#1: From interview [Camerimage, 2014]

#2: From the doc "Cinematographer Style"

#3: [Right] - "Julie & Julia" [2008]

 

   


STEPHEN GOLDBLATT   ASC/BSC

 

Born: 29 April 1945, Johannesburg, South Africa. Went to the UK at age 7.

Education: Film School of the Royal College of Art [RCA], London [graduated in 1969].

Career: Started as photojournalist for the London Sunday Times at the age of 18. After his study he worked on doc's and commercials. Made his USA debut as doph with 'The Cotton Club'.

The photographs he made of The Beatles [July 1968] were published in the book 'Mad Day Out' [2010].

Appeared in the doc 'Cinematographer Style' [2005, Jon Fauer; ph: J. Fauer, Jeff Laszlo, Brian Heller & David Morgan] and in ep #8 [webisodes #35-39] of 'FilmFellas', a webisodic series prod by Zacuto, dir by Steve Weiss and ph by Jens Bogehegn [2010].

Awards: 'Oscar' AA nom [1992] and ASC Award nom [1992] for 'The Prince of Tides'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1996] and ASC Award nom [1996] for 'Batman Forever'; 'Emmy' Award nom [2001] for 'Conspiracy'; 'Emmy' Award nom [2002] for 'Path to War'; ASC TV Award nom [2003] & 'Emmy' Award nom [2004; part 2 'Perestroika'] for 'Angels in America'; Plus Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award [2007]; Hollywood FF 'Cinematographer of the Year' [2007].


'Angels in America' [2002]: 'From a technical point of view, the project was challenging in almost all respects - it required more than 400 digital effects supervised by Richard Edlund; a sophisticated digital dailies approach spearheaded by DP Stephen Goldblatt; and a crucial digital intermediate performed at EFilm, Hollywood. Yet, the often mundane and under-appreciated art of wire removal may well have been the most important technical achievement of the entire massive project. That's because filmmakers were required to turn [Emma] Thompson into a flying angel on-set in a particular way that was both visually believable on the one hand and painterly/mystical on the other. For two crucial sequences, Thompson wore a huge rig featuring gigantic angel wings as she sat on a suspended bicycle seat hanging from the ceiling grid of a sound stage at New York's Astoria Studios. Barraged with smoke and wind and cleverly backlit, she recited Shakespearian-like dialogue into the maelstrom. Then, Richard Edlund's effects' team faced the unenviable task of removing every trace of the rig - a particularly complicated request considering both the size and amount of the wires and the amount of smoke swirling around Thompson. "It was yeoman's work, honestly, to perform that amount of wire removal," Edlund says of the effects' team he supervised. "This is the most difficult wire-removal project I have ever been associated with. They shot those scenes so that we had to not only remove the wires, but also to animate smoke back in and make it mix seamlessly with real smoke. There were also times when the wind machines blew [Thompson's] costume into a wire, or where you would see the bulge of the bicycle seat - all that had to be repaired."

Given the size and scope of the production, Goldblatt demanded and received from Mike Nichols what he calls "unprecedented" involvement in all aspects of the project, from the earliest read-throughs during pre-production in December 2001 through completion of the digital intermediate earlier this year. Serving as the fulcrum of his two-year effort was Goldblatt's insistence on personally creating and maintaining what he calls "a visual database" of the entire project. To build this database, Goldblatt personally took digital photos of "every significant setup, every day" throughout pre-production and 150 days of shooting. The DP shot those pictures on set, personally loaded and indexed them into his Apple computer, and used Photoshop to color-correct them, tweak contrast, saturation, density, and so on, to his satisfaction. Each night, he emailed key images to the project's dailies colorist, who was responsible for creating DVD and DigiBeta dailies for Nichols, HBO executives, and the rest of the filmmaking team. Colorist Steve Scott at EFilm also referenced those pictures during the digital intermediate phase, as did Richard Edlund's effects' team throughout the post cycle. "This was more elaborate than any reference material I had ever kept [on past projects]," says Goldblatt. "But it was necessary. There was no way to shoot this project in continuity, especially with the big stars like Al Pacino and Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson. We had to shoot their scenes when they were available. Therefore, we were always going backward and forward in time each week, often shooting portions of sequences that were started months earlier. We needed some clear reference of what our lighting and colors were when we shot those parts earlier. So I kept this visual record, which helped with dailies, helped with shooting sequences out of order, helped with shooting effects plates, and helped with the digital intermediate. Since we had budget constraints, film dailies were not really practical. But creating DVDs with this kind of color reference for the color-timer was the next best thing. They gave Mike Nichols random access to jump from scene-to-scene as he pleased, and they kept everything consistent. It was a big job creating these images and keeping track of them, but well worth it." Goldblatt's obsession with image consistency and quality control was so total that he even went to Mike Nichols' home in New York during the shoot to calibrate Nichols' computer monitor to match his own.' [From article by Michael Goldman on the 'millimeter' website, 2003.]


 

 FILMS

1969

Forum [Mireille Dansereau] 16mm/b&w; doc/58m; cph: Tony Scott & Jeff Walker; prod RCA

1970

This Love Thing [Geoff Dunbar] c; anim + live action/?m; live action ph

1970

The Mangrove Nine [Franco Rosso] 16mm/c; doc/37m; cph: Ivan Strasburg, Nick Gifford, Mike Davis & Gareth Haywood

1971

Pass of Arms [Peter Elford] c; short/30m; 2uc: Roy Chance

1972

Foto: Sven Nykvist [Bayley Silleck] 16mm/c; doc/25m

1972

Althesin Anaesthesia [Brian Borthwick & Alan Burke] c; comm doc (anim + live action)/12m; for Glaxo Laboratories

1973

Idem and the Private Detective [Peter H. Cooper] c; comm doc/25m; for Wiggins Teape

1973

Odeon Cavalcade [Barry Clayton] 16mm/c; doc/35m; cph: Mike Davis & Frank Hardie

1974

Human Problems: A Family Tragedy - The Battered Child [Andrew Holmes] ?; comm doc/?m; cph: Tim Gell; for NSPCC

1978

The Alternative Miss World/I Wanna Be a Beauty Queen! [Richard Gayor] c; doc/90m; dir of lighting; ph: Mike Davis, Bob Small, Nic (as Nick) Knowland, Steve Tickner, Mike Dodds & Mike Lensvelt; spec cameraman: Clive Tickner; filmed 20 October (Clapham Common, London)

1979

Breaking Glass [Brian Gibson] p/c

1980

Outland [Peter Hyams] p/c; c.op model unit: Robert Kindred

1981

The Return of the Soldier [Alan Bridges] c

1982

The Hunger [Tony Scott] p/c; ph New York: Tom Mangravite; addph (+ focus 1st unit): Hugh Johnson

1983

Styx - Caught in the Act [Jerry Kramer (concert) & Brian Gibson (mini-movie 'Kilroy Was Here'; 9m)] c/V; mini-movie + mus perf/88m; ph mini-movie; concert ph: Daniel Pearl

1983

The Cotton Club [Francis Coppola] c; 2uc: Donald Sweeney; replaced scheduled ph John Alonzo

1984

Young Sherlock Holmes [and the Pyramid of Fear]/Pyramid of Fear [Barry Levinson] c; 2uc: Steven Smith; efx ph: Scott Farrar & Michael Owens

1986

Lethal Weapon [Richard Donner] c; uwph: Frank Holgate & Ron Vidor; aph: Frank Holgate

1987

Everybody's All-American/When I Fall in Love [Taylor Hackford] c

1988

Lethal Weapon 2 [Richard Donner] p/c; uwph (+ aph): Frank Holgate

1989

Joe Versus the Volcano [John Patrick Shanley] p/c

1990

The Prince of Tides [Barbra Streisand] c

1991

Night Ride Down [Harold Becker] developed by actor Harrison Ford; prod was cancelled due to budget problems

1991

For the Boys [Mark Rydell] c; 2uc: David Wagreich

1992

Consenting Adults [Alan Pakula] c

1993

The Pelican Brief [Alan Pakula] p/c

1993

The Witching Hour [Richard Donner] scheduled as doph; status of prod [based on novel by Anne Rice] unknown

1994

Batman Forever [Joel Schumacher] c; 2uc: Gary Holt; uwph: Peter Romano; aph: Frank Holgate

1995

Striptease [Andrew Bergman] c; 2uc: Dick Quinlan

1996

Batman & Robin [Joel Schumacher] c; 2uc: Jamie Anderson

1997

The Deep End of the Ocean [Ulu Grosbard] c

2004

Closer [Mike Nichols] c

2005

Rent [Chris Columbus] s35/c; 16mm street scenes ph: Justin Charles Foster & Edward Rosenstein

2006

Charlie Wilson's War [Mike Nichols] s35-to-35mm/c; 2uc: Trevor Coop; aph: John Marzano

2008

Julie & Julia [Nora Ephron] s35-to-35mm/c; 2uc: David M. Dunlap

 

[Left] with Chris Columbus - "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief"

 

2009

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief [Chris Columbus] s35/c; aph: Hans Bjerno; uwph: Ian Seabrook

2010

The Help [Tate Taylor] s35-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; aph: Hans Bjerno

2013

Get on Up [Tate Taylor] HD (ARRI ALEXA + Canon C500 & Rebel T3 + Ikegami EC-35)-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; aph: Ron Chapple; filmed 2013-14

2014

The Intern [Nancy Meyers] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT Plus)-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c

 

 TELEVISION & INTERNET

1972

A Point in Time [Carlos Pasini] tvm/44m

1974

Disappearing World [ep #10 'Mehinacu' & #12 'Quechua' dir by Carlos Pasini] doc series; for Granada-tv

2000

Conspiracy [Frank Pierson] tvm/s16

2001

Path to War [John Frankenheimer] tvm/s35; addph (+ 2uc): Nancy Schreiber

2002

Angels in America [Mike Nichols] 2-part (6 chapters) tvm; see above

2016

Our Souls at Night [Ritesh Batra] HD/c; 2uc: Kent Harvey; for Netflix

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

1969

Fat Man [dir] ?; prod RCA

1969

Loving Memory [Anthony (Tony) Scott; short/57m] co-c.asst; ph: Chris Menges, A. Scott & John Metcalfe