Jump to content

Nick Morr

Basic Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Occupation
  • Location
    Los Angeles

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Recent Profile Visitors

1477 profile views
  1. @James Drake Good find! Which video is this? This is possibly the most mimicked tableau from art history by cinematographers. Storaro is apparently so obsessed with this composition that its frame dimensions influenced his 2:1 Univisium format.
  2. @Juan Esparza I make my cinematography students do this as an exercise. All that was mentioned above I think is the best way to replicate the feeling of paintings. Focus on composition, perspective (where you're placing the camera in terms of height and angle as well as lens choice are huge), mise-en-scène, light quality/directionality, contrast, and color. There are many examples of this being done in cinema and some mimic the source material better than others, the rest are far more interpretive but no less interesting. This slideshow doesn't make a lot of sense with out me lecturing along with the slides (my notes are not included), but if you scroll down to slide 18 you can see a bunch of side-by-sides I've compiled that compare paintings with their filmic analogues for inspiration: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cFvjVR3EqRwRVFU-kygak4QlBc2vfxWPlW6rbXh7100/edit?usp=sharing Personally, I really love Akira Kurosawa's copy of Van Gogh's "Wheatfields with Crows" in Dreams and the snap from Andrey Zvyaginstev's The Return (which is a fine film if you haven't seen it) after Andrea Mantegna's "Lamentation of Christ". Please post your recreations when you're finished! Nick
  3. @Khaled F. Abdullah this is really nice work and you did a lot with very little. I think you could be proud of it even if you'd studied cinematography or practiced it professionally for a while. There is a lot mystery in play in this film so I can't be totally sure, but your photography seems to serve the creepy story as far as I can tell, which is the main goal of any cinematographer worth their salt. Your compositions were well considered, you cultivated a high style and kept it consistent through use of light and shadow (and costuming, production design, make-up, and editing) and you motivate your camera movement for the most part. As the writer-director, you're in control of what the audience knows and when they know it. You seem to have a command of that. While I think there are certainly wrong ways to shoot some things, there is no one right way. So, it's kind of impossible and maybe inappropriate for any of us to tell you that this is wrong or that is right (though I am sure some on here will try!). You have to decide as the director what choices suit your overall aesthetic sensibilities best and what is right for each specific project. If you work with a DP, they will help achieve that if you can learn to communicate to them what you're looking for visually as well as explain the story you want to tell and why you want to tell it. Doing the work you're doing here will help a ton. I understand you shot this yourself out of necessity, but all in all, I think this is a great exercise and is something every director should do once or twice, whether or not they want to keep shooting their own projects in the future. Conveying feeling and meaning through pictures is what cinema is, so knowing where you're coming from in terms of visual storytelling is half the battle in directing compelling films. I teach cinematography and production, so I do critiques like this all day, everyday. This is frankly more visually unified than most undergraduate projects, even those photographed by cinematography majors. I try and encourage students who are just learning to focus on individual, meaningful compositions versus getting "coverage", as well as only moving the camera if they can explain why they did. These were clearly the rules you set-out for yourself here. Your camera moves are few and far between and I think I can sort out the motivation for each. If one thing jumped-out at me as seeming like it didn't totally fit and kind of pulled me out of the film--a tell-tale sign that something isn't quite working--was the exchange between Sara and the golem/monster thing. I like the crosscutting looks into the camera (creepy), but the shaky handholding on a long lens was a little much and kind of drew too much attention to the camera (and operator) and looked a lot more amateurish than the rest of the film. I think the jump scare at the end would have been more affecting if you'd employed the same stillness that you keep throughout the film right until the last moment. Beyond that conceptual concern, handholding here also creates a couple technical problems. The shakiness contributes to soft focus on Sara's eyes a critical moment (she sheds an actual tear out of fear that is unfortunately soft!) and it also adds a weird jello wobble on the golem's face that is caused by the BMPCC rolling shutter which cheapens the look, as you won't have that extreme warping on a proper digital cinema camera or motion picture film. To conclude: Good job! You're doing the right thing. On a no-budget short that you're doing with friends, you have the luxury and responsibility to take the time to consider every frame, to consider all the subtext of your script and experiment with the best ways to convey these ideas through photography and performance, and finally to consider how it will all cut together. Do all this now and one day if you're just trying to make the day on break-neck series television, picking compelling shots that serve the story will become second nature. Nick
  4. Michael LaVoie, Lately I've been alienating people that would totally work for by quoting them a little too high or just relaying to them rates I've gotten recently for similar work. I don't know what to tell them! I'd much rather make a few hundred bucks less than cruise the cinematography.com boards on constant days off! Not sure how to deal with that. I don't wanna get paid a shitty rate, but I also don't want to be dishonest about what I'm making usually because a.) I don't want to take a step back and b.) lying is bad and that would be a bizarre lie even if it wasn't. Do you let them throw out a number first? Nick
  5. It looks curiously like an exposure needle from a light meter. But it wouldn't have been photographed. Is it on the negative? Or could it have been in the transfer? At any rate, sorry about your mark ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  6. Thanks, Richard. Sound advice. So you're suggesting I delete this post, perk-up, and get on with it? Nick
  7. David Mullen, Thanks for that! The length of these shoots I'm doing is definitely a big issue. It's usually 1-3 days. They pay pretty okay, but not enough to live on. I know to some--like yourself--who struggled for a decade or more, it may seem like I'm whining or throwing my hands-up too soon, but the situation feels dire everyday I am not working. Thanks again for your speedy response. Nick
  8. Hi, I've been chipping away at a career as a DP for about 6 years, moving away from ACing (was never one for that kind of wholly technical job) and giving it the real (full-time) college try about 2 years ago. I am having a very difficult time making ends-meet. Most of my friends seem to be doing much better, working with real budgets, and are progressing very quickly. (I can't help but notice they all have a leg-up in that they've been afforded the opportunity to take career-furthering risks that as a man on the brink of financial ruin, I cannot take). I seem to string together just enough gigs to keep the lights on and not starve to death, just when I think it's time to hang-up my boots and start working construction again, I get some goofy gig or a meager check trickles in to keep me afloat and just faithful enough. I am also dealing with several mickey mouse clients whose work as been pushed or evaporated altogether (to the tune of about $10,000) this summer. I've collected one sorry kill fee of $100 in this time of struggle. I suppose the question I'm posing is: how do I dig myself out of this rut and get to the level where some of you are? Where you're in the very least not constantly anxious about impending financial calamity. I have most of the boxes ticked I should think: passionate, creative, confident that I am a good cameraman, personable, earnest, & intelligent, yet I cannot seem to crack the code. This isn't meant to solicit pity. I need to figure how to sustain this career, 'though I'll probably continue to plug away regardless. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life! Any advice is appreciated. I've been doing mostly corporate/internal corporate videos and commercials in offices and on white cycs/green screens that I'm not allowed to share, but if you wanna dig a small sample of my work check out the sparse nickmorr.com Long-winded, hey? Thanks! Nick
  • Create New...