American Cinematographer interviews cinematographers, directors and other filmmakers to take you behind the scenes on major studio movies, independent films and popular television series.Subscribe on iTunes
The Crow (1994) / Dariusz Wolski, ASC
To mark the 20th anniversary of the release of The Crow, Dariusz Wolski, ASC, revisits his work on the film, which helped launch his and director Alex Proyas’ careers in Hollywood. Wolski explains how he and his collaborators worked with a “shoestring” budget to create the picture’s now iconic look, which is marked by an expressionistic use of light and shadow and a unique desaturated palette punctuated with boldly colored flashbacks. Wolski says, “We were trying to find a new look — not new, really, but a response to what was going on in cinema at the time.” He also discusses how the filmmakers approached some scenes after lead actor Brandon Lee died in an accident on set.
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Hell on Wheels / Marvin V. Rush, ASC
Director of photography Marvin V. Rush, ASC, describes his work on Hell on Wheels, a drama set in the aftermath of the Civil War that is currently in its fourth season on AMC. Among the topics he discusses are the importance of embracing the natural world in his overall approach to the show, which is shot on location in Alberta, Canada; how MacTech LEDs have transformed his day-interior lighting; why he prefers to reserve the close-up for important storytelling moments; and how he approached directing an episode for the first time.
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Twin Peaks Pilot (1990) / Ron Garcia, ASC
Cinematographer Ron Garcia, ASC, recalls shooting the Twin Peaks pilot for director David Lynch. He discusses why he was an unlikely choice for the project, how he coaxed the desired warm tones out of his Fuji negative, and the importance of working with a great gaffer.
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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes / Michael Seresin, BSC
Director of photography Michael Seresin, BSC, discusses the new film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, detailing how he and director Matt Reeves strove to bring “a film aesthetic” to the native 3-D digital production. Among the topics Seresin covers are the challenges presented by the short prep, why he chose Leica lenses, his collaboration with the seasoned visual-effects crew from Weta, and how he matched disparate light in Vancouver and New Orleans.
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The Girl and Death / Goert Giltay, NSC, and Jos Stelling
Cinematographer Goert Giltay, NSC, and director Jos Stelling join American Cinematographer’s Iain Stasukevich on a Skype call from the Netherlands to discuss their approach to the drama The Girl and Death. The longtime collaborators cover the choice of shooting digitally with an Arri Alexa, how they achieved the expressionistic visuals, and the flexible lighting approach that was necessitated by the actors’ availability.
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier / Trent Opaloch
Cinematographer Trent Opaloch talks with American Cinematographer's Iain Stasukevich about his work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, describing in detail the nuts and bolts of lighting, managing and scheduling this mammoth production, as well as how his work on District 9 and Elysium influenced this film.
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Robocop (1987) / Jost Vacano, ASC
American Cinematographer's Iain Stasukevich talks with cinematographer Jost Vacano, ASC, about his work on Robocop, directed by Paul Verhoeven.
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The Grandmaster / Philippe Le Sourd, AFC
American Cinematographer's Iain Stasukevich talks with cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd, AFC, about filming Wong Kar-wai's martial-arts drama The Grandmaster. Among the topics are how the project evolved over its 3 years of production in China, as well as how Le Sourd collaborated with the director.
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Saving Mr. Banks / John Schwartzman, ASC
American Cinematographer’s Jim Hemphill speaks with John Schwartzman, ASC about his work on the modestly budgeted character-driven movie, Saving Mr. Banks, discussing the choice to shoot on film and how they recreated 1960s Los Angeles using no digital mattes or effects.
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Man of Tai Chi / Elliot Davis
American Cinematographer’s Iain Stasukevich talks with cinematographer Elliot Davis about his work on Man of Tai Chi. They discuss shooting in China, working with director Keanu Reeves' and his approach to shooting a commercial martial arts film, as well as Davis’ views on film vs. digital.
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