Stephanie Palmer identifies a few cliches that pretty much demonstrate you don’t know what you’re doing.
Anett Haellmigk speaks to Creative COW about her path as a pioneering female cinematographer and her work on Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones came to me through director Alex Graves, with whom I’ve worked for 17 years. In Spring of 2012, when we were doing the 666 pilot together, he told me Game of Thrones had approached him to shoot two episodes, I said, “If you get it, you have to take me with you. I love that show so much, and I think I can contribute.” Another coincidence was that Bernie Caulfield, someone else I’ve worked with quite a bit, was the Game of Thronesline producer, so she was able to back Alex up and I got the job.
For this season, I shot Episodes 4 [And Now His Watch Is Ended] and 5 [Kissed by Fire]. The show shoots with theARRI Alexa. I’m very happy with that camera. It’s a workhorse and an easy transition from film to HD. It’s very consistent and user-friendly. Having started my career in Munich, Germany, I grew up with Arriflex cameras when I started out, so I do have a strong connection with Arriflex.
When you shoot episodes for a show with an established look, it’s all about serving the show. All my experience as a 2nd unit DP, when you have to match what the 1st Unit DP established, helped me to match the look without too much difficulty. I know what the show is supposed to look like and I match it as well as I can. Every DP has his or her own spin on things, but it has to be something that looks similar. Shooting episodes in a show like Game of Thrones is a special situation on so many levels — the directors are coming in with their own DPs being one of them. This season had six cinematographers! In order to get consistency, you communicate with the other DPs about their approach. You have the PIX system where you can watch each other’s dailies, and production created so-called flip books, which were “frame grabs” of each scene and locations of previous and current episodes. Since we shared locations and sets, these books were very helpful for reference. Through all these methods, we — the group of DPs — were able to create consistency.
Creative COW | Read the Full Article
Bloom looks at the Micro Four-Thirds variant of the Black Magic Cinema Camera and how the change of lens mount may actually make the camera more suited to his shooting style.
There were many pros and cons. Which outweighed which depended upon the indiviual needs, hence I just listed them. One of the biggest issues for me by far was the choice of lens mount. I love Canon glass and have a lot of it, but they are designed for way bigger sensors than the small BMD sensor. This resulted in a large 2.3x crop of the image, but worse than that, the only light hitting the BMD sensor was from the centre part of the glass, not the whole thing, meaning the image was compromised straight off because of that. With with that version also being a fixed mount, you were stuck with the Canon mount. Micro Four Thirds always made more sense to me as the BMD sensor is just a bit smaller than the Gh2/ 3 so they would be a great match. Blackmagic thought so too, so just after I put out my epic review on the first day of IBC last year, they announced an MFT (Micro Four Thirds) version.
Philip Bloom | Read the Full Article
Pen Densham explores the forces behind the studio system – a need for financial security in sequels but also the unavoidable fact that audiences want films that are new, exciting and different.
I first came to Hollywood as a young Oscar-nominated moviemaker from Toronto. I was very lucky; Norman Jewison mentored me here, and the Canadian government paid my way. John Watson also joined me in founding Trilogy, and, thanks to Jewison’s reputation, we were given access to high-level people at the studios.
We discovered studios had marketing analysis people who tested films on real audiences to help tweak and launch them. We persuaded Willette Klausner and Richard Del Belso, working for Universal at the time, to let us buy them lunch with the ulterior motive of picking their brains to unlock the secrets from their studies of audience reactions to hundreds of movies: The Holy Grail to filmic success. So, over the salads, we popped our burning question: “Considering you guys test the audience reactions to every movie that gets made here, what works?”
Their answer was simple: The audience wants movies that are “new, interesting and different.” Their testing systems told them that communicating novelty and creating curiosity were major components in bringing an audience to a movie. Their testing revealed that audiences crave originality.
Neurobiologists have peeked inside our brains with MRIs and have discovered that novelty is a fantastically powerful stimulus, and the more novelty, the more we seek to explore it as a reward in itself.
Studio System News | Read the Full Article
Alison Nastasi explores the thoughts and feels of 12 Actors and Directors and their thoughts of working with intimate scenes.
Derek Cianfrance’s film about a crumbling relationship contained one of the most realistic sex scenes ever put to film. The MPAA tried to brand the intimate moment between Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling unsuitable for an R-rating. Gosling called them sexist, reminding them it was a married couple making love, and the NC-17 rating was successfully appealed. That controversy wasn’t the only thing that grabbed people’s attention. Interviews with the actors revealed an intense, emotional on-screen relationship. Gosling talked to Wmagazine about how he approaches filming a sex scene:
“Actors become very professional and proficient about watching out for each other’s light and not stepping on each other’s lines. All of these things are artificial, and you have to strip that away if you’re going to achieve a sense of intimacy. In real life sex is messy… “
“When I work I’m not nervous. Work is this fabulous free zone. There’s no judgment. My problems arrive when I’m not working. At a photo shoot, for instance, I feel like a sham. I feel like they’re trying to cover up what’s wrong with me. It’s probably not true, but just my dirty mind at work.”
Fandor | Read the Full Article
Noah Hawley, creator of “My Generation,” reveals the open secret of pilot season for writers: “In TV, there’s no stigma to failure.”
The pilot writer in January, like Schrodinger’s cat, is alive and dead at the same time. As Feb. 1 approaches, sleep becomes fitful, your mind split between equally likely scenarios. Either 1) the call comes and the network picks up your pilot, making you busier than most humans, or 2) a different call comes, and the network passes on your pilot, making you unemployed.
For me, the call came on a Friday. It was from my producers, not the network, which (you guessed it) meant the cat was dead. “The network is passing,” they said, as if they couldn’t believe it. We had, after all, been told in recent days to interview casting directors. We had run through multiple drafts of a director list and had, at the network’s instruction, submitted the script to several names on the list. As other pilot scripts had fallen away, ours had remained on the “hot list.” So we were doing our due diligence, preparing to hit the ground running, egged on by enthusiastic network and studio executives. So that Friday morning, when we heard the network was going to make some pickups, everyone expected the best.
THR.com | Read the Full Article
Famed director Ridley Scott is launching a new production studio offering free Kickstarter videos to young and aspiring filmmakers.
“It’s about time we start recognizing the ground breaking talents of these unknown artists” said Scott in a press conference. “My heart aches at the thought that the world is missing out on such great untapped cinema.”
The newly formed company called Stultus Productions will offer free Kickstarter Pitch videos to applicants looking to fund their films. Ridley Scott will personally oversee the planning and execution of these pitches, employing his extensive knowledge and team of special effects artists.
“This is amazing,” said Marco Sampson, a part time film student, “It’s about time they finally recognized that we are so much more creative than the Hollywood establishment. I have a script about a struggling writer who is unlucky in love that would be perfect for this”
After years of cat videos and hot chicks falling over themselves, the ultimate video show is coming to an end. At midnight, the winner will be selected and all other videos will be deleted. Will it be you?
Evan Luzi covers 5 ways that the camera assistant can make the editorial process as simple as possible.
Walter Murch, the “Yoda of editing,” often talks about how he doesn’t think editors belong on set. He thinks they need to come to the footage fresh with untainted eyes — knowing in your mind, for instance, that a shot took a whole day to film might bias you into using it.
The Black and Blue | Read the Full Article
The production crew used the old technique of front projection to create the illustion of a home built 3,000 feet in the sky.