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WTF? Avatar wins best Cinematography


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#1 Joe Taylor

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 12:19 AM

Sure, it was an awesome thing to behold, and everybody in the world has seen-- but that's not cinematography, and the Academy should really know the difference.

Did they no see "The White Ribbon?" Scratch that, what a stupid question.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 12:39 AM

With all due respect to Mauro Fiore, the Academy seems more interested in rewarding the technical advancement of the craft and not so much the artistic accomplishment of the entries. As I see it, it seems the digital modeling and compositing artists were pretty instrumental to creating the look of the movie, more so than grips and electicians are in non-digital animation projects. Sure, the Fusion 3D system is a breakthrough, or whatever, but best cinematography? I guess cinematography really is not what we have been used to anymore.
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#3 Brad Webb

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:10 AM

Best green screen lighting
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#4 Tom Lowe

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:24 AM

Welcome a new day and age, my friends. David actually made a point of speculating publicly about this back during the nomination phase of voting. It's certainly an interesting development. I would be very interested to hear from the working cinematographer Academy members who actually voted for the film to be nominated as to why they thought it deserved the award or at least the nomination.

Maybe it was the integration of the live-action 3D with the animated 3D, etc? The overall successful "look" and "feel" of the film?
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:35 AM

Best green screen lighting


B)

Edited by Brian Dzyak, 08 March 2010 - 01:36 AM.

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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:45 AM

I would be very interested to hear from the working cinematographer Academy members who actually voted for the film to be nominated as to why they thought it deserved the award or at least the nomination.

Who won the ASC award? That would surely be a more definitive Best Cinematography award, no?
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#7 Brad Webb

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:48 AM

I'm not surprised it won, but I was surprised it got nominated.

Only members of the Academy that work in the field can nominate films. Obviosuly those that work in the profession feel like Avatar was amazing achievement in cinematography.

All members get vote on the winner. This is why every Victorian era film wins best costume.
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#8 Brad Webb

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:49 AM

Who won the ASC award? That would surely be a more definitive Best Cinematography award, no?



White Ribbon.
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#9 Tom Lowe

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:10 PM

Avatar was nominated for both ASC and Oscar, I believe, so that tells you high-level cinematographers respect it in that category.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:25 PM

Avatar was nominated for both ASC and Oscar, I believe, so that tells you high-level cinematographers respect it in that category.


Yes, it's certainly not a clear-cut issue, it creates new thinking about the nature of these awards.

You also don't want something too rare though to set precedent, meaning some people can get up in arms and feel that the system needs to be changed, only to discover that this doesn't happen often enough to worry about. Sometimes the system is self-adjusting -- look at the difference between last year's winner, "Slumdog Millionaire", and this year's winner, "Avatar" -- they are very different examples of cinematography, though both employed some digital tools. For all we know, next year the award could go to a very traditional period movie that look nothing like either of these two movies (and for all we know, that period movie could be shot by Dod Mantle or Fiore, both of whom do excellent "traditional" cinematography). Sometimes voters swing the other way the following year, just to avoid repeating themselves.
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#11 Tom Lowe

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 07:01 PM

David, I think we all know who the Oscar for Best Cinematography will go to next year:

Posted Image

You can take that to the bank. ;)
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#12 Tim Fabrizio

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 11:59 AM

I found it strange, be it a mistake or not, that when Sandra Bullock was announcing the cinematography nominees they didn't show any clips. In every other category they showed clips. Even the sound editing and sound mixing categories got clips run over the nominee announcements. Of all the categories, cinematography deserves to have the clips run. I wonder if when you put all the clips back to back it would be glaringly clear that Avatar was a computer generated film. Maybe they did it on purpose.
Who knows?
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:22 PM

I doubt it, Tim. Avatar could compete with the best 4K scans.
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#14 Brad Webb

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:43 PM

I found it strange, be it a mistake or not, that when Sandra Bullock was announcing the cinematography nominees they didn't show any clips. In every other category they showed clips. Even the sound editing and sound mixing categories got clips run over the nominee announcements. Of all the categories, cinematography deserves to have the clips run. I wonder if when you put all the clips back to back it would be glaringly clear that Avatar was a computer generated film. Maybe they did it on purpose.
Who knows?


There was a problem with the clips for cinematography. Some of the source footage got corrupted and there was not enough time to fix before it aired. That is why there was no cinematography clips.
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#15 Tim Fabrizio

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:43 PM

So,in your opinion,you think the fact that they didn't run clips was a mistake?
Regardless of the quality of scan etc. it would still look computer generated. That film doesn't look like it was actually photographed. Put next to a film like White Ribbon or any live action film, it would still look a computer video game.
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#16 Brad Webb

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:45 PM

I found it strange, be it a mistake or not, that when Sandra Bullock was announcing the cinematography nominees they didn't show any clips. In every other category they showed clips. Even the sound editing and sound mixing categories got clips run over the nominee announcements. Of all the categories, cinematography deserves to have the clips run. I wonder if when you put all the clips back to back it would be glaringly clear that Avatar was a computer generated film. Maybe they did it on purpose.
Who knows?


There was a problem with the clips for cinematography. Some of the source footage got corrupted and there was not enough time to fix before it aired. That is why there was no cinematography clips.
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#17 Tim Fabrizio

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 01:06 PM

So they say...
LOL.
So much for the conspiracy theory.
And last year it was Ben Still dressed as Joaquin Pheonix wandering around while the cinematography award was announced. No love, although it keeps the mystique alive.
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