Strangers on a Train posters from around the world

Work by Italian masters Luigi Martinati and Rodolfo Gasparri highlight this collection of art from around the globe for Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951). Based on the debut novel of Patricia Highsmith, who went on to write The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Price of Salt, which served as the basis for Todd Haynes’ film Carol.

Visit Cinephilia and Beyond to find the film’s script, storyboards, and a transcription of Hitchcock’s interview with Francois Truffaut from the fall of 1962.

All the posters come courtesy of Heritage Auctions, which features weekly bidding on a new set of beautiful movie art.

Pic of the Day – A miniaturized set from 1998’s Godzilla

Anna Foerster, the Visual Effects Director of Photography: Miniatures on 1998’s Godzilla, takes a spot meter reading on one of the film’s tiny sets. Photo by Isabella Vosmikova.

This pic comes from a must-read piece over at American Cinematographer that traces the shifts in visual effects photography through interviews with effects legends including John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, and Dennis Muren.

More Pics of the Day

Pic of the Day – Cap hanging from a C-Stand on the set of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

With T-minus two days remaining before Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame hits theaters, here’s a behind the scenes shot from one of the Infinity Saga’s first entries – 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

Pics from a Creative Cow story on the film’s visual effects.

Check out more Pics of the Day.

The Shot Behind the Shot – Glass (2019)

I missed the final chapter of M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy in theaters, but as of yesterday Glass is now out on home media. Here’s a before-and-after VFX shot from the film, which – like Shyamalan’s previous two efforts The Visit and Split – was self-funded by the director.

Check out more in the Shot Behind the Shot series.

Frame by Frame – Guava Island (2019)

Year2019
Decade2010s
CinematographerChristian Sprenger (imdb) (official site)
DirectorHiro Murai
Aspect Ratio1.33
DistributorAmazon
GenreMusical
CamerasArri Alexa LF
Lenses – Canon K-35
Format
 –  Digital

Categories
Clink on any link to see similar frames from other films.

Opening Credits
Wide Shots
Close-Ups
Montage
Lens Flare
Symmetry

The Movie
A musician on a tropical island (Deni, played by Donald Glover) runs afoul of the local despot when the former’s celebratory musical festival threatens the productivity of the latter’s silk factory. Shot with intentionally minimal publicity last year in Cuba, the short film (its runtime is a brisk 55 minutes including interludes from Glover’s musical alter ego Childish Gambino) combines many of the talents behind the FX show Atlanta. Among them is cinematographer Christian Sprenger, who pulls off the magic trick of making the Alexa LF look like vintage 16mm film.
Guava Island is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Check out some behind the scenes pics of the shoot on Sprenger’s Instagram feed.  Continue Reading ›

“The Person You Put Up There Ain’t the Person That Comes Back”: Directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer on Pet Sematary

The filmmaking tandem of Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer (the team behind Starry Eyes) talk about their new version of Pet Sematary in my latest piece for Filmmaker Magazine.

Here’s Kölsch on how the filmmakers began working together decades ago as teenagers on Long Island:

Kölsch: We’re from the same area and knew people in common, so we’d see each other at parties or on the basketball court. As far as working together, we were both already writing on our own [before we became friends]. I had just written a script for a screenwriting class when I ran into Dennis at a mutual friend’s house. Our friend was like “Dennis, you write scripts? Kevin wrote a script too.” I lived around the corner, so we walked over to my house and I showed Dennis some stuff. From there we started showing each other our work and giving each other feedback.

We decided that while our other friends were getting together and drinking on Friday nights, we’d try to be productive. So we’d get together, bring our word processors, get some beers and play some music to make it fun. We’d work on pages of our scripts and at the end of the night we’d show each other and give feedback. That turned into helping each other—like if one of us got stuck on a scene, he’d turn to the other and say “I’ve got a problem.” So slowly we started contributing to each other’s scripts and eventually it was like “Why aren’t we just writing these together?”

And here’s Widmyer on the decision for “Jud” actor John Lithgow to not attempt the Maine accent used by Fred Gwynne in the original film:

Widmyer: That was an ongoing back-and-forth with John. At first he was up for it, but then he read the book and saw that our interpretation in the script was different. In the book King leans more into the folksiness of Jud and the locality of him. He’s like the quintessential Maine character. But [the accent] is kind of a no-win situation. If you nail it, you’re going to sound like Fred Gwynne, and if you don’t nail it, then you don’t sound like Fred Gwynne, who did a pretty good job with it.

John actually knew Fred. They’d been in a play together and he’d always joke that Fred was the only actor that was ever taller than him, because Fred was 6’5″ and John is 6’4″. He has a lot of respect for Fred Gwynne and so he purposefully didn’t watch the first film. We talked about it a lot and John tried the accent in the read-through and we all thought it was great, but in the end we left the decision up to John. He decided to go his own way and we were actually really happy that he did.