Dear Colleague

Here’s an advance look at the June 2012 issue of American Cinematographer magazine, which will have a special focus on this year’s first round of summer blockbusters. (All articles are tentative and subject to change.)

The Avengers (Marvel, Disney)

Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC joined forces with writer/director Joss Whedon to bring Marvel’s most famous heroes together for the first time on the big screen. When the mighty Thor’s nefarious half-brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), employs otherworldly forces in his quest to rule Earth, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles a team of his own — comprising Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) — to fight back. AC visited the production on location in Cleveland, Ohio, where McGarvey and his collaborators provided an up-close look at their work on this epic production. The movie was shot primarily with Arri’s Alexa digital camera, but McGarvey’s team also employed Canon EOS DSLRs to get inside the explosive action, as well as 35mm cameras for high-speed sequences.

Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal)

Greig Fraser was behind the camera for director Rupert Sanders’ reimagining of the classic fairy tale. When the evil, jealous Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) orders the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to lead the fairest in the land, Snow White (Kristen Stewart), to her slaughter, the Huntsman instead trains Snow White to fight back. Fraser will detail his work on the production’s U.K.-based stages and locations, where he and Sanders opted to shoot in the anamorphic format on 35mm film.

Dark Shadows (Warner Bros.)

Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC joined director Tim Burton for this big-screen reinterpretation of the cult-favorite television series from the 1960s. Having been entombed for two centuries, vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) awakens in 1972, where he discovers his estate — not to mention what remains of the Collins family — has fallen on hard times. Delbonnel will cast light on his and Burton’s approach to the material, their decision to shoot on 35mm film and how they handled the stage and location sets throughout the U.K.

Men in Black III (Sony)

Bill Pope, ASC partnered with director Barry Sonnenfeld for the long-anticipated third installment in this popular action-comedy franchise. This time, aliens have hatched a plot to assassinate Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones); in order to foil the aliens’ plans, K’s partner, Agent J (Will Smith), travels back in time to the Sixties and teams with a younger K (Josh Brolin) for a high-octane adventure in which time is literally of the essence. Pope will shed light on his approach to the film’s present-day and retro-sci-fi settings, which mixed stage and location work in New York and Los Angeles, as well as his reasons for employing both digital and 35mm film formats.

The June issue’s departments will also offer illuminating insights:

Short Takes will spotlight Aaron Phillips‘ cinematography on director Lucy Walker’s Oscar-nominated short documentary The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.

Production Slate will examine Rogier Stoffers, ASC‘s work behind the lens on Hemingway and Gelhorn, an HBO original film directed by Philip Kaufman, and Robert Yeoman, ASC’s most recent collaboration with director Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom.

ASC Close-Up will spotlight Society member and Stargate Studios founder Sam Nicholson, whose lighting-effects and visual-effects credits include Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Ghostbusters II, Moll Flanders, Seed of Chucky, the miniseries Into the West and the series Nip/Tuck.

Camtrol Prime – Overview

Camtrol Prime - Overview

The Camtrol Prime is an ergonomic , handheld camera stabilizer designed to cradle and protect small HDSLRs, small camcorders, and all POV cameras allowing “complete freeshooting ability” to even the most novice of operators while being designed robust enough for expert videographers and their customization needs.

Description:

Camtrol’s Receiver Post for Remote and Accessories(RP/RA) allows our Camtroller and remote mounting plate to be attached to the action control grip with wires running through the hollow grip making it cable free. Your cable then plugs into LANC port or digital L line. The RP/RA also accepts light panels, monitors and microphones.

Camtrol’s exclusive “true feel grip” provides the shooter a “grab n shoot” for fast access and it provides a secure, safe handle that helps deliver the operator steady floating and dramatic moving shots. The action control grip works for both right and left handed operators.

With its three locking ball joints and its vertical stabilizer bar, the Camtrol can be set to unlimited customized configurations that allow the user to remain standing upright while capturing ground level shots, overhead shots, and around-objects shots. With Camtrol “shift on the fly” you can quickly adapt to changing conditions safely setting your Camtrol down anywhere with its quad pod legs. Adjustments to Camtrol are made with you hands, no special tools required.

Camtrol’s exclusive centering channels help the operator to find and adjust the camera’s center of gravity to give perfect balance. Camtrol’s Channeled Mounting Plate(CMP) provides a secure attachment for operators cameras as well as anti-slip and anti-vibration protection. With its legs retracted it acts as a skid plate and protects cameras from impacts and scratches.

The Prime has quad pod retractable landing legs(QPRL) which are designed so the operator can safely and quickly set his camera down and reconfigure or tweak his current setup. With the landing legs deployed Camtrol also becomes a safe and stable editing and dubbing platform. By deploying the front legs and by retracting the rear legs the Prime becomes a self imaging video trainer.

Camtrol’s 1/4″ mounting thumb screw guides and secures all cameras to the CMP. The bottom of the thumb screw has a 1/4″ thread that accepts quick release plates, monopods, or tripods. The operator can now change between free shooting and static shots quickly and easily.

Specs:

* Camtrol is made of sturdy lightweight aluminum and is anodized to protect its finish.

* Camtrol’s standard size stabilizer bar on the Prime allows for cameras measuring up to 3.75 inches in overall height.

* The Camtrol Prime weighs less than 1.8 lbs. It supports up 7lbs of camera, lenses and accessories.

* The CMP is 7″ long and 3 1/2″ wide.

* In its collapased state, the Prime measures 10″long by 6 6/16 wide by 2 1/2″ tall and makes for a highly portable and lightweight stabilizing platform that stores neatly in the operator’s photo bag.

First of JVC Wi-Fi Camcorders Now Available

The first model in a line of JVC Wi-Fi camcorders is now available. The new Everio GZ-EX250 is one of four new JVC camcorders with built-in Wi-Fi that allows video clips and still images to be emailed, wireless transfer of files to smartphones, and a range of other functions.

The Wi-Fi feature is available on four 2012 Everio camcorders that combine the benefits of a conventional camcorder, such as superior image quality and a powerful zoom, with the communication convenience of a smartphone. Several unique features are available thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi. A free app for an Android device or iPhone/iPad makes it easy to wirelessly transfer video and stills to a smartphone for quick sharing via the internet. It also allows the phone to be used as a remote control for the Everio and offers geo-tagging of video and photo files in conjunction with the smartphone’s GPS. Video Email allows 15-second video clips (640 x 360 pixels) to be sent directly from the Everio to up to eight email addresses. Live Monitoring allows real time monitoring on a smartphone or computer of images taken with the Everio. And Auto Photo Email automatically emails stills taken using Everio’s movement detection function to a computer or smartphone.

Like all new Everio models, the GZ-EX250 record in 1920 x 1080 Full HD based on the AVCHD format, and offers high quality recording in UXP mode with a 24 Mbps sampling rate. It also has an HDMI output for superior results when viewing on the latest large-screen TVs.

Everio E/EX series models offer basic point-and-shoot simplicity as well as a number of helpful features. Using either of the two EX models, even beginners can shoot excellent videos with the help of Smile Meter, which shows how big a smile is in percentage points, Smile Shot, which automatically takes a digital still when it detects a great smile, and Pet Shot, which automatically shoots stills when a dog or cat faces the camera. Various animation effects, such as ribbons and glasses that correctly superimpose onto people’s faces, and handwritten titles, can be added to decorate any shot. The KONICA MINOLTA HD LENS assures high quality images, while a 40x Optical Zoom enables close-up shots from far away, with no sacrifice in optical quality. Advanced Image Stabilizer effectively counters camera shake. Another new feature for 2012 is a zoom microphone that changes the focal point to match the picture so that what’s seen can be more clearly heard. There’s even a Silent Mode that lets the user mute camcorder sounds and darken the LCD for those times when unobtrusive recording is advised, such as when recording school plays or lectures. A Windows application to support image management, simple editing and easy sharing is supplied.

Everio GZ-EX250 Features

• Wi-Fi Wireless Functions

• Built-in Memory 16GB

• AVCHD & Standard Definition Dual Format

• Advanced Image Stabilizer (A.I.S.)

• 40x Optical Zoom (KONICA MINOLTA HD LENS)

• Super LoLux with 1.5M Back-illuminated CMOS Sensor

• 3.0-inch Touch Panel LCD

• Intelligent AUTO

• Smile Meter & Smile Shot / Pet Detection & Pet Shot

• High-Speed Video Recording for Super Slow Motion Playback

• Time-Lapse REC & Auto REC

• Silent Mode

• Built-in Zoom Mic

• SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Slot

• Everio MediaBrowser 4