Would you have guessed A Ghost Story’s aesthetic was primarily formed instinctually day by day? I wouldn’t have, and I didn’t. The fact derailed everything I thought I knew about Andrew Droz Palermo (Cinematographer: You’re Next, Rich Hill, A Teacher) and David Lowery’s (Writer/Director: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon) formal motivations and forced the interview to operate in an intuitive mode similar to the film’s process.
Kathryn Bigelow has reentered the awards season with Detroit; offering the best ensemble cast you’ll see all year (both big name and soon to be breakout stars) Bigelow puts us in the murkier throes of the 1967 Detroit Riots by resurfacing some of its buried horrors. In the Algiers Motel incident three black teenage boys were slain by the hand of their protectors. One murder was left unsolved and the others were ruled “Justifiable Homicide” allowing all involved cops to walk unconvicted.
Sofia Coppola now represents just the second woman of seventy Cannes Best Director Award winners. That’s a baffling male slant of 68 to two. The Beguiled, her prize winner, is an immaculate exercise in aesthetic restraint. Every facet of its design is an echo of the screams curdling beneath a relentless Southern gentility.
Critical to this masterfully controlled technique is Coppola’s Oscar-nominated cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd AFC. Philippe and I discuss the film’s use of perspective, his unique low-contrast take on visual oppression, and how camera movement can disrupt the emotion of a scene.
The Alexa SXT-W’s (W for Wireless) primary addition to the already exceptional Arri SXT platform, is the addition of a built-in three-radio system that works harmoniously to avoid the usual interference. A built in, low-latency, 10 bit, HDR video transmitter, WiFi, and ECS (Arri’s Camera+Lens Control system) comprise the three and hopes to improve upon the SXT’s ergonomics by reducing the need for external cabling and video transmitters.
I interviewed Sean Porter for the first time early last year about his work on Jeremy Saulnier's slasher/thriller Green Room. The second time around was a bit brighter, a beach-side domestic dramedy: Mike Mill’s coming of age epic 20th Century Women. And here we are at interview three with his most expensive film, the Sony funded studio comedy Rough Night starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate Mckinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer and which was directed by Broad City’s Lucia Aniello & cowritten by Paul W. Downs. In the gamut of the three, I’ve no clue where to place it.
On a technical, on-set structure spectrum I’ve got a better idea. Rough Night moved the fastest. Sean opens up about his first experience on a big budget studio film, how he managed to light at a breakneck multi-camera TV-style pace with bare minimum prep, and the perks of industry veteran reinforcements. Outside the indie/studio comparisons, we talk form: how to photograph a comedy, and how the 2.39 Aspect Ratio can elevate the genre.
The Warner Brothers Booth was arguably the most flamboyant and atmospheric booths at this years E3 show floor. Black walls that nearly reached the high ceiling enclosed the Middle Earth: Shadow Of War game demos and their preemptive theatrical walkthrough. A massive dragon was on display up front for fans to take photos with, and they hired the tallest actors they could find to play towering orcs that playfully harassed folks in line. To top it off, a red ambient light shot up into the ceiling and somehow animated itself like an evil and encompassing aura. Next door was the Lego Dimensions booth, and a live stage where WB’s showed off more of their featured games
In this year’s Bandai Namco booth tour (which offered a peer at two games I nominated for E3 Best Of Show: Ni No Kuni 2 & Dragon Ball Fighter Z) I got hands on time with a sequel to one of my favorite games of the last several years: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. It’s sequel Ni No Kuni 2: The Revenant Kingdom had different demos split up per console. Check out my my first impressions below.
Ansel Elgort came by after attending the L.A Premiere of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver (which world-premiered at SXSW) to rep Destiny 2 at Activion’s big booth in the South Hall of E3. In the film, he stars as the titular “Baby” and I got to sneak some film related questions in before segueing into our overwhelming videogame surroundings. We hung out in the private booth and got to play some Destiny 2 afterwards.
Strung out by day 2 (Day 5 if you count upwards from EA Play through the conferences) of E3 and deep night after parties, I hurried from a Bandai Namco Booth Tour to some hands on time with Polyarc’s PSVR title Moss; an arrangement my colleagues sorted out just minutes from my attending.