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Malik Hassan Sayeed´s cinematography on "Clockers"


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#1 Tebbe Schoeningh

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:48 PM

Hi!

I´ve just seen "Clockers" by Spike Lee and I really liked Malik Hassan Sayeed´s cinemtography. I got a couple of questions about the "how" and "what", maybe some of you know more about that movie and could give me some answers...

1st: There are a couple of shots made with long lenses that look very nice. Do you know which lenses they we´re using?

2nd: There are some flashback sequences, that seem to be shot in a different format. There´s the one when Delroy Lindo tells Mekhi Pfifer the story of his first murder. It looks really grainy and so on. Could it be Super 8?
Mekhi Pfifers flashbacks look like cross-processing. Did Malik Hassan Sayeed use it on tht film?

3rd: I suppose that most of the emulsions they were using on that film are discontinued, but anyway I´d be interested in knowing which stocks we´re used.

4th: There are some scenes which were aparently shot with filters. I liked especially the last one, when Mekhi Pfeifer is on that train. I´d looks like an orange filter which desaturates the image in a way. Which one could it be?

Thank you all!

Tebbe

PS: I could up some stills of the scenes, but I don´t know wether it´s legal or not...
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#2 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 04:23 PM

From what I remember, Malik shot with 5239, a 160 ASA daylight VNF Ektachrome stock and 5017, which was a still-photography stock that Kodak manufactured a special order of for Malik's use in a motion picture film camera. [he also used some of this on the film, HE GOT GAME] He cross processed both emulsions [which as you mentioned are discontinued] and if I remember correctly he used this for the flashback sequence. They also shot those sequence using anamorphic lenses and left the images uncorrected so the images were trippy and disorienting. Spike Lee and DP Arthur Jafa did this same in camera effect on the film CROOKLYN, when the young girl visits her relatives in the South in an effort to show her POV of this new, and unsettling environment.

Malik also used negative stocks, including Kodak 5298. I don't have it nearby, but The September 1995 issue of American Cinematographer covers the cinematography of CLOCKERS in full detail including the film stocks and lenses he used; I do recall it mentioning his use of a few telephoto lenses over 200mm.

The last scene on the train was a beautiful shot. I also liked the "Boston Strangler" hommage that Spike used for the interrogation scene with the little boy. And you can see the Robert Richardson influence on Malik in that scene as well with the use of his trademark halo. I won't spoil it, but if you get the article there's an interesting quote from Malik about what happened to Harvey Keitel during the filming of that scene.

Hope this helped.
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#3 Tebbe Schoeningh

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 10:47 PM

Thank you for this information! DO you know which filter exactly he was using on that train shot? I tried to get the ASC Article, but unfortunately the back issues are dated til 1996... :(
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#4 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:31 AM

Thank you for this information! DO you know which filter exactly he was using on that train shot? I tried to get the ASC Article, but unfortunately the back issues are dated til 1996... :(


Well fortunately the American Cinematographer website will allow you to order the back issue of the magazine on Clockers, and it willl only cost you a dollar ($1.00 USD) :)

Click on the link below:

Back Issues of American Cinematographer
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