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October 29, 2011 7:37 AM   Subscribe

What are some go-to websites for cinematographic inspiration?

In the past year I’ve had numerous opportunities to work on different film/video projects, and am hoping to do more of this sort of work in the future.

Something I continually find myself looking for is some kind of online collection of clips showing different film styles. Is there a blog that does for cinematographers and filmmakers what The Sartorialist does for fashionistas and fashion designers? I’m looking for beautiful, well-executed clips that will inspire me, help me improve my knowledge as far as film styles, techniques, types of shots, etc. and can serve as examples to help me communicate my ideas to others.

I’ve done a lot of searching (especially on YouTube and Vimeo) and have found things scattered around the internet--sometimes tutorials, sometimes camera tests, sometimes just a beautiful music video-- but good examples that are aesthetically pleasing are harder to come by than I would have thought. I don’t necessarily need them to be categorized, the most important thing is that there are numerous, tasteful videos in different styles.

Where do you suggest I go?

Thanks in advance!
posted by seriousmoonlight to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
If We Don't, Remember Me is a "collection of living movie stills". In other words, they're animated gifs of single shots from famous movies. The selection ranges from kitsch to cult to classic.
posted by sleeping bear at 9:05 AM on October 29, 2011

Not inspirational in some artistic way but fascinating—and educational—indeed is Zacuto's Great Camera Shootout 2011.

Created in three parts:

Episode 1 “The Tipping Point” — Examining dynamic range.
Episode 2 “Sensors & Sensitivity” — Looks at how sensor ISO/sensitivity, sensor resolution and in-camera compression factors interact/combine amongst various cameras.
Episode 3 “It's Not So Black & White" — Looks at color accuracy/rendering, shutter/temporal artifacts such as rolling shutter, data-rates, post-production/color-timing flexibility and a few other things.

I think that they are a must-see for cinematically-inclined folk although not strictly what you are seeking.
posted by bz at 9:35 AM on October 29, 2011

Best answer: I think watching movies is a better idea than looking for stills or freeze-frames--as movies, well, move. The framing and composition for a still photo can be very different for a moving camera.

If you've not seen Visions of Light, watch it. You also might think about getting American Cinematographer magazine--it's not all technical stuff.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:37 AM on October 29, 2011

It's focused on stills (and covers some music and literature too, along with the film) - but I think The Art of Memory might help you.
posted by bubukaba at 10:08 AM on October 29, 2011

Best answer: Here are a few really great curated collections. (Short films, music videos, animation. Lots of stuff you won't be interested in but it will be a lot more productive than trying to find inspiration on YouTube or Vimeo.)

Short of the Week
No Fat Clips (I think he stopped updating this last year but there's plenty worth watching in the archives)

Also, it's skewed more towards motion graphics than cinematography, but you might find that Art of the Title Sequence tickles the right part of your brain. (One of my favorites is the black and white opening sequence in The Fall.)

As far as information goes: Painting with Light and The 5 C's of Cinematography are two of the classic texts. cinematography.com (of course), the excellent "Ask David Mullen Anything" thread on Reduser, and Roger Deakins's personal forum are all good places to hang out online.

And now a random smattering of some of the dozens of short pieces that I've bookmarked as exemplary for lighting or camerawork (or just packing an emotional punch):

Levi's "To Work" ads
Nuit Blanche (and the making of)
Hecq vs. Exillion
The Third and the Seventh
Music video for Iron by Woodkid
posted by Cortes at 10:30 AM on October 29, 2011

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