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Mi Ki

What are the contemporary trends in cinematography?

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Do you think there is a fashion or trends in cinematography? What are the new trends, popular looks, cliches etc?

Edited by Mi Ki

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There are decade-long trends and short-term trends... one short-term trend I see is letting the final image look like the log file, very washed-out (sort of the opposite of the hi-con skip-beached look popular a few years ago, except that both tended towards desaturation). Super shallow-focus is also a popular trend. Right now, handheld shooting seems very hip. So I guess the ultimate hip image is some super shallow-focus handheld shot of a woman twirling in a field of flowers at sunset, the lens flared and the contrast being very milked-out -- I seem to see it on half the reels out there...

 

Some people talk about the orange-teal look, though I think the controversy is a bit overblown, you can find orange and teal everywhere if you are looking for it. Sometimes you have a reason for orange and teal colors in the frame.

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Brownie points if the flares are vfx anamorphic flares with no connection to any light source and the aspect ratio's not 2.39. I see that far too often.

 

How did these trends start?

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One common one in UK TV is to have an out of focus two shot, with the focus on some meaningless object in the foreground, like the carpet pile or a section of painted wall (sometimes it's just the out of focus 2 shot). It's all over the place like a bad rash. How it started I don't know, the first time I noticed something similar was on a CH4 programme called "Embarrassing Bodies" , in which each new patient is introduced in a styled infinite white surgery with the camera focused on a piece of medical equipment in the foreground, often combined with a camera move. That works really well, but I don't know if that was just copied by every general TV programme in the UK and done badly, or it came from another source.

 

Same thing happened with dutch angles for a while.

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Artificial lens flare !

Hate it, hate it, hate it !!!

 

It's everywhere.

Quite often I'll see a commercial break where all ads have it ( even the show's bumpers had it once ).

 

John S :angry:

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Brownie points if the flares are vfx anamorphic flares with no connection to any light source and the aspect ratio's not 2.39. I see that far too often.

 

How did these trends start?

 

I first noticed it in Abram's Star Trek :)

startrek-lensflare-spock-tsrimg.jpg

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One common one in UK TV is to have an out of focus two shot, with the focus on some meaningless object in the foreground, like the carpet pile or a section of painted wall (sometimes it's just the out of focus 2 shot). It's all over the place like a bad rash. How it started I don't know, the first time I noticed something similar was on a CH4 programme called "Embarrassing Bodies" , in which each new patient is introduced in a styled infinite white surgery with the camera focused on a piece of medical equipment in the foreground, often combined with a camera move. That works really well, but I don't know if that was just copied by every general TV programme in the UK and done badly, or it came from another source.

 

Do you mean something like this? Phillip Bloom uses shots like these a lot:

V_st_i_ekfdsfa.jpgV_st_i_ekfsd.jpg

Edited by Mi Ki

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I've often complained about the relentless trend of handheld verite style shooting in "indie" film. Not action Bourne type movies that need a handheld frenetic pace. I mean films like Dallas Buyer's Club, Blue is the Warmest Color, etc. where no one is doing much on screen but talking yet the camera is handheld shaking needlessly. Just to give it this "authentic" indie voyeruistic documentary feel which is just not necessary in most cases.

 

Whenever a film opens like that with a handheld shot of someone just sitting there, I'm a little disappointed cause I know it's not going to feel like a movie. It's going to feel like a blocking rehearsal for the movie they would have made if they took the time to shotlist it out.

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I didnt mind it in these movies, but I am bored by this look :) All fashion videos look like this...

fashion,ideas,people,picture,beautiful,l

8davQZk.jpg

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There was another trend a few years back ....'cut and run' I think they called it where the camera jerked and zoomed all over the place for no apparent reason.

 

I've never seen a technique so bad that it removes the viewer away from the actual story ( ... and makes you sea sick at the same time ).

I think 'NYPD Blues' was one of the worst offenders.

 

John S

Edited by John Salim

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Do you mean something like this? Phillip Bloom uses shots like these a lot:

V_st_i_ekfdsfa.jpgV_st_i_ekfsd.jpg

The effect is similar, but a lot less well done and usually totally lacking in any sense of style.

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I first noticed it in Abram's Star Trek :)

startrek-lensflare-spock-tsrimg.jpg

 

I read that those were natural. Really, really poorly done but natural.

 

I've often complained about the relentless trend of handheld verite style shooting in "indie" film. Not action Bourne type movies that need a handheld frenetic pace. I mean films like Dallas Buyer's Club, Blue is the Warmest Color, etc. where no one is doing much on screen but talking yet the camera is handheld shaking needlessly. Just to give it this "authentic" indie voyeruistic documentary feel which is just not necessary in most cases.

 

Whenever a film opens like that with a handheld shot of someone just sitting there, I'm a little disappointed cause I know it's not going to feel like a movie. It's going to feel like a blocking rehearsal for the movie they would have made if they took the time to shotlist it out.

 

Handheld done well though....

 

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I didnt mind it in these movies, but I am bored by this look :) All fashion videos look like this...

fashion,ideas,people,picture,beautiful,l

8davQZk.jpg

 

I know it's become almost a cliche by this point, but this look still works for me.

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Great handheld work was in TV series The Shield.

 

I also noticed that many directors try to shoot their scenes (or short movies) in one long shot

 

 



And of course:

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