American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 112

Close-up

Julio G. Macat, ASC

When you were a child, what film made the strongest impression on you?
101 Dalmatians. According to my mom, I wouldn't leave the theater
until I could watch it again. Also, Sullivan's Travels showed me truthful and heartfelt moments in comedy.

this looks great!' to compliment the art department, I realized I was
in the wrong side of the building - at a real funeral home, where
a service was in progress. Every single mourner turned around to see
who the idiot yelling was; I just answered, 'My bad. Sorry. Carry on
... so sorry.'

Which cinematographers, past or present, do you most
admire?
Gabriel Figueroa, Néstor Almendros [ASC], Allen Daviau [ASC], Caleb
Deschanel [ASC].

What is the best professional advice you've ever received?
When you shoot, take chances; don't play it safe; push the envelope
into that scary and dangerous place; do not settle for mediocre
work. There is always room for improvement. Be original; do ordinary things in an extraordinary
way. Don't forget you are
telling a story - so what does
each shot say? Shoot images
that you would enjoy watching.

What sparked your interest
in photography?
Being able to freeze a moment
in time and examine it was
fascinating to me.

What recent books, films or
artworks have inspired you?
The light in Tuscany, and the
book Magnum Cinema - in
the same way we study history
to understand our place as
'contributors to our craft,' that
book is an inspiration to excel.

Where did you train and/or
study?
By watching veterans at work. I
spent two years at UCLA's film
school, but I dropped out
because I had a chance to be
on a set and observe.

What are some of your key artistic influences?
Italian films like Amarcord and La Dolce Vita. Living in Florence for a
year. The fear of failure.
How did you get your first break in the business?
I filled in for a friend driving an equipment truck on a second-unit
shoot for the series How the West Was Won. They let me out to help
set up the tripods and heads. Eventually, I learned the rest of the
equipment and got to go out on shoots as a second assistant.
What has been your most satisfying moment on a project?
Seeing the reaction from children after the first screening of Home
Alone. They were empowered!

Do you have any favorite genres, or genres you would like to
try?
Dramas with appropriate, darker photography.
If you weren't a cinematographer, what might you be doing
instead?
I'd be a chef or a watchmaker.
Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for
membership?
Allen Daviau, Steven Poster, Russ Carpenter.
How has ASC membership impacted your life and career?
It has built long-lasting friendships and relationships. It's as if there is
an extended family that knows you well and cares about you. There
is comfort and camaraderie in sharing an artistic spirit and a place to
compare notes from this odd role of 'being' a cinematographer. It's
like talking with your kinfolk. It's helped all of us get our ducks in a
row so we can help guide our craft in a positive direction. It's made
me feel accomplished and proud.
●

Have you made any memorable blunders?
Yes, many, but the most memorable was: I arrived late to a location
in Chicago where we were shooting a funeral scene. I rushed inside
and noticed how far along the preparations were, and how impeccable the set looked, including the extras! After happily yelling, 'Guys,
112

December 2014

American Cinematographer

Photo by David Bloomer, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Who were your early teachers or mentors?
Michael Joyce, who shot Family Affair and other TV shows; he owned
Arri BL cameras and I maintained the gear. Also Haskell Wexler [ASC],
who wrote me back when I was 19, and Allen Daviau, who took my
call when I was 20.



American Cinematographer - December 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2014

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 5
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