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Adrian Biddle papers?


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#1 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 06:03 PM

Mr. Biddle was the DP on these films, does anyone know if he talked or wrote in length about one or more of his films, he died rather suddenly..


Aliens (1986)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Willow (1988)
The Dawning (1989)
The Tall Guy (1989)
Thelma and Louise (1991)
1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994)
Judge Dredd (1995)
101 Dalmatians (1996)
The Butcher Boy (1997)
Event Horizon (1997)
Fierce Creatures (1997)
Holy Man (1998)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The Mummy (1999)
The Weight of Water (2000)
Gangster No. 1 (2000)
102 Dalmatians (2000)
The Mummy Returns (2001)
Reign of Fire (2002)
Shanghai Knights (2003)
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Laws of Attraction (2004)
An American Haunting (2005)
V for Vendetta (2006)
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 07:45 PM

Mr. Biddle was the DP on these films, does anyone know if he talked or wrote in length about one or more of his films, he died rather suddenly..


Aliens (1986)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Willow (1988)
The Dawning (1989)
The Tall Guy (1989)
Thelma and Louise (1991)
1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994)
Judge Dredd (1995)
101 Dalmatians (1996)
The Butcher Boy (1997)
Event Horizon (1997)
Fierce Creatures (1997)
Holy Man (1998)
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The Mummy (1999)
The Weight of Water (2000)
Gangster No. 1 (2000)
102 Dalmatians (2000)
The Mummy Returns (2001)
Reign of Fire (2002)
Shanghai Knights (2003)
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
Laws of Attraction (2004)
An American Haunting (2005)
V for Vendetta (2006)


I don't know why the IMDB lists "Gangster No.1" for Biddle when it was shot by Peter Sova.

There were some American Cinematographer articles on some of those.
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#3 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 01:58 AM

I'm having a difficult time looking for those articles- where should I go first?
FYI, that was Wiki, not IMDB (doesn't list that film)- someone might wanna change that!
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#4 Karel Bata

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:18 AM

What a shock to read this! I worked with him several times. Such a nice guy.

:(

Edited by Karel Bata, 24 June 2012 - 09:19 AM.

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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:23 AM

I'm having a difficult time looking for those articles- where should I go first?


The library. I could look it up but it would involve pulling down 30 years of AC issues and reading the table of contents of all of them. You could do the same thing at a library that houses a collection. In Los Angeles, there are a number of them (UCLA, USC, AFI, AMPAS). There is a smaller chance that if you research each title on the internet, like on Wiki individually, someone would have a bibliography that cites an A.C. article. But out of all of those titles, I think there were A.C. articles on maybe five of them.

Just looking at my bookshelf at the spines of the A.C. issues, I see that the October 1992 issue had an article on "1492" and the December 1999 has one on "The World is Not Enough". But there are only a few more about Biddle that I can recall.
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#6 Mark Dunn

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:54 PM

What a shock to read this! I worked with him several times. Such a nice guy.

:(

Not such a shock, surely? He died in 2005.
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#7 John Holland

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 04:43 PM

Karel you worked with him [doing what ?] and you didnt know Adrian died of a heart attack all that time ago ??
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:12 PM

I just re-read that 1992 A.C. issue with the article on "1492" -- the cover article was on "Jennifer 8". Boy, what a flash of melancholia / nostalgia hit me... both DP's that I admired greatly now passed away, 1992 was 20 years ago, a year after I graduated film school, the year I got married, the year I shot by my first feature film. I turn 50 this week, so time has been on my mind.

The words of the DP's, talking about what they had to deal with, spoke so directly to me, and in some ways the technology of the time was simpler (light for the look you want, put some film stock in a camera, expose negative, and print it) and in some ways, harder, less room for error, took more effort. I almost wonder if 3D was invented because digital had made filmmaking too easy, so someone had to think of a way to make it harder all over again...

The truth is that today the broadstrokes are still the same, you have to do good lighting, you work with actors, you figure out how to effectively cover a scene for editing, etc. -- that's still the bulk of the work on a movie set, most of the digital stuff occupies your mind in prep and in post, not so much on the set. So I guess things haven't changed too much. In fact, I think the worst trend isn't really technical at all, though digital has enabled it to happen, which is that the average shot length in movies is shorter and the amount of coverage we shoot today has exploded, the end result is that the effort to make an individual shot look great and be meaningful has to be balanced against the desire by the director and editors for three times as many angles on the scene than would have been required in 1990. So it becomes a volume game all to often. Which is one reason perhaps today there are fewer memorable single images in movies, an image that crystalizes a scene's drama and emotion, or has some great thematic import.
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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:34 PM

I just re-read that 1992 A.C. issue with the article on "1492" -- the cover article was on "Jennifer 8". Boy, what a flash of melancholia / nostalgia hit me... both DP's that I admired greatly now passed away, 1992 was 20 years ago, a year after I graduated film school, the year I got married, the year I shot by my first feature film. I turn 50 this week, so time has been on my mind.

The words of the DP's, talking about what they had to deal with, spoke so directly to me, and in some ways the technology of the time was simpler (light for the look you want, put some film stock in a camera, expose negative, and print it) and in some ways, harder, less room for error, took more effort. I almost wonder if 3D was invented because digital had made filmmaking too easy, so someone had to think of a way to make it harder all over again...

The truth is that today the broadstrokes are still the same, you have to do good lighting, you work with actors, you figure out how to effectively cover a scene for editing, etc. -- that's still the bulk of the work on a movie set, most of the digital stuff occupies your mind in prep and in post, not so much on the set. So I guess things haven't changed too much. In fact, I think the worst trend isn't really technical at all, though digital has enabled it to happen, which is that the average shot length in movies is shorter and the amount of coverage we shoot today has exploded, the end result is that the effort to make an individual shot look great and be meaningful has to be balanced against the desire by the director and editors for three times as many angles on the scene than would have been required in 1990. So it becomes a volume game all to often. Which is one reason perhaps today there are fewer memorable single images in movies, an image that crystalizes a scene's drama and emotion, or has some great thematic import.


Spoken from the heart, David. Thanks for sharing.
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#10 John Holland

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:52 AM

Very true David i agree with all you said.
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#11 Shawn Martin

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:49 PM

Thank you for writing that, David.

And the June 2001 AC has a story about The Mummy Returns. One of the 1999 issues might have covered the first movie; I don't remember.
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#12 KH Martin

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 06:09 PM

Thank you for writing that, David.

And the June 2001 AC has a story about The Mummy Returns. One of the 1999 issues might have covered the first movie; I don't remember.



Not a whole lot from him on that one. I wrote that article, and during the interview, he wasn't very forthcoming with the usual tech details (just seemed to downplay a lot of the work as you just look around on set and see what needs to be done.) I tried to get him to open up by enthusing about PRINCESS BRIDE and ALIENS, which I think were his first two feature DP projects, but again it was kind of an 'aw shucks' thing with him.

Wound up doing it as much about ILM's end as about Biddle's (though that was not my intention, especially given how compromised so much of the VFX are given voluminous late additions by the director.)

Biddle's Bond movie always looked very different to me in every format. In the cinema, very nice, on VHS, very pale, and on DVD, somewhere in between.
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