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Download Cinematographer Style: The Complete Interviews, Volume I epub

by Jon Asc Fauer,Asc Jon Fauer

This book contains 55 of the 110 interviews from the feature-length documentary Cinematographer Style. The lessons from these interviews is that there is no textbook for cinematography. It is an art, like painting, writing or composing. No two artists express themselves in exactly the same way.
Download Cinematographer Style: The Complete Interviews, Volume I epub
ISBN: 0935578331
ISBN13: 978-0935578331
Category: Humor
Subcategory: Movies
Author: Jon Asc Fauer,Asc Jon Fauer
Language: English
Publisher: American Cinematographer (August 22, 2008)
Pages: 384 pages
ePUB size: 1236 kb
FB2 size: 1892 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 554
Other Formats: mbr lit lrf docx

One of the best books I've read on cinematography.
By: Yousef Linjawi

Jon Fauer, ASC made an unforgettable contribution to the world of cinema when he sat down one day with Richard Crudo, ASC, Stephen Poster, ASC and Victor Kemper, ASC among other ASC officers to find ways to raise funds for the renovation of The ASC Clubhouse and Building fund to add more space to contain the ASC museum. What evolved from there was a remarkable 110 interviews of the world's top cinematographers of our time. After watching the 90 minute feature length documentary, which was truly a highly appraised commendable effort that deserves to be noted throughout history.The hard work of taking on a huge task to bring the art and craft of the style of cinematography to the eyes and ears of viewers and thirsty students from all around the globe. This book; "Cinematographer Style - The Complete Interviews, Volume I" provides you with a complete transcript of all the questions and answers conducted in those interviews.

I have also found this book to be one of the utmost comprehensive discussions related to STYLE. How does each artist finds creative inspirations within them that enhances their contribution to tell the story. I have very well enjoyed reading each view point made about What is Style? and Where does Style come from? and What's the relationship between Technique and Technology?

In reference to this topic, Mr. Frederic Goodich, ASC notes: 'There is a long standing debate in the arts that contrasts 'style' (technique, design, surface) vs. 'content' (story, plot, feeling, direct documentation/coverage). Critics and theorists have been debating these issues for centuries. For instance, in western European painting, contrast the Baroque and Rococo periods, the latter being more elaborately designed, ornamentation-oriented than the former -- it was style over substance. With respect to filmmaking, you may look at contemporary big-budget action films as a form of rococo. Cinematographers are caught in the middle of this debate, particularly as they are often working in the service of the director's vision, yet hope to put their own imprint on the material. Which considerations should come first, making beautiful pictures or recording images that simply convey the story - or some approach between the two? '

Volume I, contains 55 of the 110 interviews conducted from 2003-2005, yet you will find that there is no one answer to define the art of cinematography.

Only to name a few highlights of this book:

My favorite interview was with Gordon Willis, ASC (17-18 pages) where he talks about his minimalist philosophy in his style and what type of research goes into his work.
Actually, my best part was his definition of 'Dump-truck Directing' and ''Shotgun Moviemaking'. He also believes that a cinematographer can't shoot well, unless he knows how to edit. Where Mr. Willis, ASC is known to practice editing through his lighting. Mr. Willis has very strong views on cinematography and the cinematographer's responsibilities in the film. As he's well regarded to be the most influential cinematographer of our time. His leading work inspired top cinematographers and generations after him that followed his spirit. Mr. Willis, ASC is also noted for his lifetime contributions to the art of cinematography for the creation of the visual structure. As seen in his 'Godfather' films.

Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC talks about priorities since he operates his own camera and his concern with composition and framing the action while blocking the scene with the actors before lighting.
In fact, coming from a documentary background influenced by Cinéma vérité, he finds lighting to come secondary. He also commented on how 'Technique forces technology, not the other way around' .. Another great example of his approach that "Filmmaking is about the script and actors. I think camera work and lighting have to be seamless rather than in your face. When someone says, 'What a beautiful shot film' that is not necessary good because they should really be talking about the interpretation of the story, what the story felt like to them, and if they enjoyed the film' Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC

Bill Dill, ASC is a very passionate teacher, who is truly a visual psychiatrist. He likes to share this passion with his students through attitude on set and the perception to view the world from. He believes that style comes from the cinematographer's life experience and his interpretation to the emotional beats in the story. By default, a cinematographer will have his thumbprint and signature by contributing to the picture.. That's why his view point on style to be "irrelevant if it does not tell the story. In fact, it is worse than irrelevant - anything that doesn't push the story forward pushes it back.' Bill Dill, ASC.

- There are three things lighting has to do:
1. Provide sufficient illumination to record the image on film.
2. Make up for the difference in contrast from our eye to the film.
3. Enhance the illusion of a third dimension into a two-dimensional medium.
Bill Dill, ASC

I believe you can benefit from these interviews with Bill Dill, ASC and by sitting at his lectures that you would from a film school degree.

Denis Lenior, ASC, AFC talks to us after moving to the United States about the difference between American vs. European style of cinematography. I was fortunate to attend a screening for Mr. Lenior, ASC, AFC for 'Righteous Kill' where he explained to us that his philosophy of lighting and exposure has evolved from his early days of being fascinated by darkness. Whereas, now, he found that lighting faces brightly can show you more of the emotions in the face, but you will still achieve the contrast that is pleasing to our eyes. Simply, by putting the shadow side in less brightness than than the key (to trick the mind to think that it's dark) but reality it would be N or N-1 on fill. and the Key N+1 or N+2

Chris Manley, ASC talks to us about crew management and the politics the will face upcoming cinematographers and what practice should they apply, especially with larger productions and how all that will certainly affect your photography as well.

Don McCuaig, ASC talks about his long experience working as 2nd unit DP. and how much of information does he talk through with 1st unit Director of Photography.

M. David Mullen, ASC talks about Digital Technology and DI. He also explains how some producers want to push cinematographers off the wall when going to Digital Intermediate (DI).

Bill Pope, ASC give us quite an insight into how New Wave techniques and technologies are heading.

'We have to Light and compose and create movement - the basic elements of cinematography' says; Owen Roizman, ASC

In a cinematography forum at AFI, Tom Stern ASC, AFC remembers working with Mr. Roizman, ASC who is probably the only person in the world who can notice shift in exposure by 1/10 of a stop, which is very remarkable. Because film emulsions and LAD tests are configured by 1/3 of a stop to minimum noticeable adjustments. To confirm this statement, Mr. Stern once pushed a midget very quietly 6'' forward while gaffing for Mr. Roizman on set. A minute passes and Mr. Roizman (who is sitting by the camera) looks at the scene and calls his gaffer Mr. Stern to come and admit what he's done. After reading the exposure difference in the 6'' move of the midget light, it was confirmed to be 1/10 of an stop. Truly remarkable.

John Seale, ASC, ACS talks in depth about his career and experience. Particularly his style being a realistic cameraman, and how difficult it gets him to use any filtration to make an image look pretty or deliberately pretty.

Dean Semler, ASC ACS, AM being one of the pioneers to indulge into Digital Cinematography and how he became categorized by producers to only shoot digital nowadays. Though, he shoots on both formats equally, just depends on the project.

Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC talks about his background in painting and how that influences his cinematography work.

Kees Van Oostrum, ASC inverter of the Aerocrane talks about the difference between a crane and the jib arm. He also brings up quite an intriguing concept --when we see pictures in museums, usually the faces are perceived to be darker than we are used to nowadays. Being brought up with the 'Kodak image' which shows you what a normal face should like is really an artificial representation of how it is in real life. He notes, in several occasions he was asked by directors to brighten up the faces in post sessions, but really there is no additional information you will gain by brightening up someone face. Very rarely are people's faces completely lit, therefore we should keep that densities controlled in our image to perceive the level of realism that we try to achieve.

Haskell Wexler, ASC talks about how he became a cameraman and his career shift with the unions from Chicago to Hollywood in the late '50s where he used to shoot a lot of documentaries. "I didn't know the Hollywood way and only knew my way, I did things that guys who were in the system for a long time didn't think about doing because it might have seemed too amateur" Haskell Wexler, ASC.

Jack Cooperman, ASC is known for his underwater work and aerial photography. He also talks about techniques used for underwater lighting.

Julio Macat, ASC talks about his story being a film student in UCLA to dropping out to driving a truck for an equipment company and how he became a cinematographer. Also, talks about his Home Alone films and the stylistic difference between them. Another enjoyable discussion with shooting for comedies.

Richard Crudo, ASC talks about the evolution of camera technology.

When Allen Daviau, ASC starts talking you never want him to finish. Mr. Daviau, ASC is a great storyteller and a keen contributor to the history of cinematography. He gives multiple great examples of the evolution of technology and relationship between technique and technology.

George Spiro Dibie, ASC who is well known for his television achievements talks in brief about multiple camera lighting and how he started in the business with 'plan A'.

Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC talks about his stylistic choices through the heavy use of the flashing technique to achieve the faded effect found in old photographs in 'McCabe & Mrs. Miller'. Though, by the end of the movie he pulled back from the flashing and all the diffusion to give a sense of realism and make it dramatic when McCabe dies. On that note, Mr. Zsigmond, ASC also used this flashing technique (which lifts the black level of the film so it looks kind of milky with no true blacks) in other films such as 'Images' and 'The Long goodbye'. It's important to note here when talking about style that "I really hate the idea that I could have one style and that people would box me in, thinking in the diffused look of 'McCabe & Mrs. Miller' was my one style instead of a style created for that one movie" notes Mr. Zsigmond, ASC. Moreover, he talks about lighting actors and the difference between soft light vs. hard light. Mr. Zsigmond, ASC finds soft light to be beautiful to light people's faces. But, many of his contemporaries use soft light without categorization to drama or comedy, which is really bad. "I hate that kind of approach because each film should have a different look" adds Mr. Zsigmond, ASC whom have studies dutch painters where they hardly used any soft light in their work. They used hard light which is a style that himself uses a lot -- look at 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' for application to this statement. Another great example to that previous statement was his work in 'The Deer Hunter' or even 'Deliverance' where he notes that soft light in these situations would be completely inappropriate for the story. With observation to the sunlight which 16:1 contrast ratio, soft light is about 2:1. That's why lighting rooms to make it look like a sun is coming through can be very tricky. The secret with good cinematography is to make good use of shadows placement through your lighting.

Jack Green, ASC talks about his influence with the black and white still photographs of Jazz players from the 'Down Beat' magazine. Mr. Green, ASC used that concept to light Forest Whitaker with a very edgy single light source, and used a bounce card to put a little sheer into the dark side of the saxophone, without adding any light on him to keep him in darkness. That image became the poster for the film 'Bird' directed by Clint Eastwood.

After you read Jon Fauer's introduction to this book you will laugh.. and laugh so hard, especially if you know some of the people he talks about and the funny situations he was dealing with on a daily basis (which at that time wasn't at all).. You will laugh at situations such as when Gordon Willis, ASC woke up one morning to find the world's largest lighting/grip truck backing up in front of the drive way to his new house at Cape Cod ready with all the equipment any cinematographer could ever wish for -- which Gordon classically asked Jon if he only had 1 kino flo light with a 4x4 diffusion of 216 to shoot his interview -- a little into the filming, Gordon asks the gaffer to turn off that light, to keep him in silhouette from the window. "There, that's better, isn't it? No Light at all."comments Mr. Willis .

As comprehensive as these interviews are for capturing the largest amount of cinematographers in one film, there are still many more who haven't been interviewed yet, due to time and scheduling conflicts, which brings up the idea for a sequel to this insightful documentary.

I rate this book, film, and project beyond the star ratings, it truly deserves way much more.. probably a sky!

Please note that this generous contribution reflects all the proceeds from this production will be donated to the ASC Building or Education fund and will be directed towards a very honorable cause!

The list of Cinematographers in Volume I are:
Remi Adefarasian, BSC, Russ Alsobrook, ASC, Howard Anderson Jr., ASC, Howard Anderson, ASC, Michael Ballhaus, ASC, Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS, James Chressanthis, ASC, Jack Cooperman, ASC, Richard Crudo, ASC, Oliver Curtis, BCS, Allen Daviau, ASC, Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, Peter Deming, ASC, George Spiro Dibie, ASC, Bill Dill, ASC, Jon Fauer, ASC, William A. Fraker, ASC, BSC, Jack Green, ASC, Adam Greenberg, ASC, Henner Hofmann, ASC, AMC, Gil Hubbs, ASC, Levie Isaacks, ASC, Victor J. Kemper, ASC, Laszlo Kovacs, ASC, Ellen Kuras, ASC, Andrew Laszlo, ASC, Denis Lenoir, ASC, AFC, Peter Levy, ASC, ACS, Karl Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK, Julio Macat, ASC, Chris Manley, ASC, Steve Mason, ASC, Don McCuaig, ASC, Donald M. Morgan, ASC, M. David Mullen, ASC, Fred Murphy, ASC, Daryn Okada, ASC, Ferne Pearlstein, Bill Pope, ASC, Steve Poster, ASC, Owen Roizman, ASC, Nancy Schreiber, ASC, John Seale, ASC, ACS, Dean Semler, ASC, ACS, AM Michael Seresin, BSC, Steve Shaw, ASC, Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, Bradley B. Six, ASC, Kees Van Oostrum, ASC, Haskell Wexler, ASC, Gordon Willis, ASC, Ralph Woolsey, ASC, Robert Yeoman, ASC, Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC
Cinematographers seldom, if ever, get an opportunity to be in front of the camera. Director Jon Fauer changed that. 110 of the world's finest cinematographers appear in his film, CINEMATOGRAPHER STYLE. And although none of the cinematographers are actors in the real sense of the word, all the performances are Academy Award caliber. Not because the monologues are so well scripted, but because all of what these cinematographers have to say are a true representation of their lives and dedication to their craft and art. The enormous contributions they brought to the world of filmmaking enriched our lives and our culture. I consider it a privilege to be selected as one of this distinguished group.
The film is designed and put together in an intelligent, concise manner, rolling uninterrupted from one great experience to another. The wealth of information and passion from the lips of these artists is nothing short of amazing. Even to the uninitiated, listening to them is fascinating and one wishes it would go on for twice as long as it does. The film is one of a kind. In fact, it is the only one that documents the accomplishments and the art of cinematography, and the cinematographer. I congratulate Jon Fauer for his monumental achievement.
"But, . . ." as they say on television, ". . . that isn't all. There is more." Jon put together a companion book, not surprisingly by the same name, to preserve in words on paper the thoughts, experience and wisdom of all those in the film. "The envelope please!" A job well done! Thank you Jon for doing it and letting me be part of it.