April 27, 2012

Jeff Cronenweth Talks His Career, the Digital Revolution, and 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Jeff Cronenweth, ASC, has worked on a number of big Hollywood films, notably Fight Club, The Social Network, and more recently The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - which we've talked about here before because of its interesting post workflow. Besides feature films, Cronenweth has also shot and directed quite a few music videos and commercials - which is where his collaborator David Fincher also got his start. He shares insights about digital filmmaking and his working relationship with notoriously take-heavy Fincher in this four-part Oscar Q&A provided by Creatasphere.

This talk is split up into four parts, but only the first part is embedded. You'll have to go to Creatasphere's website to see the other three parts. Here is part one:

Cronenweth seems as detail-oriented as Fincher, and it's interesting to hear his approach to shooting because he's such an accomplished cinematographer. Cronenweth takes a very reasonable stance on the digital vs. film argument, and finds that there is plenty he can do with digital that he can't do with film, but in the end, there are certain things that film can do that digital can't, and vice versa. He goes on to say that he's more worried about the shadows with film, and more worried about highlights with digital, but both of them have their place - and it's important to find the right medium that fits the story. Unfortunately that's going to be getting tougher and tougher as film is being phased out, but each digital camera seems to have its own look.

Cronenweth was fond of the results he was able to get with the RED One MX and the RED Epic. Both of those cameras performed flawlessly, losing only a few frames through the entire 160 day production - which included many days of negative temperatures in Sweden. A particularly staggering statistic is the fact that they shot the equivalent of 2 million feet of film on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. As I have mentioned before, these types of numbers will become more commonplace, but it's important to remember that there is a penalty on the back-end for shooting too much footage. The entire talk is right around 45 minutes, and Cronenweth also goes into detail about how he approached lighting specific scenes on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Link: Visions of Oscar with Jeff Cronenweth, ASC - Creatasphere

Your Comment

18 Comments

He's easily one of my top 3 DP's. Thanks for sharing!

April 27, 2012

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Joe

Who are the other two?

April 27, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Richardson is def one of them.

April 27, 2012

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Fantastic link! Thanks Koo!

Oden

www.OMOCINEMA.com
Scarlet-x rentals in LA, SF.

April 27, 2012

0
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Would this count as Link Spamming? Mostly Irrelevant Post (It's not even by Koo!) followed by such a comment as Scarlet Rentals. That's one company I won't rent from.

April 27, 2012

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Calvin Lee

I look forward to playing this-- here's hoping he talks about the C500.

April 27, 2012

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Does anyone know anymore information about this "PICS" system Cronenweth mentions? It Sounds handy, but I haven't been able to find any relevant search results about it.

April 27, 2012

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ProgMan

It is actually spelled "PIX" and I am not sure how available to the public it is. I have heard that many major studios use it and that it is a pretty well kept secret. I am currently using it for a collaborative project between UCSD & KMD (in Japan) and it allows us to upload, view, tag, and attach notes to our footage in a kind of cloud based system. It is particularly useful when working with a team that is in two places (San Diego and Japan) because we can view each others footage from any location as long as we have the software installed on the computer. Surprisingly, it is a fairly primitive software in terms of functionality and workflow but as we work with the software we are giving them feedback about places for improvement. Being a forward thinking company, they are working on implementing some of those changes so it could become a very useful took for collaborative projects in the future. Here is a link to their sight http://www.pixsystem.com/index.php

April 27, 2012

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Joshua A

Man, that lapel noise drove me nuts! I can't believe he never moved his nametag. Nice talk though.

April 27, 2012

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Chris

A few months old, but never the less, interesting talk from Michael Cioni of Light Iron about the 4K workflow and their work on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qztrb9arZl4&feature=player_embedded

Also, if you have the blu-ray, then the visual effects reel is amazing fun to watch, if not then take a gander here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDGqKyNV-HU

April 28, 2012

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Angelo

What does take heavy mean?

April 28, 2012

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konstantinos

Take-heavy meaning he does many takes per scene for each shot. Fincher notoriously does as many takes as he feels he needs to get a particular shot or piece of dialogue right, and sometimes these can run into triple digits.

April 28, 2012

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avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Thank you for the explanation.I do know that about Fincher but I 've never heard of that particular expression before.For some reason,it seemed to me,that you were referring to his behaviour.I'm obviously not a native speaker.

April 28, 2012

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konstantinos

Yea, basically "take" is when you do a shot and "heavy" refers to amount. We use heavy as a substitute for "plenty" or "many" here in the states.

So Take-heavy = Plenty takes.

April 29, 2012

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Thanks, got it.

April 30, 2012

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konstantinos

sick post

April 28, 2012

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Sal

Loved that you liked the Jeff Cronenweth, ASC talk. We do these at all of our Entertainment Technology Expo. Wally Pfister, ASC, Roger Deakins,ASC have all spoken... Next one November 7-8 and reg (free) opens end of the month. More info: http://www.createasphere.com/En/entertainment-technology-expos.html

May 7, 2012

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July 6, 2013

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Tia