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Commercial Spotlight: Alexis Zabé, ASC, AMC

The cinematographer discusses three recent spots shot in large format with DXL2.

Cinematographer Alexis Zabé, ASC, AMC‘s interest in image making began to develop at an early age, while he was growing up in Mexico City. “I remember going into the darkroom with my dad,” he shares. “It was really entertaining for me, the darkness, the smells, seeing the photos appear and the rhythm of that very concentrated work.”

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Far From Home

Writer-director Ekwa Msangi and cinematographer Bruce Francis Cole detail the visual language of Farewell Amor.

Writer-director Ekwa Msangi’s debut feature Farewell Amor premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020 and was released in December by IFC Films. Msangi describes the intervening months as “a roller coaster,” marked as they were by a global pandemic, social unrest and political turmoil.

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The Big Picture

Director Robert Connolly and cinematographer Stefan Duscio discuss crafting the Australian box-office sensation The Dry with DXL2.

Based on the novel by Jane Harper, the feature The Dry stars Eric Bana as Aaron Falk, an Australian Federal Police agent who returns to his rural hometown following an apparent murder-suicide involving an erstwhile friend. As he’s pulled into the investigation, connections emerge to another mystery from Falk’s and the town’s past, and old wounds open anew.

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A Question of Strength

Cinematographer Justin Derry embraces 35mm film and Ultra Speed optics for the short film Bruiser.

Directed and co-written by Miles Warren, the short film Bruiser offers a portrait of the young Darious (Noble B. Whitted), who begins to test the limitations of his own physical strength after witnessing his father (J.D. Williams) get into a fight. Behind the scenes, Warren teamed with cinematographer Justin Derry, who also served as an executive producer on the project. The filmmakers shot on 35mm negative with a Panaflex XL and Panavision Ultra Speed lenses.

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Sundance 2021

The artists behind a number of this year’s Sundance Film Festival titles offer a look behind the scenes at their creative processes.

Each January, the Sundance Film Festival brings throngs of filmmakers and cineastes from far and wide to the wintry climes of Park City, Utah, for packed screenings and round-the-clock events. But not this year. With the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing, the festival’s 2021 edition offered a decidedly different seven-day experience tailored to the times, with predominantly online viewing complemented by satellite screens peppered across the U.S.

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Commercial Spotlight: Cinematographer Simona Susnea

Cinematographer Simona Susnea traces her career behind the camera back to an early interest in journalism, which in turn opened the door to still photography. Segueing into moving images, she went to film school in her native Romania and then continued her education at the U.K.’s National Film & Television School, where she earned her master’s in cinematography. Since graduating, she’s made London her base of operations, notching a steady stream of credits in music videos, shorts, documentaries and commercials.

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The Witching Hours

Cinematographer Hillary Spera takes Panavision behind the scenes of the features Run and The Craft: Legacy.

The recent features Run and The Craft: Legacy bear a number of similarities. Chief among them: Both were shot by cinematographer Hillary Spera. Each story also exists in the realm of horror-thrillers, and each involves a mother-daughter relationship that turns out to be something other than what’s originally believed. “In both cases, I would say it’s a very strong bond between the mother and daughter,” Spera notes. “In both movies, they really love each other and are working to define their relationship.”

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Holiday Adventure

Don Burgess, ASC and Light Iron’s Corinne Bogdanowicz reteam for The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two and discuss their longtime collaboration in the panel discussion “Cinematography From Set to Screen.”

Continuing the story of “true believer” Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) and her family — and shining a broader light on the goings-on at the North Pole that had previously been glimpsed in 2018’s The Christmas Chronicles — the Netflix holiday feature The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two found cinematographer Don Burgess, ASC reteaming with Light Iron senior DI colorist Corinne Bogdanowicz. “Don and Corinne worked at such a meticulous level to bring our photographic vision to The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two,” says director Chris Columbus. “Corinne is the most precise, fast and best colorist I’ve ever worked with. Together, Don and Corinne have worked closely with me to create a holiday world that’s warm, magical and inviting.”

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