Articles

Pfister and Hall Go Above and Beyond in Transcendence

Director WALLY PFISTER on the set of Alcon Entertainment's sci-fi thriller “TRANSCENDENCE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Peter Mountain.

Oscar®-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister is making his directorial debut with Transcendence. The film follows Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, who is working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. Anti-technology extremists attempt to destroy Will but instead become the catalyst for him to succeed, and be a participant in his own transcendence.

“Imagine your brain suddenly being able to connect to the Internet, to have access to every bit of information there—financial, medical, political…” remarks Pfister. “What would you do with that kind of knowledge, that kind of ultimate power? Would you use it for the greater good, or your own gain, or something else entirely? This film gives moviegoers a chance to see the possibilities and wonder if it’s a choice they’ll ever have to face.”

Epic Noah Reunites Darren Aronofsky and Matthew Libatique

Russell Crowe stars as Noah (Photo: by Niko Tavernise Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

The Biblical story of Noah and the Ark is brought to the big screen by director Darren Aronofsky and cinematographer Matthew Libatique, ASC. The filmmaking duo previously collaborated on Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and Black Swan.

Russell Crowe stars as Noah, the man chosen by God to undertake a momentous mission of rescue before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world. Shot on location in Iceland and New York, as well as a few other locales, Libatique shares his approach to capturing Aronofsky’s creative vision in this month’s American Cinematographer. The two chose KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negative Film 5219, 250D 5207, and KODAK VISION2 100T 5212.

Creating the Gritty Look of Low Down

Elle Fanning in Low Down. (Credit Low Down Production.)

Christopher Blauvelt is a third-generation filmmaker who still treasures his grandfather’s Graflex 4x5 still camera. His grandfather was a grip, his grandmother worked in the costume department, and his father, uncle and brother are all in the camera department. His father gave him a POLAROID camera when he was 4 years old, and he’s been shooting ever since.

In addition to his family connections, Blauvelt worked as an assistant under the tutelage of the late Harris Savides, ASC. “Harris opened up new worlds for me,” Blauvelt recalls. “He challenged everything about the way things were done. He shared his knowledge for the most obscure and amazing movies.”

Creating an Edgy, Anti-Comedy Look for Tammy

Susan Sarandon and Melissa McCarthy in a scene from Tammy (Photo by Michael Tackett.)

When a sample film clip on screen drew a collective, audible gasp in the screening room, director of photography Russ Alsobrook, ASC knew he would be shooting the comedy Tammy on KODAK Film. The cinematographer and the film’s principals had been at Burbank-based lab/post house FotoKem during preproduction doing digital versus film origination comparisons.

“It’s like we’ve forgotten how great film looks when you see it in comparison,” Alsobrook remarks. “We looked at each other, and it was a done deal. There was no question we were going to shoot fi lm. It has a rich, creamy look to it that you just can’t get any other way.”

INSIGHT: Rosemary Blight - Bucking the Digital Trend Down Under

Published on website: March 31, 2014
Categories: Q and A
Rosemary Blight. (Photo credit © Goalpost Pictures, all rights reserved.)

For more than 20 years, Rosemary Blight has been at the forefront of Australia’s independent film movement. As a producer with Goalpost Pictures, one of the country’s best-known independent production companies, Blight has had a hand in bringing more than two dozen projects to fruition, for both the big and small screens. She has worked with the likes of such talents as Tom Wilkinson, Joel Edgerton, Chris O’Dowd and Charlotte Gainsbourg. And she has been recognized for her creative abilities with a slate of awards, including the Australian Film Institute AACTA Award for Best Film for The Sapphires.

Here, Blight talks about moving an audience, letting story dictate capture medium, and getting in the way of Tom Wilkinson.