American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 100

Paul Maibaum, ASC

When you were a child, what film made the strongest impression on you?
At the age of 14, I accompanied my father to a screening of John
Schlesinger’s Darling (1965). I don’t think my father realized the adult
nature of the film when he invited me. It was risqué, to be sure, but
I was able to process, understand and
thoroughly enjoy it.
Which cinematographers, past or
present, do you most admire?
Gregg Toland, ASC, for his exquisite
black-and-white cinematography in films
such as Citizen Kane and The Grapes of
Wrath, and ASC members Conrad Hall,
Gordon Willis and Vittorio Storaro for
their use of cinematography in not only
conveying mood and emotion but also
actually telling the story.
What sparked your interest in photography?
After shooting my first roll of 16mm with a hand-cranked Bolex, I
knew to my core that I wanted to be a cinematographer.
Where did you train and/or study?
The University of Southern California.
Who were your early teachers or mentors?
Woody Omens, ASC; Michael P. Joyce; and Dean Semler, ASC, ACS.
What are some of your key artistic influences?
The writings of Borges; the paintings of Caravaggio and Dali; the
films of Buñuel, Kubrick, Bertolucci and Roeg; and the cinematographers mentioned in my answer to your second question.
How did you get your first break in the business?
My father, Richard Maibaum, was a screenwriter and producer, and
I constantly pestered him to get me some kind of industry job. He
was adamant that I go to college and get a degree first. True to his
word, upon my graduating with a B.A. in cinema from USC, he
recommended me to a colleague who knew of a director of photography, Michael P. Joyce, who owned a small production company,
FilmArt. Mike was expanding his business into renting cameras
(including the then-new Arri 35BL), lighting and grip equipment, and
needed someone to fill an entry-level position. I did everything from
making coffee and delivering equipment to taking his car to be
washed. Over time, I began to help assistants prep cameras, and I
was soon putting together the camera, grip and electric equipment
for productions Mike shot. FilmArt was a signatory to the I.A., so I
was able to get the necessary days to qualify for union membership
as a loader, and I began to work with Mike and other cinematogra100

May 2013

phers on jobs that were payrolled through the company. I stayed
with Mike for six years until I was able to start freelancing as a first
assistant. I will be forever indebted to Mike for his generosity,
patience and trust.
What has been your most satisfying
moment on a project?
Shooting director Christopher Reeve’s
final project, The Brooke Ellison Story, a
MOW about a young girl with the same
paralysis as his. Working alongside Chris
gave me a new perspective about life’s
priorities.
Have you made any memorable
blunders?
Yes. As a camera operator, I gave a most
unsatisfactory assessment of a shot to
the lead actor. After being ‘let go’ upon the actor’s insistence, I
became available to move up to director of photography.
What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
‘All one really has in this business is one’s reputation as someone
who can be trusted.’
What recent books, films or artworks have inspired you?
The Stanley Kubrick exhibition that’s currently up at the Los Angeles
County Museum of Art.
Do you have any favorite genres, or genres you would like to
try?
Westerns and hard-boiled detective noirs.
If you weren’t a cinematographer, what might you be doing
instead?
I would be a puppeteer with Jim Henson’s Muppets.
Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for
membership?
Julio Macat, Johnny Jensen and Daryn Okada.
How has ASC membership impacted your life and career?
To be included on the ASC roster is the fulfillment of a career-long
aspiration. The realization that I am considered a peer is humbling,
and it inspires me on a daily basis to do work that the current
members and the legendary cinematographers of the past would be
proud of.
●

American Cinematographer

Photo by Tony Anderson.

Close-up



American Cinematographer - May 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - May 2013

American Cinematographer - May 2013
Contents
Editor’s Note
President’s Desk
Short Takes: “Suit & Tie”
Production Slate: Trance • The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Surviving the Future
A Trailblazer’s Tale
Conjuring Hope
The ABCs of DMX
Star Tech
Hot Shots
New Products & Services
International Marketplace
Classified Ads
Ad Index
Clubhouse News
ASC Close-Up: Paul Maibaum
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - American Cinematographer - May 2013
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 1
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 2
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Contents
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 4
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 5
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 6
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 7
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 8
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 9
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Editor’s Note
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 11
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - President’s Desk
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 13
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Short Takes: “Suit & Tie”
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 15
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 16
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 17
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 18
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 19
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Production Slate: Trance • The Reluctant Fundamentalist
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 21
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American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 30
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 31
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 32
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 33
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Surviving the Future
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 35
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 36
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 37
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 38
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American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 43
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American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 46
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 47
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - A Trailblazer’s Tale
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American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 50
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 51
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 52
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 53
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 54
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 55
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Conjuring Hope
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 57
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 58
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 59
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 60
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 61
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 62
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 63
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 64
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 65
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - The ABCs of DMX
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American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 70
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 71
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Star Tech
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 73
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American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 75
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 76
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Hot Shots
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American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 88
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 89
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - New Products & Services
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 91
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 92
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 93
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - International Marketplace
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Classified Ads
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Ad Index
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 97
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Clubhouse News
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - 99
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - ASC Close-Up: Paul Maibaum
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - May 2013 - Cover4
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