On December 6th, 2017 MEWShop's acclaimed speaker series held the third year of an evening devoted to the art of cinematography. For our third year, we went behind the scenes with some of the industry's best cinematographers in documentary & television and then explored the process of shooting narrative feature films with acclaimed cinematographer Julio Macat, ASC.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
4:00pm - Check-in
4:30pm - 5:30pm - "In The Moment: The Art of Cinematography in Documentary Filmmaking"
Moderator: Hugo Perez (Neither Memory Nor Magic, Lights Camera Uganda)
Panelists: Joan Churchill, ASC (Shut Up & Sing, Kurt & Courtney, Last Days in Vietnam) & Buddy Squires, ASC (The Vietnam War, The Statue of Liberty, The Central Park Five )
5:45pm - 6:45pm - "The New Age of TV: Bringing the Look of Cinema to the Small Screen"
Moderator: David Leitner (Director, Producer, and Cinematographer)
Panelists: Martin Ahlgren (Daredevil, House of Cards, Blindspot) & Igor Martinović (House of Cards, The Night Of)
7:00pm - 8:00pm - "Behind the Lens: A Conversation with Cinematographer Julio Macat, ASC"
Panelist: Julio Macat, ASC (Wedding Crashers, Home Alone, Pitch Perfect, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective)
8:00pm - 9:00pm - Networking Party & Tech Lounge
$45 General Admission
Filmmaker and cinematographer Joan Churchill, ASC began her career shooting on a series of music films, including Gimme Shelter, No Nukes, Hail, Hail Rock and Roll, and Jimi Plays Berkeley, which she directed. Her credits include An American Family, the definitive vérité study of dysfunctional family life, Punishment Park and Pumping Iron, in which the world met Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Churchill is a long-term collaborator with Nick Broomfield. The duo have worked on such acclaimed films as Aileen: Life & Death of a Serial Killer, Kurt & Courtney, Biggie & Tupac and Soldier Girls. She has collaborated with her partner, Alan Barker, on two TV vérité series, producing and shooting Emmy winning American High and The Residents . Their recent credits include the Academy nominated Last Days in Vietnam (American Experience/PBS), This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous (YouTube Red) and American Psychosis (working title Independent Lens/PBS) and Beyond Psychiatry (work in progress).
Photo Credit Alan Barker
Hugo Perez is a filmmaker and writer whose work often focuses on his Cuban heritage. Perez is Producer and Director of the feature documentary Neither Memory Nor Magic narrated by Patricia Clarkson and Viggo Mortensen, as well as Summer Sun Winter Moon that had a national PBS broadcast. Perez recently served as Executive Producer of Rodrigo Reyes feature documentary Purgatorio that was broadcast on the PBS series America ReFramed, and David Felix Sutcliffe’s documentary Adama that aired on PBS World. Perez’ film Seed was part of ITVS/PBS groundbreaking original online science fiction series FutureStates. He is the recipient of the Estela Award for Documentary Filmmaking presented by NALIP as well as the Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute Emerging Artist Fellowship. Perez has studied storytelling with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, collaborated with Pulitzer prize-winning novelist William Kennedy, and served as a guest artist for acclaimed theater director and artist Robert Wilson.
He is currently working on Lights Camera Uganda a documentary chronicling 2 years in the life of Wakaliwood.
Martin Ahlgren has been making movies since he was a teenager in Sweden with a Hi8 video camera and friends willing to be splattered in ketchup. After studying cinematography at School of Visual Arts in New York he got his start shooting commercials and music videos around the world, for artists like Kanye West, Rolling Stones and Beyoncé. Lately he has returned to longer form storytelling with independent features and television shows, such as House of Cards and Daredevil, and an upcoming new show for Netflix based on the cyberpunk novel Altered Carbon. He lives in New York with his Singaporean wife, American son, Canadian daughter, and a Rottweiler mutt from the Bronx.
David Leitner is a director, producer, and Emmy-nominated DP (Chuck Close: Portrait in Progress), with over eighty credits in feature-length dramas and documentaries, including eight Sundance Film Festival premieres. These include his own Vienna is Different: 50 Years After the Anchluss, Alan Berliner’s Nobody’s Business, Sandi Dubowski’s Trembling Before G-d, the Oscar-nominated documentary For All Mankind, for which he spent nine months at NASA’s Johnson Space Center restoring original 16mm lunar footage, and Memories of Overdevelopment, a Cuban follow-up to 1968’s film classic, Memories of Underdevelopment. For over 25 years, as DP, he has photographed hour-long documentaries on iconic writers, artists, and architects for New York’s Checkerboard Film Foundation. Subjects include Brancusi, Picasso, James Salter, Joel Shapiro, Sir John Soane, Ellsworth Kelly, Milton Glaser, Daniel Libeskind, Dorothea Rockburne, Peter Eisenman, Roy Lichtenstein, Eric Fischl, Jeff Koons, Frank Stella, and Sol LeWitt. Leitner is also an author, columnist, motion picture technologist and industry consultant. From 1977-1985 he was Director of New Technology at DuArt Film & Video in New York, where he created innovations in optical printing, cine lens testing, film-to-tape transfer, and played a key role introducing Super 16 to the U.S. He is a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.
The first film shot by Julio Macat, ASC, was the huge box-office hit Home Alone. He then went on to photograph Home Alone II, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, The Wedding Planner, Cats and Dogs, Bringing Down The House, and Wedding Crashers, all of which opened to the #1 box office position in the US. The total domestic box office receipts of the films he has photographed is over $1.7 Billion.
His extensive credits also include the features: So I Married an Axe Murderer, My Fellow Americans, the remake of Miracle on 34th Street, Because I Said So and Smother, both with actress Diane Keaton, and the action picture Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. In moving away from comedy to more dramatic work, Macat was asked by first-time director Antonio Banderas to photograph his directorial debut Crazy in Alabama with Melanie Griffith, and Adam Shankman to film his coming of age drama A Walk to Remember, as well as The Wedding Planner, and Bringing Down the House. On another fifteen occasions, Macat guided the directorial debuts of Jason Moore, Aram Rappaport, Tom Shadyac, Raja Gosnell, Vince DiMeglio and Larry Gutterman among others. Macat has photographed the dramatic films Moonlight and Valentino, Only the Lonely, and the Morgan Freeman heist drama The Code, directed by Mimi Leder. In comedy, he has also shot Blended, starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, Daddy’s Home with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, The Boss and Life of the Party both starring Melissa McCarthy, as well as Middle School and the upcoming Daddy’s Home 2.
A native of Argentina and of Italian descent, Macat began his career at age 19, working his way up the ranks under such distinguished veterans as Mario Tosi, ASC, John Alcott, BSC, and Chris Menges, BSC, the latter two being Academy Award-winning cinematographers. After studying filmmaking at UCLA at the age of 26, Macat became a camera operator collaborating exclusively with Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky on four films, including Runaway Train, Shy People and Tango and Cash. As a cinematographer, Macat’s early work included numerous music videos and concerts for performers such as Peter Gabriel, Melissa Etheridge, Phil Collins, Hall & Oates, Van Halen and Alanis Morrisette. As a visual consultant for Disney studios he collaborated on the animated features Wreck it Ralph and Winnie The Pooh, and more recently for Paramount studios Sherlock Gnomes. He has photographed commercials in Europe, South America, Mexico, South Africa and extensively in the US. He has also directed many second units for feature films and commercials. Macat is fluent in Spanish, Italian and French. He lives in Los Angeles and Massachusetts with his wife, actress Elizabeth Perkins.
Igor Martinović is a New York based cinematographer of feature and documentary films as well as TV series and commercials. He photographed the Academy Award winning documentary Man on Wire, directed by James Marsh, which also won a BAFTA for Best British Film, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. His other docs include Keith Richards: Under the Influence directed by Morgan Neville and Wormwood directed by Errol Morris.
Igor was nominated for Emmy Awards for his work on the Netflix/David Fincher TV series House of Cards and for the documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? directed by Liz Garbus.
Other work of note includes the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Sangre De Mi Sangre; Red Riding: 1980 also with director James Marsh; Sunlight, Jr. directed by Laurie Collyer starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon; Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh; and two Heart Of Sarajevo winners - Fraulein and Buick Rivera. Igor recently won the American Society of Cinematographers Award for his work on the HBO/Steven Zaillian mini-series The Night Of.
Buddy Squires, ASC is an Oscar nominated filmmaker, an Emmy Award winning cinematographer, and a member of both the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His more than 200 screen credits include two Oscar winners, seven Academy Award nominees, and ten Emmy Award winning productions.
Personal honors include thirteen Primetime Emmy nominations with one Emmy Award. Squires also received the Eric Barnouw Award, a Crystal Heart Award, a Christopher Award, and a Golden Lens Award. His work is regularly featured at the Sundance, Telluride, and Tribeca Film Festivals. The Los Angeles Times praised Squires’ cinematography as “gorgeous… astonishing camera work.” Time Magazine has called it “visually amazing”. The International Documentary Association cited Squires’ “visual poetry” in awarding him their 2007 Outstanding Documentary Cinematography Award.
Recent releases include The Vietnam War, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamar Story, Betting on Zero, Jackie Robinson, The Last Dalai Lama, and Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman. Squires is currently working on films about Oliver Sacks, Muhammed Ali, conductor Gustavo Dudamel, dancer Diana Vishneva, Country Music, the medical relief organization Emergency, the Bard Prison Initiative, and Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Yannis Behrakis.
Buddy Squires’ other credits include The Central Park Five, Rory Kennedy’s Ethel, The Donner Party, American Ballet Theatre, Salinger, Woody Allen, and New York: A Documentary Film. Squires has been the DP for nearly all of Ken Burns’ major works including The Roosevelts, The Dust Bowl, Prohibition, Baseball, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and The Civil War.
Squires is currently directing The Last Hope, and the untitled Yannis Behrakis project. Other directing credits include Listening to Children, People’s Poetry, and numerous short films for Human Rights Watch.
Producing credits include Salinger, The Statue of Liberty, Listening to Children, and People’s Poetry.