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Alissa Alexina

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About Alissa Alexina

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    Director
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    St. Petersburg

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  1. I love black and white cinematography so much, it's impossible to choose... just want to mention some today, in case I forget and return to this thread 20 years from now: La Dolce Vita (I had a wonderful opportunity this winter to watch it on a big screen, the experience was fantastic) 8 1/2 Casablanca The Maltese Falcon The Third Man These seem to be the most often mentioned, so here are some less common titles: Spellbound (1945) A Hard Day's Night (1964) Beauty and the Beast (1946) The Seventh Seal (1957) The Cranes Are Flying (1957) - a Russian masterpiece, Cannes Palme d'Or winner which I am not sure to watch again, so heart-rending. As most great films are.
  2. I think I can demonstrate the above comparison between HBM 1/8 and 1/4 🙂 The misty glow around light sources stays the same width, while the blurred edge glow doubles in thickness indeed:
  3. Thank you David! Learning from you has made a tremendous impact on my understanding of cinematography and filmmaking in general.
  4. For anyone interested in diffusion filters.. While on lockdown, we shot a simple practical test of using diffusion filters on budget anamorphic lenses (with 2 setups, modern and vintage). It is neither scientific nor perfect, should have been less enthusiastic about flares perhaps, yet it was fun and useful for our purposes. I think I have seen all filter tests on the internet, but could not find any on Double Fogs, for instance, even Tiffen does not have them, so.. Filters tested: Schneider Hollywood Black Magic 1/8 and 1/4 (subtle, sharp, good contrast, the best skin smoothing effect, beautiful halation) Tiffen GlimmerGlass 1/2 and 1 (also subtle and similar to HBM, even more beautiful halation – slightly wider and softer) Tiffen Double Fog 1/8 and 1/4 (strong effect, perfect for dream or fantasy sequences – the instant classic 70s Brian de Palma look 🙂 Tiffen Smoque 1 (much less glow, more atmosphere, can be super useful in situations when real haze is not allowed) Hoya Duto (I saw this weird highlight butterfly glint effect in classic 50s Doris Day movies, but the modern version looks way crazier) DIY net (black bridal veil) – nothing gives the 30s-40s look better than nets, veils or stockings. Requires about half-stop exposure compensation and opening the aperture to soften the focus on the pattern. Also, produces beautiful glints. I really must shoot something black-and-white with it, someday.
  5. Wow, doing practical slit-scan effects sounds crazy! Anyway, this discussion inspired me to make my own Superman-trubute-style video bumper (specifically striving to make it look less digital and imperfect for a vintage vibe):
  6. Satsuki, this is beautifully said! I agree. And even when trying to concentrate on cinematography, we always return to storytelling. Sometimes, it seems the world has ran out of simple timeless stories - I cannot tell what most modern films are about. Interestingly, the character of Joi was the one I cared about the most. She was the most human and the most real, thanks to the actress.
  7. I suddenly realized why 2049 felt so bland and forgettable to me. The 1982 Blade Runner is a wonderful, unique mix of cyberpunk and neo-noir, which makes it even more interesting than the book. Will rewatch it again and again. In the Villeneuve's film, the noir element is completely gone. Both visually and story-wise.
  8. I love detective stories, and enjoyed the film very much. Yedlin's experiments are impressive, I had to find every behind-the-scenes article (with lots of useful tips and photos).
  9. I saw Tess as a kid, rewatched yesterday, and now cannot stop thinking about it, and reading this fascinating discussion at 5 a.m. 🙂 The movie is a masterpiece on every level. It is not like just seeing beautiful images, but rather feeling slipping into this world, walking the muddy roads and breathing heavy fogs. It's magic. Besides other scenes already mentioned, I felt the most staggering effect from the sudden handheld camera (I believe) when Tess is changing shoes and walking to the church in the rain, and when she found the unread letter and was covered by a blinding light. The most powerful creative use of a lens flare, ever.
  10. After learning about Double Fog filters from David (thank you so much!), I got very interested in them, too! Could not find any video tests on modern cameras, either. Our 1/4 Double Fog arrived recently.. not possible to shoot a video at the moment, but we were able to shoot the moon timelapse from balcony, using a Sony a6300. The filter is very beautiful and effective at creating foggy atmosphere. Surprisingly, I found even the effect of such a low grade may be pretty strong for APS-C and M43 sensors. (Tiffen has the lowest 1/8 strength on backorder, we hope to get and test it when the situation becomes better...)
  11. I will. Watching it today for the first time, a Blue-Ray copy on a big monitor. (Not a fan of chick flicks at all, favourite directors being David Lynch, Scorsese and Hitchcock...) Sometimes you just need a little dose of lightness and optimism. No idea why so many complaints about the cinematography, I found it out of this world beautiful, with plenty of anamorphic goodness and cozy atmosphere. Wonderful diffusion and flares. Never seen so vibrant colours in my life - like glorious Technicolor, but more nuanced. Might look over the top to some, but I think such cinematography (and art direction) is perfectly suitable for the overall tone of the movie. Very enjoyable.
  12. In music videos, there is still a lot is digital post-processing, usually done in Resolve, Nuke or After Effects (even when not really needed). One of the most ridiculous recent examples is Till Lindemann's funny video Frau & Mann, in which all people look normal and only the lead actress has very obvious, plastic digital retouching:
  13. I have not seen all these films yet, but would give my personal Oscar to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The theatre experience was pure magic, so real and touching, almost like time travelling. Wonderful cinematography by Richardson, 35mm anamorphic widescreen, 16mm film, 8mm film... And what a story. I adore Sharon Tate, and I cried at the end. But it is much more, it's a painful dream of saving the dying Silver Age of cinema.
  14. I think it is not like one technique versus the other, the best approach would be to use both when needed. Diffusion filters are best for halation effects, while vintage lenses produce lower contrast and more artistic bokeh, giving a better background/foreground separation and a more three-dimensional look. On modern lenses, the bokeh often looks like a Gaussian blur filter, and on vintage lenses it is more painterly. Also, vintage lenses are inexpensive and can be very useful for us indie filmmakers. Even on a small sensor of the original Black Magic Pocket camera, the magic of Helios 44-2 is noticeable, especially when used with diopters:
  15. Thank you! The VFX work looks impressive. And really like Dedolights on medical stands:)
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