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British Cinematography


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#1 Emma Jubpup

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:24 PM

Hey,

I've taken a while to discover what my photographic passion is and I've finally concluded that I want to persue a career in cinematography.

I'm just wondering if there are any Brits / English people here and any outstanding British films with award winning cinematography that you guys have seen and wanna share? My favourite, for quite a while, has been 'Kidulthood'.

I look forward to delving deeper into this world and hearing from people on here!

xx
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:46 PM

British cinematography is almost uniformly awful.

Where are you from? I hate to slip into my accustomed role here but I will if I have to.

P
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#3 Henry Weidemann

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:16 PM

"Red Riding 1974" was the latest british film I saw. Interesting cinematography. Really liked it.


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#4 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:10 PM

British cinematography is almost uniformly awful.

Where are you from? I hate to slip into my accustomed role here but I will if I have to.

P



Emma, I'd avoid listening to this guy. He's one of those people think that thinks the sun rises and falls with American films.

Good for you. There is plenty of brilliant English cinematographers.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:20 PM

Yes plenty. Most of them working in LA.

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#6 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:44 PM

Yes plenty. Most of them working in LA.

P



I don't even understand why you post on this site. This is the second of your posts I've read in two days that talks about how crap the UK is for film and filmmakers.
What is the point exactly?

Oh and the plenty of British cinematographers in LA...in which country did they start in?
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#7 Daniel Smith

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:53 PM

From my experience at least, succeeding in this industry is all down to attitude. I've seen some of the least experienced people get the biggest jobs. Sure it's not just 'what you know' it's 'who you know', but it's also how you approach potential employers and contacts, and how you brand yourself.

The industry loves emerging technologies and speculation over 'where we will be' in years to come. Young, enthusiastic people with an open mind to the future tend to get noticed and picked up pretty quick.

So, if you want to distinguish yourself from all the other thousands of operators out there, I'd start by getting a head start in things like 3D, digital acquisition and workflows, solid state & computer/IP based systems etc.

Many people here will advise taking the traditional route - making short films, shooting on cinefilm etc. And whilst I'm not saying it's impossible to get in that way, it's a lot harder and has a lot more to do with being in the right place at the right time.

But, this is just my experience of the industry so far.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:13 PM

Most of my heros in cinematography when I was a beginner were British -- Freddie Young, Geoffrey Unsworth, John Alcott, David Watkin, Ozzie Morris, Jack Cardiff, just to name a few. Now it's people like Roger Deakins, Remi Adefarasin, Michael Seresin, John Mathiewson... the country still produces a lot of great cinematographers.
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:01 AM

Oswald "Ozzie" Morris is a DP who I always think as a quintessentially British cinematographer. Some truly beautiful work, and an evolution which is apparent from film to film. It's interesting to juxtapose his approaches to different films. Moby Dick vs. "Lolita" vs. "Equus". The latter which I consider a masterpiece of its time :)
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#10 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:52 AM

The UK is the cradle of all great cinematography .... and the birth place of pure cinema.. by the way Martin S and Bobby D are actually also British..

Edited by Robin R Probyn, 07 February 2011 - 02:53 AM.

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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 03:06 PM

"Red Riding 1974" was the latest british film I saw. Interesting cinematography. Really liked it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQnBJuskguE


Photographed by Rob Hardy, an old film school friend of mine, and very talented DP
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#12 Emma Jubpup

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 04:15 PM

Wow, thanks for a great array of responces everybody!

I'm from London in England and I've always thought our films are very true to form and gritty. Sometimes American films lack the cold, earhty feel that I love about British films you know? I dunno how to explain. Maybe it's something to do with budgets, but I love it!

I'm sorry you feel that way, Phil.
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 06:23 PM

I'm from London




Sorry to hear that!
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#14 Kevin Thomas

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 06:25 PM

Hi Emma,

Cinematography for a while provided the world with a universal language in the silent days and with the addition of dubbing or subtitles still does a pretty good job. Also many "American Films" were/are made in the UK, for example look at the films of Stanley Kubrick that he made in the UK. So don't limit yourself to looking at British Films or even American films. To add to the list of great cinematographers I would add David Watkin and his autobiographies are well worth a read. To get a taste of how international and non-partisan the industry is and see how another female is progressing as a Cinmatographer take a look of this issue of British Cinematographer and the interview with Polly Morgan - courtesy of the IMAGO European Federation of Cinematographers
http://www.imago.org...92266183c61.pdf

Good Luck with your endeavours
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#15 fabio pirovano

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 06:04 PM

For me There are 5 remarkable British Cinematograpeher that has leave a "sign" in my eye
Frank Watts BSC (he made SPACE 1999 series in the 70's)
Alex Thomson BSC (Excalibur,The Keep,Year of the Dragon,Hamlet)
Adrial Biddle BSC (Aliens,Event Horizon)
Chris Menges BSC (Mission,Dirty Pretty Things)
Roger Deakins BSC (Shawshank Redemption)
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#16 AlexJBender

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:06 PM

Phil Rhodes - you're clearly a delusional fool. Deakins winning a lifetime achievement award for his work pretty much sums up your weightless argument. Emma, I work in the film industry here in the UK and I assure you, British cinematography is as good as any. I recently worked with David Higgs BSC, who also shot one the Red Riding Trilogy. There are plenty of talented cameramen in the UK, as there are in the world over...but what a Phil Rhodes seems to be forgetting, just because a film is shot in America, it doesn't change the fact, the DP was and still remains, British.

Phil Rhodes, you're not making any friends here and the sun, most definitely doesn't shine out of your arse.
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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:42 PM

You can argue all you like about what constitutes "British cinematography". Yes there are good people, most of them working anywhere but here.

Filmmaking is a team sport, and if it's done in the US, or on American money, then it's a bit thin to call it British. This matters because the feedback of money from indigenous production should properly go to making indigenous production better. When there isn't any indigenous production you don't have a business and you don't have an industry. I'm not saying this to spite British crew, I'm saying it because it's part of the vicious circle of failure upon failure. All this arts-council funded happy-talk drivel about a "British film industry" that hardly exists is actually part of the problem, no matter how much you want to wave a flag.

Most British cinematography is bloody awful, because it's underfunded, controlled by producers who have no taste and cripplingly low expectations, and shot by people who have only ever worked under these circumstances. The fact that we'd all prefer things to be different does not change the reality. I didn't say I liked it.


P
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#18 Alex Lindblom

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:16 AM

Phil "the beacon o truth" Rhodes. Yes sometimes he just wakes up on the wrong side of the bed but more often then not, it's the right side.

Look I'm one of Phil biggest fans on this site because he tells it like it is, and still he tries and preserver in a business that is clearly hopeless in Europe, these are just plain and simple facts, they may not be nice to hear, but they are still true.

I have this naive hope that things might be slightly better in France , the business side that is, it would be nice if somebody from France would like to weigh in on this (In a new thread so we don't highjack this one.)

And yes there are a lot of great cinematographers from the UK.


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#19 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:34 AM

Hi Emma, its interesting you mention Kidulthood which was shot by Brian Tufano BSC who along with Stuart Harris is my tutor at the filmschool.

Whats great about Brian's work is he's great at making the everyday dramatic for the purpose of the story, which is particularly apt in Kidulthood being that its set in inner-city london, somewhere that I would not associate as being overtly visually interesting - but in that movie as with all of Brian's work the landscape and locations take on the mood of the story very well.

Phil's point of budgets in the UK are actually quite apt here, as I have observed is that Brian is a master of achieving the required quality on a tight budget, he appears to do that through utilising a number of techniques and being very open-minded to alternative solutions.

To me that's almost the two central difficulties of cinematography within the UK, a) How do make the modest UK landscape (which is smaller and more limited than the US) more dramatic and cinematic and B) do that on very tight budgets and schedules but still achieve the same quality and scope.


Phil is right in that many British cinematographers do have to work in the US a lot these days. The grand masters of british cinematography that David mentions worked mostly in the UK early in their career then as they became internationally famous they went further afield or worked on US productions shooting in the UK. How many UK cinematographers on this forum have moved to LA recently?
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#20 John Holland

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:59 AM

Andy , Brian Tufano is a brilliant Lighting Cameraman you are very lucky to have him as a tutor at N.F.T.S i have always loved everything he has shot and remember spending a day with him at Lee Studios at Wembley when he was filming "Quadrophenia" getting the light smoke with a Beegun just right before he was happy to say ok ready .
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