Jump to content


Photo

what are good cinematographic movies to see for studying?


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Carly Crocker

Carly Crocker

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Other
  • CA

Posted 18 January 2009 - 01:44 PM

I am a beginner and I am wondering what movies are good to watch for exaples of good cinematography?
-I have seen days of heaven and the beginning of Manhatten.

What other ones are good?

Please and thank you
~Carly
  • 0

#2 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 18 January 2009 - 03:13 PM

Hi, Carly.

You're probably about to get deluged with lists of movies, which undoubtedly look great for lots of reasons, but just watching a movie isn't necessarily going to "teach" you anything about it.

To really learn from a movie, you'd have to have other information about it available or access to the people who were there making it. You can sit and be "wowed" by pretty movies, or you can find the information (if it exists) so you can learn from them too.

So take those inevitable lists, and before you sit down to start watching any of the films, search through the archives of magazines and websites and books that might have interviews with the DPs and others who were there.

Unfortunately, those in charge of deciding the content on DVDs don't think the public cares about the technical aspects of what it takes to make a movie, particularly the cinematography (unless it is tied to VFX), so DVD "extras" are mostly a waste of time.

Here is a list of resources for you to take a look at as you decide which movies you can learn from:

Local600forum.com A forum by, for and about Motion Picture Professionals

Below the Line Magazine Online Below the Line is a newspaper that strives to be the editorial voice of the crew. A publication that mirrors the attitude of the below-the-line crew community, providing an insider's reverence for the craft of filmmaking with all the humor and intelligence of the craftspeople it celebrates.

Cinematography.com Professional Motion Picture Camera People, News & Resources http://www.cinematography.com 

Cinematography. net A place for professional cinematographers to talk and exchange ideas about cinematography.  

Steadicam Operators Association http://www.steadicam-ops.com 

Steadicamguild.com The Steadicam Guild was formed in September of 2002, is
an organization dedicated to the promotion and education of
the art and craft of the Steadicam http://www.steadicamguild.net 

SteadiShots.org http://www.steadishots.org 


Demystifying Digital Camera Specifications, http://media.panavis...x_Office.html 

The American WideScreen Museum: In the Cyber Museum we feature extensive coverage of Cinerama, CinemaScope, Technirama, Panavision, Vistavision, Superscope, Todd-AO, Technicolor, Cinecolor, Kinemacolor and other motion picture audio systems.  http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/ 


Below the Line is a newspaper that strives to be the editorial voice of the crew. A publication that mirrors the attitude of the below-the-line crew community, providing an insider's reverence for the craft of filmmaking with all the humor and intelligence of the craftspeople it celebrates. www.btlnews.com

Backstage West www.backstage.com

Filmmaker www.filmmakermagazine.com

American Cinematographer www.theasc.com

ICG: International Cinematographer’s Guild www.cameraguild.com

Indie Slate, www.indieslate.com

P3 Update, www.p3update.com 

IATSE Bulletin, subscribe at bulletin@iatse-intl.org 

MovieMaker, www.moviemaker.com  

British Film Magazine, the British Film World on one site. http://britishfilmmagazine.com 
 
16:9, The magazine for media pros http://www.16by9.com.au
  • 0

#3 Rich Steel

Rich Steel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 128 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Scotland

Posted 18 January 2009 - 05:54 PM

Hey Carly,

I'd suggest you watch the first movie that inspired you to become a cinematographer. Watch it over, again and again and get to understand how and why it made that strong emotional bond with you.

On a personal note though I love Conrad L. Halls genius on "Road to Perdition" and Gordon Willis's use of light in the "Godfather" but no doubt this thread will have other masterpieces added as time goes by.
  • 0

#4 Mike Lary

Mike Lary
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 472 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 January 2009 - 06:30 PM

There are many books that give lighting diagrams with screen grabs and other pertinent technical information about specific films. You can read about the films, then watch them, then go back and re-read the articles. "Reflections" and "Film Lighting" are a couple.

If you're just looking for a list of movies with great Cinematography, that could be huge. I'll throw out a handful of my favorites:
Sophie's Choice
The New World
Road to Perdition
Paris, Texas
Serenity
Barry Lyndon
Anatomy of Hell
Manhunter
eXistenZ
Unforgiven
Walkabout
Birth
Last Tango in Paris
Solaris (the original by Tarkovsky)
The Mirror
The Sacrifice
The Virgin Spring
The Shining
Morvern Caller
Last Life in the Universe
  • 0

#5 Henry Weidemann

Henry Weidemann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Germany

Posted 19 January 2009 - 11:29 AM

If I would have to reduce my list to five titles, I would recommend:

- Apocalypse Now (!!) (Vittorio Storaro)
- Road to Perdition (Conrad Hall)
- The Deer Hunter (Vilmos Zsigmond)
- Schindler's List (Janusz Kaminski)
- The Fabulous Baker Boys (Michael Ballhaus)

But you should also take a look at the work of Roger Deakins (I would recommend "The Asassination of Jesse James..." and "O Brother where art thou?")

Edited by Henry Weidemann, 19 January 2009 - 11:30 AM.

  • 0

#6 James Martin

James Martin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 227 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 19 January 2009 - 12:29 PM

OK, it isn't a movie BUT the book "Film and Digital Lighting" by Dave and Maria Varia includes many examples of classic film images and also a great section on how to "read" shots and work out how they were done. Also, start flicking through back issues of AC. I picked up the entire lot from 1991 for ten pounds on eBay the other day...
  • 0

#7 Matt Rosen

Matt Rosen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Student

Posted 19 January 2009 - 03:49 PM

This might sound a little weird, it being an animated film and all, but the 3-disc edition of WALL*E is a terrific resource for the amount of time its special features spend on cinematography (in both real world and digital universes). They show fairly big chunks of a seminar hosted by Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption, almost every Coen Bros film) that he put on for the Pixar crew. Then you can see how his lessons were put into practice on the film itself.

Deakins is probably my favorite cinematographer, and his website has a user forum where you can ask specific questions and get detailed answers. I recommend No Country For Old Men as a great example.

I'm pretty new to the field myself, but I have to concede that you're not going to learn that much from watching movies. Almost everything I've learned so far, I've learned from personal experience.
  • 0

#8 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 19 January 2009 - 03:53 PM

Here are a few to start with...

The Passion of Joan of Arc
Winter Light
Fellini's 8 1/2
Persona
Apocalypse Now
The Insider
Raging Bull

...and all of Kubrick's films!
  • 0

#9 Jamie McIntyre

Jamie McIntyre
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Student
  • Los Angeles / Reading, UK

Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:53 PM

I'm surprised no one has said 'Citizen Kane' yet, however cliche that may be haha.

Also, my favorite films for the visual elements are

'O Brother Where Art Thou' - Roger Deakins

'American Beauty' - Conrad Hall

'The Man Who Wasn't There' - Roger Deakins

'The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' - Roger Deakins

'Shawshank Redemption' Roger Deakins

'Children of Men' - Emmanuel Lubezki

'Babel' - Rodrigio Prieto

'Brokeback Mountain' - Rodrigo Prieto

They are all fairly new, and you'll probably enjoy watching those too :)


P.S - I'm a Deakins fanatic, he is my idol.
  • 0


CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Opal

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

The Slider

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine