VOL 95 (2014) FROM ASC CLOSE UP – BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

 

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 95(2014)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

MICHAEL BONVILLAIN, ASC

‘Never stand when you can sit, and never sit when you can  lie down.’

JAVIER AGUIRRESAROBE, ASC, AFC

I don’t remember ever receiving advice about my work from anyone except my gaffers, who advised me not to be so impatient.However, I once received  this general advice : ‘ A movie is like the Tour de France: It’s not necessary to win all the stages. It’s more important to resolve the worst situations,maintain the consistency, and then arrive in Paris as the winner’.

REXFORD METZ, ASC

‘Never say no!’

GEORGE MOORADIAN, ASC

At the bottom of a silver mine in Park City, Utah, 1 1/2 Miles underground Garland Wilde intoned, ‘Don’t be afraid of the Dark.’ You can take that advice anywhere.

JAMES A. CHRESSANTHIS, ASC

Vilmos Zsigmond told me, ‘Jim, it takes 10 years to become a cinematographer, so be patient and remember, nice guys finish first. And promise me that when you are a successful, you will help the next person.’

ALEX FUNKE, ASC

‘Never ask the crew to undo something  they already done!’ And, ‘Always finish the day leaving a shot ready to start right away the next morning.’

KRAMER MORGENTHAU, ASC

‘In this business, if you aren’t early, you are late.’

JONATHAN FREEMAN, ASC

‘Trust your instinct. Your first choice is usually the best.’

KEN KELSCH, ASC

John Cassavetes told us at NYU not to stop shooting.Just figure it out a way to do it.

JULIO G. MACAT, ASC

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  for improvment . Be original; do ordinary things in a extraordinary way. Don’t forget you are telling a story- so what does each shot say? Shoot images that you would enjoy watching.

To Be Continued… –つづく…

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VOL 92 (2011) FROM ASC CLOSE UP – BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 92(2011)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

JACK COUFFER, ASC

From editor Irving Lerner: ‘Cut out all the comin’s and goin’s’

BARRY MARKOWITZ, ASC

‘There’s only one way to shoot this thing : Two Ways’

CRESCENZO NOTARILE, ASC

From Owen Roizman :” There’s no need to have an ego as a man. Let your work on that screen be your ego”

DENNIS MUREN, ASC

Jim Danforth taught me the value of critical thinking, especially about your own work, and how to see your work as the audience will see it. And during THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, George Lucas showed me a helicopter shot and asked if I could add a creature running in the ground, which at the time seemed impossible because of the six axis camera motion. He said, ‘ Give it some thought,’ and within 15 minutes I had a solution,That Taught me that a right answer might be one thought away.

TOBIAS SCHLIESSLER, ASC

‘Don’t shoot your demo reel.Be true to the story.’

DEAN SEMLER, ASC, ACS

From George Miller:’Just be bold,Dino!Be as bold as yo want!’

BRUNO DELBONNEL, ASC, ACS

When I was an AC, a gaffer told me, ‘Don’t run on a set, ‘because you show everyone that you probably forgot something. I still don’t run on set, and I try not to forget too many things’.

TOM HOUGHTON, ASC

I received early encouragement from Woody Omens,ASC; and Walter Lassally,BSC taught me many crucial concepts over the course of several projects. I also appreciated the opportunity to be on set of Fat City, where Conrad Hall, ASC was executing  innovative ideas using 8k (4x2K) umbrella lights for the fight scenes.In dailies,John Huston would just put his head on down and listen, trusting Conrad to deliver their visual plan.

DANTE SPINOTTI, ASC, AIC

It was actually given to my son  when he was getting ready to direct his thesis film at the American Film Institute.Jay Fortune, a New York gaffer I ‘d just completed a film with, suggested to him, ‘ Don’t lose your sense of humor,even when everything seems to be going in the opposite direction.’

XAVIER GROBET, ASC, AMC

Life is like an airplane: you either get on board , or you don’t . It’s up to you.

DAN MINDEL, ASC

When I was a focus puller on a movie with Adrian Biddle, BSC, I told him I did not have focus marks, and he said ‘ Feel The Force. ‘ I use that advice all the time.

LUCIANO TOVOLI, ASC, AIC

‘The Edges of the frame are often more interesting then the center’

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 90 ( 2009 ) FROM ASC CLOSE UP-BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 90(2009)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

GABRIEL BERISTAIN, ASC, BSC

Kate Nelligan , a superb actor, once told me that if I could light women beautifully, I would not help many careers, but I would also definitely help mine.

PETER SUSCHITZKY, ASC

I Was once invited to a dinner where Billy Wilder was one of the guests.He asked me what I was doing, to which I replied, ‘Oh , a small movie’ He said,’ There’s no such thing, just good ones and bad ones.’ For the rest, I listened to an inner voice that said,’Develop as many interests as you can, as you will need them to fill the long gaps between movie and enrich life in general.’

PETER  WUNSTRORF, ASC

‘Be Yourself’. I was about to interview for the aforementioned pilot (Millennium), and I was nervous.;my Good friend Dominique Fortin said, ‘Just be yourself;they will like you.’ I didn’t try to fake it. I thought it went badly, but in prep, the producer told me, ‘You came in and only spoke about the work,and that’s all Chris Cater cared about.’

THOMAS ACKERMAN, ASC

Legendary gaffer George ‘Popeye’ Dahlquist used to tell his lamp operatos ‘Boys,if you’re not 10 minutes early,you’re 10 minutes late.’Readiness is a big part of what we do.

JOHN LINDLEY, ASC

When I wanted to quit a miserable show, the director, Virgil Vogel,said,’Kid, never quit.If you have to leave, get fired.If you quit,it will always reflect on you.’

ALAN CASO, ASC

From John Frankenheimer: ‘Alan, whatever you do in this business,don’t ever let them push you into shooting something you know is just bad,something you’ll end up regretting or hating.Simple rule of thumb: ‘don’t shoot s**t!’

MARK IRWIN, ASC, CSC

When director Gil Cates chose me to shoot a love story starring Bea Arthur and Richard Kiley, he said he liked what i’d done on The Fly.I reminded him that Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davies were in a horror film, not a love story.He said,’No,they were in love, and that’s what the audience saw. Sometimes you have to ignore the words and let the pictures tell the story.

AARON SCHNEIDER, ASC

When I was starting out, a veteran first assistant  told me the 2-make Rule,’ make your leading ladies look beautiful and make your day.’

ALEXANDER GRUSZYNSKI, ASC

I think it was Sven Nykvist, ASC who once said, ‘Take chances, but when you do, lower the ASA settings on your light meter.’ To this day, no matter how great the latitude of the film stock is, I always calibrate my meter to a lower settings than what the manufacturer recommends.

ANASTAS MICHOS, ASC

I was working with Don McAlpine,ASC,ACS, and getting impatient watching the director, producer and assistant director endlessly discuss the next setup. Don turned me and said in his inimitable Aussie drawl,’Relax: Sooner or later they’ll have to come over to talk to us.’

PAUL RYAN, ASC

Michael Chapman, ASC said ‘You have to give the impression you know what you’re doing even when you’re totally confused.’

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 89 ( 2008 ) FROM ASC CLOSE UP-BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 89(2008)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

GLEN MacPHERSON, ASC

‘Keep it Simple’. it’s Always exciting to try a new piece of gear, but sometimes two grips pulling a camera on a blanket is stille the best solution.

TORBEN JOHNKE, ASC

I once worked with Irvin Penn, who told me a simple rule: less is often better.He used a single soft light for most of his shots. We shot a number of Pepsi commercials that way, and those spots won several Clios.

WAYNE KENNAN, ASC

Right After I was accepted into the union as an operator, I was offered a job at Warners as An Assistant. I needed a letter from a producer to re-rate me.The Producer told me I’d be an idiot not to pursue operating because it might take me 10 or more years to ge there again.He was right;it was a struggle. But I established myself as an operator and was working steadily within a year.

RODNEY TAYLOR, ASC

When Leavie Asked me to work with him at Corman’s, the pay was 50$ a day.Levie said,’They’re not paying for experience .Take the job and you’ll meet people.’

ANTONIO CALVACHE, ASC, AEC

This is directly related to my memorable blunder. When Conrad Hall ASC gave me a lecture at AFI, he was asked what a single piece of advice he’d give to aspiring cinematographer.His answer :’Get Enough Sleep.’

ROB MacLACHLAN, ASC, CSC

My Dad told me it did not matter what I did for a living as long as I loved it.Also, much later, Richard Leiterman caught up with me at CSC Awards, where I’d  just gotten my fourth consecutive  award for TV series and was on a bit of a roll. He told me not to ‘get too damn comfortable’ and to ‘get the hell back to the USA while ya can!’ A year later, I was divorced, living in my native California, doing my most satisfying work ever, and shooting a big studio feature. My career and life have only gotten better since that.

BILL TAYLOR, ASC

When I asked Freddie Francis for his secret to glamour lighting, he said, ‘Put a great Big light over the lens. And get Brooke Shields if you can.’

JOHN S.BARTLEY, ASC, CSC

‘Light the Set, then turn off half the lights and shoot.’

PETER KOZACHICK, ASC

At ILM, Dennis Muren, ASC had a simple, powerful phrase:’ One Shot, one Thought.’ When we lapse into gliding the lily on a setup, that quote provides a reality check.

ROSS BERRYMAN, ASC, ACS

‘Be nice to people on your way up because you never know who you’re going to meet on the way down.’

VICTOR GOSS, ASC

When I was becoming successful shooting commercials, a wise producer friend learned over in a screening room once and whispered ‘Don’t let this go to your head.’About 23 years later, I figured out what he meant.

DONALD McALPINE, ASC, ACS

The late and wonderful Phil Gersh, my agent for many years, listed the directors one should avoid working with. I’m not going to publish that list.Reports and anecdotes over the years have been an indication of grief avoided.

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 87 ( 2006 ) FROM ASC CLOSE UP-BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 87(2006)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

JOHN SIMMONS, ASC

Lose the word ” Can’t” from your vocabulary.Carlton Moss taught me there is always a way to get it done.

WILLIAM A.FRAKER , ASC

The Best Advice I ‘ve ever been given was to extend myself. It’s a famous quote: ” A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” All the tools, the technologies, are there for you to use, but you can’t assume they will tell your story.That’s up to cameraman, to use everything at his disposal to tell a story visually.

M. DAVID MULLEN, ASC

I was nervous about shooting my first feature, and luckily, I ran into Allen Daviau, ASC,who advised me to know my first week of production, what I needed to do, backwards and forwards. I discovered that being hyper-prepared like that not only boosted my confidence  but also set the right tone for the production. The crew quickly  realizes  that you know what you want  and are aware of how long things should take.

SOL NEGRIN , ASC

From Harry Stradling Sr.: ” Never be afraid to take a chance.It may be the thing you ever did .”

BILL BENNETT , ASC

“Never Pass up the opportunity to keep your mouth shout!” What they don’t tell you in cinematography training is that you job is 50 percent cinematography and 50 percent diplomacy, I’ve learned the hard way that when things go south, as they sometimes do, it’s best to pause and reflect on what’s happening and why before opening your mouth and blurting out what first comes to mind.No one remembers what you didn’t say, but they will certainly remember something you said in haste.

KEES VAN OOSTRUM , ASC

Always strive for perfection in every image you create, not so much technically but in terms of feeling that you have completely understood what you are trying to convey.

PHILIPPE ROUSSELOT , ASC

One Piece of advice I gave myself was not to follow any rules. Another for Jean Jacques Annaud, is, ” Always wear the appropriate shoes on set ”

STEVEN FIERBERG , ASC

When I was in collage, Nick Ray come to show his films, and I spent the whole night talking to him in the lobby rather than watching the films. As he left, he said, “Remember,it’s a way of life”

DAVID B. NOWELL , ASC

Always view your dailies. This May sound silly, but a lot of times, especially today, you never get the chance to see how a shot will look up on the big screen.

ERNEST DICKERSON , ASC

I’ve learned so much from reading AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER, and the best professional advice I ever received was from an interview with Gordon Willis. In it,he stressed the importance of always having a point of view when approaching  a scene. It’s the first question I ask myself when I’m designing my coverage: What is the point of view,or whose? Once I’ve answered the question, everything falls into place much more ease.

KARL WALTER LINDENLAUB , ASC

Make Friends early so you have allies in this business. They are the ones who call you first.

CRAIG DiBONA , ASC

Early int my career, an old veteran told me, “The Industry is a lot of fun,but never forget it’s a business with a lot of money being spent every second. Don’t laugh your way out of your job,and if you stretch your arms out you can’t touch the camera, then you’re probably in the wrong place.” Good Words to remember.

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 86(2005) FROM ASC CLOSE UP-BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 86(2005)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

GERALD PENNY FINNERMAN , ASC

Harry Stardling Said to me ,”Make Everyone on the set like you.The Rest will be easy for you.Remember that.”

TONY ASKINS , ASC

Philip Lathrop said “Always be on time,dress nicely,leave your ego home,treat everyone equally and with respect,and always be positive,no matter how hard it gets”

STEPHEN LIGHTHILL , ASC

Experienced filmmakers always reminded me to wear comfortable shoes while shooting.They were right, and they inspired in me a lifelong love of good shoes

ISIDORE MANKOFSKY , ASC

Be bold, and take chances-Advice I have not always followed,much to my regret. Also,following your intuition is usually the smart thing to do.

RUSS ALSOBROOK , ASC

“Tell the story and make your stars look great.”

JON FAUER , ASC

“The only reason to be late for a call is being dead.” This was drilled in to me by Mel London or Freddie Young, BSC

DON McCUAIG , ASC

While shooting newsreel for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation , producer Allan Clapp told me I should analyze every frame of film or videotape I shot.It has been tremendous help .Also ,Woody Omens, ASC told us at Panavision workshop that it was important to examine laserdisc,freeze a perfect frame, and dissect the lighting.What a Great gift.Other important advice was three words: “Prep,Prep,Prep”

LEVIE ISAACKS , ASC

I Was told that Hollywood was a work-ethic town:do the work the very best you can and that will count the most.I have found it to be true.

DENIS LENOIR , ASC

“But Denis,This is flat! That was said by corporate-movie director(and former cinematographer) Georges Pessis on my first day with him,after I had lit part of a Nestlè factory with a few Mini-Brutes and Redheads.It just blew my mind:light could be flat and therefore also not flat”

RICHARD EDLUND , ASC

Don’t Look Back : Bob Dylan

HENNER HOFMANN , ASC

Gabriel Figueroa, AMC told me one day, “Your Negative needs to look like an avocado skin, not like a light onion skin.” I found that to be exquisite advice for both cinematographers and chefs.

RALPH WOOLSEY , ASC

“Never Look Back.”- Karl Freund

To Be Continued… –つづく…

 

SINCE VOL. 85 ASC CLOSE UP – BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 85(2004) 

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

ROY H.WAGNER , ASC

It Was Actually given by Ansel Adams.He Suggested that I previsualize in my head what I wanted an Image to look like and then determine what I needed technically to achieve that.That one piece of advice is the basic principle that has allowed me to be considered a very fast cinematographer

AMY VINCENT , ASC

I was Working as an assistant for Bob Richardson ,ASC, and he came to see my AFI Thesis Film.The Next day ,on set, he announced to everyone that it was my last day working for him.Then he told me that my lighting should never get too complicated and he pushed me out the door!

BILL DILL , ASC

Look at the big picture,and ask yourself, “What Made me want ot shoot this movie in the first place?” Don’t let your role sink into mere execution.Every Choice should have a specific,identifiable,underlying philosophical basis in the story.However , be careful with this.As soon as the basis becomes apparent to the audience ,you’ve moved into their consciousness.Our work has its greatest effect on the unconscious emotional involvement the audience has with the movie. The way I put this to my students is , ” Never let your metaphor become a metafive”

GEORGE SPIRO DIBE , ASC

I never forgot Jimmy Wong  Howe telling me , ‘Don’t screw with your negative’. He did not believe in putting a diffusion glass that cost a few dollars over a lens that had cost thousands.He also said, ‘We never make mistakes’.

ROBERT F. LIU , ASC

James Wong Howe told me once that no one can make every scene a masterpiece,but if you can make one scene or one shot outstanding within the whole picture,you have achieved uniqueness in your work with a trademark.

ANDY LASZLO , ASC

Learn what’s important to put up a fight for,and know when to say no

RON GARCIA , ASC

From Alfred Hitchcock : ” Stay out of Jail

OWEN ROIZMAN , ASC

Pay Attention and follow you Heart.That came from me.

DARYN OKADA, ASC

Trust your eye and not the light meter

CURTIS CLARK , ASC

Years Ago,Allen Daviau advised me to include commercials in my work as a  cinematographer.This is was great advice,and I have followed it

MICHAEL GOI , ASC

Always tell the truth.Say what you really believe.Telling people what you think they want to hear doesn’t you or them.Also,always photograph your lead actress like she’s your lover,but don’t date her.

RICHARD KLINE , ASC

From Harry Stradling: Make Sure that somewhere in each frame there is a proper exposure!

To Be Continued… –つづく…