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David Mullen ASC

Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC

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Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC has passed away.

 

He was one of the most influential cinematographers in the world, and for me personally. Seeing "Close Encounters" opened my eyes to what cinematography can add to a motion picture -- if anyone thinks that lighting is important to a story, here was a story where the lighting itself was a character and was the story.

 

I've probably stolen ideas and techniques from him as much as anyone, maybe more. "Heaven's Gate" was a big influence on me when I went off to Montana to shoot "Northfork".

 

One of the sad things about growing older is seeing your childhood heroes pass away. He will be missed.

 

heavensgate1.jpg

 

heavensgate2.jpg

heavensgate3.jpg

heavensgate4.jpg

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I heard about this on Bill Bennett's Twitter feed just a few minutes ago. He was one of the last master craftsmen and I was happy to see that he was still shooting. For me, the simplicity of his photography and his commitment to story is what defined much of his work. Like Haskell Wexler, he left a stunning legacy behind for future film-makers to learn from.

 

He will indeed be missed.

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I watched a lot of his films when I was studying film in college and the one that made the biggest impression on me was The Deer Hunter (1978.) This has to be my favorite image from the film. Coupled with the mournful hymn that is played during this scene, it epitomizes how a powerful image can evoke such an intense, emotional response.

 

post-45-0-61875600-1451846897_thumb.jpg

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I recently saw a 35mm release print of “The Long Goodbye” – among my favorites – and even after having seen it several times before, I found something new and fleeting about the quality of his work on that film. I continue to think about the luscious way those Southern California exteriors were done.

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WOW so sad! Just hearing this for the first time!

 

I absolutely love his work, for sure one of my favorite DP's. Though I admit, 'Close Encounters' is where I first recognized his work as a youth. It wasn't until I was older that I caught up on his older films. It's truly unfortunate he didn't continue working with Spielberg because the end product of their not so eye to eye collaboration, was brilliant in both cases. He did repeat work with some amazing directors over the years however and in between he took on much smaller films, which was always interesting to me.

 

Even though it's a loss to the industry, his legacy will live forever.

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I've worked for Vilmos. He was a wonderful human being. Cinema has lost an icon along with another icon named Haskell.

 

G

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Incredible that Vilmos was still actively working and has 7 projects listed as upcoming on IMDb. His first cinematography credit was in 1953. You don't see those kinds of careers anymore! RIP.

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Zac, that is allegedly the most expensive second unit shot ever. They waited almost a year, to where the sun would align perfectly next to the twin towers and they had two passes with Concorde before it had to peel away. Film flopped, but that shot will always be there.

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That shot was done by 2nd Unit Director Eric Schwab -- I don't know who the DP was, maybe Jon Fauer, who is listed as DP for the credit sequence.

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I was just looking at his work, and then this happened. He did look a bit frail in the most recent photos. Rest in peace. He will be missed.

 

Could somebody tell me what is this thing hanging around his neck that's not a camera nor a light meter?

 

youwillmeetatalldarkstrangervilmos.jpg

 

What is that camera, by the way? Does anyone recognize it?

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That shot was done by 2nd Unit Director Eric Schwab -- I don't know who the DP was, maybe Jon Fauer, who is listed as DP for the credit sequence.

 

 

Learn something every day. I just remember watching that movie about a few years ago. I skipped ahead to the credits to find out who the DP was, as soon as I saw that scene. Took my breath away.

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I was just looking at his work, and then this happened. He did look a bit frail in the most recent photos. Rest in peace. He will be missed.

 

Could somebody tell me what is this thing hanging around his neck that's not a camera nor a light meter?

 

youwillmeetatalldarkstrangervilmos.jpg

 

What is that camera, by the way? Does anyone recognize it?

 

Canon PowerShot G series. G10, G11 or G12. Something like that. Probably a G10.

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Canon PowerShot G series. G10, G11 or G12. Something like that. Probably a G10.

 

It's too bad that since quite recently I can't find the interview with him on the ASC's blog pages where he talked about how he used the camera to photograph stuff to convey what he wanted to do with the colours to the colourist. It seems like that part of the Web site is gone.

 

One other thing: what is this thing he is looking through in the second picture?

 

http://www.woodyallenpages.com/2016/01/rip-vilmos-zsigmond-woody-allen-cinematographer/

 

Then there was that other interview where he spoke of how they were taught cinematography and lighting when he was studying at the academy in Budapest.

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It's a pan-glass, a dense filter meant to give a better idea of the brightness range of a scene by removing the colour.

He is probably looking at the sky to judge the progress of clouds without getting dazzled

Edited by Mark Dunn
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It's a pan-glass, a dense filter meant to give a better idea of the brightness range of a scene by removing the colour.

He is probably looking at the sky to judge the progress of clouds without getting dazzled

Or a gaffer's glass. Basically very heavy ND to protect your eye when looking at the sun to check whether the clouds are coming or going.

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