American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 65

Unit photography by Fran├žois Duhamel, courtesy of Roadside Attractions.

Opposite, from left:
During the Beach
Boys' heyday in the
early 1960s,
bandmates Carl
Wilson (Brett
Davern), Mike Love
(Jake Abel) and
Brian Wilson (Paul
Dano) join Brian's
wife Marilyn (Erin
Darke) for some
surf and sun in the
feature Love &
Mercy. This page,
top: In the 1980s,
Melinda Ledbetter
(Elizabeth Banks)
witnesses the
abuse Brian (John
Cusack, center)
suffers while under
the care of Dr.
Eugene Landy (Paul
Giamatti). Bottom:
Cinematographer
Robert Yeoman,
ASC frames the
action with a
handheld camera.

Banks); as their relationship develops,
Ledbetter grows increasingly troubled
by the "care" Wilson receives from
Landy (Paul Giamatti).
Pohlad says he didn't want to
make a traditional, linear biopic. "I was
more interested in an intimate portrait
of an extraordinary guy that brings out
more human and universal elements," he
explains. "The Pet Sounds and Smile era
was a pinnacle of Brian's creative genius;
I couldn't tell the Brian Wilson story
without telling that [part of the story].
And I was intrigued by Melinda meeting this odd, quirky character - not
knowing who he was, but being
charmed by him and then finding out
he's Brian Wilson. That was a nice way
into the story."
Having not helmed a feature in
more than two decades, Pohlad sought a
seasoned director of photography and
approached Robert Yeoman, ASC, who
was in Germany working on The Grand
Budapest Hotel (AC March '14). "We had
a great connection right off the bat, even
over the phone and Skype," the director
recalls. "It just felt right in terms of the
way we both saw approaching [the
story]."

Yeoman - speaking from
Boston while scouting the Ghostbusters
reboot for director Paul Feig - recalls,
"I loved the script and the take on the
story. Bill had a lot of great ideas and I
felt it would be an amazing film to be
part of." His only hesitation was the
possibility of shooting in Louisiana for
tax incentives. He strongly believed the
movie should be made in the Beach
Boys' stomping grounds in and around
Los Angeles - which, fortunately, was
www.theasc.com

exactly what happened. "Shooting in
Los Angeles gives the movie so much
more authenticity, as did shooting in the
actual studios where the Beach Boys
recorded," Yeoman maintains.
The cinematographer also
resisted the common push toward digital capture. "The story takes place in an
analog time, so I felt we needed the
grain and texture of film to give [the
settings] a realistic feel," he explains.
For scenes set in the 1980s, the
July 2015

65


http://www.theasc.com

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
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 6
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