm. The winner of three ASC Awards, including ASC Career in Television honors in 2012, and two Emmy nominations, Wages is known for his sumptuous landscape and intimate photography in features such as Maya Angelou’s Down in the Delta, Roland Joffe’s The Forgiven, and Steven Spielberg’s TV mini-series Into the West, as well as his development of filmmaking tools that create more efficiency and transparency on set.
My Breathing on Everest journey kicked off less than a year out of university when my friend and frequent collaborator Meredith Gaito came to me with an idea she knew most other people would call too ambitious or downright crazy. A year and a half later I have been to Nepal twice filming at the base camp of Mount Everest for what has become a deeply personal documentary.