There’s a curious balance in being an auteur. You need to have a unique voice, but you also can’t be too derivative of your own work. This assembly of Tarantino driving shots shows how a set piece can be a calling card, yet effectively drive (ahem) the story in each film.
Birdman is probably the most original and compelling film I’ve seen this year. A large part of it was how the construct provided a unique platform for character development. Another was how the cinematography leveraged a confined setting to provide a dynamic theatrical experience. I had my theories as to how they filmed it on “one shot”, and was mostly right. However, it’s still fascinating to understand the method behind the madness.
Photographer Jonas Ginter tried for two years to make a 360 panoramic camera. Then he solved the problem with a “camera ball” 3-D printed 6 GoPro rig (of course). It seems like visual storytelling possibilities are expanding every day with cheap a/v tech and custom manufacturing tools. Or at least we’ll be seeing a lot more trippy sh*t!
In 1945, Stanley Kubrick became the youngest staff photographer in the history of Look magazine. He was 17. After discovering this (and questioning my life’s path), I was struck by how his early work was so…Kubrick. It’s impossible not to see the roots of his distinct cinematic style. From the immaculate composition to the mastery of light. As both a filmmaker and photographer, I’ve viewed them as distinct practices. While there are some connections between my output in both forms, it’s nowhere near as coherent as it could be. The Look Magazine shots below make a strong case for evolving a consistent style for visual storytelling. And being a once-in-a-lifetime genius.
I’ve been exploring color lately. Shooting flat for more dynamic range. Sharpening my color correction ‘skills’ (very much in quotes). Playing around with look-up tables. Why? Like a lot of digital filmmakers, I’ve realized the difference color can make, but didn’t quite know the mechanics behind it all. But the video above has definitely helped.
Sometimes, when I’m working on a film, I like to remind myself that the point is for actual people to see it (Right?). But while the pains of production can be many, it’s always nice when folks who are actually good at it get together at conferences to weigh in. Better yet, when motivated attendees summarize those kernels of wisdom in blog form. So in the name of distillation, I’m going even higher level and throwing down the main points. Half as a self-reminder, half to entice you to read the whole article here.
Truth be told, even though I shoot, I’m not a cinematographer. However, understanding lighting (a little) has definitely helped me when I’m behind the lens. This video has a bit of a high-school-educational-film vibe, but it still is worth checking out. Don’t want to stay in the dark…
One of the benefits of accessible technology like the GoPro is that folks get very inventive in how they use it. This is a great example of a show-stopping effect created using just a few household materials (assuming your house has a ceiling fan) and a lot of ingenuity. See how easy it is to make your own below.
I have a Canon 5DMIII, which I’ve increasingly felt bad for. Namely because of haters. They say the Epic and Black Magic are better video options and the Nikon D800 simply better. I’ve defended the 5D saying it’s still the best option for someone who shoots video and stills. But, yes, I’ve had my doubts. However, in the last week, things have changed. First, my camera will be able to deliver clean HDMI out, so you can record uncompressed footage with an external reader. Second, and this is a big one, the 5D might very well have the capability to capture 2K raw resolution! Yes, this is OMG-worthy and ups the ante for HDSLR shooters who’ve kept the faith in Canon.