Phaeton In-Depth : Alex Ivanov

Alex Ivanov, Photographer

Phaeton's master photographer Alex Ivanov holds a regular position in the stills lab at Industrial Light & Magic, George Lucas' premiere movie special effects production facility. At ILM, Alex shoots everything from behind-the-scenes to portraits to miniatures for digitizing into the computer.

Alex' other work includes a wide variety of assignments, such as book projects and catalogs. He maintains a darkroom in Sausalito and has worked on a number of occasions in the Lucasfilm Archives as one of the very few photographers granted access to that legendary warehouse. These archives are filled with the artifacts of film history, from Star Wars robots to Indiana Jones' Ark of the Covenant as well as Jones' trademark hat and whip (which Alex photographed recently for the DVD release of the Indiana Jones Trilogy).

For Phaeton Alex is our lead photographer, whether we are doing studio work for best-selling Star Wars books or working in the field. In the studio, Alex is a painstaking artist able to manipulate light and reflections until his photographs can look much better than their original subjects. We saw this repeatedly with our Star Wars projects, where Alex could take beat-up old movie props and battered chrome robots from the original Star Wars movie, light them just so, and make them look sharp and beautiful for our books. His work was so strong that author David West Reynolds insisted on listing him as a primary contributor on these books, so you will find Alex at as easily as you will find the other Phaeton authors. In the field our lensman shifts gears from perfectionist to "tactical documenter," fully prepared to shoot guerilla-style to capture fleeting opportunities as they arise in the course of missions.

Alex also provides Phaeton with an additional language skill, as he is conversational in his family language of Russian.