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Hard Candy / Silent Hill


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#1 Rhys Cooper

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:39 PM

These are two of the best visually stimulating movies I have ever seen. I love them! Silent Hill is more of a broader, impersonal and somewhat agoraphobic (other times claustrophobic) style of filming, while Hard Candy is closer, more personal and more claustrophobic style.

I particularly love how both of the movies use cinematography to compliment the sets and makeup. The movie that really got me into cinematography was Hard Candy, with the high quality use of shadowing, highlighting and DOF.

What cinematography techniques (lighting, use of DOF, colorization, camera work, etc) do they use in these movies, and how could I try and replicate them? I have tried watching them and learning the techniques, but I am a bit of a newbie so I only pick up on very few things.
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#2 georg lamshöft

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:37 AM

Hard Candy made extensive use of DI-color-adjustment. I thought it was interesting that they used 35mm+DI in a 1mio$-budget when others try to argument that 35mm is too expensive for Hollywood...

Try to get the DVD (only 2DVD?), it has extensive comments from the director and actors, also about the look.
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#3 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:46 AM

Hard Candy made extensive use of DI-color-adjustment. I thought it was interesting that they used 35mm+DI in a 1mio$-budget when others try to argument that 35mm is too expensive for Hollywood...

Try to get the DVD (only 2DVD?), it has extensive comments from the director and actors, also about the look.



Granted Hard Candy was 35mm w/ DI... but thats also a 17 day shoot and one studio set. Perfect circumstances for a project with that budget.
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#4 georg lamshöft

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:42 AM

"...and one studio set..."

It was the house of the stunt coordinator :blink:

But it is only going to show: if you want to shoot film, you can shoot film. In another thread somebody wanted cheaper instead of better stock from Fuji or Kodak - but even the small movies can handle the cost of film, when they say it's too expensive, it's just a lame excuse to cut costs at any cost. :( You'll have to pay about 120k$ for 30km (100x 1000ft = 15h) 65mm-Vision2 but yet, even projects which are 1000 times (!!!) more expensive are filmed on 35mm, because it's just too expensive... Why is a 1mio$-movie made with the same equipment as Titanic? But that's off-topic, sorry ;-) :P .
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#5 Rhys Cooper

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:02 AM

"...and one studio set..."

It was the house of the stunt coordinator :blink:

No, actually that was just the external set of Jeff's house, the internal set that was made up. The coffee shop from the start (studio set; filmed last using the same set that made "Jeff's house"). They mixed between set and location very well.
How expensive are sets to make (like thin plaster walls and maybe a door)? I am pretty much a no-budget filmmaker right now, but would like to create a few sets in my garage (I'll doll it up with paint and props).

even the small movies can handle the cost of film, when they say it's too expensive, it's just a lame excuse to cut costs at any cost. :( You'll have to pay about 120k$ for 30km (100x 1000ft = 15h) 65mm-Vision2 but yet, even projects which are 1000 times (!!!) more expensive are filmed on 35mm, because it's just too expensive... Why is a 1mio$-movie made with the same equipment as Titanic? But that's off-topic, sorry ;-) :P .

I'd honestly rather shoot on a Red Camera. I'm the kind of person who wants to reuse it over and over again (tapes or hard drives). Sometimes when shooting I'll capture the footage onto my desktop, then record over that same tape.
I just feel it's easier to edit, cheaper and less time consuming for relatively the same thing.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:34 PM

I just feel it's easier to edit, cheaper and less time consuming for relatively the same thing.

Cheaper, faster, better....pick two. You can't have three. "Relatively the same thing" is an acceptable statement I guess....you're recording an image, but film is different than Red, or VHS, or DV, or HD, or HDV, or any of the many other formats out there. They might be "relatively" the same, but they're all very different.
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#7 Bob Hayes

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:49 PM

I though “Silent Hill” was a gorgeous and under appreciated horror film. The mix of CGI and dark moody lighting was seamless.
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#8 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 09:25 PM

I though “Silent Hill” was a gorgeous and under appreciated horror film. The mix of CGI and dark moody lighting was seamless.

I totally agree. Cinematography, production design, visual effects; everything onscreen was amazing. Too bad everything else was so awful.

I don't know about Hard Candy, but there's an article about Silent Hill in American Cinematographer, so that might be worth checking out.
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#9 Rhys Cooper

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:12 PM

I totally agree. Cinematography, production design, visual effects; everything onscreen was amazing. Too bad everything else was so awful.

What do you mean "everything else"? It was a good movie.
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#10 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 02:08 AM

What do you mean "everything else"? It was a good movie.

The script and the acting. Don't get me wrong, I really wanted to like it because I'm a big fan of Silent Hill 2, which it takes most of its imagery from, and overall I did like it, but they kind of picked and chose which parts of the stories they were going to follow, which led to it being kind of incoherent, and basically the whole thing kind of falls apart after they get inside the church. Disappointing because Silent Hill 2 on its own would be really similar visually, but it has a much more coherent and disturbing plot that doesn't rely on the whole "massive plot dump right at the end" technique. My favorite parts were definitely the "Dark Silent Hill" sequences, which I think are the closest I've ever seen to putting a nightmare on film, and it was great to see Pyramid Head even if he was completely out of place in the story they told.
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#11 ryan knight

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:17 PM

Granted Hard Candy was 35mm w/ DI... but thats also a 17 day shoot and one studio set. Perfect circumstances for a project with that budget.



it was also shot anamorphic close to wide open... answering your DOF question.
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#12 Eric Moers

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 10:43 PM

it was also shot anamorphic close to wide open... answering your DOF question.


Actually that's incorrect. Hard Candy was shot Super-35, as the director clearly states in the DVD. They debated about using anamorphic but decided against it for what he claimed were focus pulling reasons, and just other practical issues.
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#13 ryan knight

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:29 PM

Actually that's incorrect. Hard Candy was shot Super-35, as the director clearly states in the DVD. They debated about using anamorphic but decided against it for what he claimed were focus pulling reasons, and just other practical issues.


oh yeah! that's right, he said if they shot anamorphic it would nearly killed their 1st because of mere centimeters for error when pulling.
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