March 2021: Nominations and innovations

Here in British Cinematographer’s Hollywood bureau, we await our second Pfizer shot, while gearing up to attend – virtually, of course – the coming ASC and Oscar awards. Normally, this column would be reporting on how they were. You will have been well-versed in the nominees by the time this runs, naturally, and it would … Read more

February 2021: Heroines, history, and a tale of two homes

Still buzzing with excitement following this week’s Golden Globes announcements, Mark London Williams’ latest comment piece from LA sees him speak to the filmmaking talent behind The United States vs. Billie Holiday, A Nightmare Wakes, and Bliss. Normally through the month of February, the business of L.A. is waiting for envelopes to be opened, to … Read more

Phedon Papamichael ASC GSC / The Trial of the Chicago 7

A SNAPSHOT OF HISTORY Phedon Papamichael, ASC GSC, has been making good use of the 1960s lately, gaining BAFTA and ASC nominations for his work on Ford v Ferrari, and now, a year after that film’s release, finding himself at the tail end of that storied decade with Netflix’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, … Read more

Mark London Williams: “Safety Matters”

Southern California hospitals are facing a crisis the likes of which we have never seen before. Patients are dying in ambulances waiting for treatment because hospital emergency rooms are overwhelmed. You might think we’re quoting L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, or perhaps California Governor Gavin Newsom. But instead, the above comment is from former Beverly Hills, … Read more

Peter Deming / The New Mutants

Freaks Of Nature Peter Deming ASC / The New Mutants Freaks Of Nature Peter Deming ASC /The New Mutants BY: Mark London Williams “The whole movie’s cursed!,” laughed director Josh Boone, when referring to the source material for the much-delayed, much-speculated about The New Mutants movie coming from Fox. Or make that Disney. Boone was … Read more

Chapman/Leonard

GENETIC ENGINEERING Innovator / Chapman/Leonard GENETIC ENGINEERING Innovator / Chapman/Leonard BY: Mark London Williams “We have empathy for our customers as well as concern for their reentry to a new production environment,” Leonard Chapman tells us over the transom, as we catch up on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the venerable and innovative … Read more

Mark London Williams "The Stories Being Told"

THE STORIES BEING TOLD Letter from America / Mark London Williams The Stories Being Told Letter from America / Mark London Williams In his 1986 essay Novel Writing in An Apocalyptic Time, the late Walker Percy (who, ironically enough for our purposes, first came to fame with his novel The Moviegoer), notes, of a culture’s … Read more

June 2020: Medium Cool

Medium Cool Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Ironically, as far as narrative features speaking to the present moment, it may be one of the few written and directed by this particular cinematographer, that reflects the whole tension of watching a thing unfold, versus being a part of it. I refer, of course, to … Read more

March 2020: Just One Language – Visual Language

Just one language – visual language Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Just one language – visual language Across The Pond / Mark London Williams By the time you read this in March – which side of the “Ides” you find yourself on – the Oscars and award season itself will be, as previously … Read more

February 2020: At The Peak Of Their Craft

At The Peak Of Their Craft Across The Pond / Mark London Williams At The Peak Of Their Craft Across The Pond / Mark London Williams By the time you read our next column, the Oscars could well be in the rearview mirror, and it would seem probable that Roger Deakins will be holding another … Read more

November 2019: Light is a universal language

Light Is A Universal Language Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Light Is A Universal Language Across The Pond / Mark London Williams We are entering the “’tis the season” season, which means in addition to handicapping whose hands the award statues will wind up in, we’ll also look at both current work hitting … Read more

August 2019: Charting Through Emmy's Waters

Charting Through Emmy’s Waters Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Charting Through Emmy’s Waters Across The Pond / Mark London Williams As we head through summer’s dog days, and toward “Academy Season” (though Emmy season is first – stay tuned!), it’s worth noting that John Bailey ASC’s tenure as Academy President has ended, as … Read more

March 2019: A subtle shift in focus

A subtle shift in focus Across The Pond / Mark London Williams A subtle shift in focus Across The Pond / Mark London Williams The first new column of spring finds us, once again, “between frames,” as it were. In the annual calendar’s relentless march – NAB! Cine Gear! Emmy! Oscar! – there is a … Read more

December 2018: Open Houses and Holiday Gatherings

Open Houses and Holiday Gatherings Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Open Houses and Holiday Gatherings Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Lead image: Tiffen’s Tyson Galland walks a new user through a Steadicam demo at Tiffen Company’s open-house event in December Of late, each month’s column has appeared early the “following” month, … Read more

November 2018: Out of Darkness, Cometh Light

Out of Darkness, Cometh Light Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Out of Darkness, Cometh Light Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Lead image: energaCAMERIMAGE winner The Favourite The calendar change from December to January is always redolent with contradiction – the wistfulness and yearnings of fall, giving way to finality, the endings, … Read more

October 2018: “The Dizziness of a Cinematograph”

The Dizziness of a cinematograph Across The Pond / Mark London Williams The Dizziness of a cinematograph Across The Pond / Mark London Williams Lead image: Cinematographer Ruben Impens and Director Felix van Groeningen on Beautiful Boy. Credit: Amazon Studios “They made a sort of shuddering veil, almost recalling the dizziness of a cinematograph,” wrote … Read more