ASC magazine article
"CINEMATOGRAPHER STYLE" FOCUSES
ON ART OF VISUAL STORYTELLING
DATELINE- Cinematographer Style will debut here at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Sunday,
June 25, followed by a premiere screening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills on
Tuesday evening, June 27. The 90-minute documentary weaves a collage of commentaries by
110 cinematographers from 15 countries into a multi-faceted story about the universal art of
telling stories with moving images.
Jon Fauer, ASC produced, directed and photographed some 200 hours of dialogues with
cinematographers who work in diverse sectors of the industry, including narrative films for
television and the cinema, documentaries, music videos and commercials. He asked all of them
the same questions about why and how they became cinematographers, who influenced or
motivated them, the origins of the “looks” they have created, and whether new technologies
and techniques affect their work.
“Our goal was to take the audience on a journey into the hearts and minds of many of the world’s
most gifted cinematographers,” Fauer says. “Most of them were relucant to be on the other side
of the lens, but they were all amazingly articulate.”
In one sequence, Vittorio Storaro, ASC, AIC talks about the art of lighting faces. The film cuts
to Haskell Wexler, ASC and then to Gordon Willis, ASC discussing the same subject. Willis tells
the gaffer to turn a key light off. Then he turns towards the camera with his face in partial shadows
and asks, ‘do you see what I mean?’
“Gordon made an eloquent statement by using images to punctuate his words,” Fauer notes.
“He wasn’t acting for the camera. It was second nature. Everyone augmented their words with body
language, facial expressions and by what is revealed in their eyes. I tried to light and compose
everyone the way they would film themselves.”
Fauer is a New York-based director/cinematographer, whose body of work ranges from documentaries
that he filmed on skiis, to movie dramas and fashion commercials. He has also authored a number
of technical books for filmmakers and students. The concept for Cinematographer Style originated
more than three years ago when ARRI Inc. President Volker Bahnemann suggested that Fauer film
interviews with cinematographers for a 10-minute DVD to augment a book he was updating.
“I felt cinematographers talking about art ought to be recorded on 35mm film that audiences can
also see projected on a cinema screen,” Fauer says. “I also thought it was important to conduct
the interviews on a proven, archival form of media that will be accessible to future filmmakers
and historians decades and hundreds of years from now.”
ARRI agreed to provide funding and equipment, Kodak volunteered to supply the film,
and Technicolor offered lab and telecine services. Various other companies and individuals
offered their support, and many people urged Fauer to interview more cinematographers
and expand the 10-minute DVD into a feature length film.
Fauer describes Cinematographer Style as a celebration of a unique form of individual artistic
expression. The film will also eventually be released as a DVD, and Fauer plans to use it as
background for a book. He adds that a substantial portion of profits from DVD and book sales
will be donated to the American Society of Cinematographers education and museum funds.
The screening at the Academy theater on June 27 is co-sponsored and hosted by ARRI, Kodak
and Technicolor. Seating is reserved. For more information please call 1.800.658.0791