American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 10

One of the biggest fanboy thrills I've had in this job was
taking the helm of the Millennium Falcon with my copilot, AC contributor Noah Kadner, during our September
2014 visit to the Pinewood Studios sets of Star Wars: The
Force Awakens. Two grown men sat in the cockpit,
fiddling with the controls and wondering how fast we
could do the Kessel Run.
With the new prequel movie Solo: A Star Wars
Story, cinematographer Bradford Young, ASC and director
Ron Howard place audiences in those same iconic seats
for a hyperspace jump into Han Solo's origin story, which
begins with the rakish pilot escaping his home planet of
Corellia - arguably a more wretched hive of scum and
villainy than Mos Eisley Spaceport - and winding up as
a front-lines infantryman on the planet Mimban, where he meets the formidable, hirsute
prisoner Chewbacca. The rest, of course, is Wookieepedia history.
Kadner's coverage of Solo ("Portrait of a Scoundrel," page 28) reveals that Young,
who made his name on independent features, found unconventional inspiration in McCabe
& Mrs. Miller, the low-key 1971 revisionist Western directed by Robert Altman and shot by
Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC, HSC. When he sat down during prep to review film references with
original Solo directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (who were replaced by Howard but
made executive producers on the project), McCabe was the movie that really caught his eye:
"I was thinking, 'This is going to be a Western that takes place in another time and dimension, with a great mash-up of dark cinematography, dark comedy and delicate drama.' Once
they gave me that reference, I thought, 'Okay, I belong here.'"
For those enjoying this issue of AC at San Diego Comic-Con - where our editorial
team is likely gathering intel on genre projects - we hope our comprehensive coverage of
Solo's cinematography is helping to ease the long wait for a panel, autograph or exclusive
Funko Pop! figure. If you've finished the article and the line hasn't budged, flip forward to
Iain Marcks' piece on Legion ("Life of the Mind," page 46), a show featuring mind-bending,
eye-popping imagery shot by a cinematography team that included Dana Gonzales, ASC and
Polly Morgan, BSC, or to Rachael Bosley's story on 12 Monkeys ("Time Independent," page
60), the time-traveling sci-fi saga whose cinematographers have included David Greene, ASC,
CSC and Boris Mojsovski, CSC.
If law-and-order dramas are your beat, Jim Hemphill's coverage of Blue Bloods ("Crime
Family," page 70), shot by gaffer-turned-cinematographer Gene Engels, will help fulfill your
quest for technical and artistic insights. "Lighting isn't based on knowledge - it's based on
emotion," Engels asserts. "I think that your first intuition about how something should be
done is the best way to do it almost every time. No matter how complicated the lighting
setup is, you can't doubt yourself - you have to get whatever passion you have for the
moment on screen."
Rounding out this issue is a report on a recent ASC Vision Committee event that
presented an impressive roster of high-level professionals discussing how the industry can
achieve true diversity ("Changing the Face of the Industry," page 78). More details about this
important and hugely successful event can be found on our website at the link provided in
the article.

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 2018

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Contents
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - Cover3
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