John Seale, ASC, ACS. Photo by Douglas Kirkland
John Seale, ASC, ACS will receive the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Plus Camerimage Film Festival in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The festival will show a special retrospective of his films representing some of his greatest professional achievements.
Seale photographed Peter Weir’s Witness, and earned his first Academy Award® for the film. He earned his second Oscar® nomination for Rain Man, which was also nominated for an ASC Outstanding Achievement Award in 1989. Seale won the Oscar and the ASC Award for The English Patient in 1997. He earned Academy Award and ASC nominations again in 2004 for Cold Mountain. Earlier this year, Seale received the ASC International Award for his incredible images.
The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo: Gene Page/AMC
Zombies, ghosts, vampires, and werewolves have never enjoyed such “spook”tacular popularity! At cinemas and on television, the supernatural and ghoulish are drawing big audiences. From True Blood to the Twilight franchise, film is the medium of choice for capturing all the frightening, bloodthirsty elements!
To get just the right new “American gothic” look for AMC’s horror series The Walking Dead, cinematographer David Boyd, ASC said they tested every conceivable format before production. “When the images came back, everyone realized that Super 16 was the format that made everything look right. With the smaller gauge and the grain, suddenly the images seemed to derive from the graphic novel itself. Every image is a step removed from reality and a step deeper into cinema.” Hear the rest of The Walking Dead team discussing the show’s creation.
Scene from A Wife Alone
Before directing the noir thriller A Wife Alone, Justin Reichman had worked extensively as a script supervisor. That experience gave him insight into a wide variety of directing styles. When he was ready to direct his own feature film, he knew what he wanted. “I wanted to make my project personal,” he says. “It has a classic noir framework, with flashbacks and twists and turns. But I put my own spin on it, with some real comedy to balance the darker themes. It’s about newlyweds, and having just gotten married myself, I can understand the ethos.”
A Wife Alone is the story of a nervous, but ruthless and determined young woman whose female lover is a prostitute. The pair concocts a scheme to murder one of her clients, and rob his partners. The plot culminates in a dinner party where the weather is hot and the subtext is hotter.
A responsible director takes the question of production format very seriously. That decision has a major impact on how audiences will react to the story and characters. Other factors include cost concerns, story considerations, shooting style, and the emotions that filmmakers are hoping to evoke in the audience. Wise directors and producers depend on cinematographers to help wade through the hype and marketing claims to determine which format is best for a given story.
Brawley-Dennis film tests
Recently, two Australian filmmakers wanted to see with their own eyes the differences between various formats, and to get a sense of how they performed under difficult conditions. They wanted to compare metrics like resolution and clarity, but more importantly, to see how the images differed in less empirical, more instinctive ways.
David Heuring studied English literature and international politics. In 1987, he moved to Hollywood, and after gaining some practical film production experience, and began writing for American Cinematographer magazine where he later served as editor for five years. Since 1995, Heuring has continued writing about cinematography, filmmaking and postproduction for such industry trade publications as American Cinematographer, International Cinematographer, Film & Video, Screen, Digital Cinematography and In Camera, among others.