I was recently watching old clips of Labyrinth and was struck by how dingy and washed out the colors all looked. All browns and grays, with a pre-digital fuzziness to everything (but which is nonetheless absent from even older movies). I've noticed this before in other popular movies from around the mid-80s: the New York of Ghosbusters, for example, appears constantly overcast and even sootier than it ever probably was, and the Neverending Story also seems to share the same palette of dark colors and the occasional washed out pastels. What's behind this "mid-80s" look? Was it the quality of film stock that was used in big budget pictures during those years? Trends in lighting, set design and/or post-production? Or something else entirely?
Directors of photography like Roger Deakins, Robert Elswit, and Robert Richardson have distinct styles but are nevertheless first class examples of cinematography done right. I am looking for resources that delve into the type of lights they use, lighting plans (specific setups from certain scenes), and examples of intensities of the used lights (in LM). Any of these would be helpful really.
I've read that the art of film making was developed with white skin in mind. Are there articles or books that describe this bias in more detail? I remember reading somewhere that The Wire, having to film many scenes featuring only black people, developed techniques to film black skin more effectively. Is that true? Thank you.
Are there any blogs or tumblrs that are a collection of the really beautiful shots that Game of Thrones does? [more inside]
Can you help me come up with a name for a group of very talented cinematographers based in New York? Naturally the first place I went to was the dictionary (word by word), jotting down everything that had to do with the craft. The technical terms are not interesting to them because they prefer a nice name that focuses on the artistic/storytelling aspect of it. Help? [more inside]
What are the best resources to learn the basics of cinematography? [more inside]
This week I watched a Doctor Who episode from the Russell T. Davies era with David Tennant as Doctor 10. I cut my teeth on the Matt Smith episodes, so I always find the older episodes so different in terms of production quality. But what am I seeing, exactly? What were the technical changes in production between the two series? [more inside]
In class next week I'll be doing a "shot at a time" session as described by Roger Ebert, and I need a short (~30 min), visually interesting, readily available video to show in class. [more inside]
He says cinematography makes or breaks a film for him; plot and acting are secondary. He likes Netflix, but find it frustrating that it keeps suggesting films he doesn't like. I tried to get him to give me examples of films he's enjoyed, but he just said "Oh, you know, old black and white things, when cinematography was good." Can you please help me come up with some suggestions of things for him, perhaps something newer than Citizen Kane?
I've decided to start posting my music on youtube... performed live. I'm looking to improve the cinematography with an automated slider / jib that could produce a movement like this on its own: Does anyone know how I can do this on a budget? [more inside]
We're shooting a low-budget feature and are having trouble finding a cinematographer/DP. Where else can we look (details inside)? [more inside]
Many music videos from the late nineties, six underground by the sneaker pimps being the most salient example to me, have a distinctive cinematographic feel and style to them, with very high contrast (super dark blacks and popping-out, almost oversaturated whites); a lot of murky brown/green and pops of red/blue. Does this style have a name? Is it a film effect or some kind of post-processing, or both? digital? Why was it so prevalent in the late-nineties, and, correct me if I am mistaken, mostly just for music videos? [more inside]
Where can I find cinematography courses in New York City? [more inside]
We want to watch movies on Netflix Istant that have beautiful cinematography. Nothing too violent or gory. We'd prefer a good plot and characters. We're not talking a good looking film, we want beautiful, drop dead gorgeous photography, available on Netflix Instant. For an example of what I mean by drop dead gorgeous, check out the trailer for Nostalghia. Obviously other films by that director, Andrei Tarkovsky, are one list, but what else would you suggest?
Can you recommend online videos or blogs which dissect, compare, and contrast different elements of filmmaking: camerawork, lighting, directing, editing, pacing, music, dialogue, color, etc? And if you went to film school or took classes, what were some lessons/first-hand experiments that really opened your eyes to the art and subjective nature of film? [more inside]
What are some go-to websites for cinematographic inspiration? [more inside]
Music videos are a dime a dozen. However, it's pretty rare for an entire album to be made into a single video with a coherent narrative. What are some examples of this? [more inside]
Short, live-action films that work with limited locations, effects, budget, and actors? [more inside]
Ski Movie Aficionados: Approximately five years ago I read about a very artful ski movie in the middle of multi-year production. The aspect I remember most clearly was a very high original frame rate to allow super- smooth slow motion. I want to say 100fps, but I really don't remember for sure. Can anyone lead me to this film? [more inside]
FilmFilter: What artistic quality might Shattered Glass and The Ice Storm have in common? Where can I find more of it? [more inside]
My good friend is a cinematographer and wants to update his online reel. I said I would snoop around for ideas on how best to do this? [more inside]
Name that Film-Filter: I'm trying to think of the name of a movie that I'd like to buy before the liquidation of a nearby Blockbuster comes to a close. High fantasy, vignettes, made less than five years ago. [more inside]
I watch a lot of movies, and I have noticed that in modern movies, almost every shot has a very restricted palette of two colors. Could someone tell me when this practice became standard? [more inside]
I want to teach myself to be more professional at digital video production. Are there any classes/seminars (online or in L.A.) that you'd recommend? If I could live in my dream world, I'd get to take the Travel Channel video course but without spending $2000 I don't have and having to drive to Santa Barbara for it. Thoughts? [more inside]
Career Change Advice: How can I become a Camera Operator / Director of Photography / Cinematographer? [more inside]
On NBC's Heroes, what is the shot or effect called when Matt Parkman uses his telepathy? Bonus points if you can also point me to tips for emulating this in After Effects. [more inside]
Where can I learn more about cinematography? [more inside]
Point me to some real examples of the cinematic style parodied in Flight of the Conchords' "Foux de Fa Fa!" [more inside]
Suggest online or DVD resources for a new filmmaker to learn about lenses, film formats, shot composition, camera moves, dialogue staging, and other aspects of cinematography & directing? [more inside]
Can I use my computer monitor as an HD production monitor? [more inside]
Questions about buying a video camera in general and some specifics about the Canon XL1.... [more inside]
What, from the standpoint of the audience, is the difference/advantage between shooting, say, a sitcom, in single-camera mode (SCM) and multiple-camera mode (MCM)? If all you're doing in SCM is shooting dialogue, for example, out-of-order to construct an effect that is effortlessly achieved by switching from one camera to the next in MCM, it would seem that, if anything, you would gain from the immediacy of the actors' reaction in a scene shot in MCM.
Whose style did The Human League's "Don't You Want Me" video clip bite? [more inside]
Deconstruct-the-magic-filter: In the latest series of HP commercials, there is this really neat effect where people wave photographs around and they meld seamlessly with the footage, and vice versa. How do they accomplish this? I'm not easily stumped by this kind of thing, but I really have no idea.