American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 10

The horror genre has always been a favorite of mine,
so I was more than ready to set my DVR for Penny
Dreadful when Showtime's billboards for the series
began dotting the Hollywood skyline. I was wary, of
course - horror is not always high art - but I
remained hopeful that the show would deliver the
quality its pedigree promised.
Two seasons later, I'm happy to report that
Penny has consistently provided enough chills, thrills
and flights of imagination to please even the most
jaded fans of supernatural drama. I sensed from the
very first episode that series creator and showrunner
John Logan was going for it, and that no expense
was being spared in the presentation of inventive
new storylines involving some of the horror genre's
most venerable - and venerated - characters,
brought together in sumptuous Victorian London settings.
The cinematography for this stylish Grand Guignol has been handled by a talented
group of cameramen, including Xavi Giménez, AEC (who shot the first two episodes and thus
set the look); Nigel Willoughby, BSC; and ISC members PJ Dillon, Owen McPolin and John
Conroy. The latter two graciously provided AC's London correspondent, Phil Rhodes, with a
detailed overview of their approach ("Tortured Souls," page 32). McPolin notes that the show's
abundance of atmosphere is a top priority for Logan, who "wanted to feel and taste and touch
the London of that time."
Effective ambience is also achieved in this month's other spotlighted projects. While
shooting Jurassic World in Hawaii, ASC member John Schwartzman blended 35mm and
65mm to produce onscreen environments that add greatly to the movie's tension and
suspense. "We weren't shooting in the parts of Hawaii that you see in the travel brochures,"
he tells Jay Holben ("Making Monsters," page 44). "We were knee-deep in mud, with lots of
mosquitoes and centipedes, where you drive in as far as you can with a Gator towing your
gear, and then hoof it the rest of the way."
Steven Fierberg, ASC found himself in slightly more swanky spots while shooting the
Entourage feature for director and HBO series creator Doug Ellin. But as he notes in his interview with Debra Kaufman ("The Boys Are Back," page 54), he tried not to overdo the showbiz
settings. "I hope every scene in Entourage looks like you think it would look if you were at that
place or event," Fierberg says. "My goal with lighting is to capture and heighten reality, not
detach myself from it."
On Love & Mercy, cinematographer Robert Yeoman, ASC sought to convey the essence
of both the 1960s and '80s while helping director Bill Pohlad tell the surf-rock saga of Beach
Boys leader Brian Wilson, a.k.a. "the Mozart of Rock." In order to imbue the film with the
proper vibrations, Yeoman fought to shoot in Los Angeles, where Wilson has lived most of the
drama portrayed onscreen. "Shooting in Los Angeles gives the movie so much more authenticity, as did shooting in the actual studios where the Beach Boys recorded," he tells AC contributor Mark Dillon ("Harmony and Discord," page 64) - who, as author of the book Fifty Sides
of the Beach Boys: The Songs That Tell Their Story, would surely agree.

10

Stephen Pizzello
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher

Photo by Owen Roizman, ASC.

Editor's Note



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - July 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 5
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 7
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover3
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