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Confessions of a dangerous mind - Newton Thom Sigel's cinematography


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#1 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 07:13 AM

hy everybody, i was watching again "confessions of a dangerous mind" since i'm looking for inspiration for a project to be shot in india next december and i must say i really enjoyed sigel's work on this film. i mean, it is very, very stylized but i think it serves really well the purpose of storytelling. i'd like to read your opinions about this and any technical remarks you might add.
thanks
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 05:06 PM

I seem to recall there was an article about the film in American Cinematographer at the time.

I've always enjoyed Sigel's work, and it looks like he had a chance to stretch a bit with this story. I've always liked the way he uses multiple light sources from different directions to create dimension in the space, and contrast within the frame. Multiple light sources allow you to have a key light and and edge light wherever you need them for the blocking, while still maintaining adequate contrast ratio. It also gives a little more "energy" to the scene, compared to a single dominant light source that serves as the key and everything else falling below that.
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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 06:31 PM

In the cinema this film looked overly colorcorrected. There are commercials that have less obvious digital color correction.
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#4 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 08:27 PM

In the cinema this film looked overly colorcorrected. There are commercials that have less obvious digital color correction.


Hi Max, can you say how you would form that opinion? I believe you; I'm just wondering what sorts
of things would stand out to indicate that.
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 04:21 AM

Hi Max, can you say how you would form that opinion? I believe you; I'm just wondering what sorts
of things would stand out to indicate that.

If you correct too much then you start picking up artifacts and it starts looking very unnatural. I recall some of the scenes were very dessaturated, but ony let the red pop, etc... I had the same impression with 'Hard Candy'. They applied a commercials grade to the film which might look fine on a monitor, but on the big screen it was too much. I think the risk is that one does too much in the DI suite. Commercials need to stand out because they only last 30 secs and have to grab you attention in that short time frame, but for a feature in the theatre you paid your ticket, you're not going to run away, so the filmmakers can take more time to establish the story, the characters and donpt need to go overboard with the look.
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#6 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 06:48 PM

If you correct too much then you start picking up artifacts and it starts looking very unnatural. I recall some of the scenes were very dessaturated, but ony let the red pop, etc... I had the same impression with 'Hard Candy'. They applied a commercials grade to the film which might look fine on a monitor, but on the big screen it was too much. I think the risk is that one does too much in the DI suite. Commercials need to stand out because they only last 30 secs and have to grab you attention in that short time frame, but for a feature in the theatre you paid your ticket, you're not going to run away, so the filmmakers can take more time to establish the story, the characters and donpt need to go overboard with the look.


Thanks. By the way, just read your post about how you can tell if an over the shoulder shot is
anamorphic or spherical. How'd you learn so much about anamorphic lenses?

I watch films really closely and I'm amazed at all the stuff that other people see and report on here.
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#7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 03:43 AM

By the way, just read your post about how you can tell if an over the shoulder shot is
anamorphic or spherical. How'd you learn so much about anamorphic lenses?

I guess shooting in anamorphic does help.
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#8 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 08:25 AM

I guess shooting in anamorphic does help.


I'm sure but you're the only person I know who's shot three shorts in 35 mm. anamorphic. That's
pretty cool. I imagine that some of your shorts must have cost more than some of my friend's features!
However, I think that I've seen more than one instance in which somebody would have been better off
making a really great looking shorter film than one that is rather more ordinary looking due not to lack
of ability but rather the extra ninety pages they had to shoot.

Congratulations on your prize at Venice.
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