Jump to content
Miguel Angel

First Man - Photographed by Linus Sandgren

Recommended Posts

I went to watch First Man yesterday and when I walked out of the cinema I thought that I had seen something really beautiful and extremely sensorial (if that word makes sense)

 

Just think that it is one of the best movies I've seen this year in the cinema so far, the actors are really well, Damien Chazelle took a very brave route and makes you feel inside Armstrong's skin at all times and well.. the cinematography is just as risky as it could be, I'm so glad that they made this movie.

 

Linus talks about the fact that they approached the movie as a documentary from the 70s but with a more cinematic approach.. I do see some certain cinema vérité points in terms of setting up the scenes and just film them, letting the actors create their world but I certainly see that they knew what it was going to happen at all times.

 

I love that they were able to hold conversations just on Armstrong's face without cutting to other things or that they stayed with Armstrong without cutting to wides.. as well as the score, which is really really good.

 

Anyways! if you can watch it in the cinema, go and watch it, I really think that it is a piece of art that needs to experimented (for lack of another word) on the biggest screen you can go to.

 

First Man

 

Linus Sandgren on First Man, Podcast

http://www.studiodaily.com/2018/10/cinematographer-linus-sandgren-moon-first-man-damien-chazelle

 

Have a lovely day

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure about the biggest screen (IMAX), I was one screen width back and some handheld and vibration shots were about at the limit, without feeling the need to rush a location seen in the film

 

Well worth catching, interesting use of people's backs, rather than the frontal view..

 

Claire Foy comes over as Janet Armstrong very similar to the interviews I've seen of her.,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was not overwhelmed by this film, but, I did find it interesting that the movie seems to be shot on film, except for the moon scenes which have the clarity of digital, and I think this was a good choice.

 

The "cinema verite" style of the bulk of the movie went to far for me and I found it a distraction often. This may be because this film is really a series of vignettes, rather than a story. I left the theater feeling that I knew little more about Armstrong at the end than I did at the beginning. No amount of photographic style was going to save this weak script in any event...

 

But I did like the rocket rides and the views in the space capsules. That was really fun and one could really imagine the terrifying experience that it must have been. A normal man would never have taken this astronaut job. I just wish I'd learned something more about these men than that they can perform under enormous stress that others can not. In the end, Armstrong is still a mystery.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was not overwhelmed by this film, but, I did find it interesting that the movie seems to be shot on film, except for the moon scenes which have the clarity of digital, and I think this was a good choice.

Except for one background plate of the moon during liftoff that was digital, pretty sure nearly all of the moon stuff is Film IMAX, not digital acquisition. (and I talked to the DP, an operator, the vfx supe, prod des and guy who shot the miniatures, so that's not just idle speculation.)

 

All the talk on blu-ray.com about the heavy shakicam throughout has made me reconsider seeing it in the theater, so I am kinda bummed right now (don't think I've seen a live-action movie in the theater since GRAVITY x3, except for a horrible press screening of BEGUILED on a dig projector that made the thing look abominable.)

Edited by KH Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except for one background plate of the moon during liftoff that was digital, pretty sure nearly all of the moon stuff is Film IMAX, not digital acquisition. (and I talked to the DP, an operator, the vfx supe, prod des and guy who shot the miniatures, so that's not just idle speculation.)

 

All the talk on blu-ray.com about the heavy shakicam throughout has made me reconsider seeing it in the theater, so I am kinda bummed right now (don't think I've seen a live-action movie in the theater since GRAVITY x3, except for a horrible press screening of BEGUILED on a dig projector that made the thing look abominable.)

Well, I guess that IMAX film, scanned and projected digitally looks a lot like an Arri Alexa :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was not overwhelmed by this film, but, I did find it interesting that the movie seems to be shot on film, except for the moon scenes which have the clarity of digital, and I think this was a good choice.

 

The "cinema verite" style of the bulk of the movie went to far for me and I found it a distraction often. This may be because this film is really a series of vignettes, rather than a story. I left the theater feeling that I knew little more about Armstrong at the end than I did at the beginning. No amount of photographic style was going to save this weak script in any event...

 

But I did like the rocket rides and the views in the space capsules. That was really fun and one could really imagine the terrifying experience that it must have been. A normal man would never have taken this astronaut job. I just wish I'd learned something more about these men than that they can perform under enormous stress that others can not. In the end, Armstrong is still a mystery.

 

Couldn't agree more. Like so many modern films it's beautifully done but ends up feeling rather empty, though not, of course, for the same reasons as Transformers.

 

I've seen Ryan Gosling in three films recently - Drive, Blade Runner 2049 and now First Man, and in each case the characters were almost comically underplayed. Neil Armstrong wasn't that much of a plank. The audience I saw it with didn't know when to laugh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of today's big movies are like this. Enormous infrastructure, amazing image and sound but lacking in simple human interest. A good production should care about the 'people' side of the story. Not the 'things' people do - that's actually far less interesting because it's materialistic and the key to people is that they are really about spirit. We are spiritual beings. Modern art/entertainment is woefully poor at this truth compared to artworks of even the past century and it's not difficult to track down the real reason for this change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great film and worth going to an IMAX for. In fact if you don't, you are doing a disservice to yourself being in this field of work. The sequences of action and execution of it were better than anything I've seen in recent times. It's also as much a study in sound design as it is shooting action. The 2-perf really helped to nail the tone of it. Best film I've seen all year, easily, and the IMAX sound had a big effect on my perception of it. It would be a waste on even the best TV setup. Very much like Gravity in many ways, but far better (and this really happened)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew that the movie was going to be a bit of a "Like it or hate it" one when I watched it and that's one of the reasons why I started this thread.

 

I believe that a piece of art can create feelings in a person, either good or bad ones, it doesn't matter as long as it creates something.

 

Definitely First Man made me feel a lot of things and even though the movie takes a more "conventional" route from the moment the Apollo is presented to the audience (and I understand perfectly the reason why they had to do that) Chazelle is able to find his way back to the way he wants to move the audience.

 

That shot of the guys in the lift going up towards the Apollo is a fabulous way to tell the story in a very simple shot.

 

I just loved the simplicity of the approach and how everything works very well, in my opinion of course! :)

 

Have a lovely day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently the interior of the command and lunar module were shot in Super 16mm according to IMDb. They also used 3 perf as well as the techniscope, and IMAX film cameras. This seems to be a growing trend for big features to shoot on film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great film. Just saw it. This film definitely did not commit the mistake I referred to earlier, above. I didn't mind the 'truthful cinema' camera style and the sometimes out of focus shots. Seemed to fit well in the context wherever it was apparent. I really admired the look of the outdoors 'home movies' style shots, when Neil Armstrong was on the moon and he was thinking back over happy family times. That was very saturated, warm colourful, almost like Kodachrome - I'd be interested to know if it was 2 perf. Wasn't as grainy as the super 16 shots (probably because they were shooting on 500T). Comparing this film as a cinema experience to the previous one I went to see, 2001: A Space Odyssey, I feel the latter definitely (to my taste) had a warmer and better look. It would be great if current films could in some cases be released as film prints. I'd definitely pay more for it, but don't know if anyone else would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if it's the quality of projector used at my local cinemas or whether they've got the latest equipment, but in my opinion digital projection is letting down the makers of these movies shot on film. It's a cheaper, thinner and slightly dull, washed out look that gives all the information but in a slightly lackluster way. I find that I often become conscious of the actual white screen itself. Projection of film prints has a warmer, 'fatter', higher quality look. Movies shot on film actually look much better on the home tv screen. Film projection can have problems too of course, flicker sometimes, vertical scratches, etc, but overall a better way of seeing films that were shot on film. I wonder if people in the film industry are concerned about this, and whether the digital projection can be improved.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if it's the quality of projector used at my local cinemas or whether they've got the latest equipment, but in my opinion digital projection is letting down the makers of these movies shot on film. It's a cheaper, thinner and slightly dull, washed out look that gives all the information but in a slightly lackluster way. I find that I often become conscious of the actual white screen itself. Projection of film prints has a warmer, 'fatter', higher quality look. Movies shot on film actually look much better on the home tv screen. Film projection can have problems too of course, flicker sometimes, vertical scratches, etc, but overall a better way of seeing films that were shot on film. I wonder if people in the film industry are concerned about this, and whether the digital projection can be improved.

 

I think thats one of the issues with DLP projectors. They can't do true black, so you get a milky grey instead of black. Quite noticeable on films with sequences in the dark grey of space. 4k DLP projectors tend to have even worse contrast. Film prints can do better blacks.

 

Laser projection has much better contrast and digital systems such as Dolby Cinema and Imax Laser - can do really black blacks, often better then film prints. But the equipment is v expensive, so installations are super rare. Hopefully prices will come down and more cinemas will invest in Laser based projection

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess something like first man (I've not seen it yet) - is going to risk looking at flat - since you've got low contrast DLP mixed with lower resolution super 16 - probably going to be a bit mushy.

 

Also with cinema projection - there are lots of other ways contrast can get limited, from dirty glass in the booth port, to lens choice on the projector. You can get high contrast DLP lenses but they need more light etc..

 

Sony projectors have higher native contrast then DLP's, but are less common due to limitations with 3D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as digital cinema goes, dolby cinema is my preference by far. Deep blacks and bright whites. The only issue I have with is at my local theater they have red lighting which is close enough to spill on the screen and is noticable in really dark scenes. I am not sure if that is common or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Art direction and effects were great in this film! And great sound effects, too.

 

Neil and his wife were perfect in their dress and manner. Very, very believable picture and very entertaining. The Neil Armstrong in this film came across like I remember older people back then: old-fashioned, a bit reticent and quiet in some ways, hard working, sincere, honest. Today we might say naive but they weren't. I miss that whole era. I was just old enough to remember the grainy, ghost-like image of Armstrong climbing down the ladder as one of my earliest memories. My dad explained carefully what was happening, so I understood.

 

The people of those days were great in my opinion. That whole generation is basically gone now. They weren't perfect, but they had so much going for them.

 

Not a criticism, just an amusing thing at one point (I thought): one of the televisions they showed in someone's home looked very much a 70s style. I can only just remember the old, mid-60s style tvs (still in use in early 70s) and they were an entirely different look.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this film a couple weeks ago in a regular digital DLP theater. I wish I saw it in the IMAX theater showing digital. I would have seen the IMAX film scenes full screen. I don't know if any 70mm IMAX prints were made or not. Film was technically very good. I found the whole film a little klunky in terms of style in the transition of scenes. I thought the Right Stuff was better done for drama, impact, and the whole story telling. The Right Stuff was a very cinematic old school big movie kind of making they just can't seem to do anymore. First Man was shot very well though. And I found Armstrong a bit too aloof or even neurotic to a degree which I get the feeling he wasn't so much. Maybe it was the 2D dimensional portrayal of Armstrong by the actor. He is known for wooden characters in his movies. I hardly saw any emotion on his face the whole movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was trying to say The Right Stuff seemed to be more epic in nature and design. First Man seemed more like a documentary then a story. But Im guessing that was their intention.

Edited by Scott Pickering

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so finally saw First Man and the only thing I can say is how disappointed I was.

 

First and foremost, Ryan Gosling was the wrong man for the job. I felt nothing from his performance, he was boring. I would blame the script on part of that, but one would suspect there was a better actor to depict Neil friggen Armstrong! :(

 

Second, the film was very claustrophobic. Nearly everything was shot with longer lenses and tighter shots. Very few establishing shots and very few relaxing moments in the story. It was literally dialog scenes on top of dialog scenes until the space section. Outside of some beautiful archival shots, we wouldn't have had a single establishing shot of the space and flight stuff. This led to a lot of confusion about location, time and how it all tied into each other.

 

Third... the editing was poor. They clearly had a much longer movie on their hands and had to cut it down substantially. The way they dealt with time passage was a poor, overused device and frankly, it was hard to understand what was going on sometimes. They were forced to use title cards to set place and time because maybe they didn't shoot the shots necessary to fill the audience in.

 

Fourth, I'm tired of the shaky camera nonsense. Tired, Tired, Tired. I know he was going after the "documentary" style of filmmaking, but it clearly wasn't made like a multi-cam documentary, so why push that CU to CU to CU to CU to CU structure? Many frames were eyebrow or hairline to chin back to back to back. Then the action scenes were all just the same thing with a shaking camera. Really? It's the sorta thing a film without an FX budget would do, I just found it lame. Sure there were PLENTY of medium's and wide's interior, but whenever there was any action or even tension in the characters, you were always at an ultra close that was more fitting for a 1.85:1 but not 2.40:1 aspect ratio.

 

Fifth, I was so overly mixed. They used such horrible sound effects for things that didn't really need much more than a bass rumble. I kept on hearing different sound elements that just didn't belong in the cockpit of a spacecraft. I could isolate the different tracks in my head and was thinking about things I shouldn't be thinking about.

 

Technically, the film was good.. Linus was heavily involved the VFX aspects and what I saw was on the level of Interstellar. I thought the depiction of the time was also immaculate, they couldn't have done a better job. The phenomenal crew was present in every department, it's just there were so many flaws in the script, editing and casting decisions, I just didn't care to like it ya know? It's like I turned off after 25 minutes of watching and let it finish just out of respect for the filmmakers. I do like Linus, I do like Damian, but I do think the project was mighty flawed and it's a real shame. I could comment on what they could do to fix it, but sadly it's irrelevant because the film has already released.

 

2 and 1/2 stars, C+ at best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Outside of some beautiful archival shots, we wouldn't have had a single establishing shot of the space and flight stuff.

Except for most of the Saturn and Gemini launches, I didn't think there was supposed to be any archival stuff used for the spaceflights, that it was all done with the mockups and the miniatures. None of the folks I interviewed mentioned any archival space stuff with the LEM and CSM. There was an early push from the studio to minimize mention of VFX, which may explain why miniature effects supervisor Ian Hunter's name was never even mentioned to me during pre-release interviews -- in fact, it didn't turn up anywhere that I recall until it showed up on IMDB in early October as the film released -- but I never got the impression that anybody was pretending that the space stuff was stock footage, though they did try very hard to emulate the 'real' look by not putting starfields into most backgrounds.

 

As for the other aspect you cite about Armstrong ... the real guy never struck me as being very interesting, and I was a prime space nut growing up -- the drawers of my desk at age 9 were filled with NASA FACTS pamphlets and my walls were covered with posters of astronauts and the VAB (okay, there was a Pete Rose one up there too, but nearly all space stuff.) Yet with me inhaling everything about the space program, literally the only thing I remember about Armstrong was his admission he treated himself to a cigar once per month ... and I can't think of any era where that would qualify as interesting, unless perhaps he had also turned out to be a marathon runner.

 

I still haven't seen the movie yet (a part of me thinks a parody trailer about Buzz Aldrin called SECOND GUY needs to be made), but I do think Gosling is probably a very adequate choice. You could have gone with a character actor to duplicate Armstrong's goofy nerd-smile, but at the potential cost of what little box office the film did generate, and with very little gain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Paralinx LLC



    Ritter Battery



    CineLab



    Serious Gear



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Glidecam



    Tai Audio



    Abel Cine



    Metropolis Post



    Wooden Camera



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Visual Products


×
×
  • Create New...