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Vintage American Cinematographer Issues


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#1 Mike Lipinski

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 12:03 AM

Hi. I'm new to this site.

My father was a DP and after he died he left behind a huge number of issues of the American Cinematographer Magazine, the official organ at the time of the American Society of Cinematographers. Some of them date back to the early Sixties, and there are many issues from the Seventies, which is about when my father died, and the subscription ceased. There are articles about some of the most famous pictures ever made, such as " 2001: A Space Odyssey," directed by Kubrick; "Patton," "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" Well, there are many titles. I was wondering if anyone has any copies of the American Cinematographer. I consider myself very lucky to have these in my possession. They are in amazing condition, because in those days they published using the acid paper that never yellows. Some of the magazines look as if they'd been bought yesterday.

I'm wondering (a) Does anyone find this interesting, from whatever angle, and wish to discuss it?
(B) I don't want to sell them, but I am curious if they are worth anything. I'm not a cinematographer myself - I write - but I've always maintained a continuing interest in and love of the craft of cinematography, and I did work with my father fairly often when he was on assignment, (as a boy) more or less as his assistant, changing camera rolls, and I even did focus-pulling, and I was a grip for a while pushing a dolly (the job I loved the best, hitting those marks as the drama on-set evolved and actors shifted to their own marks!)

Anyhow, if anyone's interested, this topic is up for grabs in any direction. Love to hear from anyone interested in the contents of these magazines, or whatever. Oh yes, and
© I would like to digitize these issues - at least the most important ones to me - but I don't have a scanner at the moment. I guess scanning would be the best way to get the job done, right?
(d) assuming I can get a scanner, I'd be happy to upload any article(s) of interest to anyone free of charge. I'd be happy to upload a table of contents from which people could pick items of interest.

Of course, I just realized that I don't know what the Copyright issues are here. I would imagine that if it's for personal use, it'd be OK, but I can't say for sure. Any ideas?

Thanks, and keep on cranking.

Mike.

PS One other thing. It's been years since I had anything practically to do with film production, but lately I've been hearing rumors. Is film out, completely? I mean, is digital taking over entirely as the primary medium of production? I used to get In-Camera, but now that's digital too. Any heads-up on that would be welcome. Film has such a great look to it, and such great exposure latitude, I can't see digital ever catching up to it. I could be wrong, of course. But I could always tell whether something was shot on video or on film, and I'm wondering if the same difference is obvious with digital?
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#2 Tom Jensen

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 12:30 AM

They aren't worth a lot. You can always donate then to the ASC. They sell them for 10 bucks a piece or so. You can get a good collection for $2,000. Here's the catch. All the digital movies, science fiction are worth the most. Tron, 2001, Star Wars and maybe one or two others will fetch $200 each. You can contact the ASC and they will tell you which ones are worth the most. The ASC, Stephen Burum, at one time had planned on digitizing the collection but it never happened. I don't know what why.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:09 AM

From an educational standpoint, the 1970's issues are worth a lot - they were my real film school. I wrote my own index of that decade's worth of issues just so I could go back quickly and find an article.

I bought most of them piecemeal over the years for about $5 each, at used bookstores.
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#4 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:28 AM

I did not attend Emerson College but I used to sneak into its library all the time and read the old issues of "AC". I learned a ton from
them. If you decide to donate them someplace I'm sure that would be appreciated by a lot of people who would enjoy them and who aren't
able to buy many back issues.
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#5 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:38 AM

I agree that American Cinematographer is a great learning resource for cinematographers. I would love to read the older issues of AC. Does anyone know anywheres around LA where they would sell old issues.
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#6 Mike Lipinski

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:27 AM

They aren't worth a lot. You can always donate then to the ASC.


Well, that's OK. I was just curious. They are worth a lot to me, and I wouldn't part with them because that and some production stills of my father working are about all I have left of him. It's my link to him and the memories I have of the film world.

Mike.
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#7 Mike Lipinski

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:32 AM

If you decide to donate them someplace I'm sure that would be appreciated by a lot of people who would enjoy them and who aren't able to buy many back issues.


Wish I could. I'm really attached to them. But thanks for your reply. It was really by way of starting some sort of dialog with professionals in the field that I posted that query. I am a writer, as I mentioned, and though I'm a lot older than most people like yourself, I would like to make these contacts, somehow, for the purpose of expanding on my knowledge and my initiatives in that field.

I wonder if anyone had any ideas. Or is this all too vague? My way of narrowing down my options, starting with a wide sweep.

Mike.
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#8 Ryan Patrick OHara

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 10:38 PM

I agree that American Cinematographer is a great learning resource for cinematographers. I would love to read the older issues of AC. Does anyone know anywheres around LA where they would sell old issues.


I've got a decent collection up on ebay. http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item35ad80462e

It may seem expensive, but it's less than $3 (at auction start) an issue and I ship for free or deliver them for free! And not to worry, I have not fell on hard times. This is my second collection of American Cinematographer Magazines, which is for sale. My first collection is much much greater... over 700 unique and original issues from 1922-2010! ;) those won't be for sale until I'm 6 feet under ground.

Through my years of collecting, I have amassed a great deal of duplicate issues when I've bought in bulk, hence the collection for sale is everything I have at least two of. Some issues I have over 6 or 8 copies of. As you can tell by the price, I'm not really looking to make that much off of them as I'm really trying to get rid of a couple hundred pounds of AC magazines I don't need! Trust me when I tell you I've spent much more gathering these issues than I stand to make in the sale. That's just the truth of collecting them little by little. Hopefully this collection for sale can give someone a big jump-start I never had. ;)

Best,

-Ryan

Edited by Ryan Patrick OHara, 28 October 2010 - 10:39 PM.

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#9 Pat Murray

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 02:26 PM

I agree that American Cinematographer is a great learning resource for cinematographers. I would love to read the older issues of AC. Does anyone know anywheres around LA where they would sell old issues.


I have a local University which runs a Film Studies program. They have copies of American Cinematographer going back to the 1950s in the main library. Anybody can grab an edition and take a comfy seat to read it. This is where I go to read the old editions without buying online or at second hand stores. Although I did purchase the "The Empire Strikes Back" edition because I'm such a huge fan of the film.

Being in LA, there must be a nearby College or University with a film program and a library stacked with back issues of AC.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 02:57 PM

I agree that American Cinematographer is a great learning resource for cinematographers. I would love to read the older issues of AC. Does anyone know anywheres around LA where they would sell old issues.


I go to various libraries and pull down a few years worth and read them periodically. There are collections at UCLA's SRLF building (any periodical older than 10 years is stored there), at USC, at AFI, at CalArts, and at the Herrick Library of AMPAS on LaCienega & Olympic, a nice place to sit and read.

The SRLF has no librarians so you'll have to look up the call numbers on a terminal and then give them to a clerk at the front desk. And the only parking is street parking; it's near the corner of Gayley & Veteren.

There is a nice public parking lot next to the Herrick Library.
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#11 Jerry Murrel

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 06:53 PM

"I've got a decent collection up on ebay. http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item35ad80462e ......

....Through my years of collecting, I have amassed a great deal of duplicate issues when I've bought in bulk, hence the collection for sale is everything I have at least two of."

-Ryan


Ryan,

Do you (or any of the readers in this group) recall an AC issue which came out around 1975 or 1976, an issue
with the cover and main article dedicated to the current (at that time) status of film vs. video?

As I recall, this was an incredibly insightful article for its time; and was quite phrophetic also, IMHO.

-Jerry Murrel
DP, Little Rock
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#12 K Borowski

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 07:44 PM

PS One other thing. It's been years since I had anything practically to do with film production, but lately I've been hearing rumors. Is film out, completely? I mean, is digital taking over entirely as the primary medium of production? I used to get In-Camera, but now that's digital too. Any heads-up on that would be welcome. Film has such a great look to it, and such great exposure latitude, I can't see digital ever catching up to it. I could be wrong, of course. But I could always tell whether something was shot on video or on film, and I'm wondering if the same difference is obvious with digital?


Film has taken a pretty big hit on television and with S16. Now there's a push for 3D movies that a lot of producers are opting to shoot digitally. They could conceivably shoot 2 2-perf. 35mm cameras, but that would cost as much to shoot as anamorphic. 3-perf. 35mm is the expected choice now. I'm not sure if that was even available if you haven't been in the industry since the '70s. But 35mm is still alive and well in the theatres, both on the front end and the back end (lugging 3 60-lb, hex cans up the stairs). Plenty of commercials are still film, even S16, maybe because a surprising amount are still only standard definition finishes.

The digital intermediate has taken over movies though. I have a feeling that "Inception" could be the last movie that was traditional cut negative to hit theatres. I can't think of a single other film going back to the summer before that was done that way, save "Extract." It's crazy how even the low-budget rom. com.'s go through the computer.


It's not all bad though, and I think 35mm is gonig to be around a good while longer, even on TV, after the theatres go digital. If you don't have HD already, you should get it. You can really appreciate the difference in the new medium, and see some of the problems with shooting high-speed film on 16mm. Funny how the same problems they had with it in the '60s are rearing their ugly heads again. I'm pretty sure that NFL Films is going to be the last customer for S16 (or maybe Ken Burns; his national parks documentary was mostly S16). All the NFL highlights you see in slow motion on Sports center are still film, so even 16mm television news isn't really dead just yet. . .
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#13 Ryan Patrick OHara

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 09:01 PM

Ryan,

Do you (or any of the readers in this group) recall an AC issue which came out around 1975 or 1976, an issue
with the cover and main article dedicated to the current (at that time) status of film vs. video?

As I recall, this was an incredibly insightful article for its time; and was quite phrophetic also, IMHO.

-Jerry Murrel
DP, Little Rock


The earliest American Cinematographer magazine from the 1970's and onward that featured an article AND cover regarding what you describe seems to be March 1982, entitled "Electronic Cinematography'. I went through my collection and found nothing else on the covers that fit what you describe.

-Ryan

PS: my other american cinematographer collection is relisted on ebay at reduced pricing. Free pickup in socal, too.
http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item35ae5495fa
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#14 Ryan Patrick OHara

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 09:04 PM

Correction: I just looked a few years back previous of your dates and there is a 'Videotape & Film' article and cover from October 1972.
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:41 AM

Correction: I just looked a few years back previous of your dates and there is a 'Videotape & Film' article and cover from October 1972.


Yes, that's the issue, though there are film vs. video articles in other 1970's issues.

Besides Oct. 72, which had an article about the Image Transform process among other things, there were some articles in the Sept. 75, Sept. 73, Nov. 76, etc. issues, and some follow-up articles by Kodak where they defend film and how it "wasn't dead" (far from it in the 1970's...) This was around the time that I believe that Lee Garmes was saying that film was dead too. I believe there was an even earlier "film is dead" article sometime in the 1950's when videotape was introduced.
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#16 Jerry Murrel

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 01:43 PM

Correction: I just looked a few years back previous of your dates and there is a 'Videotape & Film' article and cover from October 1972.



Thanks Ryan,

I appreciate greatly you taking the time to go through your collection
and find the issue I've been looking for now for years.

best regards,
-Jerry

Jerry Murrel
Little Rock, AR
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#17 Jerry Murrel

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 01:44 PM

Yes, that's the issue, though there are film vs. video articles in other 1970's issues.

Besides Oct. 72, which had an article about the Image Transform process among other things, there were some articles in the Sept. 75, Sept. 73, Nov. 76, etc. issues, and some follow-up articles by Kodak where they defend film and how it "wasn't dead" (far from it in the 1970's...) This was around the time that I believe that Lee Garmes was saying that film was dead too. I believe there was an even earlier "film is dead" article sometime in the 1950's when videotape was introduced.


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#18 Jerry Murrel

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 01:45 PM

Yes, that's the issue, though there are film vs. video articles in other 1970's issues.

Besides Oct. 72, which had an article about the Image Transform process among other things, there were some articles in the Sept. 75, Sept. 73, Nov. 76, etc. issues, and some follow-up articles by Kodak where they defend film and how it "wasn't dead" (far from it in the 1970's...) This was around the time that I believe that Lee Garmes was saying that film was dead too. I believe there was an even earlier "film is dead" article sometime in the 1950's when videotape was introduced.


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#19 Jerry Murrel

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 02:17 PM

Yes, that's the issue, though there are film vs. video articles in other 1970's issues.

Besides Oct. 72, which had an article about the Image Transform process among other things, there were some articles in the Sept. 75, Sept. 73, Nov. 76, etc. issues, and some follow-up articles by Kodak where they defend film and how it "wasn't dead" (far from it in the 1970's...) This was around the time that I believe that Lee Garmes was saying that film was dead too. I believe there was an even earlier "film is dead" article sometime in the 1950's when videotape was introduced.


Thanks David,

I appreciate you taking the time to supply the dates for
the additional articles. I will definitie contact the ASC
Bookstore to see if the 72 issue is available, and will
look for the other issues at one of the college librarys.

-Jerry Murrel

DP
Little Rock, AR
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