AUDIT of A.N. OTHERS Photography Practice

1410

1409

INITIAL IDEAS FOR DEVELOPING PRACTICE

Notes.

Investigate the use of various filming techniques and equipment  to interpret theme. Possibley look at the use of Gopro, iPhone, super 8, BHS  and other equipment which is not usual.

 

Experiment with this DSLR 5D Mark III /sound – USE Zoom Mic and Road Mic (ON AND OFF CAMERA) and use filming accessories, tripod dolly, table slider, monitor and tracking devices.
Look more closely at camera technique for filming: hand-held, angles, feeds, transitions , cutaways, establishing shots and focus pulling.  Also consider location, daylight studio, use home, select location- considering lighting look at colour balance and LED light panels.
REFERENCE
REAR WINDOW (Alfred HITCHCOCK). A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
‘One of the lovely things about the movie is its use of location. The entire movie is set in the apartment. This would seem claustrophobic but Hitchcock never inhibits us like this – he lets us escape through Jeffries binoculars and camera lenses, and his roving camera swoops down to let us see what the characters see (but never anything more than that, creating suspense). Every thing you need to know about the characters and scenario is given to you in the opening – establishing shot.’Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 19.46.09

 

ROBERT RODRIGUEZThe one-man film crew, gorilla film makers, look at – ‘From Dust Till Dawn’. 

PETER JACKSON. Interview extracts  ‘Make something you love. And then let the market decide if they want it. Never create for others. Always create for yourself. You don’t need a fancy lens or camera. If you have a smartphone, tell your story. When you create in a fictitious world, you need a lot of ideas. Let the ideas flow through you. Even when they are not the right idea fit for your project, they lead to more ideas. Culture is the one thing that makes us the same as each other. We react to the same things, and it is probably why sports has been around for thousands of years. You share and participate together. We are on a planet floating in space and we are all the same. The more you expose yourself to culture, the more you realize we all want to laugh, together. Every decision will drive you crazy if you don’t follow your instinct. Just make decisions, trust your instinct, and hope that’s enough. If you want to be a filmmaker, take your phone out and film something.’ https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianrashid/2016/09/20/an-afternoon-with-peter-jackson-director-of-lord-of-the-rings/#6a085aaa1b88

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Breaking continuity to serve a “higher purpose.”

Hitchcock, the master of the designed sequence, said you should never cut back to the same shot twice.

Cuts are precious because the audience’s attention is so tenuous. Once you lose them, they’re gone. And every time you add an unnecessary cut, or shot, or gesture you diminish the focus of the film.

The “puzzle piece” approach where each shot fits in a place to make the whole.

Day Light –  Stanley Kubrick, ‘Eyes wide shut’  In order to give the movie a dream-like quality, the filmmakers used an old-school method of shooting—and a treadmill. “In some of the scenes, the backgrounds were rear-projection plates,’ “Generally, when Tom’s facing the camera, the backgrounds are rear-projected; anything that shows him from a side view was done on the streets of London. We had the plates shot in New York by a second unit [that included cinematographers Patrick Turley, Malik Sayeed and Arthur Jafa]. Once the plates were sent to us, we had them force-developed and balanced to the necessary levels. We’d then go onto our street sets and shoot Tom walking on a treadmill. After setting the treadmill to a certain speed, we’d put some lighting effects on him to simulate the glow from the various storefronts that were passing by in the plates. We spent a few weeks on those shots.”

Artificial light (Neon) –  Nicolas Winding Refn ‘Only God Forgives’

 

Muted Colours – NBC ‘Hannibal’ Series. The production team has done a great job with the set, and of course the color. Every shot is stunning, and in trying to figure out why, it is apparent that over and above the fact that it’s shot with fantastic shallow depth of field, nearly every shot has complimentary colors in it.

In this case, teal and blood-red seem to be the main complimentary’s used throughout, and with those colors, different levels of vibrancy (darker or lighter shades of the same color) are used. Those colors also makes a lot of sense, given that Hannibal has a lot of blood in it, but there are also scenes that incorporate an orangey-yellow with greens and blues – also beautiful to look at.

 

Look at how this can be achieved with DLSR? ‘DSLR h.264 is useless when it comes to achieving such beautiful cinematography.’, ‘You need that raw 444 footage to really crank out the colours in the shadows like they do. It works with Alexa footage but not with anything in the h264 category (at least not nearly as creamy)’

Wide shots – ‘ Vanishing Point ‘(1971). The extreme wide shot is a shot taken from a long distance. This shot is often also used as an establishing shot. It typically features landscapes or massive building exteriors. An extreme wide shot showcases the surroundings of a character. Like the wide shot, it prominently features scale, distance, and location. If the character is visible in the shot, they are often minuscule in size. They are not the focus of the shot, yet they are there to complement it.

Camera movement and angles – ‘Breaking Bad’ 

‘With unique camera work, a very different kind of pacing and bold use of light and color, Breaking Bad has created a look unlike anything else on TV. Credit for this aesthetic is due largely to Michael Slovis, who’s been the show’s director of photography since the beginning of season 2. A veteran DOP with other shows such as CSI under his belt, Slovis says he’s thankful he’s had the freedom to experiment and credits both Gilligan and AMC for creating a show that pushes boundaries in every direction.’

In some ways he compares the cinematography to an impressionist painting.

“This isn’t just about looking like reality; this is about eliciting an emotion,” he says.

One of the most obvious ways that Slovis has set Breaking Bad apart is through his use of color. Flying in from the East Coast, where he lives, Slovis says he was immediately struck by the brown and yellow hues that dominate the landscape in New Mexico where the show is filmed. “In the northeast we just don’t have that; we have a very different color palette,” he says.

Instead of fighting it, Slovis decided to embrace the new landscape. Every time the show shoots out in the desert — something they’ve come to be known for — Slovis says he uses a filter on his camera that enhances the earth tones, making the scene look even more desolate and Mars-like.

To add contrast to the Southwest’s famous blue sky and white clouds Slovis uses a polarizing filters and when the show filmed scenes that were supposed to be in Mexico — as opposed to New Mexico — Slovis used yet another filter, letting the new color alert viewers to the shift in geography.

When shooting inside, under artificial light, the use of contrast and color is similar. Slovis isn’t afraid to shoot darkly lit scenes — they’ve also become a signature of the show — and he says he’s come to rely on that fluorescent green color that you get when you shoot photos inside without a flash. It’s become a signature hue for inside the various warehouses that fill the series.

“My job is not just to merely record the time; my job is to interpret the scripts,” he says. “That said, I never want to overwhelm them, and I never want it to be about the photography so I’m lucky that the performers are so strong and the writing is so strong. It allows me to take more chances.” “I don’t have to explain that color; people get it,” he says.

You might call Breaking Bad more “cinematic” and Slovis says that’s a conscious decision. He says that AMC purposely wanted the show to appear more movie-like and part of the way they’ve achieved that is by shooting on film. “It’s a choice made by AMC that I don’t argue with. I actually love it,” he says.

Slovis says shooting on film is also an advantage becuase it’s expensive and it motivates people to get it right. “Everyone has to be careful with film,” he says. “It lends an air of intentionality to it.”

When it comes to pacing, Breaking Bad is often slower than a lot of other shows. There’s no rush so Slovis has the ability to let the plot gather tension by itself without trying to fill it in with fancy camera movements.

One clear example, he says, is the scene in episode 501 (the first episode of the new season) where Walt and Mike are arguing about about how to get a laptop out of a police evidence room. The scene drags on as they go back and forth while Jesse, who is out of focus in the background, makes his own suggestion: Magnets. It goes unheard until the camera finally focuses in on Jesse as he raises his voice and gets Walt’s and Mike’s attention. “It’s not a shot that you would normally see in network television,” he says. “Most of the time the pacing is a lot faster but we have the luxury of letting the actors set the pace.”

The most famous pieces of Breaking Bad cinematography are probably the wide shots. Playing off the enormously long horizons in New Mexico (where there aren’t a lot of trees), Slovis and Gillagan like to shoot scenes where the characters — or oftentimes cars — in the scene are just little blips on the screen. Like the filters Slovis uses, the wide open shots help to reinforce the desolation of the desert. “The wide shots come from Vince’s love of [Italian Director] Sergio Leone,” Slovis says. “One of the first things he told me was to look at the The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

As fans know, the plot in Breaking Bad has become increasingly dark over the course of the show. Season 5 is the final one and everyone is wondering just how much further Gilligan will take things — especially after the ending of season 4. But Slovis says there is still room for the story to develop and as things get more an more intense, so will the lighting. “What I can I can tell you is that even more than in the past the lighting will follow the trajectory of the characters,” he says. “[The show] goes to even more disturbing and darker places and some of the lighting gets extremely expressive at times. It’s almost like Breaking Bad on steriods. It gets really fun.” ‘ https://www.wired.com/2012/08/the-look-the-feel-of-breaking-bad/

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 21.30.29

This overhead shot from season 4 demonstrates the contrast-y light Slovis occasionally uses inside.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 21.31.15

Slovis lets the camera sit on Walt and Mike as they argue during the first episode of season 5. The scene is an example of the cinematic pacing in Breaking Bad.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 21.32.13

Slovis lets the camera sit on Walt and Mike as they argue during the first episode of season 5. The scene is an example of the cinematic pacing in Breaking Bad.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 21.32.30

A composed detail shot that uses low depth of field to highlight the rims of Gus Fring’s glasses.

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