The American Society of Cinematographers has named its annual Outstanding Achievement Award nominees in the categories of feature film, documentary, and television cinematography. Winners will be announced during the 36th ASC Awards on March 20. The ceremony will be a hybrid event, both in person and live streamed, at the historic ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood.
The Tragedy of Macbeth—written four centuries ago for the stage—has been translated to the screen throughout cinema history. Replete with medieval atmosphere, witches, and murder, the iconic tale has now been retold by director Joel Coen. Working with director of photography Bruno Delbonnel ASC, AFC, Coen developed a visual approach to the bloody proceedings that emphasizes Shakespeare’s matchless language and the faces of the actors delivering it.
In the two decades since we first entered The Matrix, there’s been a quantum leap in computing and filmmaking technology. Visionary filmmaker Lana Wachowski made sure she considered both those changes before going back down the rabbit hole. “There have been huge advances in computing that called for an updated visual representation of the virtual world of The Matrix,” explains Daniele Massaccesi, co-cinematographer with John Toll, ASC on The Matrix Resurrections. “Lana wanted to create a synthetic world that would be believable to humans in 2021. It is therefore photoreal and full of color.”
The American Society of Cinematographers has completed its Standard Evaluation Material II project. The short film is an initiative by the organization to provide standardized viewing material designed to aid in the development and calibration of technology impacting the modern imaging chain. StEM2 test packages will be available in early 2022 to download for free in all common theatrical and home TV formats.
The Disney Channel’s original musical comedy movie Spin is full of the type of color palettes expected of a story that follows Rhea, an Indian American 15-year-old – played by Avantika – who discovers her artistic side through the unique world of DJ culture, and learns she has a passion for creating mixes that blend the textures of her Indian heritage and the world around her. Cinematographer Jeremy Benning CSC and director Manjari Makijany knew from the start that they wanted the film to be shot in large format.
In some of their earliest discussions about the new film The Water Man, both director, producer, and actor David Oyelowo, and cinematographer Matt Lloyd, ASC, CSC, knew that the look of the film would need to be more majestic than a spherical lens could provide. Then, Lloyd met up with Michael Koerner of Koerner Camera of Portland, Oregon, who would provide the lenses and cameras for the project.
Season 4 of Star Trek: Discovery will bring viewers further into the story than previous seasons, as lead director of photography Philip Lanyon added shooting in full frame to his creative look. Lanyon was the driving force behind using full frame for Discovery, although the decision to introduce full frame was also somewhat technically driven. “Discovery used virtual production environments in Season 4 and the large format can effectively give you softer backgrounds, which was important to control moiré and other artifacts you can get on a LED wall,” he said, “but shooting in full frame is what I wanted for the look and feel of Season 4.”
Sony Electronics today introduced the Venice 2 digital cinema camera, the new flagship model and latest addition to its lineup of high-end digital cinema cameras. The company says the Venice 2 builds upon the strength of the original Venice with new features including a compact design, internal recording, and the option for two different sensors: the newly developed full-frame 8.6K sensor or the original 6K Venice sensor. The Venice 2 also inherits popular features from the original Venice including color science, Dual Base ISO and 8-stops of built-in ND filters.
In an industry that relies heavily on collaboration to combine technical excellence with inspiring creativity, the last two years have been a unique challenge. The Zeiss cinema lens team, meanwhile, has worked hard to not only continue communications, but to also expand and improve its capabilities across the Americas. Whether it’s from behind masks or monitors they have been actively engaging with the filmmaking community, unveiling new technology, maintaining channels, sponsoring online events and film festivals, and producing their Studies in Cinematography series with the likes of Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS, Matthew Libatique, ASC and Alice Brooks, ASC.
Projects that originate on film are increasingly rare and one current standout is the HBO series Succession. Working with film creates some interesting challenges and opportunities for Light Iron senior colorist Sam Daley, whose involvement in the series goes back to the pilot episode.