David Dart, NFL Films staff cinematographer
The 2013 football season is underway, and the crew at NFL Films is busy capturing all the leaping catches, goal line stands, pre-game pep talks, and sideline celebrations. Considered the gold standard of sports filmmaking, NFL Films strives to not just document the game, but to preserve it, and carry on the legacy of all those who have helped make the game what it is today. And motion picture film is part of that legacy.
Since 1962, NFL Films has captured and archived over 100 million feet of 16mm film. Their productions were the first to use ground-level slow motion, shoot sports with 600mm lenses, and to incorporate reverse-angle replays. Can you imagine shooting the Super Bowl handheld with a 1,000-foot magazine and a 50-500mm anamorphic zoom lens? Ever wonder what it is like to capture the fast-moving, hard-hitting action of the NFL? Now is your chance to get full access with NFL Films cinematographer David Dart.
Jennifer Lawrence stars in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Hunger Games is a sci-fi phenomenon set in a dystopian society that pits adolescent boys and girls in a battle to the death. Praised for its literary approach to plot and character, the tale was first brought to the screen by director Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) and cinematographer Tom Stern, ASC, AFC.
Now, the second book in the series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, has been translated for cinema. This time, the director is Francis Lawrence (Water for Elephants, I Am Legend) and the cinematographer is Jo Willems, SBC, whose credits include the features Limitless and Hard Candy, television pilots like Touch and Awake, and many music videos for top artists such as Prince and Justin Timberlake.
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.(Photos courtesy HBO/James Bridges.)
HBO continues its run of cinematic originals in 2014 with the eight-episode series True Detective. Written by acclaimed novelist Nic Pizzolatto and set in southern Louisiana, the series stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detectives thrust together in a 17-year search for a serial killer.
Cary Fukunaga directs with Australian cinematographer Adam Arkapaw guiding the visuals. Arkapaw, with the features Lore, The Snowtown Murders and Animal Kingdom under his belt, recently garnered an EMMY® Award for his work on the 2013 series Top of the Lake.
Scene from Ram Leela. Photo courtesy of Ravi Varman.
Ram Leela is a Hindi drama based on the classic tale of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet.” The script called for a subdued and hidden violent mood, but with romantic overtones. Cinematographer Ravi Varman felt that look could only be achieved using motion picture film.
“This was a particularly challenging job,” notes Varman, whose 27 features include the renowned Barfi. “As always, my goal is to capture the mood of the film and enhance it through colors, light and darkness.”
Josh Brolin in Oldboy. (Photos Hilary Bronwyn Gayle. OB Productions, Inc. © 2012. All rights reserved.
In choosing to recreate Oldboy for Western audiences, Spike Lee made a bold move. The original movie, based on a Japanese graphic novel, won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and earned a passionate fan base. Lee completely reimagined the story, casting Josh Brolin as Joe Doucett, a man who is released after 20 years of solitary confinement with no explanation. Thirsty for vengeance, he discovers that he has only five days to uncover his tormenters. The cast also includes Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson.
Oldboy was filmed in a variety of atmospheric locations in New Orleans, Louisiana. The mostly local camera crew was led by Sean Bobbitt, BSC. The Texas-born cinematographer has been on a roll, with The Place Beyond the Pines, 12 Years a Slave, Shame, and Hunger among his recent credits. The latter three of those movies were done with director Steve McQueen. All were shot on film.