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.”
(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.”
(L-R) Jyoti Amge as Ma Petite, Naomi Grossman as Pepper. CR: Michele K. Short/FX
For the better part of a decade now, Ryan Murphy has been innovating the way audiences look at small screen entertainment. As the creator of shows like Popular, Nip/Tuck, Glee,and The New Normal, Murphy has established a distinctive brand of filmmaking that’s faster, louder, and more attention-grabbing than its television contemporaries, and one that puts compelling visuals on par with addictive storylines. Case in point: American Horror Story, Murphy’s television show/miniseries hybrid that plays more like a horror anthology with a new theme each season. In season one it was Murder House, which was followed by Asylum and Coven. And this fall, Freak Show premiered with what Murphy describes as “the most terrifying clown of all time.”
Michael Goi, ASC, ISC has been there since nearly the beginning, shooting the second half of American Horror Story’s first season after first collaborating with Murphy on Glee. “American Horror Story had a visual style and approach for season one that was already established by the time I came on to it,” says Goi. “I didn’t make a lot of alterations to it, but in the last two or three episodes I started to veer in the direction that I felt like the material was taking me, and some of that approach is what’s reflected in season two, Asylum, where you’re dealing with an atmosphere that was very crazed. And I think the camerawork and the lighting reflected that a lot.”
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.
John Schwartzman, ASC on the set of Dracula Untold (Photo: Jasin Boland © Universal Pictures)
Universal Pictures’ Dracula Untold reveals the origins of Bram Stoker’s infamous vampire Dracula. Starring Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6, The Hobbit series) as Vlad the Impaler, audiences learn the catalyst behind his transformation into the all-powerful creature of the night.