In choosing to recreate Oldboy for Western audiences, Spike Lee made a bold move. The original movie, based on a Japanese graphic novel, won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and earned a passionate fan base. Lee completely reimagined the story, casting Josh Brolin as Joe Doucett, a man who is released after 20 years of solitary confinement with no explanation. Thirsty for vengeance, he discovers that he has only five days to uncover his tormenters. The cast also includes Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson.
Oldboy was filmed in a variety of atmospheric locations in New Orleans, Louisiana. The mostly local camera crew was led by Sean Bobbitt, BSC. The Texas-born cinematographer has been on a roll, with The Place Beyond the Pines, 12 Years a Slave, Shame, and Hunger among his recent credits. The latter three of those movies were done with director Steve McQueen. All were shot on film.
When Haris Zambarloukos, BSC first read the script for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, he felt it was evocative of the iconic espionage paranoia thrillers of the 1970s like The Parallax View and All the President’s Men. “There’s that internal battle that a character has about what patriotism means, where the fight for being an individual takes over,” he says. “There’s action, but there are interesting dramatic and emotional threads entwined, and that combination was appealing.”
The film is Zambarloukos’ third with director Kenneth Branagh, after Sleuth and Thor. Branagh also acts in the film as the villain, and the cast also includes Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner.
Soccer star Abby Wambach was “homegrown in New York State, just like New York apples,” exactly what the New York Apple Association was looking for when choosing a spokesperson. Wambach, the greatest goal scorer in international soccer history, is currently leading a multi-platform campaign for the trade association that includes commercials, radio spots, print ads, and point-of-purchase displays. The 30-second television spot, “Abby for Apples,” is headlining the campaign.
The commercial features Wambach and a group of children enjoying apples and soccer in an orchard located in Upstate New York. When director Ray Manard took on the project, he knew very early on that he wanted to use film for the spot. “The shoot was all outside, so weather was obviously going to be an unpredictable factor,” explains Manard. “Based on the schedule, we knew there would definitely be some high-contrast sun situations to deal with, and film, absolutely, would be able to handle that, the way only film can.”
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.”
Download as PDF