Director of Photography Robert Elswit, ASC on the set of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.
The Kremlin is rocked by an explosion, and the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is supposedly to blame. Team leader Ethan Hunt and his crew turn rogue and must trot the globe to clear the IMF name in Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment in the M:I franchise. Tom Cruise reprises his role as Hunt, with a supporting cast featuring Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and Tom Wilkinson. J.J. Abrams again produces through Bad Robot for distribution through Paramount Pictures.
Handling the visual aesthetics is Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit, ASC—whose credits read as a very long list of very fine work (including Oscar-winning There Will Be Blood; Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck; The Town; Syriana; Magnolia). Handling the directing duties is Brad Bird, whose prior, highly successful directorial efforts involved characters of the animated kind (Ratatouille, The Incredibles, The Iron Giant). M:I-Ghost Protocol marks Bird’s live-action debut.
Actor Christian Bale zips through the streets on the set of The Dark Knight. (Photo by Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros/™ & © DC Comics).
“When I look at a shot through a lens, I hear music in my mind. Films, like music, need a sense of rhythm that affects everything from composition to editing … I use the same part of my brain to play a melody that I use to make a decision about how I might pan or tilt the camera … it’s about creating a beat or a rhythm.”
— Wally Pfister, ASC, BSC
Ask your neighbor, your uncle and aunt, the clerk at your local grocery store and a stranger on the street about Batman. Chances are they will all tell you that Batman is the masked avenger who fights the dark forces of evil in the fictional city of Gotham. Ask Wally Pfister, ASC, BSC and he will tell you that Batman is a dream come true.
CHRISTIAN BALE stars as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “Batman Begins.” Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Put Batman Begins on your must see list and don’t forget to buckle up. The film features a breathtaking chase with a bevy of police cars pursuing the Batmobile on a two-mile stretch of Chicago’s North Wacker Drive. The chase lasts for about 10 minutes on screen at speeds up to 90 miles per hour. There are no visual effects. It’s a live-action shot mainly in available light. That was the basic visual mantra for the action-adventure film.
(“Director) Chris (Nolan) wanted to shoot Batman Beginswithout relying on visual effects or digital intermediate technologies,” says cinematographer Wally Pfister, ASC. “He wanted it to look and feel natural. Chris looked at this stretch of road as kind of a playground, where we could film an exciting night scene as naturally as possible.”