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Tim Tyler

A Hidden Life / Malick / Jörg Widmer

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It looks to me like every shot in this trailer might have been captured with the same focal length lens.

From IMDBRed Epic Dragon, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses /Red Epic-W Helium 8K S35, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses

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Malick is an acquired taste but I find that since he switched to digital, his films tend to feel quite cheap? I don't know, this one especially feels cheap to me. 

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The story ,script and acting should mean alot more to you than the camera ..  not seeing the woods for the trees sir..   digital doesn't make a film bad the same as film doesn't  make a film good..  take off the pixel peeping hat and just go and see a film with an open mind..   this film looked fantastic visually to me..

. 🙂 

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Perhaps but if the film itself doesn't look visually appealing, that's all it takes. Let's not go into the old debate, digital can look fantastic. I'm not sure what it is but it's just something I've noticed. 

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Agreed ! lets not put that chestnut back in the fire 🙂 .. everyone has their own preferences .. my point is only that I think if a film is strong enough in the more important ,basic points of script /acting /direction.. the medium shouldn't matter at all..  I hate 48p visually .. but I would, hopefully, not actually even notice it after 5 minutes if the film was good.. you would be in the story completely .. the whole Digital /film debate shouldn't even exist these days.. where the difference visually is pretty much non existent .. even top DP,s can't tell..  its like saying the flavor of the pop corn in the cinema is ruining the film.. 

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Looks like Mallick may have finally returned to something approaching structured narrative! 😮 (if the trailer is anything to go by, at least).  

Colour me interested. 

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6 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Agreed ! lets not put that chestnut back in the fire 🙂 .. everyone has their own preferences .. my point is only that I think if a film is strong enough in the more important ,basic points of script /acting /direction.. the medium shouldn't matter at all..  I hate 48p visually .. but I would, hopefully, not actually even notice it after 5 minutes if the film was good.. you would be in the story completely .. the whole Digital /film debate shouldn't even exist these days.. where the difference visually is pretty much non existent .. even top DP,s can't tell..  its like saying the flavor of the pop corn in the cinema is ruining the film.. 

I wouldn´t agree with that! However digital is good these days, but im sure even the best DP´s can tell the difference… and it can totaly distract the audiance when a period- movie looked like that… not saying that this trailer does look terrible but i got distracted by the look. And i loved wide-angled shots chivo does on the prior mallick movies.

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27 minutes ago, Philip Reinhold said:

I wouldn´t agree with that! However digital is good these days, but im sure even the best DP´s can tell the difference… and it can totaly distract the audiance when a period- movie looked like that… not saying that this trailer does look terrible but i got distracted by the look. And i loved wide-angled shots chivo does on the prior mallick movies.

I second that. This is a forum about cinematography after all. A discussion about the tools used to tell a story is part of the cinematographer's job. The trailer looks like a story I want to watch and I am intrigued by the composition and wide angle shots. Yet sometimes it does feel like you are watching a video. It does feel digital.  To say that top cinematographers can not tell the difference is not quite true, is it? Yes, there are films that have been shot digital and worked on in post to look like film quite successfully. And there are analogue films that didn't take advantage of what analogue does offer. and maybe Malick chose the digital look for a reason. But one can't say that this looks the same as film. It doesn't.

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2 hours ago, Philip Reinhold said:

I wouldn´t agree with that! However digital is good these days, but im sure even the best DP´s can tell the difference… and it can totaly distract the audiance when a period- movie looked like that… not saying that this trailer does look terrible but i got distracted by the look. And i loved wide-angled shots chivo does on the prior mallick movies.

Roger Deakins has said this .. you want better than that ..  same way a whole lot of ASC DP,s chose the Canon 5D on a blind camera test .. 

Edited by Robin R Probyn
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1 hour ago, Uli Meyer said:

I second that. This is a forum about cinematography after all. A discussion about the tools used to tell a story is part of the cinematographer's job. The trailer looks like a story I want to watch and I am intrigued by the composition and wide angle shots. Yet sometimes it does feel like you are watching a video. It does feel digital.  To say that top cinematographers can not tell the difference is not quite true, is it? Yes, there are films that have been shot digital and worked on in post to look like film quite successfully. And there are analogue films that didn't take advantage of what analogue does offer. and maybe Malick chose the digital look for a reason. But one can't say that this looks the same as film. It doesn't.

Roger Deakins has said this when being interviewed a few times..he couldn't tell if a film he was watching was film or digital .. he's also not afraid of using it.. and lights exactly the same .. thats what he says .. and really I do think he knows what he's talking about .. yes its a forum about camera work.. thats what Im saying .. people are not seeing the woods for the tress .. getting obsessed with Digital  meaning a film is ruined by using it.. its like saying the only "good" films are in BW.. Im sure this would have been hot topic at the time if they had the inter web ..

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10 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Roger Deakins has said this .. you want better than that ..  

What´t that for an Answer? Roger is one of many? he just gives his opinion and his opinion isn´t everyones.

Edited by Philip Reinhold

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Just now, Philip Reinhold said:

What´t that for an Answer? Roger is one of many?

Your words.".Iam sure even the best DP,s can tell".. well Roger Deakins is probably the best living DP.. certainly one of the biggest back catalogue s in film and digital with many different looks .. so Im making that point .. in a lucid, logical  .. even masterly way..

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we arnt talking about personal opinions .. I stated that even very high end DP,s have been known not to be able to tell the difference.  you claimed otherwise.. I put forward Roger Deakins as an example .. and a pretty heavy weight one at that ..  I rest my case  your honor 

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7 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Your words.".Iam sure even the best DP,s can tell".. well Roger Deakins is probably the best living DP.. certainly one of the biggest back catalogue s in film and digital with many different looks .. so Im making that point .. in a lucid, logical  .. even masterly way..

Uff… there is no "best" living DP. (That was my quote for your " even top DP,s can't tell..  " ) thats really Fanboy talk… however… even if i like some of rogers work im sure he would agree with me that film is an art form… and our tools are the Artists choice and there is guranteed a visible differnce between analog & digital - and thats also a personal taste not a rule. As you can see in this discussion already.

Edited by Philip Reinhold
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7 minutes ago, Philip Reinhold said:

Uff… there is no "best" living DP. (That was my quote for your " even top DP,s can't tell..  " ) thats really Fanboy talk… however… even if i like some of rogers work im sure he would agree with me that film is an art form… and our tools are the Artists choice and there is guranteed a visible differnce between analog & digital - and thats also a personal taste not a rule. As you can see in this discussion already.

I was using him as an example to back up what I said .. the thread is not "who is the best DP in the world "..?

Did I say film is not as good as digital..  this is always the defensive argument of the film fanboy.. no ?..  he says that he lights the same .. he is a top DP who is working with both mediums .. if your question is, would I follow his words rather than arm chair pixel peeps on the inter web..  then yes ..a resounding yes.. 

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14 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

I was using him as an example to back up what I said .. the thread is not "who is the best DP in the world "..?

Did I say film is not as good as digital..  this is always the defensive argument of the film fanboy.. no ?..  he says that he lights the same .. he is a top DP who is working with both mediums .. if your question is, would I follow his words rather than arm chair pixel peeps on the inter web..  then yes ..a resounding yes.. 

Yes cool! So however… i do care and in my opinion the look of the trailer is distracting me from the story.

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15 minutes ago, Philip Reinhold said:

Yes cool! So however… i do care and in my opinion the look of the trailer is distracting me from the story.

Thats a shame .. but also its a very compressed image on the inter web.. Im sure it looks different on the big screen.. actually in this form / compression  you probably really couldn't tell if this is film or video in a million years .. film can be shot to look very sharp.. and digital to be very soft..

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1 hour ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Roger Deakins has said this when being interviewed a few times..he couldn't tell if a film he was watching was film or digital .. he's also not afraid of using it.. and lights exactly the same .. thats what he says .. and really I do think he knows what he's talking about .. yes its a forum about camera work.. thats what Im saying .. people are not seeing the woods for the tress .. getting obsessed with Digital  meaning a film is ruined by using it.. its like saying the only "good" films are in BW.. Im sure this would have been hot topic at the time if they had the inter web ..

Robin, I am one hundred percent sure that Roger Deakins can tell if some films have been shot digital or analogue. I'm also sure that there are some films where he can't tell and those are the ones that he was referring to. As you have mentioned yourself, some digital films are shot soft and some analogue films very sharp. Mission Impossible is still shot on film and it is often hard to tell. But that doesn't mean it is a rule. The trailer looks digital. You don't have to be a Roger Deakins to be allowed to make that observation. To me it does and that is the point that some here were making. That's all. Personally, I don't like it.

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1 minute ago, Uli Meyer said:

Robin, I am one hundred percent sure that Roger Deakins can tell if some films have been shot digital or analogue. I'm also sure that there are some films where he can't tell and those are the ones that he was referring to. As you have mentioned yourself, some digital films are shot soft and some analogue films very sharp. Mission Impossible is still shot on film and it is often hard to tell. But that doesn't mean it is a rule. The trailer looks digital. You don't have to be a Roger Deakins to be allowed to make that observation. To me it does and that is the point that some here were making. That's all. Personally, I don't like it.

Sure agreed.. but really a trailer on the inter web ,compressed to shite.. you can really tell between a film shot sharp ,or digital soft..  seems the personal preference of film fans is they don't like  "sharpness".. rather than fundamentally film over digital.. as we agreed film can be shot as sharp as any digital .. they are then post produced in digital anyway.. and projected in digital.. I just wouldn't let the pixel peeping get in the way of not watching a film ,especially based on a 30 second trailer on the inter web ..  I wouldn't judge a film just by what its shot on..   I rest my case your honor..

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10 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Sure agreed.. but really a trailer on the inter web ,compressed to shite.. you can really tell between a film shot sharp ,or digital soft..  seems the personal preference of film fans is they don't like  "sharpness".. rather than fundamentally film over digital.. as we agreed film can be shot as sharp as any digital .. they are then post produced in digital anyway.. and projected in digital.. I just wouldn't let the pixel peeping get in the way of not watching a film ,especially based on a 30 second trailer on the inter web ..  I wouldn't judge a film just by what its shot on..   I rest my case your honor..

I would much rather see a great film than  a boring film, no matter how it was shot. But you can't tell from the trailer if this film is going to be any good (the subject matter is very timely though and maybe that is why Malick chose to go digital? To connect history to today?) But that wasn't the point of the OP. I have noticed that every time somebody voices a preference for film on here,  you are nearly always there getting all defensive in favor of digital. Personally, I love the whole analogue process but that doesn't make me blind to a good film, whatever medium.

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6 minutes ago, Uli Meyer said:

I would much rather see a great film than  a boring film, no matter how it was shot. But you can't tell from the trailer if this film is going to be any good (the subject matter is very timely though and maybe that is why Malick chose to go digital? To connect history to today?) But that wasn't the point of the OP. I have noticed that every time somebody voices a preference for film on here,  you are nearly always there getting all defensive in favor of digital. Personally, I love the whole analogue process but that doesn't make me blind to a good film, whatever medium.

I have no axe to grind .. I think film is great ,I have never said anything against film..as much as digital is too in the right hands .. I dont care about anyone's preference .. of course thats their business..some people even wear flared trousers .. I say nothing  ..but what is annoying, is the evangelist furor, blinkered view that some people have against digital .. talk about defensive behaviour  !..most of them are not even camera people.. or some with  very limited experience  .. its some sort of knee jerk, coffee shop film maker thing.. and I rise to be the noble defender of digital .. guilty as charged sir ..Roger and I will stand firm together as fans of digital .. and I see a long fruitful career ahead for him.. 

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6 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

.but what is annoying, is the evangelist furor, blinkered view that some people have against digital

I didn't read the original post as that. Maybe there was nothing to defend? Anyway, here's to good films. Whichever method.

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If you're serious about it, you surely know to watch trailers on Apple Trailers or in Pro Res quality if you wish to. The problem with digital and compression really is that digital has some kind of texture, that I often don't care for personally but you need to see the trailer in Pro Res quality and be really close to the screen to get it.

Film not only looks like film duh (REGARDLESS Robin of the finishing, films shot on film with a DI still look like film, Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood certainly is a prime example to quote a recent film, it looks GORGEOUS in laser IMAX, and trust me, you wouldn't mistake it for anything other than film) but the texture is there regardless of the quality. Obviously, forget about YouTube or any trash like that, it doesn't play nice with film grain but the texture is still there, even in a mega compressed file. 

If you're going to try to make digital look like film (very few really convincing examples, and even then, doesn't look like it), you really need to make the grain really pop and make it coarse and heavy, otherwise it won't read for example. 

 

Anyway, A Hidden Life looks the same on Apple Trailers, I don't know if it's the Red itself. I tend to find Red cameras more videoey BUT in the right hands (and the DXL and DXL2 look great too on certain things), they look fantastic. I don't know, Knight Of Cups felt the same to me (it had some stuff shot on film but super minor). 

I understand the "it takes me out of it" bit. One obviously has to be super careful with digital because it takes a lot more work to make it look interesting. 

Edited by Manu Delpech

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1 hour ago, Robin R Probyn said:

I say nothing  ..but what is annoying, is the evangelist furor, blinkered view that some people have against digital .. talk about defensive behaviour  !..most of them are not even camera people.. or some with  very limited experience  .

 

3 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

 same way a whole lot of ASC DP,s chose the Canon 5D on a blind camera test .. 

but this is evanglism from your side btw. however… i do care on the choice of formats and i do respect the choices of others. But i don´t like when people do "anti" film propaganda… cause this ends in dump discussions with producers… just to remember, thats what i wrote:  "not saying that this trailer does look terrible but i got distracted by the look. And i loved wide-angled shots chivo does on the prior mallick movies." just means that i got distracted by the look -. thats what the look does to me however what it was shot on.

I do personally like all mediums digital & film and i use mainly the alexa for tvc/advertising work. But i still see many reason for both formats film & digital nowadays 2019. And I can´t understand why people propaganda digital as be as same as film…or saying that there isn´ßt any difference (what you clearly said above) there is still a differnce and i can tell you from many many telecine & grading sessions.

Also a reason why many cinemato and photographers still use film. And no i am not a  Film Fanboy… But saying there is no difference isn´t the truth. And yes its a CInematographers Forum we still should discuss about that!  But enough for now… sorry for getting this out of Topic. 

 

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If anyone says they don't see a difference, they either are sitting far, far away from the screen or their eyesight is in question, honestly. There ARE some very rare examples of super clean 35mm, but yeah, otherwise, it's plain as day. 16mm and 2 perf are of course either more blatant. But hell, even anamorphic 35mm these days can be plenty grainy. I love it when DPs push process and really aren't scared of grain.

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