In Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise’s character endures an experience reminiscent of Groundhog Day. He relives his dying day over and over, hoping to eventually gain the skill and smarts to break the loop and conquer his enemies. But the similarities end there. In Edge of Tomorrow, the world is a high-tech yet recognizable future where human soldiers equipped with robotic suits must fight off invading aliens.
Oscar®-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS (Chicago, Collateral, Memoirs of a Geisha, Land of the Lost, Green Lantern, Nine, Gangster Squad) had previously worked with director Doug Liman (Swingers, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jumpers, The Bourne Identity) on a few commercials, but never on a project of this scale. They worked toward a visual strategy through careful preproduction testing.
Director Julian Higgins and cinematographer Andrew Wheeler recently reunited for the short film Winter Light, which is based on the writings of James Lee Burke. The story is a modern-day revisionist Western set against a winter landscape in Montana.
Wheeler and Higgins first began working together while attending AFI. Their thesis film Thief, which was shot on 35mm, won a 2011 Student ACADEMY AWARD® Gold Medal. The filmmaking duo also took top honors in Canon’s Project Imaginat10n film contest for Here and Now in 2013.
Danny Moder didn’t set out to be a cinematographer, but filmmaking is in his DNA. His grandfather, Dick Moder, was a director and his father, Mike Moder, spent nearly four decades on the production frontlines of films like Jeremiah Johnson, Beverly Hills Cop, and Crimson Tide. And it was on that 1995 Tony Scott action flick that Moder got his first taste of life on the set, after nagging his father “enough that he let me try it out for a summer job, working as a production assistant.” From there, he was hooked.
In the nearly two decades since he began his career, Moder has amassed nearly 40 credits, most recently as the cinematographer on Ryan Murphy’s The Normal Heart, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Julia Roberts, who also happens to be Moder’s wife of a dozen years.
Wally Pfister, an ACADEMY AWARD®-winning cinematographer, recently turned his talents to directing. The result is Transcendence, a film that ponders the fraught relationship between humans and the technology they create. The film stars Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, and Johnny Depp, who plays a scientist who defies death when his consciousness is transferred to the digital realm. Prior to Transcendence, Pfister was best known for his work as a cinematographer on the films of Christopher Nolan, including the stunning, spectacular imagery in films like Memento, The Prestige, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Inception. All those movies were shot on Kodak film, in some cases on large formats, like 65mm and even IMAX. Pfister and cinematographer Jess Hall, BSC chose to shoot Transcendence in 35mm anamorphic format with a photochemical finish.
During your cinematography career, did you know that someday you’d direct?
It was always in the back of my mind. I didn’t know that it would be a big Hollywood feature, but I can say that I knew I’d give it a shot one day. Even when I was working as a camera operator, the actors and their performances fascinated me, and I wanted to explore that in more depth. I’ve always been a musician, so I’ve really sunk my teeth into the music and sound aspects of directing, too. I’ve very much relished the writing process as well. The combination of the words and the way an artist like Johnny Depp brings them to life – let’s just say that I really had a lot of fun throughout the entire project.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is the latest cinematic tale from Lasse Hallström, the director behind personal films like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Chocolat, Once Around, and My Life as a Dog, and more recently, The Hypnotist, Safe Haven and Dear John. The new film is a culture-clash yarn set mostly in southern France, where a traditional family-run French restaurant is forced to adapt when a family from India immigrates and opens a restaurant across the street.
The Hundred-Foot Journey was photographed by Linus Sandgren, FSF, a Scandinavian whose imagery was seen in last year’s hit American Hustle, as well as in Promised Land, Gus Van Sant’s 2012 film about the effects of hydrofracking.
Download as PDF