While the best way to learn about cinematography is to head out there and shoot as much stuff as one can, and then some, learning from the masters and studying their techniques is also a good way of expanding one’s creative and cinematic vision.
To that end Alex Ballinger’s book “New Cinematographers” serves as a great resource, pooling together detailed interviews with 6 of the most important cinematographers working today, namely Lance Acord, Jean-Yves Escoffier, Darius Khondji, John Mathieson, Seamus McGarvey and Harris Savides.
(above and below) The first cinematographer featured Lance Acord has shot some of my most beloved films, including the nigh indescribable Being John Malkovich, Adaptation (both by Spike Jonze) and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. I also like the look he created for Marie Antoinette and the more recent “Where The Wild Things Are”.
The content of the interviews are fairly technical in nature, not unlike those found in The American Cinematographer, but there are also significant portions dedicated to the concept and thought processes of the cinematographers, which I found most interesting ( and valuable ) of all.
(above and below) DP Darius Khondji’s place in the cinematography hall of fame is forever secured by his amazing work on David Fincher’s Se7en. ( also read this Rule of Thirds article. )
(above and below) DP John Mathieson talks about the work he did for Ridley Scott’s Gladiator and Hannibal, both amazing looking films.
The detailed interviews are well complemented by the numerous photographs, lighting set-ups, diagrams, and also fine art paintings, photographs and works of other cinematographers that have influenced and inspired their way of shooting.
Highly recommended for any budding cinematographer, and while the content can be esoteric at times, still remain an interesting read for any fan of the cinema.
New Cinematographers details :
– Dimensions – 10.9 x 9.4 x 0.8 inches
– soft cover
– full color
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