Archive for the 'thefilmbook' Category

Gordon Willis Tribute 1 – KLUTE

thefilmbook-by-Benjamin-BThis post features excerpts from a tribute to the late, great Gordon Willis, ASC, that I organized with Stephen Pizzello at Camerimage last November, with comments by ASC members Caleb Deschanel, Ed Lachman, Matthew Libatique and Vilmos Zsigmond.

This first post focuses on the pioneering cinematography of Klute.

Gordon Willis Tribute at Camerimage 2014 -thefilmbook

The tribute took place during the 2014 Camerimage Festival

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tribute at camerimage

When I saw the 2014 Camerimage schedule and realized there was no event dedicated to Gordon Willis, I called my friend and colleague Stephen Pizzello and asked him if he would help me organize a tribute event. Stephen is both Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the American Cinematographer, and has also recently finished writing a book about the cinematographer. The book will be titled Gordon Willis on Cinematography.

Steve and I spent a few days selecting clips and preparing the event, and recruited ASC cinematographers Caleb Deschanel, Ed Lachman, Matthew Libatique and Vilmos Zsigmond who kindly agreed to comment on the work of their legendary colleague. (Caleb does not appear in this first post, he joined us later because of a prior commitment). We had a full house, and the event was very well received.

We showed clips from Gordon’s work with 3 key directors: Klute, The Parallax View and All the President’s Men by Alan J. Pakula, The Godfather I and The Godfather II by Francis Ford Coppola, and Annie Hall and Manhattan by Woody Allen. I came away with a renewed appreciation of Gordon Willis’ unique mixture of methodical rigor and pioneering poetry.

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Almost Famous – 6 Extra Cinematography Nominees

thefilmbook-by-Benjamin-BThis post presents 6 cinematographers that were not nominated for the 3 major awards this past season.


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Winter Sleep by Nuri Bilge Ceylan with cinematography by Gökhan Tiryaki

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and the nominees were…

Many of us are presently suffering from post-awards-season fatigue. The months of December to January are filled with a flurry of Hollywood award shows. This implies a lot of press coverage, with ink and pixels, focused on about a dozen films, and their filmmakers.

For cinematographers of English-language films, the major awards are given by the ASC, BAFTA and the Oscars. These 3 awards are intertwined, and confer a level of fame to cinematographers that is not yet achieved by other honors. This year’s nominees included wonderful work by 7 cinematographers:

ASC-BAFTA-OSCAR cinematography nominations 2015 - thefilmbook-

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Mommy – Interview with André Turpin

thefilmbook by Benjamin BThis post is an expanded version of my interview with André Turpin about his striking cinematography for Mommy in the February issue of American Cinematographer. I met with André at Camerimage.

This text may make more sense if you have read my interview with the film’s director, Xavier Dolan, in the previous post.


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Andre Turpin 2014 photo by Benjamin B -thefilmbook-

Cinematographer André Turpin interviewed at Camerimage (photo Benjamin B)

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Mommy – Interview with Xavier Dolan

thefilmbook by Benjamin BMy interview with André Turpin about his striking cinematography for Mommy is in the February issue of American Cinematographer.

This post presents an interview with the film’s brilliant young director, Xavier Dolan, which I conducted after the print deadline.

I will return to the previous theme of LUTs in a future post.


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Andre Turpin and Xavier Dolan on set of Mommy-

Cinematographer André Turpin with director Xavier Dolan on the set of Mommy (photo Shayne Laverdière)

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LUTs 1: Searching for Turner’s Palette

thefilmbook by Benjamin BGreetings from Sweden, where I am attending the Gokinema event at Gothenburg Film Studios.

This post supplements my article in the January issue of American Cinematographer about the beautiful film Mr. Turner. The movie’s dazzling images have earned cinematographer Dick Pope, BSC, nominations from the ASC, BAFTA and the Academy.

Obviously the sophisticated look of Mr. Turner is the result of many choices by Dick and his team. In this post, I describe an aesthetic approach to researching and defining a palette that acted as one of the references for the look of the film, and also its on-set LUTs (Look-Up Tables).

A future post will offer a more technical analysis of LUTs, with the hope of helping to demystify this cinematography technology.

Turner Palette-

Turner’s Chelsea palette at the Tate

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Douglas Trumbull – Future Filmmaking

Je-suis-charlie-thefilmbook-
I have temporarily changed my logo to express my solidarity with my fellow citizens during this important moment in French history.

This post concludes the account of my discussion with the legendary Douglas Trumbull during IBC.

In the first post, Douglas presented his belief in the importance of temporal continuity between the camera and the projector. In the second post he shared his vision of the future of theatrical movies. Here he shares his insights about future filmmaking approaches and techniques.


Douglas Trumbull Interview 3-1 -Benjamin B -thefilmbook

Cinema technology pioneer Douglas Trumbull during our interview

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Douglas Trumbull – Future Movie Theaters

thefilmbook by Benjamin BThis post continues an account of my discussion with the legendary Douglas Trumbull in Amsterdam during IBC.

In the first post, Douglas presented his belief in the importance of temporal continuity between the camera and the projector. In this post he shares his vision of the future of theatrical movies.

Let me take this opportunity to wish all my readers the best that the spirit of the season has to offer.

Douglas Trumbull interview by Benjamin B -thefilmbook1

Cinema technology pioneer Douglas Trumbull during our interview

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Douglas Trumbull – Temporal Continuity

thefilmbook by Benjamin BI had the great privilege of spending a couple of hours speaking with the legendary Douglas Trumbull in Amsterdam during IBC. This is the first of several posts about our discussion.

Douglas Trumbull -thefilmbook- photo by Benjamin B

Cinema technology pioneer Douglas Trumbull -photo Benjamin B

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Camerimage 2014 Wrap

thefilmbook by Benjamin BCamerimage, the best and biggest cinematography festival in the world, wrapped 6 days ago.

It’s impossible to see everything at Camerimage. This post gives an account of the Main Competition winners, and details some of the events that I took part in.

You should also check out the upcoming ASC podcast by Iain Marcks and ASC Parallax View blog post by David Heuring to get more details about this complex event.

3 Frogs at Camerimage 2014

André Turpin, Mikhail Krichman, Ehab Assal & their frogs – photo: Camerimage

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Camerimage 2014 Preview

thefilmbook by Benjamin BGreetings from Bydgoszcz, Poland, home of Camerimage, the best and biggest cinematography festival in the world, which begins tomorrow.

Camerimage is a wonderful combination of screenings, seminars, workshops, and parties. This post gives you a preview of some the coming attractions in the next 9 days, and may also help to orient people who don’t know the Festival well.

Camerimage 2014 Preview -thefilmbook-

The Camerimage app

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