American Cinematographer - January 2009 - 42

Old Soul Cinematographer Claudio Miranda and post supervisor Peter Mavromates crack The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which presents a main character who ages in reverse. by Douglas Bankston Unit photography by Merrick Morton, SMPSP he $150 million film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is only Claudio Miranda’s second feature as a director of photography, but its director, David Fincher, had the utmost confidence in him — they had actually been working together for years. Miranda worked his way up in the electrical department and had been a gaffer on Fincher’s Seven, The Game and Fight Club, and he had also shot additional photogra- An T 42 January 2009 phy on Zodiac and many of Fincher’s commercials. “It is a big step, and you can almost panic yourself about taking on such a big movie,” acknowledges Miranda. “But I had a reasonable amount of prep to work out the logistics, and I was surrounded by a great support system, a talented crew who had done huge jobs. I knew I could count on them, whether it was one space light or a hundred.” That crew included operator Kim Marks, gaffer Christopher Strong, key grip Michael Coo and 1st AC Jonas Steadman. Benjamin Button, which draws its inspiration from a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, begins in New Orleans in 1918 with the birth of the titular character, who emerges from the womb as an infant with the physical appearance of an elderly, ailing man. Horrified by the sight, Button’s father dumps the baby at a home for senior citizens, and myste-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - January 2009