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

A Democratized Culture

Swedish filmmakers David Dworsky and Victor Köhler tackle the digital/creative revolution in PressPausePlay

It seems only fitting that a documentary about the unconventional digital and artistic revolution our world has seen come to fruition these last few years would be shot, directed and funded in a most untraditional way. "We wanted to make a film that showed how technology not only had changed business models, but also had given people the possibility... Read more

DIY Promotions

Today’s indie filmmakers are turning to social media, video sharing and crowd-funding sites to promote their movies

Kevin Smith does it. Edward Burns does it. Even novice filmmakers do it. Many indie filmmakers are opting to market, finance and even distribute their own films via the Internet instead of the traditional route of going with professional (and sometimes very expensive) PR firms. The Internet has given today’s filmmakers new avenues for gaining... Read more

Play It As It Lays

Director Joshua Leonard and DP Benjamin Kasulke create a ’70s L.A. look for The Lie

It’s hard to tell what constitutes true independent film today. Is it the budget alone? Does it mean using no-name actors? Or using only off-the-cuff material for the story? Cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke believes that the only real defining characteristic of an indie film in the current climate is that it’s made outside the studio. ... Read more

Sundance 2011

Did this year’s festival signal the call for Indie Film 2.0?

To say the film industry has seen a few changes in production, distribution and exhibition in recent years is a huge understatement. Technology such as HD DSLRs, 800 ASA-rated sensors, all-in-one studio desktop NLE systems and online movie distribution (Netflix, Hulu) have all made it possible for filmmakers to produce a professional-looking movie and... Read more

Social Status

Shooting The Social Network — Director David Fincher and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, ASC, unmask Facebook with the help of RED’s Mysterium-X sensor
Master storyteller David Fincher proves his penchant for the zeitgeist with his new film The Social Network. Fincher digs deep into the past of Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to examine how something that began between friends at college quickly descended into bitter acrimony and litigation once billions of dollars were at stake. The... Read more

Coming Of Age

Director David Fincher and cinematographer Claudio Miranda create a unique character for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Mark Twain once quipped that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end. The comment stuck with fellow writer and fan, F. Scott Fitzgerald—so much so that he turned it into a short story. "My name is Benjamin Button and I was born under unusual circumstances. While everyone else was aging, I was getting younger—all... Read more