To Middle Earth …And Back Again

RED and 3ality Technica help director Peter Jackson bring The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to life

Filmmaker Peter Jackson fulfilled a longstanding dream when tackling J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but his greatest achievement wasn’t just a matter of completing the grueling project, or even winning Director and Best Picture Oscars® for the third film in the cycle. Right out of the starting gate, Jackson succeeded where... Read more

Secret Agent Man

Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, captures Skyfall, the 23rd film in the James Bond spy series

For actors playing James Bond, their third outing as Agent 007 usually proves to be the make-or-break effort. After Dr. No and the still remarkably engaging From Russia with Love, Goldfinger became a worldwide breakout hit that well and truly heralded the arrival of Bondmania while proving, as ads proclaimed, “Sean Connery is James Bond.”... Read more

A Modern-Day Odyssey

Filmmaker David Cronenberg discusses the making of Cosmopolis and his views on digital filmmaking

Canadian writer-director David Cronenberg has always marched to the beat of his own idiosyncratic drum. Interested in exploring areas where few other directors venture, over the past four decades, he has examined with a clinician’s eye themes of biological horror, physical deformity, emotional terror and sexual unease. Since his first, aptly titled... Read more

Nature Tech

Cinematographer Gregory Wilson pulls off a high-speed cheetah shoot for National Geographic

Cheetahs on the Edge
It began in a pub in 1878, when Eadweard Muybridge decided to settle a score about whether or not a horse is airborne when it gallops. By placing numerous large glass-plate cameras in a line along the edge of a track, the horse triggering the shutters as it passed, Muybridge was able to prove through the first-ever motion picture that a horse is, in... Read more

Flame On

Cinematographer Lisa Wiegand creates a dynamic look for NBC Television’s Chicago Fire

Dick Wolf’s sterling track record in television gives him carte blanche to dream up and try out new stories. The creator of Law & Order calls his latest, NBC’s Chicago Fire, "a classic, adult, platinum drama." The show is set in a firehouse, but it’s not procedural or "fire of the week," he says. Although firefighting... Read more


With the help of Light Iron and the RED EPIC, Don Burgess, ASC, safely lands director Robert Zemeckis’ Flight

It’s been quite a while since Oscar®-winning director Robert Zemeckis, who has focused his energy on animated projects over the past decade, has made a live-action film. So this month’s release of Flight, a drama starring Denzel Washington as an airline pilot who avoids a crash, marks a welcome return to live action by the Forrest Gump... Read more

A Boy And His Car — Discussing Drive With Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC

Director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive stars Ryan Gosling as getaway man with a heart of gold in an action film packed with car chases, stunts and crashes — Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, revs up the ’70s-inspired camera action with Cooke S4 primes and Angénieux Optimo lenses the brand-new-at-the-time ARRI Alexa

Between the release of The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, director George Miller speculated on the reasons for his postapocalyptic, Outback-based series’ popularity. He suggested that since guns were outlawed in Australia, natives to that land had a tendency to take out their violent impulses on the roadways. But that hardly accounts... Read more

Clarity From Chaos

Audio master Erik Aadahl talks about the art, techniques and gear that give Transformers 3 its distinct sound

Erik Aadahl is a sound designer and sound-effects editor who has worked on an impressive string of audio-intensive Hollywood action blockbusters, including Transformers 1 and 2, Superman Returns, Daredevil, X2, Valkyrie and Fantastic Four, as well as the recent DreamWorks releases Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2, Monsters vs Aliens, Shrek Forever After and Megamind.... Read more

Wizard Wars

The final chapter of J.K. Rowling’s successful book and film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, ends with a bang

The Harry Potter phenomenon has diversified from its literary origin to include its own amusement park and uncountable merchandising spinoffs, but the feature films derived from author J.K. Rowling’s seven novels have done the most to make the brand a household word. The adventures of young Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), a gifted/cursed wizard... Read more

Medieval Times

Based on the best-selling fantasy-book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, the initial 10-episode season featured three directors of photography using the ARRI Alexa —Marco Pontecorvo, AIC, Alik Sakharov, ASC, and Matt Jensen captured much of the iconic scenery in in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as well as at various locations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Malta
If you took the epic scope and epic battles between good and evil of such fantasy-movie mega-hits as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and then added the extra dimensions of explicit sex and ultraviolence, you’d have some idea of the challenges involved in mounting HBO’s acclaimed new series Game of Thrones. Based on the best-selling... Read more

Action Shooters Part II

Essential gear, good fitness and the right mind-set are key elements

In part one of this series, I gave a glimpse of my primary career as cameraman and introduced Jonathan Berman, Doug Glover and Simon Reay, fellow cinematographers who capture the action for popular shows, including The First 48, Dirty Jobs and Man vs. Wild. We discussed the wide range of difficult and sometimes hazardous conditions we face on a daily... Read more

Green Productions

Hollywood is making a commitment to conservation

When one mentions environmental or green technology, industries like mining, oil drilling and power production come to mind, not Hollywood filmmaking. And yet, Hollywood has campaigned hard for the environmentalism, and many people learn about saving the environment from Hollywood actors like Robert Redford, Leonardo DiCaprio and Harrison Ford. With... Read more