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suggestions to compare/contrast deep and shallow d.o.f. movies?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 06:43 PM

"Citizen Kane" comes to mind as the most famous great depth of field movie (maybe the most
famous movie?)

Can anybody suggest some movies that are as extensively shallow depth of field throughout
and also some other, particularly more contemporay, great depth of field movies?

I'm working with some students and think that this might make for interesting viewing and
discussion.

Thanks.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 08:19 PM

Because of changes in focal lengths and shot sizes, it's very hard to find movies that are consistently either shallow or deep-focus even if they are shot at wide-open or stopped-down lens apertures. It may be easier to find particular deep-focus or shallow-focus scenes to compare than whole movies.

An anamorphic movie shot in low light levels like "Blade Runner" or "Heat" would have plenty of interesting shallow-focus shots. Michael Mann movies often have odd use of selective focus, like in "The Insider".

Deep-focus movies were more prevalent in the b&w era, since deep-focus is less attractive in color -- we use shallow focus partly to make details in the background less distracting, and partly it's the colors back there that are distracting. In monochrome, often you have the opposite problem, getting important details to pop out of the frame.

Besides "Citizen Kane", there are other Toland-shot movies like "Ball of Fire" (a fun comedy to boot), "Best Years of Our Lives", "Little Foxes", and the film right before "Citizen Kane", "The Long Voyage Home".

A more recent example would be "Paper Moon", shot in b&w almost entirely on a wide-angle lens at f/16.

"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" has some interior scenes shot in anamorphic at fairly deep stops -- the dialogue scene between Jones and the rich industrialist about the Holy Grail in his high-rise apartment has fairly deep framing and focus.

There are a lot of trick deep focus shots in "The Quick and the Dead".
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#3 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 08:24 PM

"Citizen Kane" comes to mind as the most famous great depth of field movie (maybe the most
famous movie?)

Can anybody suggest some movies that are as extensively shallow depth of field throughout
and also some other, particularly more contemporay, great depth of field movies?

I'm working with some students and think that this might make for interesting viewing and
discussion.

Thanks.


Umm, just off the top of my head, have you seen "Songs from the Second Floor"? This might be a slightly extreme example of what you are looking for but a great film and truly stunning sets and photography.

Sasha
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#4 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:35 PM

Umm, just off the top of my head, have you seen "Songs from the Second Floor"? This might be a slightly extreme example of what you are looking for but a great film and truly stunning sets and photography.

Sasha



No, I haven't seen it but I'm going to look it up. Thanks, Sasha.

I saw the first couple of scenes of "Paper Moon" on t.v. as I was going out the door
the other day and I made a note to see it again but now I definitely will and that
note about it being shot almost completely wide at f/16 is great. Thanks also for
some great recommendations, David. I've read about Greg Toland but still have
to see his earlier films and the others you suggested I wouldn't have thought
of (and haven't even seen "The Quick and the Dead" so it'll be fun to see that on a
a couple of levels.)

Also, your mentioning "Paper Moon" reminds me that Tatum O'Neil became the
youngest person I believe to win an Academy Award. Speakig of film acting!
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:15 PM

John Frankenheimer used deep focus quite a lot. Even in color.

'Andersonville and 'Ronin' use it alot. 'I Walk the Line' was panavision & frequently used split dioptres to simulate deep focus.

In B/W, 'the Train', 'Seconds' & "The Manchurian Candidate'.

Terry Gilliam uses deep focus and extreme wides alot. 'The Brothers Grimm'.
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#6 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 11:35 AM

John Frankenheimer used deep focus quite a lot. Even in color.

'Andersonville and 'Ronin' use it alot. 'I Walk the Line' was panavision & frequently used split dioptres to simulate deep focus.

In B/W, 'the Train', 'Seconds' & "The Manchurian Candidate'.

Terry Gilliam uses deep focus and extreme wides alot. 'The Brothers Grimm'.



Thanks Leo, those are good suggestions especially for looking at the possibilities simulating
deep focus.
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#7 Jan Weis

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 11:53 AM

There a scene in Paper Moon that resembles Citizen Kane.

The scene in Paper Moon takes place at the railway station. A ticket
is being bought for the protagonist and we see children playing a game
in the background through the window. Very deep focus in other words.
In Citizen Kane, there is a scene where we a see young Charles Foster
Kane (in the background and also through a window) playing around and
throwing snowballs as the adults discuss the future of Kane.

I cant help to think that Orson Welles had some influence in transtation
scene in Paper Moon, since he had already sugested to his close
friend Peter Bogdonovich to shoot only using red filters.

/Jan
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#8 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 07:09 PM

There a scene in Paper Moon that resembles Citizen Kane.

The scene in Paper Moon takes place at the railway station. A ticket
is being bought for the protagonist and we see children playing a game
in the background through the window. Very deep focus in other words.
In Citizen Kane, there is a scene where we a see young Charles Foster
Kane (in the background and also through a window) playing around and
throwing snowballs as the adults discuss the future of Kane.

I cant help to think that Orson Welles had some influence in transtation
scene in Paper Moon, since he had already sugested to his close
friend Peter Bogdonovich to shoot only using red filters.

/Jan


That is so cool. Thanks, Jan!
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Rig Wheels Passport

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rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

CineLab

Technodolly

The Slider

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets