LOS ANGELES (Feb. 3, 2016) - The force is strong with American Cinematographer's just-released February issue, which goes behind the scenes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to provide an in-depth look at the making of the record-breaking box-office blockbuster. The magazine was granted special access to the production during filming at Pinewood Studios and conducted comprehensive interviews with the filmmakers, including cinematographer Dan Mindel, ASC, BSC; director J.J. Abrams; Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy; and several of the show's key department heads. The special collector's edition is illustrated with a trove of exclusive production stills, behind-the-scenes photos and concept art from the film.
"American Cinematographer prides itself on bringing the best and most detailed behind-the-scenes information to our readers, and thanks to our great relationship with Disney, Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams, we were allowed to visit an otherwise closed set," says Stephen Pizzello, the magazine's editor-in-chief and publisher. "Contributing writer Noah Kadner and I were privileged to observe the Star Wars team up close, and the experience provided us with invaluable insights. Our best writers covered all aspects of the production, resulting in an issue that is second to none in terms of in-depth reportage."
In addition to covering the work of Mindel, Abrams and Kennedy, the issue offers Kadner's first-person account of the magazine's set visit; coverage of the movie's second-unit cinematography; a piece that examines the project's concept art and the collaboration between co-production designers Rick Carter and Darren Gilford; and comprehensive Q&As with visual-effects supervisor Roger Guyett and Industrial Light & Magic supervisor Pat Tubach, who coordinated effects work by ILM's San Francisco, Vancouver and Singapore facilities.
The magazine's Production Slate section is devoted entirely to managing editor Jon Witmer's coverage of the hugely popular animated series Star Wars Rebels, which provides a detailed look at the work of CG lighting and effects supervisor Joel Aron, lighting concept artist Christopher Voy, colorist Sean Wells, and supervising director Dave Filoni.
"American Cinematographer has been taking readers on a unique journey behind the scenes of the Star Wars saga from the very beginning, having offered a detailed look at the making of the original trilogy, the Special Editions and the prequels," says Witmer. "We're thrilled to return to that galaxy far, far away at this incredibly exciting time, when new stories and stunning imagery are being crafted in live action and animation, for screens both big and small."
Additionally, the issue's Short Takes section offers a historical look at the production and recent restoration of the short film Black Angel, which played in theaters with The Empire Strikes Back during that film's initial release in the U.K. The short was directed by Roger Christian, who had served as set decorator on the original Star Wars, and became one of the very first credits for cinematographer Roger Pratt, BSC.
As an added bonus to fans of the franchise, American Cinematographer's back page spotlights director of photography Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS, who is currently in production on the upcoming feature Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The magazine is also offering extended versions of the Abrams and Kennedy interviews online.
The February 2016 issue of American Cinematographer is now available for purchase at newsstands and online in the American Cinematographer Store.
For more information on American Cinematographer and its parent company, the American Society of Cinematographers, visit the magazine's website, theasc.com, or follow the publication on Facebook and Twitter (@AmericanCine).