The Cinematography Podcast Episode 86: Ron Howard and Lincoln Else
Oscar-winning director Ron Howard talks about directing his first documentary, Rebuilding Paradise, about the devastating Camp fire that completely wiped out the town of Paradise, California on November 8, 2018. The film follows the people in community over time as they deal with the tragedy and begin rebuilding. Directing a documentary was a new experience for Ron, and he felt a personal connection to the town- his mother-in-law had lived in Paradise. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s production company, Imagine, had wanted to start producing documentaries and they sent out a crew to begin shooting just one week after the fire. Ron picked up some new skills while working on the unscripted project. He had to learn how to let the cameras follow the flow of the conversation, and to be minimalist in covering every possible angle. The experience has led him to make directorial choices in his scripted work that are more verité. Director of photography Lincoln Else worked closely with Ron and the Imagine production team, and developed a unified visual language for Rebuilding Paradise that he communicated with the other shooters. Lincoln learned documentary filmmaking at an early age, loading 16mm mags and assisting his father, documentarian and professor Jon Else. He likes a very simple hand-held style, opting to just put a camera on his shoulder in order to be as reactive as possible. Though footage from many different news sources and people’s personal videos was used, the bulk of the interview content in Rebuilding Paradise was “fly on the wall” style.
See Rebuilding Paradise online and support your local theater!
Find Ron Howard: Instagram @realronhoward
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Close Focus: Mulan will be streaming on Disney + for an additional $29.99, which some people are angry about. Since it’s not an option to see the film in a movie theater, it might be a good business move and Disney gets to keep all the money for itself. Ben argues that he still feels that people will want to see big movies in theaters once it’s safe to do so.
Illya’s short end: The company Cartoni, who makes tripods, has come out with the UV-Boxer, a disinfection device that uses UV-C light for video and motion picture equipment.
Ben’s short end: Ben pays tribute to his good friend and mentor, Bob Goldberg aka Bobbo, who passed away last week. Bobbo was a professional clown and a trained mime, and inspired Ben to get into special effects makeup and film.
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