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James Steven Beverly

Grindhouse

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I have a co-worker who worked on several of Rodriguez films as steadicam operator and while he did not often work (ghost operator they called him) he was still credited as steadicam operator. I am to assume that Rodriguez did it himself but he still gave him credit.

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This illustrates the disdain that he seems to hold for properly qualified, experienced crew. What Director on their first Hollywood film, with a relatively decent budget and name actors, would decide that 1. Operating steadicam was a valuable use of their time, and 2. That they were in any way qualified to do so.

 

How many other steadicam ops get work on features after a two day course?

 

Rodriguez seems to be obsessed with self-aggrandisement.

 

Stanley Kubrick was something of a control freak as well, but he never tried to take credit for other people's work.

I don't think it's disdain, I just think he likes the idea of doing everything he can himself. Even if he's not doing all the operating, there's probably still some pride involved in doing it. Whether or not that pride involves giving himself a credit for it, that's his business. Especially if he also credits his other operators. It seems like he's interested in a rough look that comes from one guy doing everything, and that's what he's getting. Personally, I thought he was a better director and editor when he was trying to do less, but that's my problem.

 

And, didn't Stanley Kubrick try to take Dalton Trumbo's writing credit for Spartacus?

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It seems like he's interested in a rough look that comes from one guy doing everything, and that's what he's getting.

 

well,

 

"once upon a time in mexico" doesnt look rough to me at all...in fact its one of the best looking early HD films i can think of...

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It seems like he's interested in a rough look that comes from one guy doing everything, and that's what he's getting.

 

well,

 

"once upon a time in mexico" doesnt look rough to me at all...in fact its one of the best looking early HD films i can think of...

Interesting, because from what I understand that movie was shot by Sean Fairburn. Sean didn't tell me that, I've heard it from a few other people. But hey.....whatever. Who needs a credit for their hard work anyway?

 

I don't think it's disdain, I just think he likes the idea of doing everything he can himself.

It seems to me that he likes the idea of everyone THINKING that he's doing everything himself.

 

By the way, I finally saw the trailer for Grindhouse and to me it's laughable. It looks so bad and stupid I can't imagine anyone going to see it, although I'm sure people will. I guess it's suppossed to look bad, but really, what's the point?

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I guess it's suppossed to look bad, but really, what's the point?

 

if you like the genre, this movie promises to be an homage to it, in the same way Kill Bill was a tribute to some of Tarantino's favourite genres. I'm one of those who just can't wait to see it.

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Interesting, because from what I understand that movie was shot by Sean Fairburn. Sean didn't tell me that, I've heard it from a few other people. But hey.....whatever. Who needs a credit for their hard work anyway?

It seems to me that he likes the idea of everyone THINKING that he's doing everything himself.

 

 

Brad,

 

i dont get the tone of your words...i never said someone shouldnt be credited for their hard work. if that person really shot the movie he should have the guts to claim the credit or sue rodriguez. to me, it sounds more like an urban legend. i dont really believe its true...he would have to be a total arsehole to rip credidts off people

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Gosh

 

Brad is not rehashing an urban legend here, since in a previous post he specifically said that he knows the people involved in one of these Rodriguez shoots...

 

Some time ago Sean was asked on CML about the whole Rodriguez thing and he made it clear that he didn't want to go into any details. The suggestion was that he didn't have anything nice to say publicly about the man.

 

For what it's worth, any crew contract that I have ever signed stated clearly that the producers would decide on the title and the place of my credit and that I didn't have a say over it. If say you got hired as a gaffer by one of these director-dops and you end up doing most of the lighting for them, you are simply not going to get Dop credit for it.

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well,

 

im sure Brad knows what he is talking about, maybe i am being naive as i respect Rodriguez and his work very much...if this is really true, that respect i have for the man will change

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Maybe this would be better as a new thread, but since I found this one, here goes: I just saw this historic double feature tonight at the new beverly theater in LA, where Tarantino has programmed classic b-movie double features for all of march and april. the audience lined up starting early, and there was quite a scene on the sidewalk for hours in anticipation. for some reason the two founders of myspace had a little photo shoot with a little banksy stencil that just happened to be about ten people into the line. but I digress. by tix sales time at 9:30pm (11pm show) the line was around the block. on the way out I saw that people were still queued up, and a second three hour show had been added to start sometime after I left at 2:30am.

 

as for the films, I am will say a few things but I am also eager to hear other cinematographers perspective, and am bumping this thread in the hopes that many of you will see it and comment here.

 

the entire three hours contains not only the two features, rodriguez's Planet Terror and tarantino's Death Proof, but also several hilarious fictional(?) trailers for other b-movies. overall the cinematography was inventive, technically assured, and mastefully composited. of course they use lots of grain and dust kind of "dirty" effects on the "look" as you have seen in the trailer. this didn't bother me at all whereas the very repetitive and blunt air-brushed look of "300" was to me quite tiring and banal. here I think both films excel in inventive uses of framing and camera movement, and it appears that some great lenses were used, all the flares look pretty real. even if not, the overall effect is visceral and combines current post magic with some very classic iconography in lensing and camera placement. this is why these guys are making movies.

 

I enjoyed the b-film plots of both films, but I enjoyed tarantino's ironic use of Kurt Russell in Death Proof, and Zoe Bell (Xena stunt woman among her credits) really shines, as do all the girls. I'd really like to watch some behind the scenes to understand how much of this crazy action is in fact "real," there is clearly plenty of opportunity for greenscreen but the action is seamless. in fact I really don't consider myself a HUGE fan or particularly knowledgable about the classic b-movies that are referenced here, nor am I usually drawn toward horror or the current crop of teen (T&A) comedies. however Tarantino (and RR) have completely captivated me here; I will likely try to see it again, in the theater, and then again on DVD, just to begin to understand the depth of references and rythym of camera movement that these autuers have constructed. I use the controversial "a" word as I think it is appropriate, though I think all the multiple-credit nonsense is just that . . . why can't these guys respect the obviously very talented teams they are working with? whether it's "a film by" or just taking every other credit, it just gives me reason NOT to give the Director(s) the kudos due here. . . .

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It was the most fun I've had at the theatre in a LONG TIME

 

Just 3 hours of pure fun created by two directors who've really mastered their craft. I have to say, "Planet Terror" was a fantastic zombie flick with plenty of camp. And Tarantino's "Death Proof" was great as well. QT even took some time to poke a little fun at himself by revisiting some of the techniques and items he's known for..."Big Kahuna Burger" to name just one of them.

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I noticed in the credits that Tarantino dped for the first time. Just wondering if any of the cinematographers on the forum would like to give their professional opinions on how he did.

 

As for my humble review, I was really disappointed after anticipating this film for so long. Planet Terror was a complete bore for me, I couldn't wait till it finished. I wasn't crazy about Death Proof either, but I did enjoy it a little more. I loved the typical stellar dialogue written by Tarantino, and Kurt Russell stole the show with his performance. Oh, and a couple of the trailers made for a great laugh (kudos to Edgar Wright - dying to see Hot Fuzz).

 

I guess I'm just not a big fan of camp and ludicrisly over the top action. If thats your thing, you'll probably get a bigger kick out of this movie than I did.

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I noticed in the credits that Tarantino dped for the first time. Just wondering if any of the cinematographers on the forum would like to give their professional opinions on how he did.

Considering that their references were these cheap exploitation movies that don't look too good, the choice to dop themselves probably made sense.

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By the way, I finally saw the trailer for Grindhouse and to me it's laughable. It looks so bad and stupid I can't imagine anyone going to see it, although I'm sure people will. I guess it's suppossed to look bad, but really, what's the point?

 

I thought it was lame how they added things digitally like scratches and dust which most people try so hard not to get. Also the fact that both directors were also the cinematographers I found upsetting, just because I think directors if theyre directing should do just that, I would find it hard to block out actors and give screen directions while lighting and composing shots. Instead it's better for a director and cinematographer to work collaboratively, and work together at making the scene well acted out, and complimented by composition and lighting. No wonder most of the shots in both features were terribly thought out lighting wise, everything in the hospital was green and flat. Some of the lighting was really dramatic but it was hard to notice just because of how terrible the other shots were.

 

Directors taking over every job just takes the "collaborative artform" aspect of filmmaking. It's like a music composer who plays every instrument, it just doesnt work, and if it does it wont sound (or in this case look) good.

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Fear not, as of this weekend (opening weekend) the movie has bombed hugely (5 mill in opening day and estimate of 15mill for the weekend) and will go down as another bomb that cost 50+ million to make.. There's always DVD release.

 

As for Sean Fairburn, rather than talk about what he has or has not accomplished or who he likes and dislikes, why not ask him rather than created stories about who he is, and how he feels about the world wihtout the courtesy of having him here to respond. His email is Rolemodel@earthlink.net

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Interesting, because from what I understand that movie was shot by Sean Fairburn. Sean didn't tell me that, I've heard it from a few other people. But hey.....whatever. Who needs a credit for their hard work anyway?

 

 

That's weird. From my recollection, it was actually Guillermo Navarro that shot Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He isn't credited, but in the director's commentary Rodriguez mentions Navarro as the DP when he makes his cameo as a doctor. Then again, Rodriguez may have said "this is DP Guillermo Navarro" as opposed to "this is the DP of the film Guillermo Navarro" - I haven't heard it in awhile. Not sure if anyone else can confirm this...

Edited by Sean Azze

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That's weird. From my recollection, it was actually Guillermo Navarro that shot Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He isn't credited, but in the director's commentary Rodriguez mentions Navarro as the DP when he makes his cameo as a doctor. Then again, Rodriguez may have said "this is DP Guillermo Navarro" as opposed to "this is the DP of the film Guillermo Navarro" - I haven't heard it in awhile. Not sure if anyone else can confirm this...

 

 

Im pretty sure that Once Upon a Time in Mexico was "Shot and chopped" by Rodriquez. Im glad he made up for that crap with Planet Terror!

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I'm looking forward to seeing this movie, and it seems (judging by the clips) they captured the look of those old b-movies movies...

 

But it seems odd to use the Genesis digital camera to create a movie that is supposed to look like low-budget photography and printing of the 1970's. I heard that the fake trailers were shot on Super-16, and then they made a print and beat it up and then duped it... which makes more sense.

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I'm looking forward to seeing this movie, and it seems (judging by the clips) they captured the look of those old b-movies movies...

 

But it seems odd to use the Genesis digital camera to create a movie that is supposed to look like low-budget photography and printing of the 1970's. I heard that the fake trailers were shot on Super-16, and then they made a print and beat it up and then duped it... which makes more sense.

You're right in the sense that it does in fact look like those old double feature b-movies, and it's understandible they were going for that, though I think it's upsetting to people who try so hard to make quality films with what they have (being it an Arri S or what have you) when a HUGE production like this uses new HD cameras (and even I heard they used Millenium XLs, I'm not sure though) and on purpose makes it scratchy and dusty. Moreover, when I walked out of the theatre I overheard someone say "Im so glad everything is digital now so we dont have scratches and missing reels anymore".

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Grindhouse was great - up to a point.

 

First trailer, oh god loved it. Planet Terror, I thought was great although not my usual type of film. Ya I noticed it was digital but Rodriguez's use of the dust and specks, flares and fades out it just felt like art if you get what I meant. Very masterfully done especially with the "sex scene" then the missing reel. The camera work I really, really enjoyed.

 

The trailers, I loved each had their own look and were hilarious. I'm not fond of Eli Roth but his was hilarious.

 

So there I was so pumped for Death Proof, just the whole look and Kurt Russel but I was totally disappointed. It felt so long because the dialogue kept going and going - I don't want to get specific because I don't want to spoil things. People started to walk out and I was so close to, I really think it was Taratino playing a joke knowing people would stay waiting for something to happen. It wasn't a bad movie just it seemed no one else took it seriously but Taratino took it way too far. The camera work and general feel were good but I really think and always thought Rodriguez is the better director and more talented writer, but that's just me.

 

The best part is the china doll's various appearances for the end credits. Also, did anyone notice and think it was weird that there was never a hair in the gate and that also taratino's was too clean after watching the others? It annoyed me, usually these movies always got one appearance of a bad gate.

Edited by ryan_bennett

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The fake dust that I saw on the television commercials just demonstrated that RR, as successful as he has been, really doesn't get the technical side of the business. The dust elements in the commercials were way too white, way too bright, and way too sharp, which kind of defeats the purpose of doing it in the first place since it looked fake.

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I liked Death Proof much better than Planet Terror. I think Tarantion is probably a bigger fan of this genre and has a better grasp of it.

 

The direction, pacing and story development of Death Proof was better. I liked that their were minimal scratches and dirt. Print slices and jump cuts were controlled to keep them from being too annoyingly distracting to the story. The really bad lighting was really effective. I think Death Proofs use of the missing reel was highly effective and much better than PT.

 

So there I was so pumped for Death Proof, just the whole look and Kurt Russel but I was totally disappointed. It felt so long because the dialogue kept going and going

 

All of that talking was story and character development. Its a dying art.

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Rodriguez went digital, as usual, Tarantino used film.

Which is ironic becase he had more digitally added scratches and dust spots, I though El Mariachi shot on regular 16 on an Arri S looked better than the latest HD camera after what he did to the film.

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Stanley Kubrick was something of a control freak as well, but he never tried to take credit for other people's work.

 

Really? The visual effects Oscar for "2001: A Space Odyssey" was awarded solely to Kubrick despite others credited on the film as Visual Effects Supervisors.

 

Passage from my article "1968: A Roadshow Odyssey" ( http://www.in70mm.com/news/2004/2001/release.htm ):

 

In spring 1969, ?2001? was awarded its only Oscar. (The film received four nominations in total.) The Oscar, for Visual Effects, was awarded to producer/director/co-screenwriter Kubrick, who had also been credited as the film?s Special Photographic Effects Designer and Director. As a result of having the award given solely to Kubrick, some have felt that the contributions of the landmark film?s special photographic effects supervisors ? Wally Veevers, Douglas Trumbull, Con Pederson, Tom Howard ? and crew were overlooked by the Academy.

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All of that talking was story and character development. Its a dying art.

 

There's story and character development and there's just plain bogging the story down. I have a feeling that all that Jungle Julia stuff was used to trick us into thinking something else... like I said I don't want to spoil it for people but this is what I meant about him taking it just way too seriously and hurt the spin on the end with Stuntman Bob in my opinion.

 

The second group of girls that included Rosario Dawson had a take at the diner that lasted for what seemed forever, technically it was interesting but really, after awhile you wanted to see something happen. Which is great because thats exactly what he wanted but watching the whole thing at 3 hours and going to a 10:30pm show, after awhile you just can't take the constant talking, regardless of the quality. That's the amazing thing though, it was pretty good dialogue but it comes with a disadvantage. Dialogue isn't everything in the movie, here it actually makes it feel like it was two movies, not one.

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