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Best Cinematography I've Seen Recently


fuzzynormal

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Look, I'm kind of a gear slut like most of us here, but I think this movie I watched last night could've been shot with worthwhile results on any consumer grade camera released recently.

 

 

Give or take some IQ and DR between whatever camera used, sure, but even it was shot on an iPhone I think it would still be a viable visual success.

 

It succeeds, in my opinion, on mesmerizing visual creativity.  I was astounded by the disciplined cinematic compositional craft of the work.  

 

Sure, the technical tools used to realize that creativity are important, but I wonder if we place way too much emphasis on the tools vs. the creativity?  And, if by doing so, does that restrict growth as a filmmaker?

 

Is that not a fair question to contemplate?  Or is my existential mid-career-crisis musings better suited on some other blog that's isn't so tech-centric?  ...Or perhaps it is the best place?

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I would happily hang any of these frames on my wall to look at everyday. Every scene looks like a freaking painting!

EDIT: Just went through it fast, will definitely watch it when I have 80 minutes.

Note on image quality: No this could not have been shot on an iphone and it would look way inferior if it was, it would still be good, but not as good as this. The image quality is simply superb, the grain movement and texture in the low-key scenes, the way the highlights melt into the midtones, the way the shadows feel rich and strong, the resolution and motion, this is VERY high in terms of image quality and this adds termendously to the value of the film.

This is definitely shot on high-end 35mm film. I would be very surprised if any digital camera could produce this specific image aesthetic (not worse or better than digital, just different)

The choice of 4:3 aspect ratio is quite interesting, it empahsizes on the feeling I described earlier that each frame is a "painting" rather than a video image, that feeling is also reinforced by the fact that the camera doesn't move at all through the entire film, it's static, beautiful, and strong, like a painting.

The choice of black and white is also interesting, so is the odd framing of nearly all the shots. If you notice how he likes to fill the scenes with huge dead-spaces like a plain sky or a wall, which sends a chill down your spine for some reason!

Great find. This is the kind of work that inspires you, I will definitely experiment with static shots and odd framing and even 4:3 and black and white

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The choice of black and white is also interesting, so is the odd framing of nearly all the shots. If you notice how he likes to fill the scenes with huge dead-spaces like a plain sky or a wall, which sends a chill down your spine for some reason!

Great find. This is the kind of work that inspires you, I will definitely experiment with static shots and odd framing and even 4:3 and black and white

 

No kidding.  The craftsmanship of the images is incredible.  The use of negative space is really inspired.  The movements that enter and exit the frame are meticulous.

 

And I'm not here to say that image IQ from consumer gear would match than what they accomplished, just that the creative juice behind the framing would still be viable and impressive no matter what was used.

 

When you see the film you'll know what I'm talking about.  The static shots are extremely motivated static shots.  When they're not, they're not for a very deliberate reason that doesn't just relay the story, it absolutely defines it.  How many movies really truly do that?  The framing is not odd at all when in the context of the narrative.  

 

What the visual vocabulary does in that film is really cool.  It's aided by good imaging technology (whatever it was) but not carried by it.  Even with less DR and IQ the film would still work, the compositions are that good.

 

So, it makes me consider that I've been focusing my energy way too much on the tech recently--and the cinematography in this film kind of expose what I think has been the folly of that approach

 

(these thoughts are just my hangups and frustrations at the moment, your mileage may vary) 

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Excellent shots indeed. 

 

This is slightly irrelevant - I'm impressed by the resolution of this youtube video. It looks like real 1080p resolution, no image degradation or compression loss. I've uploaded a few Magic Lantern videos like this that have great color and resolution on my station but the encoded youtube video looks like 720p resolution or H264 compared to this. 

 

What codec or settings should you use to get this level of quality on youtube? Without sending a 4K file

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  • 3 years later...
32 minutes ago, Stefan Antonescu said:

I can't see the link... Fuzzy, could you repost it ?

Maybe ask the Egyptian dentist that responded to my OP ;-)

Yeah, this was from years ago, but it's the Polish movie "Ida."

Coincidental that this should surface again as I'm the DP on a S16 film shoot later this month and we're going to do static shots pretty much the whole way.

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2 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

Maybe ask the Egyptian dentist that responded to my OP ;-)

Yeah, this was from years ago, but it's the Polish movie "Ida."

Coincidental that this should surface again as I'm the DP on a S16 film shoot later this month and we're going to do static shots pretty much the whole way.

Ah, I remember that movie. Only saw it once, but man, had it great compositions.

57 minutes ago, TwoScoops said:

 

This is it. I remember when it came out there was talk about the unusual composition used, like all the headroom, etc. 

 

 

Thanks. It was a great movie.

I love static shots and that movie made me realize that it wasn't old fashioned by any means.

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