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American Graffiti Movie

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Lucas considered covering duties as the sole cinematographer but dropped the idea. Instead, he elected to shoot American Graffiti using two cinematographers (as he had done in THX 1138) and no formal director of photography. Two cameras were used simultaneously in scenes involving conversations between actors in different cars, which resulted in significant production time savings. After CinemaScope proved to be too expensive, Lucas decided American Graffiti should have a documentary-like feel, so he shot the film using Techniscope cameras. He believed that Techniscope, an inexpensive way of shooting on 35mm film and utilizing only half of the film's frame, would give a perfect widescreen format resembling 16mm. Adding to the documentary feel was Lucas's openness for the cast to improvise scenes. He also used goofs for the final cut, notably Charles Martin Smith's arriving on his scooter to meet Steve outside Mel's Drive-In. Jan D'Alquen and Ron Eveslage were hired as the cinematographers, but filming with Techniscope cameras brought lighting problems. As a result, Lucas commissioned help from friend Haskell Wexler, who was credited as the "visual consultant".

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