American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 10

Narrative perspective is a key element of filmmaking
that's often overlooked or underrated. In Ex
Machina, a sci-fi drama shot by Rob Hardy, BSC, a
deft use of this visual tactic helps the filmmakers shift
audience expectations as they build the onscreen
relationship between Ava (Alicia Vikander), an
advanced artificial intelligence, and Caleb (Domhnall
Gleeson), a programmer tasked with testing the
depth of her human qualities.
Citing John Carpenter's The Thing (shot by
Dean Cundey, ASC) as a key influence, Hardy notes,
"You never know who's who, and your allegiance is
constantly shifting between the characters. That's
why I'm an advocate of the single camera over multiple cameras. It focuses your visual manifesto. In this
case, [that included] the geometry of the frame, the
bodies, the landscape, and how to position those things to elicit a cold, observing eye or a
warm, human emotion." However, as Hardy adds in a piece by Iain Stasukevich ("More Than
Human," page 32), subtlety is advised when employing such strategies. "It's important to have
a strong point of view, to guide the eye a little bit, but it should be done without forcing people
to think in a specific way. The [viewers] need to experience the moment on their own."
On some projects, of course, multiple cameras are virtually mandated by the material.
On Furious 7, ACS members Stephen Windon and Marc Spicer supervised the cinematography
on a complex show that required splinter units to capture far-ranging action with a style familiar to fans of the franchise. As Spicer notes in Michael Goldman's coverage ("Accelerated
Action," page 44), "The difference [between Furious 7 and the previous films] is not so much
in the palette as the story, which slowly starts to expand out of the Mojave Desert, out of California and then out of the U.S. - it gets global when we go to Abu Dhabi. So it is a bigger
story in that sense, with a global military theme. But visually, we try to take [the characters]
back to their roots."
Matthew Lloyd, CSC worked to create a dark, gritty visual palette for Daredevil, a New
York-based Netflix series that reframes the Marvel Universe legend of a blind vigilante. The
cinematographer tells Noah Kadner ("Without Fear," page 58) that the production's bold,
edge-of-darkness approach to the material was fully supported. "I give a huge amount of
credit to Marvel's creative team for backing what we set out to do," Lloyd says. "It's easy to
say, 'We want something dark, sinister and adult,' and then dumb it down to a 'PG' level. They
really went the distance, from the stunt sequences to the look and even the casting."
This issue also recaps two big awards-season events: the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards ("Celebrating Art and Science," page 68) and the 29th annual ASC Awards
weekend ("Leading Lights," page 73). Once again, the Society's ceremony was a hot-ticket
sellout where industry icons helped shine a spotlight on the art of cinematography. "Every
director needs a partner - someone to support his or her vision - and that's the cinematographer," said Board of Governors recipient Barbra Streisand, who added, "I have such
profound respect for your craft. I cherish your artistry, and I look forward to working with you
again."

10

Stephen Pizzello
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher

Photo by Owen Roizman, ASC.

Editor's Note



American Cinematographer - May 2015

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

Contents
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Intro
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 9
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 10
American Cinematographer - May 2015 - 11
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American Cinematographer - May 2015 - Cover3
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