Must-Read List: AC’s 25 Most Popular Posts of 2020

Many are expanded versions of their print editions, others web-exclusive or archival from decades past.

The following are a selection of our most-read articles and blog posts of this past year, demonstrating that AC’s readers are seeking to not only to learn from the most current projects and keep up to date on the latest technology, but also inform their creativity by understanding influential work of the past.

Certain articles previously published in AC magazine were expanded upon for their online iteration, as noted. Others are web-exclusive, as noted.

The Mandalorian: This Is the Way
Cinematographers Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS and Barry “Baz” Idoine and showrunner Jon Favreau employ new technologies to frame the Disney Plus Star Wars series. (Expanded)

Family Business: Supernatural
Serge Ladouceur, CSC details how his visual approach to this imaginative, long-running genre series evolved with storytelling tactics and technology, leading to new creative choices. (Expanded)

Rising Stars of Cinematography 2020
AC looks toward the future with this year’s selection of ascending directors of photography making their mark.

Game On: Game-Engine Technology Expands Filmmaking Horizons
“What directors want are iterations. They want to find all the possible challenges early, so the faster you can see a result, understand the issues and create another iteration, the better. Real-time engines make that process happen instantly. It’s just like playing a video game.” (Expanded)

Putting Lenses to A Taste Test
Seeking audience input? Denis Lenoir, ASC, AFC, ASK details his approach to conducting an audience-driven survey of spherical and anamorphic lenses. (Web-only)

An Evening of Excellence: 34th Annual ASC Awards
1917, The Lighthouse, Honeyland, The Handmaid’s Tale, Project Blue Book and The Terror: Infamy take top honors in this year’s ceremonies. (Web-only)

On Location with The Godfather; A Discussion with Gordon Willis
On the sidewalks of New York (and Hollywood and Sicily), rules are broken as off-beat photographic techniques are applied to filming of best-selling novel.

True Lies Tests Cinema’s Limits
Director James Cameron and cinematographer Russell Carpenter marry domestic farce and dynamite action foot-age.

Wages of Sin: The Irishman
Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC frames a hit man through the decades for director Martin Scorsese’s epic crime drama.

Bradford Young, ASC: The Importance of Inspiration
The cinematographer discusses the choices, motivations and influences that led him to a career behind the camera.

American Cinematographer: 100 Years of Coverage
The ASC’s magazine of record celebrates its first century of documenting a collaborative art form’s tools, techniques and creativity. (Expanded) 

Stormy Isle: The Lighthouse
Cinematographer Jarin Blaschke shoots with black-and-white negative, vintage lenses and custom filters to emulate the orthochromatic film stock of old.

Blade Runner: Cronenweth’s Photography
The cinematographer works to achieve the classical noir look Ridley Scott wanted for his futuristic sci-fi masterpiece.

A Sword in the Bed: Eyes Wide Shut
Cinematographer Larry Smith helps Stanley Ku-brick craft a unique look for this dreamlike coda to the director’s brilliant career.

Where Do You Put the Camera?
How you frame the shot, where you place the camera, and what subjects you choose to show in the frame — those are the nouns, verbs, adverbs and prepositions of the language of motion pictures.

John Alton: Master of the Film Noir Mood
With such films as T-Men, Raw Deal and The Big Combo, the iconic cinematographer’s influential work formed the very foundation of the “dark film” style.

Director Taylor Swift and Rodrigo Prieto, ASC, AMC on Making “The Man”
The filmmakers discuss their collaboration on the popular music video about gender inequality.

Staying Creative in Quarantine with Lawrence Sher, ASC
Reverse engineering and re-staging iconic images from cinema history? Awesome. Doing it with your wife and kids at home with what’s around you? Exceptional. (Web-only)

Photographing the Films Of Ingmar Bergman
In striving for realism in his photographic lighting, Bergman’s cameraman finds the new, fast black-and-white emulsions extremely helpful. (Written by Sven Nykvist)

Filming La Dolce Vita in Black-and-White and Widescreen
Production filmed in Rome reveals some interesting techniques employed by Italian cinematographer Otello Martelli.

Forget Me Not: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Shot by Ellen Kuras, ASC and directed by Michel Gondry, this innovative tragicomic drama explores a man’s fight to retain his romantic memories.

Bokeh Perfume — Frames1 — Uncut Gems with Darius Khondji, ASC, AFC
This post is centered on anamorphic bokeh, by which I mean the entire portion of the image that is out of focus, not just the elongated bright lights in the frame. (Web-only)

John Bailey, ASC: Inside the Outsider
The cinematographer discusses his career behind the camera, his love for international cinema, his tenure as president of The Academy and what it takes to succeed in a very difficult business. (Web-only) 

6 Underground: Taking “Bayhem” to the Limit
Bojan Bazelli, ASC and other key collaborators discuss their high-intensity shooting approach to director Michael Bay’s latest action-packed production. (Web-only) 

The Cinematographer’s Reel
If you are a cinematographer seeking work who doesn’t have a reel, you are significantly hindering your chances of obtaining gainful employment.


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