“Film handles the subtleties and range of natural light beautifully with a wonderfully smooth rendering of highlights and shadows. And the process is entirely simple and direct. Shots are composed looking through a high-quality optical viewfinder that shows color, contrast and the qualities of light exactly as they exist in nature without any electronic intermediary. There is a direct connection between one’s brain and an image coming through the lens and off of a mirror. For work that should last through the ages, I love film and I intend to keep shooting it for a long time.”
Buddy Squires is an Oscar®-nominated filmmaker and Emmy®-winning director of photography best known for his cinematography on the films of Ken Burns. Squires’ cinematography credits include seven Oscar®-nominated films with two Academy Award® winners. He has 10 Primetime Emmy® nominations to his name. In 2007, Squires was awarded the International Documentary Association’s Career Achievement Award. His credits include The Civil War, Jazz, The Central Park Five, The National Parks, Ethel, New York, The Donner Party, Ansel Adams, Mark Twain, Nanking, The War, Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, Strangers No More, Baseball, Prohibition, The Dust Bowl, and the upcoming Salinger.
“Just as a painter loves his colors, brushes and empty canvas, I love my light, camera and film to paint pictures. My job is to fulfill the director’s vision. When designing the look of a project, I give priority to what the script demands, and then consider the budget and ways to accomplish the images without compromising quality. I still prefer the realistic film look, and I don’t rely too much on modern post production. I trust what my eye sees, so the audience becomes immersed in the story.
“Today, everything including film’s language, looks, subject and presentation has changed. I consider myself lucky to be a participant in this era. Cinema has become more realistic, and to address this evolution, I am always ready with my camera, Kodak stock and lights.
The goal of all cinematographers is to create images that will be printed forever in the audience’s mind. Everything you do and everything you see will come through in your approach. I use the meaning of a certain color, contrast, or diagonal in the frame to manipulate or channel the audience’s feelings. I might not be consciously thinking of these things, but it comes from somewhere inside me. I’m fascinated by still photography, and I love the various formats that have developed over the history of photography. When it comes to format, the more choices we have, the better. We chose to film The Master on 65 mm film with photochemical processing because the characteristics of the images echoed the iconic still photography of that period. The images are amazing.”
Mihai Malaimare, Jr. is a native of Romania who attended the National University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest. His work can be seen in promotional spots for Drake, Eminem and Nicki Manaj, and his feature credits include Francis Ford Coppola’s Youth Without Youth, Tetro and Twixt, as well as Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.
“As a director of photography, I am in the very fortunate position of seeing the entire production, actors in particular, and what the images are supposed to look like through my viewfinder. My job is to design the visuals that best deliver the actors’ emotions, and orchestrate the art, lighting, composition, and other elements to bring the director’s vision to the screen. Today, there are so many gadgets, but cinematographers are still tasked with achieving the best images for the story in features or making products look beautiful in commercials. No matter how many new tools there are, cinematographers must not forget the core role we play in the art and craft of image making.”
Hiroshi Machida began his career as a camera assistant on commercials for the Tohokushinsha Film Corporation (TFC) after graduating from Tama College of Art. After a decade, he became a director of photography and has shot spots for such advertisers as Toyota, P&G and Panasonic. His commercial work has earned two Grand Prix Awards at the ACC CM Festival. His feature credits include My Darling of the Mountains, What the Snow Brings, Kaza-Hana, Party 7, and Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl.
There are many variables in every scene of each film, including interactions between actors. Great cinematography happens when all the variables come together. You have to be sensitive to what the space around the actors is telling you. Many times it's not about lighting. It's about taking light away, deciding what to reveal or conceal with your framing and choosing the right lens. I'm not interested in shooting pretty pictures and impressing people with aesthetics. I am constantly searching for images with the energy that serves the story. Even though you need many collaborators, filmmaking can still be a very personal process with a completely subjective outcome. It takes a lot more than mastering technology and techniques. Filmmaking is a universal language that I am continuously learning and a form of artistic expression that draws on a lifetime of visual memories.
Guillermo Navarro, ASC won an Oscar© in 2007 for Best Achievement in Cinematography for his work on Pan's Labyrinth. His credits include Cabeza de Vaca, Cronos, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Jackie Brown, Stuart Little, Spy Kids, The Devil's Backbone, Hellboy, Hellboy II, Zathura, I Am Number Four, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and Part 2, and the upcoming Pacific Rim. Navarro also leads an effort to have film recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage.
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