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I just don't get it??


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#1 Freya Black

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 03:26 PM

Was watching the trailer for the new muppet movie and apart from the disneyfication of the whole thing I'm finding the cinematography to be really bizzare!!???

Theres one scene where there are many muppets all together in a crowd and the ones at the front are razor sharp and look like they are on another plane of existence than the muppets further back. It reminds me of old viewmaster reels. Really strange, they almost look like cardboard cut outs or something.

Does anyone know if this is a 3d movie? Maybe that is what it's about?

I also just find the cinematography strange, the muppets all look hyper sharp and strange. Bizzarely they look more like toys than they usually do. I find that to be a strange decision. I mean surely the thing to do would be to make the humans hyper sharp and unreal looking and the muppets softer so that they look more real. I mean it seems to me that an important part of the muppets is the idea that you are pretending that the puppets in question are real! People on the other hand, well we are used to pretending that other people are real all the time in real life! ;)

See for yourself:



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#2 Shawn Martin

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 05:13 PM

It's not 3D. Next month's AC says they shot on the Red MX. They apparently used the Epic too but the article doesn't mention it.

It looks terrible. I saw one of the early trailers in the theater (the one that makes it seem like some romantic movie at first) in both 35mm and digital, and what really struck me is how slimy and greasy the leads' faces looked in closeups.
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#3 Freya Black

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 05:50 PM

and what really struck me is how slimy and greasy the leads' faces looked in closeups.


You mean Kermit and Miss Piggy?
I thought Miss Piggy looked the best of all the muppets. I guess she is supposed to be glamorous. Her eyes looked odd tho. Kermit didn't look quite right but he was sort of the right shade of green. Some of the other characters looked seriously kind of wrong, especially the more orangey ones.

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#4 Shawn Martin

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:27 PM

Jason Segel and Amy Adams. The trailer I saw makes it look like it's some romantic movie about them, before it shows the Muppets.

They looked like they'd just dunked their heads in vegetable oil.
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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:36 PM

On a similar note, I had some misgivings about Herbie fully loaded, in paticular that they showed the inner workings of herbie in cgi. Really, really bad idea. I don't want to see the inner workings of herbie. Herbie is just herbie, you don't need to know what makes him special. It's one of those things where trying to explain more, means understanding less. Maybe all the VW Beatles are special like herbie. When I was little I used to call them all herbies. By trying to show something, to explain, you are taking away the magic. Herbie fully loaded wasn't overall that bad tho. Just a few niggly problems, that you were suprised about.

With the muppets, it's far, far worse and it seems like whoever was making it fudamentally misunderstood about the muppets. The Muppets are real, thats always been really clear. When you see outtakes from the muppets they are still the muppets, they don't turn into puppeteers. The kids get this too:

From wikipedia:

"When interacting with Muppets, children tended to act as though the Muppets were living creatures, even when they could see the puppeteers."

On the original muppet show, it was usually the guests who weren't that real. The muppets were the real deal.

To me this movie has made a massive mistake with this! Cinematography aside, it looks preety terrible anyway as I obviously way prefered the original British/Mid Atlantic Muppets and all the nasty disney stuff definitely seems wrong to me but then I would feel that way, but the fact the muppets are real is fundamental to the muppets in ANY kind of context and to get that wrong is hugely destructive. It stops being the muppets really.

Don't know what they were thinking!

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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:43 PM

Jason Segel and Amy Adams. The trailer I saw makes it look like it's some romantic movie about them, before it shows the Muppets.

They looked like they'd just dunked their heads in vegetable oil.


Well if it's a muppet film, the stars of the show will surely be the muppets and the humans are just there as filler, so to be fair it doesn't matter as much what the people look like but it most definitely does matter what the muppets look like!

Then again, maybe the people looked weird without the extra oils or something.
The whole look of it seems seriously odd to me from beginning to end!

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#7 Damien Andre

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 01:36 AM

On a similar note, I had some misgivings about Herbie fully loaded, in paticular that they showed the inner workings of herbie in cgi. Really, really bad idea. I don't want to see the inner workings of herbie. Herbie is just herbie, you don't need to know what makes him special. It's one of those things where trying to explain more, means understanding less. Maybe all the VW Beatles are special like herbie. When I was little I used to call them all herbies. By trying to show something, to explain, you are taking away the magic. Herbie fully loaded wasn't overall that bad tho. Just a few niggly problems, that you were suprised about.

With the muppets, it's far, far worse and it seems like whoever was making it fudamentally misunderstood about the muppets. The Muppets are real, thats always been really clear. When you see outtakes from the muppets they are still the muppets, they don't turn into puppeteers. The kids get this too:

From wikipedia:

"When interacting with Muppets, children tended to act as though the Muppets were living creatures, even when they could see the puppeteers."

On the original muppet show, it was usually the guests who weren't that real. The muppets were the real deal.

To me this movie has made a massive mistake with this! Cinematography aside, it looks preety terrible anyway as I obviously way prefered the original British/Mid Atlantic Muppets and all the nasty disney stuff definitely seems wrong to me but then I would feel that way, but the fact the muppets are real is fundamental to the muppets in ANY kind of context and to get that wrong is hugely destructive. It stops being the muppets really.

Don't know what they were thinking!

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you should see the movie first if you plan criticizing it...
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#8 ian dart

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:17 AM

watched the trailer, seemed alright to me

you said it yourself...the kids get it....and they dont care about the cinematography

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#9 Freya Black

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 03:58 PM

you should see the movie first if you plan criticizing it...


Well my comments were in relation to the trailer which I think is clear.
However, do you think the movie might be different to the trailer then?
You have a point, as there have been a bit of a spate of trailers that have a look that is very different to the film.

It's a bit strange tho because surely the whole point of a trailer is to give people an idea of the film to get them to go and see it? So if the film is very different, it seems like that would make it a very poor trailer. Certainly the trailer here seems wrong to my eyes but maybe my perspective is wrong too.

Have you seen the movie Damien? I notice you made no comment about it yourself so maybe you are waiting till you have had the chance to make a better judgement on things?

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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 04:32 PM

watched the trailer, seemed alright to me

you said it yourself...the kids get it....and they dont care about the cinematography

cheers


Now thats a good point! You mean the kids see past the cinematography, the way they see past the puppeteer?
Maybe the cinematography is really the least important aspect of the movie and I'm being too focussd on that.
Also as I was implying, I grew up with the old school muppets, so maybe I have a different way of looking at them to the kids who are maybe seeing the muppets for the first time and thinking "this is great!". I mean if the old muppet magic is there then...

I do wonder, and this is partly why I'm bringing the subject up in the first place, if my actual views about cinematography are getting dated too tho. I'm a bit more uncomfortable discussing that which is probably why I was disscussing the muppets trailer where I can clearly articulate what it is I have misgivings about but certainly theres a lot in the current trends in cinematography generally that I'm not keen on. I think that may be because of the changes in technology and what used to be cinemas in the old sense coming to an end, and the rise of the new cinemas with new technologies (3d/live broadcasts etc). The changes in the medium will of course be reflected in the changes in the finished product and the intentions therein.

I take it when you say it looked alright, you mean you had no issues with the overall look of the trailer?

I'm quite interested in this question, even tho I feel somewhat funny about discussing it because I want to gauge the wind a little and see where we are at so far.

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#11 Damien Andre

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:18 PM

Well my comments were in relation to the trailer which I think is clear.
However, do you think the movie might be different to the trailer then?
You have a point, as there have been a bit of a spate of trailers that have a look that is very different to the film.

It's a bit strange tho because surely the whole point of a trailer is to give people an idea of the film to get them to go and see it? So if the film is very different, it seems like that would make it a very poor trailer. Certainly the trailer here seems wrong to my eyes but maybe my perspective is wrong too.

Have you seen the movie Damien? I notice you made no comment about it yourself so maybe you are waiting till you have had the chance to make a better judgement on things?

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i was just referring to what you said about it being a mistake that the muppets dont seem real. I saw the film and not once did i question their reality because of the cinematography or any other reason. It's clear that the creators understand and love the muppets. imo the fact that they look like toys is unavoidable and honestly at the end of the day you have to just suspend your disbelief since theyre really just felt sacks.

Edited by Damien Andre, 27 November 2011 - 08:19 PM.

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#12 ian dart

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:07 PM

hi freya

i dont think the target audience (kids and muppet fans) really care about the technical side, they just want to be entertained.

you could shoot it on a vhs camcorder and the kids will still watch it


cheers
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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 11:22 PM

i was just referring to what you said about it being a mistake that the muppets dont seem real. I saw the film and not once did i question their reality because of the cinematography or any other reason. It's clear that the creators understand and love the muppets. imo the fact that they look like toys is unavoidable and honestly at the end of the day you have to just suspend your disbelief since theyre really just felt sacks.


Ah okay, it wasn't clear from your prior posting, what your opinion was about it really.
Yes, ultimately the muppets aren't going to look as real, as say humans are supposed to be, otoh I guess I'm questioning whether the cinematographer should be trying to make them look as real as the human actors. It seemed like there was more effort to make the human actors look real than the muppets...

...but maybe, as you suggest, they are never going to really look real, so that is just a waste of time and most importantly, expense? The muppets after all, will be real based on the work of the puppeteers more than the cinematographer.

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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 11:38 PM

hi freya

i dont think the target audience (kids and muppet fans) really care about the technical side, they just want to be entertained.

you could shoot it on a vhs camcorder and the kids will still watch it


cheers


That's interesting, because I assume you are reffering to the cinematography, and personally I wouldn't consider the cinematography to just be composed of technical stuff but a lot more.

In a way I'm not sure that all movie go-ers, in the hollywood sense, don't just want to be entertained. Hollywood is primarily geared towards entertainment. I think very few people are that bothered about the technical stuff. OTOH cinematography will affect their expeerience of the movie.

I think you are right that people would still watch it if it was shot on a vhs camcorder, in fact that might make people even more curious to see it, I guess the question I'd be asking in that situation, was would that give the right look for the film. Maybe it would depeending on the film but I think there is, as you seem to be suggesting, the bigger question, of "does it really matter at all?"

I think this latter question is perhaps the more interesting question, and maybe the answer is no!

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#15 ian dart

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:07 AM

i have always felt it is all about the story, tell a good story and people will watch it. regardless of the format.

i have watched (and worked on) films that have been technically flawed but have stuck with them because they told a good story well.

i am in the business and when i go to the flickers i give no thought to whether it was shot on red or panavision, and used
hmi's or keno's, shotgun mic or radio mic's.

my bum is on the seat.....entertain me.
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#16 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:10 AM

i have always felt it is all about the story, tell a good story and people will watch it. regardless of the format.

i have watched (and worked on) films that have been technically flawed but have stuck with them because they told a good story well.

i am in the business and when i go to the flickers i give no thought to whether it was shot on red or panavision, and used
hmi's or keno's, shotgun mic or radio mic's.

my bum is on the seat.....entertain me.

yeah exactly, when it comes to cinematography all I'm taking in is if the camerawork is engaging enough to keep me in the seat, it can be shot on IMAX for all I care but if it's rubbish content then I'm out.
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#17 Freya Black

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:44 AM

i have always felt it is all about the story, tell a good story and people will watch it. regardless of the format.

i have watched (and worked on) films that have been technically flawed but have stuck with them because they told a good story well.

i am in the business and when i go to the flickers i give no thought to whether it was shot on red or panavision, and used
hmi's or keno's, shotgun mic or radio mic's.

my bum is on the seat.....entertain me.


Again, as I was saying, for me cinematography is about more than just technical issues like what camera it was shot on etc, that would just be an aspect of it and probably the least significant one.

I'm also not 100% it is JUST about the story. I really couldn't engage that much with benjamin button for a large part because I found the cinematography distracting, but also to a significant extent because of some of the acting, but I quite liked the ideas and story...I felt it was a bit of a car crash really, and it made me feel sad that such interesting ideas had gone so wrong...

...but of course Ben button, won an award for it's cinematography so that might indicate that I'm very out of touch in my views, so it is interesting.

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#18 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:37 AM

Again, as I was saying, for me cinematography is about more than just technical issues like what camera it was shot on etc, that would just be an aspect of it and probably the least significant one.

I'm also not 100% it is JUST about the story. I really couldn't engage that much with benjamin button for a large part because I found the cinematography distracting, but also to a significant extent because of some of the acting, but I quite liked the ideas and story...I felt it was a bit of a car crash really, and it made me feel sad that such interesting ideas had gone so wrong...

...but of course Ben button, won an award for it's cinematography so that might indicate that I'm very out of touch in my views, so it is interesting.

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I thought the visuals were great, it was just that it bored the hell out of me and it didn't come off as a repeat viewing kind of film (the stuff that I like most).

With me, the cinematography comes down to the feelings that it can subconciously evoke as well, mainly through the mixture of lighting, lens choices and movement with of course causing as little disruption as possible. So much of today is green screen and heavy fx that it's just like they pick and choose to craft the scene in post, but those three things are still and always will be paramount.

Edited by Marcus Joseph, 28 November 2011 - 09:40 AM.

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