Focus On Film

Daniel Pearl is “Thinking Out Loud”

Published on website: January 14, 2015
Categories: Focus On Film
On the set of "Thinking Out Loud" (Photo courtesy of Daniel Pearl, ASC

Emil Nava is a successful music video and commercials director whose instinct for stylish imagery is behind music videos for Jesse J, Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora, as well as spots for MasterCard and L’Oréal. For his latest creation, the video for Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” Nava wanted a classic look, and he wanted to achieve it by shooting film. Behind the camera, he had a strong ally in Daniel Pearl, ASC.

“I found shooting film again to be fantastic,” says Pearl. “It was very freeing. I could move a lot faster. You don’t have to fiddle with quarter-of-a-stop or eighth-of-a-stop changes in light, because you know that there will be a final color grading.”

Filming Beside Still Waters 

(r-l) Beck Bennett and Reid Scott

Actor and fine art photographer Chris Lowell was well aware that a young man struggling with the death of his parents could be considered a filmic trope, particularly in the low-budget realm of movies. So, for his feature film directing debut, Beside Still Waters, which won Best Narrative Feature at the 2013 Austin Film Festival, he sought to elevate it above the usual fare by shooting on KODAK Motion Picture Film, going so far as to have the aesthetic of celluloid imbue his main character in the ensemble comedy-drama with a sense of longing.

“Our protagonist is woefully nostalgic and stuck in the romanticism of the past, and it is holding him back,” Lowell explains. “Film was able to evoke those feelings for us.”

Evan Prosofsky on the Early Days 

Published on website: November 25, 2014
Categories: Focus On Film , EASTMAN DOUBLE-X Black & White Negative Film 5222/7222

Paul McCartney’s newest music video, “Early Days,” may not be what you’d expect from the title – a nostalgic montage of The Beatles on American Bandstand or The Ed Sullivan Show. Rather, it is a throwback of sorts, a trip down memory lane of a different life, another musician’s experience. The video was directed by Vince Haycock and shot by Evan Prosofsky.

As one of the world’s most successful composers and performers of all time, McCartney wanted a video that reflected the nostalgia he had for an older time as an aspiring musician with John Lennon. Haycock took inspiration in that to create a film about what he calls, "the spirit and inspiration young musicians find in each other, set amid the Mississippi Delta blues, a time period that heavily inspired the Beatles."

Interstellar: Taking Film to the Edges of Space and Beyond

Published on website: November 07, 2014
Categories: Focus On Film , Large Format
Matthew McConaughey in INTERSTELLAR, from Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures.

The science-fiction genre gets an infusion from Christopher Nolan with the release of Interstellar, an awe-inspiring tale of space exploration.Inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, the movie stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain. It follows the human and scientific choices that contribute to the discovery of a wormhole that is used to surpass the limitations of human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Nolan and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, FSF, NSC chose KODAK VISION3 film in 35mm anamorphic film and 65mm IMAX to capture the story. Nolan told the LA Times, “I’m a fan of any technological innovation, but for me, it’s going to have to exceed what came before -- and it hasn’t yet.” 

Michael Goi on Creating the Freak Show for American Horror Story 

(L-R) Jyoti Amge as Ma Petite, Naomi Grossman as Pepper. CR: Michele K. Short/FX

For the better part of a decade now, Ryan Murphy has been innovating the way audiences look at small screen entertainment. As the creator of shows like Popular, Nip/Tuck, Glee,and The New Normal, Murphy has established a distinctive brand of filmmaking that’s faster, louder, and more attention-grabbing than its television contemporaries, and one that puts compelling visuals on par with addictive storylines. Case in point: American Horror Story, Murphy’s television show/miniseries hybrid that plays more like a horror anthology with a new theme each season. In season one it was Murder House, which was followed by Asylum and Coven. And this fall, Freak Show premiered with what Murphy describes as “the most terrifying clown of all time.”

Michael Goi, ASC, ISC has been there since nearly the beginning, shooting the second half of American Horror Story’s first season after first collaborating with Murphy on Glee. “American Horror Story had a visual style and approach for season one that was already established by the time I came on to it,” says Goi. “I didn’t make a lot of alterations to it, but in the last two or three episodes I started to veer in the direction that I felt like the material was taking me, and some of that approach is what’s reflected in season two, Asylum, where you’re dealing with an atmosphere that was very crazed. And I think the camerawork and the lighting reflected that a lot.”