I reached Jim Denault, ASC, in Dallas, where he was prepping the pilot for a half-hour HBO comedy with Mike White. Our conversation centered mostly on stories with a political backdrop. A case in point is his upcoming feature Trumbo, which stars Bryan Cranston as screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted in the 1940s for being a Communist. The film, which also stars Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, John Goodman and Louis C.K., is scheduled for release in November. The director is Jay Roach, with whom Denault has made The Campaign, Game Change, Dinner for Schmucks and Recount. (Roach’s résumé also includes three Austin Powers comedies, as well as Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers.)
In my recent wide-ranging conversation with Anastas Michos, ASC, he mentioned several fascinating projects he’s involved with, including a documentary on the Vienna Boys Choir that will take him to Kenya, Lapland, Israel and Cambodia, among other countries. That film, directed by Curt Faudon and as yet untitled, is related to an earlier project, Silk Road, which celebrates the 400-year-old choir’s universal message of peace. Another recent project for Tas was a documentary about David Leffel, an oil painter who has been called the American Rembrandt. A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake was yet another assignment; shot in South Africa, it documents a play about translators who worked to disseminate information about the crimes of apartheid. (South Africa has 11 official national languages.)
I tracked down Rogier Stoffers, ASC, NSC, at his 10-acre horse ranch near Austin, Texas. His most recent project reunited him with director Mike van Diem, with whom he made Alaska, which won the Foreign Student Film Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in 1990, and Character, which won a Golden Frog at Camerimage and the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film in 1998. Aside from commercials, Van Diem had not directed in the interim, despite several false starts.
Cinematographer Rob McLachlan, ASC, CSC, recently took time out from shooting Ray Donovan, the Showtime series that gives him an opportunity to work with a cast that includes Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight, among many others, and to work in the Los Angeles area — a departure from the globetrotting required by his other recent assignment, Game of Thrones. He is nominated for 2015 Canadian Society of Cinematographers awards for episodes of both shows.