Jump to content


Photo

Sunshine.


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 07 April 2007 - 03:27 AM

I loved it.

Sci-fi is notoroiusly hard to pull off and there's a lot to live up to - especially visually. But I think Danny Boyle did a good job. And this is not easy to do when the script has no clear hero - the characters are pretty all much puppets in an ensemble cast. Also, the film weers between existential, philosophical 2001-ishness and outright horror movie, which probably will upset some people who like clear genres. But for me it worked.

And it looks great. Alwin Kuchler, BSC, did a great job (and he's going to blow up over the next years). Shot with the Hawk anamorphic series. Very low level, dark and moody. I really enjoyed how he let the built in lights in the set do a lot of the work for him - it felt real and placed the characters there. Too much standard "3-point film lighting" often brings an artificialness to it. He's alos got a nice way of contaminating the frame with either dirty framing, flares, or other stuff - you're constatntly looking through stuff. My only gripe - as usual - way to many close ups. Nice production design, too - felt real and not gimmicky.

I share the same gaffer with Alwin - the fantastic Reuben Garrett - so I have some first hand information. For the sun they built this huge array of PAR cans (over a 1000) on a moving track, which was a very complicated rig. Another gaffer I use, Harry Wiggins, was the second unit gaffer. So, my hats go off to them, know this was a big job for them to pull off.

Effects look great - no complaints at all. Not sure what was models and/or what was 3D - which is the way it supposed to be! Good job by Moving Picture Company.
  • 0

#2 Rupe Whiteman

Rupe Whiteman
  • Sustaining Members
  • 336 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 11 April 2007 - 05:27 PM

... Saw this tonight and would agree with Adam... some really nice funky flares from the 'Hawks. The par-sun created was very well realized and must have been a sight to see on set. The photographic style was stylish and compelling without being showy'... Must have been a good test of the dop's metering and exposure judgement skills...
  • 0

#3 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 11 April 2007 - 06:15 PM

I just saw this film and gosh was it bad...

The main problem is the script. None of the characters are properly defined and they feel very vague because of it. Considering that they had a cast of 7-8 people, scenes got very baffling as you are constantly trying to remember who is who and are not given very many clues. Also the way the story progressed was very random. There were scenes where you were supposed to feel tension, but you didn't, because 1) they didn't make clear what was at stake and 2) you didn't really care about the characters. Of course once they dock that other ship, it just gets plain silly. I don't want to spoil it for other people, but those who have seen the film will know what I mean. It's a film that clearly doesn't have an identity. I was constantly thinking how much btter 'Alien' was when it came to characterization and story.

Visually I found the lighting alright, but didn't fancy some of the compositions too much. Quite a few times you'd have the profile of person in the foreground on one side of the frame and the focus would be on them, then there would be several other people further back, and out-of-focus basically, which lead to very unbalanced compositions that didn't add anything to the film and just offended my eye.

Also there was quite a bit of spherical lenses used, as evidenced by the bokeh.
  • 0

#4 Evan Winter

Evan Winter
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 202 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 April 2007 - 08:28 PM

LOL,

Alright Max, I gotta know - give me your top 5 - 10 overall films (technically, narratively, acting, etc - simply the 5 - 10 best films you've ever seen). After reading your critiques and comments over the last few years I'm curious to know what it is that you actually like (or love) and I sincerely plan to watch at least a few of the films on your list; I may very well learn something!

Also, I attended a Q&A session with director Danny Boyle that took place after the movie was screened. I thought the film was pretty good. The first 2/3rds are, in my mind, vastly superior to the last 3rd. The film switches genres, everyone can tell this. Danny Boyle brought this up himself. He said that the suits claimed it wouldn't work. His response was that he believed it would and he felt that you have to be daring in filmmaking; you have to take risks otherwise you're not really doing much. I wish I could say that I thought the genre swtich worked but I didn't.

The film is well shot and well composed. It's very pretty and the effects are outstanding (especially when the budget level is considered). Danny Boyle said that he wouldn't likely do Sci-Fi again because it's, 'so hard'. He joked that this is why you see so many directors do one Sci-Fi film and then abandon the genre.

Considering just how independent this film is it's awfully Hollywood and felt very unlike Danny Boyle's other work (which isn't a particularly good thing). At the end of the day though it's a solid work of narrative and visual craftsmanship constructed by a very capable and talented director.

Edited by Evan Winter, 11 April 2007 - 08:30 PM.

  • 0

#5 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 April 2007 - 02:52 AM

LOL,

Alright Max, I gotta know - give me your top 5 - 10 overall films (technically, narratively, acting, etc - simply the 5 - 10 best films you've ever seen). After reading your critiques and comments over the last few years I'm curious to know what it is that you actually like (or love) and I sincerely plan to watch at least a few of the films on your list; I may very well learn something!

Hmm, well come to think of it I have actually never seen a film that I really liked...

Just kidding. My current favourite film is 'The Weeping Meadow'. Other films that I love are 'Andrei Rublev' & 'Stalker' by Tarkovsky, 'Elephant' by Van Sant, 'Cyclo' by Tran Ang Hung, 'Memories of Murder' by Bong Joon Ho, 'Ali' by Michael Mann, 'Full Metal Jacket' & 'Dr Strangelove by Kubrick, 'The Thin Red Line' by Malick.
  • 0

#6 Rupe Whiteman

Rupe Whiteman
  • Sustaining Members
  • 336 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 April 2007 - 05:43 AM

Max definately has a point about the plot and characterizations... I didn't believe the characters on the Icarus would be the types chosen for such a monumentally important mission...

Alien, 2001, Solaris it ain't...

'And there was a lot more fiction in the science...
  • 0

#7 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11943 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 April 2007 - 08:06 AM

It is fairly awful. The photography is beautiful, and the effects fantastic - when one spacecraft drifts in front of another and the underside is illuminated by golden reflections it's real art. But.

Too many poorly defined characters, so you couldn't care less about any of them. Tried to be too many things - hard sci fi, thriller, blockbuster. It would have been better if they'd picked up one of those things and done it well, rather than trying to crowd-please. Instead, it was hopelessly confused - the concern about the last third degenerating into a sub-Alien slasher was entirely justified. Felt like three or four films badly rammed together.

Why are the spacesuits such a stupid design? You'd have thought they were sun-proof, but apparently not.
Why can you take the system boards out of the coolant? Any sane system wouldn't let you.
Why are the effects of the coolant inconsistent between the beginning and end of the film?
Why are there no spare plant cultures on board? Disease could destroy the mission.
Also, when he found burn victim guy in the obs room, why didn't he just get it to turn down the filtration so he could see, rather than squinting into it
Why do they have an observation room, what's the objective point; why would it even have the capability to open up to dangerous levels?
Why don't the fire extiguishers work?
Computer projection goes haywire when simulation becomes unreliable. Why does unreliability of the simulation data cause the display hardware to malfunction?

Beautiful production design but that goes more or less without saying these days. Too many minor inconsistencies.

Phil
  • 0

#8 Rupe Whiteman

Rupe Whiteman
  • Sustaining Members
  • 336 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 12 April 2007 - 09:28 AM

... Some good points Phil... the spacesuit was all wrong for me too - seemed like they liked the design detail and look of it more than the practicality... the slit to look-through in it was just a cinematic device but would be totally impractable, and if they could dim the observation room then why not the spacesuit visor... A big plot problem for me was the character who does the miscalculation (trying not to spoil the 'plot') - the kind of all important calculation he makes would have been checked and triple checked by all the crew (remember the crew in Apollo 13 calculating their return trip to Earth...) because it had to be right...

It's the imagery that works...

Max... I'll have to get hold of Elephant.... It's really that good? - I've always liked Drugstore Cowboy but not much of Van Sants' other work...
  • 0

#9 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:57 AM

Max... I'll have to get hold of Elephant.... It's really that good? - I've always liked Drugstore Cowboy but not much of Van Sants' other work...

It's very different from 'Drugstore Cowboy'. Lots of long travelling shots. The film is not so much interested in telling a story and devloping characters, but rather slows down the rhythm and captures the feel of the space of the school that the film is set in. Van Sant started experimenting with this in his previous film 'Gerry' already. His last three films have all been in this style which eschews traditional storytelling in the vein of Bela Tarr, Tarkovsky and Angelopoulos.

His latest film should be selected for this year's Cannes Film Festival.
  • 0

#10 Eden Lagaly-Faynot

Eden Lagaly-Faynot
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Student
  • France

Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:33 AM

Also there was quite a bit of spherical lenses used, as evidenced by the bokeh.


Right, according to an Arri Mag, Kuchler did use Master Primes and Ultra Prime 8r on some shoots.

Edited by Eden Lagaly-Faynot, 13 April 2007 - 11:33 AM.

  • 0

#11 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:20 PM

The article in VisionArri magazine gave the impression that they only used the spherical lenses for shots where flares were a problem, like in the observation room, but in fact there was quite a bit more spherical used, like for the in-helmet shots.
  • 0

#12 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 15 April 2007 - 04:54 AM

Really nice to look at on the new 13m high screen here in AK - about three too many 'air-lock' scenes and 'manual-overrides' to get lost in though ...

The Abyss wins
  • 0

#13 Stephen Price

Stephen Price
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • London

Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:16 PM

Also there was quite a bit of spherical lenses used, as evidenced by the bokeh.


Could you please expand on this statement, i'm still a novice about lenses and their construction.

How can one tell spherical lenses are used by studying the bokeh it produces?

thanks
  • 0

#14 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:27 PM

Could you please expand on this statement, i'm still a novice about lenses and their construction.

How can one tell spherical lenses are used by studying the bokeh it produces?

thanks

Anamorphic lenses will still give spherical bokeh - but once they are squeezed in projection they become 'tall'... Sunshine was projected in scope (you can tell as the cue marks are 'fat') but the bokeh was spherical and not tall as it should have been ...

This way they could shoot with spherical but get the extra B) brightness B) of a scope projection (but not the resolution)...

I've never worked with anamorphic so what I have typed is from the logic in my head - not hard facts... So I could be mistaken on the details.
  • 0

#15 David Mullen ASC

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

Posted 15 April 2007 - 04:58 PM

Anamorphic lenses with front anamorphic elements (usually primes up to 200mm) cause out-of-focus lights to be vertical ovals instead of circles.

The truth is that they are REALLY squeezed on the neg & print and after being unsqueezed by the anamorphic projector lens horizontally, they still look squeezed. But this is why you also sometimes get the horizontally flattened red ring -- it's a round ring on the neg & print but becomes flattened by the anamorphic projector lens unsqueezing the image.

But anamorphic lenses with a rear anamorphic element (usually zooms, telephoto lenses, and oddball lenses temporarily converted to anamorphic with a rear adaptor) don't create the vertical ovals, hence why you can also have spherical lens artifacts in an anamorphic movie. But often those out-of-focus shapes are actually square (the shape of the anamorphic element, which is cylindrical), not ovals or circles.

Also, a movie may have efx elements shot in spherical, to make compositing easier -- ideally, a bigger format like VistaVision is used though, but sometimes they use Super-35 instead.
  • 0

#16 Stephen Price

Stephen Price
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • London

Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:18 PM

Thanks guys for your knowledge, i understand a little more now, and you have given me some good points to further my learnings. I may be back! Thanks
  • 0

#17 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 10 July 2007 - 02:49 PM

I worked with the focus-puller of 'Sunshine' two weeks ago, Olly Tellett, a really nice guy and he gave me some more info on the film.

All the scenes on Icarus 1 are spherical beacuse they were shot with practicals.

They used the same cameras for anamorphic and Super35, so they had a specially made anamorphic groundglass which was centered on Super35 (not regular 35mm). Obviously changing from anamorphic to spherical meant that they had to swap out the groundglass too.

They did quite a bit of testing on the Hawks V-Series, going through quite a few lenses to find a set that they were happy with.
  • 0

#18 Matt Workman

Matt Workman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 421 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • NYC

Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:35 AM

Just saw the movie last night. I think most of my judgements about the plot have been said already but in general I didn't really connect with the main characters. It reminded me of "Cube" and "Event Horizon."

Being Asian-American I inevitably have to ask what the filmmaker is doing when casting three Asian actors in a film (all of which meet some clever sunshiny death). My friend mentioned that this director is marketing to the UK, Asia, and the USA so the casting may address that fact. The captain (who dies in the first act) is pretty noble and the navigation engineer is the overacheiving scholar. Neither of these characters really bothered me. Michelle Yeoh however in her final scene is shown in a yoga position holding her dying bud. I was a little annoyed with this, unless it was meant to be funny. I was expecting a crouching tiger tribute fight scene, not a stab in the back.

On a more cinematography related note I really loved the dolly/jib/tango shots. The best one was when the Capa must make his last stand and finish the detonation sequence.

Can anyone elaborate on how the tilt lense effects were accomplished? This is first seen when the initial warning lights come on and a high angle shot of everyone running is being slowly distorted. Is this the Hawk Anamorphics? I'm not really familiar with these lenses. I kind of assumed a lot of this stuff was done in post.

I'd be really interested in seeing the "sunshine" rig in ASC or something also. I was wondering how they were getting that monster rim light on the observation deck.

Besides amazing production design I'm sure there were some pretty complex composite/set extensions/cgi replacement tricks going on that I completely took for real.

This seems like the compliment of "Perfume" where the DP is really playing with the extremes of the dark. Here they are playing with the extremes of overexposure. I would be down to do this with HD but film I would play it safe and push the rest in the DI. Maybe they did a lot of testing first to find out the tolerance of the overexposure.

Cheers :ph34r:

Matt
  • 0

#19 Matt Workman

Matt Workman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 421 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • NYC

Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:49 AM

Other Non Cine- Questions:

-They focused on the eyes watching the sun so much in the beginning and then did nothing with it. I thought that they were getting high off direct sunlight or something.

-The pysch officer starts getting a sun burn from watching it so much but then he just dies. I thought for sure he was going to go crazy.

-Also I wanted to know more about what happened to the crew? Their captain just went nuts?

-Why does Mace flip out in the beginning if he turns out to be so heroic. Why does he think that waves crashing and girls screaming is peaceful?

Cine - Comments:

I was really excited to see what the lighting would look like when the crazy captain turned off all the lights. I was pretty impressed with the results except that they kept adding all this interferance type CG stuff to the edits. The hero shot of Cassie hiding was a clear tribute to horror films with the vertical slash of light on her face.

In the final scene where they are falling all over the place in the bomb room, did your version have 1/2 second freeze frames on the characters face? I thought this was a projection error at first, but then it happened several times.

Edited by Matt Workman, 23 July 2007 - 10:50 AM.

  • 0

#20 Bill Totolo

Bill Totolo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 698 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 23 July 2007 - 02:48 PM

Some beautiful cinematography but unfortunately there was nothing there to support. A very basic script. Great themes, in fact brilliant themes but so convolutedly carried out as to make me not care at all. I kept checking my watch during the screening. I kept thinking "Who Cares?".

The plot was so poorly executed and the editing so confusing that I lost interest 1/3 of the way through the film. How many brilliant shots of the sun am I supposed to endure?

Great cast but poorly directed. They were up there, underutilized, floundering, sticking out like sore thumbs. And that twist ending? C'mon.

"Alien" this is not, "2001: A Space Odyssey" this is not, "Solaris" this is not.
  • 0


CineTape

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Opal

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

CineLab

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Opal

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Tai Audio