American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 14

Short Takes

I

Society Honors Heritage Award Recipients
By Debra Kaufman

The ASC's Gordon Willis Student Heritage Awards were
recently presented during a ceremony at the Society's Clubhouse in
Hollywood. This year's awards recognized work in three categories:
For Documentary, Rob W. Scribner (Full Sail University) won for
Warbird Pilot: Behind the Visor; in the Graduate category, Steven
Holloway (American University) won for The Defeat (x3); and in the
Undergraduate category, Nicolas Aguilar (Chapman University's
Dodge College of Film and Media Arts) won for Run. To be eligible,
students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program
or have graduated within the past year.
Established to inspire the next generation of cinematographers, the ASC Student Heritage Awards are renamed annually in
memory of an extraordinary ASC member. This year's honoree,
Gordon Willis, ASC, crafted bold, uncompromising images in collaboration with directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen
and Alan J. Pakula. Willis received two Academy Award nominations
- for Allen's Zelig and Coppola's The Godfather: Part III - in addition to an honorary Oscar and the ASC Lifetime Achievement
Award.
Warbird Pilot: Behind the Visor
Director: Rob W. Scribner
Cinematographer: Rob W. Scribner
Rob Scribner, who started flying Cessna 150s at an early age
14

December 2015

and later served in the Air Force, melded his love of aircraft with his
passion for cinematography in this short documentary about
"warbird" pilot John-Curtiss "JC" Paul. Warbird pilots are volunteers
who maintain and fix legacy aircraft for places like the Warhawk Air
Museum in Nampa, Idaho; when Scribner - who had been studying cinematography online with Full Sail University - met Paul, he
knew he'd found a story that needed to be told.
In the film's most thrilling sequences, Scribner takes viewers
up in the air with Paul as the pilot takes these legacy aircraft through
pitches, rolls and acrobatic tricks. Scribner, already crammed into a
small space behind Paul, had to wear a full-face visor and oxygen
mask while he struggled to hold the camera above him to shoot. "It
was hard," he says. "You're trying to focus, watch the histogram
and keep the framing right. And when we started pulling 3Gs, I had
to push the camera up with all my might."
Most of the project was shot with the Sony NEX-FS100,
Scribner says, but he also used a Canon EOS 7D and 60D, and some
GoPro Hero3 footage. "I didn't have many lenses to work with," he
notes, "mainly the 18-200mm [f3.5-6.3] Sony E-mount and a
20mm [f2.8] Sony E-mount, which worked great for fast shooting."
Scribner captured his interviews with Paul at 24p with the
FS100 fitted with the 18-200mm, the 7D with a Canon EF 50mm
prime, and the 60D with a Canon EF 18-135mm (f3.5-5.6) zoom.
The latter lens was also fitted to the 7D for time-lapse shots.
The FS100 was the A camera, which recorded to 64GB Sony
Memory Stick Duos and shot in AVCHD at 1080p. For this camera,
Scribner shot at "500 ISO for most of the shots, but during the
motorcycle sunset shots toward the end of the evening, when not

American Cinematographer

Awards photo by Alex Lopez. Warbird Pilot photo by Melissa Ann Scribner. The Defeat (x3) photo by Matthew Holloway.
Run photo by Al Stevens. Frame grabs and behind-the-scenes photos courtesy of the filmmakers.

From left:
Steven
Holloway, Rob
W. Scribner and
Nicolas Aguilar
were the
recipients of
this year's ASC
Gordon Willis
Student
Heritage
Awards, which
were presented
during a
ceremony at
the Society's
Clubhouse in
Hollywood.



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

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 7
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 9
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American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 12
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 13
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 14
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