Over the 50 years chronicled in director Adam McKay’s Vice, cinematographer Greig Fraser had the challenges of photographing actors playing characters twice their age — with intense prosthetics, makeup and hair — while also making a potentially dull series of office-based scenes into a visually interesting story for audiences. To accomplish this feat, Fraser relied on Kodak 200T and 500T film and Cooke Optics’ Anamorphic/i prime lenses.
Boasting an impressive cast including Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes and Matt Smith, and captured by cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister BSC, the political thriller Official Secrets was directed by Gavin Hood, and produced by Ged Doherty, Elizabeth Fowler, and Melissa Zuo. Hoffmeister selected Sony’s Venice motion picture camera system for principal photography.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Society of Cinematographers Leica Camera has released the M10-P ASC 100 Edition. The still camera includes a Leica Summicron-M 35 f/2 ASPH lens and offers two specially tailored Cine Look modes built into the camera’s software that make it a focused professional tool for cinematographers and filmmakers. The set also includes a Leica Visoflex electronic viewfinder and a Leica M-PL-Mount Adapter that allows the use of almost all PL mount cine lenses available on the market.
Sony is upgrading the capabilities of its Venice motion picture camera system by introducing high frame rate shooting, advanced remote-control functionalities and Cooke/i3 and Zeiss extended metadata support, as part of its latest firmware update. Both the free upgrade to firmware Version 4.0 and the optional HFR license will be available in June.
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.
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.
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.
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.