When he read the script for his latest project, The Spectacular Now, Jess Hall, BSC felt an instant connection with the material. “The story had a kind of resonance,” he says. “It reminded me of situations that I’ve been in throughout my real life. I thought it stood out. It’s quite rare that you read something that really touches you in that way.”
Hall’s background includes fine art still photography as well as eye-catching music videos and commercials, along with the feature films Hot Fuzz, Brideshead Revisited, Creation, The Switch, and 30 Minutes or Less. He studied film at Central Saint Martins University for the Arts and Design in London.
When Sylvain Chomet, the wildly inventive director of the animated feature films The Illusionist and The Triplets of Belleville, set out to direct his first live-action feature, Attila Marcel, he chose to work with acclaimed cinematographer Antoine Roch, AFC. Roch, a veteran of more than 30 feature films, was introduced to Chomet by producer Claudie Ossard. Director and cinematographer were immediately simpatico. “I was drawn to Attila Marcel by Sylvain,” the DP relates. “He is so creative, and has such a feeling for odd, wonderful characters – the too big, the too small. He has a very strong ‘secret garden.’”
And then there was the script. “It was beautiful,” Roch adds. “It was all about the power of memory to transform. Right from the start I saw ways in which I could help Sylvain achieve the power of these memories in Paul’s (the main character’s) life.”
Director Seenu Ramasamy together with cinematographer Balasubramaniem boldly tell a story on film about a five decade-old problem hitherto untold by any filmmaker. Neerparavai narrates the lives and deaths at sea of Tamil fishermen. Interweaved into this narrative is a touching love story. The movie travels back to 1935, 1985 and into 2012. “Since the story of Neerparavai travels through various periods it was a challenging job to showcase each scene with originality and true colors,” says cinematographer Balasubramaniem.
The movie was shot during the peak southern summer (March-May) mainly in the waters of Kanyakumari, South India. Using two ARRI cameras (a 435 and a 235) and a complement of lenses including Optima and Allura zooms, Ultra Primes and a Cooke S4, the cinematographer captured the drama on a mixture of KODAK VISION3 film stocks.
Josh Spires, from the University of Texas, is the Americas Region Winner for the 2011 Kodak Film School Cinematography Competition.
Spires' film, The Whale, follows a young boy who lives in an ephemeral fantasy to try and escape the cycle of paternal abuse.
"Cinematography is all about storytelling. All the way, 100%. If telling a story is your one true goal as cinematographer, everything else will follow. The light and glass and stock one uses are only means to an end, which should be a story worth telling."
Currently thrilling Indian audiences with its blend of high-octane energy, action sequences and exotic locations is the newly-released blockbuster, Ek Tha Tiger. The Tiger of the title is a rugged, handsome and mysterious bachelor, played by Salman Khan, who is India’s top spy. He is sent on a supposedly easy and safe mission to Dublin, Ireland to observe a scientist of Indian origin suspected of sharing his research findings with the Pakistan defense establishment. Tiger attempts to befriend the scientist’s caretaker Zoya (Katrina Kaif). Together the two embark on a roller-coaster journey battling the dark worlds of intelligence and espionage.
Director Kabir Khan and DP Aseem Mishra go back a long way. Both went to the same college at the University of Delhi and after graduating they both worked together on documentaries and commercials. They decided to use their documentary background as a means of filming Ek Tha Tiger. DP Mishra explains, “The director and I wanted the film to look as real as possible. The idea was to capture events without interfering too much with the set-up and artificially stylize it. There is a lot of docu-style camera movement, always edgy, yet fluid. The choice of film as the shooting medium was not really a conscious one; we just both decided that a film of this scale should be shot on film to achieve the kind of depth that we required. Film provides a certain look, a certain depth that is imprinted on our subconsciousness.”
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