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Oscar for Best Cinematography 2011


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#1 Jerry Murrel

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:02 AM

Years ago, the Academy had two categories for awards in Cinematograpy.

There was a category for black and white, and one for color.

Today, there seems to be another dichotomy which is being created -
cinematography which is primarily driven with Arri or Panavision
cameras, conventional Tungsten and HMI lighting; and on the other hand
cinematography which is the result of a building full of digital artists
manipulating images with Maya, Flint and other animation, compositing,
and rotoscoping software. (Not to mention render farms ...)

Tonight, I watched a visually stunning film win Best Cinematography;
a film DP'ed by the immensely talented Wally Pfister.

I also watched one of the most talented DP's in the business (Roger Deakins)
lose out again for his incredible work on TRUE GRIT. I will watch this
film many more times to study the stunning night cinematography and period
lighting which Mr. Deakins consistently conceives with rare genius.

Roger Deakins has been passed over too many times now for too many years.
One year he split the vote between himself, as he had two pictures nominated.

Might it be time to recognize the difference between computer generated
visual imaging and conventional cinematography?

Roger Deakins is one of our most gifted artists, a member of the BSC
and the ASC, and I think we owe his work a little more recognition.

Just my two cents worth....

Respectfully,
-Jerry Murrel

DP and Camera Assistant
Little Rock/Los Angeles

Edited by Jerry Murrel, 28 February 2011 - 01:04 AM.

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#2 georg lamshöft

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:31 AM

I don't think the technology behind creating visual storytelling justifies another award category. But yes, people have to learn to differenciate it - it has been a problem in the past: the films with excellent production design were favored for cinematography-awards and now other visual artists have great impact on the visuals of the movie as well. Audiences and juries have be "educated" to give the right awards to the right people...

Your example is funny, though ;-) "True Grit" involved a DI with partly big manipulations, greenscreen work and was propably less traditional than "Inception" which was printed optically (with more control by the cinematographer as far as I've heard), no 2nd unit and involved barely any CGI besides removing wires etc.
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:59 AM

On the interview posted here, Mr. Pfister stated how there was little cgi. When watching this film for the first time, there was a sparkle, a magical element at play that had a great deal to do with me loving Inception. Much the same way with Star Trek 2009, I had a similar affinity, the in camera effects when done well, have an organic nature that is seamless. I thought True Grit looked rather flat, at least in the daytime shots. I remember leaving the show rather surprised at Roger Deakins work. I don't think it is his best.
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:49 AM

On the interview posted here, Mr. Pfister stated how there was little cgi. When watching this film for the first time, there was a sparkle, a magical element at play that had a great deal to do with me loving Inception. Much the same way with Star Trek 2009, I had a similar affinity, the in camera effects when done well, have an organic nature that is seamless. I thought True Grit looked rather flat, at least in the daytime shots. I remember leaving the show rather surprised at Roger Deakins work. I don't think it is his best.



I'd have to go back to check to be sure, but I thought that the clip they showed during the VISUAL EFFECTS award (that Inception won) was a behind-the-scenes shot of a SPECIAL EFFECT (the gimbaled hallway). Chris Corbould was up there accepting the award, but I could've sworn that this was a VFX category.
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#5 Jon Amerikaner

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:40 PM

Congratulations to Wally Pfister and all the nominees. Fact is no matter who won, it's films like these (and many more that weren't nominated) that keep me going everyday...
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