When John Lee Hancock called about Saving Mr. Banks, John Schwartzman, ASC leapt at the opportunity. Although the film’s budget paled in comparison to Schwartzman’s previous assignment, The Amazing Spider-Man, it was a chance to shift gears and work on an adult drama with an old friend. “We’re very proud of the film,” says Schwartzman. “It’s a very small movie, but the story is compelling, and I think it’s some of my best work.”
The story is based on the fraught, real-life relationship between Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks) and P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the Australian novelist who wrote the source material for what eventually became Mary Poppins. The story follows Disney as he cajoles and persuades the difficult Travers through a long and arduous creative process. The time period ranges from 1906 Australia to the 1961 opening of Disneyland in Orange County, California, and the Hollywood premiere of Mary Poppins in 1964. That film won five ACADEMY AWARDS® and earned an additional eight nominations, still a record for a Disney film. Mary Poppins also helped lay the groundwork for Disney’s long-term success in live-action filmmaking.
A good cinematographer knows when a lighter photographic touch better serves the story. Thomas Kloss felt that the independent film Don Jon was a textbook example.
“It’s not a high-budget action movie that’s being driven by photography,” he says. “This story is being told by actors, and the subject matter and the photography has to support that with a simple, straightforward approach and no overcomplicated bells and whistles.”
Audiences will get their first look at Felony, a psychological thriller about guilt, conscience, punishment and forgiveness, at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. At the heart of the story is a moral dilemma. The central character is a detective, who after a few celebratory beers with pals, hits a boy with his car on the way home. He impulsively lies to the emergency operator and to law enforcement when they arrive. A friend tries to help him cover his tracks, but another detective isn’t quite buying their story. The ensuing three-way psychological struggle unfolds over the course of three intense days.
“I couldn’t dismiss (the detective’s) actions as simply being ‘wrong’ because I understood he was trying to protect his own family,” says director Matthew Saville. “In this film, nobody wears a white hat or a black hat, and if they're wearing a halo, it's a crooked halo – and I just think that's a closer reflection of life. It’s very honest.”
Director Harald Zwart tapped cinematographer Geir Hartly Andreassen, FSF to help bring City of Bones, the first book in author Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series “The Mortal Instruments,” to the big screen.
Aimed at young adults, this urban-fantasy series centers around a teenage girl named Clary Fray who discovers that she is a Shadowhunter, which is a human-angel hybrid. Set in contemporary New York, City of Bones follows Clary (played by Lily Collins) as she joins forces with a group of Shadowhunters in search of her missing mother (Lena Headey). Clary is introduced to a dangerous and different New York called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures.
In Runner, Runner, Justin Timberlake plays Richie, a needy, ambitious grad student who pays off his college tuition bills with money he wins gambling. When he thinks he has the system figured out, he risks it all at an unregulated offshore gambling website — and loses. He decides he must confront the entrepreneur who cheated him, and that man, played by Ben Affleck, offers him a job. It seems like a dream gig, but eventually the party turns ominous. He realizes too late that he is so far in that he might not be able to get out.
Mauro Fiore, ASC and director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer, The Take) turned their cameras on this story in Puerto Rico, which stood in for Costa Rica because it was a U.S. territory and offered more of an infrastructure for filmmaking. In 2009, Fiore won an OSCAR® for his work on Avatar, and his other feature credits include Real Steel, The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces, The Island, Tears of the Sun, and Training Day.
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