Disappearing Act

DP Sandra Valde-Hansen takes on indie film maverick Gregg Araki’s latest film White Bird in a Blizzard

For each new project cinematographer Sandra Valde-Hansen is hired on, she’s asked what her choice of camera might be. Although she always suggests film, because for her it’s the most natural, the simplest and the most efficient, she knows it’s about the story at hand, in the end. "We, as cinematographers, have to fight for the... Read more


Director Bennett Miller and cinematographer Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS, expose the world of Olympic wrestling in Foxcatcher

Producer/director Bennett Miller’s previous two films were Oscar®-nominated—2005’s Capote (Miller was nominated for Best Director) and 2011’s Moneyball, both of which masterfully dealt with true events and explored large themes through complex character portraits of real people. Now, Miller has once again utilized those skills in... Read more

Where Is She?

Director David Fincher and team implement a 6K workflow using RED EPIC DRAGONs and Adobe CC for Gone Girl

Based on the best-selling psychological thriller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay, David Fincher’s new movie Gone Girl seems like an apt follow-up project to his last film, the dark and suspenseful The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, it tells the story of an apparently happily married... Read more

Indie Collaboration

The production crew of Dear White People takes on visual and cultural stereotypes

Given the 23-day shooting schedule for first-time feature writer-director Justin Simien’s Dear White People, it makes sense that an overarching visual strategy was economy. "I think part of the reason Justin had such a clear-cut desire for certain compositions, blocking and framing was due to what he knew was going to be an ambitious schedule,"... Read more

Glass Ceiling

The production team for Under the Dome creates a unique town

Life in Chester’s Mill is, to mangle an old phrase, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside of an enigma—and currently existing beneath a massive, impenetrable dome of unknown origin. This premise, suggestive of humans literally being studied under glass, sounds like something out of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, but is actually derived... Read more

Monkey Business

Director Matt Reeves and cinematographer Michael Seresin, BSC, evolve with technology for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

In 2011, the FOX reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, Andy Serkis and a bunch of genetically enhanced chimps who get ready to take over the world, turned into a critical and commercial success, scoring nearly half a billion at the box office. Three years later, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel—and eighth... Read more

Shooting In The Hot Zone

Cameraman Jake Swantko goes for the first time and leaves wanting more

Jake Swantko wanted to be a writer. "I was awful at it, though," he says. "After taking an electronics media class on a whim at the University of Oregon, I realized that filming gave me the ability to articulate in a different way. The most important thing with documentary work and with good camera work is the ability to empathize completely... Read more

One Very Cold Case

FX Network’s Fargo is a cable television show that’s shot like a feature film

A 1996 Best Picture nominee, Fargo delivered on all the accustomed levels of Coen Brothers quirkiness and originality. Made for $7 million, its domestic and international returns totaled several times that pittance. Nearly two decades later, MGM has joined forces with FX Network to work with the Brothers and series creator Noah Hawley to tell a new,... Read more

Brain Batter

Rainn Wilson’s SoulPancake explores life’s big questions for the under-40 crowd

Thousands of years ago, Greek philosophers established the cool factor—despite their togas and sandals—of dealing with life’s big questions. Last century, Monty Python ramped up the coolness—and comedy—with their seminal work The Meaning of Life. But neither group—nor any of the intellectual heavyweights who over the ages joined in the... Read more

Mutants Through Time

Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, uses ALEXA M cameras to create a 3D “inbetweequel” for X-Men: Days of Future Past

For the millions of fans who might have been parsing the title of the new X-Men film, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and looking for hidden meaning and clues to the latest adventure, director Bryan Singer has a few answers. "It’s not a reboot," he has said, noting that the film features many of the same characters and actors—including... Read more

Broke Superheroes

Cinematographer Joel Deutsch sticks to high standards for capturing the web series Caper

We hear about it all of the time: high production values on a low budget. What does that really mean? For veteran TV writer and producer Amy Berg (Eureka, The 4440 and Leverage), who wrote the script for Caper, along with cocreator Mike Sizemore, it meant reimagining that most popular of genres, the superhero story. According to Berg, the idea for the... Read more

Welcome To The Grindhouse

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Drafthouse Films break the film distribution mold

In an age of mass production and faceless corporations, Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Drafthouse Films are the cinema chain and entertainment brand equivalent of a microbrewery or artisanal bakery, serving up tasty treats—both literally and figuratively—for a discerning audience that craves a more handcrafted approach. Headquartered in... Read more