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Jon O'Brien

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Brisbane, Australia

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  • Website URL
    filmreelpictures.com.au

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  1. As the technology gets glitzier and more amazing the film industry shouldn't get ruffled by it. In fact, it might be wise to start walking in the opposite direction. You might get more notice. Don't bother trying to turn cinema into some kind of gaming/cinema/VR blend. It won't work. Gamers will always prefer their games and their VR; and you will lose audiences for traditional cinema. Cinema is what it is. A lot of people think it is evolving. It's not. It will die away if it does that. Because it won't be cinema anymore.
  2. I also feel a lot of people are bored with what Hollywood churns out now.
  3. As someone above mentioned, what's happening is the same thing that happened to music hall, orchestras and stage plays. They're still around, and in certain circles they can still be a big deal, but they don't enjoy quite their former importance. In Australia at least a lot of young people are still very much into cinema. I don't think the future is IMAX. I think the future of cinema is garden variety, old-style smallish/average size-screen movies on DCP or if you're lucky 35 or occasionally 70 mm prints. All the other alternatives are too expensive. If you can't see a movie for about 15 bucks or whatever it's not going to work financially. Not enough people are going to care about a huge screen and expensive tickets. Story will continue to sell movies ... not whopping great big screens. I don't care for IMAX myself. I like a normal, average size screen, just the normal cinema experience, nothing flash, and a good story/good movie. I do happen to like things like the screen curtain rolling back, and a pianist or organist playing at the start, and things like that. I like the traditional cinema experience. And you know what, I think a lot of other people do too.
  4. I think traditional cinema will survive. Less people might choose to study it at film schools and things like that, but it just means the industry is contracting a bit. Gaming and what not is expanding. In my opinion really great movies will still be made, and audiences will still love them and pay money for them.
  5. I feel you are right, just talking about some of the absolute drivel that is being made just now. However, as Darth Vader might say, .... I sense something ..... ... an opportunity .... (people still want entertainment, good stuff. Believe me)
  6. Wow! It looks beautiful. Can't praise the look of this highly enough. Film is fantastic.
  7. In the dim and distant future, if what we call civilization continues its stately course through history a while longer ... and when all the Arris and Aatons and so on are long worn out ... those who want to shoot film might have to go back to wooden boxes with individually 'hand-crafted' (on a metal-working lathe) cogs and wheels and associated mechanism. Just like filmmakers did at the dawn of the age of cinema. Okay, so the registration mightn't be so crash hot. But those old cameras worked pretty well. They got the job done. I like a tiny bit of gate weave.
  8. I wonder if computer-guided milling machines might get better and better, to the point where spare parts for these old Arris could be remade at the correct tolerances and at an affordable price. The mirrors could be a problem. Still, perhaps there is a solution to this problem too. I suspect that film will survive for the foreseeable future.
  9. No doubt with the scanning/digital improvements that we now have, Super 8 would look much better today if used for television than it did in the 1980s.
  10. There was a regular television program in the 1980s, 'The Leyland Brothers', originally shot on 16mm, that eventually made the change to Super 8. I'm sure some of the Australian contributors here remember it. It was a documentary travel show featuring outback locations. I'm not sure it ran for all that long as a Super 8 show. Perhaps a year or less. The image was okay on the lower definition televisions of those days, a bit fuzzy at times though, but the sound wasn't as good as it had been with 16mm. Mike and Mal Leyland turned to Super 8 as a cost-cutting measure. It was a quaint and old-fashioned show. I remember thinking at the time that maybe they should have stuck with 16mm.
  11. Saw an ad on tv last night where a few shots were taken with Super 8. This is the second time in the last year or so that I've seen an ad with a similar use of film. It looks so good.
  12. In my humble opinion the look of this pic in the trailer at least doesn't suit a western. Too plastic, video-y and flat. A gritty look would be better. Would have looked cool if shot on Super 16 or 2-perf.
  13. I've noticed that some in the stills world can concentrate on technical aspects of image that in the cine world could be considered overly fine and rarefied details of image science that few have the luxury to contemplate or study in-depth. After all, the individual pictures flick by at the rate of 24 or more per second. There's much to be done and considered and only so much time to give to the niceties of the single image. I'd say in motion pictures we tend to go with what 'just looks good' and if that means a simple colour science and a simple means of acquiring the end result then that's the way it just is. If I'm way out of line that's fine, just tell me. But I was struck with this thought while reading this thread.
  14. That's good that you have these preferences. I started out not liking the imperfections of Super 8. I still get frustrated by the look of it but will gladly shoot it if someone wants me to. What I like is 16mm 'and above'. When shooting digital I'm trying for a look closest to 35mm film or thereabouts. It's just a look I really like. There's room for all sorts of different looks in filmmaking. The main thing is do what inspires you. If that means very high resolution and absolute steadiness of frame then go for it. I do like the odd static shot where the camera doesn't move at all. I also appreciate Spielberg's moving camera. There's a shot in Jaws I remember, on a pier, where Spielberg got the camera to move the whole way during a walking conversation. It really stood out that he obviously wanted such a long, flowing, mobile shot. Or the camera operator asked to do the shot that way.
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