December 2011

American Cinematographer

ASC Holding Corp.

  • 1782 Orange Drive
  • Hollywood, CA



$50 per year/$70 Canada/Mexico per year

American Cinematographer is the premiere magazine on cinematography in the United States. It is considered a bible of sorts not only for cinematographers, but also for directors, producers, and production executives who need to stay on top of the latest trends and developments in the art of cinematography. Each issue contains interviews with cinematographers who discuss their most recent projects in narrative film, television, documentary, music videos, and shorts. We learn about the rationale behind their aesthetic choices, as well as more technical information on the shooting format, lens, and lights.

The November issue contains interviews with two luminaries in the cinematography world, Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo) and Vilmos Zsigmond (McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Deer Hunter). Deakins discusses his work on In Time, a sci–fi thriller that paired him with Gattaca director Andrew Niccol and which was released in the fall of 2011. The film was shot on a digital format, a first for Deakins, and he discusses the advantages to shooting digitally. The article on Vilmos Zsigmond focuses on his work with Brian de Palma on the classic 1981 filmBlow Out. Zsigmond discusses his collaboration with the director and reveals some of the technical constraints he faced at the time and how he overcame them.

A review of a conference on 3D cinematography and discussions with the cinematographers of the independent feature Martha Marcy May Marlene and the PBS documentary America in Primetime fill out the November issue. We hear behind–the–scenes stories and get insight into how cinematographers ovecame challenges on the set. American Cinematographer is essential reading for working cinematographers, film students, and those who need to keep up with the ever –changing world of cinematography.

Reviewed by FIDM Library Staff Member Mollie Jones