News

Julie Delpy + creating ancient Rome for TV

The TV series Domina, which screens on Stan in Australia, tells the story of the political intrigue and violence in the years following the assassination of Julius Caesar, with the figure of Livia Drusilla at its centre, who was born into a republican family sixty years before the birth of Christ, and would go on to become Empress of Rome. Domina is a lavish period soap that doesn’t shy away from sex or violence, and it’s first three episodes are photographed sumptuously by Australian cinematographer Denson Baker, who began his career on Australian films in the 2000s like The Black Balloon, Oranges and Sunshine and The Waiting City. Denson Baker talks about walking in the footsteps of some of his heroes, and working at the legendary Cinecittà Studios in Rome.

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June 10, 2021

Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ Had ‘The Wolverine’ Cinematographer Ross Emery Working As The 2nd Unit Director

It looks like Shang-Chi won’t only have a connection to the Matrix trilogy, but the X-Men franchise as well. The Ronin can confirm that Marvel Studios indeed had Aussie cinematographer Ross Emery working as the second unit director alongside Destin Daniel Cretton on Marvel’s Shang-Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings.

If you’re unfamiliar with Emery, he was the director of photography on James Mangold’s gorgeous Japanese-set superhero flick The Wolverine and Ridley Scott’s popular sci-fi HBO Max series Raised By Wolves. He also previously worked as a second unit director on Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant and with Shang-Chi cinematographer Bill Pope on The Matrix trilogy.

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June 10, 2021

The Mosquito Coast: Interview with costume designer Justine Seymour

Forty years after its publishing, Paul Theroux’s book, The Mosquito Coast, which, with the incredibly vivid creation of Allie Fox as the escapee from society who abhors modern life and uproots his family for a deluded utopian mission in Central America, gave us such an unnerving and fascinating read, has inspired a contemporary retelling of the story. The series however, created by Neil Cross, starring Justin Theroux, Paul Theroux’s nephew, and co-executive-produced by the writer himself, unlike Peter Weir’s faithful 1986 adaptation for the big screen, bears little resemblance to the book and follows Allie Fox and his family’s dangerous journey across the border to Mexico, before arriving at the title location, in a tensely plotted thriller and family drama.

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June 10, 2021

How In the Heights Pulled Off the Big Swimming-Pool Scene

It’s the hottest day of the year, and four young men are strolling down the block in Washington Heights, bullshitting about their dreams. A winning lottery ticket has been sold at the bodega run by one of them, Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), and the $96,000 prize is the kind of money that could change your life if used wisely. “Yo, if I won the lotto, tomorrow …” Usnavi’s friend Benny (Corey Hawkins) starts riffing.

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June 10, 2021

'In the Heights' Cinematographer Alice Brooks Talks Jon M. Chu, Abandoned Subway Stations, and Washington Heights

Before we were ever taken to “The Room Where it Happens” or thrown smack into the middle of a rap-battle cabinet meeting in the Broadway smash-hit HAMILTON, creator Lin-Manuel Miranda first took audiences into a day in the life of his hometown neighborhood, Washington Heights. IN THE HEIGHTS made its Broadway debut on March 9th, 2008, and was nominated for an incredible 13 Tony awards, ultimately taking home 4 of the trophies. The resounding success of the show perked up the ears of film studios, and it was in the same year the show premiered that the early workings for a film adaptation began. After a decade of bouncing between potential studios, Warner Bros. finally acquired the rights in 2018 and tapped CRAZY RICH ASIANS director Jon M. Chu to helm.

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June 10, 2021

'In The Heights' Dances From The Stage, To The Streets, To The Screen

In the Heights is Lin-Manuel Miranda's ode to the Latino neighborhood near where he grew up. The musical won a Tony on Broadway, and now, director Jon M. Chu and his team have translated the story from stage to the big screen. The film opening this weekend was shot on location in Washington Heights, on the upper, upper West side of New York City.

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June 10, 2021

Cinematographer Alan Jacobsen on ‘The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52'

Slated for theatrical release on 9 July, feature documentary The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52 took director of photography Alan Jacobsen on a high seas adventure.

“In the film, the whale is most often referred to as he, or him,” said Jacobsen, “I imagine this is likely more a reflection of the male-dominated science and filmmaking teams we had on board.”

From its gender identity to its location — and the reasons behind it’s unique call frequency of 52 hertz — whale number “52” is a mystery, which the team sought to unravel.   

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June 8, 2021

‘In the Heights’ Cinematographer Alice Brooks on Capturing the Film’s Stunning Reflection Shot

While filming Jon M. Chu’s “In the Heights” (out in theaters and HBO Max on Friday) cinematographer Alice Brooks fell in love with “the people, the smells, the sounds and the taste of Washington Heights.”

That relationship is captured through her framing of the film. From the shoe shot of Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) to the crane shots capturing the neighborhood, Brooks translates Chu’s vision of adapting the Lin Manuel Miranda musical for the screen with aplomb, drawing raves for her camerawork.

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June 7, 2021

June 2021: Heating Up

This particular dispatch is being written during America’s de facto kickoff to the season ahead: “Summer,” if you’re looking at the weather and contemplating how many wildfires we’re about to go through on the West Coast, and wondering how crowded and unmasked your Memorial Day barbecue should be. “Emmy season,” if you’re thinking of a more showbizzy way of marking time.
And yet, by the latter metric, if we’ve just left “Oscar season,” it becomes harder and harder to differentiate the passage of time on the award-smitten calendar – much as wildfire and drought are now year-round considerations – if similar entities, like, say Amazon and Netflix, are lobbying to win both sets of accolades. And harder still, when one of those corporations buys a legacy brand, like, MGM Studios, which pretty much epitomised “the picture business” at one time.

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June 4, 2021

Magnolia acquires world on Sundance, IFFR selection ‘Mayday’

Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Karen Cinorre’s action fantasy and Sundance and IFFR Rotterdam selection Mayday.
Lorna Lee Torres and Marie Zeniter will launch international sales at the virtual Cannes market, and Magnolia Pictures plans an autumn release in North America.

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June 3, 2021

Snowfall: Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, ASC

In this new 77-min episode, interviewer Todd A. Dos Reis, ASC talks to cinematographer Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, ASC (below) about his camerawork in the FX Networks period crime drama Snowfall, which depicts the insidious effects of the crack epidemic that ripped through Los Angeles in the early 1980s.

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June 5, 2021

This Is How Newton Thomas Sigel Changed the Game with 'Drive'

Have you ever wondered how Newton Thomas Sigel was able to make Drive look so damn cool? Well, we’ve got the answer.
The cinematography of Drive is like no other. The urban, neon lighting that bathes the dark scenes created a mood in the film that we are still talking about 10 years later. This is partially thanks to the film’s cinematographer, Newton Thomas Sigel.

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June 3, 2021

Cover story | Feature 1 – In the Heights

There was a moment of quiet on the set of 'In the Heights', in the sweltering heat of New York City, Summer 2019. The entire intersection of 175th and Audubon was closed off to film the opening number - dancers and extras ready for their cues; lights and cameras being adjusted for the upcoming take. As the sun lowered just above the George Washington Bridge, Local 600 Director of Photography Alice Brooks turned to Lin-Manuel Miranda to ask: "When you were in college writing this music, did you dream of being here, shutting down your neighborhood street, and filming this number?"

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June 1, 2021

Cinematographer Matthew Libatique on ‘The Prom’, Making ‘Iron Man’ 1 and 2, and the Importance of Physical Media

The Oscar-nominated DP also reflects on making 'A Star Is Born' and 'Cowboys & Aliens' and talks about Olivia Wilde's upcoming 'Don't Worry Darling' in this wide-ranging chat.
Matthew Libatique is as versatile as he is talented, and the guy is talented. He was passionate about photography from a young age and started honing his craft as a cinematographer in the 1990s, working on music videos and teaming up with fellow AFI classmate Darren Aronofsky on the burgeoning director’s first few films. Indeed, Libatique made his mark in a big way with his first two collaborations with Aronofsky, Pi and Requiem for a Dream, and after that he was off to the races. He’s spent his career bringing an intense yet intimate touch to the films he shoots, ranging from superhero movies to thrillers to dramas and working with directors as varied as Joel Schumacher, Spike Lee, and Jodie Foster.

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January 14, 2021

Screen Craft: DoP Phedon Papamichael talks ‘The Trial of The Chicago 7’, ‘Indiana Jones 5

Phedon Papamichael’s work on The Trial Of The Chicago 7, Aaron Sorkin’s account of the political prosecution of Vietnam War protesters in 1969, is built on in-depth research of documentary images and footage from the time. Filming is also synchronised to Sorkin’s dialogue-rich script, says the Oscar-nominated cinematographer, a frequent collaborator with filmmakers Alexander Payne and James Mangold.

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March 9, 2021