Wild’s Cinematographer Yves Bélanger on Framing the Face of America

Yves Bélanger on what it took to lens Wild for director Jean-Marc Vallée which included quite a bit of walking backwards


Director Jean-Marc Vallée gathered a lot of his favorite collaborators for the upcoming Wild, which comes out this Friday, Dec 5. This includes his fantasticmakeup department head, Robin Mathews, as well as his cinematographer Yves Bélanger. “I’ve known him twenty years,” Belanger says, “but there was always some reason we couldn’t work together.” Bélanger was wrapping up Laurence Anyway in 2012 when Vallée phoned him. “He said he had this great film, very low budget. I’d shot commercials without lights or dollies, so we could go faster, and he said, ‘Let’s do the same thing…lets do a movie without a big crew, can you do that?’ I said yes, I could.” That movie was Dallas Buyers Club. 

As Robin Mathews told us, this streamlined approach to filmmaking presents certain difficulties for the crew. For her, it was the pressure of having to stop an otherwise perpetually in motion production (the camera is almost always running) to do her makeup work. For Bélanger, it’s being a part of a very, very small camera team that is filming from morning to night.

“We had a very small crew on Dallas, we had everything else, transportation, makeup, but for the camera, it was just myself and a grip, and an electrician to change bulbs, put dimmers on, but nothing else,” Bélanger says. “I’d ask, ‘Can you turn off these two lights there, can you do that?’ The art direction was very important with that kind of movie. Some time we’d ask to put little Christmas lights on the trailer park, or put the lights besides the front door, or inside, basically anything that makes light, we’d use it. So our relationship with the art direction became so important, and the art director [Javiera Varas] became like my co-DP. He would help with the light, add things, come up with solutions, he also became like my gaffer, the chief electrician.”

The Credits | Read the Full Article

Via Creative Planet Network

Did Kevin From ‘Home Alone’ Grow Up to Be Jigsaw? A Deadly Serious Investigation

They both rigged elaborate traps that are triggered by their victims…


The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means: rampant consumerism. Hordes of sheeple leaving their families to queue for hours in front of big-box stores across the nation in hopes of scoring cheap electronics without being crushed to death. The dystopian horror of mass transit hubs. The inevitable gaining of 15 to 20 pounds of ham, turkey, and pie weight. And, of course, constant re-airings of holiday entertainment such as Home Alone, Chris Columbus’s 1990 classic about young Kevin McCallister — played by a cherubic Macaulay Culkin — who spends a solitary Christmas in a vast Winnetka mansion after his family, in a rush, accidentally forgets to bring him along on a trip to Paris. As the rich are wont to do, I guess. So much to think about — who can be bothered to remember their own defenseless flesh and blood?

Since it first hit theaters 24 years ago, audiences have been enchanted byHome Alone and its scenes of young Kevin romping through the affluent Chicago suburbs all by his lonesome, accidentally shoplifting from the grocery store, making a pizza boy think he was about to be murdered, and, most famously, defending his home from a pair of bumbling thieves using a series of Rube Goldbergian Roadrunner-vs.-Coyote devices of his own design. From November 1990 to February 1991, Home Alone was the no. 1 film in America, unseating Child’s Play 2, and turning away challenges from such movies as Awakenings, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Lionheart, the third Godfather movie (which we pretend never happened), Three Men and a Little Lady, and Disney’s1 holiday tentpole The Rescuers Down Under. “Every kid in America wanted to see Home Alone 63 times,” said Wall Street analyst Manny Gerard, in a October 1991 New YorkMagazine feature about Disney’s then-struggles at the box office.

Grantland | Read the Full Article

The ongoing failure of the PG-13 rating

Chris Klimek pontificates on the history of the PG-13 rating and how it has become cross to bear for big budget tent pole movies


In 1984, the Motion Picture Association of America introduced its first new content rating since its “G, PG, R, and X” classification scheme replaced the Hays Code in 1968. The PG-13 was meant to signal a strong note of caution to parents that a movie might be too intense or troubling for some children, or might inspire some conversations a parent wasn’t ready to have.

But in the 21st century, it’s become the dominant rating for commercial pictures, one studios often insist on as way of protecting their nine-digit investment in any presumptive tentpole. At least among the major studios, the pervasiveness of the PG-13 has finished the job of infantilizing—okay, simplifying—mainstream cinema begun by Jaws and Star Wars almost two generations ago. As nearly every other delivery system for culture or storytelling—from pop music to videogames to network TV dramas to the Internet—has grown more sophisticated and permissive in the decades since PG-13 was introduced, the rating’s ascendancy has only hardened America’s peculiar, specific strain of psychosis: Puritanism (and soft bigotry) about sex matched with shrugging acceptance of violent death. The America we’re exporting to the world through movies that increasingly regard the U.S. as their secondary market has become a grotesque place. How did we get here?

Someone must’ve fed us after midnight.

The Dissolve | Read the Full Article

12 Tips On How To Work From Home As A Freelance Video Editor

Mike Wilkinson shares a few tips for working as a freelance editor.

Freelance Home Office

While sharing drinks with a friend, he started inquiring as to how I’m able to supplement my income with video editing projects. The more we talked, the more I realized that a lot of people have the ability and skill to do it, but they don’t understand the small things that can make or break being successful at it. In this post, I’ll share what I’ve learned about being a freelance editor.
You don’t need that much gear.

Working from home, the local coffee shop, or while traveling around the country means going light. A powerful laptop that’s loaded with editing software, hard drive of footage, and a decent pair of headphones is really all you need. Having a desk with extra monitors, full keyboard+mouse, giant speakers, USB hubs and all that are great, but nonessential. 

10 years ago, decent quality video formats were still being captured onto tape and other propietary systems, requiring control decks and capture cards that were more expensive than my truck. These days I’m able to edit for agencies who appreciate the all-digital workflow as much as I do. Sure, they sometimes shoot on DSLRs, but I regularly get footage shot on BMCCs, mid to high-end Sony systems, Canon C-Series, and more. All media ends up on a hard drive which is easier for them, and keeps it easy (and cheap!) for me.

FStoppers | Read the Full Article

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