RON FORTUNATO   ASC

Education: State University of New York [SUNY], Purchase, N.Y.

Career: Went to Germany after graduation. In Germany he was credited as Renato Fortunato.

Member of the ASC since 1998.

Awards: Camerimage 'Golden Frog' nom [1997], Camerimage 'Silver Frog' Award [1997] & European Film Award nom [1997] for 'Nil by Mouth'; 'Emmy' Award nom [2001] for '100 Centre Street' [ep #7 'Things Change' dir by Steve Shill].


'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead' [2006]: "Because Sidney Lumet is among cinema's most veteran high-definition players, it's no surprise that he shot 'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead' in HD. At the urging of cinematographer Ron Fortunato, however, Lumet did make a major change to his HD workflow for the project. After using Panavised versions of Sony's HDW-F900 system on '100 Centre Street', 'Strip Search', 'Rachel, quand du seigneur', and 'Find Me Guilty', Lumet switched to the Panavision Genesis digital movie camera this time around.

Eager to use Primo lenses and to have depth of field that more closely emulates 35mm film qualities, Fortunato lobbied for Genesis early on. 'It was Sidney's idea to use 24p cameras for '100 Centre Street',' Fortunato says. 'It was still an emerging technology then, and I was concerned about trying it, but I always wanted to work with Sidney, so when he called, it was kind of a double-edged thing - I wanted to work with him, but it was video, and I had never shot video before. But, since then, we've done tons of HD, and we wanted to keep doing it. We were happy with the 900, but I felt Genesis was a stronger system, and when Sidney, myself, and [digital imaging technician] Abby Levine got together and did some early tests, Sidney was very happy with those results.'

The project used two Genesis cameras outfitted with Panavision Primo Primes and Primo zoom lenses, usually recording 4:4:4 RGB data to HDSR tape via onboard Sony SRW-1 recorders, but occasionally recording to off-board recorders when the cameras were used in small spaces, such as inside vehicles.

Fortunato says he and Lumet enjoyed what he calls the 'immediacy' of shooting with the Genesis. 'We know exactly what we are getting by looking at the monitor and the other instruments. We can play with the image, the waveform monitor, see how it develops. It's like painting - you develop it in front of your eyes, and there is no guesswork involved. Some people prefer the filmic process, but for us, it's so immediate - and that works better for someone like Sidney and how he prefers to work.'

The DI was straightforward in the sense that the look for the movie was already well established during early tests and the dailies process. 'After the first pass, I decided to exaggerate some of the hot daylight exteriors by exaggerating the contrast a little bit,' Fortunato says. 'We shot in bright sun in New York City in the summer, so some of that is very contrasty. We just went with it, and then, in post, I picked up highlights and lifted them a bit. That exaggerated things a bit, but that is what we wanted.'

'If you shoot HD, and there are any kind of digital artifacts, or anything else that looks like video, it won't go away as you go through the DI process and later output to film for release prints. The key thing about the Genesis is that it captures original imaging without a lot of digital artifacting or giving the feeling of video to things. You add, on top of that, the fact that you have such great control these days over the color-correction process in terms of color saturation, contrast, and all those other factors, before you output to film, and you have a healthy situation. In our case, Sidney captured the color space he wanted, and in any digital screenings, or when the DVD comes out, that will actually be the truest color space and representation of what Sidney actually wanted. But even when exhibited on film, back in film color space, we know we minimized any possibility of digital artifacts creeping into things.'" [From article by Michael Goldman on the Digital Content Producer website, 2007.]



 FILMS

1976

A Place in Time [Charles Lane] b&w; silent short/36m; prod SUNY

1978

Die letzten Jahre der Kindheit/The Last Years of Childhood [Norbert Kückelmann] c; co-2uc (+ c.asst); ph: Jürgen Jürges

1979

Der Preis fürs Überleben/The Price of Survival [Hans Noever] c; co-2uc (+ c.asst); ph: Walter Lassally

1980

Basisarbeit [Maria Knilli, Lutz Konermann, Renato Fortunato, Helge Rösinger, Lenz von Seidlein & Josef Rusnak] c; doc/15m; cph: Lutz Konermann; + co-scrpl

1981

Norman Mailer: The Sanction to Write [Jeffrey van Davis] 16mm/c; doc/58m

1981

Wie die Weltmeister/Die Weltmeister [Klaus Lemke] c

1981

Nacht der Wölfe [Rüdiger Nüchtern] c

1981

Unter die Helden gefallen [Matthias Lukoschek] ?; short/22m; prod HFFM

1981

Deutsche Welle [Michael Bentele & Thomas Merker] b&w; mus short/45m; cph: T. Merker & Anthony Waller; filmed July & December; prod HFFM

1982

Out of Time [Michael Bentele] b&w; mus short/45m; ph New York; ph: Thomas Merker; 2nd cam: Anthony Waller; prod HFFM

1990

The Hard Way [John Badham] p/c; 2uc; ph: Robert Primes & Don McAlpine

1991

Fathers & Sons [Paul Mones] c

1991

Jersey Girl [David Burton Morris] c

1991

Mac [John Turturro] c

1993

The Cowboy Way [Gregg Champion] c; uncred 2uc; ph: Dean Semler

[Right] with dir Eric Schaeffer [m] - "If Lucy Fell"

1995

If Lucy Fell [Eric Schaeffer] c; aph: Donald Sweeney

1995

Basquiat/Build a Fort, Set It on Fire [Julian Schnabel] c

1995

Nil by Mouth [Gary Oldman] s16-35bu/c

1997

Louis and Frank [Alexandre Rockwell] c; cph: Jim Denault

1997

One Tough Cop [Bruno Barreto] c

1997

Babymother [Julian Henriques] c; addph: Peter Middleton; originally set for prod in 1995 with doph Chris Seager

1998

The Weekend [Brian Skeet] c

1998

Sunset Strip [Adam Collis] c

1999

Wild About Harry/Thanks for the Memories [Declan Lowney] c

2004

Rachel, quand du seigneur/Rachel, When the Lord's Saving Grace [Sidney Lumet] HD (Sony F900)/c; mus short/10m

2004

Find Me Guilty [: The Jackie Dee Story]/Bad Guys [Sidney Lumet] HD (Sony F900)-to-35mm/c

2005

Catch a Fire/Hotstuff [Phillip Noyce] dv (final scene)+s16+s35-to-35mm scope/c; became ill and was replaced by Garry Phillips (cred as cph); 2uc: Giulio Biccari; 2uc Angolan training ph: Rob Malpage; dv ph: Eran Tahor & Matthys Mocke

[Left] with dir Sidney Lumet

2006

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead [Sidney Lumet] HD (Genesis)-to-35mm/c

2006

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry [Dennis Dugan] HD (Genesis)-to-35mm/c; 2uc New York; ph: Dean Semler

2008

Hachi - A Dog's Tale/Hachiko - A Dog's Story [Lasse Hallström] HD (Genesis)-to-35mm/c; ph Japan: Jun Fukumoto; remake of 'Hachikô monogatari' (1987, Seijirô Kôyama; ph: Shinsaku Himeda)

2008

The 4th Man [Robert Dornhelm] announced for Fall start, then Spring 2009; status unknown

2012

American Express Unstaged featuring Jack White [Gary Oldman] b&w-c; concert film/114m; live streaming film for the American Express sponsored YouTube-series 'Unstaged'


 TELEVISION

1980

Zwischen Mond und Sonne [Recha Jungmann] tvm/16mm; cph: Marian Czura & Horst Zeidler

1985

Ein Fenster in Manhattan [Georg Borgel] tvm/51m/16mm; cph: Luke Sacher

1989

Howard Beach: Making a Case for Murder/In the Line of Duty: Howard Beach, Making a Case for Murder/Skin [Dick Lowry] tvm

1992

Tribeca [ep #2 'Honor' dir by David J. Burke & #6 'The Loft' dir by Joe Morton] 7-part series, 1993; other ph: Edward Lachman, Stephen McNutt & Rufus Standefer

1993

Hallelujah [Charles Lane] tvm; ep PBS-tv series 'American Playhouse'

1994

Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story [John David Coles] tvm

1999

Wonderland [pilot dir by Peter Berg] 8-part series (6 unaired in USA); other ph: Terry Stacey

2000

100 Centre Street [ep #1 'Bobby & Cynthia' dir by Sidney Lumet + 12 ep dir by various] 31-part series/HD (Sony F900)-to-35mm, 2001-02; 1st season, 2001 (13 ep)

2001

100 Centre Street [18 ep dir by various] 2nd season, 2001-02 (18 ep); see 2000

2002

Queens Supreme/Queens Justice [12 ep dir by various] 13-part (10 unaired) series/HD, 2003; other ph (pilot = ep #2): Tony Jannelli

2002

Jo [Mike Newell] pilot/60m; for CBS-tv

2002

Report from Ground Zero [Lloyd Kramer] doc special/101m; cph: Peter Donahue; for ABC-tv

2003

Strip Search [Sidney Lumet] tvm/120m & 56m (re-cut)/HD (Sony F900)

2005

Brotherhood [pilot 'Mark 8:36' dir by Phillip Noyce] 29-part series, 2006-08; 1st season, 2006; other ph: Ernest Holzman; pilot filmed in April 2005

2006

Bonds on Bonds [Freddy Golding; co-exec prod: Michael Tollin] 10-part reality series; cph: Leonard Levy; for ESPN-tv

2007

Gossip Girl [pilot dir by Mark Piznarski + 15 ep dir by various] 121-part series/HD (Sony F23), 2007-12; 1st season, 2007-08 (18 ep)

2007

Gossip Girl Revealed [?] special/90m/b&w-c; incl the pilot for the series 'Gossip Girl'

2008

Gossip Girl [12 ep dir by various] 2nd season, 2008-09 (25 ep); other ph: John Thomas; see 2007

2009

Gossip Girl [10 ep dir by various] 3rd season, 2009-10 (22 ep); see 2007

2010

Gossip Girl [9 ep dir by various] 4th season, 2010-11 (22 ep); other ph: John Thomas; see 2007

2011

Georgetown [Mark Piznarski] pilot; for ABC-tv

2011

Pan Am [ep #2-14 dir by various] 14-part series/HD (ARRI ALEXA), 2011-12; other ph (pilot/35mm): John Lindley; addph: William Rexer

2012

Elementary [ep #2-14, 16, 18, 20, 22 & 24 dir by various] series/HD (ARRI ALEXA), 2012-present; 1st season (24 ep), 2012-13; other ph: Nelson Cragg (pilot) & Roy H. Wagner (5 ep); 2uc: Charles Libin; addph: Dejan Georgevich

2013

Elementary [13 ep dir by various] 2nd season (21 ep), 2013-14; other ph: Roy H. Wagner (8 ep); 2uc: Charles Libin; addph: William Klayer; see 2012


 FILMS AS CAMERA ASSISTANT/OPERATOR

1977

halbe-halbe/50-50 [Uwe Brandner] c.asst; ph: Jürgen Jürges

1977

Deutschland im Herbst/Germany in Autumn [seg dir by ?] c.asst; ph: Jürgen Jürges

1978

Schluchtenflitzer/Whizzer [Rüdiger Nüchtern] c.asst; ph: Jürgen Jürges

1978

Die letzten Jahre der Kindheit/The Last Years of Childhood [Norbert Kückelmann] c.asst (+ co-2uc); ph: Jürgen Jürges

1979

Deutschland, bleiche Mutter/Germany, Pale Mother [Helma Sanders-Brahms] c.asst; ph: Jürgen Jürges

1979

Der Preis fürs Überleben [Hans Noever] c.asst (+ co-2uc); ph: Walter Lassally

1983

Morgen in Alabama/Man Under Suspicion [Norbert Kückelmann] c.op; ph: Jürgen Jürges


 FILMS & TELEVISION AS DIRECTOR

1980

Basisarbeit [co-d & co-scrpl: Maria Knilli, Josef Rusnak, a.o.; + cph] see Films

2009

Gossip Girl [ep #48 'Rufus Getting Married'] ph: Mauricio Rubinstein; 3rd season, 2009-10; see Television

2010

Gossip Girl [ep #74 'The Witches of Bushwick'] ph: John Thomas; 4th season, 2010-11; see Television