By John Alton
Few cinematographers have had as decisive an impression at the cinematic medium as John Alton. top identified for his hugely stylized movie noir classics T-Men, He Walked through Night, and The huge Combo, Alton earned a name through the Nineteen Forties and Nineteen Fifties as one among Hollywood's consummate craftsmen via his visible signature of crisp shadows and sculpted beams of sunshine. No much less well known for his virtuoso colour cinematography and deft appropriation of widescreen and Technicolor, he earned an Academy Award in 1951 for his paintings at the musical An American in Paris. First released in 1949, and lengthy out of print due to the fact then, Painting With Light is still one of many few really canonical statements at the artwork of movie images, an unrivalled old record at the workings of the postwar, American cinema. In uncomplicated, non-technical language, Alton explains the task of the cinematographer and explores how lights, digicam concepts, and selection of destinations ensure the visible temper of movie. Todd McCarthy's creation, written specially for this version, offers an summary of Alton's biography and occupation and explores the impression of his paintings on modern cinematography.
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Extra info for Painting With Light
Targets may be m a d e of o p a q u e black cloth on metal frames, or of wood painted black. There are also scrim targets in different sizes and in single, double, and triple layers (Fig. 2 2 ) . SCRIM A flag m a d e of a translucent material like gauze or net is called scrim. It is used for beautifying purposes of diffusing, softening, or cutting off light. If it has no frame, and one end is open, it is called open end scrim. Scrims come in different densities, single, double, and triple (Figs.
E n d A of the section hooks on to end B of the preceding section. T h e ends are not cut straight, b u t diagonally, thus making it possible to pull sections back, also eliminating the b u m p as the dolly wheel crosses from one section to another (Fig. 1 3 ) . T h e solution for constant, smooth, and fast camera movement is use of the destycrane. It is called that because its arm, like that Fig. 14 Fig. 13 To facilitate transportation the track is made up of several sections of standard design b u t of different lengths; it can be m a d e up of sections of any size d e p e n d i n g upon how much has to be pulled back to clear the foreground line.
He said that the mountain air and altitude made him feel more vigorous than usual, and he clearly thrived on the attention. After all, it was the first time in his life that he was in front of the public answering questions about his life's work. After avoiding it for so long, he loved it. A month later, Alton flew to Austria to attend the Vienna Film Festival, which organized an impressive symposium on the enormous contributions of Viennese exiles to Hollywood, then proceeded to Israel, where he spent many weeks with his surviving sister, Esther.
Painting With Light by John Alton