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Phil Rhodes

Come on, Star Wars

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Much as I hesitate to reinforce any reputation I may have as an unsympathetic, malcontent curmudgeon, this sort of thing is OK on the sort of stuff I shoot because I'm shooting stuff for precisely three dollars. It is not OK on Star Wars. Well, actually, it's not OK on anything, really, is it? But it's especially not OK on something that probably cost well north of two hundred million dollars.

 

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focus (ˈfəʊkəs) noun: the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.

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There were 3 out of focus shots in the entire movie that I saw... one of which was a close up of Luke and yet again I was shocked.

 

I don't understand out of focus shots in big movies, I really don't. They're doing dozens of takes, they know it was out of focus, as it's clear as day through the lens. So when the camera stops, the operator can see and say "hey that last take was out of focus" and the script person would make a note, the director would re-shoot with it properly in focus and that would be the end of that.

 

So yea... umm, no I don't get it at all. Interstellar had many out of focus shots as well, but Hoyte is like MR. No-light, so I get it. The Last Jedi was very well lit and honestly, I thought the cinematography over all was great.

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It's a good job I stopped going to the pictures a few years ago, then, because I always notice Sean Young's first closeup in Blade Runner where the focus is half an inch off.

Edited by Mark Dunn

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Well, if there is something out of focus on a movie it is probably because the director and the editor (OR the producer) chose that out of focus take over other ones because of the acting, it doesn't matter at all as it is something that people are used to seeing now and only 1% of the people in the world is going to take notice of that.

 

Particularly, that scene of The Last Jedi is so fantastic that 3 seconds of Luke out of focus don't make a difference because you're paying attention to other things.

 

Have a good day.

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The late cameraman Andreas Demmer I knew and had the pleasure to work with once told me that the focus plane, when it has to be placed somewhere at a large stop, should be on the root of the nose of a character or on the eyes. Eyes are often more difficult to see focus with. Demmer had assisted Eugen Schüfftan. I shouldn’t understand such foul work either. The core of the technicians cast must work like gears. Lapped and oiled gears. The oil is the money paid for high-class work.

 

Yes, there are out-of-focus takes in many movies.

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It happens; budget notwithstanding and often times, most times I'd say, they'll by DEFAULT pick that shot. I think there's some kind of quantum entanglement between the film and the editor; and when it's out of focus, the waveform collapses and that is the only shot to be picked!

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Do we need to talk about Interstellar, Murder on the Orient Express and any other film recently shot on 70mm / Imax then?

 

We can all dream and look forward to the day where our light-field equipped cameras will be able to be refocused in post, and where the editor/director will choose to butcher our work further :D as is the current trend of reframing in post.

Edited by Vladimir Cazacu

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Vladimir, Greg (1st AC on Interstellar and many other big budget movies) has talked on these forums about the movie quite extensively and the reason behind the out of focus seconds on some of the shots (which are like 0.5% of the movie).

 

It happens that Nolan and Hoytema were very aware of that.

 

Plus sometimes directors want things slightly out of focus at some stage because it looks more real to them (happens a lot on commercials), mix that with the current trend of shooting at T1.3 while trying some "guerrilla" style with no time and you will see the reason behind why things are out of focus too.

 

Tyler, If you are saying that Hoyte is "no-light" because he uses primarily natural light and that might be the reason behind the "out of focus" shots, I suggest that you take a look at the American Cinematographers where his movies are featured, be aware that you might be astonished.

 

Using natural light doesn't have anything to do with things out of focus.

 

Have a lovely day!

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It happens; budget notwithstanding and often times, most times I'd say, they'll by DEFAULT pick that shot. I think there's some kind of quantum entanglement between the film and the editor; and when it's out of focus, the waveform collapses and that is the only shot to be picked!

HA! lol :D

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Using natural light doesn't have anything to do with things out of focus.

If ya run all the way open, you're going to struggle with focus.

 

If you light for T3 or a more closed down stop, all of a sudden it's easier to focus.

 

I've seen every second of BTS there is to see on Interstellar and there are A LOT of scenes which are underlit from my perspective. I'm also infatuated with the movie, so I've seen it A LOT. I just don't much care for the cinematography.

 

Hoyte did a better job with Dunkirk for sure. However, there are still some scenes in Dunkirk that you look twice at because they could have been shot so much better if they just added some light!

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I wonder if there was some way you could talk directly to him to give him some much needed advice.. maybe a trainee position on your next feature ..?

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If ya run all the way open, you're going to struggle with focus.

 

If you light for T3 or a more closed down stop, all of a sudden it's easier to focus.

 

I've seen every second of BTS there is to see on Interstellar and there are A LOT of scenes which are underlit from my perspective. I'm also infatuated with the movie, so I've seen it A LOT. I just don't much care for the cinematography.

 

Hoyte did a better job with Dunkirk for sure. However, there are still some scenes in Dunkirk that you look twice at because they could have been shot so much better if they just added some light!

I don't think you can necessarily judge the light levels on a set from the BTS material. How do you know how the BTS operator was exposing? How do you know how Hoyte was exposing?

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If ya run all the way open, you're going to struggle with focus.

 

If you light for T3 or a more closed down stop, all of a sudden it's easier to focus.

 

I've seen every second of BTS there is to see on Interstellar and there are A LOT of scenes which are underlit from my perspective. I'm also infatuated with the movie, so I've seen it A LOT. I just don't much care for the cinematography.

 

Hoyte did a better job with Dunkirk for sure. However, there are still some scenes in Dunkirk that you look twice at because they could have been shot so much better if they just added some light!

 

Tyler, using natural light doesn't have anything to do with using a T1.3 stop by default.

 

I use a lot of natural light and I usually shoot around T2.8

When I don't use natural light I also usually shoot around T2.8

 

And that's not just me, plenty of Oscar winner cinematographers (and non-Oscar winners) do the same.

 

On the other hand, there are millions of dops in the world who shoot wide open because they like those kind of aesthetics, some of them are aware of the fact that things will not be in focus all the time and some others don't.

 

Pretty sure that Hoytema is one of those who are aware.

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That's right, and he knows that by lighting that way there will be moments slightly out of focus which don't seem to be a problem for him or for Nolan.

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Vladimir, Greg (1st AC on Interstellar and many other big budget movies) has talked on these forums about the movie quite extensively and the reason behind the out of focus seconds on some of the shots (which are like 0.5% of the movie).

 

It happens that Nolan and Hoytema were very aware of that.

 

Plus sometimes directors want things slightly out of focus at some stage because it looks more real to them (happens a lot on commercials), mix that with the current trend of shooting at T1.3 while trying some "guerrilla" style with no time and you will see the reason behind why things are out of focus too.

 

I realize now that my comment is in rather poor taste and that I might have phrased it a tad bit too seriously. It was meant to be taken as a light little joke, so I do feel the need to apologise for that.

 

I have the utmost respect for Gregory Irwin, Michael Green (focus puller on Murder on the Orient Express) and for any other 1st AC's that would have the stones to take on such a challenging job, as pulling focus at a T/2 on Medium Format is an almost impossible task (which is what I was hinting at).

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I realize now that my comment is in rather poor taste and that I might have phrased it a tad bit too seriously. It was meant to be taken as a light little joke, so I do feel the need to apologise for that.

 

I have the utmost respect for Gregory Irwin, Michael Green (focus puller on Murder on the Orient Express) and for any other 1st AC's that would have the stones to take on such a challenging job, as pulling focus at a T/2 on Medium Format is an almost impossible task (which is what I was hinting at).

 

No need to apologise! I sure misunderstood the intention! :ph34r: ;)

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Anyone want to talk about what they thought of the film, plot wise or general quality wise?

There is another thread for that entitled "The Last Jedi"

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I haven't seen this but that looks like it was enlarged and someone threw a blur on it to hide pixelation.

 

It wasn't. It's in the trailer; he's in focus at the opening of the shot, delivers a line and leans in slightly, and in doing so goes soft.

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On the other hand, there are millions of dops in the world who shoot wide open because they like those kind of aesthetics, some of them are aware of the fact that things will not be in focus all the time and some others don't.

I love shooting wide open, but I won't sacrifice my ability to focus properly over wide open. T2 on a T1.5 lens, generally gives enough "safety" that focus becomes slightly less of a problem.

 

With anamorphic, it's a different story and the scenes in question with focus were all anamorphic, not large format spherical.

 

I didn't see a single issue with Dunkirk's focus.

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Shooting at t2 is tough on a focus puller, particularly if they don't get a rehearsal. Actors can miss marks, and can do other unexpected things. Sometimes the take that has the best performance is less than perfect technically. It's frustrating, but it happens, even on big budget movies.

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Shooting at t2 is tough on a focus puller, particularly if they don't get a rehearsal. Actors can miss marks, and can do other unexpected things. Sometimes the take that has the best performance is less than perfect technically. It's frustrating, but it happens, even on big budget movies.

When you're cutting away every second or two from an actor's "performance", you can very easily put any performance in you want. You can very easily cut to the "clean" in focus picture, but have different dialog. Every editor does this trick, all the time, and you don't notice it. Yes in movies like Interstellar where the out of focus shots are long takes, ok... got no choice. With Star Wars though, it's super quick cut aways that are out of focus, not some long winded conversation.

 

Also... there is no excuse. If you're watching the monitor as a focus puller, you will see the focus go off and you will adjust. I don't care how many decades you've been in the industry, I don't care what shows you've worked on, if your **(obscenity removed)**up out of focus shot makes it into the movie, that's a big problem.

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Pulling focus by video tap from a film camera isnt easy even with an HD tap, and with a big multi-camera show some of the film cameras are going to have SD taps.

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