We have come up with an innovative project to showcase and demonstrate the latest developments in colour grading to a live audience of film professionals. Dado Valentic, founder of Mytherapy, and Director of Photography Peter Hannan BSC ACS have come together to create an entirely new look for the film Dough, based on new advances in colour science powered by ACES.
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“Less is more” and “personal art sacrificed for the greater whole (the film)” are the two catchphrases that Barry Ackroyd often quotes when describing his own artistic style. ‘Captain Phillips’, Paul Greengrass-directed dramatisation of real-life hijacking of the Maersk Alabama ship by the Somali pirates in 2009 is full of urgent hand-held camera work which is a cinematic trademark refined and perfected by Ackroyd. It lends an air of pseudo-documentary authenticity to carefully staged reconstructions, putting us right there in the huddle of the action.
From the News Cameraman in the early eighties, covering events ranging from the Lebanon War to The Troubles, narrowly escaping death on several occasions, to multi-award nominated cinematographer for 12 Years a Slave, Sean Bobbitt’s journey was anything but unadventurous and a classic story of luck and opportunity seizing.
Anton Chigurh’s (Javier Bardem) placid face and unflinching eyes after murdering his first police officer just a few minutes into ‘No Country For Old Men’; April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) standing in the middle of her suburban bedroom quietly bleeding herself to death in ‘Revolutionary Road’; Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) rushing on the horseback to get the rattlesnake bitten Mattie to the doctor as the day light changes and the huge surreal stars light the sky in ‘True Grit’ – all these images remain deeply etched in our minds thanks to Roger Deakins’ unique gift to tell the story of a character in a single photographic shot by combining almost documentary-style realism with deep lyricism.
Irish-born Robbie Ryan, who was a budding cinematographer from the age of 14 and graduated from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology has had a colourful and multi-faceted career that spans commercials, music videos, experimental video, drama and various genres of feature films. He has built up a hugely impressive list of visually exciting credits including Brick Lane, The Scouting Book For Boys, Isolation, The Summit, and the acclaimed C4 television drama, I Am Slave, which was nominated for a BAFTA in 2011. It was, however, his much-acclaimed partnership with the Scottish arthouse film director Andrea Arnold that helped Ryan sharpen up his creative focus and find a place in the cinematographers’ hall of fame.
Ben Davis (b. 1961) started his career at Samuelsons Camera House, now a part of the motion picture equipment company Panavision. He worked as clapper loader, focus puller, and camera operator in both feature films and commercials. Ben started as a Cinematographer in commercials and pop promos, shooting award winning spots with directors such as Daniel Barber, Steve Reeves and Daniel Klienman.
Seamus McGarvey was born in 1967 and began his budding career as a teenage photographer by experimenting in the dark room set up in the bathroom of his family home in Armagh, Northern Ireland. His first foray into the moving pictures was the Super 8 camera his art teacher lent him. Upon graduating from the University of Westminster in London in 1988 he began shooting short films and documentaries and directed over 100 music videos for artists such as U2, The Rolling Stones, Sir Paul McCartney and Coldplay.
Dick Pope was born in Bromley, Kent in 1947 and became interested in photography as a young boy. His father gave him a Brownie box camera and he began making portraits of his family and friends. Later, an uncle who worked for the BBC suggested a career as a cameraman so he became a trainee at Pathe Film Laboratory in London and worked as part of camera crews on ‘B’ movies and TV documentaries. Eventually, he began shooting music videos and feature films.
John Mathieson (b. 1961, Dorset) got into the film industry by hanging around his mates who were into movies and assisting on shoots. Later he went to India where his producer blagged a commercial from a tyre magnate and it looked good so they kept getting asked back. When he was 26 he started shooting pop promos and soon garnered recognition for the ground breaking video “Peek-a-Boo” for Siouxsie and the Banshees, directed by Peter Scammel. He also collaborated with the director of the Sinéad O’Connor video “Nothing Compares 2 U”, and honed his craft through the 90’s shooting numerous television commercials and music videos for artists including Madonna, Prince and Massive Attack.
Colour Fridays is back at MyTherapy! This summer we’ll be discussing the top British Cinematographers of our time whose influential work and groundbreaking techniques have really pushed the boundaries of film. Tune in every Friday for the latest article on Colour Pros: Cinematographers. First up we have the incredible Anthony Dod Mantle.