American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 60

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Back to School

Top: The prom scene was created in a high-school gym. Middle: Riley and Clapton survive their detention sentence only to confront something far scarier: prom. Bottom: Clapton channels his inner Travolta.

that suggests a pattern. That’s a very different relationship from moving the camera left-to-right in one shot and then right-to-left in the next shot. When you do that, you’re compressing two ideas together. These choices tie in with my geometric editing, and it all ties into the characters’ motivations. It’s truly a macro theory of filmmaking.” To help add visual interest to the detention scenes, Joseph devised several camera-movement themes to help
60 April 2012

differentiate between all the shots of characters sitting in chairs arguing. “People don’t really appreciate the efforts of the dolly grip, and we were extremely lucky we found Johnny Segal, because he has an instinctual feel for the movement of the camera,” says Kahn. “We came up with some crazy moves for him!” One such move is used to relate the backstory of the mysterious Elliot Fink (Walter Perez), who has apparAmerican Cinematographer

ently been serving detention for 19 years. Elliot’s story is told through one long, continuous dolly move that circles around many years’ worth of students sitting in detention. There are no cuts; clever wipes and morphs seamlessly blend shots that feature different students, funny exaggerations of period wardrobe, and subtle changes in the art direction to suggest the passage of time. Elliot sometimes appears in different eras in the same shot, and a move like this would typically require hours of motion-control capture to accurately blend the different elements into one shot. That, unfortunately, was a luxury we couldn’t afford. “I didn’t even know if that move would work!” recalls Kahn. “We go from 2011 back to 1992 with a single, crazy dolly move that Johnny had to keep doing at the exact same pace. Several times we had to use a body double so we could pivot off Elliot’s back in one shot to reveal him sitting across the room in the next time period.” Playing with the spatial relationships of elements in frame was another strategy we used. For another scene in the library, we start on a medium shot of Elliot seated. Booming up past him, we rack focus back to Riley for her reaction. While the camera was still above Elliot’s head, we quickly moved his chair forward so that when we boomed back down, he ended up in a tight close-up. “That tells the audience this character has something important to say,” says



American Cinematographer - April 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - April 2012

American Cinematographer - April 2012
Contents
Editor’s Note
President’s Desk
Short Takes: Polaris campaign
Production Slate: Footnote4:44 Last Day on Earth
Vice at the Vatican
Back to School
Sundance Standouts
Filmmakers’ Forum: Haskell Wexler, ASC
New Products & Services
International Marketplace
Classified Ads
Ad Index
Clubhouse News
ASC Close-Up: Alar Kivilo
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - American Cinematographer - April 2012
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 1
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 2
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 4
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 5
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 6
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 7
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Editor’s Note
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 9
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - President’s Desk
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 11
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Short Takes: Polaris campaign
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 13
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 14
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 15
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 16
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 17
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Production Slate: Footnote4:44 Last Day on Earth
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 19
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 20
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 21
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 22
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 23
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 24
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American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 27
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 28
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 29
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 30
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 31
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Vice at the Vatican
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 33
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 34
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 35
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 36
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American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 40
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 41
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 42
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 43
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Back to School
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 45
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 46
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American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 60
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 61
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 62
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 63
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Sundance Standouts
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 65
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 66
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 67
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 68
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American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 79
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 80
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 81
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Filmmakers’ Forum: Haskell Wexler, ASC
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 83
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 84
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 85
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 86
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 87
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - New Products & Services
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 89
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 90
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 91
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American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 99
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 100
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 101
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - International Marketplace
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Classified Ads
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Ad Index
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 105
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Clubhouse News
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - 107
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - ASC Close-Up: Alar Kivilo
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - April 2012 - Cover4
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