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Beacons of Hope

Director Julia Swain, cinematographer Teodora Totoiu, and colorist Corinne Bogdanowicz shine a light on the documentary Lady Cameraman’s journey to the screen.

“Cinematography has truly saved my life,” director of photography Julia Swain says in the opening minutes of the documentary Lady Cameraman. Directed by Swain, the movie charts her journey to find and connect with other women who are working in her chosen and beloved profession — a career, she notes in her narration, that has helped her navigate overwhelming personal tribulations. The resulting documentary features archival material as well as more than 20 new interviews with such cinematographers as Anette Haellmigk, Autumn Durald, Cybel Martin, and ASC members including Natasha Braier, Reed Morano, Amy Vincent and Joan Churchill — the latter of whom shares a story about her union card that provides the documentary’s title — as well as Local 600 national executive director Rebecca Rhine, Marvel Studios’ executive vice president of production Victoria Alonso, and others. In presenting their stories, the documentary showcases powerful examples of women overcoming the motion-picture industry’s barriers to entry, offering a vision of hope that Swain describes as “a love letter to young cinematographers.”

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A Mouse’s Tale

Don Burgess, ASC reteams with director Robert Zemeckis to adapt The Witches, Roald Dahl’s magical tale of tragedy and triumph.

Based on the book by Roald Dahl and now streaming on HBO Max, The Witches tells the story of a young boy (Jahzir Bruno) who goes to live with his grandmother (Octavia Spencer) in 1968 Alabama after having lost both of his parents in a car accident. Just as Grandma seems to be succeeding in bringing the Boy out of his shell, his world is rocked again by the revelation that a real-life witch is in town and poses a grave threat. Hoping to let the danger pass, Grandma and the Boy sneak away to a ritzy hotel, but as fate would have it, an entire coven of witches, led by the Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway), has gathered at the same setting, where they hatch a plot to turn all the children of the world into mice.

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Happy Hauntings

Cinematographer Seamus Tierney captures the tricks and treats of Hubie Halloween in large format with DXL2.

Hubert Shubert “Hubie” Dubois was born and raised in Salem, Mass. He loves his hometown, and as Salem’s self-appointed “official volunteer Halloween helper,” he makes it his duty every October 31 to ensure a safe and fun holiday is enjoyed by all. But when a patient at the nearby Westfield State Mental Hospital goes missing, a mystery is set in motion that will change the town, and Hubie’s life, forever.

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The Color of Paradise

Stephan Pehrsson, BSC shoots on DXL2 and partners with Light Iron to realize the vibrant visuals of the series Utopia.

The comic book Dystopia tells the story of Jessica Hyde, a young girl on the run from the evil Mr. Rabbit, who holds Jessica’s scientist father captive and forces him to create unthinkable biological horrors. Written and illustrated by an anonymous artist, Dystopia has earned legions of fans, some of whom have found far deeper meaning in its pages and believe clues to real-world viruses and pandemics are layered into its artwork.

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Sure Shots

Cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw orchestrates six cameras for the live-performance documentary feature Beastie Boys Story.

In the early 1980s, three friends embarked on what would become a 30-year adventure. Collectively known as Beastie Boys, the trio comprised Adam Yauch, Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz — aka MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock, respectively. Though they grew out of New York City’s punk scene, they soon embraced hip-hop, and as the years progressed, their creative output charted their growth as artists and as people. 

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Personal Destiny

Mandy Walker, ASC, ACS employs Panavision optics for Mulan, an intimate portrait set against an epic backdrop.

In Disney’s live-action feature Mulan, the eponymous hero (portrayed by Yifei Liu) disguises herself as a man and joins the Chinese army in order to spare her father from having to return to war. Through the trials that follow, she unlocks her hidden potential and embraces her true identity.

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Moral History

The filmmakers behind "Yes, God, Yes" recount their journey to bring the feature to fruition

In the early aughts, in a small Iowa town, Alice — a student at the local Catholic high school — enjoys watching Titanic and testing her knowledge of movie titles with word scrambles played in online chat rooms. When one of her internet encounters takes an unexpected turn, she suddenly discovers there’s pleasure to be had in pleasuring oneself. Soon thereafter, she attends a four-day Catholic retreat, where she struggles to reconcile her nascent urges with the prospect of eternal judgment. 

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Emotional Vibes

With "The Kissing Booth 2" and the upcoming "The Empty Man," Anastas Michos, ASC, GSC demonstrates his penchant for working across genres

“What are we going to talk about today?” cinematographer Anastas Michos, ASC, GSC asks almost immediately after answering his phone. It’s late July when Panavision connects with Michos, and though the vast majority of productions had ground to a halt back in March due to COVID-19, the cinematographer has managed to keep busy while also taking all necessary precautions to stay healthy and safe. After doing some shooting around New York City for a documentary about the pandemic directed by fellow ASC member Ellen Kuras, Michos lifted anchor and has recently been sailing along the East Coast. “Isolating socially became ‘let me go commune with nature,’ just to put a different spin on it,” he shares.

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