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Posts Tagged ‘Side by Side’

DP Ed Lachman with Cate Blanchette and Rooney Mara

Ed Lachman with Cate Blanchette and Rooney Mara

In earlier posts, mediateacher has highlighted resources for screenwriting, editing, sound, and much more, and of course there have been discussions of cinematography, such as upon the release of the documentary Side by Side.  Here are some excellent cinematography resources: this 20-minute film and accompanying tutorial by John Hess of filmmakeriq.com about color and digital cinematography; the “Through the Lens Film School” blog by Chris Weaver that offers pretty easy-to-follow lighting tutorials and general tips; and, finally, an interesting “food for thought” page from Deadline magazine prompted by statements by DPs Robert Richardson and Ed Lachman (who shot Carol on 16mm!) about what is really happening these days in the world of VFX-driven cinematography.

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Understanding the effect of aspect ratio is vital for filmmakers, such as in this year's "Gravity"

Understanding the effect of aspect ratio is vital for filmmakers, such as in this year’s “Gravity”

In Chapter 4 of Moving ImagesStorytelling with Light — the primary topic is the investigation of the core principles that one must consider as a cinematographer, whether in digital image capture or celluloid-based film.  A key issue to examine is the aspect ratio of the movie, which links back to earlier explorations of composition starting in Chapter 1.   For educators working on this unit, here is an overview of aspect ratio in motion picture history from the Filmmaker IQ website.  I was led to this page after reading an excellent essay on aspect ratios by Tyler Lavoie, who is one of my former students.  On the subject of cinematography, let me remind readers of my earlier post discussing the movie Side by Side (directed by Chris Kenneally and hosted by Keanu Reeves), which is superb to use in tandem with the work in Chapter 4.

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Keanu Reeves and Martin Scorsese contemplate the moving image in Side by Side, directed by Chris Kenneally

The movie Side by Side is opening now, and this will provide a very informative and provocative source of debate, contemplation, and reference for people interested in media arts and the state of creative platforms at this moment in time.  Check out the trailer and seek out further info on this movie directed by Chris Kenneally, produced and narrated by Keanu Reeves, and featuring appearances by numerous acclaimed filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, and David Fincher.

When creating Moving Images, one of the most challenging areas to consider was how to treat contemporary issues of cinematography and conceptions of light and its capture.  As I mentioned in an earlier post focusing on the work of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, in the years since the development of this textbook, the majority of Academy Award nominees in cinematography each year have been shot on film.  No matter what the platform for cinematography, the understanding and control of light and color continue to be among the most important skills and concepts for anyone working in movies, whether through digital processes or celluloid.

I can add one personal point: I remain unconvinced by the proclaimed “reign of 3D” by Mr. Cameron and various movie execs during the past few years (and I remember a speech by a Jeffrey Katzenberg a few years ago in which he declared that “all movies will be 3D a decade from now”).  I have found it interesting the degree to which young people — at least the ones I work with — scoff at 3D and time and again tell me that it is rare that they have any desire to see movies in 3D.  Here is a blog from Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell about the topic; as usual, it is engrossing and quite informative.

I will have more to say about these topics in upcoming blogs.

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