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Chris Durham

Member Since 07 Aug 2006
Offline Last Active Apr 05 2013 08:44 AM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: The Academy and Cinematography

25 February 2013 - 10:18 PM

I'm not sure we do. I mean is a Pixar movie or Micky Mouse cartoon cinematography? It certainly fits your "drawing with motion" idea?

 

Well, I think about the value that was added to Wall-E, on which Roger Deakins acted as a consultant to tell the story more cinematically (actually he's apparently consulted on several animated flicks). Obviously he shouldn't be credited as a cinematographer on this, in the traditional sense, but the film was enhanced by his bringing to bear traditional disciplines on a "new" medium. 
 
I guess my point is that technology is a substantial component of cinematography and technology is progressive. While the discourse over it is healthy, the difficulty is determining where to draw the line. Since so many movies rely so heavily on VFX element -- even movies that aren't effects-driven -- at what point between wire removal and fully digital sets does it stop being cinematography and start becoming effects?
 
Perhaps it's best to narrowly define cinematography as what happens in and in front of the camera. I say narrow in the sense that it's narrower than seems to be accepted by the academy and my devilishly-advocated position above. 

In Topic: The Academy and Cinematography

25 February 2013 - 02:55 PM

those were the same gorgeous sunsets and vistas that your DP Claudio
Miranda took credit for without so much as a word of thanks to those
artists.

 

Not sure a cinematographer can rightly take credit for any sunset -- they didn't exactly hang the thing themselves.

 

This is such a hard topic because we need to acknowledge that cinematography now involves so much more than the camera department, while at the same time understanding that the more that happens outside the camera department, the less the cinematographer can be credited with. Life of Pi really is an outstanding accomplishment in cinematography -- in the strictest sense if "drawing with motion." What I'm uncertain of is how much involvement Miranda had in the off-set aspects of that "drawing." If he was involved intimately in the lighting, framing, movement of digital elements, then perhaps the award is somewhat warranted.

 

One thing is certain, though, and that's the short shrift given to the armies of VFX people making these movies happen. I think most of us would be much happier if there were real acknowledgement of these folks and something more than empty overtures made at improving matters.

 

I was really pulling for Deakins on this. Skyfall doesn't do a whole lot that feels new, but every shot has such a master's touch. 


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