American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 16

Right: Stranded
behind enemy
lines, a war-weary
American soldier
(Wyatt Russell,
right) forces a
German soldier
(Frederick Lau, left)
to lead him to
safety in Prisoner.
Below, from right:
Director Matthew
Edwards, key grip
Michael Cox and
cinematographer
Andrew Jeric
(behind the
camera) capture a
scene with Russell.

Prisoner was shot in 10 days, eight in
Charlton Flats in Angeles National Forest,
which stood in for a German forest, and two
on a stage at USC. Jeric credits key grip
Michael Cox, gaffer Damian Horan and 1st
AC Joseph Segura. "This was mostly a grip
show," Jeric attests. "Although it was mainly
available light, we used the lighting gear we
had to shape the light, and we picked our
angles, always looking to backlight."
Production designer Bonnie Bacevich
built a cabin on the USC soundstage, and Jeric
kept the lighting simple - a couple of 2Ks
outside windows, soft boxes and a space light
overhead for ambience - to maintain consistency with the exterior footage. The philosophy behind camera movement was also
simple: "To make it classic," Jeric says. "When
the characters moved they motivated everything."
On the first day of shooting, the filmmakers were surprised by the weather. "Eight
16

January 2017

weeks of hardcore prep and then we get
snowed on out of nowhere," the cinematographer says. "That shut us down for the first
half of the first day, yet all our prep allowed us
to concentrate on what was most important." The team ended up adapting and did
six hours of work in two. "The big pay-off is
the climactic battle scene," Jeric adds. "It's a
moment that connects the interior of the
cabin, shot on a stage, to the exterior of the
woods as a battalion of 20 American soldiers
charge down the hill at our heroes and a
fighter plane overhead executes an attack
run." Jeric notes that this scene included
multiple visual-effects shots, which were
handled out of Industrial Light & Magic and
led by visual-effects supervisor Victor Schutz.
"We did a seamless transition between the
practical location to soundstage, natural light
to lots of [on-stage] light. It was great work by
everyone, and we used all the tools of the
craft to execute it."
American Cinematographer

Closer tells the story of Klaus, an
elderly German man whose entire life's work
has been to hand-paint the warning "Objects
in mirror are closer than they appear" on
every single side mirror that Volkswagen
produces - a calling he learned from his
father. Cinematographer Emmett Sutherland's friend Zak Marx wrote and directed the
short-form project while the two were in
their final year at ArtCenter College of
Design. Sutherland and Marx collaborated on
a look and color palette. "The objective was
to minimize color, so we isolated our palette
to three main colors," Sutherland says.
"Klaus wore blue and was dealing with
elements that were brown and gray." The
cinematographer was inspired by a class on
graphics, noting, "I learned that when you
isolate the color in the frame and make it
consistent, the viewer becomes more
immersed in the narrative, rather than being
distracted by one-off things like random color
or color from light."
The story takes place in an undefined
location, and the first challenge was to find a
suitable spot for the three-day shoot. They
found Zorthian Ranch in Altadena, Calif., a
private property recently opened for movie
productions. "We tried to isolate what was in
the background - so, for example, when
Klaus is riding a bicycle, we found an area
with trees that weren't Los Angeles-specific
in the background to make the location
ambiguous." At Shadowcast Pictures,

Prisoner behind-the-scenes photo by Robb Thompson.

Closer
Director: Zak Marx
Cinematographer:
Emmett Sutherland



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - January 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 9
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 10
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 13
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 14
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 15
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 16
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 17
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 18
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 19
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 20
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 21
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 22
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 23
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 24
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 25
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 26
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 27
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 28
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 29
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 30
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 31
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 32
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 33
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 34
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 35
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 36
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 37
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 38
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 39
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 43
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 44
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48a
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48b
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 50
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 51
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 52
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 53
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 54
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 55
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 56
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 57
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 58
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 60
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 61
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 65
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 67
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 70
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 71
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 107
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 108
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover4
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