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Antonis

Filming movies on one lens (30mm-ish)

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This was brought up in another thread, but I did not want to derail it too much.
So, for those who hadden seen it yet, this video showcases the Coen brothers and their way of filming dialogue on a single (semi) wide lens:

And to quote Ed David:

Quote

There are no rules. Just make the film look good to support the story.

 

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8 hours ago, Antonis said:

This was brought up in another thread, but I did not want to derail it too much.
So, for those who hadden seen it yet, this video showcases the Coen brothers and their way of filming dialogue on a single (semi) wide lens:

And to quote Ed David:

 

I absolutely love Fargo, but I have always thought the actual photography was the weakest element of the whole thing.  could never out my finger on why but I always felt it lacked something on the visual side of things.

IMO comparison to how No Country was shot and the photography looks ugly to my eyes 

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3 hours ago, richg101 said:

I absolutely love Fargo, but I have always thought the actual photography was the weakest element of the whole thing.  could never out my finger on why but I always felt it lacked something on the visual side of things.

IMO comparison to how No Country was shot and the photography looks ugly to my eyes 

Would gorgeous lighting and sunset vistas a la No Country served Fargo's story? No sir. 

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11 hours ago, Kubrickian said:

Would gorgeous lighting and sunset vistas a la No Country served Fargo's story? No sir. 

Please don't for one second suggest that it's just about the story for Hollywood productions.  If it were they'd be shooting on handycams.

 

My point is nothing to do with lighting and locations.  it's about the fact that I thought the film would benefit visually from a bit more optical variation, some different focal lengths to provide variation.    If No Country was shot in a winter environment it would have zero effect on the beauty of the film.

 

From someone who goes by the name 'Kubrickian' I'd have expected more empathy towards what I was trying to get at.  Kubrick and Alcott would have seen many occasions while shooting Fargo where a change in focal length would assist in making for a more visually rewarding end result.

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without the film in front of me, I feel like No Country for Old Men was shot really really well for suspense, while Fargo was maybe a bit more their usual style of just showing things happen. honestly some of their films are a mess, with just a ton of characters and things going on, no real story and no satisfaction at the end (for me). took me a while in Hail, Caesar to decide I was enjoying it I think, just because of that style. the soundtrack in Fargo for suspenseful moments kind of lulls you to sleep too, which is a little odd. I do think Fargo is a masterpiece and wouldn't really separate the cinematography from it, but I think I see what you mean, Rich. but maybe it's all my subconscious and I don't really know what I'm seeing

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I kinda wonder *why* they'd shoot a whole feature with only one prime lens? (or almost only one lens)
A very few times it makes sense. But other times... not so much, was it budgetary constraints? (the fact you can cut rental costs, and can shoot much faster if only using one lens)

I can at least kinda understand shooting with only one zoom lens. I've done that on my last couple of film shoots where I used only (or nearly only) a 28-90mm f/2.8-4 or a 24-70 f/2.8 for the whole day's shoot.

Perhaps back then they needed the extra speed of a prime in low light when shooting with film stock vs me now with the F3 that is a low light monster so I can take advantage of the flexibility of a zoom.

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9 minutes ago, Flynn said:

Pentax makes a 43mm full frame photography lens which I think is the perfect focal length. The equivalent would be something like 28mm on a Super 35 sensor. 

So from what I've been told, S35 is closer to a 1.4 crop factor. So the 32mm brings you to around 45mm. A 28mm is closer to a 40mm. Your 43mm would fit nicely right in between. 

And for what it's worth, I thought Fargo was masterfully shot. Wouldn't change a thing. And NCFOM is one of my favorites for every reason, but I don't know why one needs to be like the other. 

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Once I've discovered 28mm and 35mm f2 lenses, I can see why someone may use only one lens. You can get tight for close ups with some nice depth, or pull back and focus to infinity for your wider shots. I am going to be testing this one lens solution out in an upcoming project. 

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Thanks for reviving this thread!

I love some of the Coen movies (and have an overwhelming urge to go watch a clip of "Man of constant sorrow" on YouTube).

One thing that I would like to know if anyone uses (or wants to try) a camera in the middle/single camera, with a fast wide lens and a Sony camera and using clearzoom instead of camera movement?

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Yeah, there are a lot of awesome older threads on this forum, which sparkle an enthusiasm towards filmmaking that is totally motiviating to create and to film. What do you mean with your question, you mean a dolly in/out with digital zoom out/in?:)

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Yes, instead of dolly in/out use a fast prime with clearzoom (variable pretty much lossless digital zoom) in and out.

I have use it just mucking around but I can see it would actually be very useful and especially if you didn't have much room.

IE a fast wide angle prime close in and then zoomed in/out.

I am going to play around with it and see what lame shot I can come up with.

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On 2/29/2016 at 6:42 PM, IronFilm said:

I kinda wonder *why* they'd shoot a whole feature with only one prime lens?

I would guess because that's the look/perspective they wanted. 

Shooting at one focal length and moving around to get different frames makes the edit flow really really well. Can be limiting, but cutting together a scene shot with one lens is very seamless. 

Bottlerocket I think was shot almost entirely with the 27mm.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SmFDafzmklA&time_continue=138&ebc=ANyPxKoh07rN7RiODXTQ4Ij3itG2CGkFHeLIrVC7UwjQ2XZssJXaVuLRkVU4S2l5RYOgi6GtoXAfeoDEn2KbqhilIsWcjr2slg

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A lot of "Eyes Wide Shut" was shot with a set of Zeiss Superspeed T1.3 spherical lenses mostly with the 18mm.

Film stock was the "new" (!!!) 500 ASA Kodak allowing Kubrick to shoot at night using very little lighting equipment.

"We decided to shoot nearly all of the picture at a stop of T1.3,and since we were pushing everything we were able to create a wonderful warm glow.

We also used Tiffen LC-1 low contrast filter  for our night interior scenes."

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On 01/03/2016 at 4:07 AM, mercer said:

Once I've discovered 28mm and 35mm f2 lenses, I can see why someone may use only one lens. You can get tight for close ups with some nice depth, or pull back and focus to infinity for your wider shots. I am going to be testing this one lens solution out in an upcoming project. 

I love the 28 F2 on my Sony full frames for the same reasons. Bought it for astro related stuff as it's relatively cheap but use it mainly for events (particularly at night) when subjects are ever changing from intimate to afar. I say events, I mean riots and the like.

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