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Painting with Light

by

Painting with Light Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Few cinematographers have had as decisive an impact on the cinematic medium as John Alton. Best known for his highly stylized film noir classics T-Men, He Walked by Night, and The Big Combo, Alton earned a reputation during the 1940s and 1950s as one of Hollywood's consummate craftsmen through his visual signature of crisp shadows and sculpted beams of light. No less renowned for his virtuoso color cinematography and deft appropriation of widescreen and Technicolor, he earned an Academy Award in 1951 for his work on the musical An American in Paris. First published in 1949, Painting With Light remains one of the few truly canonical statements on the art of motion picture photography, an unrivaled historical document on the workings of postwar American cinema. In simple, non-technical language, Alton explains the job of the cinematographer and explores how lighting, camera techniques, and choice of locations determine the visual mood of film. Todd McCarthy's introduction provides an overview of Alton's biography and career and explores the influence of his work on contemporary cinematography and the foreword, written expressly for this edition by award-winning cinematographer John Bailey, explores Altons often contentious relationships with colleagues, the American Society of Cinematographers, and the movie industry itself.

Synopsis:

"A wonderful introduction to the workings of the Hollywood system. We learn in rich and yet accessible detail about special effects, technical wizardry and gadgetry, lighting, make-up, the breakdown of crews, and filming strategies. The book is legendary and its reprint is a major event for film study."—Dana Polan, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

About the Author

John Alton (1901-1996) was a Hungarian-born master cinematographer. His work ranged widely, including sharp-shadowed film noir classics such as He Walked By Night, Anthony Mann westerns, musicals (including An American in Paris, for which he won an Oscar), and many others. Painting with Light embodies his versatile, beautiful, often mannered, approach to lighting a film; he insisted that naturalistic lighting was only one option among many, and that directors ought to use light creatively to suit their vision and their story.

Todd McCarthy is chief film critic of Variety, co-editor of The King of Bs (1975), and writer and co-director of the award-winning documentary Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992). John Bailey is an award-winning cinematographer and blogger for the American Society of Cinematographers who has written many articles and think-pieces on the transition from celluloid to digital film making.

John Bailey, a director of photography since 1978, has photographed more than 75 feature films and documentaries. He serves on the Boards of Governors of the ASC, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the National Film Preservation Board.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Film Noir's Sorcerer of Light: John Alton

by John Bailey

Preface

Through a Lens Darkly: The Life and Films of John Alton

by Todd McCarthy

Filmography

by Todd McCarthy and Dennis Jakob

1. Hollywood Photography

2. Motion Picture Illumination

3. Mystery Lighting

4. Special Illumination

5. The Hollywood Close-up

6. Outdoor Photography

7. Symphony in Snow

8. Ocean Voyage

9. Visual Music

10. The Portrait Studio

11. The Laboratory

12. Day and Night, Ladies, Watch Your Light

13. Motion Picture Theaters

14. The World Is a Huge Television Studio and We Are All Photographers

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520275843
Author:
Alton, John
Publisher:
University of California Press
Author:
Bailey, John
Author:
McCarthy, Todd
Subject:
Film - General
Subject:
Photography-Annuals
Subject:
Photography -- Technique.
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20130231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
245 b/w photographs, 47 line illustratio
Pages:
242
Dimensions:
10.25 x 7.25 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Production » General
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Reference
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Annuals
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Technique

Painting with Light New Trade Paper
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$34.95 In Stock
Product details 242 pages University of California Press - English 9780520275843 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"A wonderful introduction to the workings of the Hollywood system. We learn in rich and yet accessible detail about special effects, technical wizardry and gadgetry, lighting, make-up, the breakdown of crews, and filming strategies. The book is legendary and its reprint is a major event for film study."—Dana Polan, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
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