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'Silicon Valley': Shooting Mike Judge’s Satirical HBO Series

No “valley” on the planet has proven more instrumental in shaping the daily habits of 21st century humans as Silicon Valley. Now an HBO series is mining television’s latest group of geeky social misfits for laughs and, hopefully, an audience. Silicon Valley is currently airing weekly in an eight-episode season (through May 25) on HBO.

'Fargo' on FX: Returning to the Scene of the Coen Brothers' Crime(s)

When Fargo, Joel and Ethan Coen’s wry depiction of Midwest manners and a macabre crime caper, hit theaters in 1996, it was an instant hit. Now Fargo is back, this time as a 10-episode limited series on FX Network. It stars Billy Bob Thornton as a malevolent drifter who arrives in Bemidji, one of the small towns in Minnesota that claims to be the birthplace of Paul Bunyan. Also starring are Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Bob Odenkirk, Colin Hanks, Oliver Platt, Adam Goldberg and Kate Walsh.

Sony F55 vs. ARRI Alexa vs. Blackmagic Cinema Camera vs. Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

In pre-production for a new television series, cinematographer John Brawley did a camera test pitting the Sony F55 against the ARRI Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K.

Dead Ringers: Capturing the Surreal and Shadowy World of 'Enemy'

When mild-mannered professor Adam Bell discovers he has an exact double, small-time movie actor Anthony St. Claire (both portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal), he becomes obsessed with his doppelgänger and the significance his existence might have on his own life. Enemy, from director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) and based on the novel The Double by Portuguese author José Saramago, unfolds in an ominous, unpredictable world, but one designed ultimately to feel real, not fantastic. Cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc, CSC, explains that he and the director wanted the film to parallel the claustrophobic feeling of the book, with everything from the architecture to the air itself feeling strange and dangerous.

Blossier Sets an Eerie, Evocative Tone for 'The Returned '

A French TV series airing in the U.S. on the Sundance Channel, The Returned (Les Revenants) follows the residents of a small mountain town as the dead start to reappear among the living. Patrick Blossier, AFC, who shot the first season and is currently at work on the second, explains, “Les Revenants is a fantasy series that takes place in a very realistic world. The ghosts are not zombies but human beings like you and me.

'Modern Family' Values and Visuals: James Bagdonas, ASC, Advances the Cinematography for the Series

Now in its fifth season, ABC’s top-rated comedy Modern Family has evolved its shooting style beyond the tight strictures of its first few seasons. James Bagdonas, ASC, has been an essential contributor to the development of the show’s look as the series’ director of photography and occasional director. When the show began, the concept for the production had certain cost savings built in.

'The Monuments Men' DP Phedon Papamichael: Mystery and History

This has been a very productive year for cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, ASC. He’s up for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Alexander Payne’s black-and-white road picture Nebraska, and he followed that up with George Clooney’s World War II adventure The Monuments Men. The former is inspired by the stark monochrome of The Last Picture Show and the latter by the colorful spirit of The Great Escape. Together, the two offer an excellent illustration of Papamichael’s versatility.

How ARRI Alexa Handles Color to Achieve a 'Film Look'

Cinematographer Art Adams explains some of the science behind the ARRI Alexa that allows it to process color in a way that achieves a "film look."

He writes, "’I'm not sure it’s fair to say that ARRI is 'emulating' film so much as they are pursuing a film aesthetic in a digital medium. When [ARRI CEO Glenn] Kennel talks about how the most saturated colors in film are also the darkest he seems to be referring to film in terms of it being a subtractive color medium. Video is inherently an additive color medium, and most video cameras embrace that aesthetic. That’s one of the reasons why film and video have such distinctive looks. Alexa seems to buck that trend by emulating the functionality of a subtractive color model in an additive color system."

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A Visit to 'Broad City'

Comedy Central’s weekly half-hour scripted series Broad City, executive produced by Amy Poehler, stars Upright Citizens Brigade alums Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer as a pair of endearing, cash-strapped twentysomethings trying to survive in New York City.

Produced in New York by Paper Kite Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment and Jax Media, Broad City began as a web series in late 2009 and made the transition to television in January.

'From 1994' Stays in Motion with MoVI

Produced by Seattle-based Mindcastle, the short film “From 1994” was shot entirely using Freefly Systems’ MoVI camera stabilizer and an ARRI Alexa M camera. “I’ve shot with cranes and jibs and things like that. Once you set them up, you can only try shots you can reach from where the base is set,” says the film’s co-director, Casey Warren. “But with MoVI, the base can be anywhere.”

Crime Scenes, Creative Storytelling: Production on HBO's 'True Detective'

Set among the bayous, bars and revival tents of rural Louisiana, HBO’s anthology series True Detective follows a pair of investigators (Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) through a years-long investigation that begins with the discovery of the victim of a bizarre, ritualistic murder and only gets stranger from there. Much of what makes this eight-episode story particularly dark is the fact that writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto is at least as interested in the emotional turmoil motivating his detectives as he is in their investigation. Both lead characters have demons to fight and it’s not at all clear that their very human frailties transform them into superhuman sleuths.

Bokelberg Sets the Scene for 'Scandal'

A dramatic series set in the highest levels of U.S. government, ABC’s Scandal centers on the crisis management firm run by Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), who knows how to fix everyone’s life but her own.

Loneliness, Love and Light: How 'Her' Conveys a Familiar (But Futuristic) World

Set in the near future, director Spike Jonze’s Her follows a lonely man whose only connection to the world is through his computer. Captured in ARRIRAW format on an ARRI Alexa Studio camera by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, Her anticipates the future but presents a familiar world based on today’s reality.

Loneliness, Love and Light: How 'Her' Conveys a Familiar (But Futuristic) World

Slide text: 
<p>Set in the near future, director Spike Jonze&rsquo;s <em>Her</em> follows a lonely man whose only connection to the world is through his computer. Captured in ARRIRAW format on an ARRI Alexa Studio camera by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, <em>Her</em> anticipates the future but presents a familiar world based on today&rsquo;s reality.</p>

Set in the near future, director Spike Jonze’s Her follows a lonely man whose only connection to the world is through his computer. Captured in ARRIRAW format on an ARRI Alexa Studio camera by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, Her anticipates the future but presents a familiar world based on today’s reality.

DP Angus Hudson Shoots 'Last Passenger' on the ARRI Alexa

Cinematographer Angus Hudson talks about shooting Omid Nooshin's debut film, low-budget thriller Last Passenger, on the ARRI Alexa.

He says, "When Omid first started thinking about this project, he wanted to shoot on 35 mm film, but then the realities of trying to make your first movie kick in. We may just about have been able to do it on film if we had followed certain rules, but the sort of rules that would put off most producers and directors, like only doing three takes. It became more and more apparent that shooting digitally was the way to go, so I looked at various options and of all the digital cameras out there I was most familiar with ALEXA, and also preferred its look and feel over the competitors. Having grown up with film, I can relate to ALEXA as a camera, rather than as a piece of technology."

Read the full story here on ARRI's site.

Shane Hurlbut's ARRI Alexa and Canon C500 Camera Tests, Part 2

Shane Hurlbut presents part 2 of his in-depth ARRI Alexa vs. the Canon C500 camera tests for feature film Need for Speed. This time he tests IR filtration, interior latitude, night ISO and night driving.

Read the post here.

ARRI Alexa vs. the Canon C500

Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut writes up the first in this three part series detailing his extensive camera tests for feature film Need for Speed, pitting the ARRI Alexa against the Canon C500.

Single Candle Tests with RED Epic, ARRI Alexa, Sony F65 and F55 and Canon 1DC

Cinematography Mailing List has posted images from the ultimate low-light test. Their single candle tests feature images captured by the ARRI Alexa, RED Epic, Sony F65 and F55 and the Canon 1DC.

See it here.

'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight': Integrating Contemporary and Archival Footage for the HBO Movie

In 1967, when Muhammad Ali was still Cassius Clay and the United States was embroiled in an unpopular war in Southeast Asia, the heavyweight champion of the world found his toughest match taking place outside the boxing ring. After joining the Nation of Islam and adopting the name Muhammad Ali, he was widely denounced for refusing to be drafted into U.S. military service based on his religious opposition to the Vietnam War. He was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion and stripped of his boxing title. In 1971, his appeal reached the United States Supreme Court.

ARRI Alexa and Vintage Anamorphic Lenses Give 'Last Passenger' Its Soft, Velvety Look

In the video below, cinematographer Angus Hudson talks shooting low-budget thriller Last Passenger with the ARRI Alexa, Canon 5D,  and vintage lenses.

He says, "For budgetary constraints, we had to shoot digitally and the challenge was how do you get a digital film to look as if it'd been shot on 35 mm. With the actual anamorphic lenses we used, they were lenses from the 1930s that had been re-housed and modified. So rather than going for this sort of digital super sharp thing, we've gone for a very velvety soft feel with Last Passenger. We made a very traditional film in a very untraditional way."

Watch below.

Anthony Dod Mantle on Shooting 'Rush'

Cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle talks to American Cinematographer about shooting racing movie Rush, his first collaboration with director Ron Howard. Shot on ARRI Alexa, but with vintage lenses, Dod Mantle worked to match the shoot with archival racing footage that they used in the final cut.

Recording 'Redemption': Chris Menges Relies on an ARRI and Codex Workflow

Directed by Steven Knight, Redemption follows a traumatized, homeless veteran, played by Jason Statham, straining to maintain his sanity and seeking a new life on the streets of London.

'Homeland': Capturing Tension and Apprehension for the Showtime Series

On September 29, the Showtime dramatic series Homeland will return for a third season. Season three begins in the aftermath of a massive and horrific terror attack. A global manhunt ensues.

Shooting 'Redemption' with the ARRI Alexa and Codex

Redemption DP Chris Menges explains his workflow with ARRI Alexa, ARRIRAW and Codex for the new thriller.

Foerster Captures 'White House Down' with Codex

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