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Lubezki on working with Malick


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#1 Doug Durant

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 02:37 PM

I figured a few people might appreciate these short yet wonderful clips. Hearing that Malick's unique improvised style of filmmaking can even make a master like Lubezki question and doubt himself which was definitely a real eye opener for me. Lubezki comes off extremely humble and charming, and inspirational which is what I've heard from a few people who've met him. I can't wait to see this film.



http://www.youtube.c...feature=channel

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#2 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 10:28 AM

Thanks for sharing.
:)


From the third video:
"Once i started shooting with no lights,
suddenly i felt like a naked man in the middle of Time Square... "

I can relate to that ! :)


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Ihor
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:03 PM

"Once i started shooting with no lights,
suddenly i felt like a naked man in the middle of Time Square... "


Sad, but that is a true testament that film making as it is practiced by Hollywood is more about the lights / gear than the actual craft. I once asked fellow board member director-cinematographer John Jost, "how big was your lighting package when you shot "The Bed You Sleep In." He replied "I only use one light."



Glad Malick is bringing some sense into this gear-driven madness. Perhaps all big name DPs should shoot a film for Malick, i.e. "cinematography re-education camps."
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#4 Subhadip Sen

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:13 PM

Watched these before - illuminating stuff! It's amazing how Lubezki can live up to Malick's insane demands. I mean, shooting in 65mm with no lights!
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#5 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 01:34 PM

Watched these before - illuminating stuff! It's amazing how Lubezki can live up to Malick's insane demands. I mean, shooting in 65mm with no lights!


So why is it that shooting 65mm film with no lights is any worse than using 35mm, 16mm or S8mm with no lights?
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#6 David Rakoczy

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 01:48 PM

Thanks Saul... I was just going to post the same question.

Truth is, the smaller the mm the harder it is...
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#7 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 07:45 PM

Thanks Saul... I was just going to post the same question.

Truth is, the smaller the mm the harder it is...


Right. Generally speaking, video is also more tolerant to underexposure than film . . .
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#8 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:30 AM

So why is it that shooting 65mm film with no lights is any worse than using 35mm, 16mm or S8mm with no lights?


Probably because in low light situations you have to shoot at a stop that is so shallow in DOF its hard to improvise anything and keep it in focus.
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#9 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:37 AM

Probably because in low light situations you have to shoot at a stop that is so shallow in DOF its hard to improvise anything and keep it in focus.


Well, true. Most focus pullers that will get a 65mm gig should have the knowledge and gear to keep that to a minimum though. Most of the really good focus pullers I have seen work (those who have no interest whatsoever moving up to operating / DPing), can just tell how far one is from the camera by looking at one and nail the focus. That takes a lot of experience.

And the last time I assisted on Panavision 65mm, it was a while back, I remember the prime lenses weren't very fast (fastest was around T 2.8) _which would make it less of a focusing issue than when using, say, a T1.3 65mm format lens (which I have not heard of).

Can't find anything on Panavision's site about their 65mm lenses or cameras for that matter. Most of these lenses are probably 70s vintage (or earlier), since 65 mm movies haven't been shot quite as often as they were in the olden times.

Most productions I know of that use large format cinematography use newer Hasselblad and similar lenses. And they are not very fast either ( the fastest Hasselblad medium format lens in the page below is a 2.8, the rest average at 4), so shallow focus issues should be quite minimal.

http://www.theasc.co...night/page1.php

http://www.hasselbla...tem/lenses.aspx

But the way the original statement was written to me seemed to point at some obscure format (in mm) vs amount needed to expose the negative ratio. Hence the question.
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#10 Sasha Riu

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:03 PM

Watched these before - illuminating stuff! It's amazing how Lubezki can live up to Malick's insane demands. I mean, shooting in 65mm with no lights!



He was probably refering to sicial-psycological aspect of 65mm production than the actual tech stuff.

Bigger format=more expensive=more eyebrows raised in case of mistake=more pressure=more anxiety etc....
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#11 Sasha Riu

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:04 PM

Sad, but that is a true testament that film making as it is practiced by Hollywood is more about the lights / gear than the actual craft. I once asked fellow board member director-cinematographer John Jost, "how big was your lighting package when you shot "The Bed You Sleep In." He replied "I only use one light."



Glad Malick is bringing some sense into this gear-driven madness. Perhaps all big name DPs should shoot a film for Malick, i.e. "cinematography re-education camps."





HIP HIP HOORAY ! ! ! ! !
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#12 Sasha Riu

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:14 PM

Thanks for sharing.
:)


From the third video:
"Once i started shooting with no lights,
suddenly i felt like a naked man in the middle of Time Square... "

I can relate to that ! :)


Best

Ihor




Which actually makes you a real COWBOY!!!

Finaly you've became a MAN!
:)
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#13 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:58 PM

Is 65mm at T2.8 still shallower then 35mm at T1.3? Do you think shooting 35mm at T1.3 with the actors improvising will have minimal focus issues?


Well, true. Most focus pullers that will get a 65mm gig should have the knowledge and gear to keep that to a minimum though. Most of the really good focus pullers I have seen work (those who have no interest whatsoever moving up to operating / DPing), can just tell how far one is from the camera by looking at one and nail the focus. That takes a lot of experience.

And the last time I assisted on Panavision 65mm, it was a while back, I remember the prime lenses weren't very fast (fastest was around T 2.8) _which would make it less of a focusing issue than when using, say, a T1.3 65mm format lens (which I have not heard of).

Can't find anything on Panavision's site about their 65mm lenses or cameras for that matter. Most of these lenses are probably 70s vintage (or earlier), since 65 mm movies haven't been shot quite as often as they were in the olden times.

Most productions I know of that use large format cinematography use newer Hasselblad and similar lenses. And they are not very fast either ( the fastest Hasselblad medium format lens in the page below is a 2.8, the rest average at 4), so shallow focus issues should be quite minimal.

http://www.theasc.co...night/page1.php

http://www.hasselbla...tem/lenses.aspx

But the way the original statement was written to me seemed to point at some obscure format (in mm) vs amount needed to expose the negative ratio. Hence the question.


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#14 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:33 PM

Is 65mm at T2.8 still shallower then 35mm at T1.3?



http://photo.net/med...hy-forum/003cdT

DOF formulae does not take into account film format size.

http://en.wikipedia..../Depth_of_field

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 18 August 2009 - 08:38 PM.

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#15 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:40 PM

http://photo.net/med...hy-forum/003cdT

DOF formulae do not take into account film format size. The CoC changes though.

http://en.wikipedia..../Depth_of_field

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 18 August 2009 - 08:43 PM.

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#16 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:33 PM

Sad, but that is a true testament that film making as it is practiced by Hollywood is more about the lights / gear than the actual craft. ..."


Those sound stages would be pretty dark without any lights.

Edited by Jon Rosenbloom, 18 August 2009 - 09:34 PM.

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#17 F Bulgarelli

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:46 PM

What an experience this must have been!
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#18 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:05 AM

Umm. ok... The answer is yes, 65mm at T2.8 is shallower then 35mm at T1.3. 35mm at T1.3 with a 32mm with a actor around 4-7ft away; are shallow focus issues quite minimal with improvising actors?

http://photo.net/med...hy-forum/003cdT

DOF formulae do not take into account film format size. The CoC changes though.

http://en.wikipedia..../Depth_of_field


Edited by Chayse Irvin, 19 August 2009 - 01:09 AM.

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#19 Serge Teulon

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 07:13 AM

I think the amazing thing in these clips is that Lubezki clearly explains how Terence Mallik inspired him and also the rest of the crew into seeing things in his way.
Whilst at the same time allowing them to 'breathe'......



As for shooting with no lights - personally if the conditions are right, I prefer to shoot daytime outdoors using the available light and shaping it with bounces, if needed.
I don't think it matters whether you are shooting 8, 16, 35 or 65mm.
Yes 65mm at an 'open' aperture can give you DOF problems but then you can always counter act with stock speed and control your grain through exposure and process.

Here is a S35mm example with no lights
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#20 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:38 AM

Umm. ok... The answer is yes, 65mm at T2.8 is shallower then 35mm at T1.3. 35mm at T1.3 with a 32mm with a actor around 4-7ft away; are shallow focus issues quite minimal with improvising actors?


DOF (and shallow focus) is not dependent on film format, it depends on the lens focal lengths and aperture used mostly, but longer lenses are used for larger film formats, hence the perceived shallower focus.

The compensation needed to achieve the same DOF between a 35mm format 50mm 1.4 lens and a 65 mm format 100 mm 2.8 lens (which would give somewhat the same FOV in the two film formats) seems to be 2 stops. There are 2 stops between 1.4 and 2.8, so the depht of field would be nearly identical between the 2 above lenses for the 2 formats.

There is still not difference when shooting 65mm, 35mm, 16mm or 8mm in low light (with equivalent lenses) at large apertures.

Perhaps I was overly enthusiastic when I said that it would be easy for a focus puller to nail the focus on improvising actors at large apertures / shallow depth of field. I do think that the right focus puller would have an easier time than most, be it 65mm, 35mm or 16mm. As Serge points out, there are other ways available to a cinematographer to minimize some of the issues associated with filming at large apertures.
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