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Ravi Kiran

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Everything posted by Ravi Kiran

  1. You could use spherical lenses that breathe and have barrel distortion, and even fake anamorphic flares with fishing line, but I can't imagine a way to fake the stretched bokeh, which, to me, is the biggest tell of anamorphic lenses.
  2. "Anima" is a short film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring and featuring the music of Thom Yorke, and shot by Darius Khondji. It's currently on Netflix, and it had some IMAX screenings last night. I saw it in IMAX at AMC Citywalk. It's a lovely film, with great dance choreography, and of course, Khondji's cinematography is top notch. It was shot in VistaVision and on the Alexa 65. I highly recommend it.
  3. https://www.kodak.com/motion/Blog/Blog_Post/?contentId=4295008512 Dan Mindel on the budgeting for "The Cloverfield Paradox" “We priced the production for digital versus analog film, and the Paramount executives were convinced it was going to be cheaper for us to shoot it digitally. We estimated that we would shoot between 10 to 15,000 ft of 35mm per day. The overall figure for shooting on film actually came out $150,000 cheaper than digital. This was in part due to the fact that film cameras and film lenses are a fraction of the cost of the digital equivalents, which are rented at top dollar. Additionally, with film you don’t have the expense of a DIT or data storage on set. It was a really good exercise in economics and demonstrated that film production can be perfectly reasonable financially.”
  4. Directed by Bi Gan Directors of Photography: Hung-i Yao, David Chizallet, Jinsong Dong The second half of "Long Day's Journey into Night" is an hour-long single-take shot in 3D (post-converted). The movie has a hypnotic and dreamlike feel, and want to see it again. See it in 3D if you can. This article goes into some detail about the making of that shot.
  5. I'm currently working (on the post side) on vertical video for mobile consumption, and while the 9x16 frame is not my favorite compositionally, it works fine for the kind of content we produce and for it's intended destination. The cameras are turned 90 degrees, so everything's shot natively for the format, rather than extracting it from 16x9. I'm against cropping wide footage to vertical dimensions, but I see nothing wrong with native vertical content. Where things get dicey is repurposing wider footage for a vertical frame, or trying to compose for both at the same time during production.
  6. Vertical video is a burgeoning format, with companies like Snapchat producing native vertical video content. It makes sense, since that's how we hold our phones the vast majority of the time.
  7. Do you think DI and digital projection have made 16mm look better on the big screen? I don't recall seeing any 16 to 35mm blow-ups, so I don't know what they generally looked like.
  8. "The Old Man and the Gun" was shot on 16mm because the director thought it looked more obviously like film than 35mm, which can be pretty sharp and not THAT far off from digital, depending on how it's shot. https://nofilmschool.com/2018/09/david-lowery-directing-old-man-gun I think what I'm looking for is something that does feel warm, handmade, like a blanket or a quilt. One of the ways to do that is to make sure that the film itself has a very intimate texture to it, a handmade texture. A great way to achieve that is to shoot on film, because it's got that warmth to it. It's got that life to it, that organic quality. Now when you shoot on 35mm these days, the shots are so refined that its very easy to forget that you're looking at film on a conscious level. On a subconscious level, I do believe that you're always somewhat aware of it, but it's still closer to HD than it used to be, whereas 16mm stock now looks the way 35mm did in the 60s and 70s. It made sense to shoot on Super 16mm to use as little resolution as possible so that grain really was an omnipresent factor in the aesthetic of the movie itself. It's part of the image that you're never going to get away from. That gives it that really lived-in, beautiful handmade quality that I'm always after in one way or another.
  9. The studios are chasing the $1 billion hits and building franchises, and to get those they have to spend at least $100-200 million per film (on production alone). They seem to be okay with the possibility of colossal flops if it means there's a chance they could get that $1 billion film. I guess making more modest profits on many smaller films, each with smaller potential losses if they don't succeed, is less sexy.
  10. I'd be surprised if theaters went out of business. Even if you have a 4KTV and a surround sound at home, you still don't have a TV or sound system like a movie theater. And you might not want to wait to see the latest Marvel film streaming or on Blu-Ray. And there's a social experience to leaving the house and seeing a movie, even if you're not talking with other people in the audience. I think even people who aren't in the film industry or aren't film buffs get something out of the theater experience. But maybe I'm out of touch and people fine watching movies on their TVs and iPads :unsure: I love going to the movies. It's a chance to leave the house and transport myself into another world for a few hours. I don't always want to wait to see something at home. But I'm speaking as a single person who doesn't have a family to consider when spending money and time. Going to the theater with a family can be expensive and inconvenient.
  11. What do they do with these de-tuned lenses after the shoots are done? Are they restored to their default characteristics?
  12. Any aspiring filmmaker has likely already seen a ton of films, with the images from many of them burned into their memories. When they're starting to make films they might be unconsciously copying certain things from their favorite films. That's common in any field. Music, painting, etc. Developing a unique style takes time, and builds on previous work anyways. It's not built in a vacuum, and there's nothing wrong with watching films for inspiration. It's rare that any filmmaker of note has no discernable creative lineage. "Citizen Kane" has been a major touchstone film for a long time, and I absolutely think it's still worth studying. Perhaps in in a few years or a few decades another film will become the "Citizen Kane" of it's time.
  13. I don't know if it happens often, but it has happened. Paul Schrader Cinematographer Asks: Who Killed The Color? (Guest Column) by Gabriel Kosuth I’m writing because I’ve just seen a movie, “The Dying of the Light,” with pictures I don’t recognize, although the credits say I’m the director of photography. The film we shot had images with strong, violent colors and was dark. This one is not. A minor thing for some, of crucial importance for others. I’m writing therefore in the name of those for whom the sudden disappearance of even a single tiny element from a picture is the end of the world, because they (perhaps stupidly) think that the image in which they invested blood and tears has been destroyed. In my case, I was denied the possibility to accomplish in post-production what is any cinematographer’s duty: “assuring that what audiences will see on cinema and television screens faithfully reflects the “look” intended by the director” (according to the American Cinematographer Manual). I have to say that this is the only version of “The Dying of the Light” I’ve seen and to which I can relate Paul Schrader's intentions as they were expressed during pre-production and shooting. Regarding the issue of a possible “director’s cut,” and the non-disparagement agreement that (according to the press) prevents Paul from talking about it, I can only express my stupefaction at such a Kafkaesque situation. Seen from my country, Romania, it is hard to understand how a contract may contain language in conflict with the sacred First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Paul Schrader wanted color to play an unusual, extremely important role in the visual style of his movie. An Expressionistic approach where color doesn’t just represent moods and feelings, but meanings and symbols. This is why he insisted that color should be embedded in the very fiber of the image — using filters on lenses and colored lights — so that we were not merely catching colors on film, but truly sculpting the picture with color. The moment you try to “re-paint” or modify such a thing, it is supposed to crash to pieces. And this is what has happened to “The Dying of the Light” — an unpleasant and tragic demonstration of the limits to the so-called wonders of digital post-production. By surgically eliminating the expressionistic color from the image — the pasty yellow-green of the African scenes, the dense sepia-chocolate of the American ones, and the bluish-green from the European ones — an unknown author has offered the public not only a crippled caricature of everything, but a collection of images deprived of soul, emotion and significance. The result is that an unconscious feel of inartistic simplicity and amateurism pervades things you would not normally connect with color. As pretentious as it may sound, the reality is that color affects not only the perception of the artist’s world on screen, but the perception of an actor’s performance too: eyes, skin, make-up, hair, come to us in an “intended” emotional color. (For those who don’t believe, try watching “Apocalypse Now” in black-and-white.) The unbalancing of a well thought “color formula” has the effect of mutilating not only atmosphere, composition, and centers of interest in the frame, but also detailed production design, costume and make-up concepts all based on that original formula. I’m writing this letter because I’m trying to understand why would someone deliberately ruin such a visual expression. Just because it’s possible? By pushing some magical buttons at a console, or because of some kind of aesthetic Daltonism? Why would someone damage something achieved with unknown effort and sleepless nights? Just because there are people today who cannot take a human activity called artistic creation seriously? In the absence of a logical answer I can only make suppositions. I imagine there was someone at the production or distribution company who was suddenly struck by the thought that too much color is equivalent to too much art. “Art” being something traditionally understood by only a few, this person thought you cannot sell such a thing to too many people (ticket buyers). So he or she proposed to get rid of the art by getting rid of the color. Making things look “normal” seemed, for this person, a normal way of thinking. The unanticipated effect of killing the color — a Hiroshima-like image landscape — was determined by the fact that the color was not in the objects, but in the light. With the color died the light itself. I am always reminded in this kind of situations — regrettably frequent nowadays — that you have the right to re-paint a precious painting bought with your money. Why not repaint a Picasso if you own it? After all, it’s yours. I agree, but this sort of thing will make the artist (wherever he is) very sad. And he may well ask: Why ?
  14. Because it looks amazing. Why can't a narrative be a visual feast? There's no rule that certain formats should or shouldn't be used for certain kinds of films.
  15. The UHD versions of his films were sourced from the IPs, and I bet the 35mm films would look better in that format if they scanned the negs and digitally graded them to match the IPs instead. It seems that in his insistence on staying in the photochemical realm as long as possible he's actually compromising image quality, depending on the exhibition format.
  16. The only benefits I see are that a deeper depth-of-field and maybe getting certain shots in tight spaces are easier to achieve on an iPhone. But other than that there doesn't seem to be an aesthetic, budgetary, or logistical justification for shooting this on an iPhone instead of a proper camera. Perhaps Soderbergh did to see if he could do it, and what the results would look like.
  17. How was the DCP for this created? The normal DI method of scanning the OCN, or from a scan of an IP?
  18. This is a photo of the 65mm negative (from here), which shows it was exposed full width, with no in-camera matting.
  19. http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/phantom-thread-70mm-screening-grainy-35mm-blow-up-1201910595/ Why the ‘Phantom Thread’ 70mm Screenings Are a Unique Experiment That Could Look Significantly Different How will the film's grainy 35mm images look blown up to a much larger format? Paul Thomas Anderson's experiment with film projection continues apace. Chris O'Falt Dec 23, 2017 11:00 am Starting on Christmas Day in New York and Los Angeles, followed by four other cities on January 12, Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film “Phantom Thread” will have special 70mm screenings in select theaters. It’s a rare treat anytime a print gets projected in 2017, while the special 70mm screenings of films like “Hateful 8” and “Dunkirk” have become must-see cinephile events that showcase the incredible detail that comes from working in larger format celluloid. Anderson’s “The Master” was a perfect example. Since it was shot on 70mm, seeing the vividness of the image projected in 70mm heightened the power of the hallucinatory imagery as Joaquin Phoenix’s wayward soul falls under the spell of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s guru. However, “Phantom Thread” is a different kind of movie — and its 70mm release will be instructive — even to Anderson’s lighting and camera crew – in terms of seeing what the film looks like in 70mm. Shot in 35mm, it was Anderson’s original intention to shoot the film so that he got a particularly fine grain image that he could easily blow up to 70mm. To get a “clean” or “grainless” image requires a great deal of light, something Anderson quickly realized would be impossible in his small, cramped and antique locations on “Phantom Thread.” Not only were large incandescent lights an impossibility, lighting the locations in general was enormous pain as the restrictions on the historical landmarks prevented him even from being able to control the light coming through the windows into Woodcock’s house (the main location). More over, as IndieWire reported earlier this week, Anderson eventually reversed course and decided that he wanted the exact opposite – realizing that texture and grain would be what gave his film its unique period feel. The filmmaker, obsessed with making sure the film didn’t have the period polish and beauty of “The Crown,” spent months of prep doing tests figuring out how exactly he would “push” the film stock and pull more grain out of the image in the development process. The entire lighting design revolved around creating a more “dirty” image and often used filters and fill light to cut down the contrast and create less ornate, sculpted-looking photography. It’s an effective combination that perfectly matches what Anderson was reaching for in “Phantom Thread,” but it’s unprecedent for an intimate drama of this type to be blown up to 70mm. The nearest parallel would be Ed Lachman and Todd Haynes’ personal print of “Carol” – shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm — something that was certainly common in the ’60s through the ’90s in independent film. To that end, it seems all but certain that the 70mm transfer and projection of “Phantom Thread” will heighten the images’ intentional imperfections, but will that also have an impact on Anderson’s intentions with his cinematography? What’s notable here is the reason Anderson needed to push the stock, similar to what Lachman does when he shoots 35mm, and why today so many filmmakers are now reaching for 16mm: It’s because of how grainless Kodak 35mm stocks have become. In a digital age, the Kodak stock has gotten “too good” – too clean, too grainless – for filmmakers who specifically are reaching for the organic texture of film versus the video sharpness. For these filmmakers, 16mm is an great option to use on an intimate film like “Mother” or “Carol,” but it’s too small a format – lacking detail in wide shots – for a film with scope and landscape like “Mudbound,” which tested 16mm, but went in a different direction. While Anderson’s films have gotten increasingly intimate and smaller in scope, he is also filmmaker who craves detail and depth in his images, so 16mm would likely never be a viable option for him. What’ll be interesting to see with “Phantom Thread,” is if 35mm blown up to 70mm mirrors to some degree the blow up from 16mm to 35mm, which creates this almost hyper-grain look. Will Anderson have that sharpness of detail, but also get an extra layer of “dirtiness” which is the foundation of the film’s period look? With PTA, two things are certain: He’s obsessed with the texture and quality of his images, and he loves to experiment to find new ways of getting there. The “Phantom Thread” release plan is yet another experiment, and anyone lucky enough to catch a 70mm screening will get to examine the results for themselves.
  20. In the early days of DI when movies were still mostly projected from film, were the print stocks a consideration in the DI suite?
  21. The DVDs and Blu-Rays you say look filmic are digitally graded, even though the 35mm prints were photochemically finished. That means that if a digital transfer looks a certain way it is because of specific creative decisions, not inherently because of the tools.
  22. I don't see audiences getting tired of Star Wars, Marvel, and DC any time soon, but some of the other tentpole attempts (Valerian, Geostorm) haven't done well.
  23. Because the studios want billion-dollar hits, and those are usually the very expensive films. Sure, it makes more sense to make smaller films that are almost guaranteed to make a profit (or at least to not lose much money) but they're willing to risk making giant flops if it means they have a chance of knocking it out of the park.
  24. "The Florida Project" is the latest film from Sean Baker ("Tangerine"). Shot by Alexis Zabe, mostly on 35mm anamorphic Panavision E-Series lenses, with night scenes shot on the Alexa Mini. A couple of shots at the very end were shot on the iPhone. A lot of shots are behind the child actors, following them as they roam around, which gives us a sense of where we're going. Zabe wonderfully captures the feel of the locations. The pastel purple exterior of the Magic Castle, the dreary, crowded hotel rooms, the loud tourist trap strip mall buildings and signs. And the film is wonderful. http://www.indiewire.com/2017/10/the-florida-project-sean-baker-cinematography-disney-world-1201884543/ 'The Florida Project': Inside Sean Baker's 'Magic Castle' Set on the Fringe of Disney World Sean Baker and cinematographer Alexis Zabe capture the far side of Disney paradise in Orlando with an ice cream look. Bill Desowitz Oct 9, 2017 5:25 pm With “The Florida Project,” director Sean Baker (“Tangerine”) and Mexican cinematographer Alexis Zabe (“Silent Light”) turned a unique coming-of-age movie about kids living on the fringe of Orlando’s Disney World into “blueberry ice cream with a sour twist.” The movie is a freewheeling “pop verité” of broken dreams built around a cast of mostly non-professionals, and set in a makeshift purple motel appropriately called “The Magic Castle.” But it’s the push-pull between rambunctious six-year-old newcomer Brooklynn Prince and tenderhearted hotel manager Willem Dafoe that propels the drama. Pop Goes the Verité And 35mm anamorphic film was the perfect choice to evoke the soft, creamy, imperfect aesthetic Baker was after. “There are fewer and fewer opportunities to work on 35 and I really treasure it,” said Zabe, who shot with the Panavision Millennium xl2 and old E series lenses. “It changes the whole dynamic on set and it plays better because of the moving grain and the mechanics of the camera. And when I talked to Sean about the mindset of the movie, we wanted to see the world as [the kids] see it. The metaphor was ice cream and colors and textures were surprising.” Baker and Zabe talked about Italian neo-realism and the French new wave and the need for flexibility. But first they made a fashion short for Kenzo together, “Snowbird,” shot on the iPhone in several trailer homes in the California desert community of Slab City. It served as a great tune-up for “The Florida Project.” It was important for Prince and her rag-tag gang to be free to roam the motel and use their creativity and curiosity. And Zabe kept the camera closer to the ground to maintain their points of view and shot the maximum 10-minute takes. “It was a fluid process that was workshopped and the script evolved as we shot,” Zabe said. “Sean explained to the kids that there were some definite lines they had to learn, but they were free to come up with their own dialogue. But if they rambled too long, he would remind them to channel back to where they needed to be. But they were really being themselves. It’s kind of a documentary.” However, they shot night scenes digitally using the Alexa Mini. That was an interesting process, too, on location using available light. “After testing 35, we found it was way too gritty,” said Zabe. “Once we were out there at night, it became a really dark fairy tale, so we tested digital output to film and captured more of that ice creamy feel. But we kept it underexposed to retain some of the grittiness.” Changing for Adults Shooting scenes with adults, meanwhile, altered the visual language. They were done at a higher, more objective angle. Several of these moments involved Instagram sensation Bria Vinaite, who plays Prince’s unemployed mom, and Defoe, preoccupied with fixing the motel and collecting the rent, but becoming a reluctant father figure to Prince to keep her in line. “There’s a memorable argument between them that ends with a not so nice surprise on the lobby window,” Zabe said. “That was a great exercise in rhythm and blocking because we originally did it as a one-shot all the way at the top of her room and then walking down to the lobby. I think in the final version there was one cut in the middle to make it a little bit more compressed. It was great how they worked together, with Bria being a first-time, but pretty much being a natural at it, and Willem, who had a beautiful relationship with all the non-actors.” There were many happy accidents, but the most memorable was capturing a rainbow. “Originally, the rainbow scene was set in a field,” said Zabe. But one day we were shooting something in the motel parking lot and we had storm clouds come in. Quite often we had to stop shooting because of thunder and lightning. And after a thunderstorm, the clouds opened up and we had a rainbow there. We set it up quickly with the kids, shot it quickly, and then did the reverse angle.” Rainbow ice cream for the kids and the end to a perfect pop verité day.
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