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#1 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 02:19 PM

From looking at a lot of people's show reels on here there's some pretty interesting and "way out" styles. Although personally I think you'd have more chance of getting anywhere by using mediocre cinematography. i.e. doing what the pro's are doing in films today, of that quality as well.

I mean I plan to shoot mediocre stuff, and I mean of the quality of the feature length films you see in cinemas today, and then when I get a bit more successful, start implementing new styles.

I mean anyone can use far out styles in indie short films, it doesn't really matter. But what's daring is to put your success on the line and come up with new styles once you've made it to the top. Not many people are daring enough to shoot huge feature length films, and then come up with new styles. With indie films it doesn't matter because they are merely practice runs anyway, if they come out cack it doesn't really matter.

Just a thought.

Dan.
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#2 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 05:57 PM

""From looking at a lot of people's show reels on here there's some pretty interesting and "way out" styles. Although personally I think you'd have more chance of getting anywhere by using mediocre cinematography. i.e. doing what the pro's are doing in films today, of that quality as well.""

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I wouldn't neccesarily call it mediocre cinematography. "Way out" styles are used in professional (studio) feature length films all the time; the Normandy invasion in Saving Private Ryan (at the time, at least).. 99% of Kill Bill.. Spun.. come to think of it, most big budget films have their own unique and interesting style. Whatever serves the mood and pace of the story.. the possibilities are endless.

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""I mean anyone can use far out styles in indie short films, it doesn't really matter. But what's daring is to put your success on the line and come up with new styles once you've made it to the top. Not many people are daring enough to shoot huge feature length films, and then come up with new styles. With indie films it doesn't matter because they are merely practice runs anyway, if they come out cack it doesn't really matter.""

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Practice runs.. yeah, sometimes. But most of the time indie films are good stories shot with low (or no) budgets. That means super8, 16mm, dv, etc. instead of super16, 35mm, 2.35, etc. That also means less lighting equipment, less or no special effect shots, unknown actors, an amateur crew, cheap sets, etc.

I'm not implying that all indie films are good. Many of them suck. Anyone can shoot a 2 hour "film" with a cheap video camera using only available light and the cute girl next door as the leading lady.

When I'm at the video store browsing the indie section, sometimes I'll come across a movie like this:

Ryan Fitzwilliam, a rough around the edges cop with a toothpaste fetish, meets the girl of his dreams at a bar only to find out that she's.. a transvestite prostitute. To make matters worse, it turns out he/she also runs a chihuahua farm and has a terrible case of acid reflux.

<_<

Or:

Three film students travel to Maryland to make a student film about a local urban legend... The Blair Witch. The three went into the woods on a two day hike to find the Blair Witch, and never came back. One year later, the students film and video was found in the woods. The footage was compiled and made into a movie.

:o

-Jonathan
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#3 Gordon Highland

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 08:12 PM

Anyone can shoot a 2 hour "film" with a cheap video camera using only available light and the cute girl next door as the leading lady.


It's already getting huge festival buzz. :P

But seriously, I admire "out there" cinematography. I remember seeing Aronofsky's first two movies and being very excited about them, and now I can't wait to see what he did with "The Fountain." But for most of us, as far as reels are concerned, I'd rather see more consistent, competent work ("mediocre" as you might say) from a DP in a variety of situations to demonstrate depth and flexibility (int, ext, day, night, large/small locations, etc.) more than flashy work, because frankly, if it calls attention to itself it's going to take the viewer out of my story. And the director should be the one composing the shots and selecting coverage anyway, so I don't care about that so much; I'm looking at lighting mostly.
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#4 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 09:52 AM

Hi Jon, (Jon or Jonathon??)

"From looking at a lot of people's show reels on here there's some pretty interesting and "way out" styles. Although personally I think you'd have more chance of getting anywhere by using mediocre cinematography. i.e. doing what the pro's are doing in films today, of that quality as well."

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I wouldn't neccesarily call it mediocre cinematography. "Way out" styles are used in professional (studio) feature length films all the time; the Normandy invasion in Saving Private Ryan (at the time, at least).. 99% of Kill Bill.. Spun.. come to think of it, most big budget films have their own unique and interesting style. Whatever serves the mood and pace of the story.. the possibilities are endless.

Yeh but you have to admit, the invasion scene wasn't exactly, way out. It matched the genre perfectly, amazing, but normal I'd say. When I say, way out, I mean going completely against the conventions. i.e. imagine if the normandy scene had been all pink or something and used really weird colours.

"I mean anyone can use far out styles in indie short films, it doesn't really matter. But what's daring is to put your success on the line and come up with new styles once you've made it to the top. Not many people are daring enough to shoot huge feature length films, and then come up with new styles. With indie films it doesn't matter because they are merely practice runs anyway, if they come out cack it doesn't really matter."


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Practice runs.. yeah, sometimes. But most of the time indie films are good stories shot with low (or no) budgets. That means super8, 16mm, dv, etc. instead of super16, 35mm, 2.35, etc. That also means less lighting equipment, less or no special effect shots, unknown actors, an amateur crew, cheap sets, etc.


I just usually find the storyline sucks. Everyone tries to make it interesting by involving a range of politics these days. For instance the first film I ever made was based around several different cultures and sexualities. It's asthough people are trying to score brownie points for showing that they are 100% open minded to all cultures and sexualities. I think that's a total load of crap.

These aren't film makers they're politicians.

But seriously, I admire "out there" cinematography. I remember seeing Aronofsky's first two movies and being very excited about them, and now I can't wait to see what he did with "The Fountain." But for most of us, as far as reels are concerned, I'd rather see more consistent, competent work ("mediocre" as you might say) from a DP in a variety of situations to demonstrate depth and flexibility (int, ext, day, night, large/small locations, etc.) more than flashy work, because frankly, if it calls attention to itself it's going to take the viewer out of my story. And the director should be the one composing the shots and selecting coverage anyway, so I don't care about that so much; I'm looking at lighting mostly.


It's just that from the reels I've seen there's all this fancy SFX work being done. And a lot of it is actually in post. When I (if I) work on any future films, I'm just going to try and make it as good as I can through lighting. I'd love to see a reel where the scene's look like something out of Road to Perdition or Titanic or something.

Edited by Daniel J. Ashley-Smith, 13 November 2005 - 09:57 AM.

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