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#1 Kevin Mastman

Kevin Mastman
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Posted 17 December 2008 - 03:28 AM

Hi,

I just saw Slum Dog Millionaire and the cinematography blew my mind. I was really struck by how the film had a very distinct visual style, which never really changed throughout the movie- how every shot could have been a really great still photo independent of the film.

I've been thinking a lot about how you develop a look for a film and then how you verbally communicate that style in preproduction.

For the people that have been shooting for a while:

What is your thought process when you first approach a project?
What inspires you?
How do you get other people to be confident with your artistic choices?

Thanks,
Kevin Mastman
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 05:58 AM

Hi,

I just saw Slum Dog Millionaire and the cinematography blew my mind. I was really struck by how the film had a very distinct visual style, which never really changed throughout the movie- how every shot could have been a really great still photo independent of the film.


I felt that SAME way about Legend, particularly the Ultimate Edition, version. It seemed like every frame was one of those mythic, mystic posters that lined the walls of some geeky teenage girl's room or graced the pages of some 1st edition Grimm's fairytale collection. In my opinion it was the visual embodiment of the story, perhaps the most visually perfect film for the story it told that I've every seen. There are other films that are far more epic in their berth like Laurence of Arabia, or more visually stunning like Apocalypse Now but nothing where the visual content so complemented the story than Legend. Not even The Lord of the Rings trilogy or Star Wars had that degree of perfection.

I can only speak for myself but the script is the alpha wellspring from which all inspiration flows. You begin with the story and work to find those elements that service the story the STRONGEST. You pick up inspiration from a vast reservoir of sources, still picture, real life, television, newspapers, books and novels, dreams and nightmares, other movies, comments from other people, daydreams, your own emotions, architecture and fashion, pretty much anything that gives you an idea, BUT you keep those things that BEST serve the story. The source of the inspiration it's self is irrelevant and TOTALLY subjective. It you look down and see a discarded Dreamsicle lying on the street melting and half eaten in a pool of goo, and the color and texture give you an idea for the right gel to use in a scene or a makeup effect for a guy's face melting in a nuclear holocaust, the Dreamsicle is un-important, what you do with the inspiration is everything.

For ME the best way to have other people believe in your ideas is to have confidence and enthusiasm your own ideas. If you can describe what you see in your head with gusto and conviction, people can't help but get caught up in your wave of self confidence and are willing to give it a try. Now IF you're RIGHT and you're right on a consistent basis, they'll follow you into Hell and back again. B)
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Tai Audio

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

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Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly