83 Days, a shattering narrative short about racial injustice, which was shot with Panasonic cinema cameras, has been named an Official Selection of the 2018 Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival. The film has already received several best of festival nominations, including Best Short Film, Best Drama Film, Best Short Film Director and Best Short Screenplay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Small Town Crime, a thriller with dark humor, ex-cop Mike Kendall (John Hawkes) discovers the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hell-bent on finding her killer. While his uncouth and quirky detective style helps break open the case, his dogged determination unwittingly puts his family in danger
Premiering at the 2017 Austin Film Festival where it won Best Narrative Short, Demon tells the story of a desperate man emerging from the night where he encounters a solitary shack in the middle of the desert. It is in this night setting where he discovers a dark secret that the property owner possesses. Cinematographer Drew Dawson shot the supernatural drama/thriller, directed by Caleb Slain just outside Joshua Tree National Park. The Demon script had the setting as a desert landscape with a full moon. According to Dawson, the goal was to capture the entire film with moonlight, practicals, and minimal film lights
Good things come to those who wait, as cinematographer Remi Adefarasin, OBE BSC will testify, following his recent large format shoot with Cooke Optics S7/I full frame plus prime lens range on the period feature film Lyrebird. Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin is directing the film. Imperative is also producing alongside Ridley Scott.
Post-production finishing for the first season of Vida, the new half-hour drama from Starz and executive producer Tanya Saracho, was recently completed at MTI Film. Senior colorist Steve Porter worked with series cinematographer Carmen Cabana in finalizing the look of the show, which has just been renewed for a second season and has drawn rave reviews for its revealing portrait of Latinx life in East Los Angeles.
“I think if you’re making a high school movie, you can’t not watch John Hughes movies for reference,” said cinematographer Hillary Spera (Duck Butter, Submission). “Even if it’s subliminal, they’re woven into the language.” Filmmaker John Hughes had a string of hit films in the 1980s that were a true depiction of high school life in middle class suburbia. Movies like 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink portrayed teen characters with depth and intelligence but were also comedic.