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"Dutched" Renaissance


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#1 Tim Partridge

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 08:34 AM

Has anyone noticed how in the last few years that Dutched camera angles have become all the rage? I see them dropped in now more than ever, and some of them are pretty bold. I saw the end credits of Slumdog Millionaire recently and there was a really gorgeous, bold, high-angle dutch shot with a static train taking up a good two thirds of the frame, with the human subjects comparitively out of sight. Five years ago and I dont think you would have seen that outside of low rent music videos (which would no way have attempted anything as bold).

Casino Royale had some really, really nice (intentionally) Ipcressy dutched shots too, even just to punctuate action moments, although Martin Campbell and Phil Meheux have been dropping those in for years (GoldenEye for example).

Do many of you DPs out there get more frequent requests for the "Dutch" these days than before? Is it really back in fashion? I think if it's done right it can be a very classical tool. A few years ago there was a thread on here where Adam Frisch had mentioned something along the lines of dutching being an amateur cliche that he'd avoid and Stuart Brereton observing that it's known in the UK as "on the piss". Is this still the case, do we think?

I am interested to hear all opinions and experiences regarding this apparent stylistic comeback.
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#2 Patrick Neary

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 11:09 AM

Hi-

I would love to know the reasoning behind the extensive "dutchedness" on the "John Adams" HBO series, it seemed like a bizarre stylistic choice and very distracting.
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 09:52 PM

Dutching was very hot in the late 90's and early 2000's, then it was overused and went away, and now it's sneaking back into some stuff. I don't mind it occasionally, but too much is too much, which I think was the case with John Adams. I doubt it will be back and being overused as much as it was ten years ago any time soon, but who knows.
I did recently do two different commercials for the same director/production company that loves dutch shots and had me doing them in almost every single shot I did. Just random floaty dutch shots all the time. I didn't like it, but they pay the bills... I found it ironic that most of the time horizon is very important when doing steadicam, but level horizon was exactly what they didn't want out of me.
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#4 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:59 PM

Dutching was very hot in the late 90's and early 2000's, then it was overused and went away, and now it's sneaking back into some stuff. I don't mind it occasionally, but too much is too much, which I think was the case with John Adams. I doubt it will be back and being overused as much as it was ten years ago any time soon, but who knows.
I did recently do two different commercials for the same director/production company that loves dutch shots and had me doing them in almost every single shot I did. Just random floaty dutch shots all the time. I didn't like it, but they pay the bills... I found it ironic that most of the time horizon is very important when doing steadicam, but level horizon was exactly what they didn't want out of me.


Roger Deakins put some dutch angles in Doubt as well, although they felt a little out of place.
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#5 Chris Durham

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:21 PM

I personally like Dutch angles. Overuse can be a bit distracting, but throwing them in with a little more thought than just changing the angle is alright. Danny Boyle's movies use them to good effect. My favorite use of dutching is for framing, when the subject's too large to show everything you want to vertically, you change the vertical space by dutching. But just rolling the lens axis around is a little silly.
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