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Andrij Parekh Bets on Mississippi Grind 

Photo: Electric City Entertainment

When Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck – the pair that made waves with their first feature Half Nelson in 2006 – approached cinematographer Andrij Parekh with the script for Mississippi Grind, he was instantly drawn to the material. And as it was to be their fourth collaboration, the trio were on the same page when it came to the look.

“They showed me a lot of 1970s films,” says Parekh, an NYU Tisch graduate. “From that, the inspiration for Mississippi Grind was clear. They were attracted to Robert Altman films like California Split, John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, and Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas. All films I love. That’s the style and feeling we tried to give to this film – long, slow zooms mixed with handheld.”

Mandy Walker Recreates the Western Genre for Jane Got a Gun 

Director Gavin O'Connor and Mandy Walker, ASC, ACS

In Jane Got a Gun, a woman must turn to her former fiancé for help in defending her new family. The film, which stars Natalie Portman and Ewan MacGregor, gave Mandy Walker, ASC, ACS an opportunity to work in the Western genre, something many cinematographers dream of doing.

“There’s something unique and iconic about cowboys riding horses across the landscape, or tracking low angle on people confronting each other in a cowboy hat with a couple of guns,” she says. “I think all DPs would love to tackle the genre at some stage.”

Filming Beside Still Waters 

(r-l) Beck Bennett and Reid Scott

Actor and fine art photographer Chris Lowell was well aware that a young man struggling with the death of his parents could be considered a filmic trope, particularly in the low-budget realm of movies. So, for his feature film directing debut, Beside Still Waters, which won Best Narrative Feature at the 2013 Austin Film Festival, he sought to elevate it above the usual fare by shooting on KODAK Motion Picture Film, going so far as to have the aesthetic of celluloid imbue his main character in the ensemble comedy-drama with a sense of longing.

“Our protagonist is woefully nostalgic and stuck in the romanticism of the past, and it is holding him back,” Lowell explains. “Film was able to evoke those feelings for us.”

St. Vincent Calls for a Human Look

JAEDEN LIEBERHER and BILL MURRAY star in ST. VINCENT© 2014 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved. / Photo: Atsushi Nishijima

Among his many iconic credits as a cinematographer, John Lindley, ASC counts memorable films like Father of the Bride, Mr. Brooks, Pleasantville, You’ve Got Mail, Sleeping with the Enemy, and Field of Dreams in his repertoire. His most recent endeavor is St. Vincent, in which Bill Murray plays a gone-to-seed war veteran who has an influence on a young boy who lives next door. That influence is unwelcome to the boy’s recently divorced parents.

There’s comedy in that conflict, and eventually, an unlikely friendship develops. The cast also includes Melissa McCarthy.

The Imitation Game: Óscar Faura Paints a Period Drama

(L-R) Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Allen Leech star in The Imitation Game. (photo by Jack English)

Mathematician, cryptanalyst and computer science pioneer Alan Turing was tasked by British intelligence during World War II to break the Germans’ nearly impenetrable message coding system – the Enigma machine. His success enabled the Allies to turn the war tide, but tragedy befell Turing and he ultimately committed suicide at the age of 41.

The Weinstein Company brings Turing’s complex story to the screen in The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and featuring Keira Knightley, Mark Strong and Matthew Goode. To capture the visuals, director Morten Tyldum selected Óscar Faura (The Orphanage, Anna) based on his photography of the 2012 Thailand tsunami tale The Impossible.