Jump to content


Photo

Best cinematography


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 Ckulakov

Ckulakov
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 193 posts
  • Student
  • Washington D.C.

Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:18 AM

Dear Filmmakers,

With "Memoirs of Geisha" winning best cinematography this year do you believe it deserved the award or not. If not, what do you think should have one and why?
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19765 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:24 AM

I wasn't surprised. It won the ASC Award too. What can you say -- it was gorgeous! Sure it's mostly moody eye candy, but it was definitely well-shot. All the nominees were strong in different ways. I try to not analyze award nominees and winners too carefully because on some level, it's not really an accurate indication of the "best" of the year, nor can you really rank these or pit them against each other. All the nominees deserved to be nominated and any of them could have won for all I care. I'm not going to say that one was better than another. How can you really compare a big studio film like "Batman Begins" to a small film like "Brokeback Mountain"? How can you compare a b&w film to a color one?
  • 0

#3 Trevor Greenfield

Trevor Greenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 162 posts
  • Director
  • North Idaho

Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:29 AM

I was pulling for Elswit because Ive been in love with his work for awhile but Geisha probablydeserved to win.
  • 0

#4 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 06 March 2006 - 03:34 AM

Compared to a film like 'The New World' that looked great and had a concept as to how it was shot, I think 'Geisha' was all about pretty pictures, which is the right approach for commercials, but much too shallow for a fearture film. There were so many shots in that film where you felt that they just cut them in because they looked good.
  • 0

#5 rajavel

rajavel
  • Guests

Posted 09 March 2006 - 12:30 AM

oh memoirs of geisha!

it was a great cinematic experience.....but not the greatest though. i felt that
that they could have done it better (the making of it)....they could have gotten
a little more real interms of the location set up....it looked very set'ty...so it
really looked like a staged theatre rather than a realistic cinema.

and since waht the camera catches really matters.....it would have been better
if it had captured more realism......

but was wondering really about all those exterior night sequences......great work.
how did they manage that soft night feel...keeping every detail in place. how did they
manage...esp the beginning of the film.

memories of good images!!
  • 0

#6 Rupe Whiteman

Rupe Whiteman
  • Sustaining Members
  • 336 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 10 March 2006 - 07:00 AM

oh memoirs of geisha!

it was a great cinematic experience.....but not the greatest though. i felt that
that they could have done it better (the making of it)....they could have gotten
a little more real interms of the location set up....it looked very set'ty...so it
really looked like a staged theatre rather than a realistic cinema.

and since waht the camera catches really matters.....it would have been better
if it had captured more realism......

but was wondering really about all those exterior night sequences......great work.
how did they manage that soft night feel...keeping every detail in place. how did they
manage...esp the beginning of the film.

memories of good images!!


... Not seen the movie yet - but there's a good article in a recent the asc mag - the soft light exterior (a set) was created by rigging a huge 2-part silk above the entire set and thus lighting this gave the soft look mentioned... go read it!

Regards,

Rupe Whiteman
  • 0

#7 Jason Maeda

Jason Maeda
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 361 posts

Posted 10 March 2006 - 11:06 AM

"How can you compare a b&w film to a color one?"

well easily actually, we do it all the time. i know that the cinematography of 'Andrei Rublyov' is better than that of 'Night Watch'...at least according to the standards i use to judge films.

but the real issue is this: the academy awards have a certain perspective and it is one not shared but some filmmakers. watching 'geisha' win might seem funny, but placed in the context of the most recent winners for best picture, it begins to make sense:

crash 2006
million dollar baby 2004
return of king 2003
chicago 2002
a beautiful mind 2001
gladiator 2000
american beauty 1999
shakespear in love 1998
titanic 1997
english patient 1996
braveheart 1995

and it goes on and on....

jk :ph34r:
  • 0

#8 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 March 2006 - 01:01 AM

Jason,
I'm missing your point. Why does Geisha's win make more sense when you consider the recent Best Picture winners? Sometimes vagueness can be lost on me.
  • 0

#9 Jason Maeda

Jason Maeda
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 361 posts

Posted 12 March 2006 - 12:39 PM

sorry. i'm just trying to say that the "academy" has a direction and a mission and seeing all the lame films they've chosen to hail as the best of the year really puts the "geisha" win in perspective. i didn't find the photography of "geisha" to be particularly interesting, but if "gladiator" can win best picture then who really cares what they do?
jk :ph34r:
  • 0

#10 Jonathan Spear

Jonathan Spear
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2006 - 01:51 PM

""..but if "gladiator" can win best picture then who really cares what they do?""

-------------------

Run for the hills!!

It's the..

:o

ACADEMY!!
  • 0

#11 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 March 2006 - 04:09 PM

sorry. i'm just trying to say that the "academy" has a direction and a mission and seeing all the lame films they've chosen to hail as the best of the year really puts the "geisha" win in perspective.
jk :ph34r:

I don't know that the academy really has a "mission" as far as what movies win. The people with the mission are the studios, that lobby votes.
  • 0

#12 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19765 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 March 2006 - 04:22 PM

When a vote doesn't go the way you think it should, it's too cheap and easy to always claim collusion, cheating, politics, etc. rather than admit that some people simply don't vote the way you would.

An "agenda" suggests that the Academy voters actually get together and agree on what they are going to vote for (Academy committees DO get together and decide what the nominees will be in many of the categories however.)

So it would be easier to ascribe an "agenda" to what gets nominated more than what wins the award.

Besides, the ASC also gave the Best Cinematography award to "Memoirs of a Geisha" and obviously many members actually felt it was the best-looking movie of the year. I was not surprised it won at all. It was gorgeous -- rich, colorful, moody, technically-challenging, widescreen period photography, the sort of photography that has always won awards since they started giving out awards for cinematography.

It's best not to think too much about awards. If you're nominated or a winner, they are great of course, but ultimately they are not particularly meaningful in determining worth, just popularity at that moment in time.

Years before I became an ASC member, I remember telling Roger Deakins (himself many times nominated but never winning the Oscar) that I lost the Spirit Award for "Twin Falls Idaho" and he said "heck, you can't lose what you never had." The work is what matters, not the award.
  • 0

#13 Dominic Case

Dominic Case
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1357 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 12 March 2006 - 05:36 PM

There were so many shots in that film where you felt that they just cut them in because they looked good.


If there were that many "look good" shots, isn't that saying something about the cinematography? After all, that's what is being judged (in theory).

If Dion Beebe set out with his director to make a "pretty" film then he's done it, regardless of whether someone thinks it's more like a TV commercial, or someone else thinks it lacks hard realism. If that's what the director wants, and that's what the DoP delivers, then there's no criticism.
  • 0

#14 peter orland

peter orland
  • Guests

Posted 12 March 2006 - 06:18 PM

"If Dion Beebe set out with his director to make a "pretty" film then he's done it, regardless of whether someone thinks it's more like a TV commercial, or someone else thinks it lacks hard realism. If that's what the director wants, and that's what the DoP delivers, then there's no criticism."


Exactly. This is from the asc interview.

Dion Beebe (Jan 28, 2006 10:18:12 AM)
"Absolutely, the film, story and director are the main considerations. Everything else is ultimately the means to an end. And whether you choose to tell the story with HD technology or a Super 8 camera, what remains most important is the integrity of the story.I would happily shoot a movie on Super 8 tomorrow if I thought it could help me tell the story. And as a matter of fact I still have my Super 8 standing by just in case.

As an Aussie myself, Dion Beebe, along with Donald McAlpine, Andrew Lesnie, Dean Semler, John Seale, Christopher Doyle, etc...etc...are a great inspiration to me, and probably lots of other aspiring cinematographers.

Congratulations to him.

Edited by peter orland, 12 March 2006 - 06:19 PM.

  • 0

#15 Ignacio Aguilar

Ignacio Aguilar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Madrid, Spain

Posted 12 March 2006 - 06:38 PM

Though I find Emmanuel Lubezki's "The New World" the most exciting piece of cinematography this year, I'm happy with Dion Beebe winning the ASC & Academy awards. I didn't like the film itself too much, but his work (and John Myhre's production design) was really beautiful and a real challenge from a technical point of view, since he was shooting anamorphic at very wide apertures, sometimes even with long lenses.

Beebe has teamed again with Michael Mann for "Miami Vice", and I can't wait to see the results! :)
  • 0

#16 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11943 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2006 - 06:53 PM

Hi,

Geisha... yes. Now someone mentions it, I think that's the perfect description. It looked like a commercial. I kept expecting someone to turn around and say, in crippling Japanese accent, "You worth it!"

Phil
  • 0

#17 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2006 - 07:11 PM

If there were that many "look good" shots, isn't that saying something about the cinematography? After all, that's what is being judged (in theory).

Yes, but it's also a bit superficial isn't it? I feel there should be a bit more to cinematography than merely being 'pretty', whether the director set out for that or not.

The whole enterprise of 'Memoirs of Geisha' (a Hollywood film which casts Chinese actresses and has them speak English in what is a quintessential Japanese theme) is rather nonsensical to begin with. On the other hand I'm not surprised by the Academy's vote at all since these kind of 'prestige' films that are obviously made with possible awards in mind always fare well at the oscars.
  • 0

#18 Robert Edge

Robert Edge
  • Sustaining Members
  • 401 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2006 - 08:07 PM

On the the other hand I'm not surprised by the Academy's vote at all since these kind of 'prestige' films that are obviously made with possible awards in mind always fare well at the oscars.


You mean like Crash and the other four films nominated for Best Film, which combined grossed less than Chronicles of Narnia?

I agree with you that the Academy Awards are "a bit superficial". They are supposed to be.

People who think that the Academy Awards are about the evaluation of art should spend a day at Cannes during its festival (heavily underwritten, as you no doubt know, by a cosmetics company).

Myself, I'm taking a completely chauvinist perspective on this year's Academy Awards. A Canadian produced and wrote Crash, a Canadian company produced/distributed Capote and both Capote and Brokeback Mountain were shot in Canada.

Love it...

P.S. Have a look at the list of Nobel Prize winners in literature. The Nobel Committee has had a remarkable talent, in hindsight, for getting it wrong. The same is true of the Pulitzer and the Booker.

As Mr. Mullen says, in the long term it is about the work, not the awards.

The great thing about the people who run big film award shows (whether the show runs for a night or a week), unlike their literary counterparts, is that they know that they are dead in the water unless they take a back seat to the fashion industry.
  • 0

#19 Jon-Hebert Barto

Jon-Hebert Barto
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2006 - 09:28 PM

Maybe I'm a poop-head but I can't stand award shows for any artistic endeavor. We might as well pit Van

Goghs work againts ....well, hell, whoever else's work!!! "...and this year the award goes to Starry Night..."

"...for best pigmentation in an oil painting the award goes to..." Screw all that nonsense. These shows are

there for hollywood peeps to watch there own work in a mastubatory way. It's all about "I" and "me"

and "we", and I say "we" in the "WE WON" kind of way. I'm glad that Jack Nicolson said "..and the winner
is..." becuase that's the truth. The oscars are a political sweepstakes that make me want to vomit. Sorry

for being crude and bringing this down to an ugly and unprofessional level. This is the way I feel. That also

goes for the so-called Independent Spirit Awards. If you get money from Fine Line Pictures your film ain't

independent, baby!!! People like J. Pheonix, " I like doing indy films. I just did one for fox searchlight..."

Yeah, owned by Fox news and Rupert Murdoch whom Pheonix claims to hate. These people talk out of their

collective asses all the time. Come to my Global Warming/Green Energy party next

week and maybe you'll leave next week with an award!!! It is not about congradulating each other on their

well done work but about feeling oh-so-cool and with-it and"I'm right, f*** the fly over country..."

Ok, I see this post is getting waaayyy off topic so I close saying this: I understand that not all people in

Hollywood are jerks, and being a "jerk" is subjective. However, the Oscars are a grand carnival, a street

parade of hypocrites.

P.S. I did watch it and must echo the soon-to-be motto of the Oscars, " It's hard out here for a pimp...". You're damn right it

is!

Edited by BARCA, 12 March 2006 - 09:30 PM.

  • 0

#20 Robert Edge

Robert Edge
  • Sustaining Members
  • 401 posts
  • Other

Posted 13 March 2006 - 10:02 AM

If you guys get a chance to see the BBC/Arte documentary French Beauty, don't pass up the opportunity. It's a fun film, and implicitly raises the provocative question of whether the film industry, at the high end, is essentially a marketing platform for the luxury goods industries, especially the fashion industry.

How's this for a thought... Karl Lagerfeld and Vera Wang and the women they dress are more important to the success of the Academy Awards, as an event, than the Stephen Spielbergs and the Jack Nicholsons and a bunch of cinematographers that nobody has ever heard of.

Find the next Marilyn Munroe and watch the ratings go through the roof.

Meanwhile, God save us from George Clooney and his lectures, especially the ones that he thinly disguises as a motion picture.
  • 0


Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Visual Products

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Opal

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Opal