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Tim Terner

Doyle, Genious or Nutcase

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I think that a cinematographer should decide whether he is a businessman or an artist and give up on the ideal that he can serve 2 masters.

 

Hi,

 

In that case I would have never shot a day of digital, not that shooting any gave me anything other than money. Having learnt that lesson arround 7 years ago I now earn more money & create more artistic images using film. I would seem to have both business & artistic skills, I am not the only one here.

 

Stephen

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I do not think that there are any hard fast rules for the philosophy but rather it is in the heart of the cinematographer to decide. For example when concerning digtal technology I think that it would be possible for a true artist to embrace digital technology however if one were really a true artist there would most likely be an insistance that this great or not so great artistic work should only be delivered in a high definition format such as Blu-Ray because the artist would not want his work to be denigrated especially because it is digital and needs every advantage possible to have satisfactory results. However this approach would be disastorous from a business perspective as the majority of consumers do not have Blu-Ray players and the bulk of the sales and profits would be from the DVD release. An artist who looks for a solution may choose a hybrid release where one side of the disc is in standard definition while the otherside is Blu-Ray but even this approach would reduce profits because the price would have to be lowered to that of a standard DVD in order to encourage sales.

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Oh, here we go again with this ludicrous digital vs film debate!

 

I find it silly to even come close to implying that moving images acquired digitally rather than chemically are somehow less artistic. :rolleyes:

 

How come nearly ALL still photogs are shooting digital now? Is their work any less beautiful or artistic?

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How come nearly ALL still photogs are shooting digital now? Is their work any less beautiful or artistic?

 

Hi,

 

Because the workflow is easier. Whilst digital cameras have dropped the entry level, overall standards have fallen a very long way so yes on average their work is less beautiful & artistic.

 

BTW are you still happy with your bet? ;)

 

Stephen

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Hi,

 

Because the workflow is easier. Whilst digital cameras have dropped the entry level, overall standards have fallen a very long way so yes on average their work is less beautiful & artistic.

 

BTW are you still happy with your bet? ;)

 

Stephen

 

Yes I am. Whenever you are ready to come down out of that tree Jannard sent you scrambling up into and place your wager, let me know. ;) :lol:

 

We can set up a bet at http://www.longbets.org

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This is not necessarilly a film versus digital debate. But rather a creative artist versus businessman debate. For example:

1. The wedding filmer who wants to shoot super 16mm but instead uses super 8mm because it makes more sense from a business perspective.

2. The television filmer who uses 16mm film simply because it makes more economic sense than 35mm film.

3. The Epic film maker who uses 35mm film simply because it makes more economic sense than the use of 65mm film.

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The difference, Matthew, is that you are a lovely Student Director of Photography eager to learn and invariably making blunders along the way (like everyone does throughout one's life - the art of living is to be honest to oneself and acknowledge it).

 

Ooh! I like you! :lol: Sorry my response was so late.

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David Rakoczy, I bet my last dollar you will change your tune after watching IN THE MOOD. - Tom Lowe

Mr. Lowe,

 

I just watched In The Mood For Love. You are absolutely correct. It was so (and I hate to sound cliche) poetic in it's Cinematography and Storytelling. Elegant. Engaging. Simply lovely. My hat is off to Doyle and Ping-Bin for the Images and of course to Wong Kar-Wai for taking the time to create and handle with such maturity this evocative boy meets girl.. or do they.. story.

 

Wow.

 

I want to mix colors like never before.

 

Gorgeous!

Edited by David Rakoczy

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David Rakoczy, I bet my last dollar you will change your tune after watching IN THE MOOD. - Tom Lowe

Mr. Lowe,

 

I just watched In The Mood For Love. You are absolutely correct. It was so (and I hate to sound cliche) poetic in it's Cinematography and Storytelling. Elegant. Engaging. Simply lovely. My hat is off to Doyle and Ping-Bin for the Images and of course to Wong Kar-Wai for taking the time to create and handle with such maturity this evocative boy meets girl.. or do they.. story.

 

Wow.

 

I want to mix colors like never before.

 

Gorgeous!

 

If you liked "In the mood for love", you have to watch 2046, another master piece from Mr.Doyle and following of Itmfl.

Edited by Lombre

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I chanced upon this by accidentally typing cinematographer.com instead of cinematography.com:

 

http://storibord.blogspot.com/2008/10/crit...f-approval.html

 

"There are those who regard Doyle as an overrated DP, and I wouldn't say I agree, but I do find the quality of his work to be inconsistent, and sometimes unremarkable. Doyle did, after all, admit that he stumbled into the art of cinematography (drunkenly, I think) and never ventured into it as a conscious ambition. But if he meant that little origin story, which has been repeated often enough now, to be a humble reaction to all the praise heaped upon him, I think it's more of the opposite effect. It would make any educated cinematographer who spent years studying the craft meticulously before venturing into it, frustrated by the fact that someone like Doyle could so easily grope around in the dark to become one of the most renowned talents in the art. It's almost like Happy Gilmore stumbling into the art of golf."

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doyle style is verry interesting and much of us are caught by the images why?

 

the main stream of the industry "hollywood" to name it make images sharp and clean, classy that became a standard on feature films, music video or commercials.

 

and what is a classy image in 2008? it's low contrast, desaturated, snap with solid compositions and clean mouvements and sharp focus.

 

now what does doyle do : high contrast, saturated, blured, hand held, extrem lens and POV : the anti main stream look

also the storys he is telling talk about people out of "hollywood"

 

doyle is just offering choice, variety (he used to love the agfa stock to) and we love it because we need to see different looks.

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I think this notion that Doyle is some sort of technical neanderthal is a myth he is promoting himself as part of his "wildman" artistic persona. Anyone who has seen some of his more controlled, slicker movies like "The White Countess" or "Hero" knows that it takes a real knowledge of cinematography to work at that level. You can't get there by faking it.

 

He's just part of a tradition of some cinematographers to downplay the technical side of what they do, mainly because they don't think it's the most important aspect of cinematography, and they feel that people pay far too much attention to that side of things.

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I think this notion that Doyle is some sort of technical neanderthal is a myth he is promoting himself as part of his "wildman" artistic persona. Anyone who has seen some of his more controlled, slicker movies like "The White Countess" or "Hero" knows that it takes a real knowledge of cinematography to work at that level. You can't get there by faking it.

 

He's just part of a tradition of some cinematographers to downplay the technical side of what they do, mainly because they don't think it's the most important aspect of cinematography, and they feel that people pay far too much attention to that side of things.

 

I completely agree with you on this.

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David Rakoczy, I bet my last dollar you will change your tune after watching IN THE MOOD. - Tom Lowe

Mr. Lowe,

 

I just watched In The Mood For Love. You are absolutely correct. It was so (and I hate to sound cliche) poetic in it's Cinematography and Storytelling. Elegant. Engaging. Simply lovely. My hat is off to Doyle and Ping-Bin for the Images and of course to Wong Kar-Wai for taking the time to create and handle with such maturity this evocative boy meets girl.. or do they.. story.

 

Wow.

 

I want to mix colors like never before.

 

Gorgeous!

 

Fantastic! It's such a masterpiece.

 

2046 isn't as good in terms of story, but the photography and especially the framing are something to behold.

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I'm glad David brought up Doyle's work on Hero. As much as I have read in this post about Doyle and his drinking issues, that has nothing to deal with his photography, the man was not formerly trained. He is a self-taught cinematographer and that is incredible. His lighting, lens selection, shot composition is top notch. People can argue what they want about Hero, but the movie is visually stunning, I put Doyle and Bob Richardson in the same tier as DP's.

 

I did a my master class presentation on Doyle and I was even more impressed with him after viewing his fashion work as well. David is right about how he downplays the technical side of photography. But to do what he does means he knows his poop.

 

Like everyone I don't understand how people can critique his work like we know him. There might be one or two cinematographer's in this form that even stand a chance against his work. Also at the end of the day it's all opinion, I have fellow friends that think Navarro's work is crap and the man won an Academy! What would our world be if every cinematographer was just like every other cinematographer? A lot of us wouldn't be doing this if that were the case, so I thank the fact we have diverse cinematographers in the world.

 

About his working style, if he is slightly drunk on set that might be the perfect atmosphere for some people. I've worked with crews that put out great work but their set was not for me and then I have crews I absolutely love. It's different for everyone.

 

Also the thing about his work not being consistent. I don't know but I think everyone has that one film they feel could have been better, plus some stories just call for cinematography that isn't mind blowing based on the script. Read Lubezki's article in AC mag about Burn After Reading. As cinematographer's it's hard to step out of our world of trying to make everything look great.

 

Sing

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".... I do find the quality of his work to be inconsistent, and sometimes unremarkable... It would make any educated cinematographer who spent years studying the craft meticulously before venturing into it, frustrated by the fact that someone like Doyle could so easily grope around in the dark to become one of the most renowned talents in the art...."

 

There in lies the problem... what makes an "educated" cinematographer so much better than an "uneducated" cinematographer...

 

Some of the greatest minds and most important discoveries in history have been developed "stumbling around in the dark." As it seems to be a trend in most art/craft... people think its where they went to school or who they studied under... and I call B/S... its what you bring to the table that matters...

 

Doyle talks about in his interviews and the documentary posted earlier that he brings "real life experience" to his films... the daily encounters and experiences of his life to each film... hence why his work is so "inconsistent" because he is always changing and growing as a human being, therefore his art and technique is always changing...

 

People also forget that its not his first picnic in the park.. its not like he shot Hero the year after he graduated high school after he "stumbled upon cinematography" and now everyone praises him... he has been growing as an artist and "studying the craft meticulously" for almost 30 years...

 

Do people also not understand the some people in the world are just "inherently" good at something... like Labron James... an 18 year old child who comes in and dominates 20-30ish pro players... he had no "formal" education in basketball... he just worked hard and had a passion for the sport... turns out he was pretty good...

 

Chris Doyle stumbled upon a camera and developed a passion for it and has been working hard ever since... turns out... he's pretty good... so to the nay sayers of Doyle and his work... I leave you with a quote

 

"Shut the f*** up and go shoot something!" - Christopher Doyle

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nutcase, you need to be if you create something as unique as the work with Wong-kar Wai...ive read some of the moral comments on his unprofessional public appearance at award shows drunk or high or both. My only comment is that i think that the most important is his work and we can be as moral judges of his public persona but ultimately his work speaks for itself ten fold.

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That guy is Manoel de Oliveira, 100 years old and still making a film every year http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0210701/

 

This guy is MY new HERO!!!! To think he directed his furst movie in 1931 and is in production for his 49th movie right now to be realeased in 2009!!!!! Man, if it turns out I have HALF that kinda fortitude, I'd have NO regrets. Talk about Rock and Roll, this guy was Rock and Roll before Chuck Berry duck-walked across a St. Louis stage in 1952 singin' hillbilly R & B on New Year's Eve!! I mean dis dude ROCKS!! and if STILL followin' your dream when you're 100 years old ain't cool, then I don't know WHAT the Hell is. Rock on, brother! B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly

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I've met Doyle twice, there are two faces to the man. One is the drunk alcoholic which I too was disappointed by when I first saw him...as I was astoundered by his images.

 

The other is a deeply dare I say it "spiritual man", he talked about the philosophy of film making, of style, and image, and individual voices it was the most inspirational words I have ever come across from a film maker, the girl I was sitting next to broke out in tears. He truly cares about young film makers.

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I've met Doyle twice, there are two faces to the man. One is the drunk alcoholic which I too was disappointed by when I first saw him...as I was astoundered by his images.

 

The other is a deeply dare I say it "spiritual man", he talked about the philosophy of film making, of style, and image, and individual voices it was the most inspirational words I have ever come across from a film maker, the girl I was sitting next to broke out in tears. He truly cares about young film makers.

 

Very interesting.

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He is one of the rare people in modern filmmaking that acctualy gives credits to the title of DoP as being truly creative one!

 

He downplays the tech aspect of filmmaking with a good reason (do you admire a blacksmith who constantly talks about his hammers and demonstrates how strong he is by hitting the hot steel with his sledge hammer? NO!!! You want to see the sword, horseshoe, hangle, doors, fence etc. that he made in order to admire him as blacksmith!).

 

Reading the posts of some of you trying to portray him as a drunkard and junky seems rather unproductive and slighly hipocritical.

 

The broad audiance might think that all other DPs are boring, proper, uptight, always sobber and clean, good old sports, and Doyle is some sort of "L'enfant terrible" of cinematography...when in fact, for a lot of DPs, usage of "inspirational chemisties" is not so rare of the experiance (working in productions, I was a witness quite a few times, of doping on the sets).

 

We could just hope that they produce the final result that in terms of quality matches to mr. Doyle's.

 

Saying that, I have to clarify that I definitely do not encourage people and filmmakers to "inspire" themselves in this manner (me myself never took any drugs and when socializing white wine is a choice of mine most of the time).

 

Here's the trick for me:

 

I would love, for example, that my movies look like thay've been shoot by Doyle...

BUT I would never allow Doyle as he is right now, to shoot them!

:)

 

 

I mean I would punch anybody who would try to show up on the set with a open can of beer no matter how big star or a nutty hero he or she is suppose to be!!!

 

I would imagine that collaboration between me and Mr. Doyle would last one whole morning...by the afternoon one of us would have to leave the set (and the whole shoot for that matter).

:)

 

 

But as far as his work, and his phylosophy of filmamking and picture look, I can say nothing but the best of it!!!

 

My all admiration to it and hope that filmmakers will adopt some of his thoughts (not his habits of behaving:)!

 

 

P.S.

Jimmy Page is drinking diet coke these days...(i guess when you spend your youth the way he did, when you get to certain age,nothing else comes as a safe option to drink but diet coke:)

Edited by Sasha Riu

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