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"Cloverfield" making some viewers sick.


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#1 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:49 PM

I noticed this on CNN's site:

http://www.koco.com/...533/detail.html

I wonder if this could be an artifact of a film being edited on small screens with a TV aesthetic. Even the shakiest camera won't bother me on TV but on the big screen is another story.

Edited by Chris Keth, 23 January 2008 - 08:50 PM.

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#2 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:53 PM

I noticed this on CNN's site:

http://www.koco.com/...533/detail.html

I wonder if this could be an artifact of a film being edited on small screens with a TV aesthetic. Even the shakiest camera won't bother me on TV but on the big screen is another story.


Probably an artifact of simulating the look of "non-professional cameraman trying to keep focus while giant monster destroys the city"
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:24 PM

Yeah, same feeling I get watching Law And Order. Doesn't the DP know how to lock off the damn camera?

R,
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#4 Neal Bryant

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:46 PM

I personally hate the way cinéma vérité, reality TV, ect. have impacted the industry. It disgusts me to see so much senseless handheld. Handheld used to be employed to create tension, now you see entire movies shot that way. Why? Because it feels ?natural?? ?Real??

Nonsense. It?s only adding to the fact that the general public simply does not care about excellent images. The average Joe sees hardly any difference now between what he watches in the theater and what he watches on Youtube.

Sorry if I?m offending anyone, and I?m in a hurry so I don?t think I?m making myself clear? but, seriously folks. Get a dolly. Get a crane. Get a Steadicam. Get some sticks.
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#5 Michael Palm

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:52 PM

I personally hate the way cinéma vérité, reality TV, ect. have impacted the industry. It disgusts me to see so much senseless handheld. Handheld used to be employed to create tension, now you see entire movies shot that way. Why? Because it feels ?natural?? ?Real??

Nonsense. It?s only adding to the fact that the general public simply does not care about excellent images. The average Joe sees hardly any difference now between what he watches in the theater and what he watches on Youtube.

Sorry if I?m offending anyone, and I?m in a hurry so I don?t think I?m making myself clear? but, seriously folks. Get a dolly. Get a crane. Get a Steadicam. Get some sticks.


It always comes down to the story.
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#6 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:58 PM

It always comes down to the story.

Unless the story specifically calls for it, the default should be a solid, steady camera. Our heads move around a fair bit, but the image our brain interprets for us is pretty smooth and steady... even when walking or running.
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#7 Scott Bryant

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 10:06 PM

This has nothing to do with the story at hand as I haven't seen the movie, but I'm from oklahoma. It's nice to see something regarding oklahoma in the forums. That is all.
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 10:49 PM

Like most people, I saw Blair Witch because of the marketing campaign. Well, I saw part of Blair Witch. My aging body just can't handle ninety minutes of shaky cam without wanting to puke. :blink:

I was ready to go plunk down some money for Cloverfield until I was warned about the same thing. I understand the need to ESTABLISH the idea that it is a handheld "consumer" doing the camerawork, but I also think that it's a bit much to ask of an audience to sit through a full feature of it. <_<

I haven't seen Cloverfield, so I'm only guessing, but perhaps they'd do well on Cloverfield 2 (or whatever future movie tries this technique) to ESTABLISH "shakycam" for say, like the first five minutes, then TONE IT DOWN for the rest. You know, a minor horizon off balance and slight bounce here and there. But once it's established the a character is shooting, I'm sure that the audience gets it and will readily accept (and likely not even notice) if the camera calms down for the rest. ;)

But that's just me. :huh:
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#9 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 11:06 PM

Yeah, same feeling I get watching Law And Order. Doesn't the DP know how to lock off the damn camera?

R,



I disagree. It seems to me that the handheld shots in Law and Order are primarily in the
first part of the show, the investigative phase, and work well because often there'll be one continuous
shot for a quick scene with a lot of exposition and the actors are blocked so that, if they're crowding
the frame, they move in and out for their lines. Bang it out and move the story along. Later in the
show, the shots get increasingly more stately and in the courtroom summaries there are a fair number
of smooth dolly shots, not in or out but behind the judge or jury parallel tracking the lawyer speaking.


I like how Law and Order goes handheld.


Did you get to see any of the NBC series Homicide ? That had a lot of interesting handheld
camera work, long takes and often more dizzying than anything on Law and Order. Still, it
worked and with the GREAT writing, acting, directing, editing too; it is about the best show ever on
television.
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#10 Hal Smith

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 11:15 PM

There are numerous audience comments on IMDB about the shaky camerawork and none of them are positive (at least the ones I read). More than a couple liked the movie but go on to recommend you sit in the back of the theater.

Brian's got it right, establish that it's shot by participants but then calm it down to an occasional bobble, etc. There are just too many gags to keep the illusion going but with steady shots: have more than one camera so one can be set down by a cast member on sticks taking a nice shot of the monster approaching and gobbling up the camera, have a camera drop on its side on the ground giving a nice cockeyed ground level shot, etc. I too wonder if the Director and Producers watched dailies on a relatively small monitor and didn't realize they were producing a movie that would sicken people projected on a large screen.
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#11 Richard Boddington

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 12:05 AM

I disagree. It seems to me that the handheld shots in Law and Order are primarily in the
first part of the show, the investigative phase, and work well because often there'll be one continuous
shot for a quick scene with a lot of exposition and the actors are blocked so that, if they're crowding
the frame, they move in and out for their lines. Bang it out and move the story along. Later in the
show, the shots get increasingly more stately and in the courtroom summaries there are a fair number
of smooth dolly shots, not in or out but behind the judge or jury parallel tracking the lawyer speaking.


I like how Law and Order goes handheld.


I knew some one was going to take my post seriously. :blink:

Over all I liked Cloverfield. They could have cut that good bye party stuff by 80% it was way way too long. Plus that end credit music was just incredible, amazing, I sat through all of it.

The main thing I didn't like was the so obvious and blatant Blair Witch rip off. Right down to the idea that the tape was found after the fact, blah blah blah. Also there was no resolution at all...cop out. They could of easily had the one girl who survived, being debriefed by the military at the end. In this scene they explain where the creature came from, what became of it, etc etc. The way it ended basically said the writers had no idea how to create an ending.

R,
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#12 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 01:51 AM

Unless the story specifically calls for it, the default should be a solid, steady camera. Our heads move around a fair bit, but the image our brain interprets for us is pretty smooth and steady... even when walking or running.



You would imagine that if the premise of the movie is: "found footage from a non-professional cameraman as he and his friends try to stay alive while capturing footage of giant monster destroying the city" that would be enough qualify as a story that specifically calls for this style.

Unless you think you could find the time to set up a crane while a 300 foot tall monster was chasing you down the street :)

The main thing I didn't like was the so obvious and blatant Blair Witch rip off.


You mean the giant 300 foot tall monster they had in Blair witch? or the device of the found footage Blair witch ripped off from Cannibal Holocaust...?

R.
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#13 Charles Talbott Jr

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:05 AM

Films that use too much handheld annoy me. I love to sit in the front of the theater to look up at the screen. Maybe it's the kid in me, but I think it makes everything larger than life. Good movies completely wow you that way. For movies like "Cloverfield" and "Blair Witch Project" it makes the first few rows of the theater unuseable. It's a disturbing trend. Seemingly, the current mindset is that handheld = realism. And if handheld is more realistic, then "shakey-cam" is ultra-realism. For "Cloverfield", we sat smack in the middle of the theater because we knew that it was a handheld movie, but it was still pretty jarring during the action scenes. My friend's fiancee felt sick after the movie was over. I doubt the filmmakers were going for that particular reaction. Handheld can be very effective when used properly (and by properly, I mean sparingly.) A good example is for POV shots. Every creative choice, every shot, should serve a purpose. Otherwise, I just picture the producer saying "Hey...we forgot to get the permits for this location. Let's hurry up before the cops get here. Go handheld."
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#14 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 03:03 AM

You would imagine that if the premise of the movie is: "found footage from a non-professional cameraman as he and his friends try to stay alive while capturing footage of giant monster destroying the city" that would be enough qualify as a story that specifically calls for this style.



Blah blah it's a "concept" or "revolutionary", or whatever, this piece of hvx with cg is trash, I make my living from film and would not pick up a cheap camera to film a 300' monster that was trying to eat me. I would pick up a gun, I own plenty, and try to stay alive.

I was hoping this piece of low end trash would bomb on the numbers but considering that every third spot run in the US last week was for this mcnugget movie I guess every dope was suckered in on this one, I have to buy a few AK-47's for a film I am shooting tomorrow maybe I could test them out on the director and producers of Clovernugget before I have the gunsmith convert them to fire blanks.

Hula
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#15 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 03:08 AM

I have to buy a few AK-47's for a film I am shooting tomorrow



Sorry , I know this is an international list, yes in the US you can just go buy AK-47's for a few hundred bucks at your local gun shop. I am not making this up, it's true, almost as common as orange juice.

-Rob-
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#16 John Carreon

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 06:26 AM

I think "Cloverfield" broke the record for MLK weekend...so no matter what it's a success...

Artistically, aesthetically...it's all subjective...

But the people that made it will be able to work again...most likely on a more prestigious project...

I'd rather shake the camera like "a polaroid picture" as outkast said...and get another job...then throw it on some sticks...and get another worthless compliment from my Grandma...

It's hard to judge a commercial project on a non-commercial level...
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#17 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:09 AM

This reminds me of shooting a short film on a DSR 500 handheld and having to shake the camera because my handheld camerawork was too steady.
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#18 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 08:26 AM

I knew some one was going to take my post seriously. :blink:

Over all I liked Cloverfield. They could have cut that good bye party stuff by 80% it was way way too long. Plus that end credit music was just incredible, amazing, I sat through all of it.

The main thing I didn't like was the so obvious and blatant Blair Witch rip off. Right down to the idea that the tape was found after the fact, blah blah blah. Also there was no resolution at all...cop out. They could of easily had the one girl who survived, being debriefed by the military at the end. In this scene they explain where the creature came from, what became of it, etc etc. The way it ended basically said the writers had no idea how to create an ending.

R,


I knew somebody would take my reply seriously.
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#19 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:48 AM

Handheld can be very effective when used properly (and by properly, I mean sparingly.)


Handheld WAS used sparingly in Cloverfield. It was only used for shots where it was appropriate to be handheld, i.e. in the case of Cloverfield: every single shot.
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#20 Paul Bruening

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 12:10 PM

Maybe this trend will turn into a whole new form of cinema- The Barfey-cam. Why not make a movie where the real purpose is to make people sick. It seems to me that the reason shakey-cam is finding so many expressions is because it is making so much money. Hollywood doesn't give a crap what they make except for making money. Maybe the sense loading from shakey-cam alone is sufficient reason for a burned out audience to go see a movie. Maybe so many people are glazed over by head meds that shakey cam is one of the few things that can jam its way into their brains.

So, what existing movie type lends itself to barfey-cam already? Mad slasher? That's what I'd try first. The horror of blood and violence lends itself to the horror and violence of barfey-cam. It seems like it would be a totally disgusting experience. It should pack the house. You could issue barf bags to every customer that has printed on it, "I saw (title here) and didn't blow chunks!" That way, owning an empty bag would be proof that they made it through the movie and held down their dinner. What a gimmick!
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